'Ceremony' 2017 by Anna Campbell

The ceremony is undeniably the most important part of any wedding. It’s also the title of what may be Anna Campbell‘s most personally significant release to date. The ‘Ceremony’ collection is the first since the Melbourne designer finally tied the knot herself with new husband Murray. Post nuptials – after unveiling the range and then traipsing through L.A., New York and London for various trunk shows and bridal fashion weeks – the pair finally made it to Italy for a belated honeymoon. Still glowing, Anna reflects on her newfound status as a married woman and the collection itself.

Her favourite memory from the day (see it on Polka Dot Weddings here) was seeing her husband-to-be for their “first look” accompanied only by Anna’s sisters, their partners and her father (plus the all-essential photographer and videographer). In an ethereal, golden-lit laneway behind Lavandula, the Swiss Italian lavender farm, Anna met Murray “under this big, old, gorgeous gumtree. It was just this magical moment that I needed to take a deep breath and refocus on what we’re doing and why we’re here.”

She believes her own experience has only made her design experience and connection with brides much richer, “I honestly do genuinely feel every emotion first hand rather than imagining it now. I’m jealous that they are about to experience this amazing happiness and joy; they are in for a ride!” Anna also empathises with her clients even more; “the pressure is overwhelming. I felt the pressure to have an amazing wedding to share with everybody. But, we love each other. That’s all the day is about. You don’t have to have sugared almonds.”

The pressures and pleasures of finding the perfect wedding dress were also kicked up a notch. As a designer, the resources devoted to Anna’s gown were different from most brides. She wore four dresses. Anna reveals she had initially planned on creating three different dresses but ended up making five.

After designing for herself, Anna poured her fresh emotion into the ‘Ceremony’ collection. Both the floral-beaded ‘Anna’ and art deco ‘Vienna’ dresses are derived from Anna’s own wedding gowns. The range is highly hand-embellished and features tulle, sequins, pearlescent beading and some special ‘long-hunted for’ lace. Silhouettes are more tailored or streamlined than the label has leant towards in the past. They have also introduced the inaugural collection of sparkling, understated but impactful Anna Campbell earrings. Dresses are often named for locations in ode to the designer’s love of travel but also her realisation that brides everywhere share a common bond. “The customs might be slightly different, but brides are the same all over the world,” says Anna.

Her best advice for brides and grooms to be: find your comfort zone. “Feel comfortable with everything. Obviously with the person you are marrying but in your dress, in your hair, in your make up, your shoes, your guest list. Feel like a beautiful, glowing, sexy, version for yourself. And don’t be afraid to make a couple of selfish decisions.”

Ms Chinoiserie Says: The romance of Anna’s own beautiful wedding can be seen in her new designs; such a stunning collection!