WEDDINGS

Nature’s Diadem collection from Cherished

bloved-uk-wedding-blog Cherished Nature's Diadem collection 2013-14 Myrtle full headband #2

Just like all brides, we’re big fans of all kinds of bridal adornments here at b.loved HQ, and towards the end of the year I love receiving emails and press released about all the new collections and pieces being unleashed at the beginning of the new season.  I was particularly excited to receive one such email from the lovely Abby Gadd from Cherished, whose new collection ‘Nature’s Diadem‘ takes it’s lead from nature and Art Nouveau – a movement I always feel is on the more contemporary side of vintage.  Full of delicate detailing, yet striking and architectural in form, her pieces are the perfect choice for a modern bride  looking to add a timeless quality to her day.  I can see these pieces working wonderfully as embellishment to a simple & minimal modern dress just as well as they work with more vintage-inspired lace designs!

bloved-uk-wedding-blog Cherished Nature's Diadem collection 2013-14 Cow Parsley #2 (2)

With a somewhat different approach to designing and creating beautiful bridal accessories, here’s Abby to explain more ~

I suppose you might say my design/business background is a little unorthodox as I have an academic background. I am a History graduate and postgraduate – with a BA from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of London. I also studied Art and the History of Art to ‘A’ level and have always been interested in the history of design and culture. However, I have always been a designer-maker at heart; as a child I was constantly creating things – mainly with textiles. I loved making dolls and all their clothes; then as a teenager I made a lot of costumes for my drama club and so on. Also, by the time I was in my late teens I had become a keen collector of mid-twentieth century jewellery and accessories; antiques fairs were my weekend playground; my Saturday-job wages were spent on art deco jewellery and handbags; 1930s homewares and ceramics; 1950s sunglasses and so on.

bloved-uk-wedding-blog  Cherished Nature's Diadem collection 2013-14 Cow Parsley hair vine close up model

Setting up Cherished has been a gradual process, starting around three years ago as an extension of my passion for crafting and vintage jewellery. Following the birth of my second daughter I decided to take some time out of the workplace. I found myself with more time for crafting, and rekindled my passion for vintage costume jewellery and textiles. The collections of jewellery and textiles languishing in my attic became the focus of a new business idea. A good friend, and experienced bridal headwear designer, helped me take Cherished a step further and together we began creating and marketing the Cherished Vintage range. My friend’s pre-existing work commitments meant we needed to go our separate ways, and in early 2012, I launched Cherished as my own full-time business.

If there was one particular catalyst, though, it was suddenly remembering how difficult my search for bridal accessories to suit my gorgeous Jenny Packham ‘Pandora’ wedding dress had been {For JP aficionados, ‘Pandora’ is a lovely strapless soft tulle dress with an incredible bodice embellished with tiny mother of pearl buttons} Some of my first designs for Cherished were an homage to this wonderful dress – a collection of accessories ‘Pearly Queen’ created from beautiful vintage buttons. Tiny vintage mother of pearl buttons still feature widely across the collection.

bloved-uk-wedding-blog Cherished Nature's Diadem collection 2013-14 Cow Parsley #1

I draw a lot of inspiration from antique and early 20th century culture and design. I have a long love-affair with Art Deco. I have always loved the stylised glamour of the period; a wonderful ‘raciness’ combined with pared down design and clean lines. I also love the fun and frivolity and femininity of the 1950s. I am increasingly fascinated by the Edwardian period and art nouveau design with its soft sinuous lines, natural references and its evocation of abundance and sensuality which I think translates wonderfully well into contemporary bridal fashion.

I also find inspiration in nature – the latest collection for Cherished has nature very much at its forefront. The ‘Cow Parsley’ designs from the new collection, for instance, were inspired by the wintery seed heads that I see in my garden and surrounding fields.  In fact, I tend to find inspiration in the most unlikely places – I guess I am always absorbing influences – lovely colour combinations; the play of different patterns; the mix of textures. I try and keep a ‘scrapbook’ of things that appeal.

bloved-uk-wedding-blog  Cherished Nature's Diadem collection 2013-14 Myrtle diadem #3

I’m a trend setter, definitely! Actually, I tend not to think in terms of trends that much. A “Cherished” bride is generally an independent-minded woman, who is more interested in exploring her own style interests and ideas rather than follow broad trends. But nevertheless, I love to keep an eye on developing fashion, rather than explicitly bridal, trends. I am channelling two particular influences at the moment. On the one hand, I think a naturalistic, soft, romantic trend will continue to influence wedding styling. We live in a more relaxed and informal age and our response to wedding attire will continue to reflect that. Our Nature’s Diadem collection is very much within this movement, I think.  However, and at risk of sounding contradictory, I am also envisaging a growing desire for sophisticated elegance in bridal fashion – with supremely beautiful but perhaps quite understated fabrics – silk satins, tafettas etc; set off by quite structured and tailored silhouettes. But at the moment I don’t want to give too much away about our next collection, which is very much work in progress at the moment ;)

bloved-uk-wedding-blog  Cherished Nature's Diadem collection 2013-14 Floribunda Silver Rose hairband #1

Choosing a Cherished headpiece or accessory – particularly one of our ‘one-of-a-kind’ vintage pieces is a very personal and responsive process. Brides come to me with their ideas – sometimes quite developed and clear; sometimes very loosely formed and we work closely together to create a headpiece or accessory that is extremely personal to them. Many of our brides will bring their own vintage jewellery – perhaps an inherited piece from a Nana or Great Grandmother – to be incorporated into a design; creating a true family heirloom in the process.

Our ready-to-wear collection requires less detailed and personal attention at the design stage, but each piece is carefully handmade by me in my Sussex studio. Attention to detail remains key: we pride ourselves on offering the most excellent customer service. Our brides are looking for a responsive and individualised service and that is exactly what we offer.  My own favourite piece is Sissinghurst Rose,  I love the beautiful satiny texture of the gold elements combined with the rich warm tones of the deep cream pearls.

bloved-uk-wedding-blog  Cherished Nature's Diadem collection 2013-14 Cow Parsley #2

Our next challenge is to bring to launch our second non-vintage collection. We have some very exiting designs in development, which we will be sharing with you in the Spring! More generally, it is to continue to showcase the very best of British handmade design – in an increasingly crowded area of the bridal fashion market.

Shop the collection here, or pop along to The Vintage Wedding Fair in London {23rd Feb 2014}, selected stockists or the Cherished studio to try in person.

***

Credits:
Accessories: Cherished Vintage // Photography: Robert Lawler // Bridalwear & Styling: Heavenly Vintage Brides

Louise

After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

You’ll also find me working as an Editorial Stylist, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as contributing as a founding member of bridal inspiration hub Aisle Society, and running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive from our super pretty base in London. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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