Launching her brand in 2013 Zaynep Kartal runs a ready to wear label and dresses the likes of Whitney Port, Pixie Lott, Amanda Holden, Michelle Keegan, Cheryl Cole and Lady Gaga for red carpet events. Exhibiting this year at the Manchester City event of The National Wedding Show on 11-12 March, her latest Bridal collection will join the likes of Ruth Milliam, Charlotte Mills, Ivory & Co, John Lewis and Ted Baker.

In interview with Zaynep right before the show, we find out how her label inspired her to create an extended fashion collection for brides, her surprise by what inspires her designs and for brides where to begin with finding the dress for you.



The Zeynep Kartal ethos is to make women feel feminine and confident without feeling out of place with a little sophistication. What advice would you give to brides of all shapes and sizes for finding the dress for them?!


The wedding dress is so important to the ceremony it gives the bride her confidence on the day. When considering the dress of your dreams its vital you consider all the small details,  the cut, the shape, the fabric, it’s also key to make sure the dress works with all the other plans like the hair style, shoes, make-up, jewellery and flowers.

When selecting a bridal gown you need to remember your body shape, character, wedding location and the season you will be getting married. Do not select a bridal dress because it is trendy and you have seen one similar on some else.  Your wedding dress should be a reflection of you and your style.


From your fashion label to bridal collection what inspires your designs?


My design inspirations can be really different, it’s hard to say what triggers my mind to create, I’m often so surprised what inspires me.  Sometimes it’s simply a flower, sometimes a tree and sometimes a fish! I have been known to take my children to the aquarium and wonder through the tanks in amazement of all the colours and patterns nature has to offer, I immediately think of my next collection and how I can incorporate this.



Looking at the collection, a beautiful and quite traditional ball gown style skirt features in many of your designs. How do you keep a balance between tradition and ‘fashion forward’ elements with your collection?


I believe to move forward you often have to look back and I’m constantly inspired by the past. I have been inspired by the traditional gowns and love using age-old fabrics and techniques that combine elegance and cuts that are more on trend for today’s modern bride.


How do you think the future of wedding dresses will look? Will brides always want something quite traditional or do you think with the rise of alternative styles that brides will continue to push the boundaries with bridal fashion?


I believe tradition will always play a part in someone’s wedding day. I am inspired by traditional gowns, particularly at the moment trends from the 1920-1924, dresses from this era have an exquisite elegance to them and understated class.



What made you decide to create your own bridal collection?


I am a ready-to-wear and red carpet designer by trade and some of these designs are not that far removed  from wedding dresses. I had customers wear a few of my designs as their bridal gowns and simply saw an opportunity to grow the Zaynep Kartal business and work with brides on possibly the most important dress of their lives.


You will be showcasing at one of the biggest bridal shows in March, The National Wedding Show, how beneficial are these wedding shows to brides-to-be during their wedding planning?


It is an amazing opportunity to see everything wedding related in one place! The National Wedding Show is the perfect place to see top brands and designers up close, leading names in the wedding industry flock to the show to give brides a unique insight into their big day. I advise every bride to visit the show and see the options available to them.


For brides and celebrities too that come to you with a very specific dress design in mind whether it be for their wedding or red carpet event, what is the next step for creating a bespoke Zeynep Kartal Dress?


For a bridal or red carpet dress, or any dress for that matter the most important discussion is the first one. I make a point of having a good chat with the client to find out what they want, and ultimately what  they are dreaming of. I can then start making a sketch of the dress, we discuss this sketch together with fabric swatches (another vital part of the process is to get the fabric right) and start to make the dress from there. When the client is happy with these details they can relax until the first fitting. From then on its about making the dress fit perfectly and adding any additional final touches.


VISIT ZAYNEP KARTEL at stand K74 at The National Wedding Show, Manchester 11-12 March 2017