🌿 March Meet The Maker 🌿 ✂️ #meetthemaker

Hello! I’m Anna and I’m the designer and dressmaker behind This Modern Love 💕 I work from my home studio on the seafront in sunny Worthing (near Brighton) – here I’m sharing my behind the scenes story for the March #meetthemaker challenge!

🌿 How I got started…

I fell in love with sewing in my 20s. I loved the idea of creating something simple using beautiful fabrics, rather than settling for what the rather uninspiring high street had to offer. (Back then it was all fussy, garish print viscose and too short dresses made in China 🙄). I started my dressmaking journey making pretty floral print, cotton tea dresses and selling them at Camden Lock and Portobello Road markets in London – I experimented with chiffon and lace and when a friend saw my new design she asked me to make the bridesmaid dresses for her wedding, and that’s how This Modern Love began! 💕 I was really drawn to the bridal aesthetic of soft, muted colours and delicate, exquisite laces and I loved translating my relaxed, bohemian inspired designs to bridal wear…

🌿 Do what you love & love what you do…

We spend a lot of our lives at work, and for many of us our work defines us and gives us a sense of our identity – it’s really important to do work that motivates and inspires you.

I was creative but my degree was in law and I used to work in the (often, soul destroying) world of corporate human resources … I wanted to change direction and decided to re-train. I studied Fashion & Costume Design with Central Saint Martins and womenswear pattern cutting and professional sewing techniques with London College of Fashion and gained as much work experience (London Fashion Week, Sadler’s Wells, Royal Opera House) and mentoring (Career Shifters, Prince’s Trust Youth Enterprise) as possible to get This Modern Love started.

🌿 What it means to be a maker…

I was aware of the wasteful and exploitative nature of the fashion industry – most garments we buy on the high street are produced unethically with sweat shop labour and for the most part the clothes end up in landfill. I wanted to work with textiles but I didn’t want to be part of the problem: mass production of ‘fast fashion’. Being a dressmaker means creating a gown that is exactly what the customer wants; her choice of style, colour, fit, fabrics – the materials are sourced responsibly without waste, and crucially the finished garment is worn, loved and cherished.

🌿 Favourite to make…

Has to be my HELENA ivory guipiere lace bridal kimono, designed for the bride to wear on the morning of her wedding and throughout her honeymoon… I love working with this elegant lace, it’s light, delicate and drapes beautifully 💕

🌿 Inspiration…

As a bridal designer I take inspiration from a range of different sources… sometimes watching a play or visiting a gallery can spark off an idea for a design, a project or a creative collaboration. I’m a big fan of artist Clare Elsaesser and her wonderful paintings adorn the walls of my studio; her vibrant use of colour and female subjects lost in contemplation really speaks to me. I often use colour in my bridal designs for a contemporary twist on the classic bridal look: colour is a wonderful resource to convey a message and help reflect the bride’s story and personality through her dress.

🌿 Customers…

My gorgeous real brides make This Modern Love – I love it when brides visit my studio for a consultation and blend together different elements of my designs to create their dream dress, it’s really wonderful to bring their ideas to life and create something bespoke and individual for the most special occasion with their loved ones 💕

🌿 Photography…

I usually shoot my designs here at my home studio. For my lookbook shoots I work with brilliant photographer Beth Steddon and for my Etsy store I shoot the images myself with an Olympus PEN and edit with VSCO and Colour Story. I am very low tech. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Many of the gorgeous images in this post are from creative collaborations with these wonderful photographers: Sarah Kriner, Ira Gelormino, Vicky Lamburn, Steffi Schroeder, Anja Schneemann & Chelsea Hall 💕 endless thanks to these talented women! 📷

🌿 Can’t live without…

An obvious one for a dressmaker, but my Singer sewing machine, Janome overlocker, Fiskars shears and the the most crucially important piece of kit – a seam unpicker! ✂️ I’d also be lost without Classic FM – I always listen to this when I’m working in my studio.

🌿 Helper…

If by help you mean ‘destroyer of everything and first class scamp’, then I’d have to give a shout out to my daughter Eva who is 2 and a half. She can usually be found rummaging through my fabric stash and running off with my stationary.

