Focusing on creativity and sustainability
“I have been active for 40 years and I’ve never had as much fun as I have now,” says Werner De Vlieger,” As a leading company, we have to keep evolving and thanks to our young and dynamic team, our company continues to act professionally and new projects always come up. For 2020, we are not just focusing on creative bridal fashion. We also want to produce goods in a responsible and sustainable manner.”
“Every day is great, when I am in our design room. It is the heart of MRFG where the new collections of Marylise and Rembo Styling are born. With Ruth, Géraldine, Manon and Zahid we have a strong design team that guarantees two strong collections.”
We have taken the biggest step forward with Marylise. In our search for the new classic design tailored to the modern bride, we have given the patterns a more modern touch, making the collection trendier. Rembo Styling continues along the trail of boho chic and you can see an obvious evolution in that collection too.
A patchwork of materials and styles
Boho chic is a style that lingers with brides. For the 2020 collection, Rembo Styling’s design team has translated that look into a mix and match of different materials and styles. “Freedom is the message,” explains Géraldine Simonnet. “Liberté d’être. The freedom to express yourself. The Rembo bride does not want to pin himself down; she wants to play with designs and show who she is.”
How do you distinguish yourself from other brands that are heading in the direction of boho?
Ruth: It is an art to remain original and yet still make a collection that is commercial. We refresh our style every year, although the evolution of made to order dresses is less pronounced than in the ready to wear market. The points of interest are the fabrics and edges. We are constantly looking for novelties, things that you will not commonly find in bridal fashion. And we also pay attention to the origin of the materials; we want to produce in as environmentally friendly manner as possible.
Géraldine: It is important to establish a strong identity. I think we have succeeded in that. In French we have an expression: On ne fait pas dans la dentelle. That is to say: we are going for it.
Manon: The Rembo bride is a woman full of character. We must distinguish ourselves.
Géraldine: I have made dresses for 2020 that are much more radical than you would expect and that are very wearable at the same time.
What are the trends for 2020?
Géraldine: We are going along a new route and that is fine. If I have to describe the idea in one sentence, it is less is more. I notice that fashion is gradually moving towards minimalism, but we are not there yet.
The look of Rembo is simple with light, airy dresses that sit comfortably. On the other hand, the collection is dominated by contrasts and that is what I mean by ‘more’. For example, I used broderie anglaise, a very romantic material to create a dress that does not look romantic at all. For a different creation I used a graphical side along with a very romantic image.
Ruth: I see the collection as a patchwork of materials and styles. An example is the dress Dare To Diva, for which I used velvet, cotton lace and tulle with broderie. Mixing and matching is the message. Then I’m not just talking about a mix of materials, it can also be a dress that you combine with a mohair cardigan and a flower crown. In the collection there is even a snappy short dress in broderie anglaise that you can easily combine with cowboy boots.
A common characteristic of the collection is the frequent use of cotton lace, a lace that has a 100% natural look and button closures.
Another important trend that I see is sustainability.
How do you deal with the issue of sustainability?
Ruth: We noticed that brides are increasingly interested in clothing that is made ecologically and ethically. We also find it important that we keep our ecological footprint as small as possible. That means that we prefer to work with European suppliers. For example, for embroidery we work closely with a local Portuguese company that makes beautiful embroidery.
Géraldine: For me that also means that as a designer you think even more about the design of the dresses. You need to make creations that you can wear in different ways. There is a skirt / body combination in the collection that you can wear in a festive manner at your wedding. The body can be combined in other ways afterwards and the skirt can be quickly shortened so that you can get more use of it. This way you recycle – very conveniently – your wedding dress.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Ruth: Part of the collection is based on a new version of our bestsellers and I further experiment a great deal. I like to do my own thing completely.
Géraldine: This is hard to say. I am in daily contact with brides and yet I do not just respond to a question. I feel what is happening in the world and create for the future. That works.
Manon: I take a dress as a painting. The fabrics are my canvas. My approach is aesthetic.
The collection is one thing, there is also the presentation and catalogue. What is the idea behind it?
Ruth: The look determines your brand identity so we pay a lot of attention to it. Last year the theme was rather urban. For 2020 we will return to nature. It is important that the Rembo bride can empathize with our story. She is looking for ideas on Pinterest for a wedding in natural setting, perhaps held outdoors; not one necessarily held in a typical wedding party room.
