Written by LILAH RAMZI
Photography by Anne Rhett
In 2016, the Virginia-based illustrator Stephanie Fishwick—best known for her whimsical wedding invitations—was asked to create a suite of invites for then-bride-to-be Mariana Zobel’s nuptials in Colombia.
Zobel loved it so much that she requested permission to use the Cartagena-inspired drawings (think lush palm fronds and sinuous vines) on her actual wedding dress. “I thought she was just going us the print as a trim or a small element,” Fishwick tells Vogue. “But she ended up doing a fully embroidered gown.” The final look? Well, it convinced Fishwick that she needn’t limit her flora and fauna-inspired drawings to paper.
This week, Stephanie Fishwick’s collaboration with fashion designer Alexia María arrives at the online e-commerce site and wedding registry Over The Moon. Alexia María Esquer is a San Diego native who has built a loyal following of brides—and brides-to-be—attracted to the label’s classic silhouettes in sumptuous silk faille fabric. (After an Alexia María bride says I do, she tends to stick around for the label’s non-bridal pieces—which are just as timeless.)
This collection represents a first for Alexia María, who has previously only offered solid-colored evening wear looks. But who better than Fishwick to provide the first illustration?
Dubbed “Sky Floral,” the illustration is splashed across a series of white and powder blue silk faille dresses in eight silhouettes, all featuring playful elements that wink to Alexia Maria’s designs; scattered throughout the floral pattern are dainty bow-ribbons that evoke Victorian nightgowns.
When it came to their collaboration, Alexia María selected silhouettes (including her fan favorite, bow-backed Margaret dress) for Fishwick to enliven with her prints—but the rest of the brief was, more or less, carte blanche. “She really wanted it to feel fresh,” says Fischwick. “She said, ‘Bring in a bow if you can—I want it to feel sort of like Marie Antoinette, the Sofia Coppola film.’ Very feminine, but with a little bit of an edge, a little bit of unexpectedness—for me, in my work, that can get weird, but I kept things pretty here.”
Fishwick did manage to find a way for the bows to complement her floral prints, though, most of which are based on studies of dahlias and blue poppies she pulled from public domain archives and pattern books and then collaged together. “It’s easier to incorporate a small print onto a dress,” Fishwick continues, referencing some of her prints for Hill House Home. “I laugh whenever I talk about this, but a lot of times you're doing a larger, symmetrical pattern, it can look like lungs or another body part so we kept it asymmetrical.”
The finished collection feels pastoral yet sleek, with blooms that could have been plucked straight from an English country garden. But when printed onto Alexia Marías sculptural dresses? They come alive.
Shop the capsule collection here