Ones to Watch: Alexandra Pijut

Emerging, independent designer Alexandra Pijut on Wednesday is debuting her namesake label of demi-couture and bridal fashions. The founder and creative director’s debut fall collection is available to shop direct-to-consumer, as well as with exclusive retail partner Over the Moon. The line is designed, produced and made-to-order in New York City.

Pijut, who has a background in eveningwear and luxury ready-to-wear, said she was looking forward to implementing couture techniques into her designs.

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Prior to launching her eponymous label, Pijut studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design; was a finalist of the 2017 Supima Design Competition, and cut her teeth in the industry at the likes of Calvin Klein, Anthropologie and Charlotte Brody.

The Riding Trench from Alexandra Pijut's debut collection.
The Riding Trench from Alexandra Pijut’s debut collection.

Pijut has already had a relationship with Over the Moon, as her art and design studio Thistle and Briar is sold on the platform. That business makes hand-drawn wedding invitations, and bachelorette and wedding weekend packs (with customizable products ranging from stationery to hats, sweatshirts and linens).

“When I started the brand, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s kind of perfect.’ Their platform is obviously super focused for exactly my clientele; it was just a kind of a natural segue,” she said. “When I began designing this collection, Over The Moon was the ideal retailer in my mind, so I’m honored that my line will sit amongst some of the top names in bridal and eveningwear on their focused platform.”

The Cloud Dress from Alexandra Pijut's debut collection.
The Cloud dress from Alexandra Pijut’s debut collection.

To establish her ready-to-wear brand’s codes and voice, Pijut said she looked back to her childhood to design the 17-look collection (made up of 10 demi-couture and seven bridal looks). Both equestrian attire and ballet influences play into the lineup through subtle, refined elements. For instance, Pijut’s alternative bridal white coupé Stella dress with crystal detailing and a low scoop back (said to be directly inspired by a photograph of an 8-year-old Pijut donning a sparkly, sequin dance costume), or her pleated riding trench with detachable double-pocket belt. The influences also subtly nod to the juxtaposition between the masculine and feminine, which Pijut plans to dive into deeper across future collections.

Other key elements across her demi-couture and bridal looks include a mix of whimsical and hyper-feminine touches such as pouffed, structured skirts; pleats; moody blurred florals; tulle overlays, and shimmering dance-inspired embellishments, in luxe fabrications including warp-print taffeta, flocked tulle, brocades and silks (from Italy, Spain and New York City).

The Olivia Bow Set from Alexandra Pijut's debut collection.
The Olivia Bow Set from Alexandra Pijut’s debut collection.

“I wanted this collection to feel artisanal yet practical — this collection is meant to be worn,” she said. “They’re obviously investment pieces, but I want my clients to know that they really are getting the best quality that New York has to offer … When I have a bride, or even a black tie event, seeing someone wear my designs for that special day in their lives is super rewarding. I’m wanting to take traditional elements and make them feel really fresh. I don’t want anything to ever feel trendy or gimmicky — everything should definitely be timeless, that’s kind of my whole aesthetic.”

The Sylvie Dress from Alexandra Pijut's debut collection.
The Sylvie dress from Alexandra Pijut’s debut collection.

Pijut added that select styles from the fall collection were originally designed as custom looks for friends and family members, as in the Rainey bridal dress (featuring a deep V-neckline, structured and pouffed tapered skirt and hand-crafted, organza flower appliqués) or the adorable Olivia two-piece set (a bow-front bra top and voluminous tailored skirt). The Olivia set was also translated into the line’s column midi dress with sweet, naive floral appliqués.

From playfully chic demi-couture bubble dresses to modern takes on mother-of-the-bride ensembles (offered in ice blue and ballet pink) and fashion-forward bridal looks (like an airy layered white tulle bridal suit), Pijut’s debut collection, priced $1,950 to $4,500, offers plenty of feel-good variety with specialty, hand-crafted appeal.

The Stella Dress from Alexandra Pijut's debut collection.
The Stella dress from Alexandra Pijut’s debut collection.

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