Real Bride – Hannah in Jenny Packham Daphne

Hannah wearing Jenny Packham from Miss Bush Bridal Boutique in Ripley Surrey by Marshal Gray (1)

Sometimes working in the bridal business can feel like being in a chick flick version of Edge of Tomorrow,the film where Tom Cruise dies. A lot. I know this is not my normal film fodder but sometimes,when sci-fi and fantasy refusenik, Marshy is out, I love nothing more than getting my geek on with my teenage sons’ film choices. The Lovely Marshy has now realised that we don’t do this for fun but to find plot holes in the narrative.  The strap line of the movie is Live Die Repeat. For my working life Love, Dress, Repeat would be a perfect subtitle; a loop of gorgeousness which admittedly does not entail destroying the Alien Mothership, but some days…

How do I survive this glamorous hamster wheel? How does this bridal world not become mundane?

The answers are multifarious . I meet and work with extraordinary brides and designers; our dresses are exquisite. I can be ‘me’, I can have huge amounts of fun and, because  of my longevity, I am like Tom Cruise in the beach landing scene in the Edge of Tomorrow, I can negotiate most bridal scenarios like I’ve been there before.

One day in September 2013 either the  Gods were smiling or the alien horde had picked another boutique. Hannah breezed into Miss Bush with her parents just as the Jenny Packham Daphne dress was delivered. How could I not effect a Girl-Meets-Dress moment? In my dreams I look like Hannah. In reality I enjoy vicariously the wearing of a dress of such perfect cut and detail by my brides.

Hannah wearing Jenny Packham from Miss Bush Bridal Boutique in Ripley Surrey by Marshal Gray (2)

Hannah’s dress is classic Jenny Packham to the last detail. Pure ivory silk chiffon with statement Swarovski crystal to the natural waist and traffic stopping keyhole back. I’m not going to lie, Daphne requires a neat bust but it needs no tit tape, it forgives all kinds of canape induced food-baby tummies and lets you wear nice pants! Hannah chose the Kalmia III in crystal to compliment the look. Sometime more is just more.

Hannah wearing Jenny Packham Daphne from Miss Bush Bridal Boutique in Ripley Surrey by Marshal Gray (3)

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Introducing Rembo Styling and Sottero + Midgley

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The way buyers pick wedding dresses for their stores and the way brides pick dresses are as different as chalk and tulle. Brides come to me clutching an iPad loaded with Pins from obscure middle eastern designers with dress backs so bum-grazingly low that we now have Type II  back cleavage , inaccessible micro-couturiers from down-under and mid-western low-key brides sporting what turns out to be £10k worth of US mega brand worn casually with dusty boots next to some burlap and a rattlesnake.

Pinterest is incredibly inspirational but several times over the last week I have had to perform delicate surgery removing pale, raven-haired, Celtic-skinned  beauties from their blonde, golden skinned, surf-spray hair, flower crown & lace loaded boards. My job as a stylist is to make real the mood boards looks, to interpret the spirit of a trend but critically reflect the individuality of the bride before me.

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What I  have to do as a pro buyer is to find dresses that allow our brides to style them in a personal way but crucially prevent your guests from reenacting  Kardashian/bottom/flute japes, keep you from adding a long haul flights to your dress budget and give you a spot of change from £5k.

I also have to find them from labels and brands that have serious credentials, know how to cut a pattern to flatter , don’t flake out or run out of fabric mid-season when the pressure is on and provide excellent customer service.

I was invited to consider two new brands this season. Maggie Sottero’s ‘other’ label Sottero & Midgely and  Rembo Styling. There was a lot of dresses I left behind, I am nothing if not picky, but a lot I adored.  The edit of both labels will be at The Chapel soon and the serious business of dressing up can begin.

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SOTTEROMIDGSottero & Midgely sit at a slightly higher price point than Maggie Sottero and for that a bride gets a touch more luxury with their legendary fit. There are low backs that don’t sacrifice waist shaping, lace reinvented with retro guipure and a pearl jacket so entrancing that it could be haute couture.

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Rembo Styling are a Belgian brand that have guest designers; I have bought La Folie Douce by Manon.  Folie Douce’s literal translation is ‘sweet folly’ but more correctly ‘magnificent obsession.’ Is there any more accurate way to describe a girl and her wedding dress?

French couturier Manon  Pascual commented that the  “The collaboration with Rembo … allows us to meet the demands of brides who are looking for original, refined styles but don’t have the budget for haute couture.”

For me, for Miss Bush and for my brides the collection channels the look of Claire Pettibone and a raft of smaller US labels but without the high import costs brides can grab cool, exclusive European made dresses at the hard to find  £1200 – £1500 price point

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You can find out more about these brilliant new designers and view our handpicked gowns from the latest collections over on our NEW WEBSITE!

