ABOUT THE ACCESSORIES LABEL
Established in 1996, Chantal Mallett Bridal Couture is primarily a bespoke bridalwear label, specialising in corsetry & colour. Chantal's signature style features strong, dramatic silhouettes & period styling mixed with fluid lines & exquisite detailing.
With the bridalwear label established in the late 90's, Chantal was very much at the vanguard of bridalwear design.
Corsetry & colour were very new concepts to the market & Chantal quickly discovered that with such alternative bridalwear designs there was very little, by way of hair accessories, that complimented the complete vision she had in mind for her brides.
The 1994 film Four Weddings & a Funeral perfectly captures the UK bridalwear trends of the period; floral circlets & alice bands, pretty & twee.
INTRODUCTION OF ACCESSORIES TO THE LABEL & THEIR INSPIRATION:
Although Chantal's qualifications were in fashion design, she had experimented with wirework in her teens & it was with a renewed interest in wire techniques that she began to build her first coronets with a view, primarily, to having something appropriate with which to accessorise her gown designs for promotional photos.
Inevitably there was a cross over from Chantal's couture bridalwear work; her growing knowledge of construction through corsets loaned itself to the design formula she used to perfect her crown designs. Her accessory & jewellery pieces, which are built around differently shaped frames, all have a structure & precision to them combined with delicacy, softness & curves.
And whilst her dramatic signature gowns still remain a major inspiration, Chantal is also heavily influenced by Gaudi, Art Nouveau, wrought ironwork, architecture, Marie Antoinette, nature & fairytales. As her style has progressed over the years & has got more complex, the designs have become more organic & unusual; she loves to work in loops & curls with frequent nods to her love of the fleur de lys.
The names of each piece, as with her gown collection, reflect the individuality of each design.
HOW CHANTAL'S ACCESSORIES CAME TO MARKET:
The idea to offer bridal accessories commercially came about from Chantal's appointments with Fashion Editors of UK wedding magazines. Upon seeing her image portfolio, they wanted to know who made the crowns & coronets as they had not seen anything like them & they asked to shoot them.
Chantal added to the collection & did the grand tour of the London based wedding magazines & at each magazine the collection was met with similar enthusiasm. Fashion Editors practically snatched them out of her hands & she even had to say 'no' to lending certain pieces because other magazines wanted them for photo shoots at the same time. Chantal was surprised by the response but realises with hindsight that the difference between her accessories & her dresses is that, where her wedding gowns can be too much of a statement for some people, her accessory designs are just enough of a statement.
It is fair to say that the fashion that followed for wire work crowns & the pieces you see of a similar ilk in the market today, were inspired by the pieces Chantal originally made & loaned to magazine shoots back in the late 90's.
THE COLLECTION & HOW TO ORDER:
Over the years, Chantal has created many crowns, tiaras & head-dresses, later branching out into delicate wirework Venetian inspired masks, opulent earrings & chokers & most recently beautiful wire & crystal miniature top hats. Some pieces like the miniature top hat Satine & the Throat Corset, take more than a week to make.
Each piece is hand made by Chantal using gold or silver wire & embellished with pearls, crystals, rhinestones, vintage jewellery & even lace. The pieces can be made in alternative sizes with the embellishment & colours of the clients choosing & pieces can even be turned to another colour such as black.
UK clients can try pieces on & order at Chantal's Bedfordshire showroom or order via telephone/email.
For clients outside the UK, Chantal will work with you via telephone & email & payment can be taken via Paypal. Orders typically take 4-6 weeks but Chantal is always happy to, wherever possible, work to tight deadlines when pieces are required urgently. Prices for tiaras start from £135, crowns from £165, (approximately $200 & $250 USD respectively) plus P&P.
Chantal Mallett can be contacted on 07973 777849