Lola Varma Pop-up Events in Melbourne

Words by Kristy Kyi / Images by Courtney Illfield
May 17, 2018

Modern bridal label Lola Varma was launched in 2016 by Phoebe Christinelli and Courtney Illfield. In the short time since, these Perth girls have made waves in the bridal fashion industry, gaining worldwide recognition (in Vogue Paris, no less!) for their renegade approach and their collection of minimal separates and gowns in sleek silhouettes.

Currently focusing on expanding the reach of the label Australia-wide as well as internationally, the girls are planning pop-up events in Collingwood on May 19 & 20 and June 16 & 17, offering brides a one hour consultation with the designers personally.

With these exciting pop-ups as well as a new collection approaching this spring, we stole a few minutes with one half of the dream team, Phoebe, to chat about all things Lola Varma.

How did you and Courtney get into fashion design and what is it that attracted you to bridal design in particular?

Before the label established, Courtney worked as a wedding photographer and would hear brides say time and time again how their dress didn’t feel like it was a reflection of their style. I worked under another fashion designer and agreed there was a movement for women wanting something “less bridal” and more fashion.  So we started designing gowns we would like to wear on our wedding day!

You and Courtney are best friends as well as business partners – how did you first meet and how do you find it working so closely with one another?

We first met working at a cafe, we instantly connected on a creative level and have been on the same page ever since.  It’s very rare and powerful to have creative synergy.

Between us we cover every facet of our business or at least try! It’s really been the two of us running the creative direction of the label for almost three years. Courts has an eye and skill of for photography and imagery and myself, for styling and marketing.

We love every part of running this business. From the designing of dream gowns, the charming interactions with brides and their families, to the abundant experiences we have when travelling together. We love it all.

Can you tell us a bit about the current collection and your inspiration for the designs?

We are inspired by the time we live in— of women taking control of their style and defying bridal expectations. The range offers separates and gowns that are sleek and minimal with an undertone of fun.

Modern, minimal wedding dress by Lola Varma bridal Modern halterneck wedding dress by Lola Varma bridal Modern, minimal wedding dress by Lola Varma bridal Grecian off-shoulder wedding dress by Lola Varma bridal Modern billow sleeve wedding dress by Lola Varma bridal

What can brides expect when purchasing a Lola Varma gown?

We offer a made-to-order collection where brides can either come into the showroom for a fitting with myself or Courtney, or buy online. Our pieces reject unnecessary discomfort associated with typical bridal. Each piece is designed with an easy to fit capability, making for a fuss-free fitting process.

What’s in store for the future of Lola Varma?

We are in the process of setting up a showroom in Melbourne, and simultaneuously spreading the label internationally with stockists now in the UK, Belgium and USA. The new collection is also underway and looking very fun – watch out for the Spring release date.

Modern, minimal wedding dress by Lola Varma bridal Modern, minimal wedding dress by Lola Varma bridal Modern, minimal wedding dress by Lola Varma bridal

And while you’re waiting on that new collection, if you are in Melbourne and keen to book a consultation with one of the designers in Collingwood on May 19 & 20 or June 16 & 17 you can do so via The girls promise you can expect a good laugh!


Images Courtney Illfield | Dresses Lola Varma |

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