Page 1

ng st yi be bu e th



maKiNG the most of tWitter

Prom PoweR

sChool-leaviNG aGe – Will ChaNGe imPaCt oN the marKet?

350+ CoLLeCtions WhY BBeh is UNmissaBle

f o s star w o h s the

The thinking bride

What is her vieW of retailers?

treNDs the KeY

PlaYers PreDiCt



GettiNG the Best oUt of harroGate | | 01908 615599

BBEH 2011

Hall Q - Stand Q1


Designer of the Year

2011 FINALIST Best Bridalwear Manufacturer

We look forward to seeing you on Stand C16 where you can view all our beautiful collections including Veromia Bridal, Veromia Couture by Jason Jennings, Sonsie and Veromia Bridesmaids.


Come and see us at British Bridal Exhibition – Harrogate, UK Designer Hall Stand D20 11-13 September 2011


020 8804 1567 ❤ ❤

Stand C16


Designer of the Year

2011 FINALIST Best Bridesmaid Collection

We look forward to seeing you on Stand C16 where you can view our beautiful Bridal, Bridesmaid and Prom Collections


Designer of the Year

2011 FINALIST Best Plus-size Collection

2011 FINALIST Best Bridalwear Manufacturer

Come and view our gorgeous award winning dresses on Stand C16, we look forward to seeing you there

2011 FINALIST Best Bridalwear Manufacturer


Designer of the Year

We look forward to seeing you on Stand C16 where you can view all our beautiful collections including Veromia Bridal, Veromia Couture by Jason Jennings, Sonsie and Veromia Bridesmaids.

Couture Bridal Division of UK free phone: 0808.120.2337

See us at:

BBE HARROGATE Sept. 11th-13th Stand M20-M23

SPRING 2012 collections launching at BBEH 11 - 13 September, Hall C – Stand 27/36

For more information, contact Michele O’Neill:; tel. 0845 838 1041

Existing accounts please visit: • To apply for a new account visit:



Victoria Kay The Art of the Dress

Please visit us at BBEH stand A21 to view our 2012 collection

Please visit our web site to see our stunning new collection. For more information or to book an appointment please contact us on 01424 427284 or e-mail:

We will be showing our stunning 2012 collection at:

Visit us on Stand 42 Hall Q Receive signiďŹ cant discounts when you place your order at the fair.

The inspirational new ‘suiTcase’ collection. ExcEptional fitting bridal gowns designed to go anywhErE for your big day.



w w w. j o h n c h a r l e s . c o . u k | | 01908 615511

2011 FINALIST Best Bridalwear Manufacturer

BBEH 2011 Hall Q - Stand Q1


Contents Show business This BBEH is the biggest ever. Here’s what to expect There are some great names and spectacular collections in Hall D


From the editor

This is the biggest issue ever of Bridal Buyer – close to 200 pages packed with industry up-dates, new product roundups and trend predictions along with advice from experts on the subjects you have told us you want to know more about – business management, finance, legal matters, social media, buying. Not only that, but we have – by popular demand no less – two issues of Focus, one each for occasionwear and bridalwear, which cover the 2012 collections and provide a clear picture of the new season’s key looks. Unsurprisingly, Harrogate – and what you’ll find there – is our main topic though. With more than 350 collections representing every sector of the weddingwear market and spread across six halls and four hotels, this September exhibition is undeniably the most important on the annual calendar.It will also, because of new production schedules in China, be the first time when many retailers will have to accept and plan in different delivery times throughout the year and order accordingly – but that is a situation we knew was coming and most of us are well prepared. Looking forward to seeing you at BBEH.

The linkway between Halls C and Q is where to spot brilliant young talents You want gorgeous gowns? Here they are Get ready for the party season with the best in bridesmaids and promwear Eveningwear and mother-of-the-bride dressing so sleek and elegant The choice in quality, fashion-forward headwear has never been better. Ever


in the new season’s jewellery collections Walk away with the latest looks, colour, straps and heels you can walk on Ballet pumps and swishy skirts for little girls who want to be all grown up Who are the names, what are the trends? Find out who is who in the boys’ corner



Hollywood Dreams launches its new label, priced to be accessible Gina Blakemore-Murray brings Ian Stuart London and Irresistible to BBEH. Fab news BBEH will see the world premiere of Disney Fairytale Weddings by Alfred Angelo Jonathan James brings his opulent new collection to Harrogate. At last


Retail focus In business for a few months, and it is booming for Anya Bridal Couture 19



Contents 120


Are you keeping your brides happy? Are you sure about that? BIS advises on the best ways to buy

Features Beverly Lister in the spotlight Raising the school-leaving age could be very good indeed. For brains and business What the key suppliers plan for 2012


What the industry rates as the best bits Report from Europe’s largest bridal show Top-notch advice for would-be exporters

Is it worth a retailer’s time? Editor Susi Rogol 020 7431 2259 114 Cholmley Gardens, Kim Colley London NW6 1UP Clive Burton Nardene Smith 020 7772 8317 Gemma Isteed 020 7772 8396 Allana House 020 772 8312 /Alliance 020 Judith Sutton 8955 7040 020 7772 8393 Wendy Adams 01423 770120 Printech Europe Bridal Buyer is published six times a year by Ocean Media Exhibitions Ltd, 1 Canada Square, 19th Floor, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP Tel 020 7772 8300 / Fax 020 7772 8587 /

Copyright ©2011 Ocean Media Exhibitions Limited. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any written material or illustration in any form for any purpose, other than short extracts for review purposes, is strictly forbidden. Neither Ocean Media Exhibitions Limited nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage to transparencies or any other material submitted for publication. The of the Editor or Ocean Media BACK ISSUES If you would like to purchase back issues please call us on 020 8955 7040 or email


Time to brighten up your best features

141 124


Davinci welcomes new and existing stockists to view the new Spring 2012 Davinci bridal and bridesmaid collections at BBEH 11-13 September stand C74 For further info please call 01727 85145

NEWS… you need to know

Where do you start? The biggest news of all is what will be unveiled at Harrogate and, from the sneak previews we have had, the new season kisses goodbye to safe styling and goes all out for serious glamour, a signal that the good times are back Don’t forget! Cake and bubbly and your chance to win one of 20 fab goodie bags on the Bridal Buyer stand – A45. But you have to wish us Happy Birthday to qualify.

Unmistakeably Maggie

cap sleeves and bodices to entice and intrigue. Skirts vary from grand whimsical tulle and organza ball gowns to the chic sophistication of slim chiffons A-lines. At Harrogate you will see voluminous skirts crafted from soft folds of fabric, cascading layers, and an individual take on short gowns. +44 (0)151 339 9139 / Majestic Hotel


Perfect fit


Cover image: Main shot, stunning black and white gown from the 2012 collection of Eternity Bridal, C25/39; insets, left to right: Crystal Couture; Jasmine Couture; Venus; Rainbow Club; Jean Yves. All gorgeous. All at Harrogate, 11-13 September.


Feathery friends JOAN LEE IS A BBEH REGULAR and her great accessories collection is always popular. New for 2012 is a luxury range of real feather wraps, boleros, capes and even jackets in ten high-fashion colours with wraps and capes also available in large sizes. +44 (0)161 480 0435 / BBEH B4

FOR MAGGIE SOTTERO, SPRING 2012 ushers in a return to all things feminine: ribbon belts jewelled with sparkling embellishments, hourglass silhouettes designed to

Pick up your awards entry pack in Hall A, next to the Bridal Buyer stand and hey – good luck.

The thinking bride


Benjamin Roberts is about to make a lot of women, and the boutiques they shop at, very happy. You can say goodbye to across-the-pond sizing (and guesswork) as, starting with Spring 2012 deliveries, LOVE by Enzoani patterns will be graded according to typical UK 12, 14 and 16 sizes with an additional one inch added to the waistline (thank you Ms Taft). Size 6 will be a much-welcomed little additional for the label. +44 (0)1792 564710 / BBEH Cairn Hotel

Beach beauties

ARIANNA, THE DESIGNER ARM of leading UK bridal accessories company Linzi Jay, has introduced a beautiful collection of barefoot jewelled ‘sandals’ that are perfect for destination weddings – and honeymoons. The concept is perfect – sparkling foot jewellery that ensures top-to-toe style and the colour choice in stones is brilliant, so bespoke is available. +44 (0)1254 665104 / BBEH Cairn Hotel

HALO & CO is about to boost your business GOOD NEWS? OH YES. HALO & CO will be launching a new website at Harrogate which could change the way you can purchase its products.The Halo team will be on hand at BBEH to talk you through the site and answer any questions. What’s different? According to sales director Vince Frodsham, the site is designed to reach and excite brides-to-be about the Halo & Co brand, who will then be re-directed to the brand’s stockists to make the sale, unlike the accessory companies who vie with retailers and sell direct to consumers. Of particular interest is the trade section of the site which will have a fully-automated ordering facility and show all the collections, plus news, reviews and trend advice. +44 (0)1745 859730 / BBEH B17


Bridal Buyer / A45 Perfect Wedding C10 Wedding Ideas A42 Brides – Media Lounge Irish Wedding Journal – Media Lounge Scottish Wedding Directory – Media Lounge


Can you pick a winner?

These six gowns, from Amanda Wyatt, Ellis Bridals, Justin Alexander, Maggie Sottero, Mark Lesley and Veromia, are finalists in the Wedding Dress of the Year category in the Bridal Buyer Awards 2012. They will be on display at BBEH September. The winner, selected by consumers voting for their favourite online, will be announced at the Bridal Buyer Awards, 12 March, 2012. There will also be a display of 2011 awards winning pieces at BBEH September.


Good reads at the show




Bonny goes for gold Do you know about Bonny Bridal’s Gold? Introduced a couple of years ago, it is never advertised and does not appear on the company’s website. The only images stockists see are those in the Gold catalogue and they have to sign a contract agreeing that they will not use the images online, or photograph the gowns. That way Bonny can guarantee that Gold cannot be faked – and strengthen its fight against copy-shops. See the new Gold Collection at Harrogate. +44 (0)1279 418555 / BBEH A20/34 27


the new 2012 collection

Designed in the UK

01625 521547

A A Visit us at stand a37 at BBEH

Footloose no more RAINBOW CLUB HAS NOW brought its childrenswear collections together under one umbrella and from 2012 all kids shoes will be available in the new Rainbow Club Kids range, providing a coherent offer for retailers while allowing customers a wide choice of designs. Included in the dyeable collection is Abigail, chosen by the Duchess of Cambridge for her little bridesmaids and Sam, the popular trainer style for girls and boys. New styles include Jemima, with beautiful bow detail and pleating across the front, and Hetty, dressed up with a hand-

Anny Linn – a true original

Not content with adding the excellent MOB range Bella Rosa to its evergrowing portfolio, Romantica has signed a deal with design star Anny Linn European launch pad. Imaginative, exciting, and gaining critical acclaim everywhere, this young talent really has something different to offer. She may be tiny in stature but her couture collection in silk, chiffon and taffeta is stylish, clever and tells a very big story. +44 (0)1884 860728 / BBEH St George Hotel

Arianna Cairn Hotel Benmark B5 Blue Ribbon Petticoats M29 Body Wrap for Brides Q21 By Wishes C62 Carnival Creations A10 Diva Intima C62 Dominique Lingerie B5 Elila Lingerie B5 Flattering Me Collection A10

trends include elastic bar straps, satin-covered heels and pretty decorations with just enough sparkle to be magical. +44 (0) 1392 207030 / M42

It’s a wrap Need a garment bag? A display stand for jewellery? A gorgeous box for bridal treasures? The suppliers at BBEH will have what you want at the right price Alphawrap B1 Angel Forever by Elegancia UK Q31 Concept Covers C78 Hoesh International B29 Inca Jewellery C55 Jewellery World C51 The Empty Box Company Q28

Lingerie at BBEH

Glamour You Bra C62 Heading Up! M34 Imogene M15 Julie France Shapewear B5 Jupon A10 Lormar B5 Merry Modes B5 Power Curves C62 Secret Weapons C62 Silhouette M12a Sticky Straps A10 Swappers C62

First timers at Harrogate Some are brand new names in the business, some are established labels looking to build their customer base. All are new to Harrogate and have something special to offer. VERISE

Aahan Jewellers Annais Belle Luxe Blossom Tiaras Body Wrap for Brides


Q20 Q42 Q17 M9 Q21

Claire Mischevani D24 Crystal Couture L3 Elegancia UK Q31 Hazaar of London Q22 Her Best-Kept Secret L6 Kevan Jon L4 Jonathan James D3 La Femme B13 Lisa Marie L5 Lizzie Agnew L2 Lovett & Co Q21a Martha May Q23/24 Pilgrim Q26 Private Label by G Q45 Starlet Jewellery Q34 Verise Collection Q30/38 Victoria Ann Millinery B23 PILGRIM


Mark Lesley

The British Bridal Exhibition 11th – 13th September 2011 Hall Q Stand Q7 Stockist Enquiries Tel: +44 (0) 1621 784784 Email:

ENJOY… RBA DINNER-DANCE *you… THE may still be able to get a ticket for the Association’s annual bash at the Majestic where there is good food and drink, entertainment, the chance to mix and mingle away from the pressures of work and, oh yes, the announcement of the winners of this year’s RBA awards. Who’s going to walk away with the titles this year? For ticket enquiries, email … ALREADY SUPPORTERS OF *Water Aid, CAFOD and Habitat for Humanity, Amanda and Andrew Bradwell of Eternity Bridal are now using their experience and contacts in the bridal industry to raise money towards various important charity projects in Uganda. Setting up shop, they intend to keep it supplied with wedding apparel, the proceeds of which will help fund various initiatives set up by Children of Hope Uganda. Amanda has booked a Harrogate restaurant, Le Bistrot Pierre, for dinner, sponsored by GAC Logistics, on Sunday 11 September, right before the BISCO party at the Majestic, and is inviting show exhibitors to buy tickets. The £10-per-head charge (which includes a two-course meal and a full bottle of wine per person), will be donated in full to the charity. Space is limited and available on a email to book.

Shape assured US BRAND, BODY WRAP, one of the originators of shapewear, will be launching its Bridal Wrap Collection at Harrogate. Using seamless technology to enhance places, the functionality of the product is counter-balanced by touches of prettily-printed lace. The science-side of the Wrap – which is impressive – will be explained by the experts at on the stand at BBEH. +44 (0)1423885374 / BBEH Q21

Dom Bridals launches new label SEPTEMBER BBEH WILL SEE a new name entering the competitive, accessible-price arena, a sector in which Dom Bridals is not currently represented. Prices in this highly-commercial collection start at just £165, with bridesmaid dresses (available in taffeta, chiffon and satin and 60 colours) starting at £60; get an order in for six bridal gowns for stock and you will receive six bridesmaid dresses free – an excellent introductory offer. On top of all this very good news is that orders placed at Harrogate in September will be delivered before Christmas. Enjoy a glass of bubbly on Dom’s new stand in Hall Q.

Donna Salado joins Mark Lesley MARK LESLEY’S BURGEONING business, which now encompasses bridalwear, bridesmaids, prom and destination weddings collections, as well as the eponymous top, has taken on top talent Donna Salado as Head of Design. In addition to assuming responsibility for the creative direction of Mark’s brands, Donna will continue to develop her own-name couture label under the Mark Lesley umbrella. Mark has pledged to put the same level of customer service, back-up and support behind the Donna Salado label as he applies to his core new and vibrant media campaign is planned. +44 (0)1621 784784 / BBEH Q7 and Q7a

Making a drama of it New for 2012 and featured at BBEH is the cleverly-named Drama Queen by Amanda Wyatt, a fab collection of gowns for prom princesses, fashion-minded bridesmaids and party-goers who want a great look. Available in sizes 4-26, a kaleidoscope of colours and a huge numbers of stylish silhouettes, the collection is priced from just £69. +44 (0)1625522344 / BBEH A18/36 31

Style: 65002

The Ronald Joyce team invites you to view our beautiful new collection on Stand M19 at The British Bridal Exhibition

A two-way story Chapter one: Two bright young design students meet at the London College of Fashion, work together on a project, fall head over heels in love with bridal, and set up in business. Now Harrogate is the start of a new chapter for Hazaar of London


ACHEL FARRIMOND (above left) and Isoline Hickman met when they were both studying costume design in 2004

Now in business together under the name Hazaar of London, they produce inspired convertible wedding gowns of fabrics sourced in the UK. It is Hazaar’s aim that a bride can walk down the aisle looking classically beautiful and walk into her wedding reception looking equally stunning, but ready for the celebration. Bridal Buyer talked to Harrogate. How did you two get together – where did you meet, and was it We met while studying Costume Design and Construction at the London together on an 18th-century project and realised that our concepts, design styles and interests were developing in similar ways. So when you were ready to set up in One of the things we loved about Costume was designing for a character or personality. We really feel that bridal is often about that, a one-off beautiful Some of our style icons are Dior and Grace Kelly in the 50s – we love the glamour and elegance of fashion in that era.

Who are the ‘names’ you admire We love the delicate detail of Jenny Packham and the drama of Vivienne David Fielden’s use of fabrics and surface textile design exciting and admire the uniqueness of their design. Tell us about the collection you’ll be showing at Harrogate – what gives it its personality and what makes it They are all convertible dresses designed with elegance and sophistication in mind. Each dress has a removable under- or over-skirt giving the bride the option to change her look without the need to buy a second dress. Where are you sourcing your fabrics and embellishments, have you been All of our fabrics and embellishments are sourced in the UK. We like to use UK suppliers for our fabrics and trimmings and our gowns are all made in the EU. We are inspired by a mixture of things – the small waistlines of the 50s, art deco design, the elegance of ballet and classic style. Our interests are incredibly varied and we are always evident in our collection. Will you be checking potential stockists out before you supply them and what will you be looking

We want buyers who share our passion. There are some retailers we know of that we would love to work with. However, we are looking forward to meeting lots of shops at Harrogate as, through talking to them, we will be able to guage how our brand would work with individual stores. What are some of the pitfalls, and We actually work really well together and bounce ideas around all the time. We are always coming up with new designs and discussing what we do or don’t like about them. We have quite a silly sense of humour, which helps if we don’t agree on something as it generally ends up being quite comical. What price bracket have you We have tried to keep our price range within the middle market. Our wholesale prices will start at £450 and go up to £800, with recommended retail prices of £1,200 to £,2500. if you could design a dress for crossed you won’t say Pippa Middleton!) We would love to design a unique dress for Lily Cole. She is classically British, we consider her to be a contemporary icon with intelligence and grace and feel her personality would translate well with our design concept. See Hazaar of London’s stunning collection of convertible gowns at BBEH, stand Q22.

Brimas – going live Special extras Butterfly L1 Helena Cotter Sales Training KS1 Industry Development KS3 Klassy Covers C76 Makepiece C56 Retailers Network (Bridal) KS3 Rockliffe House M32

On the Brimas stand you can see its specially-developed software in action, and not only will the benefits become immediately apparent, but so will the ease with which the whole thing operates. Large touchscreens, ipads and android tablets will take you through the technologies and show how the software can help improve your bridal business. Designed over a two-year consultation period with over 100 bridal retailers, this is seriously worth consideration. There is a show-only offer to retailers who sign up to the product at BBEH of a discounted set-up fee. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity for a deal and a glass of bubbly! +44 (0)141 530 9061 / BBEH A3 33

BBEH - Designer Hall D3










Ith An Address that reads ‘the hampshire Barn, st Clair’s Farm’, newlyopened Anya Bridal Couture certainly looks, on paper, like a fairytale. the story is in fact a dream come true for friends Anja and Lisa, who only started discussing opening a shop together last Christmas and just seven months later, in July, were ready for business. One could assume that this was the natural progression of two women who had spent several years in the industry, but in fact Lisa’s background is in sales and marketing for a luxury yacht company and Anja, while having 20 years’ experience in retail, had sold mainly white goods. “We both wanted to get into something more feminine, and bridal offered us that as well as the ability to help people fulfil their dreams,” says Lisa. “selling wedding dresses enables us to play a big part in a very special occasion and that really appealed to us. however, neither of us has ever worked in bridal before, so this is

Anya Bridal partners, Lisa Davis, left, and Anja Yilmaz, shared a business plan that included a fair bit of research meant that they were ready to open their business just seven months later

Something new It takes a degree of bravery to open a brand-new bridal shop well away from a high street. More so, when the two partners have zero experience in the industry. But now in its second month, Anya Bridal Couture is proof that dedication and the will to succeed is what it takes one huge learning curve.” Cue lots and lots of research! Lisa trawled internet forums to find out what girls expected from their bridal shopping experience. she made a note of all their findings, both good and bad, and she and Anja set about learning lessons from this. next step was harrogate in March to source some dresses. “We found some fabulous suppliers to work with and particularly fell in love with the Jasmine collections, but we weren’t in a position to place any orders as we hadn’t signed a lease. We made a note of the dresses we wanted and got back in touch once the property was sorted out.” the partners also went to visit romantica and Phil Collins at their premises and ronald Joyce came to the Barn “when it had tatty blue carpet and nothing else–not even facilities to offer a cuppa!” says Lisa. the tatty blue stuff is long gone, replaced by plush cream carpet to complement the countrystyle limed wood furniture and contrast with the beamed ceiling. the barn is open, spacious and light with two mezzanine floors, one

housing the bridesmaids’ dresses and the other the office. At ground level there is one large changing room and plenty of seating for the bridal party. the three main hanging areas hold the six collections; there is a separate shoe section, and areas for veils and accessories. “We wanted somewhere with character and originally found a unit in Fareham town centre but the landlord was dragging his heels and we were in a hurry. As time was of the essence we widened the search – once we started looking outside the box, we found the Barn pretty quickly. It was wasted as an office for structural engineers and is far more suited to our beautiful bridal shop.” the girls were able to put up half the money required themselves and sought a bank loan for the rest. they had a really good business plan drawn up and finance was easily arranged. Lisa liked Anja as a name. Although Anja herself was less keen but was persuaded eventually when they changed the spelling to Anya to prevent mispronunciations. Although the Barn is in rural countryside it 37

RETAIL FOCUS Cream carpet, dark wood and subdued lighting set the stage for the magical shopping experience. Accessories have their own, individual areas allowing a customer to stay focussed, initially on months since they opened the doors of Anya, their reputation has spread

is on a main road and only ten minutes from the M27. With plenty of free parking, total privacy and masses of space it is everything they could possibly want. As they are not on the high street the girls can’t rely on passing trade, but they are focussing on effective marketing. Lisa does regular mail shots, and ensures that the shop has an active Facebook and twitter presence. Anya advertises in Wedding Ideas, Perfect Wedding and also a local magazine. they are registered on and advertise on several online wedding directories. Lisa closely monitors the referral rates from these so she can plan where to advertise next year. they also do local advertising and show at local wedding fayres. “We really enjoy doing them – they are a chance to meet brides face to face. they can see that we are friendly and helpful and we go armed with our iPad to show off photos of the fabulous barn and our beautiful dresses!” starting small with just a handful of collections, Lisa and Anja nevertheless feel confident that they can offer something for everyone. “With prices ranging from £450 to £2,000 and sizes going up to 22, most brides should find something here. As well as traditional styles we’ve also got some unusual pieces and in just the few weeks since opening we have been told many times that we have a stunning collection.” they currently carry bridesmaids’ dresses by romantica and ronald Joyce, and they plan to add another range at harrogate in 38

september. “We don’t carry MOBor prom wear as such yet, but the ronald Joyce bridesmaid collection could very easily be used for evening and occasion wear. there are a lot of military personnel in this area with the need for dresses for summer balls and we offer a 10 per cent military discount,” says Anja. the shop carries accessories from Paradox, Filippa scott and halo & Co as well as the latter’s pick-and-mix veil system. “stocking accessories means that we can offer the complete look,” says Lisa. “sometimes adding a veil or the right hair accessory makes the dress and therefore makes the sale!” Owning 50 per cent of the business each means that Anja and Lisa are a very tight partnership. With only the two of them working there (plus an independent seamstress who does the fittings onsite), they both need to be hands-on and available seven days a week. the paperwork is shared, with Lisa dealing with marketing and ordering while Anja takes care of the accounts and pays the bills. Meanwhile they are both in evidence on the shop floor. “If we are really busy, or one of us is away, my mother-in-law will come and help. But we need to run the business for a while before we are in a position to hire anyone. that means a lot of hard work and long hours for us for a while but that’s the same in any new business – it will be worth it!” says Lisa. the girls are to be commended for putting so

much into their new business, but sometimes it pays to outsource certain elements. “naturally we wanted a really good website and as I have trained as a web designer I set out to do it myself,” says Lisa. “But there was so much else that needed to be done, it kept slipping to the bottom of my ‘to do’ pile. so I caved in and enlisted the services of a professional, and he has finished it off for us. the website is crucial to any business – we are proud that ours looks fantastic with lots of great photos and has all the information our brides need.” Anja and Lisa have taken the unusual step of opening the shop purely on an appointmentsonly basis, from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. “We believe that brides deserve an experience that is truly special and we could not guarantee this unless we have just one bride in at a time. they have the whole Barn to themselves and are made to feel like a princess! each appointment lasts two hours, which allows plenty of time for a bride to make one of the most important decisions of her life,” says Anja. the grand opening on the weekend of July 9 and 10 was a huge success, with 200 people through the doors and 58 appointments booked. the duo created a mini wedding fayre in the next-door barn, which was a great draw and has inspired them to do a mini vintage wedding event when they launch a collection of Anoushka G dresses in september. “We saw the Anoushka G range at White Gallery and really felt that it was right for our shop,” says Lisa. “It is a stunning collection of stylish designs – some are heavily-beaded creations and others are simply timeless. We are very excited about this range; we feel it will suit women of all ages. the styles are less ‘traditional bridal gown’ - maybe suited more to a bride who is searching for something different yet still sophisticated and stylish.” standing on the threshold of this new horizon is very exciting, but daunting nonetheless, especially at such a difficult time in the economy. “We are totally focussed on making our business go from strength to strength,” says Lisa. Anja agrees: “We plan to increase our ranges very slowly, while continuing to offer outstanding service. We offer something over and above a traditional bridal shop, yet we have dresses at affordable prices. We think that brides deserve an unforgettable experience. We are here to provide just that.”

