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Award-winning fashion designer and bespoke bridal wear master, Matthew O’Brien, takes some time out of his hectic schedule creating masterpieces to chat about his life and style.
Tell us a bit about your background?
From a very young age I was interested in making and designing things. If there was anything creative going on I was there and brimming with enthusiasm. I was constantly taking things apart and putting them back together again, much to everyone’s delight!
At the tender age of 16 I started a men’s clothing brand with just an ironing board and my trusty sewing machine. My hobby progressed to my clothes being sold internationally, especially in the water sports arena. But I kept it a secret from my family and friends. It was only when I realized that I was actually really good at it and that I had found what I loved that I overcame my shyness and started to tell people. I understand now, that I am very lucky to have discovered my talent and also love it!
I studied fine art, product design and ICT at A-level before heading to London in my gap year to see what the capital could offer my career in fashion. Returning I studied fashion design at Liverpool John Moores and that was that.
In 2016 I was named Young UK Fashion Designer of the Year by the fabulous Hilary Alexander of The Daily Telegraph, Britain’s Top Designer at London Fashion Week and Vogue Italia’s Ones to Watch so I think that’s when I truly realized that I was doing what I was meant to be doing and nothing was going to stop me now. Whatever the industry wanted to throw at me I was ready and it was all going to be worth it!
What can customers expect when they walk through your door?
Our Chester showroom is all about the experience and enjoyment. We want our clients and guests to love the whole process of creating their bespoke wedding dress from the moment that they walk through the door and are welcomed by Danielle. We can offer an entire wedding package for brides thanks to our partnerships with leading Chester businesses such as City Aesthetics, Elite travel concierge, Philips Hughes hairdressing and Kat Hannon photography. Brides are able to pick and choose whatever they need which can take the stress out of the process.
Being on the Rows we are on a busy frontage but as soon as you step through the door we want you to feel that you are calm and cocooned in all things fabulous whilst we create their personal masterpiece.
However many times you do it, you never tire of the big reveal and seeing the delight (sometimes teary) on brides’ faces. And that’s simply amazing for us.
How would you describe your personal style?
For me, designing is all about shape and structure. As I have mentioned I was always pulling things apart and putting them back together and this led to my interest in 3D design at college and taking a course in electronics and robotics whilst I was at uni. I think this interest in the more mechanical, industrial side of things gives me a unique perspective to create people’s dreams in outfits; constructing dresses to suit real women and understand their needs in fashion. I love the concept of bringing people’s ideas to life and each of those can be completely individual and unique, pushing the boundaries of British fashion’s perspective.
As for my own clothes, I love unusual fabrics and prints are my current favourite thing, mixing with sharp monochrome. Love it!
What's your favourite thing about working in the wedding industry?
Working with real ladies to create their dream dress. Couture can often get caught up in the latest trend, more about the dress than the model. Whereas, bespoke bridal is the other way around. It’s all about the bride; her ideas, her needs and her foibles, tackling those little problem areas we all have so that she looks amazing, but more importantly feels amazing for her big day. When we can achieve that we can go home happy.
Which celebrity would you most like to dress and why?
I was on a fashion television show with Rihanna and she loved my designs so I would love the opportunity to dress her. She is a true style icon and risk taker, not following anyone else so, yes, I would love to work with her to create something truly unique and amazing.
Check out www.mattobrien.co.uk
Unlike a national magazine, Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding is packed with area specific features, venues in your area, inspirational real weddings and regular features on bridal fashion, beauty, photography, cars, stationery, flowers, cakes, music, entertainment, catering, hair & beauty, etc.
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