As a young girl, Anne Barge dreamed of one day becoming a top designer in the bridal industry. Today, she has become a driving force in the industry with her own label, atelier and international recognition in the UK, Spain and Japan. Featuring vintage inspired looks reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelley, her designs are perfect for the timeless, classic bride. In our interview with Anne, she reveals her inspirations for her designs and some of her favorite bridal memories!
It has been said that your collections are inspired by the 1950s and 1960s…What features of these eras do you incorporate into your gowns? What draws you to those eras?
"I especially love the 1950's! I am drawn to that era because the styles were so feminine, classic and flattering to a woman's figure. We use a lot of natural waist treatments, Sabrina necklines, full skirts, midriff accents, strapless (yes! it was popular then!), cap sleeves and off the shoulder necklines. These were the fashions when I was growing up, and obviously, made a huge impact on me!"
What type of bride do you have in mind when designing a gown?
"I design gowns for a refined, lady-like, classic, fashionable yet never trendy, modern young woman who still thinks fashion never gets better than Audrey Hepburn's and Grace Kelly's style."
What is one of your favorite memories of working with a bride?
"We were at dinner one night down in the village in NYC when I noticed a young lady at the next table who was wearing an engagement ring….of course I HAD to ask her if she had her dress yet….it turned out they had just gotten engaged! So I invited her to come see me the next day at our Kleinfeld Trunk Show. She found her dress…a voluminous silk taffeta ball gown…..ANNE BARGE, no less! She was so happy! I met all of her sisters, fiancé and was so glad I had spoken to her the night before. She was the sweetest, happiest and most beautiful Kleinfeld bride!"
Photography: Adam Barnes Fine Art Photography
What do you enjoy most about designing in the bridal industry?
"I enjoy coming up with designs which I know will fit a myriad of body types, not just the NY runway model. Every girl needs to feel her most beautiful on her wedding day!"
Do you incorporate your personal style into your designs?
"Of course! Even when there is embellishment, there is always an element of understatement."
What do brides not know about you?
"They may not know that I have wanted to be a bridal designer since I was three years old……talking about passion!!!"
Meet Anne at her Kleinfeld Trunk Show on April 25-27th.