An incredible career in bridal design has developed in New Zealand for the uber talented Jessica Wu, who will be making her first foray into the UK market at Harrogate Bridal Week. We catch up with the lead designer for Jessica Couture, whose photography alone has us breaking out in goosebumps… There's something uniquely romantic about Jessica's contemporary, inspirational creations.
Jessica fell in love with designing after struggling to find her dream dress for her own wedding. After realising there were so many soon-to-be brides who felt the same, she knew that this was the industry she was made for! She quickly found her passion for helping brides find THAT dress to make memories of a lifetime in.
What’s your earliest memory of fashion design?
Some of Jessica’s first designs were made-to-order gowns for clients who had come in with an idea and wanted to see it become reality. She loves a classic and European style, which matched beautifully with one of her first brides. She got married in Spain in a gorgeous satin ball gown, covered with 3D flowers. Another memorable design was her friend who brought in a picture for inspiration and was so excited to see how beautiful the final product turned out.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Jessica has three beautiful children and loves to have family time with them when she’s not working – whether it be chilled out in the park or on the beach. She is also a keen pianist who enjoys unwinding through playing music.
Do you keep sketches of all of your designs?
Yes! We have a folder of every design that was ever created, it’s amazing to look back and see the development of our designs and brands.
Do you have a signature style?
Our OLGA gown from Jessica Couture is the showstopper among our collections. We have brought out a few variations of this signature style, and brides worldwide are constantly snapping her up.
What does your bride look like?
We envision our brides as modern and classic, wanting to combine timeless elegance with fun. They value exquisite craftsmanship and an intimate experience and envision a timeless romance in their lives.
If you were getting married in the UK next year, where would the wedding be, and what would you wear?
We are in love with the Syon House Great Conservatory in Brentford as a wedding venue! We envision being outside looking at the entrance for the ceremony and moving inside the conservatory for the most stunning reception setting. Match the venue with the sophistication of the Myka Gown from our Bliss collection and we have ourselves a dream wedding.
Have you ever walked the catwalk?
Yes! Jessica walked in our very first fashion show in New Zealand back in 2017.
Is this your first time at Harrogate?
It is our first time, we are so excited to come and meet everyone!
What are your expectations?
We would love to start selling designs from all three of our labels – Jessica Couture, Miss Chloe and Atelier Wu – in every main city in the UK.
Describe the kind of boutique you hope to work with in the UK?
We want to work with boutiques that have similar values to us; ones who care about providing an excellent experience and unique, high-quality designs to their customers.
What makes a good bridal boutique, great?
We really value a personalised experience here at Jessica Couture and believe that a great bridal boutique excels at listening to the brides and understanding what they need, matching their exceptional service with current trends and high-quality designs.
What makes you unique, and successful – what is your USP?
We know how to listen to our brides and pride ourselves on our unique designs and connection with those who wear them. We also offer brides the opportunity to customise our pre-existing designs to ensure they have their dream dress at the end of the process!
Give us the complete low-down on your latest collection
The latest collections across Jessica Couture, Miss Chloe, and Atelier Wu take inspiration from many resources. Jessica credits her inspiration to her brides, bridal shops, specific fabrics, and several creative designers.
This inspiration has continued since the beginning of Jessica Couture, as she collaborated with her employees and friends to learn about the industry and practice across our three brands. Jessica can’t wait to continue designing beautiful pieces for our brides.
Here we've highlighted a few key gowns from the collections:
Skylight/Bliss (Jessica Couture)
Myka: Elaborate lace detailing graces the bodice and flows seamlessly into the A-line skirt, complemented by a subtle touch of 3D beading. A low back adorned with sparkly accents, thigh-high split and convenient pockets complete the ensemble with modern sophistication.
Shawnee: Featuring a stunning full lace train, Shawnee showcases a sheer V-plunge neckline with a subtle sweetheart touch. With intricate lace leaf detailing embellishing the design, a sheath style silhouette and a low back to compliment the show stopping train.
Katy: KATY flawlessly embodies playfulness, youthful spirit and contemporary style through her pleated tulle, corset-style bodice, and lively mini skirt. Conceived with engagement celebrations, bachelorette soirées, and joyful elopements in focus, KATY emerges as the ultimate party dress for our vibrant individuals, seamlessly blending elements from some of our most cherished designs.
Yours Truly (Miss Chloe)
Alice: The seamless flow from the exquisite bodice to the expansive A-line skirt is truly captivating. Our Alice dress, meticulously fashioned from adaptable shantung satin, commands notice with its entrancing style. Alice presents a scoop neckline elegantly adorned with gathered embellishments and includes internal boning for added reinforcement. The standout attribute of Alice lies in its remarkable skirt, boasting a modern thigh-high split, bubble sleeves and an extended train that introduces an additional layer of dramatic allure. Alice embodies our unique perspective on a contemporary interpretation of a ball gown.
Simone: Simone's gown features a built-in corset with outside boning and chic off-shoulder sleeve elements. Embracing you in a flattering fit and flare silhouette, the off-the-shoulder sleeves seamlessly extend from the shoulder, revealing the beautiful neckline. Adorned with buttons that run down to the very end of the train and featuring a high slit along the thigh, secured with a dainty bow tie.
Stormi: The delicate floral patterned lace material she adorns is just one of the numerous elements that will captivate you. With its beautifully bunched strapless bodice flowing into the gentle ripples of the A-line skirt, also featuring a sexy thigh high split. This enchanting dress highlights the neckline and defines the waist, beautifully enhancing the feminine form.
The Grand (Atelier Wu)
Shannon: Crafted from shimmering silver crystals and intricate beadwork, the embroidered georgette fabric is a true show-stopper. The fitted waist and plunging neckline harmoniously enhance the natural curves of the sheath body shape. Elegantly designed with dazzling sparkle, she features graceful soft tulle wings that create an ethereal presence as they cascade down the aisle.
Selby: Enhancing its adaptability, Selby comes with detachable sheer long sleeves, effortlessly transitioning you from the ceremony to the reception. The gown's versatility truly shines! Selby proudly showcases Atelier Wu's latest lace creation, characterised by its understated strapless design and a striking train and horsehair-trimmed undulating hem. The lace itself is bedecked with sequins and beads, adorning a floral vine embroidery motif.
Leah: Truly unparalleled, this gown boasts chiffon fabric that's expertly and finely pleated to create a stunning silhouette. The intricate detailing includes an inner corset bodice and lace pattern interwoven among the pleats, adding a layer of exquisite sophistication. It's no surprise that this particular fit-and-flare style is our most sought-after design, embodying an unmatched blend of elegance and allure.
What are you excited about in the year ahead?
Coming to Harrogate for the first time is definitely going to be a highlight! We have so many exciting things (and collections) in the works to look forward to, it’s so difficult to pick just one.
What’s your favourite gown in the new collection, and ever?
Jessica has a favourite (or two) from the newest collections of each of our brands. From Jessica Couture’s Bliss/Skylight collections, Jessica loves the Alexandra Gown and Shinara Mini – both such unique designs with gorgeous sleeves!
Her favourite from Miss Chloe is the Chanel Gown and the overskirt that can be paired with it as its classic silhouette and versatility allow our brides to have a more simple or dramatic look, depending on how it is styled.
Last but not least, the Sylvie Gown from Atelier Wu, it never fails to make our brides look and feel like they came straight off the runway! This was inspired by current fashion trends and she is so proud of the modern glamour that it portrays.
Find out more https://jessicacoutures.com/