Year after year Suzanne Harward captures the attention of Australia’s most discerning, fashion-forward brides. As the brand enters its fourth decade it remains quintessentially Australian and continues to govern trends in ‘bridal’ fashion. Beaming with excitement of a rumoured new collection launch, we approached the Suzanne Harward team for an all-access, all-exclusive behind the scenes opportunity.
Suzanne Harward’s most coveted statement collection yet, the Neo-Victorian Capsule Collection reflects the feminine sensibilities and disposition of a past era, testing ideas in dress and evoking affectations of a romantic period. Shot by international photographer, Sam Bisso, the hero in this story, Copenhagen model Anne Christine relinquishes romantic nuances.
From a young age I have been absorbed by fashion. Engrossed by the drama and theatrics and mesmerised by the narrative an item of couture conjures. After all, it was the smell of bound magazine pages that informed my decision to pursue a career in fashion. As a novice writer in the industry, watching as each component of the creative team fuse together during the photoshoot was an incredibly stimulating experience.
Indicative of a revolutionary time in behaviour, social conservatives and the arts, the Neo-Victorian collection remains open to contemporary interpretation. The inter-bleeding of fashion and art are apparent in more ways than one as each meticulously handcrafted gown bears the name of an innovator, creator or literary novella of the aesthetic movement.
Under the austere direction of leading fashion stylist Emily Ward, items are added, arranged and removed in front of the camera lens with an undoubtedly inherent sense of intuition. Intricate mesh pumps are tried and tested, as too are imposing fedoras and hair adornments, while demure collars are hand stitched on to the gowns by Suzanne.
Between clicks of the camera and pauses of the final styling checks, award winning Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Kylie O’Toole picks a brush from her tool belt and gently sweeps a lacquer of colour over Anne Christine’s primed lips. Following a seasoned and efficacious career in the film industry, Kylie shows zero trepidation in front of an assembly of astute onlookers.
Scanning the room, two large trestle tables are erected and each labourers’ tools and respective hardware are placed in a catalogued fashion. One table is adorned with leather bound accessories, textured belts and boxes of never before worn Aquazzura slippers. The other table boasts miniature canisters of blushing, creamy hues and lipstick cylinders stacked on top of each other like children’s building blocks. It was a playground like no other.
Saturated in natural sunlight, the Establishment Studios in Melbourne’s inner city Prahran was the perfect location for the shoot to take place. From the footpath, the studio is nondescript. A mere late century red brick house surrounded by lively inner-city streets. Inside modern elements of design juxtaposed with a continuum of exposed brick and peeling paint reinforced the contemporary aesthetic and theme of the day.
Copious takeaway coffees, several shoe changes and one robust hand held leaf blower later and the Neo-Victorian collection came to full fruition, flawlessly.
The Suzanne Harward Neo-Victorian Collection is now available via the labels newly launched E-boutique with exclusive and limited edition pieces.
Photographer: Sam Bisso @ Hart & Co
Model: Anne Christine @ London Management
Stylist: Emily Ward @ Hart & Co
Hair & Make up: Kylie O’Toole @ Hart & Co