Q&A With Alena Leena Bridal

Meet the Cape Town designer taking the bridal world by storm!

When we first stumbled across the Alena Leena brand, we knew instantly that there was something extra special about it! Alyona's designs are the perfect combination of modern & whimsy; and we're seriously in awe of her individual style & ability to foresee trends.

We're privileged to have been the first Australian stockist of Alena Leena Bridal, and we've been blown away by how rapidly her brand has expanded since! We receive loads of enquiries from brides all across Australia & New Zealand - in the search for their dream ALB dress.

With each new collection she delivers even more divine gowns than the last - and deciding which samples to stock becomes even harder (hopefully one day we'll just have them all!).

In an effort to connect our beautiful brides with the woman behind the brand, we've asked Alyona to take part in our designer Q&A; and we're beyond grateful that she has taken the time to answer all our questions - even if English is her third language!.

We love getting to know our creative designers, and learning more about who they are, and what inspires them. Read further for our 10 questions with Alyona!

1. Tell us about yourself! Your location - your incredible brand, and how it came to be.

My name is Alyona and I am the designer and founder of Alena Leena Bridal. My brand began in 2017 in Cape Town.

Since as long as I can remember, I was making some sort of dresses. But began to do it professionally at the age of only 27, before then it was a hobby.

2. What inspires you most when designing your collections? Do you experience creative block? And if so, how do you handle it?

Ideas just some how appear in my head! Sketching and draping further help to polish an idea and make it into a gown. And the final touch will come with imagining what emotion this gown evokes. And if it is confidence, and happiness, and self content - then yes, it is a right design.

Another passion of mine is trend prediction (it probably came from my first job as psychologist) - I love to try to figure out what would be desirable for brides next season.

If I struggle with creativity it is a first sign of needing a rest and if it does not help I need to look and touch any garment of exceptional quality, can be anything: jacket, pants, T-shirt, blouses, dress. Somehow finishing details of the gowns giving me energy :)

Our real bride Jaimee - wearing the 'Armeria' gown by Alena Leena.

3. Are there any artists / designers that have influenced or inspired your life and work? If so who, and why?

My personal choice of a super star designer is mark Jacobs. I just love on how his dresses fit me.

4. Of all your creations - which gown is your personal favourite / are you most proud of, and why?

I am very proud of our signature shear corseted gowns. Our Monstera and Clematis was drawn about 8 month ago. And I was planning on how to bring it to life for long time. 

A signature corseted gown by Alyona, 'Myrtus'

5. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? How do you balance life and business?

I don’t rest a lot and don’t have much spare time. My work is my life and I love every minute of it. But in this seldom moments when I don’t work I would walk or run or just lay in nature.   

6. What advice would you give to recently engaged girls searching for their dream dress!?

Find a quiet moment to reflect and imagine how you would like to feel and look on your wedding day. Reflect on what in your wardrobe makes you most confident. Imagine your wedding day and all the elements end to end. This “visioning process” will help you determine what style of dress will work and build happiness through confidence. Perhaps plan a lot of your wedding accompaniments around your dress.  Of course try on many different styles and experiment before you make a final decision. The most important criteria is to select the dress that YOU feel most comfortable in and not what others try and convince you of. 

Isabella wearing the 'Bells' skirt by Alena Leena

7. What are your hopes for the future of your brand? 

I just want to make more dresses - let’s see where it’s going to take us as a brand. I have exceed even my wildest expectations so far. The customer support and growth has been amazing.  I just hope that things normalise so that supply chain and production can get back to normal. I am excited to continue sourcing new eco-friendly, sustainable, innovative fabrics and trims. 

8. What trends do you see coming through collections currently? What’s your favourite trend?

There are 3 trends I am excited about in my latest collection: peekaboo cut outs, structural minimalistic styling and of course, an overall trend of effortless sensuality. 

Peekaboo cutouts on the new 'Lotus' gown from the 2020 collection

9. Has there been any ‘career defining moments’ for you?

About 8 years ago I was participating in personal growth course as a part of my psychology degree. During a group meditation session we focused on inner purpose. I had a moment of clarity and all I wanted to do was make a dress. That feeling has never left. Within months I stopped my pursuit of a Honours degree in Psychology and started my degree in Fashion Design. 

10. And a fun one to finish off, if you had to be any fabric - which would you be and why!?

Oh, I am definitely not chiffon silk. Maybe some type of organza (as on our latest Lavender gown) with cotton thread defined texture. Shear enough to allow life to go through me and still structural to create volume and at the same time be light - lighthearted! 

Up close details of the 'Lavender' gown from the 2020 collection.

If you're loving the Alena Leena brand and are wanting some more info, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at info@twelvesouthbridal.com.au .