For those with sewing skills, it’s inevitable that friends and family will request alterations. For Jamie Richards, who has over 15 years of experience as a highly-skilled garment technician working for premium and luxury brands, the familial requests were for wedding gowns - and Richards was happy to oblige. Having always dreamed of starting her own brand, Richards’ confidence grew alongside the ever-increasing number of requests. When she found the perfect studio space in central London, Richards took the plunge, leaving her full-time job, and embarking on a journey to create a bespoke, wedding brand which encapsulated her values of craftsmanship, honesty and originality. Margaret Wray was born and named after both of Richards’ grandmothers - perfectly fitting for a brand with a contemporary vintage feel. Richards is the creative director of Margaret Wray and remains in charge of designing and hand finishing all the gowns. From creating one-off bespoke gowns, Richards grew Margaret Wray to full collections, while retaining the bespoke option.
2017 will be the first time Margaret Wray is showing at New Zealand Fashion Week, as part of the New Zealand Wedding Magazine show. Despite the distance from their home in London, Margaret Wray has one current New Zealand stockist, with a few more in the works. Margaret Wray will also be opening a studio in New Zealand, and are looking for more wholesale opportunities. While Margaret Wray is typically vintage-inspired, Richards is not scared of creating unconventional bridal options. Unique designs in her collection include a Marlene Dietrich-inspired jumpsuit, as well as gowns crafted from dove grey Italian silk.