Her designs are loved by everyone from the Duchess of Cambridge to Kate Winslet and Charlize Theron. But when it comes to creating your own big-day style, you need to look beyond the gown, says Amanda Wakeley.


The A-list designer - who is known for her clean, glamorous aesthetic - told a packed audience at Brides The Show's On The Sofa that the key to finding The One was to stop obsessing over cut or colour, and instead focus on how it makes you feel.

'It might seem contrary to say as I'm a designer, but it's not about finding that perfect wedding gown; it's about finding a dress that makes you feel perfect,' Amanda told Brides Editor Jade Beer. 'You want a design that makes you look so fabulous that it's you people are staring at - the dress is actually secondary.'

'My designs are all about elevating the woman, about making you the best version of yourself. The most important thing about your bridal gown? To know it's going to be a friend to you on the day. Being a woman designing for women certainly helps. I know how I want to feel in things - if I want to disguise some assets or embrace others - and I use all that when I create.'

The easy way to know whether you've found the gown of your dreams? Just ask Amanda. 'I only need to watch a bride walk out of the changing room and I just know,' she said. 'It's so easy to tell whether a girl is owning a gown or not. Body language tells you everything about what's working and what's not.'

The couturier - who was awarded an OBE in 2010 for services to fashion - also revealed what's top of her list of gown must-haves: 'effortlessness'.

'I try to make my clothes have a full "lifestyle offering",' she said. 'I make clothes for across the board - for the beach, weekend, office and black tie - so that they fit totally into my customers' lifestyle. With the bridal collection, as with all my pieces, I try to keep things fun and gorgeous but also "effortless" - a word I'm always coming back to. We all have such busy lifestyles and love fashion, but we don't want it to completely take over our lives.'

And her favourite bride? 'I loved Kate Moss's Galliano gown,' she said. 'He totally nailed it. It was so "her" - you could completely see her influence and the collaboration between them. It was a super sexy dress for a super sexy lady.'

Want to find out more? Watch Brides  Editor Jade Beer in coversation with Amanda Wakeley:

Book your tickets to join wedding experts at Brides The Show; www.bridestheshow.co.uk.

With thanks to Early Hours for On The Sofa flowers, Duck & DryBobbi BrownPalmbrokersBy Appointment Only DesignWOW Grass Goldsmiths and Hayes & Jarvis.