Essense of Australia's chief creative officer Martine Harris

Designer Feature: Essense of Australia

Essense of Australia is a global powerhouse and a well-known name in the bridal world. The award-winning fashion house was founded nearly twenty years ago by a husband-and-wife duo and they still run the brand today along with four other owned labels. The gowns are dreamy, timeless and romantic and sold around the world to brides seeking a variety of styles and price points.

How It All Began

In 1992, Martine Harris and her husband Wayne decided to launch their own fashion company in Perth, Australia titled Essense Designs. Wayne had a talent for business and Martine had bridal design experience, so they fused their two passions together. Their mission was to exceed a brides’ expectation by designing, manufacturing and wholesaling wedding gowns.

Essense of Australia was their first label, inspired by the romantic spirit and natural beauty of the place they call home—Western Australia. They ran their business out of their tiny living room, and it wasn’t until years later that they dreamed of ever becoming a leading global brand.

Getting into the Bridal Industry

From the beginning, the brand has focused on fashion-forward styling, superb fit, couture finishing and excellent customer service. Harris credits their thoughtful, planned and controlled growth as a key characteristic to sustaining their successful company. They also pride themselves on delivery quality products on time, every time. They don’t sell their dresses online but instead work closely with their authorized retailers to ensure every bride gets what she asked for.

The Empire Today

Martina Liana separates
Courtesy: essensedesigns.com

The company has a global customer base with offices in Australia, Europe, the UK and the U.S. The family of brands are sold in more than 12-hundred retailers worldwide. Along with Essense of Australia, the company owns four additional brands: Martina Liana, Stella York, All Who Wander and Sorella Vita, their bridesmaid label. Each label is its own unique entity while delivering timeless, elegant and romantic designs. Harris says she loves seeing her collections come to life from the initial inspiration to the finished product.

Essense of Australia is considered a size-inclusive brand through their EveryBody/EveryBride program. The program offers plus-size wedding dresses from sizes 22-34. The gowns are expertly crafted and offer figure-flattering silhouettes. It’s the same designs brides know and love from Essense of Australia, just available in more sizes.

The company is also doing its part to contribute to the global community. During COVID-19, they launched a separate company titled “Verasano” supplying protective equipment to businesses, organizations and individuals. They were able to make all of this happen thanks to their strong, long-term relationships with logistic specialists and first-class factories. You can get more information and buy products at verasano.com.

Our Fave Essense of Australia Looks

Essense of Australia mixed-lace ballgown Off-shoulder lace Martina Liana dress
Vintage lace All Who Wander gown

Courtesy: essensedesigns.com

Since Essense of Australia owns so many labels, we decided to feature one dress from every brand! Each gown is totally unique with their own gorgeous details. The lace, the sequins, the sexy silhouettes—they’re all breathtaking. Our fave of the group? It’s a tie!

We are totally in love with the classic mixed lace ball gown from the recent Essense of Australia bridal collection. It’s traditional but with a modern update, and it’s available in plus size! Switching gears to our other fave—the grand beaded Stella York gown full of pearls, sequins and a lush tulle skirt. The sexy high slit is a fun surprise and is a super-bold option for a fashion-forward bride.

Krystal Nielson & Chris Randone's wedding Krystal Nielson's wedding dress

Courtesy: theknotnews.com

Fans of the Bachelor will love this fact: former contestant Krystal Nielson said “I do” to a stunning Martina Liana gown for her televised nuptials to Chris Randone. The fitness instructor tried on TWENTY-SIX gowns before finding the perfect one. Nielson says she imagined herself getting married in a big princess dress, but when she tried on the spaghetti dress, she felt like it was meant for her.

Sharleen Joynt's wedding dress

Courtesy: blog.preownedweddingdresses.com

Nielson isn’t the only former Bachelor contestant to choose Martina Liana for their big day. Sharleen Joynt wore a glamorous, backless gown featuring Swarovski crystal straps and a fit and flare skirt. Joynt says she fell in love with the gown, but it wasn’t going to be ready in time, so she bought it brand-new from another bride online! It was perfect for her intimate wedding to Andy Levine in New York City.

Abigail Anderson's Stella York ballgown

Courtesy: essensedesigns.com

Have you heard of Taylor Swift? Her BFF Abigail Anderson was married in a stunning Stella York blush fit and flare gown. The princess-like gown was the perfect choice for her nuptials at Martha’s Vineyard.

No matter what you envision on your wedding day, Harris says to keep an open mind on what you’re looking for. She advises brides to try on all silhouettes and styles, because you never know what “the one” truly looks like unless you give it a try.