“Each collection is imbued with our sincere admiration for craft and quality,” say Amy Trinh and Evan Phillips of their sustainable, London-based label that offers celebratory clothing for the world of today
Who is it? Amy Trinh and Evan Phillips are the duo behind WED Studio, the rising London-based label reimagining the outdated codes of occasion wear
Why do I want it? The brand’s beautifully unusual, surrealism-inspired occasion pieces are sustainably made to be cherished, and worn again and again
Where can I find it? Online at wed-studio.com
Who is it? Amy Trinh and Evan Phillips struck up a friendship while studying womenswear at Central Saint Martins, where they shared a table in their final year, and have remained close ever since. It wasn’t until Trinh got engaged four years later, in 2019, that the two friends decided to launch WED Studio together: a London-based label with a mission to slip the script on the outdated world of occasion wear, with sustainably-crafted, surrealism-inspired designs.
“I am not the sort of girl who dreamt of their perfect wedding ‘fairytale’ – it never really interested me,” Trinh tells AnOther. “It didn’t make sense for me to buy a traditional dress, I am not that sort of person. So I approached Evan to see if he would want to make the dress with me, as a fun, silly project, but then it got out of control … We ended up analysing the whole industry and its wasteful and dated aspects of ‘bridalwear’ and it became a business idea. We came up with the brand name in the pub and it went from there.”
Crafting their beautifully unusual pieces from their studio in Hackney, the design duo’s aesthetic is marked by imaginative draping, creative cutting techniques, and resourceful use of deadstock fabrics, which together form WED Studio’s distinctively sculptural, yet wearable, silhouettes. Scrolling through the label’s Instagram, it’s evident these celebratory designs are made to be treasured, though you might not immediately clock their bridalwear roots – something Trinh and Phillips pride themselves on.
“It seemed like although the concept of a union had completely changed in recent times, the bridal industry had not changed at all,” they explain. “So initially the concept was to create pieces which were special enough to be considered occasion but with ready-to-wear practicality, to work in an everyday context too, meaning no more dresses stuffed in attics, worn once and destined for landfill.”
Why do I want it? “Each collection is imbued with our sincere admiration for craft and quality,” say Trinh and Phillips of their designs, which encompass both bespoke made-to-order creations and ready-to-wear pieces, and which champion the concept of buying clothes with as much consideration as you might a wedding dress, and “cherishing it equally”. “We began the brand focusing on occasion wear because we said we did not want to create a brand that was just adding to the already saturated industry of fashion,” they explain. “We really wanted to have a legitimate reason for starting, and it was important that we were not just making clothes but also influencing change.”
“Our working practice is inspired by the method of automatism and ‘exquisite corpse’ that inspired the works of surrealists during the mid-20th century,” says Phillips. “Which means we will work in 3D in an ‘automatic’ way as a starting point, usually based around a specific idea with fabric,” the designer explains of the tactile practice, which involves many rounds of collaborative editing. “Everyone involved has an equal input in order to create a meeting of minds and something that couldn’t be done by a single person.”
For Autumn/Winter 2021, the duo explored the dark history of the polka dot – which, pre-18th century, was once a symbol of the Plague – and the work of surrealist painters Leonora Carrington and Leonor Fini, who both employed the practice of automatism in their work; the former an artist and founding member of the women’s liberation movement in Mexico, and the latter an Argentinian artist best known for her powerful and erotic depictions of women. “We completely reworked the initial collection, which was too tightly designed, which for us was a deep exhalation,” says the pair. “We named the collection this. We felt we were just in a constant state of holding an inhalation, and we just needed that moment where after the exhale we were able to continue with some clarity.”
Looking ahead, Trinh and Phillips hope to expand their design world with their thoughtful creations – made to be loved, and worn again and again – and to continue to reimagine the outdated customs of celebratory clothing. “So many different people have worn WED and that’s totally what it’s about for us. It’s why we started the brand in the first place – to offer something different to that traditional kind of femininity that you see everywhere in occasion wear,” they say. “We want to build the aesthetic with like-minded people and create a world that always surprises and intrigues. We hope to never lose that fantasy and weird aesthetic that we do.”
Where can I find it? Online at wed-studio.com.