It’s coming to that time of year again when I get to go shopping! At the beginning of March I am heading off to visit one of our wedding dress designers to choose our next collection of dresses. I am so excited. Excited to see what they have in store, excited to see the latest trends, and excited t buy some gorgeous new gowns for 2015 and beyond!
However, it’s also one of the most stressful and pressurised parts of my job. My main priority is to find gowns that our girls will love, but I also have to spend funds wisely and not accidentally buy too many since our shop only has limited rail space. Being prepared, making plenty of notes and not making hasty decisions usually takes care of most of these challenges but it doesn’t always prepare you for hardest decision – what sizes to buy. Since we can only ever afford to buy one of each dress style, we have to make sure that the choice of size is the best possible for that dress silhouette – we have to know that the particular shape chosen will flatter and do both the bride and the dress justice.
Certain dresses are fairly universal and can suit lots different body types but there are definitely some silhouettes, necklines and features that can be awkward and unflattering on particular body types or dress sizes. There is little point in me buying a dress in a size 20 which could cut in at a very unflattering angle on a rounder tummy, but that very same dress could add just the right emphasis and illusion to an athletic sized 14 girl. Likewise a scooped almost square neckline can look incredible on a bustier girl, but a small busted girl can look lost in this shape. There is a whole lot to consider. Accidentally buying a dress in the wrong size can be awful for us; an unflattering dress will never be pulled off our rails for appointments, and it will end up being a waste of money – especially frustrating if it could have been a great dress if purchased in a different size.
We try to cater for lots of different sizes and tend to stock mostly from size 14 to size 20, but I always like to have at least one dress in every size so every girl is able to try on something that fits well. I try to have a variety of silhouettes in all the different sizes, even if some people think girls of a certain size shouldn’t wear a particular silhouette. For example a lot of girls tend to think that if you are curvier then you need to go for a dress that hides your body, but my preference is for curvier girls to go for much more fitted shapes and an exaggerating silhouette. One of my absolute favourite dresses for a curvy girl is a very fitted satin fishtail. Likewise a lot of people feel a petite girl shouldn’t wear a very full skirt for fear it will overwhelm her, but certain full skirted gowns can be wonderful on a shorter bride.
I’ve been doing this job for nine years now and I’ve developed a good eye for what works and what doesn’t. I have a good instinct for which sizes to go for in each dress. As I see the model walking towards me on the catwalk my mind is going through a list of questions: Do I like it? Is the dress within our price bracket? Does it look worth the money? What size and body type do I think it will flatter the best?
I also have to think about the stock we already have. Before I go on my shopping trips I take a good look around our rails, I make a note of all the silhouettes we have and in what sizes and concentrate on any gaps we might have. I’ll then take a flick through our recent order folders and see which dresses worked the best for particular sizes. I might even do a poll on Facebook and ask our followers what they’d like to see hanging on our rails. I do a lot of research and normally it pays off.
Posted in Bridal
Tagged bridal, Buy, Collection, Dress, dress silhouette, dress style, guide, New, Shape, Silhouette, Wedding
Following her highly successful first solo exhibition just last year, leading fashion stylist and now established artist Sara O’Neill recently launched her second body of work to a rapidly growing fan base at Belfast’s Frame of Mine Gallery. Inspired by fashion and literature, Sara’s collection of pictures entitled ‘Love Me to Death’ pays homage to the strength of the female character in the face of adversity.
Gráinne Maher & Sharon Curran
At the private viewing, guests were treated to a drinks reception courtesy of Carnaby Brown before getting up-close and personal with Sara’s flourished flair for fashion illustration and devotion to detail. Thirteen detailed pencil drawings and mixed-media pieces featuring watercolour and pastel were on show as well as Sara’s limited edition prints and illustrated T-shirts, designed exclusively to coincide with the exhibition.
Sara O’Neill & Paddy McGurgan
From themes of doomed love and tempestuous relationships to thrills and sensations and trials and tribulations, Sara has explored and visualised such works as ‘The Woman in White’, ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Masque of the Red Death’, ‘Macbeth’, ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘Rebecca’.
