BRITISH - Attire Bridal magazine

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Tiny Tots
Fabulous fashion
                                              Best of
for the young ones
                                       Home-grown bridalwear
BUYING                                        and accessories
One retailer’s
experiences                             ON TREND
                                          Hot looks for your


Our pick of the best

                                          Make the most of this
Plus                                           buoyant market
  Industry News
  Expert Advice
  Retailer Interview


          6     Industry News
                Our regular round-up of the latest bridal
                movers and shakers

          28    Business Link
                Upali Dayasena, Senior Research Adviser
                at Business Link, answers your questions
                on trade marking your business

          53    Jane Watson                                    Features
                Regular columnist, Jane Watson, reveals all
                about the life of an agent                     20    Retailer Interview
                                                                     We speak to Clare Louise of Brides &
     12                                                              Maids, Cambridge to find out
          59    Buying Time
                Abigail Neill tells all about her recent             about her successful bridal boutique
                buying trip to Madrid, and talks tactics for
                sourcing stock from the BBEH                   23    Tiny Tots
                                                                     Fabulous fashions for the young ones
          60    Q&A Special
                Our experts, Jane Watson and Beth Scott,       31    IJL Interview
                answer all your retail queries                       We speak to show director, Chris Hartley

38        66    Up and Coming                                  33    Best of British
                Angela Cole interviews Nuala Tivnan,                 We champion UK-based manufacturers
                who opened her self-named bespoke bridal             and designers
                and occasion gown shop earlier this year
                                                               40    Bridal Fashion Trends
                                                                     Discover four exciting looks for
          Profiles                                                    your brides-to-be

          12    Rainbow Club                                   50    Groom’s Accessories
                Diane Kelsall talks to us about                      Make the most of these terrific
                her fabulous shoe range                              add-on sales

                                                               54    Bridal Lingerie
          38    Crystabelle Jewellery
                                                                     How to support this growing market
                Sarah and Christine discuss their stunning
                necklaces, earrings and bracelets

                                                               16    Couture Fashion Week
                                                                     We showcase the hottest bridal fashions
                                                                     from the runways of New York
                                                                                                        ATTIRE 3

        JULY/AUGUST 2008

ATTIRE                                   Bridal
                                                                                                                         Cover image courtesy of
                                                                                                                         Suzanne Neville

                                         Made in the UK

                                                                                                                         Industry News Page 6
GROUP EDITOR                                                                                                             Tny Tots Page 23
Demelza Rayner                                                                                                           Best of British Page 33
+44 (0)1376 535 609                                                                                                      Bridal Lingerie Page 54

Jennifer Kettle
                                                                  In today’s difficult economic climate it’s never
+44 (0)1376 535 609                                               been so important to support home-grown talent.
                                                                  Britain boasts some of the world’s most gifted
Angela Cole                                                       bridal designers who, despite spiralling overheads,
SALES MANAGER                                                     stay true to their roots and continue to make their
Mark White
+44 (0)1376 514 000                                               dresses in the UK. We speak Emma Tindley and
                                                                  Nicola Harvey-Rowley at Nicola Anne, among
Vicky Longman                                                     others, to find out more.
+44 (0)1376 535 616                                              One of the most interesting sectors of the market
GRAPHIC DESIGNERS                        that is largely undervalued by bridal shops is lingerie. It’s an essential
Sarah Barnes
Sophie Farage
                                         purchase for any bride-to-be, yet too few bridal retailers are choosing to
Laura Perry
Steve McKea
                                         stock it in store. Why? It takes up very little space, provides an excellent
+44 (0)1376 535 616                      add-on purchase and may even make the difference between a bride-to-
PRODUCTION MANAGER                       be buying or not buying a dress.
Stuart Weatherley
+44 (0)1376 535 616                        Crossing the Atlantic now, we take a look at the New York Couture
ADMINISTRATION                           Fashion Week, which showcased the work of eminent fashion designers
Scott Brothwell
+44 (0)1376 514 000                      based all around the world. We take a look at some jaw-dropping designs
Kline Davis Limited                      that graced the runways, including fabulous creations by Jean Fares and
Broseley House
Newlands Drive                           Haya al Houti.
Witham, Essex CM8 2UL                       Finally, we focus on some fabulous bridal fashions, including pleated

Staff photographs courtesy of
                                         and folded fabric, pretty capped shoulder straps, striking necklines and
Ian Scott Photography                    brightly-coloured sashes.
Tel: 01707 263 844

ISSN 1758-0072

Attire Bridal is solely owned,           Enjoy reading
published and designed by Kline

Davis Limited. Whilst every effort
was made to ensure the information
in this magazine was correct at the
time of going to press, the publishers
cannot accept legal responsibility
for any errors or omissions, nor
can they accept responsibility of
the standing of advertisers nor by
the editorial contributions. The
views expressed do not necessarily
reflect those of the publisher. Attire    Demelza Rayner
Bridal is published six times a year.
Subscription rates for overseas          Group Editor
readers are £40 per annum (incl.
p+p), Cheques should be made out
to Kline Davis Limited and sent to
Attire Bridal @ Broseley House,
Newlands Drive, Witham, Essex
CM8 2UL.
                                                                                                                                           ATTIRE 5
We take a look at what’s new in the bridal industry this summer

Expansion nearing completion                             CONSUMER MAGAZINES – A
for Benjamin Roberts                                     NEW REVENUE STREAM?
After months of work, Benjamin Roberts will              You may think you stock
shortly be unveiling their new showrooms. Back           everything a bride-to-be needs:
in 2003, Benjamin Roberts were operating from            the dress, the shoes, the veil, the
3,000 square feet in the city centre over two            lingerie. But have you considered
levels with just two collections. After taking on a      stocking consumer wedding
third collection in 2003, the firm moved into the         magazines? If not, you could be
premises next door, enlarging available space to         missing out on an extra revenue stream.
4,700 square feet, and now, with four collections,
                                                         County Wedding Magazines publish nine
Benjamin Roberts are moving to a 17,000 square
feet brand new unit. ”This latest move is to be able     consumer wedding magazines, all for clearly
to improve the way in which we receive the goods,        defined areas, and will shortly be launching a
store them and send them out to our customers,           title for London. “At present all our county wedding
so improving our customer service,” explains             titles are sold through major supermarkets, high
Managing Director, Karen Taft.                           street newsagents and other independent outlets,”
   One of the most exciting aspects of the new           says Sales and Marketing Manager, Mark White. “However, we are now
developments is the new garment handling                 looking to expand our distribution into bridal outlets.” He continues: “When
system (which is often seen in large clothing            located at the point of sale, magazines make a great impulse buy. After,
manufacturers and storage). The dresses will arrive
                                                         all, what’s a few pounds compared to the price of a wedding dress?” To
in a shipment, be opened and pressed, quality
controlled and then stored in a dry, humidity            find out how to stock the magazine, please telephone Jacquie at Diamond
controlled sealed area until a delivery note is raised   Distribution on +44 (0)1797 225 229. To find out more about county
for dispatch.                                            wedding magazines, please visit

                                                          European expansion for Sasso

                                                          Sasso Bridal Accessories began back in
                                                          2004 with just four marabou garments
                                                          and a small collection of accessories. The
                                                          firm now has over 250 accounts and an
                                                          ever-expanding collection from Europe.
                                                          “Lapa gloves, for example, have over
                                                          30 years of experience in the bridal
                                                          marketplace, and have allowed us
                                                          to choose from their collection of
                                                          accessories just for our UK market,” says
DRESS TO IMPRESS                                          Elaine Carter. The accessories include
A fabulous new charity event, with a bridal twist,                                    gorgeous
is to be held this November to raise money for                                        lace and
Pancreatic Cancer UK. Indeed, on 1st November                                         organza pleated gloves, embroidered,
2008 (which is the beginning of pancreatic                                            lace and flowers with swarovski crystal
cancer awareness month) wedding & portrait                                            trim. There are also Sex and the City
photographer Julia Boggio will throw a charity                                        themed hats, vintage lace-effect skull
wedding-ball at the five-star ANdAZ Hotel,                                             caps, supersized organza flowers,
Liverpool Street, London - formerly the Great                                         hair combs and lace headbands.
Eastern Hotel.                                                                        “We have also introduced the Emmi
   The idea behind THE BIG I DO REDO is to                                            Mariage collection of dresses, which
encourage women back into their wedding dresses                                       we are launching at Harrogate in
across the country to raise money for the charity.                                    September,” she adds. All are available
For further details, visit the handy website at                                       to view online at

