Thursday, 28 July 2011

Zara Phillips to Wear Stuart Parvin.

Zara Phillips, the Queens granddaughter, will marry her Prince Charming, Mike Tindall, wearing a Stuart Parvin gown.

I adore this designer, classic and timeless and am sure it will be in total contrast to Catherine Middleton's wedding gown designed by the Alexander McQueen label.

Of course, our own excitement is that we have designed a very special outfit for a guest at the wedding this coming weekend which will also be attended by The Queen, Prince Phillip, Prince William and Catherine along with many others from the Royal family.

I met with our client yesterday and she told me not only was she wearing the outfit we designed to the wedding, but an earlier piece is going to be worn for a cocktail party on the Royal Yacht Britannia on Friday night!

There are obviously very strict rules against cameras and mobile phones so I've asked our client to give us the full run down of the day on her return.

She had a bit of a wobble when her mum, who accompanied her to her fitting, told her that she could be sitting opposite The Queen at the wedding breakfast.

Needless to say, I cannot WAIT for the official wedding photos to see if I can spot our frock!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Latte Silk and Ivory Lace. A Match Made in Heaven.

Sally always remained completly enthused with every detail of her wedding gown.

From chosing the 100% silk dupion latte silk to the ivory corded lace for her wedding gown.

I loved every single moment of meeting with Sally and she was one of our first clients who moved with us from our home to our spacious new studio.
We designed a simple yet elegant style for her wedding gown. The inner corset giving Sally a fantastic shape which she squealed with delight at each fitting.

The hemline was dipped slightly at the back giving weight and movement to the lace. It added a kind of 'swish' detail as sally walked.

At her final fitting, we teamed her gown with a wonderful fresh water pearl side tiara from HF Couture. The colour and style complimented each other perfectly.

It was an absolute pleasure being part of your day Sally. I hope married life is treating you well.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

How To Be Nice In Business Without Being Ripped Off.

When you own your own company or business in the wedding industry, it's great to have support from fellow like-minded people and build relationships you can trust.

I am extremely lucky to have such a network of people around me. These may be photographers, fellow dressmakers, florists and jewellery makers.

They all offer words of support or advice when situations arise.

A good friend of mine is an amazing photographer. Her work really is astounding and she is THE most lovely lady to boot.

This morning I read that someone had passed themselves off as a bride and was requesting information of the photographers services.

Brochers were sent, but it wasn't until later that it was discovered that ideas have been used along with an amount of scary similarities. The said bride was in fact another photographer.

A florist friend has had her images of work she has produced taken and used in another photographers website. Passing the images off as her own.

Again, my friend is THE most lovely lady.

I have had people request information packs of my services to discover they have simply been requested for use for their own business.

I have to be careful of what I say, but being nice and super helpful to some people in the industry mearly gives them an invitation to try and rip you off or have a slice of what you have.

To say it is upsetting is an understatement. There are some really lovely people out there who are so genuine and there are others who simply aren't.

However, when you do come across these types of people in the industry, it makes it harder to accept. Doubt sets in which makes you feel like you've been 'had over' You feel stupid for not seeing it, angry to think that someone isn't acting in the same credible way that you do.

Rising above it or have the attitude that copying is a form of flattery is even harder.

So, how do you stay nice in business but protect yourself from wannabe's?

Always stay polite and business like.

Saying no doesn't mean you aren't retaining your niceness.

One thing I have learned is not to issue information packs on a first enquirey. A client may come for a consultation and we put together a simple sketch. A client will get heaps of information from this consultation and once a deposit has been paid, they are issued a formal sketch and information in writing of all the services we offer.

With all this in mind, doesn't it make you feel that it is harder to trust? Well, yes and no.

For me, being nice has it's rewards. I get to attend a lovely event in a few weeks time where I can meet other likeminded industry folk and a lovely lady I shall meet for the very first time. It's great to surround yourself with such lovely people who all share the same passion as me, people who congratulate you on each step you take to success.

Being nice also has it's downfalls. Some people want a slice of your success. Some people think latching on will mean you will carry them somewhere. The moment you say no or the moment there is a situation which forces you to raise the assertive business head shows their true colours and that's when the kick in the teeth happens.

The only outcome these situations bring is to not be so trusting. It doesn't mean I don't want to increase my circle of trusted friends, it simply means it may take a little longer than usual.

I have certain people to thank for that!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Wedding of Laura.

Most of my clients, have at least stepped into a bridal salon and tried if not one, but a few frocks to determine what they like or what they don't.

Laura, however didn't as she knew what she was after had been a fairytale dream in her head. Her dream gown that simply did not exist in any store.

Laura chose a 100% white silk dupion with a front swag detail to the skirt and feature bow. She loved the concept of the bubble hem and wanted that incorporated into her gown.

At her final fitting she said it was as if I'd climbed inside her head to retrieve her image.

A small square diamante clasp added that final touch.

Laura with her bridesmaids.

The smile that says it all.

Laura said.

"Hi Linda,

Hope your well and the studio has taken off well for you!!!

I really wanted to thank you for creating my fairytale dress!! It was perfect and I felt exactly the way I wanted to on my wedding day!!

