From bride to bridalwear designer
We are Makatza, which means “wild and untamed” in Basque. The idea for the business came about when I went back to study fashion design at the London College of Fashion after I had my first daughter Ruby.
After graduating, my partner and I decided to get married, this introduced me to the bridal wear market. I was shocked at the limited choices available compared to women’s fashion and how traditional many of the bridal dresses were. I also found that other brides-to-be were frustrated with the lack of choice, colour and price points. It was then that I realised that this was the area that I wanted to be specialised in.
Traditional wedding dresses can be quite restrictive because they are often very long and tight, not dissimilar to women’s fashions from the 1910’s! That was until designers like Chanel liberated women out of corsetry. Coco was a pioneering woman with radical ideas that changed the course of history and revolutionized the fashion industry in the 1920’s.
I was fortunate in that I could design and make my own wedding dress, but I realise that this isn’t practical or possible for most people. But now, like Chanel (some 100 years later) I’m hoping to achieve the same with bridalwear and have launched our first range this summer.
Of course, some women prefer a traditional wedding dress, but I believe the tide is turning and more women are bravely seeking out new alternatives. Weddings themselves are becoming ever more diverse; from lavish stately homes to low key humanist weddings; therefore bridalwear too needs to meet the growing demand for variety and choice.
Makatza is approaching bridal wear from a new fashion perspective. We want to address the gap in the market for women who want to get married, but don’t want to compromise their individuality as a bride. Therefore we design our garments to be elegant and flattering whilst also being subtle and relaxed to create that special dress that will be as unique as the bride who wears it!
Our début collection takes inspiration from Aphrodite the ancient Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation. Who rose from the foam of the sea. I love this powerful image of the warrior goddess rising from the sea and I believe that every bride should feel empowered and beautiful on her wedding day!
I use a lot of draping in this collection; layers of fine silk create wonderful movement and shape. Designs are based on Greek and Roman silhouettes but re-worked in an edgy and contemporary way.
At Makatza, we want to give brides a very special garment. Without blowing the budget, but something they can treasure, pass down and wear again! In future collections, expect to find trousers, more colour. As well as mix and match separates in sizes from 8 – 18.
About the author: Katie Bishop is a creative wedding dress designer and gives women an alternative option for choosing their wedding dress. We believe in celebrating diversity from all walks of life. Katie’s collection highlights the real need for more inclusion and brings to life beautiful and elegant garments. Which are available for purchase on her Etsy Shop MakatzaBridal. You can also follow the business on Instagram and Facebook.
Collaborative credit by:
Photography: Louise Gibbens
Model: Nadia Khivrych
Makeup: Sarah Saunders