                                                                                                   News & Events

BoBijou designer pearl jewellery (Edinburgh) recently introduced its in-house developed exclusive knotting technology “Needless
Restringing” to guarantee the wearer 10 years without needing pearl restringing, offering supreme quality of finish.
    As a distinctive brand, BoBijou’s USP is to offer a wide range of unique, refreshingly designed Couture style jewellery that
are hand made with purely precious and natural materials such as cultured pearls and gemstones with solid silver and gold, at
affordable prices. The brand prides itself on the superior design and outstanding quality of jewellery. With a wide collection of 300
designs developed in the Edinburgh head office, every piece is hand made in association with their exclusive workshop in Spain.
It takes three years for their team to develop this sophisticated knotting technology. Compared to traditional knotting that takes
a skilled worker one hour to hand string and knot a 18” standard pearl necklace, this technology takes four hours. However, the
end quality is uncomparable, the thread is very strong and will not move or become elastic and loose, hence the shape will last
at least 10 years with no need to pay for restringing. Yet the traditionally knotted pearl necklace would need to be restrung every
two years.
    BoBijou is an ethical jewellery brand. Their pearls come directly from the largest pearl farm that cultures pearls in the purest and
cleanest lakes, and the firm implements a strict environmental policy throughout. For further details visit

                                                                                     EXPORT AWARD FOR CYBERTILL
                                                                                     EPoS and e-commerce technology
                                                                                     specialists, Cybertill, has won a regional
                                                                                     export award from UK Trade & Investment
                                                                                       Cybertill has secured the Merseyside
                                                                                     sub-regional Passport to Export Awards
                                                                                     2007 in recognition of its achievements in
                                                                                     the export market following participation
                                                                                     in the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)
                                                                                     programme. The award was one of
                                                                                     five county awards given to companies
                                                                                     across the north-west that have shown
                                                                                     considerable progress in growing their
                                                                                     international business.
                                                                                       Passport to Export is UK Trade &
                                                                                     Investment’s flagship programme for new
Etiquette Hire Ltd                                                                   and inexperienced exporters. It provides
Over the next couple of months, Etiquette Hire Ltd will be doing a                   the training, planning and ongoing
nationwide launch of their made to measure suit service under the banner of          support a company needs to begin a
Ascot Personal Tailoring. “We are very excited about this project and could          successful export operation.
well see our retailers that we are offering it through, massively increase their        Since signing up to the Passport to
turnover with no extra finacial outlay,” they say. “Operated on our already           Export programme, Cybertill has made
established touch screen ordering system, the personal tailoring will offer           significant inroads into new export
customers the chance to own                                                          markets. It is now selling to more than
a suit to their exact sizes and                                                      20 countries including Dubai, Belgium,
specification retailing for as                                                        Austria, Ireland, Switzerland and the
little as £225.”                                                                     Czech Republic, and has seen an
   Etiquette were named                                                              increase in export turnover.
as a finalist in the Best
Groomswear Manufacturer
catorgory at the recent
Bridal Buyer Awards.
“Although we were pipped to
the title by Antony Formal
Wear we see this as a step
in the right direction and
appreciate the recognition of
the nomination.”
   Find out more about
                                                                                     Cybertill MD, Ian Tomlinson (centre) receiving his
Etiquette Hire Ltd by
                                                                                     award from Clive Drinkwater UKTI North West
visiting                                                            Regional Director and TV Presenter Lucy Meacock

                                                                                                                              ATTIRE 7
                                                     Hine Insurance Brokers Ltd have been established for 30 years and
                                                     for the last 20 have specialised in insurance products for the bridal
                                                     and wedding industry. Their Bridalsure and Formalsure policies are
                                                     designed to provide highly competitive and specialist shop insurance
                                                     for bridalwear and formalwear retailers.
                                                       Currently insuring approximately 500 bridal and formal wear shops
                                                     across the UK, Bridalsure and Formalsure are the only insurance
                                                     policies backed by the major bridal trade associations, Bridal Industry
                                                     Suppliers Association and the
                                                     British Bridalwear Association.
                                                     Find out more on
BY FENNIE LEUNG                                        New British bridal designer launches to the trade
Since the launch in 2005, Divine Destiny has           Talented British-
been producing quality handmade bridal jewellery       based bridal designer,
and hair accessories, and has earned a reputable       Emma Tindley,
place in the thriving bridal jewellery sector.         will be launching
   Designed and handmade by Hertfordshire-             her collection at
based designer, Fennie Leung, her collections          the British Bridal
have a fresh, contemporary look yet perpetuate         Exhibition, Harrogate,
the integrity and sophistication of classic pearl      this September. “After
jewellery designs. Apart from freshwater pearls,       six years designing
Fennie also incorporates semi-precious stones          dresses under my own
including rock crystal and moonstone, cleverly         label from my shop in
accented with Swarovski crystals in order to           East Grinstead, I feel
inject light and sparkle into the designs. It is a     that now is the time
perfect compliment to details on bridal gowns          to expand the business
which are often decorated with crystals.               and look for a select
   Thanks to the recent modern interpretations         number of boutiques
in fashion jewellery, pearls have managed to           across the country to
shake off its old fashioned image. Together with       stock them,” she says.
advancements in cultured freshwater pearls             “The feedback from
farming technology, the industry now offers            my clients and the
a greater variety in shapes and colours then           displays in the shop
ever before. Fennie took advantage of this             window have been
and thoroughly demonstrated her creativity in          so good I’m looking
collections such as Glow and Cherry Blossom.           forward to hearing
In Glow, Fennie skillfully mixed different shapes      what the trade think.”
together whilst in the Cherry Blossom collection,         Emma has selected
lustrous teardrop pearls were teamed up with           around 15 dresses,
peach and white pearls and iridescent crystals.        some from her present
For details, visit        collection and some
                                                       new designs. “As I work very closely with my clients, I am able to keep
Natalie Gladman of maternity bridal label,             up-to-date with what girls are asking for so the collection stays current
Madeleine Isaac-James, and her family have             and fresh,” she asserts. Emma’s collection covers all shapes and styles,
been shortlisted in the Mother@Work Awards             from slim fishtail through to the full and dramatic corsetry of the 18th
2008 and will be attending the final in the             century. Lace also plays a big part with delicate crystal beading detail.
State Room at 11 Downing Street. This award            “All my dresses are silk and many incorporate fabulous figure flattering
recognises not only the contribution of working        internal corsets,” adds Emma. “All the dresses are made on the premises
mothers to the economy, but also the support           and I will continue to do this as it is really important to me that the
structure they have behind them that helps             dresses are not only perfect once completed, but also the client receives
them achieve success in their chosen field.             a high level of customer service. The same will go for our new trade
Find out more about the awards at the website          customers. To find out more, visit

