I'm going to get real here for a minute. I love my job every day. Like, LOVE (all caps) my job. But today is major. A day dreams are made of major. Oh my goodness, is this real life major. The day I get to interview the Director of Wedding Design at J.CREW major. Excuse me while I give a high kick or two - because J.CREW is my wardrobe staple, and I am pretty sure I am not alone on that one. So when I had the chance to cozy up with Molly Schaul, the designer behind the gowns that make my jaw drop just about every.single.day, I got a little excited. OK, a LOT excited. And the best part, she is just as fabulous as you could imagine - making this behind the scenes look into her day-to-day is a must see. So sit back lovelies, and get to know the lady behind the gowns that make you swoon and THEN some...
Obviously we love your space, what was the first piece your purchased?
My team and I were lucky enough to get beautiful BluDot desks in our work space. Ours are in powder coated ivory.
Other than your studio/office/workspace/couch where do you pull the most inspiration?
We are continuously gathering information and inspiration from anywhere we can. We love to vintage shop. My team and I take regular trips to Brooklyn to our favorite vintage stores. I am constantly on the hunt for inspiration – from my list of go-to blogs, to the library of books and magazines we have in the office and a rack of vintage clothing that I keep nearby.
Where are you most productive?
In the office! I love the beginning of a new season when everyone is inspired and excited for a new season. There is an energy that is contagious - at that time is when new ideas just pour out of everyone!
What/ who inspires you most within the wedding industry?
It is always great to get feedback from our associates that help brides in the store - how brides make different gowns reflect their style, choosing the right brides-maid dress, and hearing the details of their wedding from what their “something blue is” to how they met their fiance.
What does your work day look like? Are you scheduled? Do you like to take each day as it comes?
My typical day is pretty full and scheduled. It usually starts with coffee and WWD in the morning, after that I have between 1-2 hours of fittings. This is when we perfect the fit of every garment before they are produced and sold. Next, I usually meet with various vendors who come in to our office throughout the day. At these appointments we find the most amazing elements - vintage laces, beadings, and the newest fabrications for the seasons to come. The rest of the time, my team and I are working on developing the next season. Currently we are designing Spring/Summer 2013.
What was the main inspiration for your creative space?
Our space is a truly functional creative space- so it’s always evolving. At some points in the year it is pristine and organized and when we are designing a new season it is more like a mad, crazy working studio with fabric, magazine tears, sketches all over the place. I love that our space is an open floor plan and that I sit together with my design team. There are six of us all sitting together and it is so easy to shoot ideas off one another.
Describe your creative process - from initial idea to end result (as best you can).
Each season we start concept boards that indicate the mood, attitude and feeling we are trying to convey. From that point it is really an open dialogue and collaborative effort. As a group we bounce ideas off of each other until we find the perfect balance for each season. The collection really couldn’t be designed by one person only - our collection is truly group effort.
What makes you love what you do?
I love the idea of designing something that will probably be the most memorable, cherished piece that a woman will wear in her life. I feel absolutely flattered when someone chooses one of our gowns for her special day. I always knew I wanted to be a bridal designer just for that reason. It still excites me when I see a bride in one of our gowns.
OK, now that you are full on obsessed with Molly and her seriously stylish ways, let's talk about ways we can make this day even better. We know you have soiree after soiree filling up your social calendar this summer, and we KNOW that J.CREW is a must stop shop for your stylish wardrobe. I mean, their summer looks are basically to die for. All of the editors here at SMP have been dying, dying, over their beautiful bib necklaces this season - and since we are in a festive mood today - we thought heck, why not give one away to one of you pretty SMPers? So that's exactly what we plan to do.
one: Bubble Necklace / two: Double Crystal Brulee Necklace / three: Azalea Necklace / four: Tessellate Necklace
Just let us know which necklace you love most and why you think J.CREW is oh so fab in the comments - and we'll pick a winner at random to win a beautiful bauble of their choice! Ready, set, style!