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Aje Wedding Gowns Designed For Nadia Fairfax-Wayne

This is a story where pillars of personal friendship, creative partnership and a love for fashion redefine the traditional bridal experience. Nadia Fairfax-Wayne, personal friend to Aje Co-Founders Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest and long standing friend of the brand, married her greatest love in an intimate ceremony in March 2021 wearing a bespoke Aje ceremony dress and an accompanying bespoke reception dress.

 

Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest shared an insight with The Aje Report on their experience designing for a bride. Whilst Nadia Fairfax-Wayne reveals how her special kinship with Adrian and Edwina translated into two memorable dresses for her wedding day.

Nadia Fairfax-Wayne wears a bespoke Aje ceremony dress on her wedding day

Nadia with her husband Michael Wayne wearing Aje, designed by Aje Co-Founders

Nadia twirls in her bespoke Aje reception dress

The feeling of family sensibility is more than palpable at the heart of this intimate creation process. What parts of your friendship with Nadia inspired you to reframe Nadia from an Aje Girl to an Aje Bride?

 

Edwina Forest, Aje Co-Founder: Nadia is a very integral part of our Aje journey and has been present, through both work and friendship, during very formative times for Adrian and I and whilst we are not wanting to make a habit of creating wedding dresses, we were open to doing so for dear friends like Nadia.

 

A wedding dress is one of the most special, memorable and sensitive clothing decisions one will ever make as it needs to convey so much about one’s internal state of being. It is a clothing decision layered with nostalgia and sentiment, and is both tangible and dreamlike.

 

Accordingly, the creation process should be intimate, in order to allow a natural process of collaboration to flourish. Given the history of our friendship, it felt very natural to be creating this together as we were able to arrive at the desired place very quickly, as many layers of the onion had already been peeled back.

Nadia with Aje Co-Founders in her bridal fitting at Aje HQ

Were there quintessential fabrications that you and Edwina wanted to experiment with when creating Nadia’s bridal looks? How did these fabrications inform the design?

 

Adrian Norris, Aje Co-Founder: Over the years Edwina and I have come to celebrate our core signature fabrics, because we know how they will react when we experiment with shapes. For Nadia’s bridal dresses, we could not look past silk taffeta. Although we had an array of fabrics in mind from a linen silk combination to crinkle silk linen, we landed on silk taffeta as it had all the characteristics we desired. We could seamlessly create volume as the tightly twisted yarn allows it to retain its shape, it has a beautiful sheen and is also lightweight so the dresses could also be functional for the special occasion.

 

How did Aje signatures of voluminous dresses and sculptural details influence the design process for Nadia’s two bespoke wedding dresses and her expectations for a bridal look?

 

Edwina Forest: Anyone who knows Nadia will appreciate that she is very headstrong and decisive. In terms of her fashion likes, she treads a perfect balance between classicism and adventure. She came to us with some very considered ideas around details she wanted her dress to embody, and we worked together to weave the Aje loves of volume, sculptural form and nonchalance with these in order to come up with a creation that was romantic, dramatic, playful, and cool - in effect, the dress was a personification of the bride herself, through an Aje lens.

 

"A wedding dress is one of the most special, memorable and sensitive clothing decisions one will ever make as it needs to convey so much about one’s internal state of being." - Edwina Forest

Design illustrations of Nadia's bespoke wedding gowns

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A second bridal look was designed unbeknownst to Nadia, what were your thoughts behind creating a reception dress for her?

 

Adrian Norris: We really wanted to surprise Nadia with this reception dress. Edwina and I created a mini dress iteration of her ceremony dress to be worn at the reception. In her first moments as Mrs Nadia Fairfax-Wayne we wanted this dress to make her feel like she could dance for hours on end.

 

Share the craftsmanship considerations which made Nadia’s ceremony dress so distinctive to her personal sense of style?

 

Edwina Forest: The long ties on the back of the dress played to Nadia’s fun, elegant and relaxed nature. Instead of fastening it in a classic bow, we decided to loosely tie it which created a sense of effortlessness and insouciance, offset against the structured bodice and dramatic sculptural form of the skirt. Additionally, this combination of structure and drama, were also a nod to sentiments of Nadia’s personality reflecting her strong work ethic and sense of loyalty whilst also exploring her fun, infectious and humorous nature. There’s definitely never a dull moment with Nadia, and we loved creating a dress with so many unexpected special details … the volume, the drama, the thigh high cheeky split, the mini party version.

"In her first moments as Mrs Nadia Fairfax-Wayne we wanted this dress to make her feel like she could dance for hours on end." - Adrian Norris

A beautiful garden party was held after the wedding ceremony

A recognisable design signature to your wedding looks lies in the fascination of your special relationship with Edwina and Adrian. What was your favourite moment during this creative process, in being able to honestly share your desires for your wedding dress with them?

 

Nadia Fairfax-Wayne: It is quite funny really, most people say finding or designing the dress is the hardest part - but for us it came with ease. I typically love colour and bold prints, so I have to admit that before my first meeting with Adrian and Edi I was quite torn on whether to go a little wild and wear a bizarre hue to really step away from the norm, but yes - my guiding fashion stars swayed into what was of course the right choice. The tricky bit was creating something relatively classic, but still staying true to my audacious personal style. With them knowing me so well, the process was filled with tranquility. We "hit play" on having something made that day! The ruching at the front of the dress made me feel like I was a big wild flower, and gave me an element to play with while waltzing around the venue. The extended corset kept it refined and elegant.

"The ruching at the front of the dress made me feel like I was a big wild flower, and gave me an element to play with while waltzing around the venue." - Nadia Fairfax-Wayne

Your wedding was an expansive fairytale and looked like absolute euphoria. How did your two Aje wedding dresses make you feel as a bride and fashion maven?

 

Nadia Fairfax Wayne: 'Twas truly a dream come true. How does one word this? Basically impossible. It felt so right that it came from someone so close to home. It brought out all kinds of emotions. I'm truly thankful for all the times Adrian, Edi and myself have spent together over the years as friends and I’m beyond proud to have been a part of the Aje journey. I’m constantly blown away to see the wonderful business they have made Aje into today. It was an absolute honour to have been able to wear a designer that has been such a big part of my life, on the most important day of my life thus far.

 

Can we expect you to repurpose your bridal mini dress for another occasion in the future or will this piece become a part of your treasured archive?

Nadia Fairfax Wayne: Without a doubt... imagine cowboy boots, and an akubra please!

Wedding Photographer: Alice Maharon

Fittings Photographer: Sam Lebib

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