view the new S e p t e m be r 2 0 1 1 col l e ct ion


British Bridal Exhibition H A R R O G AT E 11th - 13th September 2011

in the

Queens Suite Access from the linkway between Hall C & Hall Q via an escalator, lift or stairs

to e nqui re about th i s e xqui site li ne pl ea se conta c t

UK 0800 961 140 Eire 1800 556 118

see why Essense, by design, is different w w w. e s s e n s e d e s i g n s . c o m

How chic‌ how right Hollywood Dreams has always remained faithful to its opulent and much-loved look. So, when broadening its offering, it made sense to introduce a new label with its own personality‌ and name


Wheraas Hollywood Dreams is all about big skirts and heavily-beadworked embellishments, Chic has a lighter touch, a slimmer silhouette, and simple but highlyeffective details. The Hollywood Dreams pedigree is another big bonus


arina aDamou, tHe name and talent behind Hollywood Dreams, has been designing fairytale dresses for close to 30 years and today, as one of the doyennes of the bridal industry, she is dressing the daughters of many previous Hollywood Dreams brides. So distinctive is the label’s look that the newest generation of aficiondos know exactly what to expect – big, voluminous skirts, perfectly-sculpted bodices with nippedin waists and the most fabulous beadwork and embellishments. the look is timeless, as is the appeal. over the years colours have been added to the traditional ivories and whites – chalky-pale pinks, powdery blues, rich champagnes, and who can forget that amazing scarlet? – but it is the fit and the silhouette that has remained true to the brand’s unique identity. early on in her career, marina knew the direction she wanted to take. Coming from a family long-established in the fashion industry she could have easily remained focused on the mainstream, but it was her fascination with old movies, and Hollywood in its siren heyday, that influenced her work; bridal was a natural outlet for that passion giving the young designer the freedom to create her own expression of glamour. the name Hollywood Dreams was a natural; the success that accompanied it nothing short of amazing. With a formidable pedigree that has spanned decades, and an international demand for the original Hollywood Dreams’ style, the idea of moving into a new arena has been a real challenge for marina. recognising the value of her core proposition, and the ramifications of moving away from it, she spent time analysing the market and its present-day needs. “What i found,” she said, “is that there is a place for a collection that has the same quality standards as Hollywood Dreams, the same approach to design excellence, the same individual personality, and that is underpinned by the reputation of a highlyregarded parent brand. once i understood that, and took the message

on board, the picture for a new line became quite clear. “one thing that was apparent at the start of this journey, was that the new venture had to be aimed at a different market. Hollywood Dreams’ brides will not settle for anything else. But not every bride can afford a Hollywood Dreams dress. “in creating the new collection – which we have called Chic – we have focused on a different sort of bride, one who wants sophistication and elegance and is very modern in her lifestyle and attitude. She is a girl who wants a contemporary take on the fairytale gown, so for her there are slimmer lines, lighter touches, more plays with fabric than beaded embellishments. Chic is fresh and feminine, red carpet rather than grand ball, with lots of twists and turns and high-octane sex appeal.” retailers who have seen the collection are already heralding it as a big player for the future. the fact that it carries a more accessible retail price tag – £795 to £1,350 – means that shops who could not offer the Hollywood Dreams collection because of price, can buy in to a top-quality proposition from a heritage brand. Great news for the market in general, and particularly for discerning brides working to a budget. at Harrogate, you will see a stunning 15-piece Chic collection. the fabrics marina has chosen, to keep prices carefully pegged, include polyester taffeta, organza and soft tulle, some with beaded lace embellishments; colours this season are the bridal classics, white and ivory. Sizes on offer will be 8-18, and larger sizes will be possible, at a surcharge. all in all, a pretty perfect equation. advertising support for the new label has already started – the Chic by Hollywood Dreams message comes over loud and clear and it is one that brides will pick up on fast, and start checking for their nearest stockist. You can see the brand, alongside Hollywood Dreams, at BBeH. thanks to careful planning marina and her brilliant team are perfectly organised – orders placed at the show will be delivered in December. and that is the best news of all. +44 (0) 20 8801 9797 / BBEH A32 41

Harrogate Stand B-14/16 September 11-13 Tel: 001-630-789-1011

We ar i t

Vi benvien bra eďŹ t Felst Sh nds of us ein a of ulma Irres ing nd I We n a a ar fou istibl ďŹ rst n Stu it w nd e a -cl a as out nd I ass rt bo the w an age th re ir c hy S n ho Gin tuar t to p cogn t ice a Bla Lon rom ised ke don ote the mo . L the re- ou ir Mu isa rra y


we ll


Ina BLakemore-murray entered the WorLd of fashion at a very young age with a Saturday job at miss Selfridge in harrogate while she was still at school. they were so impressed with her that they offered her a place on their management training scheme, an offer she accepted in lieu of doing a-levels, and has never looked back. Gina worked her way up through the ranks first in newcastle and later in Welwyn before ending up at Selfridges in London; she then took a job in Leeds for a small fashion company that exported all over the world. “I was with that company for five years, and it was one of the happiest times in my working life,” she says. “I was sales manager with a lot of responsibility, which gave me the experience and confidence to open my own boutique at the age of 24.” She sold mainly special occasion and eveningwear and the business thrived for nine years. Gina’s husband Warren has more than 20 years’ experience in the sales industry. his mother was a model who launched her own agency, which gave Warren his first insight into the world of fashion.

having worked together on various projects in the past, Gina and Warren realised that they made a good team commercially as well as domestically, and decided to set up in business together. Gina missed the world of fashion and Warren had a keen eye for it, so they decided to be fashion agents and launched Wear It in 2008. mr & mrs work from home, a converted 17th-century barn in a small village in north yorkshire “within easy reach of the motorways, which is perfect for visiting customers the length and breadth of the country!” says Warren. “We also welcome customers who wish to visit us to view the collections.” Gina and Warren put out some feelers to see who they could bring on board. they heard that Vivien Felstein at Veromia, a former client of Gina’s, was looking to launch a fashion label. Gina contacted her and two weeks later they found themselves on the way to China to help put a collection together. Irresistible was launched in 2008 and Wear It was the agent for the uk and Ireland. “Irresistible is a snappy collection of dresses that can be worn from day into evening. It is all about useful pieces that can be put in your wardrobe and worn for any occasion, from a wedding, the races and polo to the theatre, a party, a smart dinner or entertaining at home in style,” says Gina. “despite launching bang in the middle of a recession, the collection has showed encouraging growth season after season. We are constantly keeping our eye on the market to see where Irresistible fits in – we visit shows and shops abroad and keep abreast of new trends and colours. We have a great relationship with the designer, Jason Jennings, and we work closely with him.”

For Ian Stuart and his partner Peter tague, Gina and Warren were an obvious choice when they were looking for an agent for the occasionwear collection that they launched in 2008. Ian and Gina had been friends for many years. they were involved in the worldwide development of some of the brands Ian designed for, opening new accounts in europe and the uS. Gina then diversified into marketing the brands in europe, organising advertising and photo shoots and working closely with magazines.

“Ian Stuart London is aimed predominately at mothers of the bride and groom but many of the outfits are suitable for any smart occasion. Ian also designs a small collection of eveningwear, which features some amazing red-carpet dresses in luxurious silks and taffetas” says Gina. “his expert knowledge of dress construction and the female form has proved a key factor in the success of his occasionwear collection, enabling every woman to have a knock-out figure and fabulous style regardless of her age, shape or size and that has firmly established him as the man who can provide that ‘million dollar’ feeling. Ian wanted to tap into a market that he felt needed livening up with some eccentricity and now well established as the occasionwear label for the fashion-savvy woman, who wants to make an entrance.”

Bridal retailers thinking of going into occasionwear should take heed of Gina’s informed advice. “a shop selling bridal gowns that puts in a rail of occasionwear will find it does not work for them long term – you need to do it properly or not at all! occasionwear collections need to be in a separate shop, or at the very least on a different floor or in a room away from the bridal, bridesmaid and prom dresses you are selling. remember that your customers will want a varied choice – you need to offer garments with different looks for them to try on and choose from, and you will need to carry a full range of sizes. “the moB market is very strong at the moment, but anyone thinking of entering it needs to plan their steps carefully, and make time to do it properly. on a positive note, the great thing about a bridal retailer branching into the fashion world is that he or she already knows how to give personal service and how to do good alterations – both of which are key to selling occasionwear.”

Wear It will be at harrogate with Irresistible and Ian Stuart London. “It makes huge sense to join the show to widen our audience, take advantage of the marketing opportunities and be part of this flagship exhibition. We hope to get lots of interest and lots more customers!” says Gina. “Irresistible’s spring/summer 2012 collection is truly inspired. Chic dresses with sleeves or matching jackets can be taken from day to night and to any occasion. there is a lot of printed taffeta in vibrant colours including turquoise, lime and red. there are also embroidered taffetas in ivory, rose and champagne all with a fine black overlay. Look out for Irresistible’s signature stretch fabric that really holds the female form – the newest colours include a delicous pale rose, fuchsia, mink and striking cobalt blue. For more informal occasions there is a range of smart jersey and taffeta dresses in colours like magenta, lilac, navy and canary yellow. “meanwhile,” she continues, “capturing the holiday spirit was the inspiration for the Ian Stuart London spring/summer 2012 collection. envisioning his women on a luxury yacht, martini in hand, flirting with the sun-tanned Captain, the collection embodies a zest for life, something he wants every woman to feel when she wears one of his pieces. Vivacious prints and a tropical colour palette, combined with his buoyant signature style, make this a collection that exudes ‘happy’.” +44 (0) 1977 620532 / BBEH Old Swan Hotel 45

martina liana is global glamour for bridal couture view the new September 2011 collection at

British Bridal Exhibition

HA RROGATE 11th - 13th September 2011 in the Queens Suite Access from the linkway between Hall C and Hall Q via an escalator, lift or stairs

to enquire about this exquisite line please contact

UK: 0800 961 140 Eire: 1800 556 118

Ell a Br i d al s i nvites y o u to e x pe r i e nce the e ncha nti ng ne w

S eptembr 2011 Colection at

British Bridal Exhibition

H A R R O G AT E 11th - 13th September 2011 in the Queens Suite Access from the linkway between Hall C and Hall Q via an escalator, lift or stairs

To make your appointment please call

UK : 0800 961 140 | Eire: 1800 556 118

w w w. e l l a b r i d a l s . c o m

How to

modern brides are very clear about what bridal shops need to do to win their business and equally firm about what makes them walk away. some have horror stories to tell. Rebecca Evans finds out what impresses – and depresses – them

get the girl


t’s something of a wonder that anyone gets married these days. in 2011, the typical bride often holds down a busy job, fitting hobbies, sports and socialising into her packed schedule. she may have children to look after. and, on top of this, she has somehow found the time to meet her Prince Charming (perhaps dating a frog or two along the way). having found her perfect match, with engagement ring to prove it, our bride has to find another – her dream boutique. and, judging by some of the stories doing the rounds, this is where things can get fraught.

hotel in July. she set out with an open mind about her wedding-day look. from this moment helped Valentine shape her ideas, including experimenting with hair styles. “no other shop i’ve been in had done that,” she says. go Bridal in Birmingham was the first store visited by dr Yemisi ogunleye. “the first thing the sales consultant did was to try to figure out the best cut for me,” the 30-year old journalist says. “that was really helpful.” teacher rebekah Lloyd appreciated the tactful but honest feedback given to her by staff at hammonds in Bedford; no other shop had taken that approach.

when brides describe the moment they found a brilliant shop, they use phrases lifted straight from the dating game. “it just felt right” and “there was something special about them”. shops that impress share similar features. staff are welcoming and friendly. the service is personal and attentive. the bride is made to feel important. Journalist molly forbes, 27, says she first felt she was truly a bride when she visited the Vintage wedding dress Company in Bloomsbury, London. she was bowled over by the beautiful surroundings and one-to-one service. forbes had her heart set on a vintage number for her august 2011 wedding to 30year-old fiancé simon weaver. “i thought it was an amazing experience,” says forbes. “they’ve got really good staff and were polite and helpful,” says sam Valentine about from this moment in epsom, surrey, who married Peter wackenier at surrey’s Coulsdon manor

all these positive stories of heavenly boutiques and happy brides warm the heart. But sadly, it seems that for every Prince Charming in bridal retail there is a frog. almost every bride has a horror story. and she doesn’t just tell a handful of mates at work or in the bar. more likely, she’s sharing her stories of woe with hundreds, even thousands, of others on bridal social networks. Chatrooms seeth with shameful stories. “i had an appalling experience in the first-ever bridal shop i went into,” says 24-year old Lloyd, who lives in wellingborough, northants. she will marry fiancé tim Young on 2 June 2012 and has happily since found a dress from a great boutique (hammonds of Bedford). But her very first experience of wedding dress hunting – at a different shop –


was far from happy. “as soon as i walked into the shop i didn’t like it, because they just told us to pick what we liked,” says Lloyd, who had a £600 dress budget for her church wedding. “when you’ve never tried on a wedding dress before, you need some guidance. i had no idea!” Lloyd decided to first pick dresses for her bridesmaids, but was told off by an assistant for “doing it the wrong way around”. the shop was packed. Lloyd’s bridesmaids had to help each other in and out of dresses. staff “floated around” and didn’t offer help. when it came to Lloyd’s turn to try on her dresses, she didn’t get much more assistance. and then the flattery started. “the assistant said i looked lovely in everything i wore, but i didn’t believe her. i just

think they wanted us to buy something and get out of there.” struggling out of one gown, she fell over. it was time to leave. “we couldn’t believe it. as soon as we got in the car, we all burst out laughing. i just thought, if this is what it’s going to be like, then it’s going to be an absolute nightmare. it was the first shop i’d gone into and it really put me off.”

Brides often complain about rushed or uninterested assistants. Valentine had an appointment with one boutique, but noticed that staff “were rushing around and weren’t interested in what i wanted. they seemed more interested in themselves. they were almost rushing me and my friend out of the shop”. needless to say, they didn’t get a share in her £1,000 dress budget. event organiser Jo Penfold, 35, married transport manager husband Joe, 39, at a boutique hotel in Lewes, sussex in december

2009. “i visited about four shops,” she says. “i had a few bad experiences with snooty sales staff in one who made you feel you weren’t good enough for their dresses and were very pushy and clock watching.” ogunleye, whose august 2011 Catholic church marriage to 37-year-old fiancé akin Bobola combined UK and nigerian traditions, had a similarly unsatisfactory experience. she admits that she was hard to please (she had fallen in love with alan hannah’s melita dress but couldn’t afford it, and nothing else seemed to match up). But when she visited one retailer with her six bridesmaids after making an appointment, she found staff hurried and impatient. when she tried on then rejected the first two

dresses, an assistant asked her if there was any point in continuing. “i just thought that was rude,” ogunleye says. “maybe i was being a bit of a bridezilla at that point. But i wasn’t too impressed with that first visit.” inflexibility is another complaint. Lloyd, who has three bridesmaids, says one shop would only let her bring two to a fitting. Brides feel most let down when a shop already has their custom but still treats them shoddily. Penfold, who had a £1,200 dress budget for her 2009 wedding, was initially pleased with the service from the shop where she bought her ivory mori Lee gown. But things went downhill when she returned with her five bridesmaids to buy their dresses. Penfold was told no appointments were > 49

necessary, but found the shop was packed and chaotic with few staff to help. assistants made unwelcome comments. “two of my bridesmaids had recently had babies and staff made them feel uncomfortable about their weight and how much they needed to lose,” she says. “my 12-year-old niece had just started wearing a bra and was self-conscious. she was told not to be stupid and uncover herself to get into her bridesmaid dress.”

if a bride has a bad experience, or even hears about one, it could put her off shopping in boutiques completely. But it really doesn’t have to be this way, if retailers listen to customer feedback then act on it. the message from modern brides is straightforward. retailers must at least get the basics right if they are to win their custom. a warm welcome, pleasant staff (and enough of them), good, honest advice and a great range. extra touches can help to push a boutique’s status from ‘good’ to ‘great’, say brides. evening opening would be a boon. “so many weekends are taken up with sorting other stuff for the wedding like menu tasting,” says forbes. “it would be nice to finish work and go and try a dress on. if they were open until 8 or 9pm, that would be great.” shops could also raise their game, say brides, by offering a drink on arrival and water during the fitting. one recent bride suggested shops provide an “inspiration area” stacked with bridal magazines; another said a ten-minute initial consultation on wedding theme ideas would help. the best shops, of course, are already offering many of these things. above all, brides want to be made to feel special as they approach their Big day. when they walk into a shop, they could be feeling frazzled from a hard week of work or childcare. staff may also be under pressure, but the brides don’t want to see this. they need to be soothed, not stressed. as Penfold puts it: “treat the bride-to-be like a ViP. this is one of the biggest purchases of their life, during a stressful period. some tender loving care is much needed.”

The web plays a big role in bridal planning Most brides say they surfed the internet for dress ideas. bride Molly forbes says: “When any of my friends went to a wedding or got married i’d be on facebook straight away looking at the pictures of the bride and checking out her dress.” the web was also important for technician sandra Jones, 41, needed a plus-size gown for her March 2011 church wedding to Chris, 42. she used the web to track down shops with a decent plus-size range. some of the brides looked online for second-hand dresses, but none considered buying a new dress that way. only one – rebekah Lloyd – said she’d

from a second stockist then using this to don’t get. We’ve saved thousands of pounds through negotiating.”

In conversation with...

… Beverly Lister

Her talent is hugely admired and her gowns much loved. Now you can see them at Harrogate We haven’t seen you for a while. Where have you been hiding out Ms Lister? I bought my shop three years ago, and have been channelling a lot of my time and energy into developing the product mix and introducing new designs. I have a strong relationship with my current stockists and have continued to supply them with new styles which have been promoted via the press and through PR, even though I haven’t formally exhibited at Harrogate in the past couple of years. So in that time has your design approach changed? No, the design approach has remained the same. I still believe in classic shapes, beautifully cut and made from the finest materials I can find. The Beverly Lister brand is very much about creating timeless and flattering gowns and these qualities can be seen throughout my collections over the past 20 years. How would you compare your work now with, say, ten years ago? What influences you and inspires you the most? I have grown massively in confidence as a designer in that time and I believe my style is more identifiable now than it was then. I have always been inspired by the glamour of 1950s fashion which can be seen in many of the designs but other influences such as the recent Royal Wedding are carried through the design process in line with current trends and what brides are looking for. How many pieces are there in total in your 2012 and what is the retail price range? My retail price range is £1,800 52

to £2,800. So far we have 12 new styles in the collection but I will continue to add as inspiration takes me. Who would you say is the Beverly Lister bride today? How old is she, what’s her style? The Beverly Lister bride knows her own style and wants a gown that is classic and timeless, but not mainstream. I’m not entirely sure that age comes into it as we have made gowns for brides aged

I’ve had amazing exposure on the popular bridal blogs, websites and within national consumer and trade press over the past 12 months which has generated substantial brand exposure. The blogs in particular have proved very effective as a media platform as they are current and relevant to brides today, providing fresh content virtually every day of the week. We have also been involved in

Welcome back to Harrogate. Tell us about the collection you will be showing in September?

The 2012 collection is classic and glamorous with ingénue touches – a bit Audrey Hepburnmeets-Doris Day. Lace will, of course, be a feature as it’s a signature look for the Beverly Lister brand and very on trend at the moment, as will cropped jackets, sleeves and waistline styles. 20 to 70, but typically our brides are aged between 25 and 35. How many retailers are you looking for in the UK and abroad? Now there’s a question! I believe my designs suit a niche market and I want to have a very firm hold on production and quality control. Twenty shops would be a good number to ensure that the Beverly Lister label is accessible without sacrificing the quality that is integral to the name. What plans do you have to promote your label now and what support will you be giving stockists?

styled shoots such as the hugely successful Cool Britannia shoot to celebrate the Royal Wedding and will continue to be involved in shoots such as these. I have a PR agency onboard to push brand awareness and ensure consistent coverage of the collections and all this activity is supported with carefully-targetted advertising and promotions in the appropriate media. You know, better than many designers, what the retailer’s lot is like. How have you made your shop different and what brands do you carry? I made a decision to only carry labels that are designed and made in England. This is important to me and is also extremely important to my brides. They

So what are your very favourite fabrics right now, and colours?

Lace is my fabric of choice without a doubt but I also love high-quality satins, double duchesse and cotton/silk duchesse. Pale oyster has been exceedingly popular as a colour as it gives a depth of tone to lace and has a very vintage feel.

go to great lengths to utilise local suppliers and products for their weddings, so why would they want a dress that is made abroad? I am thrilled to showcase the work of Lyn Ashworth, Blue, Chanticleer, Leigh Hetherington, and of course, Beverly Lister! We also offer a collection of lovely accessories including Polly Edwards, Cherished, Joyce Jackson and Rainbow among others to create a complete look. We are very privileged to have the skills to offer a bespoke service for brides and our madeto-measure gowns (we make an individual pattern for every bride) is nothing short of awesome. We guarantee a perfectly-fitting gown for every bride. Have you missed being in the very heart of bridal? What’s brought you back? For me, the heart of bridal is the bride. Meeting and styling brides in my store is design heaven… I get inspired every day by talking to them and helping them find their ideal look. However, I have been inundated with trade enquiries since the re-launch of the Beverly Lister website last year and the beautiful photography of the 2011 collections that I thought it felt the right time to make a return to The British Bridal Exhibition in Harrogate and share the collections with other retailers. What are the biggest changes you have witnessed in the market over the years, from a designer’s standpoint and also a retailer’s? The internet has had a huge impact on this

industry of ours. Brides can now view any collection anywhere in the world, which can be more than a bit disconcerting and is not always helpful in their search for that special dress. In many ways, I think shopping for a gown is going to come back to basics – with brides visiting a designer and/ or a boutique that will advise them and style them, and not just sell. It’s interesting that so many designers have opened flagship stores to showcase their collections and be on the front line personally meeting brides. It’s often just as much about the bride’s overall experience as it is about the dress and nothing compares to a one-to-one boutique experience. Okay, got to ask the question – who would you most like to dress? Pippa Middleton – her style is at once classic, elegant and youthful. She looked absolutely incredible at the Royal Wedding as a bridesmaid, as the world unaminously agrees, so who wouldn’t love to dress her?

Bridal Retailers Network Membership is available to “all” Bridal Retailers regardless of time trading. Visit the Website for full list of benefits of becoming a member.

Bridal Consultancy Service

For further www.beverlylist information, visit See Berverl e, col ection at y’s2012 BBEH D a

Starting a new Bridal business? Established Bridal Businesses? Everything you need to know about the industry Visit the website for additional information. Enquiries: 07500 33 44 80 or visit

BBEH Kings Suite KS3 next to Hall Q


the AwArds 2o12

The 2012 Bridal Buyer Awards programme will cover 15 retailer and supplier categories, and two special awards. It is time to start thinking about your submission. Entry packs will be available on the Bridal Buyer stand at BBEH (1113 September), and online at www. from 1 September

The closing date

The closing date is 5 December 2011. Entries received after that date cannot be included.

The judging process

The 2012 categories Best Bridal Retailer North Best Bridal Retailer South Best Groomswear Retailer North Best Groomswear Retailer South Best New Bridal Retailer Best Retail Website

Best Bridal Manufacturer Best Groomswear Manufacturer/Supplier Best Bridesmaid & Prom Collection Best Occasionwear Collection Best Bridal Headdress Designer British Bridal Designer of the Year Best Plus Size Collection

There will be a number of judging panels: A 7-member panel comprising suppliers, a member of the media and a trade association representative will judge the North and South retailer awards. Secret shopper and spot checks may be included. A 3-member team made up of web experts will judge the Best Retail Website category. A 7-member team of retailers, media and a trade association representative will judge the supplier awards. For the first time, The British Bridal Designer of the Year will be the designer who has been selected by no less than 20 of his/her peers. The Best Student Designer is judged by sponsor Ian Stuart and Susi Rogol of Bridal Buyer. The Wedding Dress of the Year will be voted for online with consumers picking their favourite of the finalist gowns at the websites of the National Wedding Show, You & Your Wedding magazine and Cosmopolitan Bride. Entrants who have made it to the final line-up will be informed by email by 4 January 2012.

Best Student Designer Wedding Dress of the Year


on the al who has w e m ny or individu a pa F m co f y o in an rd Hall the 2012 Awards programme, the Awards Hall of Fame, affo g a greater Starting with ill move into utive years w ec ns co e re th title for field. others in the opportunity to

The Awards Night

The Bridal Buyer Awards will take place in Harrogate on Monday 12 March, during BBEH, at the Harrogate Exhibition Centre, and hosted again by TV stylist John Scott. The glittering event, attended by more than 600 guests representing all sectors of our industry, is a highlight of the year. For ticket enquiries, contact Georgia Pick on +44 (0)1423 770120. 73 55

What’s happening to the

school prom? t

according to the Department of education, the schoolleaving age is set to rise in the next couple of years, for the first time since 1972. Jill Eckersley looks at the possible effect on the prom market 58

he current plan is to raise the school leaving age to 17 in 2013 and then to 18 in 2015. Whether this is a good thing or not – for students, teachers, and not least the youth unemployment figures – will, no doubt, continue to be debated. there’s also a big questionmark over the impact it will have on our industry. With no school-leaving to celebrate at 16, what will happen to the school prom? school proms are an american import. Formal dances have been held for years at the end of the senior year in us high schools. in the uK they are largely a 21st-century phenomenon, a catalyst of which has been high school Musical and similar american films and tV shows. proms have become an important rite-of-passage for British teenagers too, often their first-ever chance to look really glamorous and have fun before they say goodbye to their schoolfriends. the end of the summer term now sees stretch-limousines packed with

excited 16- and 18-year-olds in their first grown-up dresses celebrating with their tuxedo-clad boyfriends before they all go their separate ways. if these youngsters are staying on at school, will they still be celebrating?

