Like many of you, we were shocked and saddened to hear of designer Kate Spade’s passing earlier this month. Her cheeky, girly designs have been a staple in so many of our closets for years.
For one Anomalie bride, the news was particularly poignant, as her wedding was infused with the happy, colorful Kate Spade aesthetic. We sat down with Stephanie Liou for this heartfelt tribute to Kate Spade, and a look into her custom wedding dress.
What inspired you to have a Kate Spade-themed wedding?
I’ve been a Kate Spade fan since I discovered the brand as a teenager, and my friends and family all associate me with Kate Spade because of my overwhelming love for bright colors and bold prints. One of my favorite memories was when a group of friends all pitched in to buy me my first Kate Spade purse when I was in college — it’s still one of my most treasured possessions!
As soon as Theo and I began planning our wedding, we knew we wanted to combine our aesthetics, and that meant incorporating the Kate Spade spirit somehow to represent me. #wedcolorfully
What were some of the favorite elements of your theme “Kate Spade Rides the NY Subway”?
The first thing we settled on in the planning process was that we needed to have a transit map as the seating chart. Although it was a crazy process, Theo and I were able to make this item and I think we will display it in our home pretty much for the rest of our lives. Each table was its own train line and each guest was a stop on the line!
We also had a ton of fun with colorful balloons on our photo shoot with our wedding party and had an amazing rainbow macaron tower made by my super-talented mother-in-law. And I’ve gotten endless compliments on the black and white striped dresses that our bridesmaids wore — plus four of them have already worn their dress to another event, which I think is pretty amazing!
What was your reaction of hearing the news about her passing?
She was such a style icon! I was incredibly sad, especially because of the reports that she had struggled with depression and had potentially taken her own life. As a physician-in-training, I’ve worked with many patients struggling with mental health challenges. It is so hard and lonely to be in such a dark place, especially if others are relying on you to be strong, or when you see endless perfect glossy images of your peers on social media (like wedding photos, for instance).
I really hope that we can begin to speak more openly about depression in this country, and hope that anyone who is reading this and struggling knows there is always someone to talk to via the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as well as people to text (if you can’t quite muster up the energy or courage to speak) via Crisis Text Line!
Why did you decide to go the custom route for your wedding dress?
Initially, I went with friends and family to a variety of bridal boutiques to try on dresses but didn’t anything that I absolutely loved. Although I hadn’t ever thought much about my dress, I knew after trying on different dresses on that there were certain elements I wanted (sequins, a big horsehair skirt, a bow on the back, etc) but I wasn’t finding any dresses that fit the bill. As a busy medical student, I didn’t want to spend more time endlessly trying on dresses, but also didn’t want to pay so much money for something that I felt merely “ok” about and would still require a ton of alterations (because I don’t fit into standard sizes, I was getting quotes of $500-$1000+ for alterations).
I had been getting Anomalie ads on Facebook for a while, and after talking to a friend who knew someone that had loved their Anomalie dress, I decided to give them a call. I was immediately impressed by the detailed and insightful questions that my stylist asked, the incredibly reasonable prices, and opportunity to create a dress that was perfectly “me” and not a plain white. And after I received the first sketch, I knew that there was no way I could go back to a generic off-the-rack dress.
What was the favorite part of your wedding dress design experience?
The sketches were gorgeous, and getting the little fabric swatches (and sequin options!) in the mail was pretty exciting too! But overall, I think my favorite part was getting workshop updates and slowly seeing my vision come to life. It was a bit nerve wracking to buy something that didn’t yet exist, but so much fun to get to participate in its creation every step of the way. I would text photos of updates to my friends, who were almost more excited than I was about the progress.
When I received my dress, it was like unwrapping the best Christmas present ever! It was absolutely breathtaking. Nearly every guest at the wedding came up to tell me how “me” and fun the dress was, and it was also very comfortable and easy to dance in because it fit so well.