Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Winner All The Way.

Last year we launched a competition to win a wedding gown to the value of £1,000, a headpiece or accessory to the value of £100 and a studio photography session and DVD slideshow valued at £350
It was a HUGE success and our winner recently tied the knot and have some amazing images.
However, there was a second prize of which I'd like to tell you more about.
The competition basically asked engaged couples how their better halves got down on one knee.
Second prize was to receive a £75 voucher to put towards a bridesmaid gown supplied by a local bridal store.
Unfortunately for Louise, she was unable to redeem her prize, so when I heard about it I contacted Louise to see if there was anything she needed for the wedding.
She hadn't yet found her veil or novelty veil and top hat with Mickey/Minnie mouse ears (you'll understand why in a bit) and with a tight budget due to a baby on the way, I told her not to worry. We'd supply whatever she needed.
Louise gave us her 'Down on One Knee Moment'
"Ian proposed in front of Mickey Mouse at Disney land Paris in November 2009. We had a change of wedding date from June to April 15th 2011 as we found out we were expecting a baby in June. We had a Disney themed day with hot pink and orange colour scheme. Photographs taken at Colchester castle park and reception at rugby club. We had sweetie buffet, quiz in the afternoon and fish and chips for the wedding breakfast with an 99 ice cream van as a pudding surprise! Cupcakes with a mickey mouse head and sparkles on top too!
It was also my nanny and grandads 60th wedding anniversary the day before so they had a cake to cut too! Was a fantastic day- I was exhausted by the end especially as bump was pretty much dancing along all day too! Wouldn't change a thing though. It was an amazing day, really personal. We worked hard making everything for the day but it paid off seeing the smiles from everyone we love and care about.
I think you'll agree what a beautiful, blooming bride!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A Little Bit of Jiminy Cricket.

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you.

I consider myself a wife and mother ahead of the designer/dressmaker and it's lovely for clients to refer to me as 'Their Fairy Godmother' Thank you, Abi.
As a dressmaker/designer, I'm approaching (fast) 3 years since the re launch of my career and I really want to make it. However, the wrong side of forty has left me wondering why I left it so late in my life to try and achieve those dreams.
Like most of the lovely industry people I have the pleasure of knowing, we all want the recognition, to be 'out there' to be featured in top magazines, but to enjoy the fame and glory you have to work hard. I'm a big believer that nothing comes for free and the harder you work, the greater the rewards.
When an opportunity presents itself, grab it with both hands and squeeze every last drop you can from it. I guess the more you squeeze the more you want.
A few months ago I had the pleasure of working with the lovely Cat Hepple on a very special shoot for Leafy Couture owner, sarah Richardson. My usual dream team were involved, Jane from HF Couture and Annie from Roma Velace. We had such fun.
It wasn't long after that Cat mentioned she had put my name forward to provide a gown for a shoot taking place later in the year, Damien Lovegrove’s guest photographer, Chris Hanley. Chris is one of the leading wedding, fashion and portrait photographers in the UK. Both Damien and Chris will be spending two days next week teaching a group various photographic techniques in a secluded villa near Pisa, Italy. The location is a 16th century privately owned palace, Villa Sermolli, which is situated in the exclusive and private heart of a medieval village. With its magnificent gardens and fountains the palace is the most important palace in the Castillo.
My initial instinct was why me? Of all those people she could have suggested, why me? I'm nothing special, I can sew a pretty fine frock, but Cat knows plenty of people she could have suggested. However, I believe she pestered the photographer to death and after a few e mails introducing me to him, he finally called and I got the job.
So, my husband watched me jump up and down, unable to string a single sentence of coherent words together until I could tell him what was so important about this phone call.
It was one of those moments that I knew an opportunity had been sent my way. The only brief I was given was that the model needed to be able to 'Can Can' in it! So after receiving images of the location and model, I set to work.
Kate Middleton’s wedding gown has been talked about for months and there are already copies available to purchase from high street bridal retailer.The gown is still a talking point due to it’s vintage similarities with the gown Grace Kelly wore, when in 1956, she married her Prince. The Vintage wave is still sweeping the bridal scene 18 months on and it seems many brides are after this look. My love of Dior, of Hollywood designer Edith Head and the back detail of the Sarah Burton creation gave me a great place to start for inspiration.
For all the right reasons, Kate’s gown needed to fit the criteria for a future Queen. Covered shoulders and arms were probably stipulated by the Palace, which today’s modern bride may find far too conservative.The gown has not specifically designed for general sale although it will be a ‘Limited Edition’ piece.
I called in James Melia to photograph the gown in its finished state to enable me to have detailed shots to send across to Chris. His reaction? "I'll do this gown proud under the Tuscan Sun." Yes, I get to have some super images from one of the leading UK photographers!

I think you'll agree, James captured an air elegance and calm in these images. Thank you Mr Melia from the bottom of my heart.
So, after a few sneaky peeks yesterday, here it is.