Manufacturer Mark Monk of Mark lesley thinks they will, though he has detected signs of nervousness among a very few retailers. “some are saying they won’t be buying as much promwear,” he says. “the truth is we don’t know what the impact will be, but i have spoken to three big suppliers who all felt it would be minimal. certainly we, as a company, are not planning to reduce our numbers of promwear designs at all. Kids are used to this type of event now. raising the leaving age may mean that the structure changes slightly but that’s all. the school prom is the first big opportunity they have to dress up and have a special night out and that won’t change – not

spend a lot on clothes, hair and make-up but others much less. the prom is something the students look forward to, a big event in their lives. our proms have always gone smoothly and given the students a chance to celebrate finishing their exams. We haven’t even discussed the possibility of any changes.” “We have discussed it but we think our Year 11 and Year 13 proms will continue,” was the message from Bourne Grammar school in lincolnshire. “the students love getting dressed up and having a special celebration. We may change the name of the Year 11 prom to the ‘summer Ball’ rather than focussing on leaving but otherwise we expect it to carry on.” Greenbank high school in southport, which is in an area where students transfer to sixth-form college after Gcses, say that their Year 11 prom will continue to be held even after the school-leaving age is raised. so far, so re-assuring. promwear manufacturers are also optimistic about the changes.

“it won’t affect us one iota,” says sonny Johar of Wembleybased company Gino cerutti, whose office, co-incidentally, is very close to a company which rents out stretch limousines to eager prom-goers. sonny has seen for himself that there is an increasing demand. “Young women are extremely fashion-conscious and the school prom is an important part of becoming an adult for them,” he says. “they are not going to give it up and we may find that the market for promwear gets even stronger. our job is to make sure that the girls have a good, lasting memory to take with them. they send us photos of themselves in our dresses and stories about their proms. it is now an important part of teen culture.” “to be honest i didn’t know about the raising of the schoolleaving age,” says lucas from Xcite prom. “in any case the school prom is like a coming-of-age celebration and i can’t see that changing. the next generation of teens won’t want to miss out whether they are staying on at school, going to

Is there a style trend for prom? Some girls will always go for glitter and layers of netting – what could be more party-ish than that? – but others, perhaps the slightly older ones, are looking for dresses with red-carpet appeal. Below left: sparkle from Ruby Prom; right: elegant dressing from Xcite Prom

according to our young employees anyway! “our industry is going through a tough time but retailers can be re-assured that the prom market is solid over the next few years. in fact it could be a growing market!”

an extremely un-scientific ‘straw poll’ among a dozen secondary schools all over Britain reinforced Monk’s view that the prom will continue to be a big feature in the lives of Britain’s teens. Most of the schools we spoke to actually have two ‘proms’ – one for the Year 11s who have just finished their Gcse year and another for Year 13s who have completed their a levels and are planning to go off to college or university. none could see the situation changing. haydon school in pinner, just outside london, was a fairly typical example. “We have year 11 and Year 13 proms and haven’t really considered what might happen once the leaving age is raised,” said a spokeswoman. “they are organised by the students themselves but supported by the staff. they’ve become more elaborate over the years; some

> 59

sixth-form college or starting an apprenticeship. We find that today’s prom designs are quite mature and that the 16- and 18-year-olds aspire to similar looks. they’re influenced by celebrities and the red-carpet styles – more expensive and sexier than traditional ‘princess’ dresses.” Michele from ruby prom also feels that school proms will continue. she has also noticed the beginnings of a trend towards ‘junior proms’ for children leaving primary school. “some of the shops we deal with have taken our dresses apart for younger children,” she comments. “to me it feels a bit wrong, it’s straying into the territory of kids’ beauty contests, but it is a very small number of shops.” sonny Johar, on the other hand, describes the demand for ‘junior prom’ outfits as astonishing. “By the age of ten or 11 children are very aware of fashion and retailers like Zara and h&M are changing the rules. at this age, they are still children though, and manufacturers have to be careful to get the designs just right.”

What do the retailers themselves think? Jules pearson of Bridal Belles in Bolsover, Derbyshire is pretty sure that proms will continue. “if anything, we’re selling more promwear,” she says. “Girls come in and tell us they can’t wait for their prom. this year we’ve seen a trend towards cocktail-type styles rather than the big prom dress but it varies from year to year. schoolgirls want what their friends have – one year it may be short, the next year it’s long! With the younger girls, it’s usually mum who pays so they don’t look at the prices, but the 18-year-olds are often buying their dresses with money from their part-time jobs, so they are more price-conscious. “one of the local schools has had a junior prom and i have been asked a couple of times about Prom is all about colour and the brighter the better. Shortie dress, left, by Gino Cerutti; ballerina-length gown by Mark Lesley


dresses, but generally parents are not willing to spend a lot of money on an 11-year-old and prefer to buy something off-the-peg.”

louisa turner is now studying at uni and has happy memories of both her Year 11 and Year 13 proms at Brook Weston city technology college in northamptonshire. “they won’t die out. if the schools stopped organising them, the students would take over!” she says. “We all definitely wanted a prom with long dresses like other local schools. “the Year 11 one was more expensive. Mum bought me a £100 dress and we had a limo there and back. some of my friends spent more. By Year 13 you don’t need the same pomp because you’ve been there and done that, but it’s still fun!” “oh, it will stay the same,” agrees 16-year-old Gabby pegg, who recently attended her Year 11 prom at uppingham community college. “everyone talks about it all year and it has become a tradition. the Year 9s and 10s came to watch and won’t want to miss out when it’s their turn! it does come out expensive, my dress was £180 and there was hair, makeup and a limo on top. Most of my friends spent the same. apart from a wedding, it’s the most expensive event in your life!” tasha Blythe-White wore a bridesmaid’s dress (£30 from tK Maxx) to the allerton high Year 11 prom in leeds. “some of the girls paid up to £300 for their dresses, though,” she says. “i’m sure the school prom will carry on, my school had proms for Year 11s and Year 13s and everyone enjoyed them!” time to worry then? the only thing retailers should be worrying about is if you have enough room for all the promwear your young customers will want.

at BBeh september you will find more than 60 promwear collections. check out the exhibitors on page page 106. You can pre-register for the show at

Come and Experience the New Fabulous Donna Salado Collection The British Bridal Exhibition 11th – 13th September 2011 Hall Q Stand Q7A Stockist Enquiries Tel: +44 (0) 1621 784784 Email:


10 tips

Retailers are under pressure to survive in this tough economic climate. Rachael Rowles, Sales and Marketing Executive at Trudy Lee, suggests the measures that should be taken to stay ahead of the competition GETTinG bRidES inTo youR Shop iS onLy haLf ThE battle. you need to ensure that you have the best collection of dresses within your shop to keep every bride happy; this is why it’s so important to represent the labels you stock in a way that makes your shop stand out.


i havE aLwayS bELiEvEd iT’S bEST foR a shop to carry fewer labels and to spend their money investing in these collectione showing your brides the best, at the same time while building strong and lasting relationships with your suppliers.


iT’S iMpoRTanT ThaT you and youR STaff have in-depth product knowledge of your various collections, and pride in what you are selling. This will give brides the confidence to buy from you, knowing that they will have an unforgettable experience.

3 4

Whether you are a neW business deciding Which suppliers to carry, or an existing stockist looking to take on a new label, it’s vital to do your research. there is no point in having gowns on your rails that cost £3,000, when your customers will not pay more than £1,000 for a dress. concentrate on your own market, and let other shops who only stock £2,000-plus dresses sell to those brides. this will allow you to invest in the collections that will work best for you. When ordering your samples, ensure that you have an eclectic collection of dresses across your different labels. look for styles within each collection


costly mistake; you want gowns to offer a real choice of silhouettes, details and fabrics.

Never sell best-sellers off the rail without replacing them – you will be missing out on potential sales if you do. at trudy lee we carry stock of our best-sellers, so that when a retailer sells a sample – to a bride who has left it to the last minute, for example – they know they can replace it fast and not miss out on additional business. and if a label discontinues a style that has done well for you, look to your other suppliers for a similar style or silhouette.


do not over-croWd your rails. if a dress is not performing, then why hold on to it? sell it off and replace it with a new-season sample. ask your sales reps about top repeaters and consider those styles with a proven track record. also, make sure your samples are kept clean and fresh – no bride will feel like a princess in greying tulle.


eNsure you have New styles coming into your shops throughout the year; buying only once a year puts you at a disadvantage over your competitors. brides who start shopping for their wedding dress early could well come back to your shop several times and will expect to see something new. buying your collections twice a year will allow you to show brides new styles, as well as highlight new trends. remember the early bird always catches the worm!


having a good choice of sample sizes is essential – ordering all your dresses in sizes 10 to 14 is a big mistake if your brides’ average size is 14-plus. every bride deserves to look her best and to feel beautiful no matter what her size and should have the same experience as every other bride. don’t miss out on this opportunity: stock a plus-size label or choose a supplier who, like trudy lee, has no upper size limit on their chart. ask your sales rep for advice – he or she knows which dresses have hanger appeal in larger sizes.


offER youR bRidES ThE fuLL package – add-on business can make a healthy difference to the value of a sale. a selection of tiaras, veils and shoes will help you to style a bride’s look, but be discerning in your choice – too many different styles can be confusing. dealing with bridesmaids can sometimes be a challenge – too many girls, too many options and, often, a low budget to work with. but you should never forget that it’s these bridesmaids who will one day become brides and you want them to think of your shop first when they look for their own dream dress.


REMEMbER ThaT a pRofiTabLE business constantly reviews ways to make it more successful. Look at your opening hours and monitor the times of your booked and walk-in appointments. would it be wise for you to change your opening hours? if your competitor is closed on Monday would you benefit by being open that day? and, don’t forget, your website is a fantastic opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself. use your suppliers’ images as those are the ones girls will see in magazines. 63

P r i vat e L a b e l B y G Bridal Design House

We will be debuting our collections at British Bridal Exhibition Harrogate 11th - 13th September 2011 Stand Q45

We welcome all interest from retailers looking to stock our stunning collections. If you would like more information please contact: Victoria Woodley Tel +44 (0) 1765 530282 email


HE AlFrED AngElo DiSnEy rAngE WAS lAuncHED AT the chicago Bridal Fair in october 2010 with a selection of seven dresses, each one inspired by a particular Disney movie princess from Ariel and Sleeping Beauty to Snow White. cinderella Platinum joined the range later to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Disney Fairytale Weddings and in a special celebration at Kensington Palace this october, the tenth Disney princess gown – based on rapunzel – will be celebrated as well. in a star-studded spectacular hosted by independent charity Historic royal Palaces, all ten Disney princesses will be joined by ViPs, celebrities, and ‘little princesses’ from all over the world.

The Disney brand is no stranger to weddings. Disney Fairytale Weddings and Honeymoons was launched back in 1991 and is a huge market in the States; couples from the uK can also, of course, opt for their own fairytale-style wedding at Walt Disney resort in Florida. So a collaboration with a top bridal design house seemed a natural next step for the Disney brand. Alfred Angelo founded his company in the mid-1930s with his wife Edythe Piccione; it swiftly became one of the leading manufacturers in the uSA and worldwide, and is still in family ownership, run today by the son and daughter of Alfred and Edythe. Designer Michael Shettel, who began his career in new york and worked with, among others, Diana Vreeland and Tommy Hilfiger, joined the company in 1999 and is responsible for the Disney princess range. “When i first heard the news that i would be designing a collection for Disney, i immediately picked up the phone and called my eightyear-old niece,” he says. “We went over the seven Disney princesses the collection would be based on – cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Tiana, Jasmine, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty – and she gave me her view on each. i got some really interesting ideas from her but it was important that i avoided ‘costumes’ – dresses that resembled what the princesses wore in the films – so i chose to focus on iconic symbols or the memories the princesses evoked.”

As an example of Shettel’s thinking, Ariel’s gown is inspired by the

Fairytales can come true… The 2012 Disney Fairytale Wedding collection from Alfred Angelo will have its world premiere at BBEH. Designed by Michael Shettel they will make every bride feel like a princess


Layering in some form or another is the key story from this stunning label. It could come in narrow tiers that

Opposite page, Tiana; above left: Sleeping Beauty; right: Ariel; below, sketches from the all-new ‘maidens’ range which will launch at Harrogate

treasures of the sea, with a mermaid silhouette featuring embroidered lace, pearl beading and sequin sparkles, while the regal, one-shouldered taffeta gown for Tiana reflects her independent spirit with an asymmmetric bodice and ruched skirt. The latest addition to the range, rapunzel, is oneshouldered with a dropped waist and pleated bodice, incorporating threedimensional satin petals on the skirt with light-catching crystals and sequins. The current collection is available at over 69 bridal boutiques in the uK and ireland at retail prices that range from £599 to £1,199 and in sizes from 6 upwards. “i first saw the dresses in chicago,” says richard lill, Vice-President of uK Sales for Alfred Angelo. “until then they had been a closely-guarded secret but the media picked up on them straight away and uK customers started to make enquiries, literally within minutes – in fact we had our first ‘hit’ after 22 seconds! The gowns were launched in the uK last november. “i have been in bridal for 14 years and i had never seen a response like it. retailers were taking orders from their customers before their samples had reached their shops; brides wanted them without having had the chance to see them, touch them, or try them on! it seemed that the Disney name, alongside our own, was enough for them. The essence of the princess theme runs through all the designs – the pricing, the Alfred Angelo name, the Disney brand – every component is right.” lill points out that Disney is a sophisticated and highly-professional company. “The strength of brand is astounding,” he says. At Harrogate this September, retailers will see the 2012 collection for the first time, which will include rapunzel (who will actually be granted princess status at the Kensington Palace event in october) and eight bridesmaids (known in Disney-speak as maidens) gowns and eight ‘Blossoms’ or flower-girl dresses, all designed by Michael Shettel and his team. lill is looking for further country-wide distribution for the label which is available not only to his Alfred Angelo stockist network but also to non-Alfred Angelo stockists; he believes retailers

movement, or in ‘transparencies’ that show off a simple silhouette beneath a top layer dotted with elaborate detail

commiting to the collection will reap great rewards. “We have had no negative feedback. cinderella is our fifth best-seller over our complete range, followed by Belle, and Ariel, a fishtail design. i suppose i was most surprised by the success of Jasmine, which is the least mainstream of the designs and not suitable for every body shape but that has sold really well, too. At the end of the day it’s the design and quality which counts, and the Princess gowns score high on both points. Price is another of the special attributes of the collection.We want the collection to be accessible to every bride so she can realise her dream without going beyond her budget.”

naturally the company is hoping to attract more retailers at Harrogate but they have to be the right buyers, “our shops have to agree that they won’t sell online and must respect our recommended retail prices,” says lill. “We feel that price-cutting cheapens a brand. And we oversee our stockists’ advertising and make sure it’s appropriate.” And stockists taking on the brand will be be assured of real support. “Every retailer is important to us and we will back them with strong marketing campaigns and beautiful, thought-provoking images,” says lill. “The Disney connection is very important to us as a company and we are proud of the association. We have always been a large advertiser; we invest in our brand so that people know we are there. “Stockists will be listed on our website and the Disney Fairytale Weddings site. Some 80,000 brochures with stockist details are sent out to brides who enquire about Disney Fairytale Weddings. We advertise in bridal magazines and provide window banners and individual hang-tags for each dress. For example, the Belle tag reads: the heart, like a rose, blossoms when loved and on Jasmine it says: happy ever after becomes your greatest adventure. our aim is to make every bride’s fairytale dream come true!” +44 (0)1908 585818 BBEH The Cairn Hotel 67

Making the most of BBEH At Harrogate September there will be hundreds of collections to see, many from companies you already know, others from names that are new to you and whose offering looks promising. Louise Dicks of BIS member Richard Designs, offers her suggestions for a successful buying trip

The starting point BEFORE COMMITTING TO AN ORDER, check the terms and conditions. Do you need to pay in advance? Is there a minimum order? Can you re-order and if so, how do you go about this? Is there a minimum order on reorders? IF YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY in advance, ask “Will I get a credit account?” if so, do you need

Practical Advice

near to you with the same products. Do some research before the show so you have an idea of who to approach. ASK WHAT THE PACKAGING WILL BE LIKE. For example with jewellery, does it come in a presentation box or just a packet? CHECK THE COLOUR OPTIONS FOR REORDERS. Can you order the item for brides in

IF YOU DO HAVE TO PAY in advance you will need to know who you are paying in case something goes wrong. FIND OUT if the company is based in the UK or overseas. Ask if the goods are going to be made to order or will be coming from a warehouse.

CHECK DELIVERY TIMES. Bear in mind that some companies buy their products from abroad and have a limited number of items for re-order. Check that all re-orders will arrive exactly the same as your samples to avoid brides being disappointed. ASK IF THERE IS A MINIMUM NUMBER ON RE-ORDERS. This is particularly important when buying shoes as sometimes you are required to buy several pairs even if you just need one pair for a particular bride. Make sure you are comfortable with the practical side of stocking a particular line. WHEN CHOOSING YOUR DRESS SUPPLIERS,

different colours or sizes? This is particularly important for sizes of lingerie. You and your staff need to know which sizes are available for your brides. WILL THE SUPPLIER HELP YOU by having a representative or agent who can come to the shop if you need advice or have a problem? YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU CAN RING the company during the day and that they will have someone available if you have any queries. If the company does not have the same working hours as you, or if there is a language barrier you need to be aware. Check the supplier has a customer service department who will be in the


AVE A WALK AROUND THE halls before you place orders. This will help you to get a feel for overall styles, trends and colours before making any decisions. Then take a closer look at any stands that have been particularly recommended to you or that you have heard of before. Wear comfortable shoes, take a bag or even a bag with wheels (to avoid carrying it all day), a drink, an umbrella, and plenty of warm clothes as British weather can be unpredictable! Make the most of the show guide to keep track of what has caught your eye and what you’ve bought. If you’re short on time mark down the exhibitors you want to see and take a methodical approach. If you can, visit for more than one day. This gives you a chance to browse before you buy, helping you keep a level head and keep track of your budget. Visit the catwalk shows! It is a great opportunity to see how the dresses look on a real person, how they fit and move, and which accessories complement the gowns. There’s always a great buzz in the halls and a fantastic chance to network too! Don’t be shy of asking questions and looking closely at the products you’re interested in. The exhibitors are there to help you, so ask away! Keep a notepad to jot down the value of each order you make to keep within budget. Don’t forget to take a copy of each order with you and keep them in a safe place. Leave plenty of time to avoid being in a situation where you have to rush as this can lead to buying things you don’t need or want, or even missing out on something because you didn’t have time to stop and look! If you are short on time or running low on your budget but have seen a collection you love, make sure you take their details and give them yours. Stay somewhere comfortable so you can enjoy your stay in the beautiful city and rest in the evenings after a busy day. As tempting as it is, don’t drink alcohol during the day when you are trying to buy > 69

Join us at the Cairn Hotel

and make decisions! There are always bags at the entrance so make sure you take one to keep your leaflets and brochures in. Only take leaflets of things you’re interested in so you’re not overwhelmed by too much information. At the end of each day, go through the leaflets and brochures you’ve picked up and make a plan of the exhibitors you would like to revisit the next day or to contact when you get back home. This is easier to do if you have only taken leaflets from companies that have something you like and want to see again. Take plenty of business cards or leaflets from your shop as this saves time filling out forms with your details! You can also give them to any contacts you make whilst at the show. Most suppliers don’t mind if you take photos of items you’ve purchased, but make sure you ask first. You will then have a record to jog your memory when your order comes in. If your budget is tight, ask suppliers to stagger your order by splitting deliveries. That will help cash flow and also ensure you have fresh samples coming in all the time. Take frequent breaks to have a drink and a snack and keep track of where you’ve been, what you’ve bought and where else you need to go. This will keep you feeling more refreshed than one big blow-out for lunch! Remember your market. Don’t forget you’re buying for your customers not for yourself. Of course, you have to sell things you like, but think about what your customers will get excited about. If you have left the running of your shop in others’ hands, don’t forget to check in with them each day on the phone to make sure everything is running smoothly. Tell them about your favourite buys of the day, this will keep them excited and looking forward to the arrival of your new stock. Finally, enjoy it! There is so much packed into the three days, the BISCO, RBA Awards dinner, catwalk shows, and of course lots of shopping! It’s a great opportunity to catch up on what’s going on in the industry and make new contacts.

To find out more about BIS, visit See Richard Designs 2012 collections at Harrogate, stand M33


onatHan JamES HaS a wElldeserved reputation. He is known to use only the finest fabrics for his hand-crafted gowns that are trimmed with Swarovski crystals and exceptional embroideries. and he is equally admired for his uncompromising approach to design. “Bridal seemed to me to be an area where you could let your creativity shine, and allow yourself the freedom to be a little edgy,” he says. “as a self-influenced designer, bridal provided me with a niche that I was excited to work in although, obviously, when I launched the label five years ago, I had to be careful to observe the confines of the expectations of the bridal market. now, seven collections on, I feel that I have earned the right to allow my personality to make the statement, and that is what UBER, the Collection 2012, is all about.” Jonathan believes strongly in the power and promise of individuality. “I have my own vision,” he says. “I strive to create a new theme for each season, with a totally new look, re-inventing the brand on a yearly basis. I am finding in this current marketplace that more and more retailers are carrying a wide range of styles from a large number of different labels. as I offer a customisation service to my stockists, as well as diversity in design, retailers can realise a greater number of style options within my one collection. “I feel that UBER has pushed boundaries. In previous seasons, I have held back with artistic licence on certain styles to follow bridal protocol. But for this collection, I have

allowed my true feelings to come through in each individual piece and I’m delighted with the outcome, as are the buyers who have seen the collection thus far.” BBEH was the logical next step when Jonathan saw the demand that existed for his new range. at Harrogate he will be able to showcase the collection to a huge number of retailers including those who have speciallyrequested appointments. no question, the potential is there and Harrogate will help this young man realise it, especially when his key pieces hit the designer catwalk shows in the Royal Hall. So what can visitors expect to see? “UBER, the Collection 2012, is my most varied,” he says. “I have used a wide range of fabrics and paid extra attention to fine detailing. I’ve created an intricate story of various styles, offering retailers superb choice. Each gown is created as an individual, stand-alone piece and I think the grandeur of my collection will look fantastic on stage at BBEH.” like all designers, Jonathan is constantly thinking ahead and says that he is already looking towards 2013 and a new theme that he has in mind. “obviously, I have an off-the-wall approach to design and no longer feel that I am restricted to staying within current industry parameters,” he says. “I love creating talkedabout, unconventional styles, but at the same time I am aware that retailers have to have pieces that will produce sales. So I temper my thinking to produce the best of both worlds and that is one of the strengths of my customisation service.” Jonathan has a faithful stockist network

UBERtalented Showing for the first time in Harrogate this September will be designer Jonathan James who launched his eponymous collection in 2006. His 2012 collection, UBER, combines stylish elegance with a sense of self-assured individuality


Lavish layering, bold detailing and delicious fabric combinations are a feature of the adventurous UBER 2012 collection from Jonathan James Couture

throughout the UK and Ireland and also sells in Canada and australia. He doesn’t feel that there is a stereotypical Jonathan James Couture retailer, although he has found that most of his customers share a passion for the label. “they enjoy the fact that my team and I are prepared to work very closely with them, listening carefully to their wants and needs, and exceeding their expectations with each collection!” he says. “I am genuinely excited about showcasing new collections to retailers and it’s always a great moment when I see their positive reaction to what I have created. ”my collections are becoming increasingly popular with the higher-end stores. this has a lot to do with the styling and design qualities of the collection and sort of brides it attracts. Yet my trade prices make the range accessible to most stores and deliver an excellent profit margin. I made a conscious decision when I launched my label that I didn’t want a retailer on every street corner. I wanted something that had more of an exclusive feel, that brides were happy to travel for and that allowed retailers a chance to achieve their desired mark-up.” For 2012 Jonathan says he has mixed the traditional with the modern, often using traditional bridal fabrics in a different and highly contemporary way. “UBER includes ornate chiffon gowns, incorporating feathered detailing as well as fairytale gowns mixing silks and tulles. my retailers are loving the fabric-change options, because it broadens the appeal of the collection and that means more brides can buy into it, whatever their budget.” any particular celeb he would like to design for? Jonathan admits to a hankering to create a gown for lady GaGa. “I could let my imagination run riot and she would love it!” he enthuses. “I would actually say that her popularity and styling are what led me to follow my heart when creating UBER. the recent Royal wedding gowns were beautiful in their own right though I was hoping we were going to see a wow factor, but obviously they have a protocol to follow and are expected to look a certain way, which was what they did.” Jonathan James Couture is a close-knit team with Jonathan himself responsible for the design side. He says that he classes his retailers as part of the team too and works very hard with them to ensure that his collections are successful within their stores. as for the future of the label... “I want to continue producing excellent quality gowns with cutting-edge design and providing my customers with a quality personal service,” he says. “I would also like increase my market share within the UK and internationally, while giving my retailers the security of knowing that they have something special within their store which is not available in every town.” +44 (0)7783 476 408 / BBEH D3 73


The big story

No more waiting and guessing – right here and right of the key labels now you can discover what some will be showing at Harrogate this September and see which way the trends will tu rn for 2012

