1930s vintage wedding dress

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" Romeo and Juliet.

I've always been obsessed with collecting names, even as a child my diary kept a highly confidential list of girls and boys names to be treasured until I grew up and had children of my own. I still have a running list on my iphone that I add to when I hear a great name.  It's quite funny looking back, the names I once loved for being cool and chic now seem everyday and ordinary. Popular name choices go through trends much the same way as fashion trends come and go.

I've always loved names that were slightly unusual and original, names that no-one else might use.  And so my daughters have turned out to be Lark Anais, and Margot Lux (my 10 year old self would be shocked by this! she would have loved Chloe and Megan). It was no easy task deciding on those names, especially when you have to include your husbands opinion! Luckily mine was quite easily persuaded on my favourite choices... although Clementine will always be the one that got away.

And so when starting up Archive 12, I struggled with whether or not to stick to bridal tradition and name my dresses. A name gives a dress a personality and conjures up an impression unique to each person.  I worried clients would potentially be put off a dress if they didn't like the name. On the other hand, it can give that extra something special and bring a dress to life.

Up to this point I've always just given them codes, but deciding to sell the dresses online spurred me into action about naming each dress. I suppose I felt it would help the viewer to see my interpretation of each dress, a little glimpse of the kind of woman I imagine wore it before. So this last week has been heaven... searching through my favourite naming website nameberry.com for all kinds of girls names.. from grecian names to jazz inspired names. It's wonderful to be able to use names  that I know I wouldn't get to use in any other capacity.

Short but sweet COCO, which needs no explanation.. ELEANOR gives me that feeling of glamourous 1930's decadence.... RIZZO after the coolest 1950's chic in Grease.... PHAEDRA for that heady exotic grecian vibe. 

I hope you will like my choices, they mean a lot to me. While it wasn't just as hard as choosing my daughters names, it wasn't far off it! I choose my dresses with such care and love, I felt I owed them each the right name. 

View the COLLECTION, and let me know what you think. 

love Claire x

Image credit: Fiona Jamieson Photography

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