                                                                                               News & Events

                                                      Retailers remain optimistic in the face of the
GIRLS LOVE PEARLS DEVELOP STRONG                      credit crunch
UK STOCKIST NETWORK                                   SMEs operating in the retail sector are really feeling the bite of the
Ruth Morton of Girls Love Pearls is pleased to        credit crunch, according to a recent study. Retail businesses admitted
announce 12 new stockists: “The enthusiasm            that their suppliers are increasing their prices (73%), they aren’t
of leading bridal magazines has led to huge           expanding as quickly as they would like (67%) and are actively looking to
interest in our ranges of bridal jewellery,” she      reduce their own costs (50%).
says. “With over 20 stockists in the UK, it is now       However despite this customer downturn, and tough trading
even easier for brides-to-be to choose Girls Love     condition for retailers, many small and medium sized businesses
Pearls, browsing our website at leisure before        (SMEs) appear to be reacting bullishly to the credit crunch. When asked
making their final selections in-store, closer to      if they had to start their business again in today’s economic climate, 61%
home.” New stockists include The Bridal Suite         of SMEs would do it all again tomorrow, of which 45% of retailers said
in Lincolnshire, Bellissima Weddings in Essex,        yes to the same question.
Alexanders Bridal Ltd in Dublin and Blossom in           The research by The Credit Show, the UK’s largest exhibition and
Oxfordshire. Contact      conference dedicated to professionals associated with the consumer and
for further details.                                  commercial credit arena, shows that SMEs on the whole plan to expand
                                                      sales in the UK on average 56% in the coming year.
                                                         The study is based on detailed online interviews with 117 small and
                                                      medium sized businesses. The businesses were drawn from across the
                                                      UK and from a mix of sectors.
                                                         To download a copy of The Credit Show’s ‘Credit Crunch and its
                                                      impacts on SMEs 2008’ report, visit

                                                     Molly Brown launches new collections in Selfridges
Aristoc have recently released two ranges            and Harrods
of Bodytoners Briefs, specially designed             Molly Brown London is pleased to announce the launch of two new
to flatten and smooth the tummy whilst                collections in Selfridges and Harrods this summer. Molly Brown London
enhancing the bottom.                                adds to its collection of beautifully made keepsake jewellery for little girls
  These ranges have been clinically proven           with the introduction of the new ‘Love Heart’ and ‘Dishy Fishy’ collections.
through Bodyscan technology to slim and              Currently the best selling children’s accessories brand in Harrods, the new
smooth the silhouette and will be backed             collections are sure to live up to all expectations with their gorgeous design
with a multi media marketing campaign,               and beautiful details that little girls and stylish parents alike will love.
encompassing PR & advertising.                       Director, Erica Illingworth says: “We are delighted that Selfridges and
  Bespoke display units and display material         Harrods continue to show their commitment to the Molly Brown brand by
will be available to create impact in store. For     launching our new Love Hearts and Dishy Fishy Collections within their
further details call +44 (0)115 924 6183.            world renowned stores. For further details visit

                                                                                                                        ATTIRE 9
                                                                                   Shining new guide to
                                                                                   the best in retail display
                                                                                   available now!
                                                                                    The new sdea Directory of Shopfittings and
                                                                                    Display is full of creative and innovative
                                                                                    ideas to help you design retail interiors full of
                                                                                    theatre and sophistication.
                                                                                       Whether you are trying to source a single
                                                                                    retail display item or a complete shop fit, this
                                                                                    well known guide is a great place to start. As
                                                                                    always, it is a visual delight, with full colour,
                                                descriptive and illustrative images of the huge range of products and services
                                                that sdea members manufacture and supply to the retail world. Backed up
                                                with company profiles and full contact details, it is a fully comprehensive
                                                buyers guide to shopfittings and display equipment, PoS, signage and visual
                                                   The publishers are giving away free copies of the sdea Directory to the first
                                                50 discerning readers that request a copy and mention this journal.
                                                If you are a retailer, sdea will help you source a reputable supplier or an
                                                elusive retail display product via the Directory, by calling the Infoline, the
                                                Association’s telephone enquiry service, or online at
                                                If you are a supplier or manufacturer of shopfittings and display, sdea has an
                                                excellent package of services on offer. Call +44 (0)1883 348 911.

                                                SFA Wholesale report steady sales
 As a long-established trade supplier           SFA Wholesale have a range of stunning bridal
 of fashion accessories and costume             accessories. According to the company, the
 jewellery, Jewellery World Ltd identified       eight-row diamanté bangle has been a very good
 the bridal accessory market some three         seller since its launch at Harrogate in March.
 years ago as a sector in which they            SSFA have now revised the display presentation
 could play a major part.                       box for this product, as shown here.
   With a reputation for keeping their ears        SFA has experienced good trading conditions
 to the ground, the directors of Jewellery      throughout the spring/early summer with retailers
 World use their wealth of contacts here        particularly liking the fact that SFA holds products
 in the UK, and in the Far East, to bring       in stock and can usually dispatch within 24hrs of
 together a plethora of designers and           placing an order. This, along with a philosophy
 manufacturers.                                 of supplying products at an affordable price
   Three years on, Jewellery World is           has enabled the company to continue a pattern
 proud to boast arguably the best range         of steady growth. SFA tries to make ordering as easy as possible with a
 of bridal accessories for trade buyers in      paper and online catalogue available, as well as attending the Harrogate
 the UK.                                        bridal shows in March and September.
   Their dedicated buying department               Retailers can contact SFA on +44 (0)845 017 5059 or visit the website at
 enables Jewellery World to offer its 
 customers a vast collection of designer
 bridal products at non-designer prices,          NEW PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT
 including tiaras, bridal jewellery, hats and     ELECTED AT AGM
 fascinators.                                     At its Annual General Meeting on 29th April 2008,
   Jewellery World has recently                   the Shop and Display Equipment Association elected
 introduced an exciting collection of             Geoff Fairfield, Managing Director of Fairfield
 bridesmaids’ hair ornaments including            Displays & Lighting Ltd as President and Nick
 combs, pins and headbands with                   Wraith, Managing Director of United Aluminium
 feathers and beads in a variety of               Ltd as Vice President.
 delicate pastel and monochrome                     Ronald Cohen, Managing Director of Foxbarn Ltd
 colours. For more details telephone +44          becomes Immediate Past President.
 (0)161 834 5007.                                   For further details visit

          0208 802 1399

To view our collections visit us at The Harrogate Bridal Fair, Hall Q Stand 7
Diane Kelsall, Design Director of both Rainbow Club and the
bespoke Hassall bridal shoe ranges, is firmly established as one of
the UK’s leading and most inspirational bridal shoe designers. She
never doubted her career path and we spoke to her about the sheer
determination behind her success

