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INTERVIEW: Designer And Mark Ingram Atelier Owner, Mark Ingram, On The Hamptons Pop-Up Experience, Bridal Trends, Finding "The One" And More

Nicole Barylski

The Southampton outpost will premiere on Thursday, September 10. (Courtesy Photo)

Park Avenue staple Mark Ingram Atelier is opening a Hamptons pop-up experience. The Southampton outpost will premiere on Thursday, September 10.

"We feel for our brides who have had to make multiple changes to their plans. They've changed dates, venues, their guest lists and well beyond to marry. There is a sense of missing out on long held plans that we want to help with," owner and designer Mark Ingram explained. "We feel like now, more than ever, we want to create new experiences for our brides to look forward to and enjoy. We want to create new stories our brides can share and build memories on."

The pop-up will feature a curated collection of gorgeous gowns from notable designers, as well as a few special experiences. The store will be open daily through Saturday, September 26.

Mark Ingram Atelier owner and designer Mark Ingram. (Courtesy Photo)

We chatted with Ingram about Mark Ingram Atelier in the Hamptons, bridal trends, advice on finding "the one" and more.

Most stores open seasonal outposts in the Hamptons for the summer, but Mark Ingram Atelier is visiting the East End in the "off-season." Why did you feel it was important to have a presence in the Hamptons?

MI: Many of our brides and their families live or marry in the Hamptons. In chatting with them since we re-opened in the city in July, we have found that many have chosen to stay either later this season or winter until there is a better sense of clarity surrounding Covid-19 and they are ready to return to Manhattan. Bridal gown "season" actually begins in September so it is the perfect time for us to bring the Mark Ingram experience to the area. We feel very strongly that brick and mortar retail must evolve and we're committed to creating new experiences to bring to our brides and their families. Brides will be able to select their gowns in this location and complete their fittings when the gowns arrive back in NYC at the atelier.

What will the Southampton store feature?

MI: We are fortunate in that we represent the finest designers creating in bridal gowns. When we reached out to them about this adventure, all were excited to be a part of this location. It was important to us to keep our beautiful curation in our NYC location as it will remain open and busy during this period. The designers have worked with me to stock the Southampton store with a curated collection of samples that are proven looks as well as new fashion. Boxes of beautiful gowns have been arriving for days! Our brides will also find styles designed for this event and items from the designers' new collections that will not be seen by buyers until October. This includes my own designs, the Mark Ingram Collection. It will be featured in it's entirety before it is shown in the October bridal market. Historically, gowns are never shown prior to market. We thought our brides would enjoy stepping into the behind the scenes world of being first to select.

At the pop-up, you will be hosting special experiences and welcoming some exciting guests. Could you speak to that?

MI: With twenty years of working in the bridal world, we have developed friendships with many of the most talented people in our industry. One of the goals of bringing this experience to fruition was to introduce some of them to our brides. We are doing this in a handful of different ways. For instance, the store will feature the work of Jung Lee of Fete NY. Her events and her store are an experience not soon forgotten. She is working with us on both the store and the garden area outside the back of the building. She has plans to bring the space alive with a charming black and white theme. Line illustrations and faux wedding cakes from Ron Ben-Israel will join our gowns in the window. In addition, we will have other "Friends of Mark" dropping in to share their work and meet our brides. As these dates and times are released, we will feature the invites on our Instagram Stories.

What trends in bridal have you been noticing? What are a few trends you wish would go away?

MI: There are as many trends in gowns as there are brides who will marry. Some of our favorites include a short dress or a pantsuit for a welcome dinner, a second look or in the case of a chic city event- as the look. If worn to marry, we love both looks paired with a veil to elevate. One of our favorite trends that is brand new comes from Mira Zwillinger. She has designed delicate waist length toppers to wear with a sleeveless or strapless gown for the ceremony to be taken off for the reception. The work is impeccable and our brides love them. Skirts that are slit in all styles, narrow and in ballgowns have found a following for their beauty and drama. A slit creates a wonderful "walk" in the gown and we are fans. In a more traditional vein, we see brides fall in love with our simple selections, classic A-lines as well as the new lighter ballgown offerings. We work to make sure we have a beautiful assortment for all of our brides to select from.

As we try to always offer the finest in what is available, we retire looks that no longer feel fresh.

The Mark Ingram Atelier Hamptons outpost's outdoor space. (Courtesy Photo)

What advice would you offer those looking to find their ideal dress? When looking for a dress, where should one start?

MI: Come to us with an open mind.

My advice remains the same after many years: Share with your stylist what you envision and how you want to feel. Then, stay open to ideas. Our team loves what they do and they will bring you a variety of looks until you find the one that is right for you. It is important to share a budget you are comfortable with. This seemingly small thing will make your stylist your partner in making sure the pulls are right for you in all ways possible.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

MI: Just our thanks to the community. People have been very kind and welcoming and we are thrilled to join them for September. We suspect we will not want to leave when it is over!

Appointments at the Mark Ingram Atelier pop-up experience will be limited to two guests. VIP private appointments can be booked to accommodate up to four guests.

Mark Ingram Atelier - Hamptons - is located at 56 Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 212-319-6778 or visit markingramatelier.com.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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