If you are looking for something different in bridesmaid’s dresses then Anthea Crawford might just have the perfect dress for you. Coming into Spring and Summer her exquisite floral dresses add just the right touch of fresh cheerfulness and chic charm to your wedding day. The mother of the bride is also more than adequately catered for with special occasion frocks. From formal to lacey after five wear and pretty floral numbers with unique prints that would be equally fabulous to wear to the races, the team at Anthea Crawford have designed dresses that are fabulously feminine and flattering. Tegan works works in design and marketing working closely with their Fabric Manager to develop most of the fabrics so they are exclusive to Anthea Crawford. She’s agreed to give us a peek behind the scenes at Anthea Crawford.
Please give us a brief history of the Anthea Crawford brand.
Anthea Crawford started the label in Flinders Lane, Melbourne in 1976. Since then the brand has grown dramatically with over 25 concession stores across Australia and a large online presence.
What is exciting you about your job in graphic design and marketing for Anthea Crawford?
It’s really exciting to see my designs come to life and work on such versatile projects. I also love seeing the design process of making a garment in house from start to finish.
What does being accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia mean to the brand?
Being accredited by the ECA is fundamental to the brand. We have worked with the same clothing manufactures in Melbourne for 20+ years. Over this time we have built strong relationships to ensure we produce sustainable and ethical clothing.
What is the signature aspect of your collections?
There are two signature aspects. The first is our fit and quality. If you are a size 12 you can shop with us and know that any style in size 12 will fit you perfectly.
The second would be our unique prints that are exclusively developed in house, ensuring you won’t find anything similar at retail.
What is the design process when developing your fabrics for the collections?
Our process is very stringent. We start with colour selections and then work with our suppliers to create fabric sampling. Once we receive the sampling we make small toiles to check the pattern layout. Then we proceed with making the fabric into a garment. The garment is then fitted with the design and retail team. Only the best samples proceed to production which we make a maximum or 200 units per style. This means every garment is quite exclusive and limited.
What is your inspiration for your fabric and lace designs?
Before we begin each collection we research inspiration from the runways, bridal shows and magazines. Then we create moodboards to reflect the essence of each collection.
Where do you source a lot of your prints?
We buy a lot of our prints from art studios across the world to ensure they are unique and one of a kind.
Translating these prints into fabric designs that will look great on a dress must be a challenge. What do you consider, so the essence of the print is not lost?
First we choose the right style to make the print in. This is really important because a lot of our designs have pleats and tucks that can disguise the print. From there I work with the pattern maker to ensure the placement is as flattering as possible.
Do you design or purchase the prints with a particular client or specific dress style in mind?
It depends. Sometimes we buy the artwork first and then design around it and other times we might look for a particular print that we need to fill in a gap in the collection.
Are the fabrics exclusive to Anthea Crawford?
A lot of our fabrics are exclusively made for the label. Because we make such limited amounts of each style it can get really expensive developing exclusive fabrics. Some of our more simple designs are sourced from fabric markets.
Do your designers design the dress around the fabric or is the fabric designed with a dress style in mind?
Sometimes the fabric is designed with a particular style in mind. Other times we will drape the fabric on a mannequin in a variety of styles to see what will work best.
What styles are exciting you for the coming summer months for bridesmaids?
We have a lot of beautiful pearl toned midi dresses coming out this summer, made in intricate laces that would make really elegant, classic bridesmaid dresses.
Are you seeing a trend for bridesmaids to wear printed dresses with an elegant style for the 2018 wedding season?
Yes we definitely noticed this season is all about textured and printed fabrics from intricate jacquards to beautiful soft silk prints.
Are there any important considerations that you take into account when designing dresses for the Mother of the Bride?
Our mother of the bride customer looks for an outfit that they feel comfortable wearing all day while also feeling glamorous. This is something we always take into account throughout the design process.
Where is Anthea Crawford available?
Selected David Jones, Myer stores, QVB and online at www.antheacrawford.com.au
Thank you Tegan for sharing the story of Anthea Crawford. It’s fascinating to read about the way a collection comes together – and we see the end result of hours of hard work in a gorgeous dress which can we can wear time and again, to many special occasions. To find out more about Anthea Crawford visit the website.
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