Adele Amelia- Savannah’s bespoke bridal accessories line you’ve been waiting for
There are few circumstances where the luxury of bespoke choices are quite so relevant as a wedding. Let’s be honest, most brides have been dreaming of their wedding day since they were old enough to march solemnly down the hall, their little toddler hands clasping a ragtag bouquet of flowers. And in this day and age of commercialized everything - the chance to invest in one-of-a-kind, heritage items is particularly alluring.
Enter designer, Nicki O’Connell of Adele Amelia, whose work has been featured in publications from Style Me Pretty to Paprika Southern. The long-time accessories designer often takes her cue from vintage vibes, finding inspiration from old silk dresses, vintage wedding slippers, and even antique ostrich plumes, incorporating “silks, crystals, beads, and other vintage treasures” into her designs. O’Connell’s work reflects a refined sensibility and meticulous attention to detail - it’s little wonder so many southern brides are seen sporting Adele Amelia.
We had the opportunity to get the inside scoop on designer, Nicki O’Connell’s inspiration, and how the city of Savannah has played an integral part in her work.
Brenna: What is, or has been, your greatest inspiration for your work?
Dance has been a major part of my life since I started ballet at the age of four, and is a major inspiration for my work as a designer. I studied at Parsons School of Design in NYC, and was lured back into dance by the opportunity to take class with some amazing teachers. I was fortunate to spend a few years working as a professional modern and ballet dancer in New York. I began incorporating a love of movement and rhythm in my designs from then on...
I like to think of my work as a joyous expression reflected in the smile of a happy bride!”
Brenna: What roles do the people around you play in your work? How do they inform and inspire what you do?
This is a two-part answer. First, I couldn't do what I do without my family- the incredible support I receive from my husband Mike that allows me to "follow my bliss", and the inspiration that I get from all of the creativity around me. Mike as a writer, and my three kids in their careers all put so much passion into what they do, that I just try to keep up! Second, the opportunity to work directly with Savannah's lovely brides at Mary Elizabeth's Bridal plays a huge role in my design process.”
Brenna: What has been the oddest thing about your journey?
I have my work studio inside Mary Elizabeth's now, but when I started it was at home. I kept my great- grandmother's wedding shoes on a shelf near my sewing table, and every once in a while I would smell the loveliest perfume in the room. I think it came from her presence, and it was meant as encouragement for what I was doing. The shoes are now preserved under glass at the shop. I imagine that she feels very comfortable in historic downtown Savannah with so many other spirits around!
Brenna: How has Savannah helped to bring your work to life? If you were to leave here, how would that change the narrative around what you do?
Savannah is entirely responsible for the direction that my work has taken! While I loved working as a designer with my own boutiques in New York City and Bay Shore (on Long Island), moving to such a huge wedding destination made me decide to try my hand at bridal design. I've always had a love for lace, having been left an old cedar chest filled with my great-grandmother's wedding shoes, a lace parasol, a hand-painted fan from Paris and lots of gorgeous lace fabric. (You can request some of that vintage lace on your veil or garter.) I used some of the lace in my gown when Mike and I got married in our backyard four years ago!
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This world is full of beauty. Why not choose a beautiful life?