This is an updated version of my blog post from two and half years ago. I’ve revisited each designer, mulled over new ones, and edited out and added in, as well as updating the images to the designers’ latest collections.
The same cool, clean elegance in a French woman’s every day wardrobe can be found in their top wedding dress designers. Often boho, always modern, usually understated.
Structure seems to be thrown out of the window, leaving me wondering if their dresses would look any good on anybody larger than slim. After all, that’s what structure and corsets are for – pulling all your bits and pieces into the right places.
I’ve been sifting through French designers and picking out my top 10 favourites. So in no particular order, here they are:
1. Delphine Manivet
Delphine Manivet encapsulates everything about great French wedding gown designers. Endlessly tasteful, beautifully made, with an element of rock chick that screams coolness (in a good way).
2. Laure de Sagazan
It must be tough competing with other French designers when one is as edgy as the next, but Laure de Sagazan does battle with panache. Beautiful, flowy gowns with not a bit of structure in sight.
3. Constance Fournier
Constance Fournier is fairly new to me, but I was bowled over by the incredible flamenco and bullfighting design echos. And the dresses are. so. good. Enough intricate detail to keep them interesting, but with excellent clean lines to make them beautiful.
4. Rime Arodaky
If you’re looking for a killer combination of sexy yet cool, Rime Arodaky may well be the designer you’re after. Lots of laser cut lace, separates, and loose flowing garments that ooze rock chick charm.
5. Elise Hameau
Back to french boho at its best, Elise Hameau includes lots of separates, lace, drop waists and general relaxed prettiness.
6. Manon Gontero
The 2018 collection from Manon Gontero is very, very good. Cool and edgy, but classy and feminine, there is eye-candy at every turn. Delicious.
7. Stephanie Wolff
Ah, Stephanie Wolff. Soft, pretty, feminine gowns that manage to be understated yet glorious in one fell swoop.
8. Margaux Tardits
A newcomer as a label (though not in experience, having worked for design giants like Oscar de la Renta and Lanvin), Margaux Tardits combines on-trend styles with beautiful clean lines and delicious details (gold leaf belt, anyone?). One to watch.
9. Suzanne Ermann
I met Suzanne Ermann once. I know, obviously I move in top fashion circles (*modest cough*). Anyway, I was struck by her utterly unique wedding dresses – she’s incorporated a timeless design element of wired satin into many of her gowns, and the instant you lay eyes on her gowns, you know they’re hers.
10. Lora Folk
Want a dress without a hint of meringue in sight? Lora Folk may be your perfect designer. Casual, unstructured and comfortable, Lora Folk’s gowns are downright cool.
So that’s my top ten favourites. Who are yours?