The Best Wedding Dress Designers in Australia: bridal fashion's front runners

The moment that you have been dreaming about since you were a little girl is here. He popped the big question and of course you said yes. Congratulations! Here at Zankyou, we know brides. We know that as soon as you have processed the fact that you’re going to become a wife, your thoughts immediately turn to the dress. Maybe you already know exactly what you are looking for in a wedding dress or maybe you have no idea; but either way, we are here to help by bringing you a compilation of the best Australian wedding dress designers.

In no particular order, here are six incredible companies that have left us completely in awe of their gorgeous bridal wear and that have all of the expertise and talent required to create a wedding dress that is absolutely perfect for your style, your body and your wishes. So get comfortable and prepare for some seriously stunning dresses

Bo and Luca

Rewriting the rules of bridal design and driven by neither trends nor tradition, these gowns tell an epic story: the story of the wearer. In a sunlit studio in Sydney, Shannon Pittman designs and hand cuts each couture-like piece, before it is hand beaded at an atelier in India. Here, the brand makes use of traditional artisan skills, whereby each bead is hand placed on the finest silk by local master craftsman over a three month process. Bo & Luca’s signature bohemian luxe design is grounded in uncomplicated styling and relaxed effortlessness, influenced by an adventurous soul and historical elegance.

Bo & Luca ‘Meadow’ Gown | Saint George’s Collection

September 2017 will see the launch of T E M P L E, a diffusion line by Bo & Luca which is designed for the new age bride.  Through creative Director Shannon Pittman’s interest in photography, architecture and contemporary culture, an alternative approach to bridal wear has been found. T E M P L E reflects a sense of effortless, modern femininity that takes cues from the bold, iconic heroines from decades past. Focused on fine fabrications of raw silk, intricate craftsmanship of hand-beaded techniques and contemporary fit, T E M P L E maintains luxury quality and design aesthetics that are accessible to women globally.

Bo & Luca ‘Ella’ and ‘Skye’ Gowns | T E M P L E Collection

Suzanne Harward

As a pioneer of Australian bridal fashion, Suzanne Harward has been making handmade couture gowns in Melbourne since 1975 and has certainly earned her reputation as a creative visionary in this time. Each and every season, Suzanne’s designs evolve beautifully and are always relevant and current. She achieves a perfect balance between anticipating the future and celebrating the past, drawing inspiration from art, nature and the world around us. Quality and craftsmanship are a priority for Suzanne, who oversees every dress that is expertly handmade in her Melbourne studio. From high fashion and minimalism through to intricate and detailed designs, you are sure to find something to suit your taste.

Wedding dress by Suzanne Harward, Celestial Gown (Illuminati collection) | Photo: Sam Bisso

We truly cannot take our eyes off of the 2017 Illuminati collection, which takes femininity and individuality to a brand new level. The collection presents incredible intricacy, chic minimalism and a unique palette of muted tones, including a particularly stunning metallic honeycomb coloured gown. As far as we’re concerned, every Australian bride must take a look at Suzanne’s elegant, stunning and truly unique gowns that will, without a doubt, make you feel like a million dollars on your wedding day.

Wedding dress by Suzanne Harward, Illuminati Gown (Illuminati collection) | Photo: Sam Bisso

When Freddie Met Lilly

At a stylish studio in Brisbane, you will find some of Australia’s most stunning bespoke wedding dresses by When Freddie met Lilly. Think femininity, elegance, silk, lace and embellishment and you’ll start to get an idea of what to expect. Brisbane brides started falling in love with this brand back in 2012 when Vanessa Hoe launched the first collection, which focused on bohemian looks using tulle, silk and lace. Ever since then, When Freddie met Lilly, which Vanessa named after her gorgeous niece and nephew, has gone from strength to strength and in 2015, they were even invited to showcase two of their collections at New York Fashion Week. Now, brides from Australia and beyond head down to Vanessa’s studio for an appointment with one of the experienced stylists who guide them through the process; adding, removing or adjusting gems, jewels, sleeves and skirts to create a custom-made and unique wedding gown.

