We recently sat down with designer Sarah Bruylant of label Blanc Wear. Originally from the French speaking part of Belgium, Sarah moved to the Netherlands for her fashion studies. Sarah now designs and makes all her pieces from her Atelier in the heart of Amsterdam, where she has lived for the past eight years.
What motivates you to do what you do?
The idea to create a garment that matters. To know that my clients will remember their bridal outfit for the rest of their life. It means a lot to me to see such a beautiful link between the bride and her dress, especially in a world where we produce and own so many clothes. Knowing that the dresses I designed will always be remembered by their owner is really special.
Where do you find your inspiration?
To create unique pieces for my customers, I get my inspiration from the atmosphere of old editorial shoots from the 70’s and the 80’s, from the couture technique and craftsmanship I’ve learnt with my background, from my travels around the world and the different cultures I encountered.
Who do you design for?
The Blanc Wear woman doesn’t apologise to exist. She assumes her femininity and her flaws. She isn’t afraid to be too much or not enough, she dresses for herself before anything else. The wedding of her dreams is rather unconventional, special. It could be an elopement in NYC during a last minute planned trip there. Or a lovely ceremony with all their friends in the south of Europe ending with a once in a life unforgettable party. The common point is that the outfit of the bride should always be outstanding.
The Blanc Wear bride has strong values and is fearless. She cares and can achieve whatever she wants. For her, love is an obsession. Whether she loves it or hates it, she always has admiration for love. It is her source of inspiration, her strength.
What is your favourite gown and why?
I like them all but I’d say that Vivienne stole my heart. I love the heart shape that emphasises the shoulders. I think it’s the most beautiful and elegant part of the body and this dress highlights it perfectly. I also really like the sleeves, slightly too long, and the fabric with its matte finish. It’s a very simple silhouette but very powerful at the same time.
What is your favourite aspect of working in the bridal industry?
It’s definitely being part of a beautiful event. Nowadays, we don’t celebrate as much as in the past. We have less and less occasions to properly dress up. Whether you plan an elopement or a wedding, there is always an idea, a vision behind the event. People want to make the day special and unique. Everybody makes an effort in the way they dress, there is a focus on details, flowers, good food, a photographer and everyone is happy. It’s just so great to be part of someone’s special day. And it’s incredible to see all the wedding service providers working together to create this magical moment. When I see pictures of my dresses after the wedding, it’s just wonderful to see them in motion in such beautiful settings.
Who is your dream client?
A woman who knows what she is looking for, has her own style and clear ideas for her wedding. She is not afraid to be over-dressed and doesn’t need the approval from anyone to choose the dress of her dreams. Feeling part of her plan for this special moment is something which excites me and motivates me to create her perfect dress.
We know sustainability is at the heart of your brand.
Yes. After I graduated in fashion design from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, I won a few prizes with my work and started to work as a freelancer in the fashion industry. After a few years working in the industry, I decided to take some distance from it, as I quickly became disappointed with the fashion sphere. I found it too commercial for my taste and there was also not enough focus towards sustainability - despite what some brands want us to believe!
From that point on, I decided to create garments that matter, clothes which people would have a real connection, relationship with. As love itself has always been a huge source of inspiration for me in all the work I’ve done in the past, it became clear that bridal wear was the direction I needed to take.
Blanc Wear was founded with the drive to create special and unique garments, made to order, that my customers will remember and cherish their entire life. Each piece is created in some of the most refined material you can find on the market. All my fabrics come from a family business in the north of France where they are locally produced by wonderful artisans. They follow traditional methods and add in their work very contemporary touches at the same time.
My atelier is located in the heart of Amsterdam and all the dresses are locally produced here. I personally take part in the whole process, from choosing the fabrics, making the patterns and sewing. It is very important for me that each piece remains unique and up to the standard I have decided to build this brand from.
Tell us about your collection.
Currently, the collection consists of 5 dresses of different shapes . All the pieces represent elegance and femininity while being fashionable and contemporary. The dresses are visually simple and delicate yet with intricate constructions and finishings. I played with traditional shapes and couture techniques but aiming towards the modern woman desires. I wanted my dresses to elevate the women who wear them to another level, offer them a dress which will make them feel powerful yet delicate/elegant.
As this is my first collection, it was very important for me that the garments would showcase the DNA of the brand. I gave a lot of importance to the different silhouettes and spent a lot of time looking at old Officiel and Vogue magazines, and ancient fashion photography books. That process was a big source of inspiration to create the shapes but also for the materials. I spent hours searching for the right materials by analysing them, touching them, looking at how they would move, fall, and choosing the right shade of white - I was extremely picky about that!
Gowns : Blanc Wear @blanc_wear
Photographer : Jimmy On The Run Studio @jimmyontherunstudio
MUAH : Alina Stefan @alinastefanmakeup
Model : Frédérique Van Riet @frederiquevanriet
Jewellery : Vintage + Les Meres