This week, the UK’s effortless-chic fashion house Galvan launches its 2020 bridal collection, filled with streamlined silks, casual-seeming lace and easy-to-wear silhouettes. Designed for the new, 2020-and-beyond world of microweddings and civil ceremonies, this collection is being referred to by the brand as its white collection, and not bridal, with the intention of creating a more versatile take on bridal gowns.
According to Galvan Co-founder Katherine Serrano Holmgren, she hopes that brides, “Think of these as investment pieces that they’ll debut as brides but then treat as treasured items in their closets,” for special occasions to come. She continues that, “…we wanted to create pieces that were versatile and rewearable outside of a bridal context.”
Co-founder Holmgren and her co-founder Anna-Christin Haas must be onto something, as the brand’s bridal sales have grown to represent 50% of all of Galvan’s retail sales since March of this year. Within the past 18 months, celebrities such as Heidi Klum, Karlie Kloss and Amanda Hearst have all worn Galvan gowns to their own weddings. The new white collection features nine core pieces, ranging from an embellished silk slip dress to sleeveless mock-necks and crepe jacket and trouser duos that feel minimal and simple, all designed in premium and traditional fabrics.
While traditional retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom are contracting their bridal businesses (Saks is set to close two bridal flagship salon locations in New York and Beverly Hills; Nordstrom has closed its Wedding Suites), Holmgren says that, “Our bridal business has actually grown since the pandemic began since our pared down aesthetic is so well suited for more intimate weddings.”
Haas offers that, “Our collection always focused on the different events in the bridal weekend: the reception dinner, afterparty, daytime brunch, civil ceremony; so we haven’t had to pivot during this period.” In addition to offering timely styles, the brand has focused on bolstering its e-commerce business with this month’s launch of @galvanbridal on Instagram.
Of the vision and nuts and bolts of designing and selling a bridal collection amid limits everywhere on large gatherings, Haas shares that, “It’s such an interesting time for the bridal world… On the one hand, celebrations have become more intimate and less formal, which calls for clean and effortless designs. At the same time, however, there’s a very real desire to celebrate and feel the pleasure of something exuberant… we thought a lot about these two needs and how to meet both.
There are minimalist slip dresses and chic suits for civil ceremonies or weddings at home, but there are also fabrics that feel uplifting and joyful such as a diaphanous lace embroidered with cheerful dots and a featherweight georgette that glitters with silver flocking.” Galvan also designs all samples in-house and produces its collection mostly in the UK with local factories and artisans, so its supply chain was largely unaffected by shutdowns earlier in the pandemic.
Looking toward the future, Haas shares some words of optimism, “One thing that we keep in mind is that once restrictions do start to ease, whenever that is, there will surely be a wedding boom with more parties than ever.
This is why we ensure that our offering in our stores and e-shop continues to include floor-sweeping styles and glittering party dresses,” in addition to the more versatile pieces on offer this season.