Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Bush Telegraph

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

Ok so this is the kind of quasi-intellectual conversation and debate fuelled by too much booze and a diminishing intellect. One of the frequently and reasonably coherant come-backs is

If there are no ears to hear, there will be no sound"

meaning without an interpretive mechanism all you have are vibrations.

Picture from Cosmobells

Again this morning I feel like Ronnie Corbett in a golf jumper, on a 70's chair with a raconteur style-"And the producer said... Ronnie, he said..." circuitous introduction to today's point.

The point being however good my New York event is on the night, in the age of blogs and social media the event would fall on deaf ears, or indeed sightless eyes, if there was no one to record it.

The blog, anyone's blog, is like a Very Hungry Catepillar - it won't stop consuming images - it really wants to be a butterfly.

The official feeder of  The Very Hungry Caterpillar is Juliet McKee . Juliet has acquiesced to working with me again - although I actually don't remember asking her if she was available or if it was convenient. I am a fan of the 'assumptive close.' Juliet has been tasked to provide images, not only the catwalk show,  but also to scrutinise every styling detail. every glamourous 'off camera 'backstage moment and even produce a styled shoot during the afternoon.

Juliet and I worked together back in September on a shoot and it has been a great success in terms of the images it produced and the reach of it's content. However the decision work with Juliet again goes beyond her excellent and inspired photography - there are many amazing photographers I am dying to work with.

The two overriding factors are efficiency and that we have argued, then kissed and made up - figuratively speaking. I know that I will get my images promptly - while the story is relevant. I know that the images won't be leaked or sneak previewed before I have seen them. I know that if we disagree - we will,  in the words of Brian Clough,  "talk about it for 20 minutes and then we decide I was right." ;)

All photographs of the Good Day Sunshine shoot by Juliet McKee  see more of it on Rock My Wedding

Supplier Checklist for Postcard From New York Event
Venue Miss Bush Bridalwear
Dresses JLM Couture at Miss Bush Bridalwear
Event Planner Lisa Baker at Just Bespoke
DJ Matt Maurice
Photographer Juliet McKee

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Bush Telegraph

As a post script to yesterday's post regarding Lisa Baker - do not let her mild mannered appearance fool you - she has sent me some utterly cool ideas for our New York event. Brides that have tickets already will be in for a treat. I t is very inspiring organising an event in the midst of awards season and fashion week...

Again if you ever think that Wedding Planners are some kind of freaky indulgence for the super rich - let me tell you how fantastic it is that someone listens to you, interprets what you wants, polishes and presents back in a coherent manner. It will be interesting to see the fruits of my fantasies made real by professional.

A party without music would be unthinkable, a fashion show without 'choons' would be very dreary. Fabulously I have Matt Maurice on the wheels of steel, decks errr - could be something digital. I have drawn the floor plan and he has 1.792 square metres for kit. Our first meeting, at the launch of Parallel Venues Fetcham Park, was Matt handing me a microphone with instructions for use, as I was introducing our fashion show. Legendary Penny Cullen of Tigerlily Weddings bought him on board. He was, of course, fantastic and my first choice to ask to soundtrack the fashion show.

Thanks to the Angels of Low Season, he is going to be at The New York Postcard event in person. It will be brilliant for brides to be able to meet him - a DJ that has played many a fabulous club - but won't subject your Grandmother will not be subjected to impenetrable dub-step. For the love of parties - look how sub-zero his events are -

Editing my New York influences, thinking music & clubbing only ever starts with Studio 54. Debbie Harry to Halston; Truman Capote to Woody Allen all told the impressionable teenage me what New York was and is. How fashionable, how decadent, how dangerous.

Channelling cocktail tunes brings me to Deadmau5...

Debbie Harry and Truman Capote -  Blondie front woman and the author of Breakfast at Tiffanys  with cocktails- these  images that are forever  New York

Diane Von Furstenberg - you all know I love good nylons...

Elton and Rod - favourite 'drunk track' artists of all time

I have ALWAYS had a girl crush on Debbie Harry...

Elizabeth Taylor, Halston, Bianca Jagger

Michael Jackson

Andy Warhol...

Tom Ford

Woody Allen and Michael Jackson

Pictures from!/2011/07/studio-54.html

Monday, 27 February 2012

Bush Telegraph

It's all about our New York Fashion Show and Cocktail party!

The New York themed weekend is being organised to herald the new collection from JLM Couture - a fashion house with a collection of bridal labels,  designed and produced in New York, that are fast becoming one of my favourites. I actually actively love some of the bridesmaids dresses.  - not a statement I can repeat about most of the poly-satin horrors widely available on the bridesmaids market.
Noir by Lazaro

The wedding dresses are stylish, with the glamourous modernity of big brand labels like Vera Wang and Oscar de la Renta. They are, however, priced to slide into the wedding spreadsheet on or under a £2000 budget.

