The Rolling In Roses debut collection - 'Zena May'
It's with pride and joy that I get to finally announce that the first official Rolling In Roses collection is named Zena May after my wonderful nana, Zena May Jackson. This legendary lady was born in the 1930s and bloomed in the 1940s, so hopefully the influence of these decades can be strongly felt in my designs; the sleek, simple bias cut dresses of the period were so subtly elegant and extremely flattering, and I just love them! Having always been obsessed with the fluidity and experimental nature of bias cut dressmaking (difficult to get right, but stunning when you do) I really wanted the first Rolling In Roses collection to incorporate these techniques alongside simple lines and natural fabrics. We're always hearing from brides in the boutique how they want to look glamorous but feel comfortable, and bias cut wedding dresses are pretty much the most comfortable ones to wear so it's a perfect solution! I was interested in the pattern cutting and dressmaking of the 30s and 40s which tended to use interesting seamlines to add more detail to the simple dresses, like scalloped or chevroned seams, and the evening wear of the time often had dramatic low or split backs which I've included in the collection too.
When it came to styling the collection I wanted to create a strong image which was chic and modern but also classic and dreamy; I was reading Emily Brontë's Wuthering heights whilst I was designing so I couldn't help but be influenced by the romance and drama of that too... I'm obviously just an old clichéd romantic at heart! I'm really keen to emphasise the British style and Yorkshire roots of Rolling In Roses and had already decided to shoot the collection on the Yorkshire moors so the infusion of the Wuthering Heights romance and brooding atmosphere just fitted in perfectly.
I have a tendency to soundtrack most aspects of life with compilation albums and playlists, and so I suppose it was inevitable that I'd want to make one for the Zena May collection; I've put together an awesome soundtrack to the collection which illustrates the mood I hope the designs put across. It features style icons and inspirational women, a couple of Yorkshire accents and some jazz favourites of Zena May herself. It's a good taste of what's usually playing in the workroom or spinning on the boutique record player. As a music obsessive I often chat to brides about their musical plans for their weddings, so hopefully this can serve as a touch of inspiration too. Hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I do!