At the moment I manage all the design and making myself, but as the business is growing I’m looking to recruit an assistant to help with making and studio fittings… 👏🏻

🌿 Creative friends…

My creative friends have helped me enormously: Victoria JK Lamburn (an excellent fine art photographer) captures my designs beautifully in the soft natural light and really brings them to life with her relaxed styling, and Lou (a fellow designer and Etsy creative) behind the lingerie label Brighton Lace is an excellent business mentor, we regularly meet up to share ideas about our lacy projects!

🌿 Achievements…

I’m super proud of the awards I’ve won – ⭐️ Elle Magazine’s Talent Spot Award ⭐️ (here’s a few pics of my paper sculpture installation and my sketchbooks from my Saint Martins days) ⭐️ Finalist at the UK Wedding Awards ⭐️ and most recently winner of ⭐️ Best Bridal Designer & Dressmaker at the 2018 Wedding Industry Awards ⭐️ Its always such an honour when This Modern Love is featured in magazines and wedding blogs, take a peek at my press page to see details…

🌿 Goals…

I adore the fine art aesthetic and I’d love to work on my photography skills to try to capture my designs with better lighting and styling to reflect that. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to attend a workshop at the end of the summer, but for now it’s back to the making! I’m working on 5 gorgeous bridal gowns next month ✂️ #weddingseason 💕

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little about the story behind ThisModern Love! 💕

Anna

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This Modern Love at LABEL Fashion Show

Huge thanks to LABEL Fashion Show in St Andrews for this beautiful shoot featuring my peach tulle bridal gown in this dreamy woodlands shoot…

This Modern Love is showcasing ten looks in LABEL’s spring fashion show at the Ruffles Hotel in St Andrews where the performance is themed around fairytales 🧚🏼‍♀️ and body positivity 💪

Good luck to the amazing team at LABEL for their incredible show! X

The Wedding Crowd: ❤️ This Modern Love featured in a romantic styled shoot in Liverpool 💕💕💕

🌿 Love this romantic styled shoot by the dream team at The Wedding Crowd- huge thanks to Ro for putting together this collaboration, the cake is a masterpiece! This shoot features my new design, which is a little glimpse of what’s to come in Modern Love’s 2019 fine art collection – floral appliqué over champagne tulle, dreamy! 🌿 x

Credits:

Collective: @theweddingcrowd / @Theweddingcrowd

Photographer: @allison_stoddard / @Allison Stoddard Photography

Dress 1(traditional romantic, pleated bodice): @thebridalbarnboutique/ @The Bridal Barn Boutique

Dress 2 (Champagne tulle and floral appliqué): @this_modern_love_bridal / @This Modern Love Bridal

MUA: @jeanetteflynnmua / @Jeanette Flynn

Hair: @hairby_kathleen / @Hairby Kathleen

Stationery: @turretstationer / Dragonfly Couture Stationery

Styling: @feathersandbark / N/a

Hair pieces: @clairehilldesigns/ @Claire Hill Designs

Jeweller: @noctuajewellery/ @Noctua- Jewellery & workshops

Cake: @rothecakeartist / @Ro The Cake Artist

🌿 This Modern Love at The Hidden Spring 🌿

26C19788-0D0C-417E-8B18-49FC2842D4B4B59CB63E-1311-41B9-8D5F-CB1A46B6ED97D3C59620-4910-4EB9-9D9E-5F6D50DA23E0So thrilled to share this gorgeous styled shoot beautifully arranged by Carol at Lily & Lavendar Events at the Hidden Spring Vineyard… 💕💕💕

Credits:

