Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Email Problems

I am being defeated by technology in all fronts. Currently I cannot pick up any emails from anywhere for Miss Bush and have been not able to since 18.30 on the 30th August. Please accept our apologies whilst we try to remedy this.

Please call on 01483 222815 to contact us alternatively please email which has been redirected to my Blackberry.

Many thanks


Harrogate Trade Show

One of the excited questions I often get asked by Brides-To-Be is 'Do I get to choose the dresses for the shop?' The answer, of course, is 'yes' alongside variously Amy, Gen - my Mum, Corinne and often my long suffering boyfriend Marshy! (Hmm - I wonder why I'm not engaged?) Although I have to say when I fill out the online registration forms them they only get the 'some influence' over the buying decisions box ticked!

The September Issue of this biannual experience is almost upon us. I have yet to work out if I am going, how am getting there, who's coming and where we are staying. Yes Readers, that is what you call professional buying. I want to qualify the next few words by saying Harrogate is a beautiful place, with some amazing hotels, restaurants and shops. As aconference centre the staff in all the  venues are professional. courteous and the Harrogate citizens are a fine bunch.

So how come I feel so uninspired?

1. It is quicker door-to-door to get to Barcelona for the trade show there!
2. The show organisers make the stands so expensive that only the big mass market labels can show there
3. It feels like a fashion backwater any planner or stylist would be able to present the collections better than the corporate set designers
4 I feel quite depressed by the amount of stands selling the same dresses with different labels
5. So much so that I even look at the skeletal see thru Swarovski  corset gypsy dresses for a laugh (My Lady anyone?)

So why do I still go?

I stock Maggie Sottero -a label I have written about on the Blog a few times. If you look at their website you would think they were an incongruous choice for Miss Bush. However I do like democracy of style, design & price. Maggie Sottero's designers, which must be legion, produce two massive collections a year,each numbering at least 100 dresses.  If I  sit through a fashion show which is desgned to be tech rather than revelatory I can pick out 10 - 15 classic Miss Bush dresses that fit superbly, use exclusive fabrics and retail between £800 and £1500. There are some monsters, in my opinion, in their collections - but they are a massive worldwide label producing designs for a vast selection of countries, cultures and tastes. There are also treasures. The only problem is that one has to go and kick the tyres so to speak. The art direction of their marketing images is handled by the worldwide Sales HQ in Utah! So unless I  go  and meet the dresses face to face I will get the buying very wrong!

To illustrate this I have looked through my images to see if I could find any shots of Harrogate, specifically me - there! Gosh I what do you think I found? Yep - me a little squiffy, at the BBEH Awards do where Miss Bush was a runner up in the Retailer of the Year Award.

Left to Right: Me, Stephanie Allin and my Mum Gen

The quiet considered buying at the stylish Jenny Packham HQ

Left to Right Petra, Ella (from Jenny Packham) and Amy from Miss Bush

The stunning interior of Jenny Packham - this is what I mean about buying  and inspiration in tandem!

The lovely Ella from Jenny Packham and the ever unphotogenic me!

Monday, 29 August 2011

The Fetcham Park Shoot - The Day After

For the record I am still exhausted from a Bank Holiday Sunday that started at 6am and finished with unpacking the van at 7.30pm. I can hear the collective 'hurrumphs' and the muttered 'don't know you're borns' from wedding photographers, planners and stylists to whom this level of 'knackered' is a weekly occurrence.

The magnifiicent Fetcham Park


Saturday is a long day in the shop and Sunday is a precious lie-in day for retailers. So tiredness I was expecting. I wasn't expecting to add to this, though, the uncertainty of going to a new and unfamiliar place with a group of relative strangers carrying the burden of expectation to produce a set of photos and styling that not only satisfy the 'client' but create art, drama and emotion.

Eddie - I am so sorry about this photo - I am truly dire on both sides of the lens!

Penny - Tigerlily doing her thing - from ceramic bunny to mouse ears - just wait and see!!!

Jude from EFC, camera in hand as ever! An Emma Woodhouse snap of the lovely Jeni modelling Gracie from Suzanne Neville

Why, you may ask, did I do it? Miss Bush Bridalwear has been established nigh on 24 years, I have a stable of top labels and a client list that would score highly on the ABC1 chart of advertising and a few awards on the wall. Shouldn't I be playing a round of golf in some sports casuals on a Sunday?

Gemma rocking the What Katie Did faux retro lingerie and a Sasso jacket in a vintage car. Clearly someone soon will give me the party line on what make of car this is. Laura Caudrey's menfolk are a bunch of petrol-heads so soon you'll have the chassis number!

Possibly I could do this. I could be at least a season off the pace of bridal fashion and still make a living (you just know I want to name names here!!!)  and a decade out of the loop of social media. However that isn't the behaviour of an obsessive fashion fan and an all round, opinionated, attention seeker. You want to be making trends not following, expressing your difference and, to paraphrase the mighty Kat from Rock n Roll Bride, show that whilst you're in bridal you are not dishing out carbon copies and cookie cutter dresses.

I have got to thank Emma Woodhouse - aka The Wedding Reporter - for her judicious use of her iPhone in capturing the 'off camera' moments like this.

The link to Fetcham Park is the lovely Laura Caudrey - @mrscaudery on Twitter if you want to follow her. Laura approached me about a year ago when she was looking for her own wedding dress. I couldn't help her - massive twinge of regret here and the subject for future blogs - but it sowed the seeds of a business relationship. Miss Bush Bridalwear has been chosen by Laura (make that stalked actually ;)) as the fashion partner for Fetcham Park a brand new wedding venue launching on the 30th October. Again this is going to be a thrilling day of fashion fabulousness by which I need to have lost 1.5 stone. This time the doors will be thrown open to all to showcase the fantastic venue and Laura's handpicked group of treasured partners. This will be  far from a wedding fair as all the contributors are chosen for their genius (not me as I peddle other people's genius clearly) and their all round loveliness.

