The look of love: selections from our new collection of wedding invitations.
Before you say “I do,” you’ll have an important match to make—finding the ideal wedding stationery for your ceremony. As you start to consider your options, we’d invite you to take a look at how our team of designers have translated contemporary fashion and design trends into the timeless language of wedding stationery. Cat Chi, our Design Director, was in charge of moodboarding and developing new themes for our 2017 wedding collection, and we asked her to walk us through her influences, insights, and process.
Call this year’s wedding stationery New Romantic, if you like. “Even though it’s a very diverse collection,” Chi notes, “every piece has a very heightened and even traditional sense of romance—no matter how you choose express it.”
“We pay a lot of attention to what’s happening in the greater world of design, but especially fashion and beauty. Pressed flowers were all over the runways this year, but they’re also a staple of Victorian fashion, so even something very trendy is ultimately quite timeless. This year, though, you saw them on clothing and in makeup. Rosie Assoulin’s models walked out in full facial flowers, for example.” But what makes pressed and preserved flowers unique? “Personally, I love the texture of pressed flowers, and the way that they heighten and capture what’s fleeting about wedding floral arrangements. You can feel the ephemerality—a beautiful paradox.”
Speaking of the runways, something else in fashion caught our eye as we designed for 2017. “Velvet was everywhere,” says Chi, “and I couldn’t be happier. My closet is half velvet at this point. I love the tactility and texture of it, but it’s beautiful watching the dynamism of fine fabric in motion. We tried to translate those decadent real-life elements onto paper.” In this case, quite literally.
Gold foil and other metallic accents are a common thread across many styles of stationery we’ve designed, but Chi wanted to find new forms for this timeless accent. She looked at influences from past and present for this year’s take on the material. “Our gold foil work draws from the mobiles and sculptures of Alex Calder, but also from the new trend in minimalist jewelry from designers like WWAKE. Using just a little bit, in fine lines, makes the impact of metallic foil that much more powerful. This year, our use of foil is about the elegance of restraint.”
There’s a historical antecedent to this part of our collection, but there’s also just popular demand. One of our most popular invitations was a gold design inspired by Art Deco forms, and we wanted to find a way to give people more of what they wanted. Invitations like “Cassandre” and “Brigette” take cues from present-day minimalism as well as the bold geometry and composition of Deco architecture and interiors.
Pressed flowers and composed deco floral prints are one thing, but Chi’s team wanted to find a way to combine current trends in rustic floral design with our users’ love of luxurious surfaces. “I found a bit of inspiration in a very ancient source—Minoan jewelry, especially laurel crowns made from traditionally hammered gold.” For the design of invitations like “Fontainebleau” and “Girardin,” our designers dipped and sprayed live flowers in gold paint to create luminous arrangements for a more modern couple.
Ombres, watercolors, and other ethereal touches are a common feature in contemporary design and decor, and they have a special resonance to paper wedding invitations. “We drew a lot of inspiration from stoneware glazes and other methods from ceramics,” says Chi, “but there’s a long artistic tradition of paper marbling and dip-dyeing that seemed like a perfect path to bringing painterly accents to stationery. We experimented with both media to produce these invitations.”
To tie it all together, our designers turned to some of the epitomal floral artists—the Impressionists. “We wanted to create something that was self-evidently handmade and that called attention to what’s lovely about painting—the softness and saturation of color, without entering into twee territory,” says Chi. It’s been a century or so, but nothing says that like Impressionism. We even named one invitation “Giverny” in honor of our influences.
For couples who need no extra design elements to express their joy, we wanted to make sure that our typographic designs reflected them exactly as they wished to be seen. “I think there’s two themes we see. The first is a return to modernism, and we drew a lot of inspiration from fine art monographs and the typography of new design magazines like The Gentlewoman. The second is an interest in a new style of calligraphy. It’s loose and lovely, and nothing like you’d see in illuminated manuscripts—but it’s something that shows great artistry and great care, even in the most casual of expression.” Whether you want your invitations to have a similarly effortless touch or are opting for something with a bit more visual drama, you’ll find plenty of consideration in all of this year’s offerings.