Inspect the footwear most commonly chosen by brides and their accompanying                  “I work closely with our technical team, who make sure that the fit is great and
attendants and you will no doubt find that at least one of them is delighting in          everything works properly from a technical point of view.”
wearing a pair of shoes designed by Diane Kelsall.                                          “When the collections are finally ready after months of sampling, we then start
   Design Director for Rainbow Club, which incorporates the Else, Miss Rainbow,          work on the marketing side of things. I love to attend the fashion shoots for our
Miss Else and Gabriella & Lucido bridal and occasion footwear ranges and                 photography, which we use for brochures, advertising and showcards.”
Hassall bespoke bridal shoe range, Diane is as one of the UK’s leading and most             “I also enjoy the trade shows, where we finally present the collections to the
inspirational shoe designers.                                                            retailers and get feedback from them.”
   Di and her team oversee all the ranges and she has had a huge influence in                “My favourite part of the job though, is putting the initial sketches and sample
shaping the brands. In addition, the shoes in these collections are available for        pieces together for the bespoke Hassall range. I can visualise the final shoe and I
bespoke hand-dying by The Colour Studio, also owned by Rainbow.                          still find it really exciting that brides will walk down the aisle in something I’ve
   The Hassall bespoke bridal shoe collection, designed by Di, is very personal          created!”
to her. So incredibly bespoke is the range, that customers can have the date of             Diane launches new collections across the numerous ranges yearly, with
their wedding inscribed on the heel of the shoe, making them truly personalised          occasional mid-season ranges, such as handbags.
and they are packaged in fabulous boxes with organza shoe bags and signed box               She believes that her ranges suit all types of bridal retail store, with the Hassall
brochures, which makes a keepsake for each bride.                                        collection being particularly suitable for boutique-type bridal shops, who sell
   Influenced by Di’s love of all things vintage, the Hassall range is beautifully        design-led dresses and products.
detailed, making full use of embroidery, lace, velvet, buckles and bows.                    Diane also feels that enthusiasm for the product and a broad range is key for
   Di also offers the ‘Fairy Godmum’ shoe service for all her customers.                  bridal stores keen to secure a sale.
   “Fairy Godmum is there for brides who have any queries relating to shoes. It             “Bridal stores need to try to have as broad a range as possible, because if there are
could be anything from what shoes to wear with a particular dress, how to find            only a few styles to try, brides will often go and look elsewhere. Our reps will give
a particular size (for example if they have very small or large feet), how to get        great advice on the biggest selling styles and will always help the retailer to put a
shoes dyed… almost anything. We will always try to help and they will receive a          good mix of styles together. It’s also best to have a mix of price points if possible to
comprehensive personal email in response to their query. Not surprisingly it’s quite     suit the budget of all brides.”
popular. I like to answer all the Hassall queries personally.”                              “I always feel that if the staff in the shop love the product they will sell it with
   Diane’s decision to follow a career as a shoe designer was prompted by a very         enthusiasm and luckily for us, most girls seem to love shoes!,” she laughs.
fortunate meeting with another master of shoe design, Jimmy Choo, in her final               She describes the current range for Else, as quite young, fresh and a little quirky.
year at college.                                                                            “There are lots of contemporary styles with quite a strong high street feel. Cute
   “I have always loved shoes, since I was a small child I have been fascinated by       pumps and sassy T-bars are part of the new collection, which appeal to brides,
them, much more so than clothes”, Diane explains.                                        bridesmaids, are great for proms and they look fantastic hand-coloured too.”
   “At school, when everyone else was making cars and boats with their cereal               “Rainbow, the biggest collection, has to have very wide appeal, so the styling is
boxes, I was making mine into shoes, Scholl sandals were a favourite!                    very feminine, romantic and directional. There are some gorgeous peep-toe shapes
   “I took a degree in fashion and textile design, specialised in embroidered textiles   for the 2009 collection, which we expect will prove very popular.”
and in my final year I did a work placement with the shoe designer Emma Hope,                “Couture is an entirely new collection and we’re really excited to be launching it.
who I really admire. Through her, I met Jimmy Choo, who made my final degree              It’s all about grown up glamour and consists of sophisticated styles with glamorous
collection for me, which was a range of embroidered silk shoes.”                         vintage styled trims and sublime satin overlays, which give each shoe a point of
   “After that, I decided my career path just had to be shoes and, although it was       difference,” explains Diane.
very difficult to start with, as I didn’t have the technical expertise, I was determined      “Finally, we have the Hassall range and I love to use lots of texture, from pretty
to design shoes and nothing was going to stop me!”                                       lace to soft ethereal chiffons and organza. It’s a really romantic collection, full of
   “I started my own label, Diane Hassall, in 1988 and I worked from a studio in         vintage glamour for true shoe-aholics on their wedding day.”
Clerkenwell in London,” she explains.                                                       “For 2009, Hassall sees an introduction of very subtle sparkle and I have
   Having now worked her way up to Design Director and with a whole host                 incorporated some amazing golden crystals and stunning Swarovski banding,
of shoe labels to her name, Diane is glad she followed her heart, as she says she        which looks fabulous against soft, ethereal chiffon, look out for some flamboyant
absolutely loves her job.                                                                bows too!”
   “It’s quite a varied role, starting with reviewing the previous year’s collections,      Diane is also responsible for naming the ranges and delights in the task.
what’s done well, what we need more of and so on, then putting together the four            “I love naming the shoes and each collection has a theme of some sort. Else are
collections from initial sketches, to sourcing fabrics and trims and making sample       all named after cocktails, such as Mai Tai, Rainbow are girls names, Couture are
pieces for the factory to work from.”                                                    exotic places such as Tahiti and Hassall are all named after roses… there are some

really great names like Dainty Bess and Rosie O’Donnell!”
   Diane sources materials from all over, but is always on the look out for
something new and visits shows in Europe looking to source lace, trims, buttons
and fabric.
   She carefully promotes the collections through editorial coverage and advertising
in bridal magazines and by visiting retailers as often as possible.
   “We supply brochures and showcards to our retailers to help them promote the
product too and of course, we show at Harrogate twice a year. It’s great to see all of
our retailers there and get lots of reaction and feedback,” she says.
   Diane advises that retailers should help a bride select a shoe style that will look
great with their dress but also suit their personality.
   “It’s no good advising a bride who only ever wears flat pumps to wear a 9cm heel
if she can’t walk in it,” she warns.
   One aspect of her business that does particularly well is the Colour Studio,
through which retailers can offer customers a bespoke hand-dying service.
   “This is doing fantastically well,” reveals Diane. “The brides, and of course the
retailers, love the whole concept and it works brilliantly. I even have several pairs of
beautifully-coloured shoes myself! It’s taken off so well, that the staff in the Studio
are inundated most of the time and the business is growing with amazing speed. It
                                                                                                    We like to provide something different for the bride
takes the worry of dyeing away from the retailers and they know they can send us a
swatch and confidently expect a beautifully-coloured shoe back.”
   So how does Diane view the current bridal footwear market and what trends
does she see emerging over the coming months?
   “The bridal footwear market has become more exciting and adventurous over the
past few years, thankfully! Gone are the days of plain satin court shoes, now the
choice is vast, with companies like Rainbow producing comprehensive collections
covering everything from gorgeous peep toes to strappy sandals and vintage, lace-
covered pumps.”
   “There is a lot more variation in terms of shapes, such as round and almond toes,
which sit alongside the popular petite points. There is definitely a move towards
styles which crossover from bridal to fashion, styles like Scarlett from the Rainbow
collection are increasingly popular, as they are gorgeous wedding shoes but can
be dyed afterwards and worn again. Fashion is increasingly important, although
comfort is also a major factor now too.”
   Reviewing her success in the business, Diane credits one particular commission
as the greatest achievement she has had so far.
   “Launching the Hassall brand and getting such a great reaction three years ago
is definitely up there, but if I’m honest, I think my greatest achievement was being        Accessories sourced from different parts of europe to compliment our Sasso
                                                                                             feather garments ~ Shrugs, stoles, wraps and jackets in both marabou and
asked to make a pair of handmade shoes for an exhibition at the Victoria and
                                                                                            ostrich ~ New colours for autumn, rich steel grey, subtle stone colours and
Albert Museum in London. The shoes are part of their collection now.”                       shades of mint and moss green ~ New Vintage jewellery designed for Sasso
   Rightly proud of her designs, Diane even wore them for her own wedding.                 by Russian Beriozka, all hand made to order ~ Lapa gloves and accessories ~
   “They were ivory duchesse satin, with a sassy crossover ankle strap and a crystal       Joltex, our new hair and jewellery supplier ~ Stockists required for our new
beaded panel around the throat. We got married at the end of December on a cold                 Emmi Mariage dress collection, showing at the show in September.
and crisp day, so I wanted my shoes to sparkle in the frosty light!” A
                                                                                                      Tel: 0808 1789 103 ~ Email:
 To find out more about Rainbow Club and the Hassall collection, telephone
 +44 (0)8445 872 775, or visit                                                  
                                                                                                                                                             ATTIRE 13

  An exciting new collection by
Jonathan James Couture, the 2009
“DEVA” collection, is now available
        for instore preview.

   With a range of over 120 colours
 in 5 different fabrics, this stunning
collection of 50 gowns allows stockists
  the flexibility not only to choose the
 gowns fabric but also to alter gowns to
     their customers specifications.

Along side the adult bridesmaid gowns,
   we also offer matching flower girl
 dresses, Junior and maternity sizing
 and a menswear range, so that you
  may offer your brides a complete
    package in matching fabrics.

    UK Sales Executive:
     Mr Robert Wilson
      07783 476 408

 ICON our stunning 2009 collection now
      available for instore preview.
Please contact us to make an appointment.