The atmosphere will be romantic and spontaneous with a nod to nature.
Géraldine: My aim is to create the wow effect; it must amaze people!
Customization and striking details for the contemporary bride.
2020 will be the year of Marylise. Beautiful ball gowns are back in fashion all the time because royal simplicity is the trend. This means refined customization and appealing decorative elements. Do not be fooled by the word classic because the creations are modern and fresh because of the simple lines and trendy details.
“It is always a challenge to create a strong image. The trends in bridal fashion are getting closer and closer to those of the ready-to-wear market. A lot is being copied in our sector, so you have to constantly reinvent yourself as a brand. That requires a real style exercise, “says designer Manon Pascual. Together with Ruth Donné and Zahid Hussain Yousefi she is the face behind the collection. They tell how they translate the new classic into a recognizable Marylise style.
Who is the Marylise bride? Who do you have in mind when you design?
Manon: I always remain poetic when I design for Marylise. The bride wants to feel like a princess. Where the Rembo bride is rather nonchalant, the Marylise bride wants perfection.
Zahid: the Marylise bride is chic, she likes a sort of classic. For example, she will also combine a train with her dress.
Ruth: She is sophisticated, and also a little Marylin Monroe-like.
How does the collection characterize itself?
Ruth: Clean and simple. That is Marylise in a nutshell. We work on a good fit that accentuates the female forms and elegant necklines are also important. The collection includes both dresses with voluminous skirts and skirts with a fishtail.
Manon: The dresses are elegant with an eye-catching cut-out in 2020. I also drew poetic models decorated with geometric lace.
Ruth: It does not always have to be a dress; there is also the combination of body and skirt. A stylish alternative is the jumpsuit. That has become part of the bridal scene. We also create tops and dresses with long sleeves because we regularly get a demand for them.
Manon: The Rembo bride prefers to get married when the weather is warm and the sun is shining so she wants a light, airy dress. That is not necessarily the case with Marylise.
What materials did you work with?
Ruth: For Marylise we use more classic materials. The fabrics look regal and sit well on the body. We also use a lot of lace. We design some of the materials ourselves so that we can guarantee exclusivity. We also appeal to local suppliers in Portugal who embroider lace and ribbons for us.
At Rembo we mix and match different fabrics whereas at Marylise we keep it simple for a clean look.
What is the most striking trend for 2020?
Ruth: The back of a dress is very important: the cut-out is deep and round. A little bold but we make sure it looks completely feminine and classy.
Manon: Do not be put off by a daring cleavage. Every year we work on the technical aspect. This year I concentrated on the back cut. The dresses are cut to fit perfectly around the body. Whether you have a generous bosom or not, the dress is perfect! That is technically not easy, but we have succeeded.
Which technical issues still play a role?
Ruth: We create dresses with voluminous skirts. They are very comfortable. By working on the cutting patterns they get a modern slant and are not stiff at all.
Zahid: By starting from the fabric itself, I manage to make very feminine dresses that adjust well and this means we are able to be economic with the material. I think about the environment and want to limit waste as much as possible.
Which creation is the eye catcher of the collection?
Manon: For me that is a dress on which I worked with a self-designed lace with a bird motif. You do not see it everywhere. It is a unique design that remains with brides because it has an impact on them. That is my signature; I trained as a graphic designer so it is easy for me to draw something like that and have it produced. I am always looking for the spectacular, the emotional.
Zahid: A dress with a circle skirt. I would describe the style as Europe meets India.
Manon: Also striking are the capes made in lace or crepe to combine with the dresses with a back cut. For the wedding ceremony you can wear the dress beautifully with the cape and afterwards you remove the cape for the party. That is certainly the trend in France. In other markets, such as the German ones, you notice that brides prefer to keep things a bit simpler.
How do you put the brand Marylise in the spotlight? How do you distinguish the Rembo Styling brand?
Manon: You can make the most beautiful dresses, but if the brand image is not right and you do not give the bride a perfect service, you are nowhere.
Ruth: That’s why the styling for Marylise is chic and feminine; resolutely different from Rembo Styling. One example is that models for Marylise wear large, chic hats and a sophisticated style whereas at Rembo the hair is worn loose with a beautiful flower crown.