10 January 2020
Interview – Prea JamesRecently we had a chat with bridal designer Prea, the founder of Prea James bridal, a Australian based bridal brand known for its modern and fashionable wedding dresses. With her designs, Prea James has took over the world of bridal fashion by a storm. Each gown has great sense for innovative and flattering fits with the most amazing luxury fabrics and special hand finishes giving that special touch to each gown. Would you like to know more about Prea, her collections and her vision on bridal fashion? Check out this interview!
After having studied fashion and working in that field, how did you get to bridal designing and starting your own business in that particular field?
A friend and I had started a fashion label without much capital. Another friend of mine was working at Karen Willis Holmes at the time and there was a part time position available there. I had majored in Couture while studying, so it seemed fitting. As soon as I began working there, I fell even more in love with creating such high quality pieces. I ended up working there full time and stayed for four years. After making dresses for friends and friends of friends, I saw a gap in the market for modern, minimal yet unique dresses that were good quality which is when I decided to start the first made to order collection.
If you got married today what season would you get married in and what dress would you wear?
Autumn is my favourite time of year, April or May in Australia, usually not as much rain but starting to cool down a little. Ohhh tough one, maybe I would costume change – I would wear Valentina, Tyler with the Clementine Jacket, Tyler with the Cecile wrap blouse and then Tyler on her own. Would need to be a long weddimg.
What is your favourite dress from your collection?
Again torn from the above mentioned. I also am normally. A pant person and love the Aurora pant, I created them exactly how I like pants to fit, high waisted with a nice flare and slightly cropped.
What are your fave materials to work with and why?
I love silk, because although delicate, it presses beautifully and falls beautifully. I also love beaded fabrics, not as easy to work with but lots of fun!
Best reaction a bride ever gave you?
I love criers, it is so sweet when they started crying. I also love that a lot of my brides are very thoughtful in what they chose to wear. So they may be trying the dress for the second time after trying others also, they have put a lot of thought into the decision, then when they decide ok yes this is the one, they haven’t just had some TV version of say yes to the dress, but they will suddenly be like “oh ok yes this is it, I can get excited now” and they go from decision making mode to celebration mode and give a little whoop whoop!
What would you recommend a bride who’d rather choose something classic and timeless, over a more fashionable and unique dress, although they’re into both at the time of choosing their wedding dress?
Oh, I think go with your heart. If you are leaning towards something more classic because you are worried you will look back in years to come and regret it, I think don’t worry about that, if you love it at the time that is what matters. Fashion evolves constantly, there may be a tie in the future where you love it again. Though if you just feel more comfortable tin something classic and timeless don’t push yourself to wear something more unique because you feel you should – just be yourself and then you will feel comfortable and confident on the day and we all know there is nothing sexier than a woman that feels comfortable and confident.
We for example love Refinery29 and Man Repeller, we’re curious to hear what is your favorite (bridal) fashion blog?
Man Repeller hands down! Have been a long time fan and still am.
What’s something about your job that people will be really surprised that you have to do?
Good question – I’m still very much involved in the business as we are relatively small. I still clean and take the trash out, wash up. On the other side of things, I also sometimes jump on the sewing machine and hand sew finishing touches at times. I think it is also important to note that with our beaded gowns we have to crush the beads along the seam allowance to be able to sew the seams as you can’t sew over the beads, but you also can’t cut the thread. It is important to know just how much goes into making a dress and why they can be so expensive.
Name a woman you’d love to see in one of your gowns (celeb or non-celeb)
Is sustainability something you (can) take into account in the production of your gowns and materials you choose?
Yes it is definitely something we are conscious of. It is a hard one, if we are being honest, the fashion industry is not very sustainable in general. Though we do try our best to incorporate sustainable practices into our business. We work with a lot of high quality silk and while we have started working with some non-silk fabrics, they are very high quality and aren’t something that will be a single wear. We absolutely encourage our brides to sell their dresses after their wedding so that they aren’t single wear. This is why quality is important to us, so that the gowns can be passed on. We are very careful with wastage, we lay the patterns on the fabric to use as much of the fabric as possible not leaving large off cuts. If we do have large off cuts we use those for sampling and pass them onto a family friend who used them for craft. We still have a long way to go but are always learning where we can.
What are your current favourite bridal trends?
I love cut outs, it allows brides to show a bit of skin but not in the traditional low back/ low front style gown. And I’m also so glad satin is being so well received – you can still have a minimal style gown, but the satin makes it a little more luxurious.
Where do you find your biggest inspiration?
I think fashion. There is definitely a strong architectural influence for me, so it is a combination. And then art, music and film play strong parts when I’m designing a new collection.
When your attending a wedding, what would you say if you favourite part of the day?
I love the look on the grooms face when he first sees his bride at the end. But also the dance floor when everyone is feeling a little merry – best photos on the dance floor.
Name three things our blog readers might not know about you? What are three things people would be surprised to learn about you? Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?
- I’m a mumma of 2 cutie pies. A little boy and a little girl. - I’m not a dog person. (Don’t shoot) - Music is life.
Any wisdom for future Wild at Heart Brides?
A wedding is a big event, if you are not very organized or get stressed easily, hire a planner if you can afford it, so you can enjoy the process and take it all in. Also be true to your own style, don’t let other people influence your decision because you will regret it. It’s your day, they can wear what they want on their day.
- Fave fashion brand? Givenchy
- Song you can listen to on repeat? ‘Woman is a word’ by Empress of.
- Most used emoji? The dancing lady in red dress.
- Winter or summer? Autumn and Spring
- Fave Tv show? Sex & the City for LIFE!
- Tacos or pizza? Pizza… hmmm tough one but I think Pizza.
- Cats or dogs? Fish