Khara Pringle & Bradley Quinn
Delighted to be returning with a whole new body of work, Sara commented, “I have adored creating every piece for this new collection. I have experimented and morphed my love of classic and Victorian Gothic literature into a modern, fashion-led interpretation, each piece featuring a striking heroine who is living through, yet owning her individual cruel blow of ill-fate.”
Mark & Whitney Morgan
Sara’s work is available for purchase via Frame of Mine Gallery or by visiting www.saras-designs.co.uk Pieces are available at a range of prices up to £1,000 with sizes varying from 23x16in to 30x22in.
Posted in Designer News, Events, Home Interiors
Tagged art, CMPR, Collection, Frame of mine, Grainne Maher, great expectations, Khara Pringle, macbeth, Mark Whitney Morgan, masque of the red death, Paddy McGurgan, rebecca, Sara O'Neill, saras-designs.co.uk, Sharon Curran, the woman in white, wuthering heights
In an exclusive and intimate catwalk event in Café Vaudeville, Belfast on Monday 03 September 2012, up-and-coming fashion designer Lisa McCabe will reveal the autumn/winter 2012 collection from her ‘Nor Lisa’ label.
Since graduating from the University of Ulster in 2011, Lisa has worked tirelessly and enthusiastically on building the successful Nor Lisa label, which has already been featured on the catwalk for two seasons at Belfast FASHIONWEEK as well as being worn on the red carpet by singing sensation Niamh Perry and modelled by Britain’s Next Top Model finalist Diona Doherty. As well as designing and making the clothes in the collection, Lisa often designs the prints and hand prints many of the fabrics herself, so no two pieces of printed fabric clothing are the same.
The young Fermanagh-born lady is ambitious about furthering the success of her brand and new collections going forward. “The fashion industry in Northern Ireland is certainly one that’s growing rapidly and it’s a great time for young designers like me to be making the most of it.”
Speaking specifically about the new collection, Lisa describes this season’s collection as luxurious and exclusive, and she was inspired by rich country side manors, elegant clothing and anti-hunting. Working very hard Lisa states: “Like all designers, I work months in advance of each new season to research the upcoming trends and of course to create my own. It’s great to have reached the point where I am ready to launch the autumn/winter range which I think is one of my most adventurous to date. I’ll be a little nervous on the evening but I’ll mostly be excited to hear the reactions of my supporters.”
Audiences should expect to see previews of the 20-piece-strong collection boasting jewel colours highlighted with golds and luxurious fabrics with elements of lace which will be perfectly complimented by the boudoir-esque setting of Café Vaudevile. Local jewellery brand Melanie Bond will complement the fashion pieces on the catwalk with the latest statement necklaces and arm wear. Hairdresser Lee Stinton will work alongside Make-up Artist Nuala Campbell to complete the models’ looks.
With former Big Brother contestant Orlaith McAlistair as the host, DJ Gavin Annon on the decks and recent Britain’s Next Top Model finalist Diona Doherty on the catwalk and fronting the new collection, the event is hotting up to be one of the top VIP events of the year.
Tickets for the Nor Lisa AW12 Collection Preview which takes place at 7pm on Monday 3rd September are £12.50 and available to buy from www.nor-lisa.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Ticket price includes a West Coast Cooler reception and complimentary bespoke Nor Lisa inspired Sugar Room Cupcakes.
IMAGES BY: Nicola Lyons Photography ~ Gillian Douglas-Rea Hair ~ Nuala Campbell Make-up Artist ~ Nor Lisa Styling
Posted in 2012, Designer News, Events, Fashion
Tagged A/W 2012, Cafe Vaudeville, Collection, Diona Doherty, Gavin Annon, Lee Stinton, Lisa McCabe, Melanie Bond Jewellery, Niamh Perry, nor lisa, nuala campbell, Orlaith McAlistair, VIP Catwalk