An aesthetic dreamer, a visionary entrepreneur, a shapeshifter of tradition – Jacqueline Au, founder of The LOFT Bridal boutique in Hong Kong, is a rarity in the bridal world. As an ex-fashion buyer working for likes of Celine, Givenchy and Lane Crawford, Jacqueline’s bold vision for wedding gown possibilities was the alchemy for the launch of the world’s most fashion-forward bridal boutique.
Reimagining the bridal shopping experience, LOFT’s edit of designer gowns transcend bridal traditions. Inside this artfully curated space, racks spill with ready-to-wear pieces that translate exquisitely into bridal palettes, coveted designs by the likes of Giambattista Valli and Toni Maticevski, iconic silhouettes by Vivienne Westwood, avant-garde couturiers Viktor & Rolf Mariage, and emerging talents NEWHITE and Kyha Studios.
LOFT’s newly renovated boutique is a minimalists dream – a chic, architecturally designed space in Hong Kong where ingenuity and indulgence collides. Defined by luxury in every sense of the word, every facet of this light-drenched boutique is carefully considered – impeccable service, intimate appointments, and an otherworldly edit that honors quality, design intricacy, and visionary silhouettes.
With a reputation that has compelled brides from all corners of the world to reach out for Jacqueline’s guidance, LOFT now also offers virtual styling consults and an online accessories store to complement its brick-and-mortar storefront. We caught up with Founder Jacqueline Au to find out what brides can expect at The LOFT Bridal…
What was the initial spark that led you to transition from fashion into the world of bridal?
The original idea behind the LOFT came during my time as a bride. As a buyer who was steeped in the world of fashion – seeing beautiful collections brought to life, getting excited about discovering new designers and curating never-before-seen pieces – I was shocked to see that the bridal world seemed like relics from another life. After a few bridal appointments, I knew that the market simply wasn’t meant for me and I had to look elsewhere. I ended up getting a Giambattista Valli couture piece through personal connections and loved it, still to this day.
That was my lightbulb moment – I knew that lots of women, fashion lovers especially, who would have loved to have a more directional experience in the bridal sphere, be given access to highly sought after designers that are not just designing for brides and a refined curation of pieces through the lens of a fashion professional.
We have stuck to this vision since the very beginning – a bridal boutique with a fashion edge – and we have never lost sight of it. It is a philosophy we deeply share and imbue within everything we do.
Your background in luxury fashion buying is so evident in the beautiful gown curation at LOFT Bridal, how does this experience impact the decisions you make for LOFT?
I think I have that same sensitivity, or eye, when it comes to curating for the LOFT. I don’t feel that there should be a difference between fashion and bridal, as a fashion lover would want her wedding dress to reflect her own style.
My background in fashion has allowed me to not subscribe to conventional wisdom when it comes to curating; we push the boundaries and look beyond the bridal mainstays to the latest talents in both fashion and bridal worlds. At the LOFT, you will find pieces from highly sought-after designers such as Toni Maticevski and Giambattista Valli, pulled straight from their latest ready to wear collections that translate beautifully into white, so our brides can get truly fashion-forward pieces in a traditional bridal color which can be worn beyond the wedding day. We also champion new bridal talents such as NEWHITE, which offers something so fresh that excites us, pieces that you can’t get from any other brands.
“My background in fashion has allowed me to not subscribe to conventional wisdom when it comes to curating; we push the boundaries and look beyond the bridal mainstays to the latest talents in both fashion and bridal worlds.”
We’ve been eagerly awaiting the launch of your brand new space, tell us what brides can expect to see?
I think there is nothing more inspiring than walking into an artfully curated room that makes you dream.
It is really important for us that when you walk into the store, it isn’t about clothes being shoved in your face. It is about the experience of walking in, taking in the space, being able to slowly introduce yourself to our signature Cire Trudon x Giambattista Valli scent, and walk through the collections in a space that is calm and minimal. All created for private one-on-one appointments.
I draw a lot of my inspirations not only from fashion but art, photography, design and architecture, and I think our new space tells a complete story. This design-led LOFT world where the dresses, jewellery, scent, furniture, and even down to the marble, have all been carefully curated through the lens of a fashion buyer.
What are some of the designers brides can expect to see, and what do you love most about their aesthetic?
Giambattista Valli – a brand that holds a very special space in my heart, the designer I chose to wear down the aisle. I love that he is all about making a dreamy statement; breathtaking tulles, frothy ruffles, delicate florals and signature high-low silhouette.
Viktor & Rolf – speaks to the modernists and fashion-lovers who have a flair for the avant-garde – think intricate embroideries, bold, sculptural “all eyes on you” silhouettes, and conceptual glamour.
Toni Maticevski – for brides who gravitate towards minimalist showstoppers without an ounce of lace, beading or appliqué – his signature sculptural silhouettes and razor-sharp tailoring brings all the drama you need down the aisle.
Vivienne Westwood – think Sex and The City and Carrie Bradshaw. She is all about that avant-garde tailoring and expertly crafted corsetry.
Talk us through the experience of shopping for a gown at LOFT?
Putting together a wedding wardrobe is an intimate process – typically it starts with a client-stylist consultation one-on-one at our studio to discuss her needs and wedding overview. We want to understand the whole picture from location to floristry, to the dress code in order to create a wardrobe that will speak to the vision of her wedding. Once we have a sense of her style and the wedding, we will pull a personal curation for her to try on in person, and many times, this goes beyond solely a wedding dress.
We are not about putting as many products as possible in front of your eyes and rarely encourage impulse buys. We are about being that expert in the field who understands your style, helps you navigate your wedding wardrobe and chooses pieces you’ll love for the rest of time.
Tell us about upcoming events at LOFT that brides should write down in their calendars?
We are currently hosting a Viktor & Rolf trunk show until Sept 12, which is their first-ever trunk show in Hong Kong. I think for brides who love the conceptual glamour of this brand, this is a must-attend.
We will be having an Alex Perry trunk show in October, as well as new drops from AW21, so be ready to shop out of the world pieces straight from Alex Perry, Toni Maticevski, and Giambattista Valli runways.
For International readers unable to visit your dreamy new store, how can they get access to the collections you stock and what online services do you provide?
We love working with brides from different corners of the globe – while it is slightly harder to translate the LOFT experience digitally, we do offer virtual appointments where one of our dedicated, expert team members will speak with you over FaceTime and walk you through our entire curation, and guide you through the entire process from start to finish.
For those looking for jewellery and accessories, our entire edit is shoppable on our website which was revamped early this year to cater to all the demands we’ve received during this time for our curation.
Lastly, what advice would you give brides when shopping for their wedding gown?
Finding your dream wedding wardrobe is not rocket science. There isn’t a formula and it is not about chasing after trends. It is just about you, feeling your most confident, authentic self on one of the most celebrated milestones in life.
So, trust your gut – ultimately this is your dress and you need to feel amazing yourself, above all else.
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