With an impeccable flair for designing high-end wedding gowns and special occasion garments, Jamie Wray is celebrating opening her flagship designer boutique in Clyde.
The Margaret Wray Bridal boutique displays her exclusive catalogue of couture, bespoke and vintage-inspired wedding dresses.
“I want my clients to feel empowered, feminine and strong so my gowns are never the same because each one is different,” she says. “My signature collection has 15 base designs for clients to choose from, try on and then we hand tailor to their requirements.”
Jamie spent many years in London working as a garment technologist in women’s clothing, fashion knitwear and men’s tailoring.
“ I’ve been designing and making clothes and wedding gowns for family members since my early 20s. In London I made a few gowns for friends of friends and some Kiwi brides and my Margaret Wray bridal brand evolved from there.”
Returning to Clyde over 18 months ago, Jamie is relishing now having her own boutique studio space.
“ Vintage style is my go to so I was lucky the store had vintage décor. My family helped to paint the interior walls a ‘hint of rose pink’ and my Dad made the hanging racks out of copper piping. We also painted over the original debossed wallpaper and it looks stunning with the copper accents.”
Fabrics, trims and exclusive bridal accessories are sourced from the UK and Jamie is building up her New Zealand suppliers to support the local industry.
“I love to rummage at markets and secondhand stores for gems to use in the gowns as they play an important role in my vintage aesthetic. It depends on what each bride wants and I can incorporate as much or as little as required.”
She says it is best to allow anything from nine to twelve months for dress design from start to finish.
“I like to think of the dress as a total experience. Brides can come in, soak up some inspiration, talk directly to me as the designer and dress creator and together we create the magic for their day. My signature collection is only the beginning of what can be achieved and we can match suits and bridesmaid dresses to complement the bridal gown. Clyde is a lovely town to visit and a good option for a weekend getaway or to bring the whole wedding entourage to work out the wedding plans.”
Jamie says the key to her success is ensuring brides love the end result.
“The feedback is really lovely with lot of comments about how easy and calming my design process is. I like to apply my knowledge and skills to create a gown to fit perfectly, even if the bride has absolutely no idea what she wants or suits. My clients are always very happy with the outcome and how comfortable they feel in their dress on the big day.”
Tailored Men’s Suits
Margaret Wray Bridal boutique carries a range of modern and contemporary suits for men sourced from New Zealand companies renowned for their high end tailoring methods.
“We have 15 suit styles ranging from standard, tux and stand-alone jackets in traditional colours like navy, black and grey along with some textured options in different colourways,” says owner Jamie Wray. “ Fabric choices range from 100% merino wool to slightly less structured cotton and linen options.”