Wedding dress: When Freddie Met Lilly | Photo: Terri Hanlon Photography

One thing you can be certain of is that a wedding dress by When Freddie met Lilly will always be of supreme quality, since their exquisite laces are sourced from France and Italy and each dress will be embellished by hand with delicate Swarovski crystals, glass beading or pearls. Previous collections have never failed to impress, with fitted silhouettes, modern yet romantic designs, the juxtaposition of vintage and contemporary, plunging necklines and even splashes of plum, ice blue and peach hues; so we cannot wait for the reveal of Vanessa’s next collection: Dakota. Watch this space for a brand new set of amazing dresses which will be launching in August this year!

Wedding dress: When Freddie Met Lilly | Photo: Terri Hanlon Photography 

MXM Couture

As fashion design experts, identical twins and best friends, directors Margaret and Michelle are a true force to be reckoned with. Their label MXM Couture launched in 1998 and since then, this dynamic duo has been creating stunning and unique dresses that are completely tailor-made to each and every bride. They understand completely that the perfect dress defines the important moments in a woman’s life and therefore listen to your ideas and thoughts with an open mind and translate all of the emotion and inspiration that you share with them into the ultimate wedding dress that will be remembered fondly forever.

Wedding dress by MXM Couture | Photo: Studio Impressions

With 50 years of combined industry experience, you can rest assured that Margaret and Michelle will never leave you disappointed. The designers themselves will guide you through the process from start to finish, personally fitting the style to your body and sewing each and every part of your dress with care and pride. With an exquisite collection of French laces, luxurious fabrics and beautiful beading, there is no doubt that your gown will be finished to the highest possible standard. All that remains then is for headpiece designer Suzie to create your perfect veil and voilà: your wedding day look is complete!

Wedding dress by MXM Couture | Photo: Studio Impressions

Philippa Galasso

Philippa Galasso established her Sydney-based couture house in 2012, offering a bespoke bridal service which involves each and every dress being designed and made to suit you perfectly. Her wonderful gowns are hand-crafted and shaped to the bride’s body. With her grandfather being a tailor and her mother a teacher of textile technology, Philippa’s desire to pursue a career in fashion was inherent. Her undeniable talent has led to her work being shown at New York Fashion Week for three consecutive seasons and to her gowns being worn by A-list celebrities such as Delta Goodrem!

Philippa Galasso wedding dress | Photo: Elizabetta Marzetti

Philippa’s gowns are highly detailed and textured using high quality traditional hand beading and embroidery techniques in a modern way. This work is done by only the best specialised artisans locally and from around the world.

Wedding dress by Philippa Galasso | Photo: Zoe McMahon

Cathleen Jia

If you’re a bride-to-be looking for a unique and modern wedding dress which will capture your quirks, you simply have to take a look at Cathleen Jia’s designs. This fabulous brand believes in breaking the rules of traditional weddings and they do so by transforming luxurious materials and timeless shapes into distinct vintage inspired gowns with non-traditional detail applications. The team is passionate about creating a bridal look that mirrors your individuality and flatters your figure whilst still being comfortable enough for you eat, drink, laugh and dance the night away!

Wedding dresses: LOVE STRUCK by Cathleen Jia | Photo: Jason Williams Photography

One of the most amazing parts of the process for the bride is watching her dream wedding gown come to life and participating in the creation process, which is all done in their Melbourne based design loft. Your gown should be an expression of you, so whether you want something timeless, contemporary or somewhere in between, the team will welcome you into their studio to help you put together your bridal look, complete with headpieces and veils.

Wedding dresses: LOVE STRUCK by Cathleen Jia | Photo: Jason Williams Photography

Their latest collection LOVE STRUCK was inspired by romance, individuality and ease. Cathleen told us “I really wanted to create a collection to capture freedom in love” and this concept is captured perfectly by these stunning photographs which were shot on the streets of London. We adore them!

Now that you’re feeling inspired, you’re going to have to make the tricky decision about which designer you want to have the honour of designing your wedding gown. We know, you’re spoilt for choice!

Need a little more guidance from Zankyou? Check out our recommendations for wedding cake designerswedding planners or even get some tips on breaking traditions on your wedding day!

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