We wanted to capture a moment, a feeling in both the Van Jou and Bloem Collections.
Van Der Velde is a fashion collection that’s known for elegant looks that celebrate size inclusivity. Designed by Matthew Christopher and William Van Der Velde, they are meticulous about the fit of each gown ensuring it highlights feminine lines. For their Spring/Summer 2022 line, they introduced Bloem and Van Jou, two bridal collections that include “modern, fresh fashion pieces, timeless laces, and unique, jaw-dropping beading.” We talked to the two designers behind these lines about where they found inspiration and what their favorites are.
“The pandemic pushed our focus from the traditional large venue weddings to backyards and beaches.”
When asked about the inspiration behind the collections, William Van Der Velde stated “We wanted to capture a moment, a feeling in both the Van Jou and Bloem Collections. They were inspired by island breezes that gently heighten your senses while your feet sink into the warm sand. Your mind and spirit lift as the air swirls around you, encasing your body in pulsating rhythms.” As for creating these designs during a difficult year, “the pandemic pushed our focus from the traditional large venue weddings to backyards and beaches. As a result, we lightened our dresses to make them look and feel like they belonged in these new settings.”
Matthew Christopher says that the lines were inspired by two worlds coming together as he and Van Der Velde joined forces. “The Van Jou and Bloem Lines bring a romantic, glamorous, and chic look with the utmost care taken with our couture fit and construction. Inspiration flows into life from island breezes to the big screen of Hollywood’s golden age. Luxurious fabrications that capture the eye’s attention and luminous romance.” He goes on to explain that when designing a gown they “begin our design with the exquisite details which call a woman’s curves to the forefront, and we accentuate every feminine shape of the female figure.”
When defining each individual line, the pair describes the Van Jou bride as “a well-accomplished modern woman that knows what she wants. She is up-to-date on the latest styles, understands fabrics, quality, and construction. She is elegant, sexy, confident, and compassionate.” And the Bloem bride, “comes from all walks of life. She has a zest for life. Her wedding is fun and carefree yet very well put together.”
Christopher’s favorite in the collection is “Morgan” in the Bloem Line (shown below on the left). “I am obsessed with the ‘Morgan’ gown. It is chic and understated yet turns every head in the room.” Van Der Velde states his pick is the Van Jou ‘Willow’ gown. The dress just cries out to be on the beach with gentle breezes. It is an incredibly versatile dress, whether you wear it with or without sleeves, a skirt or no overskirt, or just simply the dress by itself; it’s beautiful.” Shown on the right.
Looking ahead at bridal fashion for 2022, Christopher and Van Der Velde say to expect clean architectural looks and additions to gowns like sleeves and capes. “We are excited about these removable ‘accessories’ for varied looks throughout the wedding day. Brides are moving towards large weddings again with dramatic gowns and a lighter dress for the reception. The accessories are going to help retailers bridge that gap. Each dress in our 2022 line is constructed to enhance and highlight curves on slim and curvy figures.”
BLOEM BY VAN DER VELDE
VAN JOU BY VAN DER VELDE
Images by Aly Carroll
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