Photography: Moreland Productions





will be showing a diverse collection of bridal dresses, from chic chiffons to elegant lace. There will be 24 pieces in the collection, each having its own individual ‘look’. “i have brought back the classic look with italian lace to die for and sleek satin silhouettes,” says louise Johnson who, with Jenna watmough, has been successfully running the european stem of this American company since 2009. “The Cinderellas of this world have their own section too, with fairytale tulles and a vintage-style 1950s tea-length.” There is also an affordable bridesmaids’ range with vibrant colour combinations, simple chiffons, cute shorts and dramatic satins - perfect for even the most difficult of attendants. And yummy mummies of the bride will love the super-elegant collection of satin and taffeta dresses, which all have separate jackets. Not to be missed is the new blush Prom collection. +44 (0) 113 274 9999 / bbeH Old Swan Hotel doesn’t have to travel far from its home town of Harrogate to show at bbeH. A firm favourite in the UK for 15 years, the group is fast expanding throughout europe, under the watchful eye and direction of owner Amanda bradwell. Up to 30 stunning new bridal dresses have been designed for spring-summer 2012, featuring layers, pleats and ruffles, sculptured skirts, floral shapes and textures, short dresses, oversized bows and ribbons. Many have detachable skirts and trains. Fabrics are luxurious – silk-looking duchesse satin, chiffon and organza, with lace in both contemporary and classic patterns and several gowns feature a combination of different fabrics. look out for some strong colours across the various eternity ranges which include Art Couture, Tiffany Prom, Hannah S and labelle. +44 (0) 870 770 7670 / C25/39 s has come a long way from its beginnings in 1975 as a high street ladies’ fashion store in Cardiff. Karen Taft and family bought the company in 2003 when founder ben Roberts retired to Australia. in just eight years the number of collections has grown from two to five, while staff numbers and turnover have doubled. For summer 2012 there will be a huge number of pieces across all five brands (Tia, blue, enzoani, love Special Occasion and benjamin Roberts); notable highlights are the silk chiffon gowns from enzoani that melt into the floor, and chocolate- and rose-coloured fabrics – truly gorgeous. Silhouettes fall into two camps: one svelte and figure-hugging, that follows the shape of the body and tends to stop at size 14/16. The other is A-line and flares out from the hips into a fullness of fabric that is wonderfully flattering, so the sizes range from 8 to size 22. lace is much in evidence, both for dresses >

Benjamin Roberts

Ellis 77

Impression Eternity and for little jackets but the company is doing less silk right now finding that many brides simply don’t have the budget. Tulle dresses are another big story, perfect for the big romantic look at the right price.. The intricate belts that enzoani was the first to introduce some three years ago remain a highlight for the new season, and clusters of embellishment, in one place rather than scattered, are another feature, brilliantly executed and stunning in their own right. +44 (0) 1384 440470 / Cairn Hotel ireland-based , established in 1983 by bernard McKenna, has been showing at Harrogate every year since 1984, starting with just a small rail and table in the Old Swan Hotel. Over the past 27 years the business has grown and grown – this year Special Day will be showing 120 new bridal pieces across two collections; keen pricing allows for a generous retail markup. The company’s Plus Size range has been particularly successful, as has the colourful Diamond Collection for bridesmaids. Spring-summer 2012 sees a number of offthe-shoulder designs with soft cowl necklines, sleeves or shoulder straps, and gowns with long lace sleeves. Silhouettes here are veering away from full skirts towards straight, princess or A-lines, while beading is becoming more subtle. Gowns with contrast colour embroidery are a big seller in europe, and Special Day is giving them a push here for 2012. look out for ivory/ bordeaux and ivory/black combinations at Harrogate. +353 1 866 5882 / bbeH Q8 established in the 1950s, is 78

Bellice by Veromia reaping the benefits of a new head designer, who approached the 2012 collection with the mantra “romance for today’s modern bride”. The result is a stunning selection of dresses that includes options for every taste and body shape, from elegant little lace numbers for the super-cool bride to classic princess styles for the traditionalist. The 2012 collection also includes some design innovations for brides who love fashion and really want something a little different. look out for lots of lovely floral embellishments that add a new softness to key pieces. +44 (0) 1707 643633 / bbeH A1

london-based bridals is celebrating its centenary – it falls at the start of 2012 – at Harrogate in September with the launch of the appropriately-named Centenary collection. expect some wonderfully chic gowns with a classic twist that have taken inspiration from the brand’s rich heritage. The new collection comprises 25 stunning gowns with the emphasis on princess lines and voluminous skirts. There is a dress to suit every body shape from figure-hugging gowns in pleated dupion to romantic fairytale tulles with accented bodices. Metal taffeta gowns are carefully pleated at the waist to form striking

overflowing layers for statement-making ballerina dresses while taffeta has been skilfully manipulated to create soft waves and magical swirls. elegant lace appliqués and crystal beadwork add great detail. +44 (0) 8888 8833 / bbeH b21 “The ‘Kate factor’ means we will be seeing much more lace and sleeves, (long, three-quarter and cap) in 2012,” says lucas Chrysanthou at . “lace was very strong even before the Royal wedding but i think we’ll find an even greater demand for it now. i don’t think brides will be looking for a version of Kate’s dress as such, but they do want lace sleeves or sleeve options.” lace and organza feature strongly in impression’s 40-strong spring 2012 collection. All-over lace and lace appliqués combine with small flower details for a softer feel and, although beading is still strong, it is much more subtle than in the past. One-shoulder flower straps with sweetheart necklines are important here. The popular ‘fit and flare’ silhouettes are still in evidence, but there are more ruffled skirts than pick-ups, with ruffled tiers and frills, especially in organza. impression has been selling bridal, bridesmaid and prom gowns in the USA for over 20 years, launching in the UK in 2006. The group has gone from strength to strength and new lines such as Davinci bridal, Xcite Prom and la Perle Social Occasions have been introduced. +44 (0) 1727 851452 / bbeH C28/34 , founded in the US in 1985 and brought to the UK in 2006, focuses strongly on innovation and design. individual seamstresses

Mon Cheri

Special Day

Justin Alexander ever-sellable A-line styles. The newest collection, Veromia Couture by Jason Jennings, is delectable, with soft, flowing twists of fabric and beautiful petalwork. bling has its place in the collection, carefully planned and executed with sensitivity. Jason Jennings is an award-winning designer and his talent shines through in every range in the group. +44 (0) 20 8554 6436 / bbeH C16 is showing dresses in two silhouettes – full ballgowns and slim, glamorous fishtails. The ballgowns are all about volume and dramatic shape with nippedin waists and huge layered skirts echoing 1950s couture, with layers of tulle interspersed with ostrich feathers, or atop delicately-cut ruffles. The fishtail dresses are slim and sexy, using fine laces from Venice, chantilly lace and corded textured lace, layering different textures and colours to create depth. There are interesting necklines and back detailing, with cap sleeves, crossover back straps, Sabrina necklines and added elements such as little shrugs, capelets and detachable trains. The colour palette is ivory and with accents of oyster and antique silver.

Trudy Lee

make each gown and pride themselves on the elegance and artistry of every hand-sewn detail. The spring 2012 bridal gowns are stunning and stylish – new trends include royal-inspired lace detailing and tulle ballgowns that make a bride look as though she is walking on a cloud. watch out for a variety of necklines in the new collection. “while strapless is still the most sought-after, new options will gain real momentum in 2012,” says Tara Alderink, Operations Director. At Harrogate, Jasmine will be showing 40 gowns featuring these trends, as well as new interpretations of its recent best-sellers, adding detachable waistbands – available in a variety of colours – and highlights of crystal and intricate embroidery. A hallmark of the collection continues to be its sensational garment construction. “because a wedding dress is regarded as the most important garment a woman will ever wear, a high level of craftsmanship is an essential ingredient,” says Tara. 44 (0) 1707240068 / bbeH Queens Suite Now in its tenth year, has acquired an enviable reputation for creating gowns that look and feel luxurious with an affordable price tag. in-house designer Jason Jennings has come up with some fabulously innovative new designs for the 2012 collection. Across the four ranges – Veromia bridal with its matching bridesmaid’s package, the thoroughly-modern D’Zage bridal and bridesmaids, Sonsie for the curvy bride and bellice for those who want to be a little different – silhouettes are varied with romantic full tulle skirts, sexy fishtails and the

The glamorous gowns in the Signature collection, also the work of designer Tony Mentel, have clean graphic lines and beautiful architectural shapes. Rich silks and corded laces with a nod to Grace Kelly feature with clever embellishments created by layering different laces over lamé silks with encrusted beading to create an antique look with a modern edge. +44 (0) 1908 615599 / bbeH Q1 Capitalising on the Royal wedding mood for all things glamorous and sophisticated, , the latest collection from another of the big names in the business, incorporates fabulous fishtails along with romantic full-skirted gowns in beautiful lace, luxurious satin, tulle and taffeta. intricate beadwork, fabric pleating and soft silk chiffon embellishments add up to a new and dazzlingly fresh look. There are 31 dresses in the spring-summer 2012 collection – without giving too much away, look out for predicted bestseller, style 112218! Dom bridals, the family-run business that represents Mon Cheri’s extensive portfolio in the UK, is headed by David Morton (one of the industry’s favourite individuals); at Harrogate, Dom will introduce a new label, Amalfi bridal, along with some great show offers, from its new location in Hall Q. +44 (0) 1954 232102 / bbeH Q47 79

2011 WINNER Best Plus-size Collection

BBEH September – it’s where bridal happens

At BBEH you can see more than 350 dazzling new collections, daily catwalk shows and enjoy brilliant networking opportunities

Cheers * Join us for a well-earned glass of wine on Sunday at 6pm prior to the Bridal Preview; start the day off with a Bucks Fizz on Monday at Preview, and celebrate a good day’s work with a glass of bubbly at 6pm on the same day prior to the evening Designer Preview show.


Sunday 11 September 2011 9:30 – 6:30pm Monday 12 September 2011 9:30 – 6:30pm Tuesday 13 September 2011 9:30 – 4:30pm


Taking to the stage

Harrogate International Centre Kings Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG1 5LA, England D



Ale x


dr a

M gfield

The Cairn R hy



e gfi

rin Sp

Majestic Hotel

Kin gs

d on R




St George Hotel


n ou



r Rd




e St



nt S


Sunday Monday Tuesday

2.30pm 12.30pm 10.30am

6.30pm 4.30pm 12.30pm


Market Pl

brid Cam






ce t Terra



l Pa




h St Beula


Oxford St

rG tpellie


ll Va



er Ebenez


Roya Dr





ll R









tR en

es Cr




Cla ren ce D





de Mount Para

Che lt


e Ln


Rd Swan


nt Cresce

ille Rd

e Ch




Dr nce Clare

Montpellier Rd


nt ou M am nh Granv lte

m ha

en elt

ck Ba

rk Yo

Strawberry Dale Ave


Old Swan Hotel


Franklin Rd

Harrogate International Centre an Sw

The Bridal Preview

Stars of the stage include Anoushka G, Bonny Bridal, Christina Rossi, Crystal Breeze, Grace Harrington Couture, Jean Fox, Justin Alexander, Masterhand, Private Label by G, Richard Designs, Rainbow Club, Sincerity, Veromia and Wilvorst

e Av



ng Spri

c Du




iew dV

o Wo




Stu dle y




ad Ro

gG Sprin


Check out the top 2012 collections on the BBEH catwalk in the fab Royal Hall. Seats get bagged fast so be sure to get there early

PRE-REGISTER NOW and save time You will be entered into a competition to win an Apple iPad You will receive a FREE show guide onsite Your E-BADGE sent to you in advance

Register now at If you have any problems registering, please call our registration team on

+44 (0)844 545 0069

The Occasionwear Preview

Getting ready to party will be Anoushka G, Crystal Breeze, MacDuggal, Precious Formals, Richard Designs, Rainbow , Watters and more! Sunday Monday Tuesday

12.30pm 10.30am 12.30pm


The Designer Preview

Among those in the spotlight will be Amanda Wyatt Couture, Annasul Y, Anny Lin, Augusta Jones, Brides Desire, Caroline Atelier, Charlotte Balbier, Farage, Halo & Co, Jonathan James Couture, Lusan Mandongus, Madeline Isaac James, Rainbow Club, Vintage Rose Bridal and Watters Sunday Monday

4.30pm 6.30pm 81

Eating out in Harrogate

One of the delights of BBEH is the wealth of wonderful restaurants nearby which add enjoyment to your buying trip. Here’s just a sample of what’s on offer: Signature dishes include the Kobe burger (Kobe beef is Japanese and the world’s most expensive). The menu includes breakfasts, burgers, deli sandwiches, salads, tapas and grills. T 01423 538871 An institution in Harrogate since 1919, the original Betty’s is a must for Harrogate visitors who fancy a thoroughly English breakfast, lunch, tea or supper. The take-home bread and cakes are irresistible. T 01423 814000 Rudding Park. Take your pick and eat in the bar, restaurant, conservatory or on the terrace. Award-winning chefs serve up everything from gourmet meals to alfresco barbeques. T 01423 871350

Wonderful pizzas, a risotto of the day, and great platters of mixed antipasti are part of the Italian specialities on the menu here. Breakfasts are a treat – more international than Italian though. Closing times vary, so do check. T 01423 536606

a great new way of eating ‘grills and grazes’ – fabulous steak and a great selection of British tapas – brilliant for sharing. T 01423 505300

There’s a varied range of breakfast, lunch and dinner menus here including special food classics that change seasonally, and use cooked simply and perfectly. T 01423 856800

50 restaurants outside London that features in the prestigious Tatler Guide, this has been a local favourite for 30 years and is renowned for its top-quality seafood. T 01423 502650

Behind an exterior of elegant wrought ironwork and glass

European cuisine with a contemporary edge has resulted in a menu of top-quality

chip shops in the land. The varied menu includes fabulous seafood dishes. T 01423 507093

include Soiree Gastronomique evenings offering six course menus. T 01423 533070 at the Studley Hotel introduces a mix of oriental dishes and chefs can be seen preparing the meals to order through an interactive screen. In addition to dinner, there is a very popular Sunday buffet. T 01423 560425

This is the place for delicious and innovative food in a stylish setting, complemented by the highest standards of service, but without pretension or formality. Relax and enjoy! T 01423 508762 This hugelypopular restaurant and wine bar serve great British food in a relaxed and unfussy style, using only the freshest ingredients sourced locally whenever possible. T 01423 521510

a Want lping nd he seco rrogate a of H es? Visit m ri eate r .yo www

Eating in at BBEH Scrumptious salads, sandwiches and a selection of hot and cold dishes.

Dine in style at the show’s waitressservice restaurant serving a choice of excellent three-course meals and a

Sponsored by Mon Cheri, who has now moved into Hall Q, the VIP Louge offers free refreshments and drinks for guests pre-invited by BBEH exhibitors.

of Champagne and nibbles at lunchtime, and a cream tea in the afternoon – all for free. Yummy!

In the fabulous s Hall D, you can sip a glass of complementary bubbly. This is the place to go for somewhere to sit and the perfect cuppa and a pastry in the morning, a glass

Fast snacks for those on the move. 83

How to get there


Need somewhere to stay? Get the best rates with Reservation Highway, our preferred agents. Check what’s on offer at (quoting the password veil 11) or call them on +44 (0)1423 525 577. You can also visit our accommodation pages at

Free internet access in the Media Lounge Want to stay in touch with the office, check up on the kids, book a restaurant, confirm flights? In the Media Lounge at BBEH you can go online and sort yourself out. Or just relax and have a drink. You can also pick up copies of the leading consumer bridal magazines and information about what they have to offer.

From London:: M1 then A1(M), exit Wetherby (9 miles from Harrogate) From the North: A1, exit Wetherby or Knaresborough From the East: M621 then A1(M), exit Wetherby From the West: M56 to M62 then A1(M), exit Wetherby.

There is a direct train from London

lift? a d e Ne or

ing f Head sit www. m ? Vi BBEH ecarshar ilers reta ogat harr d other g n to fi travellin ea. ar your m o fr

Kings Cross to Harrogate at 5.30pm daily and from Harrogate to London at 7.25pm, plus trains to Leeds or York from where there are regular Northern Rail services to Harrogate. National Rail enquiries: +44 (0)8457 484950

Leeds Bradford International Airport (+44 (0)113 250 9696) is 20 minutes from Harrogate; Manchester International (+44 (0)161 489 3000) is 90 minutes.

A complimentary bus service to and from Leeds/Bradford International

please contact Rachel Hall on + 44 (0) 24 7657 1048 or Rachel.Hall@ There is a station hopper which goes between the station, halls and the four BBEH hotels.

Getting into the swing of things


EpTEMBER’S SuNdAY NIGHT BISCO, HAS BECOME ONE of the great time-out treats at the show and this year’s event promises to be the best yet. On stage there’ll be not only a sensational Michael Buble tribute act, supported by BISCO’s regular dJ Jon Starkey, but there will also be a free glass of bubbly for all ticket holders courtesy of Bridal Buyer, which celebrates its 20th birthday this year. The BISCO is supported by Wedding Ideas, BBEH, Bridal Buyer, Sincerity and Veromia. It will take place at the Old Swan Hotel, on Sunday 11 September, starting at 9pm. Tickets cost £5 each and can be ordered by email from Mike powell, right, is one of the uK’s leading tribute artists who has set out to capture the essence of Michael Buble’s legendary live shows, featuring his greatest hits, ballads and showstoppers including Haven’t Met You Yet, Home, Sway, I’ve Got the World on a String, Lost, It Had Better Be Tonight and many more. As well as being a critically-acclaimed Michael Buble tribute, in 2002 Mike appeared on ITV’s Stars In Their Eyes paying tribute to 60’s pop legend Scott Walker singing The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.



is for


In Hall D at Harrogate you will find fine design-led labels, some of which first showcased their 2012 collections at White Gallery in May and are now bringing their diffusion collections to the market

from Alan Hannah has a brilliant story to tell for 2012. Marguerite has applied an avant garde approach to around a quarter of the new collection, aware that many retailers are looking for something more adventurous from their designers. Retail prices, however, stay at around £1,300 which is an amazing selling point. But that’s not all – the new collection introduces half-size gradings (at

The Kate Sherford 2012 Collection signals a new design direction, adding contemporary styling to the classic, romantic look. The range of stunning designs incorporates sumptuous dramatic, shimmering skirts. The gowns, handmade in Somerset and each with an internal corset, give a high degree of structure and comfort.

is improved and alternations can be kept to a minimum.

will be showing a tailored collection that features intricate pleating and fabric knots and ties and an emphasis on back details. Gorgeous rosettes and the introduction of a new luxurious tulle lace have added rich texture to the gowns; V-necklines and high necklines share the limelight with the perennial strapless and, by popular demand, there are figure-hugging gowns in chameuse. Inspiration here is, as always, focused on a close-fitted bodice with an appropriately designed skirt – A-line remains a firm favourite. Look out for the freshly-minted jackets.


Natalie Gladman’s skill in delivering what retailers want and can sell has led to a collection with detachable elements that can produce three different looks for one single gown. Co-ordinating jackets, elegant headpieces, and beaded embroidered belts add an extra dimension to the dramatic full-length gowns with sweeping trains, and 50s-style cocktail frocks; fabrics for 2012 include silk shantung and soft French lace, with Swarovski crystal embellishments, silk rose details and delicate beading.

Irish design label features narrow-bias-cut dresses and a couture cut from the roaring 20s – low backs and dipping fronts and just the right amount of skin on show. Look out for a washed Morrocan silk crepe in cream which has fabulous

stunning, big and bold and sparkling with Swarovski

Inextricably linked with glamour, art deco was a departure from previous trends, with strong geometric designs and a heightened sense of elegance and style. The 2012 collection from renowned jewellery designer Stephanie Browne celebrates this extraordinary era but is also inspired by Tsars’ gardens in their winter palaces. There are some extraordinary pieces in this collection, where colours dazzle and shapes stun in their elegant simplicity.

A bespoke designer for ten years, is launching her first wholesale collection at BBEH. Named Precious, the UK-made collection is based on her best-selling designs over the years. Her gowns are feminine and luxurious, modern and architectural, in a gorgeous array of fine fabrics including lace. Detachable extras, such as belts and shoulder decorations have their own, individual little touches so that a bride can change her look during her big day. Claire, who will be moving into her own London design studio at the end of this year, has picked up a clutch of awards over the years.

Lusan Mandongus is a specialist in intricate detailing and dazzling silhouettes and can always be relied on to deliver something exceptional. The new collection features amazing beadwork, sometimes layered beneath has be gathered and twisted and sculpted into a softlyFrench lace and tulle of the highest quality are the

> 89

Highlights that shine

With exclusive top-name stockists across the globe, has a celebrity Australian jewellery designer following that includes Nicole Kidman, Gillian Anderson, and Kelly Osbourne. He famously made Kylie Minogue’s bejewelled headpiece for the Sydney Olympics, and Lady Gaga sported one of his belt designs on her July 2011 tour down under. The 2012 bridal collection introduces vintage-style multi-strand golden-glow pearls as well as crystal-encrusted deco scrolls and elaborate buckle-drop pendants.

Nicola Anne’s UK-made 2012 collection has more than a touch of classic vintage style with beautiful Chantilly laces, subtle shades of silks and impressive embellishments of intricate heirloom brooches and +44 (0)145 250161 /

, shoe designer extraordinaire, leans on vintage features for inspiration. Her 2012 Rose Collection features the modest ladylike styling of the early 40s, updated with luxurious fabric combinations and careful attention to detail. Alongside satin and leather, soft kid suede features heavily, combined with pearlised and metallic leather detailing. New for 2012, is a range of colours, carefully selected to complement this year’s motherof-the-bride, bridesmaids and wedding guests.

Sanyukta Shrestha aims to create a new vision for bridal, a timeless vintage look that combines an eco-friendly approach with hand-crafted luxury. +44 (0)20 8582 5556 /

The names to follow Annasul Y D6 Augusta Jones D21/22 Beverly Lister D9a Caroline Atelier D23 Claire Mischevani D24 Jonathan James Couture D3 Kate Sherford D4 Katzi D2 Lusan Mandongus D6 Madeline Isaac-James D8 Mia Mia by Alan Hannah D20 90

Mikaella Bridal Nicki MacFarlane Nicola Anne Paloma Blanca Peter Lang Rachel Simpson Ritva & Chenca Sasso Sanyukta Shrestha Stephanie Browne Vintage Rose Bridal

D11 D19 D10 D12 D1 D14 D15 D9 D18 D1 D5

Ritva and Chenca’s on-trend collection is styles. +44 (0)20 7706 0708 /

Sasso is adding six new designs to the Timeless Collection, with waspy puddle trains, and eclectic little hats and gloves to complete the look. +44 (0)116 262 1724 /

65 43 2

There’s a great choice of veil styles out there right now and that is something every bride will celebrate

of the be best


Nieve Designer Couture Nieve is all

about ground-breaking, quirky designs for the fashion-forward bride. Its skilled designers use tulle to create stunning shapes and forms, elevating veil design to a new level where there are no limits. Beautiful packaging and display potential gets this collection instantly noticed and continually requested by brides.

Joyce Jackson Veils The new collection of veils from Joyce Jackson offers beautiful soft tulle in a variety of lengths, with beautifullydetailed trims that include lace edging as well as delicate pearl beading. Custom made to order, so a bride can make her own, personal choice for her wedding day, the collection comes with a four-week delivery promise.

Heading Up!

Richard Designs Bringing both innovations and classic styles to the fore every season, the Richard Designs brand is synonymous with quality UK craftsmanship and stunning designs that sell again and again.

Good customer service, excellent-quality veils and unbeatable value for money sets Heading Up! veils apart at a time when retailers, and brides, are increasingly concerned with cost. With no minimum order and an excellent range of UK-manufactured styles and trimmings, this is one collection the retailer shouldn’t be without.

that holds its shape, the style and grace of Richard Designs’ veils puts them at the top.

Malis Henderson

This trend-setting international design house creates veils that have a signature style; adventurous, exciting, chic and different. New for 2012 are short, voluminous veils that can be worn many different ways; face-framing, scallopedged veils that fall from elaborate jewelled combs; and beautiful full-circle tiered designs with a hint of

Elizabeth Dickens

With more than 15 stock laces available – many with gold or silver threads running through– and all-new ‘soft touch’ veiling which drapes beautifully, this collection also includes innovations, like the ’cape’ veil which is perfect for a formal wedding ceremony when a little cover is required. The main collection comes in more than 30 colours.


Crystal Couture You


Butterfly Charlotte Cheeseman is known for her high-end fashion jewellery, made by hand and designed and finished in the UK. Requests from her growing audience for bridal designs have resulted in a very beautiful extension to Butterfly, called De La Mer, inspired by all things sea-related. Expect organic shapes – intricate starfish, shells, wild coral – and, of course, there’s always the suggestion of that elusive mermaid. The collection is crafted in fine silver- and gold-plated metals with sparkling cubic zircon and Swarovski detailing.

Lisa Marie The

linkway in Harrogate is where canny buyers keen to be the

they’ll be checking out the

Future stars

BBEH has long prided itself in bringing young talents to the market and helping them move into the spotlight. The September show introduces six specialists whose work will make a difference

Kevan Jon

Lizzie Agnew found inspiration for her bridal range when she came across a photo of her mother taken on her 21st birthday in 1952, wearing a full-skirted dress with a cut-away halter neck – the embodiment of Dior’s ‘New Look’ in that era. It’s a theme she has followed through – her gowns are available with full-length or short, enhanced with a satin-bound petticoat using over 40 metres of tulle.

