Australian designer Johanna Johnson may be the only woman who takes the phrase, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride”, as a compliment considering she has now dressed some of the world’s most famous bridal party members.
The Sydney-based evening wear specialist designed the gown worn by Amal Alamuddin’s best friend, Jennifer Robinson, to the star studded Clooney wedding held in Venice at the weekend.
Robinson, an Australian media and human rights lawyer who defended Julian Assange along with Alamuddin, wore a black dress with cap sleeves and a heavily embellished neckline to the ceremony held at the Aman hotel. While it is not known exactly what role she played in the private ceremony, the 33-year-old was one of four “confidants of the bride”.
She arrived via water taxi accompanied by comedian Bill Murray. The pair looked relaxed as they waved regally to the hundreds of fans and onlookers.
Robinson, who splits her time between Sydney and London, was joined at the wedding by fellow Aussies actor Cate Blanchett and author Kathy Lette, the wife of Alamuddin’s boss, Geoffrey Robertson QC.
“It’s been my great honour to have been requested by Vogue to work on the wedding of Mr George Clooney and his bride, Ms Amal Alamuddin, to dress Ms Jennifer Robinson, best friend and confidante of the bride,” Johnson said of her “private and confidential” project.
No details of what or who the bride wore have been confirmed. She was last seen checking into the Palazzo Papadopoli on Friday night wearing a floor length scarlet Alexander McQueen gown.
While Clooney wore a custom made Giorgio Armani tuxedo to the ceremony, his 36-year-old wife is believed to have been dressed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, the same designer who created the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding gown in 2011.
Earlier this year Johnson dressed Kim Kardashian West’s younger sister and bridesmaid, Kendall, for the rehearsal dinner prior to her wedding to rapper Kanye West. Kendall Jenner, in a French silk navy Johanna Johnson gown, was sat next to fashion heavy weights including designer Valentino Garavani and editor Carine Roitfeld inside the Palace of Versailles. The aspiring model then shared images of the gown with her 13 million Instagram followers.
Johnson has been working with the world’s most photographed family for several years. In 2012 she dressed Kim in an emerald gown for the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.
The former graphic designer is quickly gaining a reputation as the Australian version of Sarah Burton for her extravagant designs and discretion.
“We work very closely with a number of key stylists and celebrity clientele on a daily basis, but a lot of what happens day to day we are unable to talk about given that confidentiality is a key part of what we offer. We often say that if we had a reality show no one would believe that what actually happens wasn’t scripted,” she told Fairfax Media.
“I am very proud of the fact that this little label that is determined to remain ‘Made in Australia’ is creating awareness and a following. It allows us to create jobs locally, provide training on the dying art of couture, and support the causes close to us.”
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