supplier spotlight: the state of grace
A few months ago, when I visited The Luxury Wedding Show, (you can read my post about the show here) there was one designer on the catwalk show who’s collection I was intrigued by. Unlike anything else in the show that day, The State of Grace showcased original, unique designs that captured my imagination. Each highly creative and distinctive couture piece is designed to celebrate each bride’s individuality, incorporating the highest quality fabrics, embellishments and details and custom-made in the UK to exacting standards.
Until recently the preserve of red carpet celebrities, The State of Grace offers a head-to-toe bespoke design, styling and beauty service for the stylish bride. Lucia Silver and her expert team conceive the whole head to toe look for each bride. Not just the dress. The bespoke process is carried right through to designing and creating every accessory from scratch for the bride as well – so veil, head and hair adornment, shoes, shrugs, capes and coats, jewellery, belts and more. They even have an exquisite vintage jewellery collection. Each piece is inspired by the woman who will wear it, creating new trends rather than following them. Celebrity clients include Kate Moss, Keira Knightly and Claudia Schiffer, with Paloma Faith choosing The State of Grace to design the look for her recent sell-out UK tour.
I went to meet Founder and Creative Design Director, Lucia Silver, at their Notting Hill Studio to find out more about the cutting-edge experience offered by the expert team at The State of Grace. Immediately on entering the studio I was impressed by the warm and inviting atmostphere, the cosy glow of a log fire and the friendly smile of Lucia who is clearly passionate about The State of Grace and what it means for the modern bride. The studio is a fashionista’s dream, filled with beautiful dresses, jewellery, veils, shoes, bags and more, inviting you to explore, and be inspired in an unintimidating, homely environment.
To Lucia, true style is akin to true beauty. Her style icons include old school Hollywood stars, Bacall, Gardner, Hepburn (both Katherine and Audrey) expressing their personal sense of self unapologetically, undefined and unaffected by others. Lucia believes in celebrating individuality, urging her brides towards finding her own style, the one she truly desires for her wedding day, rather than following a cookie-cutter state of mind and often ending the process unhappy. We should take dressing less seriously, and have more fun, and no time is this more important than when choosing your wedding dress.
What are you asked most often by women?
Women rarely ‘ask’ me for anything directly, perhaps it’s implicit. A woman will most often first describe the important occasion in question, be it a party, a wedding, a premiere or public appearance and then start listing what they like and don’t like in a dress or style or shape. They then typically proceed to list what they do and don’t like about their figures – what they’d like to hide and for those more confident, what they’d like to show off. This usually ends in “but you know best and I’m open to whatever you suggest – over to you” – which is lovely and very trusting.
What type of women do you dress?
Absolutely every magically wonderfully colourfully different woman you can imagine – and that is why I love what I do.
What are the most common faux pas you see?
It depends what you regard to be a faux pas. This suggests there are rules and I’m in the very real business of breaking most of those… The only true faux pas I can think of is dressing in a way that makes you or someone you care about feel uncomfortable.
Lucia’s love of antique Asian and Oriental embroideries and textiles led to the creation of the Eurasian Bridal offering. The State of Grace is alone in offering European couture standards with traditional and fusion Asian wedding design
What was your vision for Paloma Faith’s sell out tour wardrobe?
I was inspired by Paloma’s sense of fun and intelligence. Her refreshingly natural, unaffected self expression allows her to explore and be playful so she’s the perfect stimulant for my creativity! This was her first big UK tour and as she was already known for her way-out stylish dressing and had scooped every style award London offers, it was a tall order to ensure standards were kept!
When I saw her colouring (long copper curls, alabaster skin and sparkling chestnut eyes) I wanted to see her a strong jewel colour and chose to start work around a blue-green teal silk. This in turn led me to peacock feathers from which her corset and shoulder pieces were created which in turn took me to Cleopatra and the Egyptian Revival. She opened the show wearing a pair of wings and a majestic Deco inspired headdress (see image) and then changed into a corset that had a long back piece mounted on it creating the shape of a peacock’s plumage behind her…
What are your top tips for dressing well?
Have fun. Tap into what really expresses you. Be as uninfluenced by the deafening ‘shoulds’ that the media and so-called style gurus fire at you. Invest in quality craftsmanship and try bespoke if you haven’t before!!!
My latest favourite guiding principal is to live Life with “Outrageous Integrity.”
As The State of Grace offers bespoke head to toe special occasionwear, it has also become a favourite for the bridal party, especially for mothers wanting something that again reflects their style and personality rather than the uninspired dress and coat combination! One of The State of Grace’s clients wore their outfit to Ascot the following season after the wedding, and was selected as best dressed at Ascot, appearing on the front page of The Telegraph the next day! (and YES, they design drop dead amazing hats too…)
For the style-concious bride, looking for something completely individual and unique for her wedding day, The State of Grace offers an unrivalled experience, creativity and service. To find out more about The State of Grace bridal, special occasion, bridesmaids and bridal party wear, and to make an appointment with Lucia at her Notting Hill Studio check out the website www.thestateofgrace.com, email [email protected] or call the studio on 0870 850 0350.