Heavenly Shoes Her Best Kept Secret



Manufacturers & suppliers of distinctive petticoats, Carnival lingerie, garters, stockings, hair crystals, sticky straps, gloves and body shapers for Brides, Bridesmaids & Evening Gowns to create a Desirable & Enhancing Silhouette VISIT US ON STAND A10 AT Our petticoats will also feature in the main catwalk shows at BBEH

ALL PETTICOAT ORDERS DISPATCHED IMMEDIATELY Unit D2 Fairacres Industrial Estate, Dedworth Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 4LE Tel: +44 (0) 1753 622922 | Fax: +44 (0) 1753 622933 web: | email:

w w w. m a d e l i n e i s a a c j a m e s . c o m

Exclusive territories available in selected areas. Designed in the UK

What a dream Today’s bride is very lucky indeed. Not only does she have real style choice but also her pick of savvy retailers who know the market, have an expert eye, and are ready to deliver the best possible service. They’ll find everything they need for the season ahead at BBEH (11-13 September) where more than 350 brilliant collections will be on show



ETailErS arE vEry lucky, Too. WHaTEvEr THEir audiENcE, THErE arE collections designed to delight across every style and price point. and there’s no single, hard-and-fast theme for 2012, which is great news because it means that whether a bride’s preference is for the traditional romantic ballgown or the supersexy vintage-style body clinger, her decision will be fashion-right and bang on trend. of course, there are directional pointers which are echoed from collection to collection and across all styles of gown – lace (no surprise there), interchangeable accessories (little boleros, illusion panel shrugs, belts, flowers and ruffle corsages to dress up a halter-neck or adorn a shoulder strap). The 2012 collections are telling more short stories than ever before and they include cheeky little satin mini dresses; tailored Hepburn-ish midcalf belted dresses with long sleeves, boat necklines and bell-shaped skirts; lacey ballerina gowns with nipped-in waists, sweetheart necklines and skirts with movement; 60s-style embroidered knee-length shifts (a wave at courrege). There is hardly a decade of fashion importance that hasn’t had its influence on the latest crop of shorties. Elsewhere you’ll see flowing palazzo pants and fluid off-the-shoulders tops, striking narrow gowns in gorgeous guipure lace, fishtails with flounce, > and fabrics with a metallic sheen that glistens and gleams. 99

Ups in Gowns 2Be Q47 Agnes C43 Alexia Designs Old Swan Alfred Angelo Cairn Hotel Alfred Sung Bridal C27 Allie Renee Q47 Allure Bridals A23 Alvina Valenta C24/40 Always by Alfred Sung C27 Amanda Wyatt A18/36 Angel B24 Angel Forever by Elegancia Q31 Annais Q42 Anny Linn St George Anoushka G C22/41 Art Couture C25/39 Augusta Jones D21/22 Beautiful Brides Plus Q8 Belle Luxe Q17 Bellice By Veromia C16 Benjamin Roberts Cairn Hotel Beverly Lister D9a Blue by Enzoani Cairn Hotel Blush C24/40 Bonny Bridal UK A20/34 Brides Desire by Wendy Sullivan St George >



Please visit us at Harrogate stand M14 Diamantstraat 10, 2200 Herentals - Belgium T +32 14 75 25 25 | | |

Busy Bs Bridal Q16 Caroline Atelier D23 Catwalk Collection London C60 Chic by Hollywood Dreams A32 Christina Rossi C1/2 Claire Mischevani D24 Crystal Breeze B16 DaVinci Bridal and Bridesmaids C74 Demetrios Majestic Destinations Q47 Destinations by Dessy C27/36 Destiny Informal C28/34 Disney Fairytale Weddings by Alfred Angelo Cairn Hotel Dizzie Lizzie Couture A44 Donna Lee Designs A24/45 Donna Salado Q7 Dynasty Bridal B20 D’Zage Bridal C16 Eglantine Creations Q13 Ella Queens Suite Ellis Bridals B21 Enzoani Cairn Hotel Essense Queens Suite Eternity Bridal C25/39 Farage A27 Galaxy A27 Gino Cerruti C32

Hazaar of London Q22 Hilary Morgan A33 Hollywood Dreams A32 House of Nicholas Q4 Imogene M15 Impression Bridal C28/34 Jade Daniels c27/36 Jasmine Collection Queens Suite Jasmine Couture Queens Suite Jean Fox St George Jim Hjelm Occasions C24/40 JLM Europe C24/40 Jon & Joe A42 Jonathan James Couture D3 Justin Alexander Q1 Justin Alexander Signature Q1 Kate Sherford D4 Kay Mason A29 Kevan Jon L4 Kiss the Frog Q19 LMB M8 Linea Rafaelli M22 Lisa Marie L5 Lizzie Agnew L2 London Harmony B13 Lou Lou B24 Luna B A30 Lusan Mandongus D6

Madeline Isaac-James D8 Maggie Sottero Majestic Makepiece C56 Manon C12 Mark Lesley Couture Bride Q7 Mark Lesley Paradise Bride Q7 Martina Lianna Queens Suite Marylise M14 MiaMia D20 Mikeala D11 Mon Cheri Bridal Q47 Mori Lee M24 Nicki Flynn A30 Nicola Anne D10 Only You by Jean Fox St George Opulence by Natalie M B39 Paloma Blanca D12 Phill Collins Bridal Collection St George Hotel Phoenix Gowns C33 Posh Brides M20/23 Private Label by G Q45 Pure B38 Rembo Styling M14 Ritva & Chenca D15 Romantica St George Ronald Joyce M19 Sandals C27

Sanyukta Shrestha D18 Sapphire Collection Q4 Sasso D9 Sincerity Bridal Q1 Sonsie by Veromia C16 Sophia Tolli Q6 Sottero & Midgeley Majestic Special Day Q8 Sweetheart Q1 Sylvia Rose St George Tara Keely C24/40 The Bridal Studio L5 The House of Nicholas Q4 Tia by Benjamin Roberts Cairn Hotel Trudy Lee A1 True Bride A30 Venus Bridal B15/25 Verise Collection Q30/38 Veromia C16 Veromia Couture by Jason Jennings C16 Victoria Kay A21 Village Brides C11 Vintage Rose Bridal A40 Watters M21 White Rose C29-31 White Rose Plus C29-31 Wtoo M21

BBEH September brings you the ge big st choice ever ofing lud bridal collections, inc t an rt po -im all e os th plus-size ranges. Make appointments now to see your favourite suppliers



Actively seeking new professional retailers for Moonlight. Agents required for Moonlight to represent all collections. Previous experience is necessary. Contact us now to be the first to secure your territory.



Actively seeking new professional retailers for ME Prom by Moonlight. Agents required for ME Prom by Moonlight to represent all collections. Previous experience is necessary. Contact us now to be the first to secure your territory.

Stepping out

The prom is something of a social phenomenon that has swept through high schools and across social barriers. There’s not a teen in the land who doesn’t look forward to the opportunity to dress up and party – the next time they have the chance it could well be as a bridesmaid



HERE IS A DISTINCT MESSAGE in partywear – keep it simple and sophisticated with lean lines and carefully-considered discreet detailing, a far throw from yesterday’s look-at-me-now dressing when layers of netting and loads of sparkle were de rigueur. Younger prom-goers will always want the bright colours and a hint of glitter but they’ll be tempted by the newest prints and duo-tone dresses that are infinitely more modern. Jewelcoloured chiffons with just a band of beadwork,

say it all. What is interesting about the 2012 collections is that there is, for the first time, a bit of a cross-over between prom and bridesmaids, as the former goes chic and the latter takes a more laid-back approach. The newest dresses are wantable and will be worn time and time over. And, as there’s no hard and fast rules about necklines or colours or hem lengths, so you should easily be able to satisfy every young lady who puts her head round your door. Just make sure you have a good selection of prom and maidswear. Plus, of course, all the accessories that a girl simple has to have.

The catwalk shows at BBEH are inspiring and will give you ideas on how to style the e latest looks. Get ther e th joy en d an early performances. See page 79 for the schedule > 107

See us at:

BBE HARROGATE Sept. 11th-13th Stand M20-M23 UK free phone: 0808.120.2337

Pretty Maids 15 Teen M20/23 Alexia Designs Old Swan Alfred Sung Bridesmaids C27 Allure Bridals A23 Alvina Valenta C24/40 Amanda Wyatt A18/36 Angel B24 Angel Forever by Elegancia Q31 Anoushka G C22/41 Belsoie Queens Suite Bonny Bridal UK A20/34 Bridemaids by Alfred Angelo Cairn Hotel Busy Bs Bridal Q16 Catwalk Collection London C61 Champagne Fashions A4 Couche Tot B37 Crystal Breeze Bridal B16 Cynthia Rowley C27 DaVinci Bridesmaids C74 Designs USA C20

Dessy Collection C27 Dessy Junior Maids C27 Disney Fairytale Wedding by Alfred Angelo Cairn Hotel D’Zage Bridesmaids C16 EbonyRose Majestic Emmerling C21 Fraser & James of Knightsbridge C54 Gino Cerruti C32 Glam Gurlz M20/23 Goya London A4 Hilary Morgan A33 Hollywood Envy M20/23 House of Nicholas Q4 Imogene M15 Impression Bridal C28/34 JLM Europe C24/40 Jim Hjelm Occasions C24/40 Jon & Joe A42 Jora Collection C20

Kelsey Rose B21 Kevan Jon L4 Lazaro C24/40 Lela Rose C27 Linzi Jay Cairn Hotel Little Temptations C54 London Harmony B13 Lou Lou B24 Love by Enzoani Cairn Hotel Luna B A30 Lux Gal M20/23 Manon C12 Mark Lesley Bridesmaids Q7 Mascara by Frank Saul C3 Mori Lee M24 Nicki MacFarlane D19 PF Starz M20/23 Peppermint B37 Phil Collins St George Phoenix Gowns C33 Pollyanna Prom / Village Brides C11

Posh Angels M20/23 Posh Precious M20/23 Precious Divas M20/23 Precious Prom M20/23 Premier Designs C54 Pretty Maids C25/39 Private Label by G Q45 Pure B38 Rea Bridesmaids Q47 Reprise Bridesmaids B16 Romantica St George Ronald Joyce M19 Ruby’s Gems M20/23 Sapphire Collection Q4 Sarah Danielle Occasions Q1 Sophia Tolli Bridesmaids Q6 Special Day Q8 Sweetie Pie Q27 Tara Keely C24/40 Taffeta Maids by Alfred Angelo Cairn Hotel > 109

The House of Nicholas Trudy Lee Bridesmaids True Bride True Essentials Twinklets Venus Bridal Verise Veromia Bridesmaids Victoria Kay Watters Wtoo

The proms

Q4 A1 A30 A30 B16 B15/25 Q30/38 C16 A21 M21 M21

15Teen by M20/23 Alexia Designs Old Swan Allure Bridals A23 Alvina Valenta C24/40 Alyce Designs A28 Amanda Wyatt A18/36 Angel B24 Angel Forever by Elegancia UK Q31 Anoushka G C22/41 Beau Monde C59 Bonny Bridal A20/34

Busy Bs Bridal Q16 Bluemoon St George Catwalk Collection London C60 Champagne Fashions A4 Crystal Breeze Prom B16 Demetrios Majestic Dynasty - Yasmin Prom B20 D’Zage Prom C16 Fairygodmother M13 Flirt by Maggie Sottero Majestic Gino Cerruti C32 Glam Gurlz M20/23 Gorgeous M13 Goya London A4 Hannah S C25/39 Hermoine Collection M13 Hilary Morgan A33 Hollywood Envy M20/23 House of Nicholas Q4 Imogene M15 Impression Bridal C28/34 JLM Europe C24/40 Jim Hjelm Occasions C24/40 Jon & Joe A42

Jora Collection C20 Kelsey Rose B21 Lazaro C24/40 Little Temptations C54 Lou Lou B24 Love by Enzoani Cairn Hotel Luna B A30 Lux Gal M20/23 MacDuggal B14/26 Manon C12 Mark Lesley Kiss Prom Q7 Mascara by Frank Saul C3 Michael George C59 Mori Lee M24 PF Starz M20/23 Phoenix Gowns C33 Pollyanna Prom /Village Brides C11 Posh Angels M20/23 Posh Precious M20/23 Precious Diva M20/23 Precious Prom M20/23 Premier Designs C54 Pretty Maids C25/39 Private Label by G Q45

Prom Frocks Q5 Promise by Linzi Jay Cairn Hotel Reprise Prom B16 Ruby’s Gems M20/23 Ruby Prom Q12 Sapphire Collection Q4 Sassy Boo M13 Signature M13 Sparkle Prom & Partywear C28/34 Special Day Q8 Starlets Junior Prom B16 Sweetie Pie Collection Q27 Taffeta Maids by Alfred Angelo Cairn Hotel Tara Keely C24/40 The House of Nicholas Q4 Tiffany Bling A11 Tiffany Prom C25/39 Tony Bowls Q47 True Bride A30 Twilight St George Venus Bridal B15/25 Victoria Kay A21 Xcite Prom & Partywear C28/34 111

2012 Collection


w w w. kel sey ro s e .c

The guest list

If you have beige or lavender suits on your rails, plan to put them on sale so you can update your stock. The latest occasionwear pieces are bright and witty, great-looking compositions that give the scope to create a wealth of different looks – topping a slim-line sheath with a ďŹ ne chiffon coat, layering coloured lace over contrasting satin, mixing print and plain, with lots of focused detailing



HE NEW SEASON’S OCCASIONWEAR IS SOMETHING ELSE. IT DOESN’T PLAY IT SAFE; it isn’t subdued; it is never sensible. For those who plan some serious partying, or the MOBs with diva minds (and bodies), 2012 is their time. Keen to bare it? There is flesh on show and daring cut-outs and plunge backs and bands of glitter to accentuate perfectly-polished skin. Want cover up? Little jackets with stand-up collars or an edging of pleated frills are the must-haves. Fancy the red-carpet treatment? Swishes of shaded taffeta, drapes of gossamerfine chiffon, clinging silk jerseys with sparkling beadwork serve up the star look. Most after-six houses are offering multiple mix-and-match options teaming skirts of different lengths with plain or printed bustier tops, and a choice of jackets and wraps – an easy concept for a savvy retailer to sell. Glitter is key to the party look and 2012 will see its fair share of shimmer and shine – in belts, outsized brooches, edging a jacket revere or, in a mix of toning colours, crystals and pearls sprinkled over a simple bodice. The newest prints are decidedly different, brilliant swirls of colour or tidy controlled patterns that evoke Wedgewood’s famous design.

Dress up and celebrate – there’s so much to see at BBEH (11-13 September). Pre-register at ll or ca on ne tli the ho +44 (0) 1865 893560

> 115

MOB and occasionwear Alexia Designs Old Swan Alvina Valenta C24/40 Alyce Designs A28 Amanda Wyatt A18/36 Angel B24 Angel Forever by Elegancia UK Q31 Annika B20 Anoushka G C22/41 Bluemoon St George Bonny Bridal UK A20/34 Boutique Collection by Richard Designs M30 Cameron Blake Q47 Capri Q47 Carina A22 Catwalk Collection London C61 Champagne Fashions A42 Crystal Breeze B16 Designs USA C20 Dynasty – Viviana B20 Dynasty Eveningwear B20 Farage A27 Galaxy A27 G Couture C22/41 Gino Cerruti C32 Glam Gurlz M20/23 Goya London A11 Guestlist A8 Hannah S C25/39 Hilary Morgan A33 Hollywood Envy by Precious Formals M20/23 116

House of Nicholas Q4 Ian Stuart London Old Swan Imogene M15 Impression Bridal C28/34 Irresistible Old Swan Jade by Jasmine Queens Suite Jim Hjelm Occasions C24/40 LM Europe C24/40 John Charles B40 Jon & Joe A42 Jora Collection C20 Kevanjon L5 La Belle C25/39 La Perle Occasionwear C28/34 Lazaro C24/40 Linea Raffaelli M22 LMB M8 London Harmony B13 Lou Lou B24 Love by Enzoani Cairn Hotel Lux Gal M20/23 MacDuggal B14/26 Manon C12 Martha May Q23/24 Mascara by Frank Saul C3 Mireia A22 Mon Cheri Q47 Montage Q47 Mori Lee M24 PF Starz by Precious Formals M20/23 Posh Precious M20/23

Posh Precious by Precious Formals M20/23 Precious Divas by Precious Formals M20/23 Presen A22 Pretty Maids C25/39 Private Label by G Q45 Prom Frocks Q5 Richard Designs M30 Ronald Joyce M19 Ruby’s Gems by Precious Formals M20/23 Sapphire Collection Q4 Sarah Danielle Occasions Q1 Sparkle Prom & Partywear C28/34 Taffeta Maids by Alfred Angelo Cairn Hotel Tara Keely C24/40 The House of Nicholas Q4 Tiffany Bling A11 Tiffany Prom C25/39 Tony Bowls Q47 True Bride A30 Twilight St George Venus B15/25 VM by Mori Lee M24 Watters M21 Wtoo M21 Xcite Prom & Partywear C28/34


STANDM24 Mori Lee would like to thank all of our valuable customers for your loyal support. We look forward to seeing you at the British Bridal Exhibition.


139 Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park London N4 3HF Contact: G.S nagpal tel: 02075611359 mob: 07956567352 website: email: f

& 2011


On top of the world

Get a head start on the new-season looks by selecting those special extras that allow you to create an entire – and highly individual – story for every customer. Headdresses and veils are wedding-day essentials that mean business



Here’s no GettinG away from it, vintage continues to rule and nowhere more that in headdresses where the influences include both curvaceous art nouveau details and the more graphic art deco lines. tiaras, popular again after the big royal wedding, unsurprisingly have suggestions of yesteryear design, discreet but nevertheless regal, curving up slightly at the centre, while wear-anywhere combs with feathers, lace and beadwork and hair bands with side motifs are

still the designers’ top favourites. Mixes of crystal and pearl with threads of twist-andturn metalwork allow for customised styling. Veiling, too, has moved on. newest are the short full puff-balls that form headdresses (check out emmerling and Malis Henderson for some beauties) while traditional longerlength veils (Zara Phillips picked a catherdrallength in silk tulle with a short blusher) are left plain or edged with wide bands of lace or silk satin that fall in perfect waves. and don’t, please, forget those fascinators – > every guest wants a touch of Kate style.

If you want to stay on top, make sure you have a great selection of accessories, carefully in chosen with your ma . nd mi in s ion collect At BBEH you’ll be spoiled for choice


Headdresses and tiaras Accessories by Park Lane M10 Amanda Wyatt A18/36 Angel Forever by Elegancia Q31 Arianna Cairn Hotel Blossom M9 Calla Rosa Collections by June Ellen Demetrios Emmerling Filippa Scott Jewels Gemini Halo & Co Heading Up! Inca Jewellery Ivory and Co Tiaras Jewellery World Linzi Jay Liza London Harmony Lovett & Co Malis Henderson Nathalie French 122

M36 C60 Majestic C21 C77 C9 B17 M34 C55 M11 C51 Cairn Hotel St George B13 Q21a A38 M5

Natraj International Nieve Designer Couture Omygod Park Lane Rainbow Club Headdresses Rhapsody Richard Designs Sanyukta Shrestha Sasso Starlet Jewellery Stephanie Browne Sweetiepie Collection The Earring Boutique Twilight Urban Angels Victoria and Edward Warren York International

A5 M28 M12 M10 M42 M7 M33 D18 D9 Q34 D1 Q27 C52 C14 B17 B6 A39

Hats Boutique Collection by Richard Designs Cala Rosa Designs Carina

M30 M36 A22

Farage Galaxy Heading up! Linea Raffaelli Malid Henderson Mireia Nieve Designer Couture Presen Richard Designs Sanyukta Shrestha Sasso Victoria Ann Millinery

A27 A27 M34 M22 A38 A22 M28 A22 M33 D18 D9 B23

Veils Amanda Wyatt Annais Bridal Christina Rossi Claire Mischevani Collections By June Ellen Demetrios Elegance by Elizabeth Elizabeth Dickens Emmerling

A18/36 Q47 C1/2 D24 C60 Majestic M35a M38 C21

Farage A27 Filippa Scott Jewels C77 Galaxy A27 Heading up! M34 Imogene M15 Jasmine Queens Suite Joyce Jackson M1 Linzi Jay Cairn Hotel Little Temptations C54 Liza St George Hotel LMB M8 London Harmony B13 Malis Henderson A11 Mikaella Bridal D11 Nieve Designer Couture M28 NLD Sales Q3 Paloma Blanca D12 Premier Designs C54 Richard Designs M33 Sasso D9 Urban Angels B17 Warren York International A39

Little gems The real thing today has less to do with precious stones and pure metals than it does to do with accomplished design and a greatlooking juxtaposition of materials. Pearls and crystals reign supreme to give a regal feel to the new collections



very decade has iTs own sense of style, and various defining features that epitomise the fashion mood of the times. in jewellery in recent years influences from the 30s and 40s have led the way but for 2012 the choice has broadened as designers look to both earlier and later eras, inspired by detail that can be borrowed, worked on and translated with contemporary twists. intricately-worked motifs are central to the new season’s most outstanding looks with

stones of varying sizes and colours creating a multi-dimensional look. deco styling is a strong feature, with sharp shapes and strong lines and it is here where square- and emeraldcut crystals come into their own. Pearls add a soft touch, pale and gleaming, au naturel or delicately coloured to pastel hues that allow for sparkling co-ordination possibilities. next season, size does not matter, but workmanship is really important. small but perfectly-formed takes preference over big and brash, which means that jewellery becomes of heirloom quality, capturing the past.

BBEH, 1113 September, bring you a sparkling e th opportunity to find on’s best of the new seasPrespecial accessories. ow register for the sh at


Special extras Aashan Jewellery Accessories by Park Lane Amanda Wyatt

Q20 M10 A18/36

Calla Rosa Collections by June Ellen Donns Diamonds Emmerling Filippa Scott Jewels Gemini Halo & Co Heading Up! Hunt & Holditch Inca Jewellery Ivory & Co Tiaras Jewellery World Katzi Linea Raffaelli

M36 C60 C7 C21 C76 C9 B17 M34 C59 C55 M11 C51 D2 M22


London Harmony Lovett & Co Malis Henderson Nathalie French Natraj International Nieve Designer Couture Omygod Park Lane Peter Lang Australia Pilgrim Richard Designs Sasso Stephanie Browne The Earring Boutique Twilight Urban Angels Victoria & Edward Warren York International

B13 Q21a A38 M5 A5 M28 M12 M10 D1 Q26 M33 D9 D1 C52 C14 B17 B6 A39

Footnotes Head for heights? There are plenty of tall stories in the new collections but – sigh of relief all round – there are some of the most gorgeously wearable and deliciously comfortable medium and low heels stepping out into the spotlight from the big-name collections you’ll see at BBEH this September



HaT wEll-HEElEd bride or party-goer will settle for a simple court shoe when the options out there are dazzling? From the subtle-shine metallic leathers dressed with sparkling bows to concealed platforms edged in bands of crystal and vintage-style Mary-Janes, there is not one but dozens of trends afoot. lace looks like heading up the hit parade – supremely elegant in ivory, deliciously decadent

in black over nude, brilliant in a jewel-colour to precision-match an outfit. In terms of trims, sparkling buckles continue to lead the way, not only on the vamp but also on the side and back – Filippa Scott’s Fifi range will offer a small collection of clips to customise a look. Toes are open, or almond-shaped or, in the case of vintage, definately rounded, but it is the range of heel heights on offer that will delight any female who has suffered for the sake of fashion in the past. The spiralling highs are still there, but every brand has introduced a greater choice of medium > and low heels than ever before. Phew.

In search of the shoes your brides will find irresistible? There’s lots to see at the st show so make the mo epr d an e tim u yo of register for BBEH (11-13 September) at


Antonio Vallini C54 Belle C64 Benjamin Adams C64 Carina A22 Couche Tot B37 Crystal Couture 2011 Collection L3 Else by Rainbow Club M42

Frazer & James of KnightsbridgeC54 Hassall M42

Linea Raffaelli 134

Mireia Origa Paradox London

A22 C77 C64

Perfect by VT Pink Premier Designs Presen Pure & Precious

C8 C64 C54 A22 C6

Rainbow Club Rainbow Couture

M42 M42




t h e

b r i da l

f o ot w e a r

c o m pa n y


pink paradox london



To view the new 2012 collection visit stand C64 BBEH For trade enquiries + 44 (0) 20 8509 0001

Visit us at BBEH Hall A Stand A32 For sales and enquiries Tel: 0208 801 9797 email:

Chic, a new label by Hollywood Dreams Visit us at BBEH Hall A Stand A32 For sales and enquiries Tel: 0208 801 9797 email:

BBEH Stand M42


w w w. ra i n b owc l u b . c o . u k


+44(0)1392 207040

for the bride F A S H I O N


Small world

As well as the specialist kiddy collections, there are sweet littled bridesmaid dresses an of page outďŹ ts in some s. ion ct lle the big-name co Check them all out at BBEH (11-13 September).


nicki MacFarlane’s stunning frocks for the little royal bridesmaids created a surge of interest in the classic english look for the smallest attendants. girls will be girls, so make sure they are gorgeous!

Sugar and spice


very little girl wants to be a bridesmaid – it’s her idea of heaven wearing the prettiest fairytale dress complete with rustling petticoats, frills and a posy of flowers. the current look is classically dreamy – with scoop-neck bodices atop skirts that are layered and floaty, or gently flared to a soft bell shape, tied at the waist with contrast-colour bowed sashes or bands of narrow ribbon. there are ruffled cap sleeves with dainty scalloped edging and lots of lace

and embroideries adding highlights of detail. Colours are a talking point with ivories and creams the most wanted, allowing a bride to introduce another shade for accessories to tie in with the wedding colour theme. But there are also pastels, more muted than in the past and adding to the regal look. talk to the designers and they’ll stress the importance of fine fabrics and perfect finishes for flower girl dresses it is the little ones, after all, that get much of the attention on the big day; fit is particularly important and remember, young ladies have a habit of growing fast, so allow for that.

