There’s lots to smile about at the beginning of 2017 when I announce the date of my fifth sample sale. Saturday 28 January, 2017 at 10.00 am the doors will open, so book your appointment now! Is it really five years ago since my first sale, when it snowed and there were no trains and I wondered if anyone would come … But they did and it was a brilliant success, lots of gorgeous brides found their dream dresses at a fraction of the bespoke price and we have held a sale ever since at the same time. According to The Daily Telegraph, “rules of engagement” over 10,000 of you got engaged over Christmas and the New Year, we won’t be able to fit you in all at once but we will do our best which is why we are offering half hour appointments to spread you all out. These half hour slots can be booked in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The sale is at the studio at 6 Mortlake Road, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3JA. There is limited parking in the drive and unrestricted parking in the streets off the other side of the Mortlake Road. Nearest tube is Kew Gardens and the nearest main line station is Kew Bridge.
There is a strict no returns or exchange policy.
If you are looking for “the one”, come to my sample sale on Saturday November 5th, 10.00 am to 3.00 pm, at 6 Mortlake Road, Kew, Richmond Surrey, TW9 3JA.
Choose from a wonderful selection of my signature bohemian chantilly lace dresses, grecian style crepe gowns with draping or classic zibeline columns. Expert advice on how to put together “the whole look” with stunning accessories; frothy tulle veils, lace boleros, satin jackets trimmed with fur.
All the gowns in the sample sale are new, in perfect condition and can be altered to fit you. Note there is a strict no returns or exchange policy. Prices from £750 to £1750. Sample sizes 8-12.
Leicester Square, London at 7.30pm on Thursday 14 January. The red carpet is out…. a growing buzz of excitement in the air….people are dressed in their A-lister finery and wrapped up against the bitter night air….their VIP tickets are at the ready….which potential award winner is due to arrive?
Having won Regional Finalist Wedding Dressmaker/Designer of The Year – London and the South-East – back in November, I‘d made it through to the wedding industry award of all awards: the Finals. And what a night it was.
I couldn’t have achieved this without the wonderful support and testimonials received from all my lovely brides. A massive, ginormous thank you to everyone who voted for me, making my year!
A trip to Harvey Nichols had nailed my outfit (the dress code on the invite stated ‘Awards Chic’: a gorgeously twinkling black and gold top by xxxxx over a swishy black net skirt by xxxxx. Once again, I’d invited my lovely marketing consultant, Caroline Gibson (an award-winning copywriter herself!) as my guest.
The build up began with getting hair done then a visit to Space NK in Richmond for make up (if only the lovely girls at ID lived close by!). Thank goodness for Uber – however, not so ideal when you find yourself caught in a 20 minute traffic jam in Knightsbridge (maybe because of the Lumiere London festival starting?) but thankfully our Oyster cards were at the ready so we jumped ship and made the last leg of the journey by tube.
Leicester Square ‘s Café de Paris is a stunning venue that dates back to 1924. The rope barrier was lifted for us by the doormen on guard and in we swept. Once again, the lovely Beetle Juice guys were on hand with their delicious cocktails as we arrived. The venue was already filled with chatter and laughter, and we luckily spotted two available chairs upstairs with perfect views of the stage.
The evening kicked off with some breathtaking acrobatics by and then it was time for founder Damien Bailey to announce the 26 category winners, aided by Sky News presenter, Isabel Webster. Thousands had entered, hundreds of hours had been spent in judging, and now was the moment for the big reveal.
When my category for Wedding Dressmaker/Designer of The Year was announced and the shortlist displayed on screen, it felt like a decade had passed before the winner was announced – me! Being upstairs meant I had to make my way down the sweeping staircase (as if on a Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire film set!). Cameras flashed, music played…it was an unforgettable moment. Proudly clutching my award, I then had to go backstage for a video interview followed by more photos.
Huge congratulations to all the other winners and, indeed, all the regional finalists. It was a a night in a million and simply wonderful to meeting so many talented people in the wedding industry that help make a wedding day so, so special, from florists to photographers to transport providers to venue stylists to my favourite named category – special touches.
How did the evening end? Well, there was music, there was dancing, there was champagne….but there wasn’t any sign of Leo. Apparently, he went post-premiere to The Groucho Club in London with a mystery brunette dressed in black. Which wasn’t me! I was still at the awards event having a great time. His loss, not mine!
Thank you, thank you thank you!
I still don’t think I’ve come down to earth after being awarded Regional Finalist – Wedding Dressmaker/Designer Of The Year, London And South East at The Wedding Industry Awards!
Monday, November 23 was such a magical evening from start to finish. In fact, the excitement started even before then with ‘What shall I wear?’. After much deliberation and several rounds of trying on, I settled on a black Armani dress (the tailoring is just incredible; the dress had an elegant cut-out neckline complemented by a sassy kick pleat at the back). I matched this with a pair of suede heels in a rich plum and set off the look with a faux fur number from Reiss that’s been gracing all the fashion pages recently. Hair – tick. Make up – tick. Uber – tick.
I invited my marketing consultant and longstanding friend, Caroline Gibson, to join me (who afterwards told me her heart was beating with anticipation/nerves so loudly, she was sure everyone in the presentation had heard it). Our taxi pulled into the stunning grounds of Morden Hall, which is a wedding venue set in National Trust parkland in south London. This country house was beautifully renovated as a wedding venue this year (brides take note – this place is Gorgeous with a capital G).
The event’s founders, Damien Bailey and his fabulous wife Anna, were at the door to greet everyone. We completely failed to resist the cheeky charm of the Beetle Juice guys who’d skilfully whipped up a very tasty cocktail. We eventually dragged ourselves away after taking a card (their cocktail bars are normally 1970s VWs) to savour the most delicious canapés provided by Galloping Gourmet.
The rooms were buzzing with chat and laughter: it was so lovely to meet the other regional finalists and learn about the services they provided, from a quirky VW campervan in the Transport category to the exquisite paper wedding decorations crafted by Laura in the Special Touches section – who won it!
I held my breath when the shortlist was read out for my category and leapt out of my seat when my name was read out. The most poignant moment was when Damien had read out an anonymous and very moving testimonial from one of my brides. So I want to thank everyone who voted for me – it’s so, so, so generous of you to have taken the time, and winning the award has absolutely made my year. Speaking of which, the accolade is now in pride of place on the table in my studio.
The evening continued on a high with photos, a video interview and was rather nicely rounded off with a glass of bubbly (of course).
Next stop: The TWIA National Awards in London this January at which the national winners of all 26 categories will be announced. Fingers crossed, and over a month to decide what to wear for it. I promise to keep you posted…….