If you have picked up issue 20 of Hello May (on sale now and stocked in newsagents nationally) you would of spied our in-depth designer profile with cult Byron Bay label Spell & The Gypsy Collective which featured a sneak peak of their 2018 bridal collection that we’re pleased to announce finally drops today via their online store.

Like the 2015, 2016 and 2017 releases (which are largely still available), 2018 does not not disappoint with three new gowns  being added to this increasingly refined collection of bridal for the laid back, carefree (and dare we say barefoot) bride-to-be. But the icing on the metaphorical wedding cake? These gorgeous gowns are not only affordable (nothing is over $1200) they also come in sizes XS right through to XL, proving Spell is a label for every woman.

Below you’ll find an extract from our issue 20 feature along with images of Isabella and Elizabeth, the brains behind the Spell operation, hard at work in their new Byron Bay headquarters. Big thanks Janneke Storm for the beautiful photos (with the talented Luciana Rose on Hair and Makeup and Montana Lower in front of the lens). 

Thanks for chatting with us Elizabeth. Spell has been going strong for almost 10 years now with bridal being a relatively new addition to your line up. What’s been the biggest eye opener for you since expanding into bridal? We’ve been so amazed by how many non-Spell customers come to us for their wedding gown. Women who may have never worn a Spell dress before, but really want to tap into that carefree, easy-wear femininity that Spell Bride offers, come to us and discover our brand through that.

How has your bridal collection evolved since the debut season? Our gowns are still inspired largely by our love of texture, vintage and divinely luxurious laces, but we’re exploring new silhouettes that are a little riskier and a little more modern.

You employ a large and talented group of women. Any brides-to-be in the office that inspired one of your bridal designs from new or past bridal collections? Well, our Elizabeth Gown is based off my own personal wedding gown, (I was adamant I didn’t want any silk or heavy lace, I wanted it just simple cotton). There have been a few brides in the office but Isabella tends to look back to a time gone by for her inspiration.

Describe the ultimate Spell bride? The Spell bride is looking for something beautiful, feminine and flowing, something timeless and classic but also something really easy to wear. They may aspire to wear something their mother might have worn, decades ago. The Spell bride is probably going to be getting married under the stars, in an orchard, on a beach or in an old barn, so she wants to feel like herself. Personally I always loved the idea of looking like Princess Buttercup from the Princess Bride, or Jenny from Forrest Gump…

Fave gown from the new collection? Oh it’s so hard to pick because we love them all, and our customers have been known to surprise us in the past! I do think the Estelle Gown is so unique for us with its fitted bodice and gorgeous frill detailing it may really strike a chord because its quite modern but also really classic. The Amelie gown is also really stunning and one of those dresses that is so perfect in its simplicity, but also so luxurious with its tiered lace detailing and off-shoulder silhouette.

Any special fabrics / materials the new gowns are made out of? Our stunning Lucette Gown is made of 100% silk outer shell (the first we’ve ever designed made completely with silk as the outer layer!) with 2 different embroidery artworks pieced together like patchwork, we designed both of those embroideries in house so they’re completely unique. The Amelie and Estelle gown we experimented with more structured bodices, The Amelie features an internal bodice slip with power mesh and boning to help you feel supported on the inside but a flowing beautiful cotton silk gown on the outer. The Estelle features soft cups and boning and invisible centre back zip to give the traditional bodice feel, but it’s still relaxed so you wont feel like you’re in a severe corset or anything like that.

What is the price range of your bridal collection? All of the gowns are under $1200.

Clearly you’re passionate about keeping bridal affordable for everyone. What was the inspiration behind this move? Before we even started offering bridal, we started noticing Spell customers wearing our luxe lace pieces as wedding gowns. We loved seeing this, and we thought, perhaps if we added a little more detailing, a little more length, we could make an official bridal range that would satisfy this love of simple off the rack pieces that were still super special. So when Spell Bride came to life we wanted to keep them affordable for our customers as well. I am sure if we let Isabella design freely, that the gown would be more like $12,000! Because they’re off the rack though, there needs to be a balance between affordability and detail.