You were a star from start to finish and I felt comfortable and relaxed with you. I feel every bride should enjoy such an experience at that exciting time.

Thank You again,


Laura, it was a total pleasure.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

No 9 Hosts It's Strawberry Tea.

When we announced we were holding our charity tea, we were innundated with offers of help from suppliers in the wedding industry. We have to begin by saying a huge thank you to all those who helped the day be the success it was. What an amazing network of business people we are delighted to call good friends.

With local press coverage in the Telegraph and Argus and keighley News, we had a fabulous turn out with visitors wandering in and having a look around.

We raised £150 for the Breast Cancer care and today we received our certificate.

With sprecial thanks to;

Cat Hepple Photography for the images

Leafy Couture for the flowers

Just Darling Cakes for the cupcakes

and Sarah's Bakery for the Strawberry cake tower.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Weekends off? What Is This Concept Of Which You Speak?

Since moving to the studio a few weeks ago, it has been full steam ahead for No 9 Bridal Couture.

There really hasn't been a spare moment to fully appreciate our new surroundings, which has to be a good thing right?

Separating the job from the home life has had a huge impact, with the ability to offer earlier weekend appointments alongside later weekdays without the involvement of the husband or the family. Again, a good thing!

Productivity has increased ten fold. Less distractions at home mean more work produced at the studio which in turn has returned me to working on my own.

It seems regular features in magazines are keeping the enquiries rolling in along with constant contacts with people in the industry wanting to work with me. I love that!

Deadlines this month, or should I say week, are a full wedding outfit with an alternative edge. A client was sent our way who had arranged her wedding in a matter of weeks. Her idea of what she wanted to wear simply wasn't out there. So, we took the challenge with a deadline of July 16th, just under a week's time.

We also have a fantastic opportunity of making an outfit for a guest who is attending the wedding of Zara Phillips at the end of the month in Edinburgh. As with many celebrity weddings, it is possible the wedding will feature in one of the major magazines such as Hello or Ok. I've instructed our client to make sure she stands very close to the future Mrs Tindall (Zara is marrying rugby player Mike Tindall) to enable the photographer to get a great shot of our dress we are making for her. We've had a chuckle about this!

Something also exciting for us later this year is the fantastic opportunity to supply a wedding gown for a photography workshop in Tuscany run by Damien Lovegrove.

Mr Lovegrove is considered by many to be among the top wedding photographers in the world.

Our name was forwarded to Chris Hanley who works alongside Damien, by the lovely Cat Hepple and we are designing the gown to encompass many of the elements Italy has to offer.

Something I am also super excited about is the Love My Dress soiree in August this year. The theme is vintage glam and this is so up my street. I am making three gowns, one for myself and the others for two very lovely ladies, Cat Hepple, Cat Hepple Photography and Kelly Clapperton, Paul Joseph Photography. It's going to be an amazing evening with the opportunity to meet some super amazing industry people. Of course, meeting the lovely Annabel, the hostess with the mostess is top of my list. Annabel has recently been responsible for our amazing feature in Vintage Life magazine this month.

We hope to hold our first catwalk event towards Christmas and showcase some new bridal designs we are working on.

So, with all this in mind it really is full on at the studio and I really wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, 4 July 2011

My Very Big Fat Gypsy Style Prom Dress

When Paige and her mum contacted me with this request, to say how excited I was to be involved in this project would have been an understatement.

I watched the TV programme, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding with great interest, seeing beyond the enormous and weighty dresses the young girls had to wear, to the craftmanship that goes in to one of these masterpieces.

I bow to the talents of Thelma Madine and the outrageous gowns she produces for the Traveller community. Many of her gowns have flashing bodices or mechanical butterflies, the heaviest dress she produced was 25 stone.

Just like the traveller girls, each time I saw Paige she said. "I want it bigger!"

The petticoat we used was huge with over ten layers of tired net and with the additional seven layers of pink tulle, took the skirt to its massive size.

We designed the bodice to have flashes of diamante over the cut away top with lots of sparkle. That was something, Paige insisted on.

The back was sheer tulle with boning and lace up closure and the short skirt was designed for the 'After the prom party'

To complete Paige's look, I made a tie for her Prom date using the detail from her bodice to co-ordinate.

The short version.

Finally, below is Paige in her very huge pink tulle prom dress with very sparkly tiara.

First four images Paul Joseph Photography.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Vintage wedding gown for sale.

A few additions to add to our 'For Sale' Gallery.

Above is a 'Funny Face' inspired vintage style wedding gown. It is white pure silk dupion with a white spot tulle overlay to the skirt. The back is button fastening.

It is a fully lined wedding gown with a choice of tiered petticoat in several colours.

Size 12/14 £575.00

Cat Hepple Photography

Above is a Titanic inspired (The red one Rose wore before when she first meets Jack) vintage style wedding gown.

It is ivory slipper satin beneath beaded and sequin lace. The gown has a tulle train with beaded applique trim.

Size 14 £645.00

Finally this vintage lace wedding gown (approx early 1980's)

White chantilly style lace over white satin.

Size 10. Sash needs to be replaced due to discolouration, but the gown is in perfect condition apart from this.

Alterations will be included.

£500 open to offers.

Please contact us on to register your interest.