Brides, you’re in for a very special treat today — not only are we getting to know bridal designer Moira Hughes better thanks to Sonia Allen Makeup‘s fabulous profile, but we’re getting a peek into the designer’s salon and her gorgeous dresses! Take a virtual tour of Moira’s beautiful loft courtesy of Natasha Foster and Angela Rose Photography and see why we have a major crush below!
From Sonia Allen Makeup… When asked about her inspiration, it all comes down to brides and fabrics! “Meeting someone who is newly engaged, hearing about their wedding and learning about their personality. A picture starts to form and excitement between us builds on the perfect wedding gown. Seeing all the new laces come through from Paris is incredible and sparks so many new ideas. Sometimes a unique lace will stay in my mind just waiting for the right dress and when it all comes together this is really inspiring.”
A Moira Hughes bride is…“a bride who wants everything! They want the timeless gown to love in 50 years time but also a dress that is young, modern and unique. She wants to look incredible but also be really comfortable to drink, eat and dance her night away! She is not afraid to stand out but also wants that romantic elegant and demure silhouette.”
I ask Moira how long her gowns take to make and what the design process involves and am thrilled to learn that all dresses are made in Sydney (pretty rare in 2016!). “A couture gown is usually started about a year in advance. The first step is securing the fabrics and laces from Paris, ensuring the time for the gown to be created has been booked out and everything is ready for the bride. Closer to the wedding the fittings start, the last taking place just two weeks before the big day to make sure the fit is really perfect.
The fact that everything is made in Sydney means we have complete control over each design and can create dresses really close to a bride’s wedding date, allowing her as much time as possible to get her ideal wedding day body!”
With the bridal industry being no stranger to trends, Moira gives me her predictions of what we can expect to see in bridal couture. “Its all about the back! Low, low backs, higher necklines and more detailing. Other tones are starting to creep in too – bridal blush and dove greys are emerging for the more fashion-conscious bride.”
And finally, Moira’s advice for a woman deciding on her dress…“Stay true to your personality, perhaps pick out a couple of words to describe yourself on the day. If it is classic, modern, pretty or glamorous- use that as a guide. You will regret wearing a dress you were talked into, hair you never usually like, shoes that are too high or make up much heavier than usual. Stay true to yourself and you can’t go wrong!”
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From Sonia Allen Makeup
… One would say that having incredible talent, passion and drive alongside being warm, energetic and fun is a winning combination…Profiling Moira Hughes, I discovered she is just that combination! The British-born designer has always known she wanted to design wedding gowns and spent years working with some of London, Dublin and Sydney’s best designers before creating her own label and opening her Paddington Boutique.
Starting every day with a cup of tea (she has never had a cup of coffee!), Moira says that designing is something that has always come naturally. “I have little sketches of wedding gowns everywhere- even without realizing it I suddenly have little brides spinning around a notepad.”
Moira’s boutique, nestled in the heart of Paddington, is a merging of New York loft meets Parisian chic. A converted barn with exposed brick, high ceilings and raw finishes, her space cleverly combines the finest components of classicism with an elegant and refined twist. The boutique is light, airy and modern, yet very intimate.
“The beautiful space has the convenience of being near the city combined with the romance to reflect the craftmanship of our gowns. Each bride has the whole boutique to herself, it adds to the experience.”
With such an enthusiasm and genuine love for her craft, Moira says the best part of her job is meeting with brides. “The excitement in designing a gown she will remember forever and feel the best she has ever felt is infectious! I find myself thinking of brides and their dresses on the weekend, particularly on their wedding day. It is a whole journey I am so grateful to be part of.”
From Moira Hughes…
What is your party trick?
I can make the best Whisky Sours! Always popular at parties.
Describe the colour white to somebody who is blind?
White is the colour of peace, innocence and a blank canvas. It is the colour you see if you stare at the sun and also of a bride walking down the aisle!
What is your favourite 90s jam?
November Rain- who doesn’t love Guns n Roses?!
If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your grandchildren?
Do it! Make things happen and if you make a mistake it is better to learn from it than to always wonder would have happened.
Photography: Natasha Foster | Photography: Angela Rose Photography | Design: Moira Hughes | Hair + Makeup: Sonia Allen | Venue: Moira Hughes | Model: Abby Roll | Producer: Sonia Allen