Annalise Harvey Designs Dress for Jane Austen Festival

Annalise Harvey Designs Dress for Jane Austen Festival

Article Published: Monday 5th August, 2013 - 10:25am

Award-winning bridal designer Annalise Harvey has been specially chosen to design the 'Pride & Prejudice' inspired wedding gown that will close the fashion show at this year's Jane Austen Festival.

The festival, now in its twelfth year, is an annual celebration of the ever-popular novelist and her work. More than sixty events are held over nine days, including readings, workshops and a costume ball, with the fashion show amongst the highlights of the busy schedule.

Taking inspiration from Pride & Prejudice, Austen's most loved novel, the catwalk show will trace a history of fashion throughout the 200 years since the novel's publication before breathing life into the story with a parade of costumes inspired by its much-loved characters.

In keeping with tradition of fashion shows throughout the decades, the event will conclude with a wedding gown, designed by award winning bridal designer Annalise Harvey and inspired by Elizabeth Bennet, the protagonist of Austen's most enduring work.

A 200-year old literary heroine makes an unlikely muse for a bridal designer but this commission is custom-made for Cornwall based Annalise. A graduate from Central St Martin's with an MA from the London College of Fashion, Annie's unusual CV boasts ten years as a theatre costume designer, most recently at internationally acclaimed dance house Sadlers Wells.

But alongside her lifelong love of Jane Austen's work, Annalise's true and most enduring passion is reserved for fashion heritage, exploring the history and the significance of clothing throughout the centuries.

"Every piece of clothing has multiple personal history stories," says Annalise. "Clothing is not just an expression of our own personalities but of the social conventions of the time."

"The force of character that Lizzie displays is what makes designing this gown for the festival such a fascinating project. Before beginning the design process for any gown, whether for a fashion show for a character such as Lizzie or for a modern bride for her own wedding day, I make sure I have a good understanding of my 'source material' - the personality, the likes and dislikes and the aspirations of the wearer. By regularly returning to those key factors throughout the process I am able to create a gown that is beautiful, entirely unique and so natural to the bride that for her to wear any other gown on her wedding day would become unthinkable."

Part of the Prince's House collective of bridal creatives based in Truro, Cornwall, Annalise began designing wedding dresses in 2001.

Alongside her bespoke bridal designs, Annalise also offers the Nostalgia Collection, a range of exquisite heritage inspired bridal gowns hand-made to order. The collection captures the essence of 20th century design throughout the decades, reclaiming 'vintage' fashion by combining period inspired designs with contemporary couture techniques.

Following the Jane Austen Festival, Annalise will be holding a series of events in and around Bath to showcase her collections. Prices start at £850 for the Nostalgia Collection and from £1,500 for a bespoke gown. For further information regarding these events or to book a consultation please visit

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