Tara Keely
As I am the least well travelled person I know it is ironic idea that I am hosting a New York themed event at Miss Bush's. A woman that has never left mainland Europe designing an event concept based on a city I've never been to.

The lovely Marshy, who has been to New York - (and toured the city in shorts on rollerblades !) assures me that it looks exactly like a film set and is as familiar as Woking because of the million visual images held within our collective subconscious. I, having studied American Literature along with film at University, add the works of Henry James, Edith Wharton, Anita Loos, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac meandering to Tom Wolfe, Candice Bushnell and even Plum Sykes, to name but a few, to my imagined cityscape.

New York has also been home to many of my real and imaginary style heros - I have been trying to make them line up in order so I can pull together a brief for our shoot and catwalk looks. My mood boards, clippings and Pinterest cup overflows.

From iconic TV series...

Picture credit
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Picture credit epoch defining films

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I will be sharing my musings over the next couple of weeks in the run up to the Fashion Show and shoot hoping to carify in my own mind how this amazing city can provide endless inspiration for bridal looks.

The most absolutely amazing aspect of the event are the collaboraters I am working with. The first, and probably the most important, is Lisa Baker, a Wedding and Event Planner. Lisa's company is Just Bespoke  who aim to

"...  listen to your wishes, think up creative concepts, remove the stress and deliver a seamless, stylish and individual wedding for you and your guests."

So for wedding substitute 'event' How absolutely perfect is this for both me and 'you' potential guests. I have a hairbrained design concept about a city I've never been to. I want to invite scores of brides, their friends and families, press and bloggers. I want to entertain and inspire. Yet all I am really qualified to do is organise the fashion aspect.

I have had my first meeting with Lisa - it had an agenda - AND she made me keep to it. I discussed,with only moderate tangents, what I wanted to achieve, my style ideas, things I hate (that would be Gerberas) and  colour schemes in broad terms.

Good grief is this woman organised! I have had a contact report, tasks are assigned. Lisa will coordinate suppliers -  production, catering, design, flowers, music, bar - the list goes on. Lisa's work will be everywhere on the 23rd.

As a tempting morsel I have robbed  images from the Just Bespoke portfolio to share. So pretty...

 What do I get to do? Obssess over frocks, drive myself half crazy on Pinterest, bombard Sharon with hair questions, pace around waiting for Carolanne to get back from her break in Scotland because there are questions about Mac I need answered. Most of all I want to showcase the fashion. I have my models booked, my faces of Miss Bush at the ready...

Ellie as shot bt Eddie Judd

Jeni as shot by efcphotography

Jade as shot by efcphotography

For invites and tickets please email

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Shed to Wed Wedding Diet Thursday

This week has been an odd one, a mixed bag of dieting and fitness emotions that I think only, perhaps, women like me that struggle with weight can really get their heads round. If I was a 45 year old man, ( Surrey business owner, reasonably grown up kids) I think it would perfectly acceptable for me to be greying and carrying the portly waistline of an expense account bon-viveur.

I am not though. I am 45 year old 'spinster of this parish' in a county of well maintained, SLK driving '50 is the new 40' hotties.

So this week although the diet and fitness have gone brilliantly I still need to examine why my confidence is rocked so badly by my appearance and how to go a bit easier on myself.

Picture swiped from Liberty

Starting Stats

Bust 47"
Waist 40"
Hips 43"
Weighing in at 13 stone 6lbs

Week 4 Stats

Bust  44 3/4"
Waist 37"
Hips 42 1/4"
Weighing in at 12 stone 13lbs 8oz (ie I lost half a pound)

Total weight loss 6 1/2lbs
So training last Thursday, a run on Sunday, training Monday evening and Tuesday morning is properly impacting on the stats. Hence my record of measurements as it is a rather tiresome fact that as you burn fat and develop lean muscle you occupy less space but sometimes don't see the dramatic weight drop.

