Karen Walker Launching Cool and Real Wedding Line
New Zealand-based designer Karen Walker is expanding her business to include a fully-fledged bridal line, Karen Walker Atelier, according to Vogue magazine.
To anyone who knows Walker’s kaleidoscopic prints, funky sunglasses, and approachable price point, it will register as a surprise: Why would she want to make fussy wedding dresses? That’s entirely the point: She isn’t, the magazine reports.
For years, Walker’s customers have asked her to make party clothes and wedding dresses in the same spirit as her main line – i.e., fun, feminine, and not too sweet – because that’s how they wanted to feel on their big day. They didn’t want the princess pouf; they wanted to feel like themselves.
“The funny thing about bridal is that it sits so far outside of ‘normal life,’ and so outside of how a lot of people think about fashion and clothes and their values,” Walker told Vogue on a WhatsApp call from Auckland. “It’s odd when you think about it in the larger context. So we wanted our pieces to just be more real, I think. We’re still celebrating the ritual and acknowledging that and holding it up – but just doing it in a way that feels real.”
That comes through in pretty, but not overly “fancy” dresses with signature Walker touches like ruffles, sculptural bows, and high necklines. For her superfans, she reinterpreted a few of her best-selling silhouettes in ivory taffeta, lace, beaded tulle, and silk, and unlike most bridal collections, only two of her designs are bona fide “gowns”.
They’re outnumbered by minis, ankle-length dresses, and two ivory suits (styled with sneakers, naturally). “Our bride isn’t the ‘meringue bride,’” Walker says. “She isn’t trapped at the table behind the cake – she wants to get out there and enjoy her day, and have a realness about her.”
Original article by Emily Farra, Vogue, August 12, 2019.
Photo by Karen Walker.