Inspired by vintage couture and the concept of timelessness, Anne Barge Couture has become a fashion label synonymous with elegance that can span generations of brides. We asked Shawne Jacobs, President and Creative Director of Anne Barge, to share more about the latest Spring 2020 collection and what inspires her as a designer.
GO: What is your favorite dress in this collection and why?
A: I am in love with our new style Savannah accessorized with the Griffin cape. These designs paired together are the perfect play on texture, combining a timeless baroque lace gown with a modern embossed jacquard cape. Each of these designs pays homage to the signature Anne Barge style of classic design infused with a fresh contemporary twist.
GO: What did you like about designing this collection?
A: For Spring 2020, we decided to do something a little different than in the past. Instead of curating a larger collection consisting of 15-20 pieces, we decided to really hone in on a much smaller and more refined collection of only 7 gowns. It allowed me to fine tune each piece to perfection. I loved infusing our new color 'steel blue' into our bridal line. The contemporary accessories designed for each timeless silhouette also created the perfect modern-day bridal look. Being able to focus on a smaller curated collection allowed me to really elevate the collection and take it to the next level leading up to our 20th Anniversary in October.
GO: Where did you draw inspiration from for this season?
A: The serene romance of the past and cutting-edge sophistication of the contemporary are intertwined in the Anne Barge Spring 2020 collection. Inspired by the brand’s Southern roots, this season’s concise collection of gowns are infused with a fresh modern vibe putting a spin on old world charm. Gowns are carefully crafted with Mikado scuba fabric, fine lace, crepe, and bustier details that elevate traditional bridalwear to make a modern statement. Romantic re-embroidered lace gowns bloom with off-the-shoulder floral brocade capes and coats. Clean contemporary silhouettes sculpt the female body for the most figure flattering fits. Dramatic corset bodices, mermaid skirts, and princess tulle with lace appliqués add an ultra-femme touch, while intricate seaming adds a layer of depth and luxury. The dreamy details of the Spring 2020 designs pay tribute to Anne Barge’s signature aesthetic while simultaneously celebrating the present-day bride.
GO: What trends are you looking forward to seeing on brides?
A: One of my all-time favorite trends are dramatic sleeves. They create a very romantic look but also add a sense of playfulness that brides can get creative with. Sheer tulle capes are also becoming very popular for the modern-day bride. It is a great alternative for the bride who does not want to wear a veil but still wants the effect and drama of the tulle train. The cape will still create a formal look for the ceremony and then can be taken off for the reception.
GO: Do you offer custom designs?
A: Yes, we have always offered custom designs to our brides. Whether it is making slight changes to an existing wedding gown in a current collection or starting from scratch, our goal is to always work with our brides to bring their dream wedding dress to life. We begin designing a custom gown with an initial consultation with the bride where we discuss details and sketch out ideas on the spot. Once the sketch is tweaked to perfection, we create a muslin of their wedding gown. This means we use similar inexpensive fabric to mock up what gown will actually look like. It brings the sketch to life, allowing them to envision what their gown will actually look like in person. We then fit the muslin to the bride and provide her with swatches of suggested fabrics for the particular style gown. Once the fit is perfect, we begin to create the custom dress!
GO: Who and what inspires you as a designer?
A: Being an extremely visual person, I love to surround myself with art. Whether this is in the form of photographs, architecture, nature, or even an everyday object, I am constantly inspired by the world around me. Based on these artistic inspirations, each season I begin to gather a selection of color swatches, fabrics, and beading that I am most drawn to. These samples are the first steps in creating my mood board for the new collection.
GO: Who is your fashion icon?
A: Meghan Markle and Amal Clooney are two of my fashion icons. They are empowering women that each truly speak to the Anne Barge brand in their own way. Meghan Markle wore our Versailles wedding gown in the season 7 finales of Suits. From onscreen actress to Duchess of Sussex, Meghan is always graceful and elegant in her appearance. I am also drawn to Amal Clooney for her sophisticated yet fashion forward sense of style. Whether she is dressed for work, the red carpet, or hanging out with her twins she is always perfectly polished.