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Abbey Meadow Flowers
Eastwood Park Training & Conference Centre
Abbey Meadow Flowers

Luxury Israeli bridal designer Zahavit Tshuba tells us why she loves '60s style, '70s cinema and designing dresses for strong women.

A free spirit: Image 1
What drew you to bridalwear?
I've been designing since I was very young. My mother taught fashion design, and my family owned a clothing factory, so I had the opportunity to design and sew everything my heart desired. When I was looking for a wedding dress for myself, I discovered that there was a huge lack of fashionable wedding dresses available in my country, so I decided to focus on this. All the dresses looked the same and I was so upset at the thought that I'd be wearing a dress just like all the others you see brides in. There was no scope for individuality. My goal was to create a line that would speak to fashion-forward, open-minded brides who create trends, rather than follow them. I wanted to design wedding gowns that look very bridal, but are still very different from the typical big-day look. I made my first collection for Israeli brides, but when it received an overwhelming reception from brides and magazines from all over the world, I realised that my instincts had been correct, brides were looking for something different – and not only in my country.

I've noticed that a number of your dresses have a mermaid silhouette – is there a reason that you favour such a dramatic shape?
The mermaid cut seems to be very popular at the moment. It gives the body a very long, sexy silhouette which can work for lots of body types. We love the way it looks very fitted and tight at the hips and flows out at the bottom with lots of rich fabric; it's a glamorous look that makes brides feel like they're wearing a red-carpet dress. We're aware that not all brides like this mermaid cut, so we decided from the very early stages of our brand development to design all of our dresses in two pieces. This gives the bride the choice of mixing and matching between all of the pieces in our collections. We have dramatic ball skirts, sophisticated A-line skirts and elegant straight-cut skirts. There's a lot of flexibility in the collections and a bride can combine her selection of cuts and colours for a dress that's entirely her own.

What is it that inspires you in your designs?
My main source of inspiration is the free-spirited bohemian life style, which isn't related to any specific place or era. It's more to do with having a less structured, more untraditional lifestyle. I'm very influenced by the style and vibe of the '60s and '70s, when people started dressing to reflect the way they felt; loose cuts, open cleavages, simple crocheted dresses with high heels. You could see strong connections between fabrics and colours, between glamour and streetwear. Italian and French films from the '70s have inspired me for more than a couple of past collections.

Who is the Zahavit Tshuba bride?
The Zahavit Tshuba bride is a fashion-forward free spirit; a confident woman who dares to be different. Her wedding will probably be an unforgettable event, with her dress at the centre of attention, of course!

Who are your favourite dress designers?
In terms of wedding dresses, I think Vera Wang has made a very strong statement in the bridal world. I admire her work and the way she's faithful to her aesthetic and doesn't following the bridal trends. For fashion, I adore Valentino for its outstanding fabrics and rich cuts, and Maison Margiela for its alternative designs.

Which famous bride - past or present - would you like to dress, and why?
I wish I could have designed a wedding dress for Amy Winehouse. She was a real free spirit. I also adore Brigitte Bardot and Jean Birkin - I even named one of the dresses in our last collection after her. They're all strong women who wouldn't compromise on their wedding dress choice. They'd dare to wear a low neckline or transparent crocheted fabrics, not caring what their aunties will think!

Zahavit Tshuba's bridal collection is available in UK exclusively at the Les Trois Soeurs boutique in London. To view the full range, visit the website www.lestroissoeurs.co.uk