Alexia Designs Old Swan Angel B24 Antonio Villini C54 B2 Queens Suite Belsoie Queens Suite Busy Bs Brials Q16 Couche Tot B37 Dessy Girl Flower Girls C27 Disney Fairytale Weddings by Alfred Angelo Cairn Hotel Early Steps A2 Emmerling C21 Frazer & James of Knightsbridge C54 Gino Cerruti C32 House of Nicholas Q4 Jaan Collection A2 Jasmine Queens Suite Joan Calabrese Q47 Little Giants A2 Little Temptations C54 Lou Lou B24 Lux Gal by Precios Formals M20/23 Millie Grace Collection Q16 Nicki MacFarlane D19 Next Generation A40a Peppermint B37 Posh Angels M15 Premier Design C54 Sapphire Collection Q4 Starlets Junior Prom B16 Sweetie Pie Q27 Torre B9 True Bride A30 True Essentials A30 Twinklets B16 Venus Bridal B15/25 Visara Collection A2 Vivaki Collection A2 Watters M21


Men are becoming increasingly discerning and want both top quality and real choice in formalwear. Influences could come from the bride, a close mate, a certain celebrity… or a Royal, for that matter. Make sure you know who offers what before you head for Harrogate, 11-13 September

CAmeron roSS



In that the latest jackets are shorter and cut close to the body, waistcoats, too, have been re-shaped by awardwinning Anthony Formalwear, whose big, comprehensive collection includes more than 400 options. Positioned at the middle/top end of the buoyant marketplace (Anthony are reporting a healthy year-on-year increase), the company’s new look takes its lead from the classic, understated styles of the elegant 1930s and 50s. Strong colours for 2012 are expected, after can-do-nowrong ivory and, in addition to the washing-machine-friendly fabrics vital in the hire market, a new and very chic Italian silk range will be launched at BBEH. Anthony’s grooms are into making a fashion statement, so this is the place to go for the very latest looks. All products are UK-made and a big stock-holding of waistcoats, cravats and ties means that orders can be turned around really quickly. Bespoke accessories are available. +44 (0)1277651140 BBEH C68

One of the key suppliers to the menswear hire trade, Torre is high on style and always ahead of the game when it comes to trends. It was the first to introduce chic mohair mixes to its range and is doing great business (overall 30% up on last year) with silver mohair, and also navy. But black, Torre reckons,

Anthony formAlweAr

Who’s who in men’s formalwear will be its biggest seller in 2012. Fabrics for the new season include those with a wet-look finish – a hot feature in Europe – which look brilliant combined with edgy contemporary styling (narrow silhouettes, slightly tapered trousers). A dramatically different take on tails is promised for the year ahead from this famous Portuguese house that boasts 700+ stockists in the UK and over 1,000 abroad. More than 84 formalwear styles are held in stock here and ready for immediate delivery; special orders can be delivered in just 8-10 weeks. +44 (0)1252 623111 / BBEH B9

Cameron Ross would be delighted if there was a Royal Wedding every month as April’s nuptials kick-started the season. Offering both men’s formal and Highland hirewear, the company has also seen the growing influences of the mainstream men’s fashion market, with a demand for lightweight suits and contemporary design that gives an edgy and more sculpted silhouette. For 2012, the company is launching three-piece suits in a luxurious wool/silk mixture. Grey currently accounts for 60% of all hire – and waistcoats can colour-coordinate with the wedding theme. This collection ticks all the right boxes and business, according to ACS, is up 30% on this time last year. Cameron Ross holds all its stock in the UK and orders are processed through its state-of-the-art plant in Glasgow. Etiquette Formal Hire is the company’s latest acquisition. +44 (0) 141 781 6250 / > BBEH B2 141

Whatever the cut of a jacket or the colour of a waistcoat, a man’s formal shirt must be perfect in tailoring, detail and colour. This specialist company continues to grow its customer network here and abroad as the interest in ‘English style’ shows no sign of abating. Taking the two key collar shapes, wing and classic, Simpson & Ruxton go to town with plains and pleatings in the finest cottons and silks. Its dress shirts have immaculately-turned double cuffs and are available in an excellent range of colours, from brilliant white to jet. Sizes go from a 14.5in neck to 20in and some styles offer a choice of extralong sleeves – up to 18in. Complimentary studs are a really thoughtful detail. Check out the jazzy bow ties, and traditionally-elegant cummerbunds. +44 (0)116 276 5221 / www.hoesh BBEH B29 miChAel GeorGe

wilvorSt SimpSon & ruxton mASterhAnd

A big, hugely-respected name in men’s formalwear with a cracking pedigree that spans more than 40 years in Germany, and some 33 years here in the UK, Masterhand delivers terrific off-the-peg tailoring. Directed at the fashionaware groom, the collection is never short on cutting-edge details – for 2012 expect slimline jackets that are slightly shorter in length and some seriously luxe fabrics with a silk content. Masterhand tells a complete story with suitings, shirts, waistcoats and accessories brilliantly mixed or matched to create individual statements, a tremendous aid for retailers and, of course, their customers. With 15 per cent of the range shown at BBEH all new, there should be some great trend stories among the streamlined re-invented classics the company is known for – watch out for the blues and greys especially. Stock is held in Germany and can be delivered within 48 hours +44 (0)1622 844670 / BBEH B7

More than 50 years in the business, Michael George is the label to look at when you want something exclusive. This waistcoat and neckwear specialist produces to a customer’s own specification, which means that a discerning wedding party can have exactly what they want, down to the smallest detail, something they will be thanking you for, as their chosen groomswear retailer. The newest waistcoats in the collection offer unique embroidery options on plain and textured backgrounds, underpinning the designer trend for adventurous surface patterning. Worth remembering is that, because Michael George offers bespoke, nothing is too much trouble. All you have to do is ask and you’ll understand why the company has more than 300 stockists in the UK. +44 (0) 1484 533787 /

Certainly one of the longestestablished names in the business, German giant Wilvorst, specialist in middle- to top-end formalwear, offers a superlative-quality product. Stock is held in Germany and turn-around is just 48 hours – hugely helpful when decision are made late in the day and immediate service is required. This September the entire Wilvorst retail collection is new, as is 20 per cent of the hire offering. With a demand for double-breasted waistcoats and requests for Beckham-style suits, the Royal Wedding has certainly influenced customers. Shades of grey and also navy are the big colour story for 2012 in wool mixes with mohair, silk and poly, with mix-match options combining stripes or checks, for examples, with plains. The new-season styles have a certain edgy elegance with three-piece tails and fashion suit choices; the slimline look is here to stay and while Wilvorst has made this its standard, it has cleverly retained its comfort zone with half back, deep armholes. A big collection of waistcoats, ties and cravats adds to the appeal and make co-ordination easy. +44 (0)117 932 7905 / BBEH B30 143


Best men’s fashion to celebrate BBEH | 11-13 SEPT 2011 STand B7 Showroom Chart Sutton T: 01622 844670


hunt And holditCh JeAn yveS

viCtoriA And edwArd



If you watched the catwalk show at BBEH March, you’ll have been knocked out by the sheer effervescence of the dancer modelling Robelli, a year-old ritzy menswear collection intended for those who want to get instantly noticed. The response to the range has been amazing – proof that there are plenty of guys out there who would never settle for a cool classic when something super-hot is an option. The colours are wild – even the greys have a personality of their own, and the Turkishmade suits come with more than enough detail including contrast panels and edgings and a fair bit of sparkle. Stock is held in the London showroom and retailers can take their customers through the Robelli catalogue online and then order what they want. Brand new for 2012 is a spanking white suit that is perfect for destination weddings. +44 (0) 20 7923 3583 / BBEH B8

Variety and spice are what has made this big, bold US brand a high-fashion favourite. The range includes herringbone tails, Prince Edwards and trendy lounge suits, as well as go-get-’em prom suits, dress shirts, waistcoats, shoes and some pretty cool accessories. In the collection there is also a budget shirt which has proved to be one of the company’s best-sellers. The colour range on offer for waistcoats is amazing, from the outrageously bright to the cool-customer classics, while suit shades include every conceivable shade of grey, the current number one. The label has been going for over 40 years in the US and four in this country, with the collections manufactured in the company’s own factories in Colombia. Stock is held in the UK, so rush orders can be turned around at speed. At BBEH, look out for handsome new suits with carefully-controlled detailing and all-new lightweight fabrics. +44 (0)7778 463657 / BBEH A9

If you want a bit of sparkle and a lot of shine, this is the place to be! With over 600 different items in this comprehensive collection, it is small wonder that the brand is represented in more than 400 shops in this country and a fast-increasing number abroad. Value-for-money is another of Victoria & Edward’s plus points, with trade prices starting at under the £1 mark, and no minimum requirement, the proposition is irresistible. The biggest sellers, unsurprisingly, are the company’s cufflinks which come in a huge range of skilfully-designed shapes; the popularity of the crystalembedded styles continues to spiral, especially as the colour choice is vast and always includes the latest fashion shades. When a groom can match his links to the wedding colour theme, that’s about the ultimate in co-ordination. Stock is held in the UK so a next-day service is available. The collection includes cravat pins, tie bars, fob watches, button covers and much, much more. +44 (0)1280 813006 / BBEH B6

Big news from this fine accessories house which includes the Beau Monde brand, is the launch of a handsome morning- and eveningwear shirt collection, which offers an excellent choice of elegant styles, priced to appeal and fully backed by a good stock holding. The on-trend, slim-fit shirt is the result of constant factfinding discussions with the target audience – the company’s designers regularly attend local wedding fayres and national exhibitions and they listen to what consumers have to say.That has resulted in a shirt range in quality materials – perfect not just for the groom and his men, but for prom-goers who put a fashion-right silhouette first. The 2012 Beau Monde collection includes a big selection of new waistcoats – in both patterns and plain colours – with matching or toning neckwear options. From both labels there are all the little extras that can up the value of any sale – snazzy braces, gleaming cufflinks, shirt studs, tie pins and tie bars. +44 (0)1484 533787 / > BBEH C59 145

2011 WINNER Best Groomswear Manufacturer/Supplier

Moments in UK agent | Andrew Roberts Agencies Ltd Island House, East Swinford Mill | Swineford, Bristol, BS30 6LW Tel: 0117 932 7905 | |



ultimAte formAlhire CompAny

peter poSh

Understanding that grooms, as well as brides, do their wardrobesearching homework on the internet, this sharp-thinking hirewear specialist has an easyon-the-eye website that takes the visitor through every option and then points him in the direction of his nearest stockist. Serving the fashion-conscious middle market, UFHC is finding a sharp increase in demand for traditional formalwear since the recent Royal Wedding and is introducing a handsome new morning suit in charcoal grey silk as well as a stylish Italian-cut lounge suit to meet the trend. For 2012 there is a brilliant new range of colours in neckwear that promises to offer every co-ordination possibility with the wedding theme and bridesmaids’ outfits. And the waistcoat range, too, always a key element in formalwear, includes plains and prints and fashion-right textured surfaces. Business is booming, the company reports, and its success is in no small part due to its high levels of stock-holding which means rush orders can be dealt with comfortably. +44 (0)1706 367711 / www.ultimateformalhire. BBEH B32

This winning label continues to broaden its offering season after season and, in addition to the in-demand classics in waistcoats and accessories, boasts constantly-updated contemporary products that satisfy every trend. Predicting the swing towards traditional morning suits, Heirloom was fast off the mark with its elegant Elite range

of double-breasted waistcoats with co-ordinating ties in neat, understated patterns and a wide spectrum of colours. The new Elite range promises to be a hit at Harrogate this September. Heirloom manufactures its complete collection here in the UK which means that it can react fast to the needs of its customers and, of course, to sudden trends (the Royal Wedding effect has led to a massive demand for waistcoats in dove grey and gold, for example). Stock is warehoused in Manchester and delivered with 24-48 hours – a huge support to retailers keeping an eye on their cash flow who would prefer to order merchandise as it is needed rather than to commit early on in the season to a complete collection. +44 (0) 1706 367711 / BBEH B34

Are grooms becoming more fashion-conscious? Peter Posh says yes, without question, which is why the hirewear expert continues to introduce more catwalk influences to its big selection. Business is booming, even beating the successes of last year, as a result of offering a constantly-updated modern range and delivering good, old-fashioned service. With a number of the multiples closing down branches, the way is clear for the independents to pull in customers, says the company who now supplies more than 500 shops across the UK. Bright colours are the story for 2012, with powerful purples, strong greens and gleaming silvers the anticipated winners for waistcoats and neckwear. According to Peter Posh, some retailers are asking for doublebreasted waistcoats but it is the elegant English look, that speaks of quality rather than monarchy, that is proving popular, with perfectly-cut, slim-fitting threepiece lounge suits topping the best-dressed list. +44 (0)1952 201117 / BBEH B28 147

bridalbuyer.c we know what you like

In just a few short years, has come to be regarded as the sourcing ground for the latest looks, the hottest news, and the most expert advice. Retailers and suppliers alike are visiting the site for their daily dose of inspiration, information and entertainment


RIDALBUYER.COM IS UPDATED all the time, often more than once a day, to ensure that its visitors will always find something new that is of value. When it comes to show coverage, there are images out there to indicate forthcoming trends, as soon as the models hit the catwalk, and overviews on what does, and in some cases what doesn’t, work. With regard to advice, we cover the lot, from legal and financial, to shop fitting and website design. And because we get exclusive information from suppliers, you can pick up news of the latest offerings as well as special promotions as it breaks. We have tried to give you the industry website

you want – packed with the stories that will help you run a better business; we are always open to your suggestions and keen to take your ideas on board, so any thoughts of what will be of benefit all round will be welcomed. So what do you like best? We’ve analysed traffic flow on the site, the pages most read and commented on and – no surprise really – way ahead of all else in the past year is information on the finalists – and then the winners – in the Bridal Buyer Awards 2011, attracting very many thousands of viewings. You’ll be pleased to know, therefore, that come September (that’s any day now), the entry form for the 2012 awards will go up online at bridalbuyer. com with full details of the categories, criteria

Hot Topics Business advice * NewsThe*latest * Retailer collections profiles * International show *reports The Bridal Buyer* Awards 148

and entry requirements. Simply download a form, get your submission together and who knows – you could be starring in one of the most popular online features after the awards ceremony next March. Anything relating to the April Royal Wedding pulled in a big audience – especially as we had stories going up online throughout the day, not only with details of Kate’s dress, but her jewellery, and shoes, the bridesmaids’ dresses and the guests’ chosen clothes and accessories. And within days we had designers like milliner Vivien Sheriff and children’s couturier Nicky MacFarlane talking exclusively to about the leadup to the big day and the immediate impact it…

classifie d

ng i i s information t r e v


during the following months. had on their own businesses. But making our businesses better is what we Royal is exciting, yes, and very big news indeed ( was among the first all want, and why we are all here. So it makes to see the dress close-up prior to its going on sense, therefore, that high on the bridalbuyer. display at Buckingham Palace in July), but most com most-viewed list, are the special advisory features from the experts. Learning exciting of all, actually, was when we how other bridalwear retailers got the top British designers have got their act together, the to come up with their collections they carry and interpretation of the perfect the décor they have decided Kate dress, within hours on, is riveting stuff and, of the announcement of Over 12,000 visits a month according to the feedback the Royal engagement. Over 9,000 unique visitors we get, more often than A real coup, and a Over 35,000 page views not sparking off new fabulous story which Contact details for around 800 ideas and motivating website visitors turned brands and companies are listed action. And then there to time and time again

Some stats

in’s invaluable suppliers’ directory

are the stories that deliver hard information on everything from organising your cashflow to dealing with suppliers. We know this market and we know the people to go to who have all the right ideas. Like Bridal Buyer itself, the website should be your perfect business partner. Every few weeks the Bridal Buyer marketing team sends out eblasts to a our big database, which highlights key stories that we think will be of particular interest to retailers. Watch out for them because the news is hot! And go online for the latest up-dates – on exclusive shows like White Gallery London, super-size exhibitions like BBEH, awards programmes…. you name it and it will be on – the website that works for you



in a big buying audience in search the four-day show in essen pulled of new products for the year ahead. there was plenty to satisfy all tastes n g and largest bridalwear exhibitio din lea e’s rop eu d an inl ma at ets and budg


f trends at Modatex are anything to go by, while brides are looking as beautiful as ever, their guests and menfolk will be going to town in flamboyant high-fashion party-clothes that hit the high notes with deliciously ott detailing. be it plunge-neck printed chiffon gowns (Luxuar, fashion new york, Kleemeier), matte metallics (rembo, Linea raffaeli, oni onik), or brilliant jewel shades of high-gloss satin with huge flowers, pleats and stiffened ruffles (tarik ediz), the style tempo was decidedly upbeat. the menswear on offer was equally adventurous: scarlet satin suitings edged in diamanté, cream velvetembossed bolero jackets worn with frilled shirts and tight, tight trousers, charcoal wetlook jackets with checkered pants. Labels like ottavio nuccio, and Kimo led the way, while the international big boys like Wilvorst and Masterhand concentrated on precision cuts and tight fits in classic fabrics and colours. never knowingly underplayed, italian designer label archetipo turned the spotlight on men at germany’s big show. theirs is very specialist taste, but the men who are seriously into fashion will appreciate the intricacies and the extravangances of this highly-regarded label. no experimental newcomer trying to get noticed, archetipo has been in the business for more than 20 years and has a big


Left to right: Getting down to detail at Benjamin Roberts; Trudy Lee includes a ravishing cape to make all the difference to a classic A-line gown, Allure goes for sex appeal, slink and sizzle

network of fans across europe and in the Us, where key stores have remained loyal to the label and increasingly allocated more space to its pop-star-come-prince-charming appeal. Men’s footwear at Modatex also introduced some innovative steps forward – black patent lace-ups with inserts of creamy-white brocade were a winner. in jewellery, abrazi proved that you can rework classic pieces again and again, each time creating something that presents as a new interpretation of chic. this time it was gleaming twists of fat pearls, interspersed with same-size beads dotted with tiny crystals, and its coloured pearl necklaces created especially for oni onik. one of the best accessories stories at the show came, unsurprisingly, from sky is no Limit. sky’s pebble-shaped pendants and earrings, printed with an image of a bride, demonstrates how creativity wins out every time. her latex ‘lace’ collars, threaded with ribbon and dotted with crystal, are really exciting.

Colour trends emerging in bridal? think pinks, from the palest, barely-there iced pink through blush shades, to rose to deep, dark fuchsia. some of the best of the pales were at agora (the palest of all, in layered tulle, covered in flowers) and Lina becker (trimmed with mocha). a rich, creamydreamy café au lait featured again and again, in the lush

This page, far left, clockwise: classical gown with a softly scallopped hem; Ian Stuart at his opulent best, with tight swathing, vast bow and clusters and silver crowdpuller by Lohrengal; visitors to the show found much to see across hundreds in international collections as well as specialist labels

Opposite page, left to right, above: pearls with crystal beadwork at Abrazi; below: stunningly simple, a sheer coat from Oni Onik; classic gown in taffeta by Kleemier; latex collar, a jaunty top-hat and painted pebble earrings featured at Sky is no Limit; puff-ball veil, the latest in inspired thinking from Emmerling

collection from gemy – first seen and much applauded at White gallery in May – and at Chantal teman, the french house with its own, very sexy, interpretation of red carpet dressing. Velvet Moon produced its best collection for years offering a huge choice of styling and fabrics. Little Mob suits in a blue and white print that took its inspiration from classical Wedgewood china border designs, were very different to anything on the market… and delightful. another stroke of design innovation came with the little glittering sequinned slips worn beneath a sheath of stretchy black lace – a chic and fun approach to partywear. Many houses showed mix-and-match stories – satine giving the option of different skirt lengths and styles, bustiers and tailored tops, and jackets that ranged from shortie boleros to long-length cover-ups. again there was that print-and-plain story and lots of metallic, shaded finishes in rich charcoals, burgundies and browns. brown featured at isabel de Mestre as a trim on ivory, and on the impressive stand of Kleemeier, one of the biggest names in germany. alongside the classic dress and jacket combinations – more full-length than short – there were pretty printed chiffons that make for perfect partywear. this is a label that supplies more than 900 retailers in mainland europe so it is evidently doing something very right indeed. its 2012 collection builds on the two-tone trend that has been

evident in recent seasons, with opulent embroideries in dark red, nougat and black. in bridal wear romantic fairytale organza gowns with big skirts with plenty of movement were a feature. Lohrengel, another mega-name in the industry in germany, has used highlight embroidery colours on white and ivory but it was a sumptuous black number with silver threadwork that attracted customers to the big stand at Modatex. and if contrasts are the big story in europe, Weise is spot on with its jet trimmings, the work of the company’s new designer Volker rohode. inspired by dior’s iconic ‘new Look’ of the 1940s, he has concentrated on an x-like silhouette where nipped-in waists and bell-shaped skirts star. accessories house noblesse showed off blacktrimmed veils and some pretty tiaras (an offer of ten pieces for €159 is certainly a lure).

best bags? drap of barcelona, as always. their latest offering includes ‘sparkling cola cans’, on dangling chains, big enough only for a mobile phone and some loose change but still deeply desirable, and some hugely expensive crystal covered little clutches that would make any window display come alive. another big name in accessories, germany’s emmerling, added ‘puff-ball’ veils which are like a star burst 151

From above, clockwise: one of Sincerity’s best sellers as Modatex; sequins and lace from Velvet highlights were featured at Swedish label Aspera; Agora, where the pinks were pale; jewellery with lots of sparkle was a feature at the show

of soft tulle and especially pretty with this new season’s essential – short, 50s-style dresses. tastes do differ from one country to the next – brides from eastern europe, for example, have more of a taste for look-atme fashion-forward styling than their counterparts in, say, holland and germany, where classics with a twist score the points. in spain, however, unique design character is what counts. novia d’art brought its winning 2012 collection to Modatex. designed and marketed by sister act Marta and teresa raich, wellknown on the international circuit, the collection shows a fresh approach to silhouette – in addition to the label’s signature body-skimming cuts and layered details, there were gowns with tiny waists, voluminous skirts and delicate ruffling – feminine and pretty. and ian stuart, who launched his outstanding 2012 collection at White gallery in May, created a stir with his brilliant approach to flounce and frill, his dotted silks in icicle-pale pastels, and his witty layering of detail. Modatex could not have offered a better setting for these wonderful collections. big spaces, brilliant lighting, oceans of pristine white carpet and dazzling shafts of sunlight showed the new season’s ranges off to best advantage. it is an atmosphere enjoyed by exhibitors and customers alike. nothing seems rushed, everything seems special. and 152

that is so important in bridal when big buying decisions are made and a brand’s success is decided. Labels like sincerity and Justin alexander, always a huge attraction in essen, played their own catwalk performance to packed houses. great music, great staging but more than that, another great portfolio, one that included a terrific new sarah danielle line in exclusive fabrics and adventurous colours.

Many of the brands that the UK market sees at harrogate were represented, including alexia designs, Mon Cheri, ellis bridals, Veromia, benjamin roberts, JLM, robelli, eternity, dynasty and of course, the sincerity group. at Modatex, now in its seventh successful year, they get to meet retailers who tend to stay close to home for their buying, which means that the opportunity for suppliers to widen their distribution network is excellent. said amanda bradwell of eternity, whose stand was buzzing throughout the four-day show: “buyers are here to buy and they are more adventurous this year than usual. our royal Wedding replica has been an amazing success – we brought it with us as a talking point not really thinking it would be a star number. We also included a group of simple, well-priced dresses in our selection in case buyers were price-sensitive, but they have gone straight for our most expensive, statement-making dresses.”


Style - Tallulah


We look forward to meeting you at

Stand number - D23

All New Stockists Welcome | | (00353) 877704341


he sleeK And elegAnT sTyle oF The duchess of Cambridge’s wedding gown and that of chief bridesmaid Pippa Middleton, both by sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, are likely to have a profound effect on the bridal and eveningwear industry – not just in the UK and the english-speaking world, but also throughout europe and as far away as Japan and Korea. Asian brides, who might have been tempted to opt for a traditional dress from their own culture, may now consider a western one: possibly one that looks just like Kate’s! At the same time, a weak pound and the resurgence of a number of northern european markets means that bridal and eveningwear companies need to re-assess their promotional activities in these regions. If the UK bridalwear industry seizes the opportunity created by the UK Royal Weddings (include in that the Zara and Mike union in July) and some of the other important weddings in europe, there is a strong chance that “the look” consumers will be searching for will become much more in line with that of British designers. however, to be successful, bridalwear suppliers need to recognise that there have been some subtle changes in the way buyers conduct business. For many bridalwear exporters, a good agent or distributor remains an essential part of the marketing mix and one of the safest ways of dealing with the myriad of small boutiques. Key tradeshows, including BBeh, are an important meeting point for national and international buyers. The emerging markets are worth researching but they may well require a radically different approach. For instance, some of them don’t use the traditional wholesale route to market but rely on concessions, licensing or franchising and some markets are heavily protected and complicated to sell to. Brazil is a good example of the latter. There are also less subtle changes in the way in which a bride chooses her dress. In many of the Asian markets, there is an even greater dependence on rental dresses (especially in these times of austerity) but for those who can afford that special gown for the most special of days,




Renewed interest in British bridalwear is good news for companies looking to capitalise on export sales says Paul Alger, director of international affairs, UK Fashion & Textile Association, who provides some tips for success

the emphasis is increasingly on quality and having the right look. not unexpectedly, the internet also plays a significant part in the decision-making process. Brides are surfing the web to become much better informed about what’s on offer for their big day – and can make easier price comparisons. This makes life even more difficult for importers at the lower end of the market as well as for retailers. Meanwhile, wealthier brides are looking for something either reassuringly high profile, along the lines of “Make me look like Kate Middleton” or for something unique > and unlike anything chosen by their circle of friends. 154

Top Tips for exporters – new and established


2 3 4 5 6 7 By Appointment To The Royal Household It’s been our biggest and best year to date. Royal appointments, celebrity commissions, a new dedicated retailer webzone and record sales of wedding accessories! Get your share in this success - Visit us on stand B16 at the British Bridal Exhibition

Halo & Co 210 High Street Prestatyn North Wales LL19 9BP T. 01745 859730 F. 01745 859731 E. |

8 9 10

One thing never changes: relationships are key in the bridalwear industry – more than anywhere else. Make sure you are building and maintaining yours and get out more and mix with different types of businesses. More and more bridal build successful businesses in areas not necessarily limited to the bridal market, such as eveningwear, MOB and proms. agents and distributors are vital in certain markets but they need to be supported and guided and they need to feel loved! Don’t just dump the collection on them at the beginning of the season. Make sure they understand it and feel it as you do and support their efforts with showcards, press cuttings and other marketing material for their customers. trade fairs are an important way of meeting new and existing companies and keeping the brand alive. Plan well ahead, visit the shows and keep an eye out for new markets. direct visits to overseas buyers are an excellent way of keeping in touch, supporting customers, increasing business and making sure suppliers remain in control of their brand. Some retailers would jump at the idea of hosting an evening or a trunk show with a bridalwear designer over a glass of Champagne! Make sure you have registered and protected your trademarks, copyright and design rights – If you do not, someone else will! Make sure you have a clear image and brand and that your designs are as fresh and of the moment, and with as distinct a handwriting, as possible. Be careful avoid problems, especially payment problems later on. Credit check new customers and always ask for references and follow them up. unnecessary surprises. always get the best legal advice you can on Terms and Conditions, Agency Contracts, Intellectual Property and any other issues. I promise you that in this area, and in one of the more litigious parts of the industry, this will pay for itself in the long run. reMeMBer that different markets work in unique ways. Some markets are undergoing structural changes and becoming more important. Korea has become more interesting as it is now part of a Free Trade Agreement with the EU and is an increasing destination products that make them feel happy. sOMe retailers may feel that you are encroaching on their market if you sell direct or online. This may lessen their enthusiasm and commitment. You may need to consider giving exclusivity of certain lines and doing more to support your retailers.

