Wedding season is officially open. If you are a bride-to-be and haven’t found the perfect bridal dress yet, look no further – the French have got you covered.
Shopping might (usually) be a pleasant activity, but shopping for a wedding dress can often prove pretty stressful. Thanks to Hollywood clichés, we think that researching ‘the perfect dress’ comes with glasses of champagne, a supportive group of friends and absolutely no drama. But, while our expectations are sky-high, the reality is this: finding the ‘perfect dress’ can be tricky, and more than a little frustrating.
Of course, this is much more likely to be the case if you are not a fan of the traditional: the mainstream bridal shops, with all of their classic gowns, are probably not going to meet your needs. But, thankfully, our oh-so-chic friends on the other side of the channel have gotten edgy bridal fashion all figured out.
Relaxed yet elegant, French bridal designers tend to have in mind not only the appearance of the dress, but also its comfort levels. After all, if you get married in a gorgeous vineyard in Bourgogne or on the golden beaches of Biarritz, you need to be able to move around. And, thanks to their ever growing success, it is not difficult to find French designers right here in the UK. Indeed, the Mews Bridal shops in London and Bristol only stock French designers and the trend has already spread all over the country.
But if you are lost in a sea of names, don’t panic: here are some of Stylist’s favourite French bridal designers to help you begin your search…
For timeless elegance, that look no further than Cymbeline. One of the most recognisable names in French bridal design – for over 40 years their romantic creations are some of the most beautiful wedding dresses in the world. If you’re planning a destination wedding in a dramatic setting, Cymbeline’s breathtaking gowns will be perfect.
VISIT CYMBELINE PARIS' WEBSITE NOW
The exceptional workmanship that goes into Fabienne Alagama’s elegant creations is luxurious as haute couture, and just as steeped in Parisian tradition. Every dress is designed and handmade in Paris with fabrics from France and Spain: think layers of dreamy ivory crepe, chiffon, silk organza, mikado and tulle, trimmed with beautiful lace from Chantilly.
VISIT FABIENNE ALAGAMA'S WEBSITE HERE
A real Parisian, Margaux designs all her couture dresses in her atelier in Paris’ 10th district. After working for iconic brands such as Lanvin and Oscar de la Renta, she founded her homonym brand in 2015.
Every collection is different but Margaux’s brides are always bold, feminine and modern. The perfect match for a bride that wants to look ‘simply’ stunning.
Visit Margaux Tardits’ website here
Donatelle had the idea of designing bridal-wear after she created her own wedding dress in 2014. In 2015, after years working in fashion magazines, Donatelle Godart was born.
Every piece is bespoke to meet the needs of the bride but Donatelle’s creations are always ethereal and unique.
Visit Donatelle Godart’s website here
Rime is the superstar of this new wave of French bridal designers. Thanks to her ever-growing fame, her prêt-à-porter line is already stocked on Net-a-Porter, next to the industry’s biggest names.
In addition to her dreamy wedding dresses, Rime designs sexy short skirts for the civil ceremony, funky jumpsuits and even a honeymoon collection to keep the party going. Anything you might want, Rime has it.
Visit Rime Arodaky’s website here
Céline de Monicault
Looking at Celine de Monicault’s made-in-France designs is like diving headfirst into a charming, elegant and much cooler age.
Inspirations from the past are mixed with the finest materials and contemporary savoir faire to create dreamy collections for modern brides.
Visit Céline de Monicault’s website here
For Chez Camille Recolin, quality over quantity is a way of seeing design. Lace, silk and tulle are used wisely to create simple and chic dresses which are all too easy to fall in love with.
Visit Camille Recolin’s website here
Laure De Sagazan
If Rime is the queen, Laure is definitely her dauphine. One of the most loved wedding dresses designers in France, Laure de Sagazan’s name is now synonymous with French bridal-wear.
Her creations are designed and manufactured in her Parisian atelier. Now sold all over the world, Laure’s creations have the power to conquer the hearts of even the most indecisive brides.
Visit Laure De Sagazan’s website here
Elise creates her dresses far from the hustle and bustle of busy Paris, in the beautiful southern city of Bordeaux.
As Elise says, “a wedding dress is not a costume” and it’s important to still look like oneself in it. With this in mind, Elise works with each bride to create the perfect wedding dress for her, bespoke to fulfil her dreams.
Visit Elise Martimort’s website here
Delphine Manivet’s black ‘tulipe’ dress has proven a favourite with the celebrity circuit: Sarah Jessica Parker famously wore one on the red carpet, while Riley Keough, Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, chose one of Manivet’s creations for her own wedding.
And we can see why: her simple designs are proof that less is definitely more.
Visit Delphine Manivet’s website here
If we could describe Isabella Boutin creations in one word, it would be layering. Lace on silk, on chiffon and tulle: a dress is a piece of art built with care, and, from her atelier in the heart of Lyon, Isabella designs and manufactures all of her creations using nothing but the finest materials that France has to offer.
Visit Isabella Boutin’s website here
Manufactured exactly like an art piece, the Maison Constance Fournier’s dresses are an ode to French haute couture.
While some may favour simplicity, Constance is all about the details. Think sublime lace, incredible broderies, feathers and pom-poms, for dresses that are truly special.
Visit Constance Fournier’s website here
Made for the modern day brides, Elise Hameau’s creations are eccentric, elegant and sublime.
If we could, we would wear her creations every single day, but we might look overdressed on the Piccadilly line. Thankfully, though, she has a line of t-shirts that are just as lovely as her gowns… and they’re tube-appropriate, too.
Visit Elise Hameau’s website here
Under Marseille’s shining sun, Manon Gontero creates wedding dresses that look as if they’ve been plucked straight out of a fairytale.
Manon’s goal is to make every bride feel her best. And, with a line which boasts close-fitting dresses and well-studied transparencies, it’s impossible not to feel special in one of her creations.
Visit Manon Gontero’s website here
The perfect designer for boho brides everywhere, Lorafolk has caved a space for herself in the busy world of bridal-wear thanks to her wild-hearted creations.
Laura, the genius behind Lorafolk (alongside her partner, Quentin), imagines dresses that will survive the years – unique pieces that will never go out of fashion.
Visit Lorafolk’s website here
Lead picture: Margaux Tardits
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