Lovelies, we are excited to announce a new designer at Lovely Bride: Prea James!
And lucky for you, bride-babes, we are kicking off our Prea James Bridal trunk show series this month, beginning in Seattle from Nov 22-24.
We love Prea James’ modern, relaxed design approach that also includes feminine details like pearls, floral embellishments, and cutouts. Within the collection you’ll find traditional wedding gowns but Prea has expertly crafted a mix of bridal separates with the goal of helping our brides curate a one-of-a-kind look for the rehearsal, ceremony, and/or reception.
We wanted to introduce you to the gowns but most importantly wanted to give #OurLovelies the scoop on the designer, herself. We put together a brief Q&A with Prea, which you’ll find below. In it she gives us a hint at how her namesake collection began, her inspiration, and even a few favorite moments from her first New York Bridal Fashion Week.
Take a peek at the Harmony I and Harmony II collections featured here and then click the dates below to book a trunk show appointment at a Lovely Bride location near you. Don’t forget that during the trunk show you’ll receive 10% off your Prea James purchase!
Prea James Trunk Show at Lovely Bride (click the dates to book an appointment.)
Lovely Bride Seattle: November 22-24
Lovely Bride San Diego: November 29- December 1
Lovely Bride Chicago: December 6-8
Lovely Bride Denver: December 13-15
Lovely Bride Atlanta: December 20-22
Lovely Bride New York: January 3-5
Lovely Bride Dallas: January 10-12
Price Range: $2100- $5425
Size Range: 2-12
(above) Prea James Bridal ‘Cecile’ blouse and ‘Maya’ skirt
How did you get started in bridal design?
After finishing my studies in fashion design I had a little label with a friend. I had some part time jobs at the time and one was with Karen Willis Holmes and when the label with my friend didn’t work out I started at KWH full time. I had never thought I would go into bridal, but I absolutely loved it. I had majored in Couture and have always loved the construction side of fashion, in particular the craftsmanship that goes into creating a bespoke piece compared to fast fashion. So there I stayed for 4 years.
At the time I had friends and friends of friends starting to get married and they were asking me to create their dresses. One in particular mentioned the struggle she had to find something more minimal that was still fashionable. This is what really started Prea James Bridal as it is today.
(left) Prea James Bridal ‘Scarlott’ and (right) ‘Carolyn’
Do you have a muse/muses- specific to the 2020 collection or your overall design approach?
Yes, many. Some of my top style icons/muses are Miroslava Duma, Leandra Cohen (man repeller) and Cate Blanchett. I don’t think you need to be showing a lot of skin or wearing something really tight to be sexy and these women all represent that. They are dressing for themselves and that is a big part of my design approach, to wear what you love with confidence.
(left) Prea James Bridal ‘Asta’ and (right) ‘Brooke’
What was the Harmony 2020 collection inspiration?
The Harmony 2020 collection is a continuation from our Harmony I collection released at the start of 2019. This collection drew inspiration from the quote “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo Da Vinci. The Harmony I collection didn’t feel complete and as I started to design it felt like a very natural continuation from the 2019 collection. As they would be released in the same year, it felt fitting to make it a continuation.
(left) Prea James Bridal ‘Tyler’ and (right) ‘Clementine’ jacket (shown with Tyler gown)
Do you have a favorite dress in your Harmony 2020 collection?
I am torn between the Tyler gown with the Clementine jacket and the Valentina gown. But each one has a soft spot in my heart.
(above) Prea James Bridal ‘Protea’
What is your favorite part of the design process?
Ohhh good question, I love the very start where the possibilities seem endless, but more so when we start putting together the first samples and a few start to really come together and it starts to actually make sense as you see it come to life. Usually this is when the most inspiration hits and I could keep going forever, however sadly it’s got to stop somewhere.
(left) Prea James Bridal ‘Arlia’ and (right) ‘Genevieve’
We particularly loved the cutouts and separates featured in your collection. Is there an inspiration for these silhouettes?
I love to layer and create separate looks without a whole new outfit, so I thought it would be fun to introduce this for my brides. I am also a pant woman! I love pants, it would be crazy for me not to have pants in my collection. As for the cutouts, I did a custom dress with cutouts when I first started doing custom pieces, and I love that you can show some skin but not ion the traditional low V or low back way. I did a new version of this custom gown (the Carolyn gown) and then without meaning to they kept popping up in other sketches I was doing. My favourite is the Tyler gown, because the cutouts are so small and subtle… I think I also have a soft spot because it took us a little while to work this pattern out and we felt proud when we got it to look so good!
(left) Prea James Bridal ‘Arielle’ and (right) ‘Nadia’
Tell us about New York Bridal Fashion Week- this year. Do you have a favorite moment or experience?
Ohh it was so good! I have been working towards this since the start, I never expected it to be so fantastic! One thing that sticks in my mind was that I really loved meeting other designers and seeing how supportive we are all of each other. All these amazing strong women raising each other up! It was magical.
(above) Prea James Bridal ‘Elena’
We are so excited to debut Prea James in our Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, NY, San Diego, Seattle, and London (opening 2020!) Lovely Bride shops. Do you have any advice for our brides?
Not as excited as I am! My advice – be true to yourself! Don’t let other people influence you on what YOU will wear on YOUR day. They can wear what they want on their day, but this day is about you and you future husband/wife and your opinion is the only one that really matters. At the end of the day, everyone will see you looking your best on the big day and no one is going to say “I wish she wore the other one”. You need to be comfortable so you can enjoy yourself, not be feeling uncomfortable in something you wouldn’t normally wear.
(left) Prea James ‘Jeanne’ and (right) ‘Paradis’
Book a Prea James trunk show appointment to try-on these gowns!