Wedding dresses may traditionally be white – but Suffolk designer Jenna Martin sees gold with a wedding dress she designed for a national competition.

Jenna Martin with royal wedding dress designer David Emmanuel at the Bridal Buyer Awards Picture: JENNA MARTIN
– Photo credit: JENNA MARTIN

Jenna was named Student Designer of the Year at the Bridal Buyer Awards in Harrogate in a glamorous ceremony by David Emmanuel, who designed Princess Diana’s wedding dress.

Jenna from Boxford near Sudbury said: “I’m overwhelmed, but I’m really excited to win.

“I didn’t feel very safe entering as I didn’t know who I was up against, but I knew that I just had to find a design that suited me and then go from there.”

The contract for the category was “Hollywood Glamor” and Jenna’s winning design was inspired by brides from the 1920s.

Jenna Martin with her winning design at the Bridal Buyer Awards in Harrogate Image: JENNA MARTIN
– Photo credit: JENNA MARTIN

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The judges praised her contribution, saying, “Jenna’s research has been excellent, looking at icons from that era and what modern designers have done to reimagine clothes from that era. The silhouette is beautiful and a truly unique twist.”

Jenna’s success tops three years of juggling with family life and studying at University Center Colchester, where she just graduated with world class honors in fashion and textiles.

She used material for her winning design from a wedding dress that was given to her by East Anglias Children’s Hospices (EACH) as part of her latest project to upgrade old wedding dresses.

She turned these into Eternal Gift, a collection that is now on display in a fashion show at Firstsite Colchester and in New Designers, a graduation exhibition at the Business Design Center in Islington, London.

Clothing designer Jenna Martin with her award at the Bridal Buyer Awards Image: JENNA MARTIN
– Photo credit: JENNA MARTIN

Married to Andrew and mom to Layla and Florence and stepdaughter Imogen, Jenna said, “The last three years have been hard work but I loved every minute of it and Andrew was such a support.

“Where do I go next is a good question, but I would love to work for myself.”

Tina Tate-Lovery of EVERYONE said, “The wedding dresses Jenna used were pretty much over and it’s amazing to see what she could do with them.

“We are happy to see that they are recognized and wish her the best of luck in the future.”

One of the wedding dresses from the Eternal Gift range that Jenna Martin designed for EVERYONE with old wedding dresses donated to charity stores. PICTURED: DEIMANTE PHOTOCREATIONS
– Photo credit: Deimante Photocreations

Jenna plans to continue her work in fashion with only landfill fabrics and is looking for companies to work with on new projects.

For more information, contact them by email.

One of the wedding dresses from the Eternal Gift range that Jenna Martin designed for EVERYONE with old wedding dresses donated to charity stores. PICTURED: DEIMANTE PHOTOCREATIONS
– Photo credit: Deimante Photocreations

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