Monday, 31 October 2011

Fetcham Sirens The Day After

I can barely formulate a thought today.
A sentance is going to be a push.
A Blog post would be a labour of Hercules.I have so much to say without the wit to formulate it. So to be really lazy I am going to post a transcript of my fashion show introduction and sneak peek one of Eddie Judd's stunning runway shots!

It was immense...
Intro speech - without the ad  libs - which I think were numerous....

Ladies and gentlemen, if I could have your attention for a moment, I’d like to explain why the old lady of bridalwear, Miss Bush, is taking part in this fabulous event.

Personally, I blame Ryan Giggs. If it were not for his super injunction I would never have dusted off my dormant Twitter account to see that he was, indeed, the unnamed footballer at the centre of the furore.

In short – the path from that moment to this is a short 5 months. I went on to source makes up artists and photographers ssing the medium of Twitter to collaborate on a Miss Bush Launch. It worked so well I had to set up a new blog to share the amazing images. From there I somehow got embroiled in a photo shoot at a new wedding venue which some woman called Caudery kept pestering me about. No sooner had we got that one in the can than we started planning today’s launch.

With regards to social media I am still like a clumsy toddler with a fist full of crayons – my blog is littered with typos and there is absolutely no discernable technical skill. I display work and stats that most pros would discard with a na├»ve pride.

What there is, however, is a platform for opinions and I have plenty of those –  in the Punk spirit I can publish and be damned. I can also seek out like-minded talented individuals to create working relationships with.

So now that I’ve found new friends in the playground, what can I bring to the party? I can throw my wardrobes and collections open to stylists and photographers and they can reinterpret bridalwear for a new age. I, and shops like ours, can bring expertise and technical skills – a critical eye, and very often a budget, to collaborative projects.

On behalf of Tigerlily Weddings, Leo Bancroft and Miss Bush Bridalwear I would like to introduce the Sirens Collection at Fetcham with a special thank you to Suzanne Neville for her tireless hard work on our behalf.

When I was tweeting the ‘actual’ Suzanne Neville the other morning at 7am and it was really ‘her’ in the studio making a dress for Tulisa I had a bit of a starry moment. When Tony Hampton, the world’s most glam courier, delivered our bespoke special dress for the show I almost cried it was so beautiful.

So what you see this afternoon is the coming together of Couturier, Retailer, Stylist, Blogger, and Venue in a collaborative artistic process. It has made me ‘join in’. I have jumped off Bush Island, which is not easy, as I like The Bush being an island nation with me as the potty dictator. I am as diplomatic as a sledgehammer – but I too could not resist the Sirens Call.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Fetcham Park, Suzanne Neville's Garbo, Lovely Leia and efc Photography

There is not long to go until the Fetcham Park launch party. Four days in fact of sleeplessness, model fitting, lists. plans, minor irritations and major pains in the a**e.

Who's fault is this that Miss Bush is no longer an island nation. No longer the Galapagos of bridalwear untainted by the genetic bouillabaisse lapping at our shores. It is efc-blimmin-photography.

Why - I hear you cry? At least feign interest why don't you...

Back in June when the Miss Bush Boutique concept was a building project for the lovely Marshy I decided we needed a launch party to kick it off! As an old timer and long term advertiser with the now defunct Cosmo Bride and the mighty, and ongoing, You and Your Wedding I was able to invite Miranda Eason,  Peta Hunt and the lovely publishing girls down to attend. A virtual newbie to Twitter I rashly put out a call for help! I needed a make up artist and a photographer. I really wanted to get some great images from the night.

Out went the Tweet in came efc amongst others. A couple of sarcastic tweets went round saying - here's another job with no budget! A little short sighted, but then it was peak season and I had just spent all the money on building materials. Jude from efc however did not leave at a tweeted reply, she was on the phone several times, leaving messages and clearly wanting the gig. I didn't know her from Adam. As a sales person at heart I responded to this effective doorstepping. As a result, a meeting followed, Australian Jude and Polish Bea turned up at Bush HQ. Bea was available to photograph the 1st July party. The day came, Bea and the event triumphed. The pictures were amazing - beyond anything I had hoped for especially given there was absolutely no brief or direction whatsoever from me.

Afterwards, at a meeting to show me the photos, I assured efc, that, if asked , I would recommend them to my brides. Then Jude dropped casually into conversation that they were desperate to get on a recommended supplier list for a venue. As I was so pleased with their results my mind was jogged to remember an email I had had from one Laura Young, now Mrs Caudery about a venue she wanted to launch and she needed a 'fashion partner'. As Bea and Jude sat  in the Bush Chapel mezzanine I typed an email that I think may have irrevocably changed the course of my life.

First the Aussie boot in the door, then the delicate size 3 Louboutin of Laura Caudery, Mrs Brushes - Carolanne Armstrong, flash-mob florist Bloomin'Gayle, Brizzle Cloggins aka The Wedding Reporter, Cherished Vintage, whirlwind planner Tigerlily, lovely Elbie, chatty Sharon, Eddie-she's a girl-Judd, Mrs Beeforth  - I mean how big is the circle of love going to get?

I have Eurotunnelled myself, there is a massive Golden Gate Bush Bridge into Ripley central and the whole crazy, glorious, talented bunch a rocking up to our second home Fetcham Park on Sunday.

The following pictures are the last of my uber strung out set from efc photography's shoot on the August Bank holiday. They feature, again,  real life bride-to-be Leia Suttee, one of the most naturally beautiful women I have ever come across. They also feature some of my favourite other things.

