It’s sunny, I’ve been shopping and the shops are awash with hits of coral from the softest peach to eyeball assaulting neon orange. Browsing through my blog posts there is only one choice for a bright and shiny day and that choice is Lulu.
I have been avidly watching the social media streams from the New York Bridal market and the US is still gunning for low backs, sheer over skirts, plunging necklines and floral appliques. Style me Pretty has rounded up the trends in this post. It makes me ever so happy that my brides, like Lulu, were already wearing this last year. I’m not saying they are the coolest early adopters and a fashion buyers dream…
Shallowness aside Lulu’s wedding at Kew gardens is at once quintessentially British, a stunning iconic location and of course the weather not quite delivering. Stoicism and a fabulous venue will never let rain stop play and the wedding is every bit as wonderful as if the sun was beaming.
When I reference First Lady Chic, obsess madly over details like dipped hems and wrap a belts round someone’s head many brides might be quite alarmed. Then there are brides like Laura. Laura not only got all the references, obsessed over the same details, pinned the same images but dutifully went off and found the pill-box hat that I was crafting out of a belt.
Having a wedding dress shops with many brides means I should be quite Mummy-ish and not have favourites. I am afraid you may detect a spot of favouritism because dressing Laura was fantasy shopping. There is a profound joy in dressing a willowy, beautiful, fashion obsessive who is prepared to take a cool, brave look and wear it fearlessly. The vicarious pleasure in styling one of my favourite dresses just how I myself would wear it ( were I 20 years younger and three stone lighter) is immeasurable.
The dress is Jesus Peiro, Style 4038. It’s sharp lined, crisp razmir mikado minimalism is a signature look for the label. There is a strong Mod/60s influence to the design but Merche, the amazing lead designer behind the label, never gets too close to faux vintage.
We did discuss at various points whether the dramatic detachable train was too much for Stoke Newington Town Hall and the decision to boldly go was definitely the right one. The pared back simplicity of the dress is framed beautifully by it.
Daily, no hourly, I am given links to Pinterest boards lovingly curated by brides to be that are building in disappointment for some.
The stealth brainwashing of perfect back view images is as creeping a curse as any as I have come across to build in disappointment and extra layers of body anxiety. They are truly beautiful but lets consider the tongue-in-cheek list of commandments that is the accompanying subtext of these images.
The 10 Commandments for working this look are
- Thou shalt live in California or elsewhere where there is the ‘golden hour’ and you shalt never look chilly or under-dressed bathed in setting sunlight
- Thou shalt have thick hair that braids well
- Thou shalt have boobs under a C Cup that need no support & never need a bra
- Thous shalt never have had a cheap tattoo on your gap year ( expensive,well drawn body art is fine)
- Thou shalt never suffer from spot breakouts
- Thou shalt not have seen-through Celtic skin (like me) that shows the shadow of every strappy top or bikini I have ever worn
- Thou shalt not have moles, scoliosis or any perfectly natural, regularly occurring, normal back feature
- Thou shalt never turn sharply in front of the camera or guests or your skin will crease and the dress will gape
- Thou shall never pursue any un-girly sports and develop any muscle tone across your shoulders
- Though shalt acknowledge that you will get no waist definition and probably a really high front neck to give this a hope in hell of working and not falling off your shoulders!
I actually love Style Me Pretty as a blog for flowers and colour schemes. However, much like the idealised boudoir shoots they feature that are a long way from sexy and uncomfortably close to body fascism, they are now throwing brides into a spinal trap of back perfection.
Here’s the link to the ‘very-pretty’ shoot
The move to The Chapel has been fantastic for Corinne and I. The privacy and seclusion makes for relaxing appointments but a casualty of this is that we are no longer able to provide bridesmaids dresses for anyone except our own brides.
As I have told some girls enquiring about this they have got rather cross, offended even. I really wish we could carry on helping everyone but without a large dedicated space for groups of bridesmaids and a separate consultant to ensure large volumes of traffic the service is not a viable business proposition.
It is a casualty of our move and I am sorry for that. In our new home we would have not got to help both Leanne and Stephanie whose weddings were beautiful, and whose bridesmaids we were delighted to dress.
I am blogging both weddings to thank the girls for their custom and for being so lovely and also to acknowledge and apologise to all the brides we can no longer help.
Leanne wearing Sassi Holford
I met Leanne the first time I went to Gate Street Barn for their wedding showcase. Leanne’s dress was already bought and we chatted styling and bridesmaids. A visit to Miss Bush followed and bridesmaids were selected but the path of true dress-love does not run smooth. JLM Couture, in their infinite wisdom, decided to discontinue the style of dress that Leanne’s girls loved. Luckily we had two dresses in toning vintage shades and were able to sell off the peg despite needing some alterations.
I loved appointments with Leanne, although she did look like the most nervous bride in the world at our last meeting, swallowing Recue Remedy hourly!
Another week, another awards ceremony. or so it might seem in wedding world. Last night Suzanne Neville won best designer award st the Retail Bridalwear Associations’s annual presentation. This is voted for and chosen by the most reputable, longest established bridal boutiques ourselves included. The voting will of course recognise design innovation, inspiration and show stopping dresses. More than that from retailers, though, it will recognise that dress after dress, season after season the quality fit and service from Suzanne Neville and her team is second to none.
There may be designers whose Instgram feeds are cooler; more pigeon-toed-designer-flats-today-I’m-wearing pictures than you can shake a sustainably sourced stick at. There are stylist-designers who are super hip, and classic designers who are safe as houses. There are designers that are more niche, more avant-garde, more vintage, take your pick.
Brides buy a vision from us, rarely does a shop sample fit as it ought, hence our no photos insistence. The sample is not our product, it is the made to order, wonderfully fitted dress. With Suzanne you know how ever many elastic bands are across the buttons when you try on a sample ( as I experienced recently) or more pins than a porcupine on prom night the finished dress will be magnificent.
When wedding photographer Guy Collier saw Felicity in her Suzanne Neville dress went as far as to praise us for making his job easy. Perfect fit ensures perfect photos. There are no bad angles, gaping necklines, back cleavage. When whatever prevailing wedding dress trend has sailed off into the horizon brides are left with how well a dress fitted and flattered her. The only part of a dress that is truly timeless.
Felicity is wearing Suzanne Neville’s ‘Captivating’ dress. The dress is made from cream Chantilly lace over a hand-made, structured corset interior. The skirt is a slim column with a tiny puddle train.