At Who What Wear Australia we are passionate about supporting new brands. But when that brand happens to be both local and bridal, well, we can barely contain our excitement. Enter, J.Andreatta—the latest emerging label to peak our interest.
Founded in early 2018 by Sydney-based designer, Jessica Andreatta, couture wedding dresses (with a side of red carpet couture) is at the core of her namesake label. Visit her Paddington atelier or scroll the brand's Instagram account, and you’ll fall in love with the J.Andreatta aesthetic.
The wedding dresses are feminine but always harness an edge, and there’s something quietly sexy about each one. Jessica designs for the modern bride but her gowns will stand the test of time. And we aren’t the only ones who have noticed . . .
After heading to New York for Bridal Fashion Week (yep, within the same year of launching in Australia), the brand was picked up by two U.S. stockists—Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier in New York and Kinsley James in Los Angeles—and The Wedding Gallery in London for 2019. And we predict this is just the very beginning.
To celebrate Jessica’s success, we interviewed her about launching the brand, breaking into the international market and the wedding dress trend she predicts will be most popular next year.
Who What Wear Australia: When and why did you launch J.Andreatta?
Jessica Andreatta: J.Andreatta launched in April this year with our atelier located on William Street in Paddington Sydney.
I had been given opportunities over the years to go out on my own while designing for another bridal label, however finally the time felt right to pursue J.Andreatta.
WWW: Tell us about your career before launching your own bridal label . . .
JA: I have been designing for years. After graduating from The Whitehouse Institute of Design, I worked with a number of Australian brands in their design teams however have always been inspired by craftmanship and the art of couture. Before J.Andreatta, I was the Head Designer at an Bridal label for a few years.
WWW: Did you always want to design wedding gowns or did you fall into it?
JA: I have always been a creative person and loved the ‘hands on’ aspect of couture. Bridal was never really on my radar until I realised it was the perfect avenue to work with luxurious fabrications and embellishments in-house. That is what gets me excited about design, while pushing the boundaries.
WWW: You also specialise in red carpet couture pieces, how did that come about? Was it always part of the plan or did someone approach you and it snowballed from there?
JA: Bridal is at the heart of the J.Andreatta brand and that is what we are known for, however we receive a lot of requests for couture pieces that can be worn for red carpet events or increasingly, by brides who are looking for unique wedding looks—an engagement or reception dress for example.
WWW:How long does it take to make one of your wedding dresses from start to finish?
JA: Depending on the complexity of the design it can take anywhere between one month and six months.
WWW: How involved in the process are you?
JA: I always have and always will enjoy being very involved in the process with our brides, and they feel confident having that interaction with me. On our first appointment, I like to meet the brides to get a clear understanding of what they are looking for, their budget and get a sense for their own style. In terms of the design process, I design everything and work with my talented team who are skilled pattern markers, machinists and hand embellishers.
We then meet with the brides for a series of fittings to ensure the style and fit is perfect before the big day.
WWW: What is the biggest mistake you see brides make when choosing a wedding dress?
JA: It’s really important that brides choose a shape that is most flattering for their body.
WWW: What’s your best advice for brides who are about to start wedding dress shopping?
JA: Shop around on Instagram to find a designer who’s style you connect with. Make an appointment to meet with the designer (or bridal atelier) to discuss what you are wanting and your budget—you want the experience to be special and to feel confident you are walking away with your dream dress.
There should also be some awareness around Bridal Couture, it doesn’t have to be out of your budget. We provide couture bridal gowns that are perfectly fitted to your shape for $8,000 (and priced up to $20,000).
WWW: You’ve cracked the international market, congratulations! Tell us about it . . .
JA: In 2019, J.Andreatta will be available in the Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier in NY as well as Kinsley James in Los Angeles (and The Wedding Gallery in London). I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me a year ago that we would have entered the international market in our first year!
WWW: It's amazing! What’s the biggest difference between what Australian brides and New York brides want in a wedding dress?
JA: The Australian bride is really fashion forward and adventurous. Interestingly, we thought the designs that our Australian brides were coveting may be slightly too unconventional for the NY bride, however we experienced the exact opposite while there for New York Bridal Fashion Week in October. There has been a shift from brides in wanting the traditional fit-and-flare, to more relaxed silhouettes.
WWW: What is your most popular style?
JA: There are a few styles which are really popular with our Australian and international clientele—while they are bridal gowns, we are getting requests from girls to wear them to events as well. The J.Andreatta 'Love In Portofino' was designed with exposed boning and a full skirt in an Italian silk organza and the ‘San Michele’—which uses that same silk organza fabric with a relaxed silhouette and button detail. The ‘Anacapri’ has probably been the most popular since we introduced it in July. While not a traditional wedding gown, a lot of girls are wanting to walk down the aisle in it. It’s made using an exclusive Parisian gold metallic lace in a relaxed shape with button detail.
WWW: What do you predict will be the most popular wedding dress trend in Australia for 2019?
JA: For 2019 I feel short embellished dresses will be making a huge statement.
WWW: Do you find that modern brides are wearing more than one dress on their wedding day?
JA: Yes very much so at the moment. We have one bride who is wearing 4 different looks on her day, however there are generally requests for one dress that is traditionally considered more ‘bridal’ for the ceremony, with a second look like is more fun and relaxed for the Reception.
WWW: Are there any career highlights for you?
JA: Debuting at New York Fashion Week in October—we are very excited to be aligning with top international bridal ateliers.
We recently dressed Renee Bargh in our form-fitting Hydrangea Print red carpet gown for the People’s Choice Awards and Victoria Beckham fell in love with the dress while she was being interviewed on the red carpet! Definitely a highlight!