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Wonder Woman Wednesday: Regine Ellis

Next up in our Wonder Woman Wednesday series is Regine Ellis, Design Director at Ellis Bridals

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Today's Wonder Woman - Regine Ellis, Design Director at Ellis Bridals
Today's Wonder Woman - Regine Ellis, Design Director at Ellis Bridals

Ellis Bridals is a pioneering brand when it comes to luxury British bridalwear. Established in 1912 in London, Design Director Regine Ellis is the driving force behind the brand that has been in the family for four generations.

For more information on Ellis Bridals, click here.

Regine’s discerning eye and fashion upbringing has seen Ellis Bridals flourish under her guidance. Regine fell in love with design as a girl, and Ellis Bridals was the most engrossing and enchanting schooling she could ever have wished for; training her eye in detail, fabric and flair every single day.

Tell me about your background?

Growing up in Morocco I was surrounded by gifted artisans, which sparked my imagination and inspired me to develop my love of fashion and appreciate well-cut garments. I learnt from my mother, and she from hers. It’s beautiful to feel part of a living legacy. As a girl I designed and hand-made all of my dresses, and for each it was love at first sketch.

If you love Ellis Bridals designs, learn more about bridal designer Jacqui James here.

How did you start your career?

I started my working life in a denim shop on the Kings Road at the age of 17 where I had to squeeze the likes of the Rolling Stones into skin-tight jeans. It was a really creative time in London and was lots of fun.

My cousin started working for Yves Saint Laurent and got me an interview; this was one of the most nerve wracking moments of my life, but created the path to my dream design-role. I worked for them selling the Pret a Porter collection. I worked between Paris and London and learnt an invaluable amount about the luxury market.

I met my husband, Richard Ellis, and decided to help him in his family business. At that time everything was made in the UK. I spent long days with the pattern cutters and designers just learning everything I could. I was like a sponge taking it all in.

I loved everything to do with bridal dresses, the importance of the dresses, the romance and the amount of intricate detail on them. I learnt as much as I could about the business and was lucky to have great mentors like my father-in-law, Sydney Ellis, and some wonderful designers over the years.

Read more: our Wonder Woman Wednesday profile on Charlie Brear.

What women inspire you and why?

There are so many strong women out there who carry themselves with elegance and poise, whilst also promoting forward-thinking attitudes. But if I had to choose, I would say Emma Watson’s strong and confident voice combined with her modern and edgy style is absolutely inspiring for women of any age.

I would also add that Blake Lively’s fashion is absolutely incredible. But in terms of bridal couture, the ultimate bride of all time always goes back to princess Grace.

If you’re feeling inspired by Regine’s story, have a read of Milliner Alexandra Harper’s Wonder Woman Wednesday profile here.

What does Ellis Bridals stand for?

We’ve been dressing brides for over 100 years and regardless of trends, across both fashion and society, a bride has always looked for just one thing: to look and feel her best on the day she will remember forever.

At Ellis Bridals we define ourselves by our couture approach, with detailing completed by hand and all designing done in-house. Our archives of designs are the epicentre of our creative drive. We want to deliver luxury for a commercial price point.

Learn about what maternity bridal brand Tiffany Rose stands for.

What are your secrets to success?

To quote Ada Ellis, “you should work surrounded by what you love”. As a family business we are a tight-knit company with a shared history, with both our team and our retailers.

Our customer service team have over 100 years’ experience between them! I believe maintaining good relationships is the key to success.

Read more: our Wonder Woman Wednesday profile on ethical bridal designer Sanyukta Shrestha.

What’s your greatest achievement so far?

I was really proud to be Creative Director when Ellis Bridals turned 100 in 2012. It was an incredible milestone for us as a British design house, as well as winning the Bridal Buyer Best Manufacturer in 2012.

What does your typical working day look like?

A typical day will be spent researching: sourcing beautiful fabrics and interesting details. I work closely with our designers sharing ideas, from concept to sketch to completion. It’s a very hands on process. I like to see and touch everything that we produce, so it feels authentic and on brand.

Read about shoe designer Emmy Scarterfield’s typical day here.

Can you tell me five interesting facts about yourself?

  1. Since becoming creative director the company has won over 30 industry awards.
  2. Travelling keeps her inspired.
  3. She has worked on over 100 different collections during her career.
  4. Gardening is her meditation.
  5. She speaks many languages.

If you loved reading about Regine, make sure you check out our Wonder Woman Wednesday profile on bridalwear designer Diana Elizabeth.

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