I am happy with being able to run again - albeit not as far or as fast. Whilst googling for a Caitlin Moran quote - (why the hell do I lend my favourite books out and never get them back btw) about how running was like sex I chanced across another blog Run Fat Bitch Run  and fell upon this -

"Caitlin Moran’s brilliantly funny column in the Times magazine on Saturday is on the same page. She too is a working mum, who just wants to fit into her size 12 clothes - I bet she doesn’t give a shit about her bingo wings (sorry Caitlin if you don’t in fact have them or do, and care very much). She doesn’t have the time to consider that if she had done 7minutes of strength training with weights at the gym beforehand she would have burnt off more calories on her four mile jog! She wants as many endorphins as she can get in the shortest possible time and she knows that running is the answer. For many of us ordinary women who don’t have the time or money to devote to muscle sculpture, let alone afford gym membership, strength and resistance training is something we cannot afford to waste time faffing over. "

Effectively my point - now I have battled my fitness up to running capacity - I should be able to run more, further, faster, longer and with each stride drop weight quicker and feel better emotionally. It is, when you are ready, better for good mental health than anything else I know.

To buy...
The T Shirt I am ordering ...

And whilst I am on the subject of Caitlin Moran, quotes and clothes this really sums up what want wrong with my week end and why my much anticipated love-in was an unmitigated disaster

“When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.”
Caitlin Moran, How To Be A Woman

I was expecting to be whisked away to Brighton on Saturday for a (surprise) romantic but probably fun and silly night out. Brighton is great because although it is jam packed with cool, green, trendy, student, gay fantastic-ness it is also accepting of end of the pier day-trippers and less than cool people that want to eat fish and chips and look at the sea.

I packed accordingly from my very limited, middle-age clothes that fit. I packed Saturday morning before work and thought no more. As the lovely Marshy came to collect me I found out about the change of plan. It was now London. I was immediately downcast. I wanted salt air and casual.

Perhaps only girls can understand this and hence why the Caitlin quote has such resonance. I had nothing to wear for what I suppose or believe London wants me to be. It got worse - when it should have got better. We were booked in at The Dean Street Townhouse . It is lovely, truly beautiful. The location is perfect for a hip, urban night out - had I known on Thursday or even Friday that this was where we going I could have ransacked everyone I know's wardrobes plus every shop in Guildford. I could have dressed for who I was supposed to be. What I arrived in was a pair of my daughter's leggings, a jumper a bought at Christmas when I peaked weight-wise, a pair of boots with the sole coming away and a fake fur coat too short to hide the jumper.

I felt hideous, fat, old, unfashionable - generally foul. Whatever I did and however I tried I just felt worse and worse. So a room service dinner and an early morning exit was the result. Lots of money wasted with the additional guilt burden that I ruined Marshy's weekend.

I dispense advice daily about body confidence and clothes. I agree, I need to take some of my own advice here. I have punished myself for being fat with a bad wardrobe, I have put new purchases on hold until I have lost a few pounds. I know that with a good frock, hair and make up I can rock 13 stone as well as I can 9!

I will not endanger my relationship with this again - providing I'm given a bloody clue where we are going!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Jenny Packham Aspen

Jenny Packham is using the image of Aspen to spearhead her worldwide brand advertising. Hence, daily,  I get calls from brides-to-be asking if there are any shots of the back view, side view, price, colour options and wearability. So for all you chic geeks and fact fans here are pictures from our October fashion show at Fetcham Park. Images by Eddie Judd, hair by This Morning's Leo Bancroft, head piece by DC Bouquets, flowers by Wild About and styling by Tigerlily.

Practical and factual considerations when image obsessing about Aspen.

If you are over a C cup and need to wear a bra it might be worth finding a new object of lust. As the dress is virtually backless and frontless one needs reasonably perky, self-supporting boobs. Cups can be added internally to the dress to give a little boost and Jenny Packham are providing a sliver of extra lining to make the a tad more modest.

The dress has a very definite natural waist seam and with a panelled chiffon skirt cut to curve round the bottom. If you are very long or short waisted the bottom will not sit correctly and it is not possible to alter this either prior to production or as a post production alteration.

The dress is available in ivory or platinum, the delivery time is 12 weeks and the Suggested Retail Price is £2875.

Still not fainted? Then if you are a size 8 - 12, between about 5'6" and 5'9" with a reasonable budget - the Aspen is staggeringly gorgeous.

Does this make me a body fascist? I would hope that anyone that has had a dress appointment with me or has read any blog posts knows that I believe, as fervently as any natural feminist, that beauty is not defined by size. However, in wedding dresses, the sight of gigantic cleavage, unsupported and with a breast likely to make a 'costume-malfunction' unscheduled appearance is just a You Tube hit waiting to happen.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Bush Telegraph

This week invitations for the Miss Bush and JLM Couture fashion show and cocktail party will go out. For all brides to be that have yet to find 'the one', fancy some very chic bridesmaids dresses or are simply gathering inspiration - this could be the event fo you. The date for you diary is Friday March 23rd - 6pm - 9pm and places are limited so email me and I will send you an invite pronto!

