Alice and Hannah are the best of friends and it is this 'girl squad' spirit which shines through everything they do from their bridal & made-to-order brand Belle & Bunty to their inspirational social media channels. Alice and Hannah are first and foremost fashion designers and after both getting married and designing their wedding dresses together their fashion label morphed into Belle & Bunty bridal and a desire to help women find their perfect, non-traditional fashion conscious wedding dress. Fast forward a few years and the advent of social media has given them a whole new outlet for their love of fashion with their popular blog turning them into London influencers who know exactly where to find a pink door for a photo shoot. If you think girls just wanna have fun, make sure you stop by their Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, but before that, we caught up with the girls wearing white jeans and chatting all things business, fashion and wedding dresses. Shop Belle & Bunty Edit here
DONNA IDA: Where are you from and where did you grow up?
Alice: I grew up in Chiswick in West London near the river.
Hannah: I am from Bournemouth so grew up with lots of fresh seaside air.
DONNA IDA: How did you get started in the fashion world?
Alice & Hannah: We both went to The London College of Fashion where we studied womenswear design and surface textiles. After discussing doing something together at university and going off to work for other companies we set up our label and worked on in the evenings and weekends to make it happen.
DONNA IDA: What inspired you to start your business and blog?
Alice & Hannah: A love of design and fashion essentially.We loved the idea of creating something unique and also liked the idea of being our own bosses! Our business has changed a lot over the 12 years we have had the label and evolved with the times. What used to be our sketch books and scrap books has now become our musings for our blog and our love of colour and fashion naturally progressed into our Instagram. The bridal stemmed out of our ready to wear line when our customers couldn’t find what they were looking for. We got engaged within six months of each other and thought our brand ethos and aesthetic really translated well to the Bridal market.
DONNA IDA: What is your advice to brides to be who are shopping for a wedding dress?
Alice: Remember you are you! It sounds odd but brides that struggle with finding a dress are often dressing for the ‘ event' rather than dressing to their style. You know what suits you day to day so those cuts and shapes are a great starting point for your wedding dress.
Hannah: Only bring one or two trusted friends with you who are going to be honest but encouraging!
DONNA IDA: What are your tips for taking a great photo?
Alice: Soft natural light and pay as much attention to your background as well as your foreground.
Hannah: I think a natural action shot is the best, a candid image capturing something when you are not posing always looks great to me.
DONNA IDA: What are your wardrobe essentials and how do you wear your jeans?
Alice: I live in jeans be they skinny, culottes, cut offs or dungarees. Mixed with a Chloe ballet pump or boot and a mans shirt tucked in.
Hannah: Great boots are a must, I have a few jets pairs that I love like my Isabel Marant Dicker and Chloé Susanna boots. The ankle length and small block heel works for everyday around town plus looks fab with skinny jeans, culottes or mom jeans.
DONNA IDA: Why do you think jeans are such an iconic item?
Alice & Hannah: They are in most wardrobes and people seem to have more than they need- that’s incredible. Jeans have always been able to conjure up an era or subculture be it the 70s flare, the 80s highwaisted cut, The 90s skinny. Their bad boy roots of being work wear came crashing into the norm thanks to the likes of James Dean and Marlon Brando. Icons making icons I guess! At the end of the day the are practical, cool and given a seasonal tweak they can be worked into any trend. Plus they are so multi functional and there are so many fits and shapes that everyone can find 'their' perfect pair!
DONNA IDA: Which are your favourite jeans from our shoot and why?
Alice: I like the Paige Verdugo with laced trim on the pocket and hem. Just a little bit of added detail to give a wardrobe staple an edge.
DONNA IDA: Who is your denim icon?
Alice: Im going to go classic with Jane Birkin. I love her laid back nonchalant approach to fashion. For the boys its got to be Marlon Brando, swooooon
Hannah: Farrah Fawcett screams icon, the hair, the tan and of course the kick flares.
DONNA IDA: Where in the world are girls best dressed? What kind of style do you admire?
Alice: Paris i think. Simple, elegant with an edge of Masculinity.
DONNA IDA: Describe your style highs and lows?
Alice: I cut all my hair off when i was 18 to look like Natalie Imbruglia but when my dad collected me from the hair dresser he thought i looked like Ken Dodd ! That was a definite low style moment. Highs hummm - well we’ve made hundreds of my wedding dress since i wore it 6 years ago so i think that might have been one of my better style decisions.
Hannah: I used to make a little lycra top every Friday to wear out to clubs when I was in my late teens. Looking back the lace up backs and flimsy bits of jersey were probably a bad idea! I'm definitely more of a Summer person than Winter, I just love being able to through something on with a great bag and pari of shoes without layers and layers of knitwear and outerwear so feel like my style highs happen when the sun is shining!
DONNA IDA: What’s your favourite restaurant?
Alice: Cafe Del Parc. It’s a tiny Tapas restaurant in North London. There is no menu and it’s like being in someones front room they serve what they serve and its always delicious.
Hannah: Dishoom is one of my favourites. Having travelled a lot to India I love the authenticity of the food, but with the modern twist.
DONNA IDA: What is your favourite fashion magazine?
Alice: I'm going to go classic with Vogue. I think the little girl in me still loves the fantasy of it I have hundreds at home.
Hannah: I love LOVE magazine. The shoots are always so theatrical and unique!
DONNA IDA: What advice would you give to a younger you?
Alice: Take time to stop and smell the roses.
Hannah: Be more confident and not so worried about others. What's the worst that can happen?!