Couturier Annalise Harvey will design the showpiece bridal gown that will close the fashion show at this year’s Jane Austen Festival.
The festival, now in its twelfth year, is an annual celebration of the ever-popular novelist and her work. More than sixty events are held over nine days, including readings, workshops and a costume ball, with the fashion show amongst the highlights of the busy schedule.
In keeping with tradition of fashion shows throughout the decades, the event will conclude with a wedding gown, designed by award winning bridal designer Annalise Harvey and inspired by Elizabeth Bennet, the protagonist of Austen’s most enduring work.
But alongside her lifelong love of Jane Austen’s work, Annalise’s true and most enduring passion is reserved for fashion heritage, exploring the history and the significance of clothing throughout the centuries.
“Every piece of clothing has multiple personal history stories,” says Annalise. “Clothing is not just an expression of our own personalities but of the social conventions of the time.
“Regency England, which Pride & Prejudice depicts, was a society largely defined by class and sexual inequality – a woman’s financial security was almost entirely dictated by her ability to secure herself a husband of means and position and making a personal choice or marrying for love were privileges very few could afford.
“Her refusal to adhere to those conventions is what makes Lizzie Bennet one of literature’s most popular heroines – instead of allowing herself to be dictated to she shows herself the equal to any man of her acquaintance with her intelligence, wit and courage.
Part of the Prince’s House collective of bridal creatives based in Truro, Cornwall, Annalise began designing wedding dresses in 2001. Having moved to the area from London three years ago, she was named Cornish Brides magazine’s Designer of the Year for 2013 and the South West Regional Winner in the 2013 Wedding Industry Awards.
Alongside her bespoke bridal designs, Annalise also offers the Nostalgia Collection, a range of exquisite heritage inspired bridal gowns hand-made to order. The collection captures the essence of 20th century design throughout the decades, reclaiming ‘vintage’ fashion by combining period inspired designs with contemporary couture techniques.
Following the Jane Austen Festival, Annalise will be holding a series of events in and around Bath to showcase her collections. Prices start at £850 for the Nostalgia Collection and from £1,500 for a bespoke gown. For further information regarding these events or to book a consultation please visit www.annaliseharvey.com