JLM are a really well established New York label that went under my radar before my bridesmaids boutique opened on the first floor of Miss Bush HQ. I often hear brides and their friends talking about 'wear-again' potential of bridemaids dresses. Is this likely? Well have a sneak preview of the Noir by Lazaro and the Alvina Valenta bridesmaids dresses and I think, yes, it is likely that they could become very useful LBD wardrobe staples.

New Season Noir by Lazaro
New Season Alvina Valenta
The JLM Couture fashion house also houses wedding dress treasures too - one of my most anticipated frocks is from the Tara Keely collection. I have loved the idea of a little mini dress with a big overskirt ever since I saw Monique Lhuillier's dress for Ayda Field - wife of Robbe Williams.

New Season Tara Keely

With the fashion show in  mind I met two contributors that are going to make the event an absolute treat for brides to be.

First was Matt Maurice and his partner Lotte from Matt Mauice Event Music . Matt is the event DJ of choice for some of the countries brightest and best wedding and event planners. Although he has a team of DJs I am very fortunate that my event is early evening and in 'low season' for weddings otherwise I would never have tracked down the man himself! (Word to the wise - like photographers - there is only one Matt - so book without hesitation!)

Secondly was the wonderful Liz from Stressfree Hire . The only problem I think I'll encounter is wanting everything they do! If you attend on the 23rd don't be surprised if there is some wow factor - I'm itching to share the plans - but I can't spoil the surprises!
Take a look at the kind of work they do -

Colourwash lights, magnificent candelabras - oh yes please!
I also have a meeting arranged on Wednesday with Lisa Baker from Just Bespoke Wedding Planners . Lisa has come highly recommended from lots of sources - Janet Mohapi Banks, Cherrytopped and Cutture
high praise in deed! Lisa is going to event plan the cocktail party and fashion show on the 23rd March. I can't wait to see her, a UKAWP pro, in action. I am expecting lists, spreadsheets, guest management, supplier coordination all wrapped up in a very stylish manner - no pressure then! My aim is not to act like a Russian oligarch - flying in forests of flowers to meet my extravagent tastes. Using an event planner should free me up to do what I do best - obssess over the dresses.

Finally a few more dress sneak peeks - I was supposed to see my Jesus Peiro agent last week - but traffic chaos prevented it. What I do have, however,  is some jpegs of some of my favourite Spanish label's 2013 collection. Want to see? Yes I thought you would. I am still deciding which dresses to order - in light of the fact I can't have them all! Feedback would be marvellous - especially if you are a fan of uber minimalist lines. These are a  few that stood out to me...

Jesus Peiro Style 3000

Jesus Peiro Style 3001

Jesus Peiro Style 3008

Jesus Peiro Style 3012

Jesus Peiro Style 3017

It's going to be a beautiful week...

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Shed to Wed Wedding Diet Thursday

Week Three. All things considered this week the diet has not been derailed...

Starting Stats

Bust 47"
Waist 40"
Hips 43"
Weighing in at 13 stone 6lbs

Week 3 Stats

Bust 45"
Waist 371/2"
Hips 43" ( if I was being particular I could shave a couple of mil' off this!)
Weighing in at 13 stone (1lb off!)

Obviously my glorious success of 4lbs last week lulled me into a false sense of security and three big nights, in the Booze Britain sense, did not help. Total weight loss is now 6lb - one pound short of a sticker! Yes - you really get a sticker!

However a pound is a pound. I googled images of 1lb of fat and arrived at nasty yellow lumps that will put you off your lunch. So I googled 1lb of Jam instead.

Two Cooks One Kitchen

So the architects of my undoing?

Thursday it was a Scentsy candle Party - I took a bottle, I drank a bottle!

Friday was the Mosimann's champagne at The Designer Wedding Show

Saturday Carolanne undertaking the Phil Collins 'InThe Air Tonight' Kareoke Drum Challenge
Saturday was a 4am finish with Gayle of Bloomingayles, Carolanne of Carolanne Armstrong MUA and The Lovely Marshy

So I obviously had to revert to apples, soup and a modicum of lean protein to reach fighting weight for last nights 'weigh-in'! It may interest you to know that a brief scan on Google revealed I am currently, should I want to enter the ring as a boxer, Cruiserweight! This is one down from Heavyweight. Oh dear.

Onwards and downwards...

A friend of mine (that would be you Jackie!) asked me to explain myself regarding a choice of dress I wanted to wear - namely Suzanne Neville's Harmony. To clear up any misunderstanding here is one of my Bridols (Bridal style idol) wearing said dress.

Laura Brace in Suzanne Neville's masterpiece of understatement Harmony. Silk crepe and silk duchesse - I desire this!
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