UK Sales Executive: Mr Robert Wilson
          07783 476 408
                            We bring you some
                            breathtaking designs
                            from Couture Fashion
                            Week, New York

                Couture Fashion Week is a multi-day event
                showcasing luxury couture and fine fashion including
                eveningwear, elegant fashion, couture bridal as well
                as accessories. Attendees include upscale consumers,
                invited VIPs, the press and selected high-end store
                buyers. The event also includes exhibits of luxury
                brands as well as entertainment and networking
                cocktail and after-parties, and is held in a number of
                top venues in New York City, Palm Beach and other
                selected cities.
                   In addition to its ongoing offering of unique
                branding opportunities for luxury products and
                services, Couture Fashion Week works in conjunction
                with lifestyle industry leaders around the world in
                offering attendance at the fashion shows as part of
                lavish travel and shopping experiences for those with
                exquisite tastes. For further details visit the website

                Read on for our showcase of five fabulous fashion


                Catalin Botezatu
                One of Romania’s most important designers, Catalin
                Botezatu has been named “Designer of the Year” six
                years in a row by VIP Magazine (Romania), and has
                twice been presented with the “Award for Excellency
                in Fashion” by Fashion TV Romania, in addition to
                numerous other fashion awards.
                   His fashion accomplishments have been featured in
                prominent publications and media.
                   A prolific and energetic fashion icon, Mr. Botezatu
                has done fashion shows all over the world, and
                recently showed his designs as part of the Ford
                Agency’s Supermodel of the Year competition in Las
                Vegas. Between 1999 and 2000 the designer staged
                fashion shoots and shows at the Amir Palace in Tunis
                as well as in Luxor and Cairo, Egypt. In 2002, he did
                a calendar shoot and three fashion shows in Kusadasi,
                Turkey. In 2002 he presented his collections at Milan
                Fashion Week following the Versace fashion show.
                In 2004, he presented a highly creative collection        the “Maserati Collection” inspired by the famous
                inspired by Japan’s Samurai warriors at Jimmi’z in        luxury automobile brand.
                Monte Carlo followed by shows at Bali Fashion Week           Mr. Botezatu is one of the few major fashion
                in Indonesia and in Malta. Most recently he has done      designers who directs and styles his own shows and
                fashion shows in Tunisia as part of that country’s        makes all his accessories (jewellery, shoes, hats). His
                independence day celebrations; at the Cannes              distinguished clientele includes politicians, socialites,
                International TV Festival; at fashion weeks in Jakarta,   VIPs, entertainers and celebrities. But his beautiful
                Bali, Iceland, Athens, Bucharest and Jamaica; at the      creations have a strong appeal for any woman looking
                ModaLiveMediteraneo fashion festival in Italy; and        to bring out her femme fatale side through sensual,
                at the Romanian embassy in Paris. In 2007 he created      refined and sophisticated fashions.

                                                               Couture Fashion Week

Haya Al Houti
In a much anticipated follow up to her stunning 2007
USA debut fashion show, accomplished Kuwaiti
fashion designer Haya Al Houti presented her latest
collection of sublime couture creations.
    A prominent designer in her native country, Ms.
Al Houti established her fashion house in 2002 and
has since become recognised for her exquisite bridal
and evening gowns. Her clientele includes an array
of Saudi Arabian and Qatarian princesses as well as
prestigious dignitaries, socialites and VIPs throughout
the Middle East. Her creations are breathtaking
combinations of the finest satins, silks, taffeta, chiffon,

organza, tulle and lace with rich beading and jeweled
   Along with her staff of more than 25 talented and
skilled employees, Ms. Al Houti prides herself on
creating not just beautiful fashions, but also “Art from
the Heart” - designs that transcend fabric and thread
and touch the wearer’s inner spirit.
   In a recent interview with Kuwait Times, Haya Al
Houti spoke about how working on fashion shows is a
unique and special experience. “When thinking about
a fashion show I don’t just present a group of nice
dresses. I am always keen on presenting something
new, different and outstanding,” she pointed out. “I
love presenting dresses with strange but simple ideas,
that represent my identity and personality, so people
would know that these are my designs,” she added.
    “Haya’s debut with us last year was a truly fabulous
and impressive show,” says producer Andres Aquino.
“Her meticulous attention to detail and creative
imagination make her designs unique.”

Jean Fares
Dynamic fashion designer, Jean Fares of Lebanon,
presented his latest collection of inspired evening
couture creations. The new collection is entitled
“Living...Energy” inspired by the ideal wearer of his
stunning designs: a dynamic, charming, thrilling and
energetic woman.
   Since establishing his own fashion house in 1992,

Jean Fares has become known for his elegant colour
combinations and innate classic style sense. His
couture bridal and evening creations are favoured by
an exclusive clientele in the Middle East. His previous
collection, “Living-Eco”, featured an impressive array
of beautifully crafted designs.
   Mr. Fares has done successful fashion shows in
Paris, including the Hydra Pret-a-Porter event, and
in Lebanon as well as other Middle Eastern countries
such as Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In
2007, he did a series of fashion shows in the USA
in Miami, Houston and Washington D.C. before
enthusiastic audiences of dignitaries and VIPs.
   “Jean Fares’s creations are of the highest caliber,
like so many other gifted couturiers from his part
of the world,” notes producer Andres Aquino. “We
are fortunate to have him participating in Couture
Fashion Week this season and look forward to an
extremely enthusiastic reception from our audience.”

                                                                              ATTIRE 17
                                                        Couture Fashion Week

                                                             Michael Mione
                                                             A native New Yorker, Michael Mione showed an
                                                             aptitude for fashion starting at an early age. Inspired
                                                             by his mother’s glamorous style - she wore five inch
                                                             heels with everything and turned even mundane
                                                             occasions into black tie affairs - Mr. Mione went on
                                                             to graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology
                                                             and later landed an internship with fashion icon Bob
                                                             Mackie, perhaps best known for his unforgettable
                                                             designs for Cher, Carol Burnett and many other
                                                             legendary performers. During his work with Bob
                                                             Mackie, Mr. Mione refined his concept of style: that
                                                             clothing should reflect a women’s inner as well as
                                                             outer beauty.
                                                                Mr. Mione gained experience on the business side
                                                             of the fashion industry through his tenure as store
                                                             manager with Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret and as a
                                                             Prada specialist at Neiman Marcus. These invaluable
                                                             insights into what is important to female consumers,
                                                             their buying patterns and preferences regarding
                                                             style, fit and quality served Mr. Mione well when he
                                                             launched his own design label.
                                                                In 2005 Mr. Mione debuted his signature women’s
                                                             line with a fashion show at Harry’s Loft in New York
                                                             City. He went on to show his bridal collection as part
                                                             of the Wedding Channel couture fashion show at the
                                                             Waldorf-Astoria in New York. He recently opened his
                                                             couture salon in a chic Soho loft offering a luxurious
                                                             shopping experience for his clients. Through his
                                                             impeccable designs, Mr. Mione strives to bring back
                                                             glamour with comfortable yet sexy clothes for today’s
                                                             sophisticated woman with discerning tastes.

                                                             a-porter. In 1994 Romanitza won first prize at the
                                                             National Fashion Festival of Romania, and shortly
                                                             after became the first Romanian designer invited to
                                                             open an exclusive showroom at the World Trade Plaza
    Acclaimed Romanian couture fashion designer
                                                             in Bucharest. Her 1996 spring/summer collection
    Romanitza Claudia Iovan presented her latest
                                                             entitled “Rainbow Flowers” was presented on the
    collection at Couture Fashion Week 2008.
                                                             runway at the World Trade Plaza’s performance
       Romanitza made her debut at Couture Fashion
                                                             hall - a gala performance that also celebrated the
    Week in September 2007 with a dramatic runway
                                                             designer’s fifth successful year in the fashion industry.
    show at the world-famous St. Regis Hotel. In
                                                             The event was covered by all major Romanian fashion
    December 2007 she returned to New York City
    presenting her collection as part of the grand opening
                                                                Romanitza opened her second boutique in 1999 on
    festivities of the Desmond Tutu Center.
                                                             Bucharest’s fashionable Calea Victoriei, and soon after
        A former fashion model, Ms. Iovan launched her
                                                             became the exclusive retailer of Elegance Paris fabrics
    Romanitza fashion house in 1991. The label soon
                                                             and the Elegance Boutique pret-a-porter line, as well
    became one of the most successful in Romania, and
                                                             as of Borsalino hats and Bruno Magli shoes and bags
    Ms. Iovan’s inimitable style and work ethic helped
                                                             for Romania. A few years later, Romanitza opened the
    to build her reputation as a highly creative and
                                                             first Escada Couture shop in Bucharest.
    accomplished designer and business woman. The
                                                                “We are happy to be working with this talented
    exquisite quality and aristocratic air of her designs
                                                             designer for the third time,” says producer Andres
    have earned her distinctive runway shows a special
                                                             Aquino. “Romanitza is highly creative, business savvy
    respect and recognition.
                                                             and a dynamic and visionary person.”
        In 1993 Romanitza was invited by the Romanian
                                                                Romanitza continues to build her brand in the
    Youth Travel Office to be part of a government-
                                                             fashion industry, presenting seasonal collections and
    sponsored tourism promotion in the United Arab
                                                             taking part in many television programs and fashion
    Emirates, with a collection of Arab-inspired pret-
                                                             events, including Bucharest Fashion Week.

