Maryam Nassir Zadeh Made Her Friend a Wedding Dress in Less Than Three Weeks—Here’s How

Brooke Bobb

MNZ Wedding Dress

Photo: Courtesy of Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Photo: Courtesy of Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Photo: Courtesy of Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Photo: Courtesy of Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Photo: Courtesy of Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Last month, New York–based designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh was under the gun. One of her dearest friends and collaborators, the stylist Marion Jolivet, needed a wedding dress, stat. With her nuptials just weeks away, her original plan to work with Christian Lacroix fell through and she couldn’t find any vintage pieces she loved, so Zadeh came to the rescue.

“I was honestly terrified and so stressed,” the designer says of the moment Jolivet asked her to create her dress. “It was so last minute and the timing was very rushed. Knowing we wouldn’t be able to have fittings together in person during the process, I felt it was too big of a responsibility.” She adds, “At the same time, I didn’t want to let her down because I know she needed to have a dress that she felt was right. Marion was so positive that she made the right decision and had full faith in me and my team.”

Zadeh was venturing into unknown territory, this being the first time that she has ever designed a wedding dress. After reviewing visual references and inspiration that included a traditional Chinese wedding gown and images of tulle dresses from the Vivienne Westwood runways, and making sure she had Jolivet’s correct measurements, Zadeh took a deep dive into her own personal archives.

Because of the time crunch and the fact that it would be nearly impossible to create something completely from scratch, Zadeh and Jolivet collaged pieces from their favorite MNZ collections: a ruffled skirt from the Spring 2019 collection, a corset-esque bodice and knit top with a string tied at the neckline from Fall 2019. “We melded these garments together through sketches,” Zadeh explains. “Marion was also keen on using a sleeve from the Spring 2018 collection, but after reviewing the first toile, we felt that it just wasn’t right.” She adds, “I wanted something sexier and a bit more feminine with one fitted sleeve. She agreed.” The final result—a mash-up of Zadeh’s hits constructed from double-faced silk satin, Chantilly lace, and ivory silk taffeta—was everything that Jolivet had originally hoped for, something, as Zadeh noted, “long, voluminous, and white, with modern simplicity.” Despite the contemporary aesthetic, Zadeh’s design fit in well with Jolivet’s ceremony location, an old castle in Burgundy, France. Her equally chic husband-to-be Gregoire Alexandre wore a custom suit from Husbands, in Paris, and Comme des Garçons shoes.

The stress of the process aside, Zadeh says she’d consider doing more custom wedding designs. “Marion is the ultimate MNZ bride,” she says. “She’s a woman who is creative, effortless, full of personal style, a natural beauty, and full of love for life and the people in her life.”

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Originally Appeared on Vogue