Thanks to over three decades worth of design, those of you who know the who’s who of this crazy bridal world will recognise Australian brand, Mariana Hardwick. It’s no mean feat to not only last this long, but to thrive in this industry, folks. So we decided a Designer Profile was a must. We chatted to Mariana’s daughter-in-law, Rebekah, who is now at the helm of the business as Managing Director and kindly takes us through one of their new collections, Incarnation, made up of both Ready to Wear and Made to Measure pieces, that we shot in their gorgeous Melbourne boutique. Scroll down for all you need to know now, and if you want more, read the full feature in Issue 22– limited copies are still available via our online store.
Tell us about the new collection… “Incarnation is an exploration of different textures and bold, elaborate embellishments. We really sought to push the boundaries and experiment with layering of hand beading and appliqué to create interesting shapes and design lines. We drew inspiration from architectural references, where the emphasis was on building dimensions through texture.”
Can you describe the ultimate Mariana Hardwick bride? “She is fearless, independent and strong. Willing to go beyond the conventional to achieve a fresh and unique gown that truly represents her, seeking inspiration from the global fashion landscape. She is not influenced by passing trends. She understands quality and is looking for a high level of craftsmanship, fabrication and expertise when creating her ultimate gown.”
Can you share some insight into the creative process? How does it begin and evolve? “The design process includes research, initial ideas, design development and refinement. Bridal gown design is more like engineering. There is an initial vision, but for the gown to actually work- and be flattering to the female form- takes a level of couture experience developed over decades.”
Now down to the nitty gritty… What is the price range of your bridal collection? “The prices for our gowns start from $3500 and range up to $8000.
What advice do you have for brides searching for ‘the one’? “Focus on the whole picture. The look, the fit and the silhouette, not just the latest Instagram trend. When trying gowns on, consider who you bring to your appointments. Large entourages can confuse brides with various conflicting opinions. Bringing along those that know your style and whose bridal vision aligns with yours will make for a smoother, more focused and enjoyable shopping experience for everyone.”
Favourite bridal trend you’re seeing come out of the 2018 collection releases? “Sleeves! We are having so much fun experimenting with interesting sleeve designs. At the moment, we are particularly inspired by stretch fabrics and structural gowns. There will be more of this coming through in future collections…”
What can a bride-to-be expect when it comes to the Mariana Hardwick experience? High quality service and advice, free of the ‘pressure sale’ they may experience at other stores. Our consultants love their job and we think it really shows. We constantly have good feedback! We have spent the last 35 years perfecting the fittings process and we are all acutely aware that we are creating someone’s bridal gown and the importance of that is immense.
Do brides need to make an appointment to try on your gorgeous gowns? “Yes, appointments are preferred to ensure a seamless and personalised service. Come in any time between 6-12 months.”
Can you reveal any exciting upcoming news for Spring, or early 2019? “More evolving! We plan on expanding our collections so we can be more accessible to all brides. We will also continue to offer a more personalised custom design service. We make everything in house, so this is definitely something unique we can offer brides.”
Editors note: These photos were taken at the Mariana Hardwick Brunswick showroom. They will be rolcating to South Melbourne February 2019. Stay tuned for more details.