                                                                                                       ATTIRE 19
   MERCHANDISING             Clare Louise Brides & Maids bridal shop in Cambridge, has become so successful
                             that both staff numbers and turnover have doubled recently. We spoke to the owner,
                             Clare Louise Wilson, about her winning strategy for the business
                               Cast your eye along     staff and turnover,” she says.                          to satin and silks, so brides have plenty of choice.
                               the rails at Clare         Along with a wedding stationery company, Pick          We also have a very large selection of
                               Louise Brides &         a Card, Clare Louise has been running the family       bridesmaids’ dresses to compliment any bridal
                               Maids in Willingham,    company for six years and was prompted to do so        gown, which works particularly well as brides can
Cambridge and you will find a large range of bridal     as a result of customer enquiries.                     envisage the complete look.
gowns and separates, bridesmaids dresses and              “It all stemmed from my stationery business. I         The men’s formal hire is adjacent to our bridal
eveningwear at affordable prices. The top designers     was getting so many brides asking where to go for      showroom, which means the brides can coordinate
on offer include Bonny Bridal, Eva Jordan Couture,      bridal gowns, bridesmaids’ dresses, accessories and    their wedding day perfectly by matching colours
Dynasty, Nicola Anne and Samantha Jane, with a         men’s formal hire, that I decided it was time to       with the finest of detail in her groom’s outfit.
vast dress sizes range.                                start my own bridal and men’s formal hire shop,”          Brides and their families often compliment us
   Brides keen to personalise their wedding            Clare Louise explains.                                 on our friendly and relaxed atmosphere within the
dress can utilise the services of the experienced         We asked more about her shrewd sales sense and      showrooms, and we also make sure our dresses are
seamstress at the store, who is able to customise      what she feels is the key to her success…              designed with every body shape in mind, so there is
any off-the-peg gown.                                                                                          something to suit everybody.
   Bridesmaids dresses are available, with sizes       How did you decide on the location for the store?
ranging from two year olds to junior Miss ‘Plus’       I started my business from home, after converting      How did you decide which designers to stock?
ranges for 14 year olds and all dresses are designed   part of the house. As business boomed, I decided       I chose stockists that are well known and well
to match the adult styles.                             to rent premises elsewhere, but still in Cambridge,    loved within the bridal industry, as this makes a
   A vast range of accessories, such as veils, shoes   as this is where we had built our reputation.          real difference to a bride who is often familiar with
and a large range of jewellery is also available, as      I was particularly mindful of choosing premises     an established brand. We also stock individual
is Mark Alan Formal Hire, which includes groom,        with plenty of space and ample parking, as people      brands that stand out from the crowd thanks to
best man and father of the bride attire, as well as    come from far and wide to visit us. Above all, I       their stunning fabrics and elegant designs.
Highland wear.                                         wanted to offer my brides a personal and stress-           I find that stockists who keep exclusivity
   With seemingly everything the bridal party          free environment, where I could listen to their        between rival stores a real bonus too, as it keeps our
could possibly need on offer, the family-run store      ideas and expectations of their special day and they   showrooms unique within the area.
is constantly busy and the owner and managing          could choose the dress of their dreams.
director, Clare Louise Wilson, laughingly admits                                                              How have brides-to-be responded to your most
there aren’t enough hours in the day.                  How would you describe your current collection?        recent collection?
   “We find the current bridal market extremely         Our current collection of wedding gowns in store       Brides have responded extremely well! They love
busy, so much so that I have recently doubled my       is both stunning and unique, ranging from taffeta       the fact that our designs are very varied, whether

                                                                                                                    Retailer Interview

the bride is looking for something to wear to          opportunity to meet with the designer and view         How often do you update your window display?
a beach wedding or a more traditional Church           their complete collections. I also hold two three-     We update our window display once a week to
ceremony, they can find the perfect dress within        day genuine sale events a year, offering brides real    keep it looking fresh. Brides always comment that
our showrooms at amazing value and of the              bargains. We never have a constant sale rail in the    every time they pass our window they have a fresh
highest quality.                                       shop, as I feel this gives the wrong impression, but   look to see what dresses are in there.
                                                       brides know that if we are having a three-day sale,
What do you enjoy most about your role and the         we genuinely mean it.                                  What do you believe is the key to running a
bridal business in general?                                                                                   successful bridal retail business?
The part of my job I enjoy most is being in the        What do you feel makes your store unique and           Clare Louise prides itself on being able to cater
shop and talking to the brides about what they         how do you self-promote?                               to the needs of the whole wedding party; brides,
want for their special day, then seeing the look on    Our attention to detail in every way, from the first    bridesmaids, flower girls, groom, ushers, father of
their face (and their mum’s!), when they put on        appointment to the collection of the dresses and       the bride and the best man and I feel this is a key
THE dress. I also love knowing I can give them         suits, this is what makes us stand out from other      aspect of a bridal business. Offering collections that
exactly what they want within their budget.            bridal shops. Our willingness to always go that        are tried and tested, but always being on the look
                                                       extra mile and to exceed customer expectations is a    out for new suppliers as the trends change, is also
Do you hold in-store events?                           marketing strategy that we have evolved and pride      important.
I find designer days a must, as this gives brides the   ourselves on.
                                                                                                              What has been your greatest success in the
                                                                                                              business so far?
                                                                                                              Amongst my successes was recently being informed
                                                                                                              that we are one of the top 10 best stockists in the
                                                                                                              country for our men’s formal hire and gaining a
                                                                                                              contract for our wedding stationery at the best and
                                                                                                              most prestigious hotel in Cambridge.
                                                                                                                My greatest success in the business though, is
                                                                                                              the amount of referrals I receive, along with the
                                                                                                              many ‘thank you’ letters.

                                                                                                              How would you like to see your business develop
                                                                                                              in the next five years?
                                                                                                              Over the next few years I want to build on the
                                                                                                              collections we have with our current suppliers, but
                                                                                                              more importantly, continue offering our brides a
                                                                                                              comfortable and relaxed atmosphere with the best
                                                                                                              service that they deserve. After all, it is one of the
                                                                                                              most important days of their life. A

                                                                                                               Further information
                                                                                                               For more information on Clare Louise Brides
                                                                                                               & Maids, call +44 (0)1954 205 248 or visit

                                                                                                                                                       ATTIRE 21
                                                      To view our new collection please call us or email

                                                                 0121 705 2244

“A stunning collection of maternity wedding gowns for brides that
refuse to compromise on style just because they’re pregnant.”

                                                                                 View our new collection at
                                                                                 the BBEH in the exclusive
                                                                                 Designer Hall – stand D5.
                                                                                  Appointments now being
                                                                                    taken, please email

                                                                                New pricing structure offering
                                                                             excellent margins for our stockists.
                                                                                 No minimum order quantity.
                                                                                 Excellent lead-times and an
                                                                               in-stock programme available.

                                                                              Madeline Isaac-James – British
                                                                             designed stylish maternity wedding
                                                                              gowns and maternity bridesmaid
                                                                              dresses for discerning retailers.

