Inside bridal boutique owner Jacqueline Au’s wardrobe, full of surprises
- For her wedding, Au wore a Giambattista Valli dress with a 40-yard train – having stored it in a fridge for a year
- Her personal style for everyday wear is simple: high heels and monochrome
The founder of The Loft Bridal, Jacqueline Au isn’t your typical bridal boutique owner. The former fashion buyer worked at Givenchy, Céline and Lane Crawford before a “painful” search for a wedding gown inspired her to launch her own shop. It is filled with fashion from designers known as much for ready-to-wear as for their bridal wear, including Delpozo, Maticevski and Viktor & Rolf.
Her own wedding-day fashion statement was a Giambattista Valli number that came with a 40-yard train.
Au’s everyday style is simple – mostly monochrome investment pieces that read high fashion in their structure and construction, and always paired with vertiginous footwear.
“I think I’m quite edgy, but at the same time I like things with a lot of structure. If I use brands [to describe my personal style] then I’d say I’m Givenchy with a touch of Sacai. So I can still be feminine – but edgier. But I’m definitely not the emo type and I’m never a trend person.”
“People think I have a lot more clothes than you see [in my wardrobe]. I like to buy a few things that I really love every season and then kind of buy the same thing over and over again. I have a lot of white shirts and a lot of quality pants and skirts.
“I do a lot of separates. I’m not really a dress person unless I absolutely have to – like on my wedding day.”
Styles Au wears for everyday
“If you look at my wardrobe, it’s all black and white. If I need to see someone I will always wear a shirt with a skirt or pant. I have, like, hundreds of Sacai skirts and I’ll just wear one of them and call it a day. Depending on who I’m meeting, I usually wear heels.
“On a casual day I’ll usually wear a shirt dress or a sweater with a casual pant. Then when I show up at occasions like someone’s birthday, or a wedding in colours, people can be pleasantly surprised. So I do have a few coloured outfits, but everyday wear is pretty monochromatic. For clothes I like to keep it simple and I like to invest in coats and sweaters.”
“I also like bows a lot. That’s why I love Delpozo and Viktor & Rolf, both of which we stock at The Loft Bridal, because they do bows in a more edgy way, not so feminine. I’m pretty obsessed with these two things and I’m a big earrings person.
“I buy big earrings and ear cuffs. Ryan Storer is a favourite, and then we also stock these Kat Kim ear pins – they’re from LA and exclusive to us now, and it’s just such a cool look without trying that hard.”
Styles Au wears for weddings or other formal occasions
“I think in Hong Kong or in a lot of international cities you can actually still wear black [as a wedding guest] and brides and the family don’t mind. It’s about looking elegant but still yourself. I wear a lot of Maticevski to weddings. He’s great with occasion dressing. I wore this Leal Daccarett outfit, which is a Colombian designer, to a London wedding in the summer.
“I like to wear separates, even if I go to a wedding, because you can wear it again. I believe in wearing things again and again. Even if I bought an outfit for a certain occasion, I want to wear it again.”
What Au wore for her wedding
“Buying my wedding dress was actually quite painful. I was a buyer at Lane Crawford then and I knew that I would be travelling to New York, Paris and London, so I went everywhere to look for my dress. I didn’t even start in Hong Kong.
“My vendor at Jason Wu told me I should check out Kleinfeld’s, just for the experience, and I did and I just regretted it. It was like a fun supermarket experience but it was just nothing that I saw, I wanted. And then I went to Paris to Metal Flaque. The service is amazing. I tried on a few Oscars (de la Renta), but it’s not really my style.
“I even went to Vera Wang, because I feel like that’s the one time you can walk into Vera Wang and try something on.
“And one day I was just walking around Joyce, and my friend had told me that they had a Giambattista Valli couture gown there, and I tried it on and I didn’t really want to take it off! So the next day I went back in and bought it.
“I sent photos to my mom, and she said no, because I was getting married in Phuket and she thought it was too heavy for Phuket. It was 40 yards of train. But then I’m quite a stubborn person, I know what I want, so I just went back with the right shoes, tried it on and then just bought it.
“I bought the gown a year ahead of the wedding so I actually had to store it at these fur storage places, so it was in a fridge for another year before I actually wore it.”