Danielle creates each luxurious gown in South Yorkshire, bringing a bit of homegrown chic to each look but without compromising on a single inch of grandeur and glamour. She’s been talking us through her debut collection and the inspiration behind the stunning gowns. These are truly dresses made for real women, with the strong women in her life in mind during the design process. It’s a major fashion-forward vibe but using a lot of traditional styling and techniques in the hand making process. What could be more romantic?!
Danielle’s been telling us about working on her next collection, the styles and trends she sees emerging for the near future and why she thinks things are about to get bold in a post-pandemic wedding world…
Hello I’m Danielle, the founder, designer and manufacturer of Danielle Sykes Bridal Designs, a luxury British bridal brand where each dress is lovingly created in South Yorkshire.
I have always been interested in art and loved being creative with both paints and fabrics. I was then introduced to Alexander McQueen and his innovative designs, which really propelled me into the world of fashion. I instantly knew that I had to become a designer and one day see my work worn by women all around the world.
For me, there’s something extra special about a wedding gown which transcends any other item of clothing worn by a woman. I’m not sure if my fascination comes from my upbringing of Disney films, where an ‘ordinary’ woman can change into a gorgeous gown that then makes her a princess, or if it’s the stories and traditions regarding the wedding day that are passed down from generations, or even just the look on a bride’s face when she finds The One. A wedding gown brings so much happiness into a girl’s life, more than just on the day she walks down the aisle. To be part of that happiness, while having a career doing something I am totally passionate about makes it all the more special.
My signature style is definitely that of grandeur and glamour with a sexy and sassy flare. My design focus is on making the bride feel powerful and strong while still allowing her to be feminine and traditional at times if she wishes.
This is the collection I have been waiting to create for years now and is heavily influenced by the incredible women in my life. I wanted to create a collection for real women, inspired by real women. After working in bridal boutiques for over a decade, I know what women want when they are choosing their special gown. Obviously I had to add my style to the designs as well and that is why you can see big dramatic trains, unique lace details and plenty of sparkle.
My gowns are for brides who dream of royal grandeur and want to stand out from the crowd, celebrating their own individual style and personality.
Fabrics are really important to me and often inspire me at the early stages of my design process. I am definitely a magpie and love all things sparkly, as you can see from the inclusion of sequin tulle in many of my gowns. I am also drawn to fabrics and laces that are a little different and unique for those modern and fashion-forward brides, while using traditional manufacturing techniques such corsetry and a lot of hand sewing.
My aim, first and foremost, is to build a lasting partnership with my stockists. I am always friendly, welcoming and probably too chatty, but I am here to support my stockists so we can succeed together. Drawing on my years of experience working for and managing bridal boutiques, my gowns are designed and manufactured with both the bride and retailer in mind. I offer attractive lead times and customisation options. Furthermore, each gown is carefully and mindfully made, taking into consideration any alterations that may be needed.
Obviously a lot has changed over the past year for the bridal industry, with weddings being so restricted, and I think it has created a whole new trend that will continue for the rest of 2021 at least. Brides are now choosing more intimate settings with fewer guests, focusing instead on luxury details such as the gown, accessories and creative backdrop arrangements. Couples are ready to celebrate again and you can already see a more extravagant and bold attitude emerging. I think we will see more architectural silhouettes, plenty of puff sleeves, dramatic ruffle skirts, and striking lace details.
My absolute dream would of course be to dress a royal, or soon-to-be royal. We’re all obsessed with royal weddings, even decades after they have taken place, and I think there would be no greater compliment. As for a celebrity, who better than Sarah Jessica Parker? She’s the absolute queen of fashion, sass and elegant grandeur.
Since I have only just launched, it’s obviously my debut collection and the fact that I instantly secured two stockists. The day of the photo shoot was the first time my gowns had been tried on due to Covid-19 so that was also a pretty special moment. I have been working towards this collection for years so to finally see it on the set of a shoot was spectacular and then for two bridal boutiques to love my gowns as much as I do makes me incredibly proud.
Now that I have launched my debut collection I will be working on securing a few more stockists throughout the rest of the year, while already starting to work on a new collection for Spring 2022. Building a bridal company that is 100% designed and manufactured in the UK is really important to me. Not only is it more beneficial for the environment but also for the UK economy. We have a long history of manufacturing that I would love to help reinstate by eventually hiring a team of seamstresses to help Danielle Sykes Bridal Designs grow and flourish.
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