                                                                                  T: +44 (0) 1252 377725

                                                            madeline isaac-james
                                                            maternity bridal
                                                                             Tiny Tots

            TINY TOTS
              Top fashions for babies, toddlers, flower girls and page boys
                                                                                 ATTIRE 23
Expand your in-store offering by stocking up on cute suits,
stylish shoes and pretty flower girl dresses. We take a look at
some of the companies offering these exclusive lines...

Henry Kaye

With summer weddings in mind, Henry Kaye has
introduced a brand new collection of lace flower girl dresses
and accessories inspired by the latest wedding dress designs.
   For a classic, romantic look, lace is this season’s popular
choice of fabric for bridal gowns. Satin is a perfect partner for
lace and the latest dresses are often adorned with satin sashes or ribbons.
   To complement this look, Henry Kaye has just launched a select collection of bridesmaid dresses,
boleros and bags all based on a gorgeous creamy floral lace and satin, a perfect combination for
summer weddings.
   The collection is designed for flower girls aged 12 months to nine years and comprises a choice of
dresses, bolero and dolly bag. The scalloped edged bolero is ideal as a cover up to protect little shoulders
either from the chill or the sun. The dresses come in a choice of styles either with a matching lace
skirt or a lace bow sash. The matching lace dolly bag is the final touch, perfect for holding those little
essentials such a hairbrush and a few sweets.                                                                  Little Eglantine
                                                  Nicki Macfarlane Bridesmaids                                 Designer, Stephanie Staub, is known for her wonderfully
                                                                 girly flower girl dresses, in a range of beautiful fabrics. The
                                                                                                               made-to-measure Isabelle flower girl dress shown here is an
                                                  Nicki Macfarlane Bridesmaids interpret the bride’s
                                                                                                               enchanting dress priced at £195 in a size 4. This red taffeta
                                                  dream by designing and making exquisite outfits.
                                                                                                               dress is embroidered with pretty dragonflies and is completed
                                                  Offering bespoke flower girl, bridesmaid and special
                                                                                                               with a large creamy sash. The creamy flowers crown (£40)
                                                  occasion dresses, and page boy suits for every
                                                                                                               adds to the unique look of the flowergirl.
                                                  occasion, from pretty country weddings to elegant
                                                  London occasions, Nicki Macfarlane is able to offer
                                                  a very personal service.
                                                     All the dresses have the child’s name embroidered
                                                  inside and come with a pretty carrier bag containing
                                                  their accessories. They can then put their everyday
                                                  clothes in the bags to keep them together to take
                                                  back after the wedding – saves sorting out the pile
                                                  of unidentified clothes and shoes on someone’s
                                                  bedroom floor!

Etiquette Hire

Etiquette are proud of the fact that they can supply suits to
almost every shape and size person. In the vast majority of
their garments they start at 20” jackets and 18” waist trousers
which in theory will fit as small as a two-year-old toddler.
“This season we have extended our contempory prince edward
range in brown, beige and silver grey to incorporate children’s
sizes which means that a full wedding party can now wear
coordinating garments,” they say. “The same applies to all of
our waistcoats; every new product line that we introduce is
now available in smaller sizes as this is what our customers
said they wanted to see. In addition to the clothes being
available to children we are also offering shoes for hire down to a size 1. In terms of highland wear
we are the only hire company that offers Skean Dhu’s in smaller sizes to suit children. All this makes
Etiquette the most child friendly hire company in exsistance today.

   Mori Lee

   For the special occasions in a little girl’s life Mori Lee
   has a charming selection of flower girl dresses, first
   communion gowns and christening gowns. Embellished                                                          Alfred Angelo
   with whimsical touches of youthful innocence like delicate                                        
   flowers, pearls and crystals, these flower girl dresses and
   event gowns will mark this special event as the memory of                                                   Aside from its extensive bridal and bridesmaids’ ranges,
   a lifetime. Whether you’re drawn to practical touches like                                                  Alfred Angelo are also able to offer stunning flower
   a removable hemline band of colour, or the precious design                                                  girl dresses, in a choice of 55 accent colours, along with
   of a waterfall skirt with ruching, there’s something for                                                    traditional white or ivory. This is ideal for brides wanting to
   everyone in the collection.                                                                                 match all dresses to their chosen colour theme.

                             Stenco Flowers
Importers of Craft Bridal Flowers & Wedding Accesories - Paper, Display Flowers,
Hand Painted Millinery Flowers

  Unit 2, Watermill Business Centre, Edison Road, Enfield, Middlesex. United Kingdom
  Tel: +44 (0)20 8443 4555 Fax: +44 (0)20 8443 4999
  Email: Web:
Trust in your
            trade mark      Upali Dayasena, senior research adviser at Business Link, answers your
                            questions on trade marking your business.

What is a trade mark and how can it           Registering a trade mark costs money and       strongest trade marks are those registered
benefit my business?                           you need to get it right. But registration     at the UK Intellectual Property Office
                                              establishes in law that your mark is a trade   (formerly the Patent Office). But trade
Trade marks are signs, symbols, logos,        mark and belongs to you alone. You then        marks don’t have to be registered, as
words, sounds or music (such as jingles)      have an automatic right to sue anybody         companies have common-law rights that
that distinguish your products and            who infringes it. In fact, just registering    protect them if they can prove to have
services from those of your competitors.      a trade mark can serve as a deterrent to       used trade marks over time. Also bear in
It can be one of the most powerful            people who might otherwise infringe it.        mind that more than one company can
marketing tools you have, helping                                                            use the same trade mark if, for example,
customers recognise your business for the     I’m thinking of starting a new business        they are supplying different products or
quality of its products or services.          or developing a sub-brand. How do I            services.
   A trade mark can be seen as a badge        make sure the name I choose is unique             It’s really important to get this area
of origin for a business. It provides a       and that I’m not treading on anyone            of your business right, and the sooner
distinctive way of representing your goods    else’s toes by using their name?               you start the better. If you do infringe
or services that sets them apart from                                                        someone else’s name or trade mark you
those of other traders. It is a valuable      Well done for thinking about this early,       may be forced to change your company
piece of intellectual property and can play   because not doing so could cost your           name. Not only will that cost you money
an important role in your marketing and       business dearly. Start by making sure that     and time, but you’ll also lose the goodwill
branding activities.                          you’re not planning to use the same name       you’ve built up in that name. And if a
   A trade mark can be:                       as a similar business that’s in your area or   competitor can prove that you’ve damaged
• a word, phrase or slogan;                   sector, or that may be supplying similar       their business, you can be sued for
• logo or symbol;                             products or services.                          damages and compensation.
• sign or form of packaging;                                                                    So start early, do your research, and
• sound or jingle;                            Names                                          protect you and your company.
• colour;                                     Check your preferred business name on
• gesture;                                    the Companies House online registry,           How do I register a trade mark outside
• brand name; or                     You’ll              the UK?
• your company name.                          quickly find out if there are any limited
   A trade mark must be distinctive for       companies using the name, but not              Registered trade marks are territorial. If
the goods and services you use it for. And    whether any sole traders or partnerships       you apply for a trade mark in the UK,
it mustn’t mislead people about the nature    are. So do widespread searches using           you’ll only have protection in the UK. If
of your products or services. Common          Google, Yahoo, etc as well as,        you’re considering taking your services
law may give some trade mark protection and other business            or exporting your goods overseas - now
automatically, provided sufficient trading      directories and phone books. And do be         or in the future - you might want to
reputation and goodwill have been built       careful to try out different variants of the    consider registering your trade mark in
up in a mark. But this is likely to be        name that might sound or look the same.        other countries in order to gain wider
difficult and costly to defend against                                                         protection.
infringement.                                 Trade marks                                      Generally, you have to register trade
   You should consider registering your       The other thing to be careful of is that       marks in each of the countries where
trade mark for added protection. If you       you’re not infringing anyone else’s trade      you want protection. However, there are
want to register a trade mark in the UK it    mark. These can be signs, symbols, logos,      two other options which could make life
must be possible to represent it in words     words, sounds or music that distinguish        easier.
and pictures.                                 products or services from each other. The

