Introducing Gemma Leakey, a bridal designer who creates sustainable wedding dresses for the modern bride. Take a look at her new bridal collection called Hidden Essence featuring bridal dresses made from silk.
About the Designer
I have been designing bridalwear in the UK now for over 7 years, specialising in wedding gowns that are made using the very best locally sourced, sustainable fabrics. I design and create both exquisite collections as well as offering a unique bespoke bridal service. My dresses are synonymous with simple, clean lines and elegant details, perfect for the modern eco-conscious bride.
Prior to bridalwear, I designed clothing for some of the UK’s top fashion brands, some of which are now leading the way in sustainability. My passion for sustainability stems from my graduate fashion collection which was made entirely from discarded fabrics and offcuts. I was incredibly lucky to have this collection chosen by the head womenswear buyer at Selfridges London, have it featured in the UKs top publications including Vogue, Tatler and Elle Magazine. The collection was on sale in the prestigious Oxford street flagship store, and sold out within minutes.
Hidden Essence – New Sustainable Bridal Collection from Gemma Leakey
For the latest sustainable collection ‘Hidden Essence’ I was inspired by the contrasts of nature. Taking inspiration from both the soft and delicate elements of nature, juxtaposed against the symmetrical way in which nature grows, from plants to leaf structures, to the way in which a spider forms its web. This inspiration led me to the choice of fabrics, with transparency being a key theme. The sheer, crisp and structural nature of silk Organza felt like a perfect fabric choice for this collection as it provides strength yet also fragility. Seen in our Ophelia, Isabelle and Luna gowns as an under-layer to the delicate lace.
The laces themselves also have a similar delicate feel, taking on a natural organic look, featuring embroidered flowing lines reminiscent of nature’s intertwining roots. Barely there, venetian lace trims feature as cuffs and waistbands, along with light catching iridescent beading and sequins adding a touch of glamour to these otherwise contemporary silhouettes.
Other key fabrics that are used are silk Georgette, chosen for its wonderful drape, and movement when formed into a soft flowing silhouette, as well as a wonderful stretch crepe fabric that is perfect for the more sculptured fitted gowns.
I prefer working with natural fabrics, with Silk being the most luxurious of them all. I love the way silk handles, flows, drapes and the wonderful sheen it provides that cannot be replicated in a polyester or man-made alternative. Silk, although delicate is also one of the strongest natural fibres. I use GOTS certified and organic silks in my collections.
When sewing with silk, it takes a lot of time, patience and care. It can withstand heat, but can easily be stretched out of place, so it is important to use the correct tools and handling methods. I always sew silk with an extra sharp fine needle, a strong thread and always use silk organza pressing cloths when ironing. Some silks can be trickier to work with, like a silk chiffon, habotai or Georgette and need extra care when working with these. I always practise the finish first on a scrap piece of silk before applying it to the dress itself.
Thank you to Gemma Leakey for sharing your beautiful new bridal collection. I’m sure you’ll agree that the silk dresses are stunning. If you would like to know more about Gemma’s collection do follow the links: website, Instagram, or Pinterest page.