WORDS BY TOM CUMMING
The perfect wedding dress can be nearly impossible to find, and can drive many a bride to insanity searching; the right fit, length, veil or no veil? But, how often do we stop and consider what impact the perfect dress might have on the environment? Well, thanks to Calèche, that’s one less thing brides have to worry about.
Head designer, Liz Foubert, debuted ‘Natural Beauty’ during the 2017 Adelaide Fashion Festival Couture Culture runway in a blaze of elegance, whimsy, and most importantly, ethical sustainability.
The driving motivation behind the ‘Natural Beauty’ collection was to create gowns that don’t harm the environment, without sacrificing Calèche’s long-earned reputation. Liz went above and beyond by creating 12 awe-inspiring looks, each made from renewable, recycled materials and designed to be restyled and worn again.
I was lucky enough to tag along to the editorial shoot for this collection and spent a fabulous day soaking in good fashion and great company behind the scenes. Our first trip for the day was a quick drive up to Stirling to the first shoot location where we met the team already underway in a sun-dappled meadow, like something out of a fairytale! Surrounded by natural flowers, ancient trees and golden light, Finesse model Megan Ryan looked ethereal, fitting the enchanted image perfectly. It was hard to imagine the flowing bridal gowns sweeping through shot after shot were once plastic bottles, but therein lies the talent of Liz Foubert.
It wasn’t long before Haley Renee nailed the shots (like, really not long at all, some people are just that skillful) and we were on our way to location number two for the day, Maslin Beach. The gowns were on rotation again, striking a jaw-dropping contrast against the natural foliage and vibrant sand.
Hanging out at a sun-drenched beach made me forget that I was working. I was, but it didn’t feel like it let me tell you. My favorite thing about the Natural Beauty collection was the vast variety in style throughout. Structured silhouettes, flowing lace numbers, fitted bodices and traditional tailoring. The dresses Liz has created made me want to be a bride (and I’m a guy!)
The team breezed around Maslin’s finding the perfect backdrop for each shot, attracting a few onlookers. To be honest, who could blame them? These Calèche pieces are more than enough to draw a crowd; I wonder how shocked they would be if they knew the dreamy gown shining in the sun was crafted from reconstituted bamboo?
The third and last location for the day found us in a wheat field not far from the beach, a hidden gem that Liz herself had sniffed out in her travels. By this point, the sun had sunk low and cast the perfect light across the remaining pieces to be shot. Throughout the last snaps, Megan wove her way barefoot through the waist length wheat with a gentle breeze and beautiful scenery accompanying her, perfectly encapsulating the stripped back and natural aura this collection conveys.
Dusk upon us, the day wrapped up. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say there was magic in the air for the Calèche shoot, a collection that made me feel nostalgic yet excited for the future. Calèche has proven that incredible pieces can be constructed from unlikely materials and it’s only a matter of time in my opinion before other significant labels get on board! So here’s to a true trailblazer, Calèche Bridal.