Click here to visit www.missbush.co.uk

Emma xxx
Emma Meek, MD of Miss Bush Bridalwear
Miss Bush Bridalwear is Surrey’s leading designer bridal shop

Little Miss Bush’s Maids on Monday – 5 cover-ups for winter bridesmaids

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With winter well under way, it’s time for some gorgeous winter weddings! One of the best things about winter is all of the flexibility that comes with bridesmaid dressing – there is so much more scope to add interesting accessories and creating really unique looks for your lovely maids.

Here are some of our favourite ways to keep warm during the colder months…

The traditional shawl

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This classic and timeless look goes perfectly with a strapless dress to keep those upper arms and shoulders warm without looking too bulky or cumbersome. Image by Katelyn James Photography via Style Me Pretty.

Snuggly (faux!)fur coats

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Real Bride – Julia in Maggie Sottero

Miss Bush bridalwear Maggie Sottero real bride Julia (9)

Much has been made of the John Lewis ‘Penguin’. In the literary tradition of The Velveteen Rabbit, the grubby health hazard of a stuffed toy is elevated to a thing of irreplaceable beauty in the eyes of the child. In Grace Dent’s acerbic critique of the advert she asserts on meeting such a stuffed beast in real life.

“I have looked into the one remaining glass-eye of many of these “We can’t go anywhere without it” ancient, heavily chewed, rabbit/duck/frog stuffed companions, and I can confidently say they always smell of …”

I’ll leave you to click-through to the pungent list…

In a similar vein, us bridal-shop types get rather attached to our dresses. One such entirely lovable, much cherished, go-to dress is Boston by Maggie Sottero. It is with heavy heart that I have realised that our sample is now only beautiful in my eyes. It’s lace is no longer crisp, its tiers are in tears and its point d’esprit has lost it’s joie de vivre. Is is, in fact ,a very sad Penguin of a dress and is about to be retired to the big iceberg in the sky. Or Ebay.

Miss Bush bridalwear Maggie Sottero real bride Julia (1)

As a reminder how gorgeous the dress is, and in fact the wearer Julia, this morning I am bringing another burst of sunshine to a grey November day.

Julia is wearing Boston at Broyle Place in Sussex. Julia is half French and the wedding perfectly reflects the Anglo-French union.

Miss Bush bridalwear Maggie Sottero real bride Julia (6)

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Real Bride – Lucy in Jenny Packham Blaire

Lucy in Jenny Packham Daphne from Miss Bush Bridalwear Surrey London Wedding (34)

One of the first things I did this morning, one of the things that an untold amount of people do,  is check  Instagram.  This morning the timeline was full of the Glamour Women of the Year Award pictures from Carnegie Hall. Having a professional interest in red carpet trends I darted around Google image search looking for dresses and depressingly the images delivered for dissection first were Jodie Foster doesn’t look bad for 51 and Chelsea Clinton looking fabulous in her post baby red carpet debut. Chelsea was recipient of an award for to encouraging “achievement among women and girls across the world.” not springing back into shape after giving birth. 

I work entirely with women; from colleagues, agents, models, fashion designers,  hair & MUAs, photographers, bloggers, caterers, venue owners, graphic designers and ultimately brides, their Mothers, Daughters Sisters & friends. Sailing is not always plain, some days sailing has to stop entirely if one or other of our roles eclipses  our need to earn money. This year the capacity for brilliance, creativity, sheer hard work, loyalty and dogged determination of the women in my life has astounded me. Not wanting to sound like I’m up for a spot of man bashing , who knows where I might be without Marshy, Tony &  my boys, but they are the few and woman are the many.

Lucy in Jenny Packham Daphne from Miss Bush Bridalwear Surrey London Wedding (10)

I love writing the blog to celebrate the brides I have met. My hashtag ought to be #brilliantbrides. I picked Lucy for today as I felt she epitomised what I find so admirable and remarkable in the women I meet. Like a Glamour Award winner she is dressed in Jenny Packham & Jimmy Choo. Lucy jetted off to a business conference on the week of her wedding, works for The Spectator and if I was going to get tabloid on you she is also a hot Aussie blonde. If she  wasn’t so lovely it would be easy to be jealous. Lucy is one of those people who you think ‘go-girl’ about. I am endlessly encouraged & cheered by what can be achieved by women other than wearing a dress well. Though she does rock the frock too..

Lucy in Jenny Packham Daphne from Miss Bush Bridalwear Surrey London Wedding (17)

Lucy & Chris got married at St Brides in Fleet Street, the spiritual home of the media with a thoroughly fabulous plan of processing on foot to The Thames. I adored the idea of such a cool contemporary bride being papped by tourists to remind the world that our design capacity doesn’t begin and end with Kate Middleton’s dress, as beautiful as it was.

Lucy in Jenny Packham Daphne from Miss Bush Bridalwear Surrey London Wedding (19)

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