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Real Life Brides: The bride designed her own Claudia Schiffer-inspired wedding dress

Alexandra Preisz tells Hello! Fashion how Claudia Schiffer inspired her dress, how duct tape saved the day and her advice for brides-to-be

Lauren Ramsay
Online Writer
4 May 2024
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It's a truth universally acknowledged that one's dream wedding often comes with its fair share of surprises. 

But one thing video creator Alexandra Preisz didn't expect (alongside a broken-down car and guest bus troubles en route to her wedding venue in New South Wales, Australia) was the challenge of finding the perfect wedding gown.

 "I tried on vintage dresses for 5 months before deciding to design my own dress," Alexandra told Hello! Fashion.

Alexandra and Jamie on their wedding day© James Morris
Alexandra and Jamie on their wedding day

So, what to do in this situation? Most people would broaden their sartorial must-haves, perhaps loosening the reigns of their wedding dress criteria. But not Alex. She got her creative juices flowing and designed her dress herself. 

Inspired by Claudia Schiffer’s Chanel AW92 runway look (the dress Dua Lipa wore to the 2023 MET Gala) and paired with an etheral hooded cape, the finished look struck the perfect balance between modernity, timelessness and retro glamour.

Perhaps designing her own dress would be enough 'making' for the bride-to-be? Not nearly. She and her husband Jamie built and carried the majority of the decor themselves for their French provincial-style homestead venue, including their beloved, broken-down red car, Ruby.

The result was a 1960s-inspired fairytale that was honestly like something from a cult movie.

In a chat with Hello! Fashion, Alexandra delved into her dress selection process, shared insights on what she would do differently, and her advice for brides-to-be:

The outfit details

© James Morris

Hand-designed garments were worn by both the bride and groom. Jamie’s custom embroidered suit with handpicked colour and fabric was designed by Indian-based company Addicted Bespoke. Jamie's shoes were a one-off design by Gucci.

My two-piece corset dress and hooded Veil Cape were tailor-made for me by Sydney-based couturier Olivia Deur and collaboratively designed by stylist Fleur Egan and myself. My shoes were vintage from Etsy, and I wore earrings from Fleur's wardrobe (my something borrowed).

How did you land on your dress? Can you tell us a bit about finding the ‘one’?

I tried on vintage dresses for 5 months before deciding to design my own dress. As a child, I would draw dresses and I would always give my sketches a V-shaped dropped waist and a corset so I knew this had to be included in my wedding dress. I knew I didn't want white so I picked a creamy butter-coloured silk chiffon to replicate a vintage style as a nod to my fashion taste.

Alex designed her own dress© James Morris
Alex designed her own dress
She had a hand from stylist Fleur Egan© James Morris
She had a hand from stylist Fleur Egan

I leaned on the Claudia Schiffer/ Chanel 1992 look for inspiration on how to tie in a darker traditional trim into a dress. Fleur Egan helped me every step of the way making my dress vision become couture. The veil cape was my idea, I knew 2 weeks after I'd gotten engaged in 2022 that I would walk down the aisle in a hooded cape, and the commission had been brewing in my brain for a long time.

"I leaned on the Claudia Schiffer/ Chanel 1992 look for inspiration on how to tie in a darker traditional trim into a dress."

 I was always planning on getting this veil cape made even when initially looking at vintage dresses. 

The wedding low down:

Describe your wedding in 5 words

Stylish, connective, Promethean, relaxed, psychedelia

The couple's beloved car, Ruby© James Morris
The couple's beloved car, Ruby
Who broke down before the wedding...© James Morris
Who broke down before the wedding...

As a bride what was your biggest unnecessary worry?

I was worried that I wouldn’t have the energy to dance all night, but I did - I was the last one standing at 3:00am...

Any advice for brides planning a dream wedding of their own? 

Do everything your own way, don't invite people you wouldn't have around to your house for dinner tomorrow. If you don't feel the need to hug them tightly they shouldn't come to your wedding. Let people wear what they want, and allow the utmost freedom to create and express for both yourself and your loved ones. Allow yourself and your partner to be yourselves with no limitations and no status to uphold. 

Is there anything you wish you’d done differently? Either on the day or in the lead-up.

I wish I'd hired staff to pack up the wedding or a team or family and friends to help up, having to clean up our whole DIY wedding on a private property was stressful after a big wedding day of partying. There was so much to pack down as Jamie and I had built and brought in the majority of our styling decor. 

What was the best memory from the day? 

The band, Sons of Zoku our band were so ethereal, they filled the garden with sitar noises and Jamie and I just grooved together all night to beautiful live music played by beautiful people. Music is really important to us and my decision in the initial stages of wedding planning was “We will have a band that doesn’t play any covers, it will be a real band who will perform only their own originals, music that THEY are passionate about which we love” 

Did anything not go as planned? If so, what was it and how did you pivot? 

We had a horn to let our guests know when the buses were arriving but the horn broke, so lots of duct tape was essential. OH and our car broke down, our beloved 1969 SunBeam Alpine named Ruby. She didn't make it for the drive to the wedding location so we had to hire a ute and a trailer to tow her to our wedding. It wouldn't be a wedding without our red car there. 

Alex and Jamie's vendors

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