Namely -

Suzanne Neville's sublime dress Garbo from Miss Bush, my old school friend Jon Dibben's Fairtrade jewelry, flowers in the hair from Kate Moss's florist Scarlet and Violet, make up by Carolanne, Laura's house Fetcham Park and my new mates - efcphotography -  behind the camera.

So to those attendees on Sunday and the curious bystander please let it be known it is all Bea and Jude's doing...

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Chantelle at Fetcham Park in Suzanne Neville's Lombard

"I am not your typical bride" explains a nervous voice over the phone. I can hear the strength it took to pick up the phone and call a wedding dress shop.  I can sense the need to explain  - the implied apology for a previous marriage less perfect, or the echo of sadness or tragedy.

A lot of appointment booking phone calls start like this. Apprehensive to say the least. At one point, when I started working for my Mother at the tender age of 27, I was approximately the same age as most of my clients. I assumed that one day I would be older than them. Sociology, demographics 'Peter Pan' syndrome, '50 is the new 40' - call it what you will. The fact is I still see lots of brides my age. 45.

When organising the original Fetcham Park shoot I wanted to show this new cool, beautiful, demographic of clients. Women that aren't apologetic for a failed marriage, not remotely worried that haven't ever found 'the one' til their 40's. This is my age group - we idolised Debbie Harry and Siouxsie Sioux. Mariella Frostrup is my age - so is Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry. Madonna is 10 years older.

Step forward Chantelle. Friend, mother to my 17 year old Saturday girl Tegan and (step) Grandmother. Ok - she is very happily married, she has the bod' of a woman a lot younger - but so do masses of women in their 40's and 50's. It is a great age to be and hopefully a few women can start picking up the phone and  be confident in celebrating their very good fortune of being in love and engaged - celebrate being 'typical'.


Dress Suzanne Neville at
Headress Jenny Packham at
Jewellry Jon Dibben

Monday, 24 October 2011

Claire Tyrell looking gorgeous in Maggie Sottero

There are times when I feel some brides make it their life's work to shop for a wedding dress. Fair play - it's fun. I have also been asked by unmarried friends, previous registry office brides or just the long time married if they could just take over the shop for an evening, bring in some wine and play dress up. Such is the attraction of indulging yourself.

Now Claire Tyrell experienced the 'other' kind of wedding dress shopping. Where shop one almost dress one was love at first sight.

In Claire's words...

"I wanted to thank you all so much for your help – you really are amazingly talented. I’m sure there are many brides who find the task of finding the “right dress” incredibly daunting made worse by some very snooty boutiques but you all made it a lot of fun and while honest and professional it wasn’t daunting in the slightest! I’m also grateful for your help in producing the vision I had for the head piece – thank you thank you thank you! I’ve told everyone that there really is nowhere else worth going – so glad I didn’t even try!"
Claire has sent me some snaps but I have also included the link to her photographer as he has captured some lovely images of the neighbouring village of Shere. Picture perfect and used as the location for the film 'The Holiday' it provides an idyllic location for a fun and relaxed day.

Here is the link to the official photographs which show all the details of dress, day and the beautiful Claire to the best effect!

Many thanks to Claire for sharing - and I am lusting after a 'cheese' cake. Never seen one live....

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sarah Meade in Cymbeline Daylice, Espera or whatever it's called for 2012

I just love my customers  - Sarah was always left field - we hit it off.  She has, of course, picked a rising star in Ed Peers to photograph her wedding. It is a total pleasure to work with brides like Sarah. Very clever, very refined yet completely original. Choosing Cymbeline's Daylice just automatically signs you into 'cool club'. It is the ultimate 'classic with a twist' dress. I also loves that she totally rocks Ramster. This is a fabulous barn conversion near Chiddingfold in Surrey. I first heard of it, when I started working for my Mum, it had a strict policy - No Smoking, No Red Wine, No Stilettos. I remember thinking what's the point of going out out then? ' Er - this is...!

Ed Peers - I have no idea how you got Sarah to take her 'Ginas'  into a field! Good lad....

This is just boy porn....


"I just wanted to write to say thanks once again for all your help in choosing my dress, veil and accessories for my wedding day.  I could tell immediately when we came into Miss Bush and met you that we were on to a good thing, so I felt very lucky when I found my dream dress (Cymbeline Espera) in your shop and was therefore able to take advantage of your guidance and words of wisdom throughout the process! Everyone commented about how much they loved the dress, and the veil (customised by the lovely Liz after I went slightly bride-zilla-ish), in particular the way the dress changed to become shorter in the evening - it was just very me!!  On top of that, I just loved spending time at Miss Bush, so much so that I am really happy that my best friend, Lucy, who spent time at Miss Bush with me as my bridesmaid during the selection and fittings, is now shortly to be married herself and has also chosen to purchase her wedding dress from Miss Bush!

We had the most amazing wedding day, being absolutely blessed by the weather at the beginning of September after what felt like weeks of torrential rain, and surrounded by all our friends and family. And I have never felt so happy and confident about myself or what I was wearing - so thank you so much (once again, Liz did a fantastic job of the fittings when she found out that I had lost weight, more than once!). An my now hubby, Richard, also loved it (despite later admitting that when he first saw it he had no idea what "tulle" was!)

We thought you might like to see a few photos from our wedding. Our photographer, Ed Peers, did a fantastic job we think so we are very proud of them! All he asks is that if they any are to be used on a blog/website etc that you could give him a shout out (  I know you are supportive of other local wedding-related people, so in case you were interested (we were hugely impressed with all these people).."

Sarah has pretty much name checked her team...
Job done...
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