New York City-based designer Jennifer Behr is a favourite of celebrities like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Brie Larson (it's hard to forget the headband she wore when she nabbed her first Oscar!). Now, her fashion-forward headpieces have transitioned from the red carpet to the wedding aisle.
"People are really embracing larger headpieces," Jennifer told Hello! when we caught up at White, Toronto. "There wasn't a lot of fashion in bridal collections, but today people want to look more like themselves."
Here, the designer spills on the moment she realized Brie was winning an Oscar in her design, her top tips for brides looking to make a statement and why the bridal industry has come a long way.
What's the Jennifer Behr philosophy? We make things that should be integrated into your whole look instead of something that is alien that landed on your head. You don’t want headpieces to be heavy, super embroidered or awkward. I actually design on the head, so I’m always chasing the girls around the studio. It puts it in context so you can get that lightness.
Comfort is so important for a bride, especially if she'll be wearing her look all day, from photos to reception! I always say if someone ever gets a headache from something we make then they’re never going to be a customer again. So we all wear them around the studio, we’ll put them on and try to figure out the weight and the balance and the comfort. That’s why we use elastic a lot in the back, because it fits a really broad range of head shapes. So it’s much better for the customer, much more comfortable.
What are the top trends for 2016 brides? One of the most amazing things is that people are really embracing larger head pieces. I think for years there wasn't a lot of fashion in bridal collections, but today people want to look more like themselves, they’re wearing pieces that are more fashionable, more like what they’d wear normally – a lot of gold, a lot of floral.
How did you get into bridal design? I started 11 years ago in fashion and it still accounts for 75% of our business. But we started making bridal for editors, friends who were getting married, and then I thought ‘Oh, I guess we should make this part of the business!’ A lot of people have come to know us for it, but I start with the fashion collection design and then bridal comes out of that.
How did you notice Brie Larson was wearing your design at the Oscars? I don’t actually have a TV, so I went to watch the Oscars with my boyfriend, and I was like ‘Oh, she has something in the back of her head, I wonder what it is?’ And then Anna who handles our PR texted me and said ‘She’s wearing the Arielle Chignon Wrap!’ We had lent some pieces to her stylist but we had no idea. Sometimes they don’t tell you until it’s actually happening, because they don’t know either.
How does it feel to see celebrities wearing your pieces? It’s always exciting. I mean, it’s always exciting to see anybody wearing [Jennifer Behr], like when you see someone on the street, sometimes I’m like ‘I made your headpiece’... But it’s cool [on stars] because people actually see how our pieces are worn. A lot of times with headpieces people can be intimidated, and it’s something they don't know how to use, so having the celebrities gives it a context and a more public vision for what it can look like.