As part of our new Women That Inspire Us and now wedding season is upon us we were excited to recently catch up with the London – based wedding dress designer Emma Victoria Payne and get a glimpse into her fascinating world. At the age of 8 Emma was given her first sewing machine and since then her talent for design has grown to incredible heights creating exquisite gowns for Brides around the world.
Can you tell us a bit about the story of EVP? What inspired you to become a Wedding Dress designer?
From a very early age, I was incredibly creative and I loved drawing and making things. My great grandfather was a womenswear designer based in Nottingham and produced day dresses as well as wedding dresses. My inspiration came from the stories my grandfather used to tell me about the family business which left a strong impression and led me to pursue a career in fashion. At the age of 7 I used to talk about continuing the business and from that moment on I was determined to have my own dress company. My parents bought me my first sewing machine for Christmas at the age of 8 and I have never looked back.
What do you enjoy most about being your own boss?
It is so special to have my own label. I love having the creative freedom to design what truly inspires me and to be able to create the ultimate dress for our brides.
You opened your first Boutique in 2010 and I do not know a Bride – To – Be that doesn’t have you in their sights! What has been your biggest challenge to date and how have you overcome it?
It has always been my ambition to have a boutique that reflects our brand and style. After a nine month search I found the perfect premises at 6 Park Walk, I am so happy to now be based on one of my favourite streets in Chelsea. I really love the new space and most of all creating interesting window displays, I couldn’t be happier!
What would be your top piece of advice for others wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Each year, I provide an internship for top GCSE textiles students from my secondary school so they can gain an insight into the day to day runnings of my company. I would advise students to gain as much work experience as possible in a variety of environments within fashion and costume design, to equip themselves with necessary skills for this fast paced industry.
As the height of wedding season approaches, when do you find time to design new dresses? Are you working on anything at the moment?
I am constantly dreaming up my next design, everyday I feel inspired by our brides from around the world. I am launching a new mother of the bride collection in a couple of weeks with beautiful bouclé fabrics so watch this space!
Do you have a favourite dress from your collections?
I love them all but ASTRID has to be an absolute favourite of mine. This gown is a true wedding dress, it has a stunning duchess satin bodice and a full circular skirt. There is something very romantic about this particular gown and I really like how the silk georgette overlay softens the hemline.
When you are not busy in your Boutique, what do you love to do in your down time?
I love going to ballet classes at the English National Ballet each week. They have a fantastic pianist who plays the grand piano and I enjoy every minute of it!
What is your favourite piece of jewellery from our collections?
There are so many stunning pieces to choose from but my favourite piece has to be the Knot Drop Earrings with Blue Topaz. I think it really is the ultimate something blue!