The Mews is delighted to welcome French bridal couture designer Margaux Tardits to our Bristol, London and New York boutiques! This month’s ‘Something New’ will explore the world of the designer behind the brand…
Margaux Tardits grew up in a household of creatives, her parents both graduates of Penninghen – a prestigious Parisian art school which counts Matisse and Mucha amongst its alumni. Margaux’s own creativity manifested itself at a young age, crafting clothes for her dolls using fabric and cellotape.
She describes the moment she realised she could combine her passion for designing and dressmaking in a career as a fashion designer as a pivotal one.
“From earliest childhood, I loved creating and inventing new things – it runs in the family. One day my mother told me that if I became a fashion designer, I could combine design and dressmaking in my work. I must have been seven or eight at the time. It became an obsession.”
With her career path decided, Margaux began her formal training in couture sewing before going on to study fashion design at the Atelier Chardon Savard, Paris. Following graduation, Margaux cut her teeth at Balenciaga, Oscar de la Renta and Lanvin, before branching out in 2011 to launch her eponymous label.
“I like my designs to be structured, elegant and feminine – not an obvious combination to put together but, to me, that’s exactly what makes it interesting.”
The designer began creating bespoke wedding gowns after her sister (and now business partner), Alice, asked her to make a dress for her own wedding. After three years of crafting made – to – measure gowns, Margaux unveiled her first capsule collection – five dresses inspired by the golden age of Hollywood.
Each dress in the first collection is named after a classic film, with the designer citing Wallis Simpson, Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly and Lauren Baccal as her big screen icons. Margaux launched her second collection last year, the inspiration behind which will be revealed this summer.
“The positioning of The Mews is in perfect harmony with my own philosophy; placing value on fine fabrics, quality dresses, skilled workmanship, and doing so with bags of style!”
Each gown is crafted using only the most luxurious natural fibres; the finest silk chiffon and crepe from Italy, as well as quintessentially French lace from Calais – a fragile and disappearing art Margaux is determined to preserve.
“I work predominantly in silk chiffon and crepe. Silk chiffon gives the figure a softer, hazier feel, while silk crepe gives it a more structured and modern look.”
Classic silhouettes are reworked with modern lines and a mixture of vintage and contemporary details, while a clever use of layering reveals glimpses of plunging necklines and low backs without giving too much away.
With each gown, Margaux’s aim is to celebrate the wearer’s unique femininity and beauty, to make her feel desirable and for the groom to fall in love with his bride all over again…
“I love to exalt women, to make them desirable. I think a groom should be love-struck more than ever when he sets eyes on the bride on the big day.”
Read on if you’d like to learn a little more about what makes Margaux tick…
Q&A with Margaux Tardits
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the things around me – cinema, travelling, ethnic art, fashion from the 30s to the 50s. The work of Maria Grazia Chiuri (Valentino and Dior) is a huge source of inspiration for me, and of course the dresses of Christian Dior, YSL, Balenciaga, Vionett, and Grey.
What is your favourite bridal accessory? How important are accessories?
I’m an out-and-out fan of the veil. For me, it’s the finishing touch and immediately gives a suggestion of magic and mystique. Choosing the right one is essential – my preference is for silk tulle, with or without a lace border – whatever allows for a soft-focus effect. I’m also a real fan of hair accessories- we’ve even designed some combs and grips using guipure and porcelain.
How does being based in Paris influence your designs?
Living in Paris is an amazing opportunity if one is a fashion lover – after all, it is the fashion capital of the world. Shows are very well-attended and many celebrities go out of their way to be present. It’s also a city rich in art history, which is a huge source of inspiration.
How would you describe the ‘je ne sais quoi’ so famously attributed to Parisian women?
Parisians love beautiful things. Going down to the shops in pyjamas or joggers is an absolute no no! Nevertheless, Parisian style remains natural. For me, the secret of elegance is taking care of one’s appearance without making too much of an effort.
How do you keep your designs so fresh and innovative?
Fashion evolves constantly – it’s an endless process! But when you work mainly in white alone, you have to keep coming up with new ideas – new cuts, fabrics and influences…The number of possible combinations is endless. I don’t think I’ll ever run out of new ideas.
What kind of person do you imagine wearing your designs? What is important to her?
The women of today are free. They have character and they want to have it their way – this inspires me no end. I love the idea of using a dress, a hairstyle, or make-up to reveal a woman’s beauty…It’s essential that a bride feels beautiful, desirable and feminine on her big day.
What are your top tips for wedding day styling?
I always advise the bride not to overlook shoes. Despite the length of the dress, they are seen with every step she takes, every move she makes on the dance floor, every time she sits. I also advise keeping it simple with make-up, as going too OTT can spoil the dress and add ten years on to the bride in ten minutes! The same goes for hair – not too chichi. Up or down, anything goes – so long as it stays natural looking. The guests shouldn’t come away saying the bride was in disguise.
How do you feel about bringing your wedding gowns to the women of the UK and the USA via The Mews?
The positioning of Mews is in perfect harmony with my own philosophy; placing value on fine fabrics, quality dresses, skilled workmanship, and doing so with bags of style! It is a pleasure to see my dresses on display in a boutique which takes this approach – in the bridalwear world, being a part of The Mews collection is a very strong endorsement.
What direction do you think the French bridalwear industry is going?
The wedding world has come a long way in recent years in France. Many new makers have started up, rejuvenating the image of wedding gowns and offering dresses with younger and more modern lines. Previously, only the big brands such as Pronovias and Cymbeline etc. existed…Today the choice is vast – we all have different styles, which gives the prospective bride a wider range to choose from.
A huge thank you to Margaux for taking the time to speak with us.
The Mews is the exclusive stockist of Margaux Tardits in the UK and USA. You can find all of the dresses featured in today’s article at our Notting Hill boutique, with most gowns stocked at our Clifton and New York boutiques too.
Please visit our boutique websites to make at an appointment to try on Margaux’s collections at The Mews.
Visit Margaux Tardit’s website to see more of her beautiful designs.
Words by Annora Sutton