6 Questions With Ready-To-Wear Bridal Maven Katharine Polk Of Houghton

By Sarah Stallmann
In Style

Houghton is no stranger to fashion industry buzz. After winning the Caleres Emerging Designer Award of $25K right here on the runway of Saint Louis Fashion Week, the brand—which had already been under the looking glass of national fashion media including WWD—was introduced to a whole new Midwest fanbase.

Fast-forward to 2016 and Houghton is fresh off of a stellar Spring ’17 collection showcase, providing dream dresses to hundreds of #RealHoughtonBrides, and has no plans of slowing down. We featured three of Houghton’s signature pieces in our most recent fashion editorial for ALIVE Wedding, and couldn’t wait to catch up with it’s designer, Katharine Polk, who took a break from her busy schedule to chat with ALIVE about what makes her brand so unique.

Photo courtesy of Houghton.

Photo courtesy of Houghton.


What has been your favorite part about the growth and development of the Houghton brand?
It would have to be developing our own production model as we’ve grown.  It’s been an organic growth and we’ve adapted a production and sales model that works for us. We have a continuing collection of classic Houghton styles that go back to Fall/Winter 2012 but I add new collections each season. We are constantly in market every week and take orders from stores every day. We found that the traditional ready-to-wear sales model isn’t relevant for us.

How would you describe the Houghton bride?
The Houghton girl is fashion-forward, modern and independent. She doesn’t want to look like or be treated like a princess on her wedding day and there are so many brides that are embracing this right now.

How to you keep your inspiration fresh from season to season?
I always look to my classic Houghton girls—Katharine Hepburn, Kate Moss and Bianca Jagger for inspiration. I keep it fresh by focusing on different eras of their changing personal style and use that as a starting point when combining it with the modern aesthetic of our customer. I also love people-watching … seeing how NYC girls are dressing and layering is always a source of quick inspo!

What are some of your favorite bridal trends that you feel are captured in the Fall 2016 Houghton collection?
I’m not a fan of trends. I feel like Houghton speaks to an overall lifestyle and a woman that isn’t being serviced in the bridal industry.

As far as styling goes—I never design anything short and tight. A Houghton girl only wears long and fitted or short and loose. Lace is a must at Houghton … it adds a sense of romanticism.

Who are some “famous” brides that have worn Houghton on their wedding day?
Ashlee Simpson and Nicole Trunfio have been my favorite celeb brides so far. Both girls really stayed true to their own personal style for each of their weddings and pulled off some of my favorite bridal looks; a two-piece top and skirt set and pants + cape!

What is your favorite part about releasing a new collection?
It’s the culmination of months of hard work and an adrenaline rush to see the lights come up and hear the music come on at our runway shows. The excitement of debuting your work to your peers is indescribable. I also love seeing the reaction from our own brides as they come shop the new collection in our atelier.

Visit Houghton on the web for more information and to view their latest collections.

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