I'm a 34 year old fashion designer who grew up in country NSW and now calls Sydney home. I live in the Inner West with my husband, our five year old daughter Hermione and a very hairy rescue dog called Teddy. I love musicals, Disney, Harry Potter and anything sparkly.
I studied Fashion Design at UTS and graduated in 2010 with 1st class Honours and a couple of prizes that helped me start up my business - originally making crazy raincoats and colourful bags. I then did a Masters in Teaching at UWS to teach high school design & technology subjects.
I started working with bridal clients nine years ago and officially started the bridal business while living in the Philippines in 2013. Since returning to Sydney in 2014, I've been working with lots of lovely brides and bridesmaids to create their dream dresses. I finally signed the lease on my first shop in May 2018, when I started the other part of my business, Borrow from Bell Street.
Bell Street Bridal
Bell Street Bridal is a custom made bridal dressmaking service where everything is designed and made in house. I consult with brides to dream up the perfect style dress for them, which has very little to do with 'body types' and very much to do with what they actually like - groundbreaking, I know. I then do everything needed to make that dress a reality - choosing & sourcing fabrics, patternmaking, cutting, sewing and any embellishments such as beading or embroidery. I love all that beautiful detailed stuff.
Borrow from Bell Street
Borrow from Bell Street is my second business - I have an amazing collection of vintage, secondhand and handmade pieces available to hire out for weddings and special occasions. I have beautiful vintage wedding dresses, mix and match wedding separates, and lots of great jackets, coats and cardigans to keep you warm for a winter wedding. I've also got a lot of lovely vintage cocktail dresses in all colours for anyone who loves to wear vintage but hates hand washing - I take care of all that. You can learn more about how it works here. It's an affordable, sustainable and ethical way to do special occasions.
The Bell Street Team
As well as Ali, you might find Chloe or Robyn in the store. Robyn (Ali's mum) is our vintage restorations expert and Chloe is Ali's dressmaking assistant. We all love helping customers choose special outfits to hire!