This is Chantelle - my 'age appropriate' model and Carolanne Armstrong MUA working the brushes. For the record age appropriate is my age - Chantelle is just much better looking with a to-die-for-figure that is ageless.

Amy, the Miss Bush megastar and natural, born stylist

This is Sharon from Wonderful Wedding Hair doing one of the 'extra' models I hadn't told her about.
Over the the next few weeks I will be featuring the team on my blog in more detail and some stunning photo shoots from yesterday. There will be the EFC shoot focusing on the house itself, the team and the 2102 Suzanne Neville collection and the Tigerlily shoot using Eddie Judd photography using the grounds of Fetcham Park for an editorial shoot of the new 2012 Jenny Packham collection. Annabel from LoveMyDress is going to swoon with delight!

Here today are a few snaps from the contributors iPhones & Blackberries to get you hooked - believe me I saw stars born yesterday... and not just that headdress, Penny,  which I WANT

Jenny Packham's Eve shot by Eddie Judd, styled by Tigerlily
New season Suzanne Neville styled  and shot by EFC
Jude from EFC, Carolanne on the brushes, and a 1926 Buick

Jeni and Gemma relaxing - jeez they're good looking. I am so in love with Gemma's star headdress it is untrue.

I am pleased to say I have so much material this could run and run. I am delighted to be able to have this platform to rave about the Fetcham foxes. If you are a Bride-to-Be needing a supplier or some inspiration keep an eye on this blog!

Thanks girls xxx

Saturday, 27 August 2011

First Miss Bush editorial shoot in eight hours...

Luckily I have a team of wonderful women working with me that will make it fun. As we open Laura's Dad's Cristal and deconstruct the day - good or bad - I will know I have been working and collaborating with a tremendous group of bright, articulate and stylish women that are a credit to their craft and their gender.

I also now realise that I do not work at the coal face of Bridal as I once thought. I am niche, a specialist, a contributor - a geek if you will. I actually have only just realised that, relative to photographers, stylists and beautifiers, I get to hang out in my own shop, in my own comfort zone, every day and every weekend.

I can hear it raining, I don't know if I have picked the right dresses, I haven't confirmed hair style #1, I have added an extra model, a web luminary and a lingerie shoot. I think I may have overreached myself.

I look forward to sharing the results. I hope and expect them to be gorgeous as I have the ingredients  weighed out, popped in freezer bags and Tupperware and packed in a cake tin ready to go. All I need now is the elusive formula for the combination of science & magic, love & good fortune and style with substance.

Fingers crossed eh?

Friday, 26 August 2011

Back to Back - Cymbeline's 2012 Collection Highlights

Who wants to see my favourite Cymbeline dresses from their 2012 collection? Yep - we all do. Here they are drifting around the streets of Paris looking deeply glamorous.My favourite feature - all the plunging back necklines.

Although a back skin care routine and Pilates might be advisable  - the self supporting boobs are essential! Do I love them more because I could never wear them? Of course...

Available from October - with absolutely NO dress loans beforehand. I have already begged believe me!

New Season 2012 Jesus Peiro

I have undying affection for this Barcelona based label. Not only do they produce minimal and modernist collections they have one of the loveliest customer service teams in bridalwear. Their dresses are actually made in Barcelona so you can be assured of their provenance, prompt delivery and flexible order times. Want a dress in a few weeks? They are your designer of choice.

Here are the dresses have got coming from their 2012 collection so far - more on the way!

Style 2009

Style 2009 Backview without jacket

Style 2043

Style 2017
Style 2003

Style 2030

Style 2033

A Completely New Website Is On It's Way

Since immersing myself in social media I have become geekier than you could possibly imagine and annoyed by the limitations of my existing website. Additionally I have become a big fan of blogging - evidently!!

 The plan is to have less of a catalogue approach and use the site as more of a portal to the greater interactive aspects of social media.
Please bear with me while I organise it - in the meantime I will post daily on the blog.

Emma x 

Laura Wanless in Suzanne Neville's Maiden - Classic and Iconic

There are some words that really annoy me in reality TV and tabloid journalism. The worst being 'journey.' It is overused and reductive but I really want to use it here to describe my first meeting with Laura to the culmination of receiving these sublime pictures. It has been a 'voyage'  - wedding dress shopping is always emotional but for some more than others - like Christmas it stirs emotions, reminiscences and occasionally a tear or too.

 Laura looked beautiful in the delicate chantilly lace of Maiden from the first moment she slipped into it. It is a delicate dress perfect for a willowy English rose. Through the months from ordering the dress, Laura's stresses gently ebbed and here she is the very epitome of a relaxed and beautiful bride.  The setting of the ancient and mystical St Martha's in the hills above Guildford is glorious and the sun shone despite dire predictions - as the saying goes 'somebody upstairs' was definitely looking out for her.

 In Laura's words
" the wedding was a big success and thank goodness, despite a really unsettled weather forecast, it turned out to be a hot and sunny day up at St. Martha's on the Hill, Chilworth. The dress was perfect and I can hardly describe just how many comments I had on it, even now, a week and a half on!"

Laura on the arm of Godfather Adrian Waddams

The gently rolling Surrey countryside

St Martha-on-the-Hill

The new Mr & Mrs Richard Davies
Laura - many thanks for sharing these fabulous pictures and being an all round fantastic Miss Bush bride. Best 'Bush' wishes to your Mother Patricia too.

Photography courtesy of Roger Brown

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