Louise Kennedy's love of fine Chantilly lace was the starting point for her new 2015 bridal collection. The designer showcases 15 new bridal styles for the first time next Wednesday, with a press preview at her Merrion Square townhouse home. Gowns range from high necks with beaded, sheer basques to V-necks, narrow straps to beaded shouldered gowns.
"The collection was inspired by the timeless elegance of the 30s," explains the Thurles-born designer, and the collection features fine lace hand appliquéd with floral embroidery details, delicately encrusted with subtle Swarovski crystals.
"I wanted to design a collection that would never date and with this ethos, we designed a collection that is classic and non-traditional, and we have 15 new bridal gowns, each designed using the finest couture techniques," says Louise, who is clearly excited at joining brides on a journey to create the ultimate in elegance.
Irish brides are "very discerning," says the designer. "When they attend their first appointment with us at our bridal room in Merrion Square, they have done their research and know what is available. They are looking for sophisticated, elegant and timeless shapes that are exquisitely crafted.
"Ivory has always been the preferred option for our brides, it is such a flattering colour and suits all skin tones," says Louise, adding that it is "very rare that we have ever been asked to design a bridal gown in optic white."
When it comes to iconic wedding dresses from the past, Louise has her favourites.
"There was Grace Kelly's dress, designed by Academy Award-winning designer Helen Rose, who created designs for Kelly's film roles in High Society and The Swan. The Grace Kelly wedding dress is so iconic and has been the inspiration for bridal gowns throughout the world," says Louise.
"Other notable influential gowns were New York socialite Ivanka Trump who reintroduced a delicate lace sleeve when she married Jared Kushner. Another personal favourite was Keira Knightley who wore an exquisite, non-traditional gown where the style was young, with simple detail."
After developing a global client list from Europe and the Middle East to America (where Louise hopes to expand her business next), the designer is aware how tastes and preferences for certain colours, weight of fabric and levels of adornment differ between continents. However, when it comes to brides, Louise says she has seen "no difference" between Irish brides and their counterparts abroad.
The bridal quest is universal: to find the perfect dress for the big day.