The UK Fashion & Textile Association and the British Bridalwear Association (whose members are automatically members of UKFT) are constantly on the look-out for new opportunities for the sector and provide support to help companies build their export business. And the timing could not be better. Seminars on markets including Russia and Korea have been planned and there has been a lot of bridal and eveningwear interest in UKTI’s Lifestyle event in Vienna. For details visit: or

PERFECTION – what brides expect on their big day, what bridal retailers ensure for the perfect dress. PROPRESS – the steaming brand that delivers on both.

Some may say a marriage made in heaven!

Come and see us at the British Bridal Exhibition Stand No C5

Tel: 020 8417 0660 Email:



You & your website

Helen Young, Web Editor at and our own valued adviser, casts her professional eye over website content and advises what works best for a retailer

Think of your website as a valuable archive. You wouldn’t expect your local library to only feature the latest book releases would you? Often, users scour archives for inspiration anyway. In online terms, your archive is a valuable SEO resource too. If you’re showing a designer’s collection and your feature is rich in valuable tag-words, that feature will continue to work for you with search engines, no matter how old it is.

If your store has a boutique-feel or a really nice character to it, then the answer is yes. This is a selling point which should be exploited. If you run out of a warehouse, then no, brides don’t want their dress associated with something uninspiring! This may sound harsh, but try to take a step back and objectively evaluate your location and the interior of your enterprise. It may stir you into getting creative.

This is a tricky one, as including smiling pictures could look a bit staged and naff. I think it’s a good idea to create a persona – perhaps include details of yourself as the owner (what is your expertise and what are your selling points?). However, avoid mentioning everyone who works for you. Sometimes staff turnover can be high and so you don’t want to be stuck with a website that you have to constantly amend or that looks quickly out-of-date.

There isn’t really a timescale on when websites should be updated. I would recommend keeping an eye on the competition and also what’s new on other sites that you like. Try to be objective and really ask yourself: What is it missing? What can I change? What isn’t working? By using free statistical software such as Google Analytics, you should be able to track what’s trending and how well certain parts of your site are performing.

I think that it would put them off. New collections and general website information need to be accessible at the click of a mouse. Imagine a bride on her lunch break who has forgotten her password. Do you think she’s going to wait to get a reminder, or check out the dresses on another site? I would only implement a password when asking users to register for newsletters, online discussions and competitions.

If you mean website terms & conditions, these are a must and should be clear, concise and easy to find. If you mean providing a description of a dress or designer to accompany an image, this is an absolute must, too. One of the most important things you can provide online is a style name or number so brides can reference their dress. If you don’t offer this, another store surely will. Many stores give styles a unique own name. 157

Twittering on Not everyone understands Twitter but it is of fastgrowing importance as a communication tool to businesses. Rachel Southwood of Wedding Ideas (12,500 followers) explains its advantages

Twitter Speak Conversations Where you chat to other tweeters – singled out by the inclusion of their Twitter name in your tweet. tweets An update of what’s going on in your life or business, made up of 140 characters. Tweet in exactly 140 characters and you can say ‘twoosh’! It becomes a real skill to say things succinctly – text speak is not normally acceptable. tweeple The people who use Twitter – simple! timeline The tweets of those that you follow. It moves faster and faster according to the number of people you follow. Followers People who follow you. It’s good practice to follow people back if they follow you. mentions When people mention you in makes keeping up with what’s being said about you easy. Click on favourite if you want to store the tweet permanently. retweets When you copy and paste someone else’s tweet if you’ve found it useful, informative or funny. It’s a great way of getting involved and noticed. People will kindly retweet your best tweets, too. lists Where you group tweeple together according to their relevance. You can then choose to check the various individual lists rather than continuously study your main timeline. HasHtags A way of categorising tweets. You can search for people discussing the same thing, or draw like-minded people together #bridalindustry. Url sHortening You should use a service like Bitly to shorten long URLs, which take up precious characters. 158


rIdalBuyer@WImagazINe Okay Southwood, your time is up. Please return your boat to the dock. That was the tweet that alerted me to the fact that @BridalBuyer had signed up to Twitter. “Hurrah,” I thought… There are other forms of social networking, including Facebook, linked In, blogs, forums and even youTube. But nothing has been as effective for us as Twitter. It has raised our profile, allowed us to deliver some of the personality that you will find in the print version of the magazine, and drawn people to us. I’ll admit that our humour doesn’t appeal to everyone, but we have found many, many new industry friends, readers and clients through Twitter, and you can too. Twitter is all about connections.

you need a strategy – work out which social marketing tools are best for your demographic, who you want to talk to, about what, and how much time you have to commit to it. I warn you now – social networking is highly addictive, but the very best thing about it is that it costs you no more than your time. and unless you are going to sacrifice your valuable waking hours (and possibly marriage), and spread yourself very thinly, you should decide which of the social networking channels is right for you. While we have a blog and Facebook presence, what we love about Twitter is that it is a cheap, fast and effective way to reach out to the industry. Now to dispel the first myth about Twitter and its role in business. It is NOT a medium on which you can communicate with your brides. That’s what the phone and email are for. It’s

10 ways to get the best from Twitter

1 2 3

PRovIde vALUe – mAke YoUR TWeeTs InTeResTIng oR fUn (oR BoTh!). They don’t need to be wedding-related – we suggest around 30% should, though, and these are the most likely to be retweeted, which is a great way to gain new followers. Re-TWeeT oTheRs In The BRIdAL IndUsTRY – get yourself known for being helpful and supportive, even to your competitors. Your tweets can be used against you legally so keep it positive. Use TWeeTs To YoU As TesTImonIALs – let other people blow your trumpet rather than selling yourself all the time.

basically a business tool that you can use to enhance your reputation, which will filter down to consumers, quickly. Tweets are 140 letters of punchy goodness. Quick to think about, quick to deliver, quick to move on from. The beauty of Twitter is that you CaN send a tweet of simply a smiley face (or even a sad one), you CaN send a direct message that no-one else gets to see, you CaN create a tweet that says everything about you as a brand or company, or you can simply ignore it and move on with your life, like 99.9% of your followers will. No-one notices if you haven’t replied. No-one singles anyone out, and each tweet brings responses from a whole new set of tweeple. It’s a joy. Basically, Twitter is the place to keep updated with your designers, manufacturers and your competitors, and it’s a place to meet new business-minded people local to you. In fact ‘tweet-ups’ are the latest craze – this is where local businesses on Twitter meet up to network. We’ve recently organised one in Taunton, attended by 100 local bridal businesses. It was good fun and a great way of spreading the Wedding Ideas word!

I recommend that you spend half your time talking about your business, and by this I don’t mean selling, more about what you and your team

4 5 6

Use hAshTAgs To BRIng LIke-mInded PeoPLe TogeTheR. hashtags we use regularly are #nationalweddingshow #bbehharrogate #royalwedding #justsaying and #wideawakeclub Yes, really. WednesdAYs hAve BeCome #WeddIngWednesdAY on TWITTeR. get involved by mentioning your favourite follows in a series of tweets. People do reciprocate. There’s also #followfriday when you can recommend more people to follow. Use A PICTURe of YoURseLf As YoUR TWITTeR PRofILe PICTURe. People like to think that they are tweeting with ‘someone’ rather than a business.

are doing, industry news, links to your blogs and website, your excitement about various things that are going on in life and in the industry, and what you personally are doing at that point in time. It’s like a series of Facebook status updates – a chance for you to project the personality of the company outwards. How you tweet is how your business will be perceived. The other half should be replies or retweets of other people. you’re looking to engage and connect with other users, and by doing this you will build up your followers in no time. Target celebrities who fit with your brand or have some power in business – their tweets to you are a very strong endorsement. We’ve had tweets from some big names in business and the celebrity world, including @duncanBannatyne – another brilliant thing about Twitter is that you can tweet whoever you want. Who knows, they might just reply… above all else, don’t be tempted to use Twitter as an advertising vehicle. more than one tweet a day trying to sell something will just annoy people. after all, you are just once click away from being unfollowed. Time your tweets to target the various audiences around at the time of day. For example, the retailers are quieter during the day and on Saturdays when they’re busy with brides, whereas bigger businesses tend not to be around at all at the weekends. To keep their profile high, they use services like Hootsuite to schedule their tweets. To gain followers, start by searching for people you know and like, including celebrities. Include your tweet name on your business cards, email and forum signatures and on your website. and naturally, you should deliver the same customer service on Twitter as you do face to face. always supportive, always polite – it’s fine to be funny but don’t ever get involved in

7 8 9 10

RememBeR IT’s veRY TRAnsIenT – what you post now will probably be forgotten by tomorrow. Consistency and subtle repetition are the way forward. CReATe ‘LIsTs’ of LInked PeoPLe – our lists include ‘general wedding’ ‘Cherished

don’T TWeeT UndeR The InfLUenCe of ALCohoL. foLLoW Us @WImAgAzIne – introduce yourself and we’ll help you build up followers. We’re really happy to help get you started and point you in the right direction… we want you to get involved!

spats. libel laws apply to Twitter (remember ryan giggs?). don’t be cryptic, either – it doesn’t look good to wash your dirty linen in public on any medium. Of course we’d all agree that the best form of advertising is word of mouth – and that’s what Twitter is – one giant megaphone. enjoy!

Other social media platforms FaCebook You should set up a facebook page and encourage people to ‘like you’. Building up fans is a great way to push you up the google rankings and each ‘like’ effectively gives you a free advert on the fan’s wall. facebook has more permanency than Twitter, but it’s also less conversational and slightly more formal. facebook is great for sharing pictures and links to blogs. linked in It’s worth having a presence on Linked-In, where you can join groups and connect with professionals from your past and present. It houses around 60 million professionals looking for jobs, employees or business networking opportunities. Less personal and more business-orientated. You don’t need to update this as frequently as Twitter or facebook, so it is less time-consuming. There are also Blogs and social Bookmarking sites (stumble Upon is the one we use). You should always use google analytics to track responses, and to identify which aspect of your social networking works best for you. 159

For image credits visit




Pre-register at and you will be entered

r e t is g e at k r e ow o.u r p n .c h e bb


1 1-




into a competition to WIN AN APPLE IPAD!* *Terms & conditions apply




1 0 2


Stockist Enquiries: 0044 208 558 2109 Email: | We are currently seeking dedicated and result oriented sales representatives for Northern England, Scotland & Ireland. For more information please contact 0208 558 2109 or email

Fayre play

Big, glitzy events like the National Wedding Show pull in more than 60,000 visitors a year, while local fayres attract local folks and a handful of exhibitors. Is small worth it? Dave Ketteridge ponders


T MUST BE THAT TIME OF YEAR – MAILouts plopping through the letter box, emails flooding in, hard-sell phone calls, and cheerful personal callers with sheafs of irresistible offers – it’s the Wedding Fayre Season again. Those retailers who reckon they have it all worked out will bin the letters, delete the emails, give a polite ”no thanks” to the phone calls and about-turn the shop visitor; other retailers will be scratching their heads, and wondering if there is a missed opportunity here, and one wherever the damned competition will steal a sale from you. Some shops gave up wedding fayres years ago and say they never missed a beat. Others spend every Sunday on the circuit determined to capture every potential sale. Who has got it right? Some research I carried out for a seminar on marketing in the bridal industry, homed in on the issue of wedding fayres and found that, when all is said and done, the final decision has to be based on finance.

The start point has to be your target, the bride and her entourage. How much is she worth to you when she decides yours is the chosen destination? A typical bride spends £1,000 on the dress, then there are bridesmaids, accessories, menswear perhaps, and fashion for two mums. It certainly can add up – to two or three thousand pounds, maybe. However, if you are at the cheap and cheerful end of the scale offering only wedding dresses and your average sale is £500, then you need to bear that in mind, and remember, too, that’s income, not profit. Set your expenses against your expected profit. Staff costs, hire of van, travel, exhibition insurance, lunch and coffee (or stronger), stand cost – anything from £150 to £1,000 – plus the cost of a slot in the fashion show. And don’t forget your time and that of anyone else who is “volunteering”.

Will the event bring the brides in? That is the crucial question. The first thing to look at is who is organising the fayre and their motive. Hotels run them to capture the reception contract – worth up to £20,000 and the biggest item on the couple’s expenditure list – so for them the hosting effort is well worthwhile. A good bridal shop in the exhibitor line-up is the 163

sprat to catch the mackerel, and will attract other exhibitors. Often the local press will be the driving force, so they have the advantage of being able to promote their event virtually for free. Or it could be a wedding exhibition business, perhaps with a link to a local magazine. They are looking to make a decent profit. Of course you could run a local fayre yourself. But that’s another story – all to do with hard work, exhibitors fighting over stand position, violinists trying to outplay bagpipers and opera singers, prima donna models who hog the only hairdryer, and folks that don’t pay up for stand space.

So it’s Sunday and there you are. The stand is set up, the advertising has been done and the doors to the wedding fayre swing open – will visitors turn out in their droves as you had hoped? Watch out for the ones that run a fashion show and boast “free admission”. You’ll find the front row filled with scruffy families with bags of crisps enjoying a free outing in the warm. Watch out too, for the crowds banging on the door to get in, who then speed round the stands and disappear again, because they have booked a family lunch. Then there’s the scenario where you start

seeing the same faces again ... and again... and again. The Familiar Face Syndrome starts to make sense when you think about the Brides’ Natural Pecking Order when it comes to working her way down the tick list: first, The Ring, then the Reception and Ceremony venue, then The Dress, followed by bridesmaids, accessories, cars, videos, photos, cakes etc, etc, in fact a list of some 30 items ending in the dreaded chocolate fountains (any men’s hire shop knows the dangers of chocolate and hirewear. The two do mix – and boy, do they stay mixed). When you see your new bestest best friend – the bride – for the umpteenth time, you know she has finally ticked all her boxes and is drifting round out of habit. She just cannot get out of the White Zone. We know this for certain because many wedding fayre organisers will supply lists of visiting brides’ names and wedding dates. Two weeks to go and they are still visiting wedding fayres; three years to go, and that’s the start point for some to-be-weds. Is it possible to traipse round wedding fayres for that length of time and still remain in love? All this and you are still smiling through gritted teeth at your most deadly competitor and wondering whether to outdo her on Discount-of-the-Day offers. Or it’s one of those Sundays when there are so few punters, every new face is pounced on by what seems like a pack of piranhas in a feeding frenzy.

Selling is like gambling – you only remember your winners, and when you have a good day at a wedding fayre, you pack all the stuff into the van with a song in your heart. Brides love your dresses, your appointment book is bulging, and you can hear the gentle rustle of greenbacks as you head for the nearest Italian to recharge your batteries. A well-run event can really work for you, if you put on a good stand and have all the right publicity material, backed by a good and upto-date website, because, in truth, that’s your shop window in this day and age. For some shops just starting up, it may be the only way to get noticed. For others with an out-of-town location, it’s a much-needed chance to get face-to-face with your public. In some country areas the local wedding fayre is the event of the year. Are wedding fayres value for money? There’s only one answer – it all depends…

on the phone to...

Karen Taft

Karen Taft is the MD of the success story that is Benjamin Roberts

What were the first changes you saw as necessary to move things forward? We had to bring the company into the 21st century – there wasn’t even an internet connection in the offices and a old chunky PC was fired up like the Dr Who Tardis to check account details with Barclays. The introduction of IT came first, then we focused on developing a design-led collection.

for. An Enzoani gown prices up around £2,000 and brides are often amazed by this when competitors in the sector are double that. LOVE has 54 new edgy styles and a brand new UK size chart to boot! Yippee! No more American sizes! What is the biggest change you have seen in the industry in the past five years in terms of stockist attitudes and buying habits? Stores are thinning down their

Who do we contact? George Efstratiou for South of UK tel 07834 060 22 Mark Stevens for North UK tel 0780 143 101 May Wilson for Ireland tel 028 0 7 3865


dress at a super price. So what do you have in store for us this Harrogate? We have 17 vintagestyle dresses from Ben Roberts where at least six pieces will be priced around £300 (we know our stores need this price point). If stores buy seven they’ll get the seventh (the most expensive) free of charge. Tia has 12 floaty numbers at around £200; Blue by Enzoani styling is extensive in this new collection, providing a detailed choice. The whole collection will now be open to UK buyers and promotional deals are available as usual. Enzoani remains the designer diva and has dresses to die


And the labels you have today? Benjamin Roberts, Tia by Benjamin Roberts and then Designer labels Enzoani, Blue by Enzoani and Love by Enzoani

collections to 4-6 and we’re often on the ‘to keep’ list. They don’t really like the thought of buying from two collections a year so we’re streamlining into one collection a year from 2012. The cash flow has tightened more and more so we have a lot of accounts enjoying payment plans so they spread the cost of their buying much easier without the dresses ever being held back. Much healthier! Key trends for 2012 please? Lace is still really big and silhouettes are varied. Straighter, slinkier dresses, mermaid and column dresses are holding their own against the fuller skirts and ballgowns but as long as the dress is ‘value for money’, it’s a winner.


How many stockists are there for each range and do most of your retailers buy all the collections? 250 for Benjamin Roberts; 150 Tia; 130 Enzoani, 130 Blue by Enzoani and 100 Love by Enzoani. Quite a few stores buy more than three collections but exclusivity tends to restrain their choices as we’re pretty strict about those.


How long is it since you took over the Benjamin Roberts portfolio? It was 1 July, 2003 and it took two hours to sign the papers. There was a tray of Champagne waiting at the far end of a long, long table. What appealed to you particularly about the brand? The accounts if I’m really honest! They were stable and the bank loved them too! Which one has surprised you most and why? Blue by Enzoani has got to be the biggest surprise because it simply flew off the rails and is still the fastest-growing collection we have today. When a stockist realises its potential, the enthusiasm and energy rubs off on the staff and brides walk away with a gorgeous


Glass ‘vine-leaf’ pendant shade £9.99 0845 640 2020

Make light work of your interior revamp. From sparkling crystal chandeliers (streamlined, contemporary, creative) to ultra-cool wall fittings (sleek, barely-there, minimalist) there’s a shining example of clever design that will ensure you are never in the shade

Light fantastic PS Maskros pendant lamp £91.99

Zeta branch wall light £50

Marie Antoinette frosted glass chandelier £85 www.marksand Callisto crystal chandelier £550 08456 049 049


‘Slice’ w42cm wall light £42 08700 240780

£119 Table version available.

Juliette wall light with crystal drops £35

Taylor pendant with glass diffuser £220 08700 240780

Black Clarence crystal nine-light chandelier £175

Avila wall light in solid stainless steel £195 0121 707 7629

Maya 10-arm ceiling light £150 08456 049 049 167

03 01

Business things you should know

our latest round-up of advice to keep you well informed

Employee references

Before you formally pass on any negative views of a former employee, be aware of the possible consequences says Matthew Welch, a solicitor at Bath Law


s a consequence of a former employer providing an unfavourable reference, an employee was recently awarded over £50,000 in compensation. The case, Bullimore v Pothecary Witham Weld, is a warning to all employers, irrespective of their industry, to take great care when providing a reference. miss Bullimore was originally given a reference in bland terms which allowed her to get a new job. But four years later, when she applied for a different job, her first employer provided another reference, this time it was unfavourable rather than bland. miss Bullimore did not get the job but successfully claimed against her old and prospective employers, both firms of solicitors who perhaps should have known better. so what should you do when asked to provide a reference for an employee or former employee? The rules say that normally you do not have to provide a reference, but there are exceptions, including where there is a contractual duty – for example in a compromise agreement where, as part of a settlement, the employer provides an agreed reference, or where it would be discriminatory not to do so. another exception would be when failure to give a reference could be regarded as victimisation of an employee who had brought a discrimination claim or assisted a colleague in doing so. If you do provide a reference it has to be true, accurate and fair and must not be misleading by missing out important facts, but it does not have to be detailed or comprehensive. a reference must not be discriminatory and particular care should be taken to ensure that any comments on attendance, sickness or performance do not prompt a claim for disability discrimination. Information about an employee’s health is “sensitive personal data” which should not be disclosed without the employee’s consent; confidential references about an employee also require their permission for inclusion. If the reference is discriminatory or victimises the employee then you may face a tribunal claim from him or her. If the reference is not true, accurate or fair you face potential claims from the employee and from the new employer who received the reference. This would be a claim for negligent mis-statement. It is a case of being damned by

the employee if the reference is inaccurate because it is not favourable and being damned by the new employer because it is too favourable. In extreme cases where the reference is made with malice, that is the author knows it is untrue or was recklessly indifferent about the truth, then there could be a claim for defamation or malicious falsehood. references were once highly confidential and an employee often did not know who had written a reference, let alone what it said, but this changed with the Data Protection act 1998. now, although the employer who wrote the reference still does not have to disclose it to the employee, the employee can, under the act, make a “data subject access request” to the recipient of the reference. The employee, if required, has to pay the recipient a fee of £10 and the recipient has to respond to the request within 40 days. The Information commissioner has given guidelines ( practical_application/references_v1.0_final.pdf) on how to deal with requests for a reference and the recipient can delete names to protect identities, although often the employee will have a good idea of who they are. alternatively, sometimes, the employee can be given a summary of the reference. The result of the potential for claims from employees and new employers is that many employers now have a policy that references will only be brief and factual, confirming the dates of employment, the job title and the roles performed: in other words a reference in bland terms. If they do give more details they will often add a disclaimer which is longer than the reference but this will probably only be effective in respect of claims from the new employer and not from the employee. sometimes the referee will add that it is company policy only to give brief factual references. To ensure consistency, references should be given by the same person, or in larger companies by the Hr department. This should be contained in a policy which should set out when they should be given, by whom and that any personal references are not company references. To try to obtain more information about an employee, a prospective employer may well phone the referee. Great care should be taken to ensure first that these calls are taken by the person who has provided the reference and that any replies to further questions should be consistent with the written reference and if necessary the referee can fall back on the policy to explain why more information cannot be provided. In case the conversation is relied on later the referee must make a detailed contemporaneous note. > 169


Happy holidays

Employees regard holidays – paid time off from work – to be the most significant benefit that they receive. Gareth Edwards, a partner in the employment team at Veale Wasbrough Vizards, answers FAQs on entitlements

from their first day of employment, employees accrue statutory holiday entitlement under the Working Time regulations. In each year, they are entitled to take 5.6 weeks annual leave – termed ‘statutory holiday’. for an employee working five days a week, this amounts to 28 days leave each year which can include the usual bank/ public holidays. an employer is free to offer more than statutory holiday. Part-time workers are entitled to a prorated equivalent. To calculate the holiday entitlement of a shift worker, the employer must calculate leave based on the average shifts worked during the 12-week period immediately prior to the requested leave period.

employees are entitled to a week’s pay for each week of leave. How a week’s pay is calculated will depend on the circumstances of the employee. for employees with normal regular hours of work this generally means their basic salary without any commission or bonus. However, if the employee’s pay fluctuates week to week, holiday pay is based on their average pay during those normal working hours over the previous 12 working weeks, including any commission or similar payment which varies in amount. overtime pay will only be included in the calculation where overtime is guaranteed. If the employee works irregular hours, a week’s pay is simply calculated as an average of all the sums earned in the previous 12 working weeks including any overtime payments and commission.

There is no statutory right to bank or public holidays. If a contract of employment states that an employee is entitled to “x days holiday plus bank or public holidays” then they are contractually entitled to bank/public holidays. otherwise the employee is entitled only to statutory holiday. This year we had the royal Wedding, next year there is the queen’s Diamond Jubilee, so in 2011 and 2012, employees with a contractual right to public holidays will be entitled to nine public holidays rather than the usual eight. Part-time workers who have a contractual right to bank or public holidays have a right to a pro-rated equivalent of their full-time colleagues. It does not matter that the parttime worker does not normally work on the day on which the bank/public holiday falls. so, an employee who works

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday will be entitled to 3/5ths of the annual bank/public holidays occurring that year.

under the WTr, an employee must give notice if they wish to take statutory holiday equal to at least twice the period of leave that they are requesting. an employer may object to the request for leave by giving a counter-notice. This must be given at least as many calendar days before the proposed leave is due to commence as the number of days which the employer is refusing.

under the WTr unused statutory holiday expires at the end of the holiday year. an employee is generally not entitled to carry statutory holiday over or to be paid in lieu of unused statutory holiday. employers may agree that staff may carry over unused holiday into subsequent holiday years and may impose the condition that such holiday is used within a specific period or is otherwise lost. on termination of employment, the employee is entitled to be paid in lieu of any accrued, but untaken, holiday entitlement.