Hunting for a bridal gown can be a daunting task with social media. What advice do you have for brides searching for ‘the one’? I think there are so many stunning offerings out there, we have a few favourite labels that are doing amazing things, and absolutely Pinterest is a great place to start! I have to admit that my first port of call was to look at the wedding directory on Hello May which led me to find some stunning dresses. I made the mistake of starting to look for a gown only 12 weeks before my own wedding, which is why I resorted to making one myself. I’d say give yourself plenty of time if you’re wanting a custom made one, because even the most basic ones can take months to be made to your measurements.

Speaking of social media, you’ve recently launched @spell_bride. What content will readers find on this feed? We really wanted to share our Spell brides a little more, but to a dedicated audience! We know real bride pics are always the most inspiring, because you get to see what brides really looked like on their special day, rather than all that fictitious campaign styling! So sharing the gorgeous images of our customers who are wearing Spell Bride is what you’ll find there… and of course sneak peeks too!

Favourite bridal trend you’re seeing come out of the 2018 collection releases? We’re loving a bit of a sheer moment, if they dare, and of course we are always, always, obsessed with interesting or vintage inspired lace and embroidery. I do think mesh and organza is coming back too, especially in hues other than white.

Bridal trend you can’t wait to see the back of? Tough one, because we think that everyone should do what suits them and not go for a trend. We’re definitely full length gown kind of girls, so probably the shorter gowns. But in saying that, we’ve seen people rock them! Honestly, I think that ‘trends’ and choosing a bridal gown don’t really go together. You want to be able to look back at your wedding day and feel that the dress completely captured your own style and essence, rather than following a trend.

Do brides need to make an appointment to try on a bridal gown in your flagship Byron Bay boutique? Yes they do! Email us and you’ll reach one of our wonderful, specially trained bridal consultants who work in our Byron Bay store. We have a simply gorgeous private dressing room on the mezzanine of our store especially fitted out for our brides to try on their gowns. The brides come with their mothers or bridesmaids and share the experience together.

And besides gowns what else can be found in your store? So many Spell dresses double as bridesmaids dresses, we’ve seen some amazing bridal parties in mismatched Spell, divine! Jewellery, shoes, (we have some gorgeous tan wedges coming that would work perfectly for bridal) some natural beauty products, and of course swimwear and kimonos for your impending honeymoon. Our Byron store, with its bridal mezzanine level is really the perfect one stop shop for gown to honeymoon! 

Speaking of Byron – you’re based smack bang in the middle of one of Australia’s go-to destination wedding spots. Who are your favourite local wedding vendors? Fig Tree (we had an event there last year and it was amazing… such a rad team!), Poppy & Fern Florist, The Grove Styling, Luciana Rose Hair and Makeup (our sister I know, but she’s the best!), Anise Catering and my absolute godsend Rachel and her team from The Events Lounge

Why do you think Byron Bay is such a popular destination for couples wishing to tie the knot? I think having a wedding in Byron is the closest thing to having a ‘destination wedding’ without having to leave the country, flights are relatively cheap for the guests, and they get to make a little bit of a long weekend out of it! And being the wedding-mecca that it is, there are some incredible venues all within minutes of each other, amazing vendors and the weather is (usually!!) pretty stunning!

What are you most excited about for Spell & the Gypsy Collective in 2018? We have some incredible new collections coming this year, Resort is to die for and so is Summer. Expect some gorgeous new jewellery to drop too, and more silk pieces. I will say that for brides looking to gather a few kimonos for the morning of their wedding, we have some stunning kimonos dropping throughout the year, so keep an eye out!

You can shop Isabella’s look here and Elizabeths look here whilst stocks last.

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photos Janneke Storm exclusively for Hello May Hair and Makeup Luciana Rose Model Montana Lower Location Spell & The Gypsy Collective Production and Art Direction Hello May.