The Mews Notting Hill is delighted to welcome French bridal couture label Lora Folk to the UK! This month’s ‘Something New’ will explore the universe of Laura Foulquier, the chic Parisian behind the luxury bridal brand.
Last month, I travelled to Paris to meet with Laura in her beautiful boutique, a light and airy space in the 2nd arrondissement, home to the city’s textile district, a neighbourhood where luxury stores sit side by side with vintage treasure troves in shopping arcades dating back to the early 1800s.
Dressed in her partner’s button down shirt, Laura, who lives with her young family and beagle in an apartment above the boutique and atelier below, is the embodiment of the relaxed, Parisian style the label has become famous for.
“Parisian women are very natural and dress very simply… For me, Parisian style is elegant but wearable and I think that this is reflected in our designs.”
The brainchild of Laura and her partner Quentin Mausse, Lora Folk was established in 2011 with the launch of the pair’s first ready – to – wear collection. The enterprise was a natural progression for Laura, who honed her skills in design and marketing at Lanvin, Christian Lacroix and Balmain after graduating from the most prestigious fashion schools in London and Paris.
The young and dynamic duo began small, making each item of clothing to order on just two sewing machines, in their one room boutique/atelier. The label grew from strength to strength and in 2013, when a friend asked Laura to design a gown for her wedding day, Lora Folk Bridal was born…
“One of my friends asked me to make her wedding gown and it was real success – everyone loved it. We decided it was a good time to create a bridal wear label, so we moved the atelier upstairs and opened the space downstairs for clients.”
Laura and Quentin launched Lora Folk Bridal with just four designs. The modern, ultra – feminine gowns were an instant hit, capturing the imagination of French brides – to – be and the attention of the press.
“We sold nearly fifty dresses in our first year and we were very surprised! We added fifteen styles the next year and this year we added fifteen more. Now our appointment book is full and we have a very good vibe.”
When it comes to relaxed, modern bridal wear, no one does it better. Clean, simple lines are combined with fluid skirts to create romantic silhouettes, adorned with delicate detailing – hand beading, embroidery and lace carefully applied to great effect.
“I love the balance between structure and very fluid, soft fabrics. I like the details to be very delicate. I love it when the clients are surprised and say ‘ahh there is a small button here!’, ‘I really love the lace there, I didn’t see it before.’”
Crafted by hand using the finest chiffon and silk crepe, with lace sourced from Calais, each gown in the collection is designed for movement, encouraging the wearer to feel graceful and beautiful – equally perfect for that special intake-of-breath moment when the bride steps into view for the first time and for dancing the night away with friends and family…
“What I love about our dresses is that they are elegant but so easy to wear; you put on one of our gowns and the fabrics are really comfortable – you are not restricted at all. For me, in both my ready – to – wear collection and the wedding dresses – and every piece of clothing in the world – this is the most important thing. Clothing must be wearable as well as elegant.”
If you’d like to learn a little more about what makes Laura tick, please read on…
Q & A: Laura Foulquier
Where does your love of design come from?
I had an aunt who was a seamstress who I loved to watch work and I learned lots of things from her when I was a little girl. One of my grandfathers is a sculptor, the other was an architect and my grandmother is a painter. My great-grandfather used to make lace – he had a very famous lace factory in the North.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Our gowns are very fluid and romantic. I aim for a balance between structure and flow in all of my dresses. I like clean, simple lines and delicate details.
Which designers inspire you?
I used to work for Lanvin, Balmain and Chanel. I really love these brands and I think I take some inspiration from all three. I love the fluidity of Lanvin; Chanel’s detailing and amazing embroidery; and Balmain’s structured shapes.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
I really like working with silk crepe, it’s my favourite and the clients love it. I also love graphic laces – I prefer them to floral patterns.
If you could dress anyone, who would it be?
Charlotte Gainsbourg – I love the way that she wears men’s clothes and is so feminine at the same time – she has a natural elegance which is just crazy. She can wear a man’s jumper with jeans, heels and maybe some red lipstick and WOW! I love her style; she is so beautiful – a real original beauty.
What kind of person do you imagine wearing your designs?
Natural, fresh, spontaneous women. I think natural girls are the sexiest and most elegant.
And what kind of wedding do you imagine one of your brides having?
A very simple, natural outdoor wedding with wild flowers, candles and little lights in the trees. I love this universe, it’s just perfect.
How do you keep your designs so fresh and innovative?
I just keep my eyes opens and look at the world around me. I love travelling and seeing new things every day.
A huge thank you to Laura for taking the time to speak with us. The Mews is the exclusive stockist of Lora Folk in the UK. You can find all of the dresses featured in today’s article at our Notting Hill store.
Please email us to make an appointment: email@example.com
Words by Annora Sutton