Oh darlings, I just can’t tell you how happy it makes me to be able to bring you this feature with you today. Sharing the work of talented designers and artisans is something that I’m so incredibly passionate about and it’s always such an honour when a designer that you admire chooses to bring their new collection to Love My Dress.
However, right now, in the midst of everything, it feels even more special and I’m thrilled to be able to give a platform to one of the UK’s most talented wedding dress designers, Andrea Hawkes.
As you’re about to see, Andrea’s new Elements collection is the epitome of natural simplicity, gentle femininity and true timeless design. Elements could not be more perfect for this moment.
It was a part-time job in a bridal store that set Andrea Hawkes on the road to establishing her own brand. Here, whilst studying a fashion design and production degree, Andrea was charmed by the relationships with each bride, the focus on beautiful fabrics, the individual approach and it’s the individuality of the experience that she still loves the most to this day.
Now, from their utterly beautiful showroom in Islington, London the Andrea Hawkes team creates standard size made to order, made to measure dresses adapted from the collections and one-off bespoke wedding dresses.
As soon as you look at an Andrea Hawkes gown, you’ll notice the understated, modern design, the sharp clean lines and the exceptional fluidity of each design. These are classic pieces with a timeless aesthetic that you’ll cherish forever.
“My signature style came from working with brides in different roles and my love of simplicity”, explains Andrea. “I spent many fittings with brides who wanted to strip their design back and focus on the fit, the shape and the design. This led to my approach for my first collection and this has developed and grown through every collection since.”
“Elements was a significant pause, a consideration of what has been, how we started and how we want to continue. It really is a reinvention of our key principles in design, modern yet classic, wearable and timeless.”
“The name ‘Elements’ comes from these very thoughts, back to the beginning, back to the raw material, the element and this feels even more relevant due to the current situation surrounding the pandemic, paired with the needed focus on the environment.”
“These thoughts have led to a smaller, more focused, collection where we’ve invested increased time in the shape and fit of the pattern to ensure the finished dress is perfect for the wearer. The fabrics are in their most natural form, simplified natural silk and lace, sheer and transparency as detail, enhancing the body form and understated in design.”
All of the designs are made from dreamy natural silk fabric, including top silk layers and dress linings, with laces from hand-picked French mills. The team has strong, long-term relationships with all of their suppliers, working with them to improve practises and the fabrics themselves as well as reducing waste, guaranteeing supply and impeccable quality.
Amelie & Eden
Elements by Andrea Hawkes is a joy to behold. The designs are perfection, completely wearable in any setting. Wonderful, wherever and whenever your wedding might be.
And as we’ve all had to pause weddings, there’s also been a pause in the wedding world too. Andrea Hawkes should have launched this superb new collection at London Bridal Week in March but all plans were held whilst the team assessed the situation and decided on the best course of action, in conversation with stockists and brides. The effects of lockdown extend into every aspect of life, business and personal, and all manner of plans have been affected.
“All of the events we had planned were cancelled, and rightly so. There was a sales pressure adopted elsewhere that just didn’t sit well with us so we have waited until the time felt right to launch digitally, with full imagery and video. We had focused on moving imagery and we’re really pleased to be able to share the collection, and the creation of the collection, from behind the scenes.”
“Brides will be able to view the new collection online while we remain closed and contact us with any questions. We’ll then offer physical, video and call consultations and we will, of course, adopt any guidance towards appointments in terms of keeping our brides and our team safe whilst using all the technology tools available to still make appointments special, personal and engaging for brides, their family and friends. We have an excellent in-house team and, with our own production team, we can work to shorter time frames and custom design changes easily.”
“Whilst we’ve been in lockdown, we’ve remained at home entirely since 17th March, aside from a few short countryside walks from home. We’re splitting our time between children and work, as myself and my partner Daniel run the business together. It’s a unique time and we’ve tried to appreciate this time with family.”
“We’ve been doing lots of things around home and my garden will be full of fruit and veg! Aside from that, I’ve been doing lots of cooking and baking – I love making cakes – and I’ve been trying to relax as much as possible.”
“That said, we’ve been hard at work too. We’ve been in touch with our brides to support their changes and plans, work around the new collection and launch a new idea, ‘A Conversation With…’ on IGTV, where I have a chat with people who inspire us and carry the same ethos alongside wedding and bridal.”
“I do think the pandemic will change how brides shop for their dresses and in the longer term, there’ll be a more conscious decision towards their designer, their dress and where and how their dress is produced. The importance of searching and purchasing locally, the security and flexibility this gives the bride in all situations, the understanding of where their dress is made and all this will be teamed with an ever-growing focus on the environmental impact of all our actions – weddings and dresses included.”
“I’m really missing the Andrea Hawkes team – it’s taken time to build a strong group of individuals and I miss the interaction and creativity we produce every day. I miss brides to be visiting our showroom and seeing the excitement on their faces as they approach the doors of our showroom.”
Esme + Nova
“I love achieving exactly what a bride wants from their dress or wedding outfit so that they feel the best version of themselves on the day. Seeing someone walk down the aisle in one of our dresses – that’s a heartfelt moment every time.”
“Finally, if you’ve had to postpone, remember. Remember why you got engaged and why you want to get married. Remember each other. Focus on your new date and how good that day will feel and how important it was to postpone for the safety of your friends and family. There are many complications to address with postponing but these will be resolved and it will all come together, better than ever before. Remember the positives and try to focus on moving forwards with your future plans.”
Credits & Thanks
- Photography by Dominik Tarabański