If you've ever been a bridesmaid, you'll be all too familiar with the politics of dressing for the occasion. Dresses are chosen for you, you're obliged to wear the same thing as four others – all of whom have completely different body shapes and sizes – and, as a result, you all end up feeling slightly uncomfortable. Or maybe you're given the choice, which feels like too much pressure. After all, where can you really find lovely, affordable bridesmaid options that you'll actually want to wear? Well, now Rixo has provided the answer to such a question.
Hot on the heels of Rixo's debut bridal line, today sees the launch of a brand new range of dresses, specifically designed with bridesmaid duties in mind. This translates to a concise edit of five different styles, each available in the brand's Virtues of Rosemary print in mint green, dusky blue, soft peach (the good kind) and cream. There are halterneck dresses, wrap styles and button down midis – all designed by Henrietta Rix & Orlagh McCloskey, Rixo's co-founders.
'We wanted it to be pieces that you can wear in another way after the day, like with [our] bridal [collection],' says McCloskey. 'We looked at how we can make sure we’re catering to different body shapes and what people like or don’t like, so we wanted to have something for everyone. Obviously we can’t go and make bridesmaid dresses in every single shape and print because we do try to be as sustainable as possible and make what the customer wants rather than over-producing for the sake of it. So, we took our best-selling shapes and thought about using heavier fabrics, just to make sure these dresses worked on a practical level, with no underwear showing through and that they photographed well. It’s nice a bride could choose the print she likes and then say 'pick your favourite', rather than making someone wear the same shape as everyone because nobody is the same shape and size.'
The colours, McCloskey says, were inspired by vintage lingerie and silk slips from the 1930s but, as Rix explains, the pair have been collecting information on what their customers want from a bridesmaid dress for years now. 'Over the past five years, we’ve had people cherry picking our dresses to be bridesmaids, so we had a lot of information from that on what people were looking for. Also, we had a gut feeling of what we think brides will like on their day.'
Both McCloskey and Rix felt that there was a lack of contemporary, affordable options in the bridal market, both for brides and their bridesmaids, so have approached both collections in the same way – with a strong sense of their customer base and what they really want. As a result, it feels like a thoughtful offering of dresses which don't just look nice, they're designed to be comfortable and practical, too. 'I think for bridesmaids, they are really on duty on the wedding day, which is often something that people forget,' says Rix. 'You’re on show and photos are being taken but you’re also helping the bride, bending down, sorting her dress... so these are dresses we thought people would feel comfortable in all day and be able to dance in in the evening. They really are day-to-evening dresses to make the bridesmaids feel like the best version of themselves.'