Manchester’s Erica Stacey Bridal Wear showcase their dreamy ready-to-wear collection
- Credit: Archant
Fashion and dressmaking is in the blood for designer Erica Stacey. Her nana, Ellen, created dresses for Harrods in the 1940s and is now one of Erica’s biggest fans: ‘She is always excited to hear about my business and keeps up to date with the new collections,’ says Leeds-born Erica, who now lives and works in Manchester.
Having worked in creative pattern cutting for a number of well-known high street brands, Erica set up Erica Stacey Bridal Wear with business partner Terry Keane at the end of 2011. In just two years, the business has gone from strength to strength and has now launched their second ready-to-wear collection.
‘The 2012 Olympic Games and the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations have created a greater awareness of all things British,’ explains Terry, who has over 30 years’ experience working in the fashion industry from things like pattern creating to advising global clothing manufacturers. ‘We feel strongly this has helped our business. The Union Jack is often used to promote labels even when the gowns are being made overseas.
‘However, our discerning client base understands what we are about: beautifully designed and hand-crafted gowns produced from first sketch to final garment here in our Manchester studio.’
Erica believes the fact that they are both trained in pattern cutting and garment construction gives them a major advantage in their field: ‘When we meet with a client wanting to use our couture service it is important to us that we can produce their dream dress,’ she says.
‘You rarely know in advance the exact detail a client requires, so during a sketching session I am already thinking about how the gown will be constructed. This is a great advantage as often a design can be compromised if it is not able to be made to match the original sketch.’
But what inspires this young designer? Erica takes her inspiration from many elements but mostly from the fashion of bygone times. The first ready to wear collection, called ‘Vintage Luxury’ was inspired by the golden age of Hollywood glamour and the Art Deco movement.
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The second and latest collection, ‘The English Garden’, was inspired by flowers and magical garden fairies. The collection consists of five dresses each named after a flower. ‘Gardenia’ is an all over lace dress with a pearl encrusted waistband, ‘Jasmine’ is a classic strapless gown with a crystal organza full skirt and ‘Primrose’ is the perfect dress for those wanting a bohemian look for their day. All the dresses in the collection have a romantic feel with beautiful handmade flowers and trims.
‘My dresses are designed for real women,’ says Erica. ‘I love to layer fabrics and trims and to try new effects. Most of my dresses allow the bride to create different looks throughout their wedding day with interchangeable details such as removable skirts for a two-in-one look.
‘The latest collection offers something for everyone, as I have created dresses with individual looks. The ‘Rose’ dress is a strapless fishtail gown and has a fabulous pale pink peplum and bow. It is perfect for the bride who wants a real wow factor.
‘Wild Daisy’ is a tea length dress which again has a detachable top so that the bride can create different looks through her wedding day.
‘I love being a bridal wear designer. A wedding dress is such an important dress for every woman and it is a privilege being part of a bride’s day. I enjoy the challenge of making the most important dress they will ever wear.’
So what does the future hold for the label? Erica and Terry have big plans for the future. They aim to be well represented in retailers across Great Britain and to build a strong reputation for being a leading British design label. And, with collections as beautiful as this and the ability to create stunning couture designs for individual clients for any special event from a wedding to party, they’re certain to go far.
For more information on the latest Erica Stacey collection, to find your nearest stockist or to make an appointment at the studio, visit their website, www.ericastacey.co.uk