With over 20 years experience in the fashion and bridal industry our head designer Sarah Bussey is the creative force behind the Ivory & co label. With a passion for design fostered at the prestigious Goldsmiths College London, Sarah and her business partner Alex Longhi have worked together to make Ivory & co. a globally recognized brand and a successful and stylish bridal design house.
With an emphasis on creating stunning gowns with the highest quality materials Sarah believes that it is essential to put the bride at the centre of the Ivory and co. design philosophy. “We understand that this is the single most important garment a bride will ever buy and wear. The most important element for every Ivory and co. bride is that we carefully look after her along the journey to make sure we understand every aspect of her dream dress and ensure that this time is an enjoyable experience to remember.”
Sarah is a very hands on designer who takes pride in creating unique, innovative and stylish bridal gowns and loves creating bespoke designs from scratch. She will tell you the best part of her job is meeting a bride and spending time with her to get a deep understanding of her vision and personality before producing sketches and recommending materials and detailing that combine to create the perfect dress.
As well as enjoying her bespoke appointments, Sarahs’ working week involves many other elements including planning shoot locations to bring the Ivory and co. dress collections to life for magazine and social media coverage, liaising with the bridal stores which Ivory & co supplies with dresses and advising them on changes that can be made for their brides and planning for the catwalk and national wedding shows.
Much of her time is spent designing new collections, usually 2 years in advance of launch, so Sarah can often be found sketching or making notes about ideas or themes that have provided inspiration. This can range from new materials she has discovered, fashion through the ages, travel or even Hollywood Icons of the silver screen. “Usually once I’ve settled on a theme or feel for a collection I’ll sketch over 100 different possibilities before cutting it right down to the final choices. I can get inspired by places that I go (a few years ago I visited the Italian Lakes and Tuscany and was so taken with the place as somewhere to get married that I found myself sketching perfect dresses for the locations I had seen – this eventually evolved into our “Under a Tuscan Sun” collection which hit the stores in 2016).”
The Ivory and co. dress collections provide a wide and varied choice for todays’ bride and Sarah feels this versatility has been key in connecting with her clients. “We truly design for every bride. So many labels just stick to one style but that has never been our way of working. I like to design for all brides whether they want a statement dress, a fairytale gown, 50’s chic or a totally relaxed non-formal look. It is really satisfying to be able to create so many versatile dresses as we’ve learned over the years that all brides are different and we aim to help every bride achieve her vision for her big day.”