Pure Magnolia for Eco-Friendly Bridal Fashion.

It’s that time of the year for wedding fashion! Check out our exclusive interview with eco-designer Patty Nayel of Pure Magnolia!

For some brides, having a special dress for their special day is not special enough. Have you ever wanted a one-of-a-kind dress fitted to make you feel like a princess… but also eco-friendly? Enter Pure Magnolia bridal designs, a bride’s one stop to finding her vintage and sustainably made wedding dress.

Eco-designer Patty Nayel is the artistic brains behind the brand, bringing together high-fashion and simple bridal needs. “Bridal fashion is a mix of high fashion and commercial fashion. You have to take that runway look and simplify it for brides. But we also have to make it look good for a fashion runway; it must have a wow-factor.” said Nayel. ” I find that it’s translating what most brides would see in high fashion designs, and taking those designs that influenced them into something they would wear.”

“When I was looking into the bridal market, I found that elegant eco-fashion was one part that was really lacking,” said Nayel. “Back in 2009, there were a few eco designers out there doing some eco-friendly dresses; but they looked like hemp sacks or something really hippie looking, like trees drawn to the wedding dress– ‘really not pretty! So I thought I would make dresses that looked awesome and were eco-friendly, because I knew I could do it. You don’t have to have an eco-friendly dressed that looked eco-friendly.”

 Nayel’s exclusive designs feature organic fabric such as hemp, cotton linings, sustainably harvested silk and even fair-trade wild silk harvested from small rural companies in India and Africa. Even more amazing is her popular vintage re-make offer, in which brides can bring in their mother’s old wedding dress to be made new again! After only a few years since it’s launch, Pure Magnolia is quickly establishing its brand in the Vancouver’s eco-fashion industry. Nayel’s designs are also a popular showcase in several fashion shows, such as the Epic Tradeshow fashion runway, Vancouver Eco Fashion Week, and B.C. Fashion Week.

“I never actually wanted to own my own company; it was the last thing  wanted to do.” admitted Nayel. “But I graduated from Kwantlen Polytechnic University at the height of the recession in spring 2009, which was horrible for finding work. I graduated with a job, but got laid off a month later because the company couldn’t handle that much employees. In the interim, I needed something to do on the side, so I picked up some costume making, as well as some random sewing projects and wedding dresses. The bridal collection was actually my final collection in design school, so I had a lot of samples and sketches, and a couple of people had already bought some dresses from me. From that, people were interested in more, and it just grew from there. By then, I was working full-time in the fashion industry; but I took that big leap, left the full-time job and focused on Pure Magnolia.”

While everyone knows that working with brides is often tedious, so far Nayel is sharing sweet time with her eco-friendly brides. “It’s kind of fun! I like all the brides I work with, and I enjoy working with them. I love seeing them go home happy with their dresses.” said Nayel. “There’s been a couple of brides that start crying when they put on their dress, and it’s just so nice to see them happy! I also love it when relatives email me to say how much they love the dress–I get that a lot, too. And there has definitely been a couple of weddings that I have been invited to, and I enjoyed them, while I did a few things here and there to make sure the dress was perfect the whole night. It’s great that I get to bond so much with my customers that I actually do get invited to their wedding!”

While Nayel’s elegant designs make her a hit on the runway, she admits that her fame is nothing without the help of her eco-friendly brides. “We’ve done a lot of stuff, and it just keeps growing and growing.” said Nayel. “All because the brides come in, they love the dress and they buy the dress. It doesn’t matter how much press you get, or which celebrity endorses your designs. For Pure Magnolia, it’s just the brides come in, and they fall in love with dress. That’s the important part.”

Pure Magnolia will be having a sample sale at the Lynn Valley Square Farmer’s Market on May 24th-26th.

For more information, visit the Pure Magnolia website and Facebook page.

All photos are courtesy of Kuna Photography and Pure Magnolia.

Happy Summer to all!

~ Jenica C.

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