Women on maternity leave continue to accrue holiday during their leave. so, a woman taking her full maternity leave entitlement of 52 weeks will accrue a full year’s holiday entitlement. The employer has the option of requiring the employee to take the holiday she will accrue either before or after her period of maternity leave. The same principles apply to employees taking paternity leave and parental leave where the period of leave spans two holiday years and the employee therefore risks losing their holiday entitlement.

an employee continues to accrue statutory holiday during sickness absence, even if they are absent for the whole holiday year. This means that an employee who has exhausted their sick pay entitlement could request to take paid holiday during their sickness absence.

The european court of Justice has held that an employee who is incapacitated during a period of previously-scheduled statutory holiday should have the right to re-schedule the holiday for a later date. The employment Tribunal agreed with this proposition but, as neither the ecJ nor the eT’s decision is definitive on this point, you should seek advice in this situation. > 171


Talking to your bank manager

We asked Emmanouil Schizas, a policy adviser to smalland medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, for tips on how get the most from your bank


anks care aBouT sPecIfIc Tyes of information, and their priorities have changed somewhat since before the financial crisis of 2008-9. Lenders now make more extensive use of information in order to decide on a loan application. Traditional financial statements and key risk indicators are less important than they used to be pre-crisis, whereas collateral and information on industry trends have become more important. consistently at the top of the agenda, however, are cashflow and transaction histories. It is important to prepare realistic cashflow projections on a regular basis and to make sure the business can be cash positive in the long run. as for your transaction history, your bank manager will presumably have access to this and will be scrutinising it for signs of trouble as we speak. make sure you can account for all transactions, especially abnormally large ones. The objective is to re-assure your bank that your cashflow is steady and reasonably predictable, that you can pay on time when you need to and that you are not relying on windfalls to keep you afloat. most of all, remember that for a bank manager bad news is better than no information. Be honest and forthcoming or you will risk damaging your banking relationships forever.

experienced accountants are always reminding us that more businesses go under during a recovery than during a recession. This is because businesses tend to over-trade as orders pick up again, committing to more work than they can safely deliver based on their working capital. Banks know this too, so your aim should be to show your bank how sustainably (not how fast) you can grow your business, and that means demonstrating you are in control. This is one of the reasons why bank managers will want to see your cashflow projections alongside your business plan. The figures will almost certainly never turn out to be spot on, but if you can demonstrate that you understand how your business generates and uses cash, it really doesn’t matter – you’re automatically a slightly safer pair of hands.

Banks are happier with some types of risk than others. What they really don’t want to take on is your trade credit risk – the chance that you will get into trouble because your customers can’t pay you in time – or at all. If you’re extending any form of credit to your customers, you are a bank. you may not think so but your bank manager does. and, like a bank, in order to get anyone to lend you money, you have to convince them that you don’t need bailing out.

Do we have integrated risk management systems in place? How much exposure do we have to customers/clients? How much of our turnover/cashflow depends on them? are they financially healthy? How tight are our credit policies and how strictly do we adhere to them? How good are we at chasing up invoices and other debt? Have we made provision for bad debts? Do we know what shape we will be in if customers start paying late or fail to pay at all? Do we have enough capital to ensure solvency? Do we have / will we have enough working capital to meet incoming orders? Does our business have assets it could sell or borrow against? What are their values in today’s market? am I able to inject more of my own money into the business at short notice? Do I have personal property I could sell or borrow against?

according to research, small businesses find business plans and other forwardlooking statements more useful in their efforts to raise finance if they have been prepared by a third party. a recent survey by The Banker magazine and the International federation of accountants (Ifac) revealed that 59 per cent of small business lenders were more likely to consider would-be borrowers if they had used a professional external accountant for advice and support. alternatively, try to use your bank as a sounding board. an on-going relationship provides banks with an abundance of information and can help build trust and empathy. The Government’s latest statistics suggest that, even in the good days of mid2007, only 15 per cent of all the smes seeking external finance relied primarily on their banks for financial advice. Good news for accountants, but with trust in banks falling across the sme sector, businesses could be missing out on an important source of advice.

Don’t assume that traditional term loans and overdrafts are the only things you can get from a bank. Banks can tap into government guarantees (the enterprise finance Guarantee) or funds from the european Investment Bank (eIB) when lending to small businesses. Insist that your bank comes back to you with alternatives. This may seem like a lot of work and the first time around it will be. However, the effect on your business’s access to finance can be substantial. more importantly, the process can pay for itself by getting you to take control of your business and make it more rational and efficient. In fact, you may find you don’t need a loan at all, or perhaps that you need to think even further outside the box, from invoice finance to equity investment. Learning to talk to the bank manager is just the beginning. 173 Visit us in BARCELO’ MAJESTIC HOTEL11th - 13th SEPTEMBER 11 DEMETRIOS for ILISSA ITALIA - Via Feltre 34/7 - 20132 Milano Ph +39 (0)2 2152176 - Fax +39 (0)226416407


RBA reports


With production schedules still on the move, and more changes ahead in China, isn’t it time we simply revised those long-held ideas and worked with the timetables available, asks Chairman Alan Sanders

HERE ARE SOME FLUTTERING chickens very much coming home to roost these days. We have been warning in the RBA columns in Bridal Buyer for over a year now, that the big changes in our production centres in China will have a huge effect on our delivery dates. Now, as an industry, we are having to face up to the fact that change has come and it is here to stay. Not only here to stay, but one has to ask the question – will it get worse? I hope that our members took note of the warnings sent out in our various association newsletters and accordingly laid down some decent orders at March Harrogate. And I hope, too, that retailers generally will be basing their September BBEH plans on the fact that few manufacturers will be able to deliver just like they did in days gone by – that is new samples arriving in time for the January 2012 rush of brides. We have had almost universal confirmation from our members that deliveries are running at 20 weeks or more, and this is leading to floods of phone calls and emails to suppliers about hitting selling and weddingdate deadlines. I imagine BBEH will be deluged with conflicting calls for change – some wanting one show, some wanting two shows with new dates, and some calls for a change of location. The trouble is when changes occur, everyone starts looking at their own agenda and forgetting that this business is driven by the sales on the high street, by the 1,000plus retailers beavering away to secure their orders and trying to plan the year ahead at the same time. I cannot stress too much that this is not the time for precipitious action. Change in

China is far from complete. We could quite easily find ourselves making big plans for a new situation, only to find the goalposts have shifted once again. China is a massive country, thousands of miles away, and much of the unrest within its borders is quietly and efficiently suppressed by the State, as it struggles

March orders will arrive in the autumn, September orders mid year. It seems like a good scenerio to me

to keep the lid on this new cauldron of entrepreneurial activity and the individual freedoms they have allowed. Already Facebook and Twitter have been knocked on the head there by the internetsavvy Government, but the home-grown versions have already appeared – Sine Weibo and Ren-Ren – and the new religious halffreedoms that have surfaced – have resulted ironically in there being more members of the Christian Church than there are members of the Communist Party. The main source of frustration is corruption at all levels of officialdom – and this affects “the little people’ – those who one day will seek to have their own Chinese Spring or Jasmine

Revolution. For the moment, the Government is holding the line by spreading wealth, albeit unevenly, which in turn is increasing demand for goods normally bound for export – such as wedding dresses and, whoops, that’s the orders for little old UK pushed back again. So let’s just pause for breath and think about delivery times for our orders. For many, the orders being placed now will arrive perhaps in the middle of the New Year selling season, some just in time for March Harrogate 2012. By contrast March orders will arrive in time for the SeptemberOctober selling period – and this is often just as good as the New Year session. Samples will still be there in January and retailers will have a very good chance of selling off old samples just in time for your September-placed orders to arrive and refill the rails. It seems like a good scenario to me. All the signs are that stand space for September BBEH has been snapped up and that, combined with the fact that a larger number of collections (well over 350 now) are showing than ever before, is sound evidence that people really do like Harrogate and that the current show dates aren’t so bad either. As usual I shall be looking forward to seeing present members, in the VIP Lounge, at the AGM on Sunday, and potential ones, too, at our RBA stand right opposite Café Couture in the Kings Suite. Then, of course, there is our annual Dinner Dance where the winners of the coveted RBA Awards, as chosen democratically by our members, will be revealed. BB

Retail Bridalwear Association +44 (0)1494 445155


OR T I IS TH V 0 N 00 MO , 10 RY R E VE OV E



Write on

“Got a pen?” takes on a whole new meaning now there is a digital version on the market. retailers are rushing to get writing, says Chris Partridge


oday Moss Bros staff note custoMers’ measurements, preferred styles and colours using a digital pen which records and analyses the keystrokes and sends them by wireless to the firm’s computer system. the images are then analysed using character recognition software to match product codes and make up an order. this is sent back to the till at the branch so fast that by the time the customers have walked from the fitting room to the till, all they need to do is insert their credit card into the slot. the system was developed by Magicomm, using technology from swedish company, anoto, plus elements for retail from Microsoft. the major advantages of the system for Moss Bros are the creation of a familiar written form for the client to sign, and the ease of installation – it takes just one hour to train staff to use the digital pen and paper, and they only have to fill in a twopart form instead of a six-part. for the company, the instantaneous harvesting of the data that used to be trapped on the paper form has huge advantages. the happy couple can supply a dress code for their wedding, which can be distributed to all branches instantly so if, for example, the best man wants to pick up his suit from another branch it will match the groom’s and usher’s. Because paper forms are captured on computer instantly instead of being bundled up and sent to India for data entry, the company can now identify which styles are selling better than others and whether or not there is enough stock to cover the future demand for the ranges almost instantaneously, as opposed to months behind schedule in the past. the Magicomm system uses a digital pen to capture writing and convert it into text for computers, but this is just one use for digital pens. the latest digital pen using the anoto system, the Livescribe echo, takes a different approach – it records speech and links penstrokes made at the same time to the sounds. It is perfect for taking notes – you listen to what is being said, jot down words to remind you of what is being said, and later you can return to exactly that point in the conversation and listen again. It eliminates the need to run through an entire recording just to find a particular comment. It’s like having a tape recorder where you can write on the tape. It is aimed mainly at people who need to record conversations, such as lawyers talking to clients or

journalists doing interviews. But it also works well for sales people taking orders, because the whole conversation is recorded in case there is a dispute later, and the exact details of an order can be easily located by clicking the relevant written note and listening to exactly what the client said. the big advantage of this approach is that it digitises the most natural way humans interact, by voice and writing instead of typing details on a computer that comes between the sales person and the customer. the voice-based approach means that it can be used straight out of the box, without a massive investment in computer software. according to research by forrester consulting on behalf of Livescribe, workers rely on handwritten notes and believe that better integration of handwritten notes and spoken information would significantly improve professional productivity. the survey found that 87 per cent of information workers use handwritten notes, and 38 per cent of workers use handwritten notes to organise their priorities through to-do lists. seventyfive percent of those surveyed saw value in the ability to computerise, index, search and share handwritten notes and associated audio. “People in all walks of life and at every stage of their education and career find handwriting to be a critical method for recording and processing information,” said Byron connell of Livescribe. “We believe this commissioned study conducted by forrester consulting confirms that our vision for a smartpen platform that enables the capture, access and sharing of written and spoken information any time, anywhere is well aligned with the needs of today’s fastmoving, knowledgable workers.” the Livescribe echo can also be used for collaborative working, by exchanging ‘pencasts’ by email or facebook. a pencast is a written note that is stored in pdf form so it can be displayed on any computer. Imagine being able to sketch a few design ideas and instantly circulate it round your team for ideas and improvement. the sketch can have spoken commentary too – if you want to explain a particular feature, just make a few comments as you draw it, and they will by highlighted in the pencast so readers can click on it and hear what you have said. It is a very powerful way of communicating your visual concepts. the Livescribe echo digital pen is available on amazon. com from about £100 depending on memory size.

the Livescribe echo is perfect for taking notes – you listen to what is being said, jot down reminder words and later you can return to that exact point in the conversation and listen again. It eliminates the need to run through an entire recording just to find a particular comment.

All-in-one powered AntennA Freeview reception can be a bit dodgy on indoor aerials, so the One for All SV9380 signal to compensate, enabling you to watch having to install an outside aerial. Its stylish either. (£30) on the wAll great demo screen, and with the RingO mount system from Vogel you can mount it securely on a wall or display cabinet to show video or

long journeys. (£65) www.tabletonthewall. com/ringo tAking A tAblet

webOS operating system, that promises to be more business-friendly printer power all-in-one printer costs a little more than rivals substantially cheaper. You can even print 3D images – it comes with the necessary software and a selection of 3D www. 177















A question of law

raj dhokia of solicitors Freedman Green Dhokia looks are the issues that may be affecting your business. Questions will be answered in the first possible issue of Bridal Buyer and shown online at


have taken a job for five days a week in place, I strongly suggest you seek independent legal working for a local bridal shop as a sales consultant. advice. The Partnership Act 1890 will govern the terms of at the interview the owner said i would have to be your partnership and dissolution of the same will occur self-employed and pay my own national insurance automatically upon the death of a partner. The Partnership and tax. a friend has told me that this is not legal Act is archaic and this is also why I strongly suggest that and i am now quite confused. what should i be doing you have your own partnership agreement in place as you and what should i say to the boss? i really like my can have specific provisions which set out what will happen job and it took me a while to find it so i don’t want to if one of you should die. Once you have that in place, you can also make a provision in your Will for the same. You jeopardise my situation. Whether you are employed or self-employed, will depend on cannot attempt to make provision for your interests in your the nature of your working relationship. Clearly the owner business in your Will if the law prevails. If you do have a of the bridal shop stipulated the terms under which you partnership agreement already in place you need to check would be engaged, i.e. self-employed, at the outset and before the terms of the agreement to find out where you currently you even accepted the job. The job was for a self-employed stand legally. Of course, if the agreement fails to mention position and being fully aware of this, you accepted these anything about the death of a partner, the Partnership Act terms. If you are engaged on a self-employed basis, then it is will govern any matter which has not been covered in the your own responsibility to pay your own National Insurance agreement. and Tax contributions. However, whilst your contract may state that you are i am planning to become an agent, representing various self-employed, it is not as clear cut as it is the nature of companies in the bridal industry. one hears the odd horror story from time to time of agents your relationship which determines your not being paid, and i want to make sure employment status and it is quite possible my interests are protected. what sort that the same could reflect that of an of contract should i be asking for and employee; in order to determine this, you what should be stipulated in it? also, will need to seek independent legal advice. who should be responsible for expenses You can also ask HMRC for their opinion i incur going to see retailers or visiting as to whether or not they think that you trade exhibitions? are employed as opposed to self-employed; The term ‘agency’ is often used to cover there is some useful information on their a number of different types of business website in this regard. relationship and therefore you will need to be very clear and careful as to how i have a business partner with whom i you will determine the actual nature of formed the company that owns our shop the relationship. around ten years ago. i have been giving For example, a real agency agreement some thought to making a will recently will require you to make contracts with and would like to leave my part of the customers on behalf of your principal so business to my younger sister who is that the end result is a contract between in a completely different field of work but whom i would like to benefit ultimately. do i need your principal and the customer. Alternatively the term to discuss this with my partner before starting the will ‘agency’ can be used to refer to an ‘introducing’ agency relationship whereby the agent simply finds customers process and is there anything else i need to be aware of? You may wish to discuss this matter with your business and introduces them to the principal who then negotiates partner but, ultimately, it is your decision. If you have a the deal. Essentially, once you have defined the use and nature of partnership agreement you will need to check the terms of the agreement as they may provide specifically for this. the term ‘agency’ under which you wish to operate, you will If, however, you have a partnership and no agreement need to discuss the same with an independent legal advisor who will advise as to the pros and cons of the different types of agency agreements and they will be able to draft an agreement in accordance with your concerns. Ultimately, the use of the term ‘agency’ will be of little importance as it is the true nature of the relationship that will be looked at despite what the agreement is called.

Make a note: these websites provide some useful business advice

To consult privately with Raj Dhokia call Freedman Green Dhokia on +44 (0) 20 7625 6003 or email 179





Hall B

Hall A

This is a big show and you need to plan your travels around the six halls and four hotels if you want to make the most of your visit. Check the stand numbers of the suppliers who are top of your list and use the oor plans on the following pages to organise your best route

Finding your way around BBEH

To receive a regular copy of Bridal Buyer subscribe today at

Hall M

Hall C





183 helping you run your business E WHERE T TO MEOP T E TH ES NAM



Are you prepared for the coming season? Need valuable industry insight, information on new collections, interactive expert advice? Do you want to network, share experiences and ďŹ nd out what your competitors are up to? Find a supplier through our extensive on-line directory?



log on today

The BBEH hotels

Alfred Angelo * Benjam Roberts * Disney Fairytale Weddings * Linzi Jay

Demetrios * Ebony Rose * Flirt * Maggie Sottero * Sottero & Midgley

The Majestic Hotel

Designer Room

Alexia Designs * Ian Stuart London * Irresistible

The Old Swan Hotel

Hall Q

Brides Desire * Jean Fox * Phil Collins * Bridal * Liza * Meadows Bridal Shoes Romantica * Twilight

Queens Suite




the national wedding show















































300 +





























30 Sep-2 Oct 2011 EARLS COURT LONDON 7-9 October 2011 NEC BIRMINGHAM For information on exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities contact 020 7772 8411 * London only.


Unit 13, Miners Road, Llay, Wrexham LL12 0PJ

Wedding Gown Carton


● ● ●

Gown covers Carrier bags Parasols

● ● ●

Cartons Print or plain Just ask!

Order online

Printed Paper Carrier Bags

GOWN COVERS: Clear P.V.C. & White PEVA with breathable gusset

For all your bridal wear needs from dress covers to hangers to shoulder covers to carrier bags. Hoesh offer a fast and reliable service. Stock service available on all colours and sizes. In-house printing facility also available on all items. T: 0116 2765221 | F: 0116 2765110 | E: | | Hoesh House, Unit 4, Trevanth Road, Leicester LE4 9LS



Tel: 01652650009





CALL NARDENE ON 020 7772 8317





Stockists of bridal, evening and children’s wear fabrics in silks and synthetics. Satins, crepes, shantungs, chiffons, habutaes and organzas in an extensive coordinated palette of shades all available from stock. Sequin embroideries are a speciality. Exclusive stockists of Sormeh shirring elastics.


Contact Chris Day on: T: 020 7275 0117 E: 9-15 Helmsley Place, London Fields London E8 3SB







specialists in silk


100% silk and silk blend fabrics fully stock supported in our warehouse 1m minimum order Next day delivery | 020 7739 9130



To advertise in the directory please contact Nardene Smith on 020 7772 8317 WWW.BRIDALBUYER.COM 189


Luxury in every detail.



On file

Bridal Buyer advertisers’ directory



Benjamin Roberts




Alexia Designs

Alfred Sung Bridal

Old Swan


Blush Prom

The Cairn


Old Swan

Bonny Bridal UK


Alyce Designs by FF London A28

Bridal Consultancy Service KS3

Amanda Wyatt

Bridal Retailers Network


Brimas Bridal Software


Annais Bridal

Anny Lin



St George



Cameron Ross

Caroline Atelier

Cassandra Stone





Charlotte Balbier


Christina Rossi


Chrysalin Umbrellas

DaVinci Bridal





Majestic Hotel

Dessy Group






John Charles


Maggie Sottero



Malis Henderson


Donna Salado Bridal




Jonathan James


Mark Lesley



Heirloom Waistcoats


Joyce Jackson


Martina Liana

Helena Cotter



Hollywood Dreams


Justin Alexander

Ebony Rose

Elizabeth Dickens




Queens Suite

House of Nicholas




Impression Bridal



Eternity Bridal


Queens Suite




Jean Yves

Queens Suite


Kelsey Rose

Linzi Jay

Mac Duggal

Madeline Isaac James




The Cairn




Queens Suite



Mascara by Frank Saul








Mon Cheri



Private Label by G

Moonlight Bridal (ME Prom by Moonlight)

Mori Lee


Nicola Anne


Opulence By Natalie M


Prom Frocks





Paloma Blanca


Paradox London

Phil Collins


St George Hotel

Phoenix Gowns

Precious Formals




Rainbow Club


Ritva Westenius


Romantica of Devon






St George

Ronald Joyce



Sophia Tolli

Stephanie Browne




Trudy Lee









Victoria Kay


Village Brides






White Rose


Xedo Software





T Cards

Torre UK

Ultimate Formal Hire





The last word Our backpage girl Abi Neill, balances motherhood and marketing and finds there are huge rewards in both (but does she know yet that the latter is a low-cost investment compared to the former!)


some investment but, spending on this area TYPED MY LAST COLUMN WHILST with a web design specialist who understands bouncing on a large inflatable birthing SEO (search engine optimisation) as well as ball. My laptop and I fell off twice! Today’s user-friendly navigation, is crucial. Get your column-writing session involves my website right and it will pay dividends. wriggling three-week-old baby girl, whose I don’t need much encouragement when it mouth is permanently attached to a certain comes to socialising or networking (why does part of my anatomy and whom I’m hoping my husband snigger when I say that?) so that’s will not regurgitate on my laptop keyboard as perhaps why I’ve embraced twitter (@ I type one-handed! I wonder if these are the AbigailsColl) and Facebook. kinds of tests Which? magazine carries out for These are fantasticallytheir laptop reviews? effective free marketing Back in 2005, when business (my first baby) tools. Soon, if you don’t tweet, was merely a twinkle in my eye and a 20-page blog or have a Facebook page business plan with a few clever-looking pie for your business you’ll be in charts, I understood that I would need to work the minority. If you’re not sure hard at marketing in order to get appointments how to use them, Google ‘how in the diary. So part of my business preparation to use Facebook’ or look at You included a 12-month forecast of low-cost Tube for some demos and then on marketing activity. You see, it would have been a daily basis start interacting with foolish to assume that a good retail location, a customers and other wedding experts. It will well-groomed sales assistant and rails of pretty increase brand awareness and your customers dresses would be enough to keep the metaphoric and suppliers will soon till at Abigail’s Collection (or start talking about you anywhere) kerchinging – it and your great shop, and simply isn’t. they’ll be marketing your The promotion of a business for you for free! retailbased business, Twitter is a fantastic way especially in our competitive of meeting other industry market, needs to be Get pro-active! professionals and working ongoing and include daily Do something that promotes together to promote activity; along with client your business every day each other has obvious recommendations, it’s what will keep new customers Approach local venues and benefits: it’s ‘cheap’ and coming through your doors. other suppliers to see how you works a ‘tweet’ (couldn’t resist that!) Exchanging Retailers who are ‘bored’ and can promote each other flyers and business cards spring cleaning their shops Invest in a strong website. and encouraging your because of a lack of bridal appointments should pop Get tweeting and blogging staff to recommend other wedding companies is a their feather dusters and and set up a business great move. I once linked yellow marigolds down and Facebook account up with six other suppliers find their marketing mojo Exhibit at your local and in association with the before it’s too late. Besides local press we held a ‘win which, yellow marigolds are wedding events a wedding’ competition. It not a good look. Press release your worked fabulously, it was In terms of marketing latest shop news and shout great fun, and best of all, priorities; we all know that about what you’re doing the newspaper coverage a good website is essential. went on for six weeks. Granted, it’s not exactly a to everyone! In terms of utilising low-cost option but, as your media we often put together a press release virtual shop window, it’s a vital way of reaching when we have something to shout about – it out and drawing customers in. I know from my could be a new label, an accessories event, an own research that a large proportion of brides award win, a sale day, a designer day or just check us out before deciding on their weddingour business birthday celebrations. A good shop short list (or long list). Of all available press release and a strong image may grab marketing options it’s the one that requires

5 from Abi

on promoting your business


the attention of your local newspapers and sometimes (not always) fill space for them. Google ‘press release template’ or ‘how to write a press release’ if you don’t know how to. You may find the more accessible national bridal magazines and especially some of the countybased bridal publications will feature snippets of news about you and Wedding Ideas is one of the best and most-affordable national titles in terms of lower cost advertising. Local wedding fairs (fairs or fayres?) are another lowcost method of marketing and some wedding venue open days don’t charge at all. Yes, it means sacrificing a relaxing Sunday for work but get in with the right venues who understand how to hold a successful wedding open day and take time to create an inviting and visually-appealing display stand and before you know it your diary will be fuller and the phone busier! Trial and error is often required to seek out the best of the local wedding fairs. Our most successful cost only £150 to attend and we made 27 appointments! The worst was one at a local hotel where no brides and grooms turned up at all! It was a total waste of everyone’s time but I felt huge sympathy for the organisers! It was quite embarrassing, the only visitors were a slightly odd, elderly couple, guests of the hotel, no intention of getting married at all, just having a nose. They slowly walked the room of 30 suppliers and stopped to chat to every exhibitor. It was painful to watch, especially when they stood for 25 minutes grinning wildly and dipping profiteroles and pineapple chunks in the chocolate fountain – at one point I thought the frustrated chocolate-fountain owner was going to dunk their heads in! Like most aspects of owning a bridal business the marketing facet requires creativity and lots of drive and energy and it’s worth remembering that some low cost marketing methods are a tad trial and error. Optimistically I hope that, if needed, with a little more marketing emphasis your diaries can become busier, shops buzzier and more bridal shopping dreams will be fulfilled as customers buy your gorgeous gowns from your brilliant shops! Good luck and maybe we’ll tweet together soon!

PS: Phew, my laptop keyboard did survive!



Harrogate Stand B-14/16 September 11-13 Tel: 001-630-789-1011

a partnership that gives you more


Bridal buyer 2011 09 10  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you