Design and styling
http://lilyandlavender.com

Stationery
http://www.olliesstudio.co.uk

Photography
http://www.alisonwonderland.photography

Hair and make up
http://www.tinudavid.com

Venue
https://www.hiddenspring.co.uk

Model
Ellena Scott

Cake
http://monanniecakes/

Flowers
https://cuckooflowercompany.co.uk

Dress
The Victoria gown by This Modern Love
http://www.thismodernlovebridal.com

This Modern Love – Bridal Fittings and Appointments schedule for 2018

January

13 – Fitting: Cherry

14 – Viewing: Natalie, Laura, Emily, Georgina

20 – Fitting: Marion

21 – Fitting: Louise’s Bridesmaids

26 – Making: Gal

27 – Viewing: Morwenna, Charlotte, Jess

28 – Making: Toile for Aurore

February

03 – Viewing: Bianca, Caroline, Anna, Katie, Lizzie

05 – Dresses on loan to Leeds RAG Fashion Show

06 – Dresses on loan to LABEL Photoshoot

07 – Making: Nancy

10 – Fitting: Claire & Bridesmaids

12 – Fitting: Natalie

13 – Making: Bridgette

17 – Fitting: Louise

19 – Viewing: Katherine

20 – Dresses on loan to Ro for Wedding Crowd Photoshoot

21 – Making: Cyndy

24 – Fitting: Karen

25 – Fitting: Donna

26 – Fitting: Laura

March

03 – Making: Steph

05 – Viewing: Jessica

06 – Making: Aurore

07 – Making: Leslea

10 – Fitting: Amy

11 – Fitting: Peg

12 – Dresses on loan to Charly for Perfect Wedding Photoshoot

13 – Making: Emilie

17 – Making: Christelle

22 – Dresses on loan to Emma Khoo for London photoshoot

23 – Dresses on loan to Hidden Vineyard Wedding Fair

24 – Fitting: Katherine

25 – Fitting: Dayna’s Bridesmaids

26 – Fitting: Dayna’s Bridesmaids

28 – Making: Aurore

30 – Making: Heidi

31 – Alterations: Leslea

April

02 – Dresses on loan to LABEL Fashion Show

Tbc – Viewing: Edith

04 – Charly’s photoshoot

06 – Etsy shop re-open for RTW & kimonos

07 – Fitting: Sofia

08 – Fitting: Danni

09 – Viewing: Ali

10 – Making: Jill

12 – Making: Anne

13 – LABEL Fashion Show

15 – Making: Caty’s bridesmaids

17 – Dresses on loan to Holly Roses Stone, three graces shoot

18 – Dresses on loan to Olivia Bossert, Cornwall shoot

20 – Fitting – Catie

24 – Fitting: Gemma

25 – Viewing: Emily

May

05 – Fitting: Caroline

06 – Fitting: Nicola & Plum

07 – Viewing/Making: Mary (Bolero)

12 – Fitting: Katie

13 – Fitting: Catie

19 – Fitting: Ashleigh’s Bridesmaids

26 – Fitting: Charmaine

27 – Fitting: Stephanie

Tbc – Fitting: Alice bolero top

June

02 – Fitting: Jess

03 – Fitting: Ashleigh

10 – Fitting: Suzanne

16 – Fitting: Dayna

17 – Fitting: Katie

30 – Fitting: Anna

July

01 – Fitting: Seeni

07 – Fitting: Liz

08 – Fitting: Liz’s Mum

14 – Fitting: Emily

15 – Fitting: Charlotte’s Bridesmaids

16 – Making: Kimono for Angie

17 – Alterations: Emilie

18 – Making: Kimono for Olivia

21 – Fitting: Ros

22 – Fitting: Joanne

28 – Fitting: Gemma

August

04 – Fitting: Summer

11 – AVAILABLE

18 – Fitting: Emily

September

***CLOSED***

 Break after wedding season & to design 2019 collection

Re-open in October 2018

Photo credits: Victoria JK Lamburn, Sarah Kriner, Ira Gelormino, Beth Steddon, Expression Photos, Ania Schneemann ❤️❤️❤️

Styled shoot in Ohio – Chelsea Hall Photo & Alex Perry Media 💕

❤️ Just received the gallery from this GORGEOUS styled shoot in Ohio last summer, featuring my Miranda & Sophia gowns… ❤️

Credits:

Stylist @perryrosemedia

Photography @chelseahallphoto

Model @beildelschiesk12

Hair @shaterrajenkinsmua

Mua @beatbylemae

Studio @opalandfernco

Venue @somethingolddayton

Florals @rosegirlltd

Gowns @this_modern_love_bridal

Veils @katobankobrides

Huge thanks to an amazing team of talented creatives for bringing this to life! ❤️