The Lane x PJB Interview
The Lane x Prea James Bridal
In the lead up to New York Bridal Fashion Week, The Lane took time out to speak with our Founder and Designer Prea James about her newest collection, Harmony II.
Here is an excerpt below from The Lane’s article which also can be found on their site here
Tell us the story behind Harmony II, the inspiration and the silhouettes explored…
When I started this collection, it was really not long after Harmony I had been released. At first, I hadn’t planned on this, but subconsciously I had felt that there were pieces missing from Harmony I that I wanted to explore. Often when I am working on a collection, there will be dresses that we can’t quite work out at the time and have to come back to… so there were a few of those this time that we picked up again.
As the collection developed it just felt like a very natural progression from Harmony I, so it made sense to make it a continuation. I think it’s really important when designing a gown, to find that perfect balance between texture, the proportions, the amount of skin showing, the lines used in the piece… it is all about harmony. There is a lot of thought that goes into creating something so simple, so that it is not boring… a collection drawn from balance and harmony in design.
Prea James is considered relatively young in the scheme of the larger bridal world… how do you feel you’ve carved out a unique place in what can be a saturated market?
I think there was a real lack of minimal, wedding gowns that were high quality and fashionable while still being wearable.
I often think about what I feel stands the test of time, when you look back over the last however many years, back to the 20’s, 50’s, 70’s etc, there are certain looks that have an everlasting beauty. To me it is when they fit well, are flattering on the female body, made of quality fabric and have design details that make them modern in that moment in time, but not so over the top making them a fleeting trend.
When designing, do you consciously introduce trends into the collection, and if so, what are some that you’ve explored this season?
I think it is a combination of consciously and unconsciously… sometimes I will try to introduce certain trends into the collection if I feel they fit within our general design aesthetic, but I like to do this in a very subtle way. This season we have played with cut-outs which are a pretty big trend at the moment. The Valentina, Carolyn, Tyler and Brooke gowns all have cut-outs.
This collection feels quite versatile with various separates and detachable styling elements, what drew you to make this an inherent pillar in the collection?
Oh yes, I had fun with this. Actually, I needed more time because I have a lot more pieces, I wanted to add in. I think it comes from the fact that I am a jeans and t-shirt girl and I like to layer. I love creating gowns, but it is also fun to have pieces that can work together or separately. The Tyler gown with the Clementine jacket is one of my favourite combinations! The Tyler gown is quite daring with its cut-outs and bias-cut skirt that skims the body, it’s very tailored… then with the Clementine jacket over it, it becomes so whimsical and feminine… the perfect balance of structure and softness.
How important is it to the Prea James brand to practice sustainable methods, and how do you incorporate this into your design processes?
It is definitely something we are conscious of! Fashion is one of the worst industries when it comes to sustainability and also the negative impact it has on the environment. Especially with the continuing rise of fast fashion. While we still have a lot to learn and a long way to go, it is definitely something that is at the forefront of our minds as we are striving to do better.
Firstly, all of our gowns are made to order, so we aren’t creating something on mass where there is a lot of waste because certain styles and sizes don’t sell. We are very conscious when cutting gowns out to lay the patterns in a way that helps minimises waste, using as much of the lay as possible. We also keep any bigger scraps to cut tops or for when we do new collections and donate scraps to a local craft group who make little dresses for a not for profit organisation.
Quality is another important factor in sustainability which is why all of our fabrics are of the highest quality. This means brides can sell their dress afterwards, so that it isn’t just getting worn once. With the new collection, the separates could absolutely be worn again by incorporating into your everyday wardrobe.
To read more, head over to The Lane article here
Photography / Matt Godkin
Fashion / Emma Westblade @ The Lane
Model / Katya @ Que Models
Hair & Makeup / Juliet Durham