“If you’re coming in here looking for drama, then I’m not the girl for you,” says Jacqueline Au, creative director of The Lab of Fairy Tales Bridal, indicating the exquisite collection of dresses hanging in her three-month-old showroom. “I offer something unique to brides on the biggest day of their life. If you’re looking for a big, poufy statement outfit, this is not the place for you.”
Duly noted. Au studied politics and graduated from the London School of Economics with a degree in international relations, and went on to do her Masters “even though I knew I wanted to be in fashion”. Her CV boasts stints at Gucci, Céline and Lane Crawford.
Did her education inform her career? “Most definitely. I’m very straightforward. I had my first interview at Gucci, and my boss asked, ‘Why should I hire you? You don’t do any fashion.’ I said, fashion in the end is a business and I have that analytical side for you and I love fashion so I’m the best person you can hire.” She was hired on the spot.
She went on to Lane Crawford and then Céline, where she had time to breathe and think, while simultaneously preparing for her own wedding. “Fashion in Hong Kong is in line with all the capitals – except in bridal. Here, it’s very dated. Even the set-up, the way they sell you the gown, is very much like, ‘Say yes to the dress!’ – very stuck in the ’80s. Every day we’re wearing, Haider, Givenchy, Céline – and on your wedding day, you’re wearing a cupcake!”
Her boutique stands in defiance of that confectionery trend and you’ll find yourself mesmerised by the gossamer gowns, the elegant silhouettes and the finesse of her finely curated collection. “My job defines me. I have the privilege of saying that.”