                                                                                                                               Business Link

1. Registering in the European Union          6. Make sure your trade mark is used          abstracts while working for the INSPEC         For further help with
You can apply for a Community                 correctly. Do not allow it to become a        database.                                      Trade Marks visit…
Trade Mark through the Office for               generic name, like aspirin, escalator and        Upali is a Member of the Institution of     Business Link
Harmonization in the Internal Market          linoleum.                                     Electrical Engineers and the Chartered
(OHIM) website at http://oami.europa.                                                       Institute of Library and Information           uk/east
eu/en/mark/default.htm.                       7. Once you have a registered trade mark,     Professionals. His mission at Business
This will give you protection in all          police your rights. Make sure no-one          Link is to: “advise and meet the needs of      Chartered Institute of
European Union countries.                     infringes it. If someone does threaten to     our clients – with respect to proper use       Patent Attorneys
                                              infringe your registration, seek urgent       and acquisition of intellectual property
2. Registering worldwide                      advice from a trade mark attorney.            rights so companies can maximise their
Under the Madrid System, if you’ve                                                          intangible assets within the IP law”.          UK Intellectual
applied for UK registration of your           8. Use a trade mark attorney. For help                                                       Property Office
trade mark you can also apply for an          finding your nearest one call Upali on +44     The Information and Intelligence Team at
International Trade Mark through the          (0)8457 171 615.                              Business Link are here to help you.
World Intellectual Property Organization                                                       Getting the information you need            The Institute of Trade
at          Business Link                                 to help you run your business quickly          Mark Attorneys
                                              Upali Dayasena, (BSc, MIET, MCLIP)            and easily can make a huge difference.
The eight golden rules on trade marks         is a senior research adviser on the team.     Business Link’s team of 40 information
The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys         With Business Link for 12 years, Upali        advisers are on call daily to give practical   World Intellectual
can help you find a trade mark attorney        is now responsible for the information        business information and advice which is       Property Organisation
who will be able to help you to protect       broking activity with particular emphasis     impartial and, in most instances, free of
trade marks anywhere in the world. They       on use of online sources.                     charge.                                        en/index.html
have also outlined some ‘golden rules’ on        A graduate electrical engineer from           The Information and Intelligence
trade marks:                                  Portsmouth Polytechnic (now the               Centre hotline on +44 (0)8457 171
                                              University of Portsmouth), Upali has          615 goes straight through to one of the
1. Stand out - make sure your trade mark      worked in the telecommunications              Business Link team who can offer you
is distinctive rather than descriptive.       and information management fields              help with a wide range of information
                                              for many years. He has a wide-ranging         from credit checks on new customers to
2. Check it out - conduct searches to         understanding of the information              help with business planning or mailing
make sure that your chosen trade mark is      needs of business and industry and a          lists. A
available for use and registration and that   commitment to the appropriate use of
it does not infringe any other trade mark.    technology to deliver those needs.
                                                 An experienced online researcher
3. Decide which classes of goods or           with a wide-ranging knowledge of
services will be in association with your     online resources, covering business,
trade mark.                                   science & technology and intellectual                                                        For information,
                                              property information, Upali has                                                              practical advice and
4. Think about the geographical coverage      compiled and edited two bibliographies                                                       support to help you run
you will need.                                on microprocessor applications in                                                            or grow your business,
                                              engineering and manufacturing industry                                                       contact Business Link
5. Apply to register your trade mark - a      for the Institution of Electrical Engineers                                                  on +44 (0)8457 171
trade mark attorney can help you.             and was also responsible for editing                                                         615 or log onto www.
                                              telecommunications and computer science                                            

                                                                                                                                                       ATTIRE 29

                View the Collection at BBEH
     The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate 7th-9th September 2008
         Enquiries or Agent to call, tel: 01256 766 744

Samantha Jane

                View the Collection at BBEH
     The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate 7th-9th September 2008
         Enquiries or Agent to call, tel: 01256 766 744

Stand and Deliver                    We speak to Chris Hartley, Show Director of International Jewellery London, to
                                     find out about this year’s event
                                     How did the new          our advisory panel, which comprises key players from
                                     creative come            across the industry.
                                     about and what
                                     feedback have you        This year Autumn Fair and IJL are at different times.
                                     had since?               How do you anticipate this will impact visitor/
                                     The idea for the         exhibitor numbers?
                                     new creative was         IJL has run on the same dates for over half a century.
                                     based on solid           We are always evaluating the date by speaking to
                                     research and             visitors and exhibitors to understand timelines.
                                     conversations with       We find that the timing of the show is perfect for
                                     exhibitors, retailers,   independent retailers, who are ordering stock for
                                     manufacturers and        Christmas, and for multiples and larger retailers, who
designers. We found that, while our exhibitors were           are ordering further ahead - perhaps for Mother’s Day
fully aware of the various zones within the exhibition,       and beyond.
as the show continues to grow many retailers were                IJL focuses on mid to high-end manufacturers
unaware of the breadth of our offering. IJL now                and designer-makers. We are the largest specialist
boasts dedicated areas showcasing the best across Fine        jewellery show in the UK and, therefore, attract
Jewellery, Jewellery Solutions (tooling, packaging,           a clearly defined target market. According to our
technology solutions etc), Diamonds, Gems, Silver &           research 40% of all visitors do not attend any other
Fashion, Watches, International pavilions and a new           show in the UK.
zone called the Design Gallery which incorporates
the British Design Pavilion, plus two new zones:              Which sectors of the jewellery market are currently
Designer Brands and the International Design                  flourishing?
Pavilion. The new creative will help visitors identify        The ones doing well are the mid to high-end cutting
key areas of interest during their visit to the show,         edge designers who are innovative and design-focused.
especially as the show now hosts exhibitors from over         This is an incredibly buoyant area of the market.
30 countries. The creative received full approval from        Retailers that are pushing design-driven jewellery are,
                                                              in general, benefiting from stocking such lines, while
                                                              those selling volume seem to be affected the most by
                                                              the present economic climate.
                                                                                                                            My feeling is that any organisation that is creative,
                                                              How do you anticipate the current ‘credit crunch’           innovative, quick to embrace change and has a strong
                                                              will affect the jewellery market? What can retailers         product offering coupled with excellent customer
                                                              do to minimise the impact of the testing current            focus will continue to do well.
                                                              economic situation?
                                                              At present retailers are not buying as much stock as        How would you like to see the show develop over
                                                              they may have done in previous years. There are two         the next few years?
                                                              key reasons for this: firstly, the price of precious metal   London is a fantastic destination for the show and
                                                              is very high and secondly, retailers are running their      IJL is attracting more international retailers than ever
                                                              existing stock down. Therefore, in August/September,        before. Over the next few years we will work hard
                                                              retailers are going to need to buy their vital Christmas    to support the British market and bring non-UK
                                                              stock, so ordering should be strong at IJL.                 retailers into our event.
                                                                 In the current economic climate, retailers, designers       I am especially keen to champion British
                                                              and manufacturers are all working harder to develop         participation in overseas jewellery exhibitions,
                                                              their businesses. Retailers, in particular, need to look    particularly from designer-makers and strong UK-
                                                              at multi-channel marketing, rather than relying solely      brands. It is only by showing overseas retailers the
                                                              on a bricks-and-mortar shop.                                strength of British jewellery design that we can expect
                                                                 In an economic downturn one of the first areas            them to visit the UK’s leading jewellery exhibition.
                                                              that organisations cut is training. IJL’s education            At IJL this September, we will have over 600
                                                              programme boasts the largest array of jewellery related     exhibitors. I am especially proud of the Design
                                                              seminars anywhere in the UK, visitors can attend            Gallery, a purpose-built mezzanine which will feature
                                                              a range of sessions focusing on business solutions,         around 160 new and established jewellery designer-
                                                              training, marketing, trends and forecasting with some       makers, many of which only show at IJL. A
                                                              internationally renowned speakers, including Martin         Further information
                                                              Rapaport and Jamie Fraser of Hamilton & Inches.             Register in advance for International Jewellery London
                                                              The best thing is it’s all entirely free to IJL visitors!   by visiting

                                                                                                                                                                    ATTIRE 31
                             Emma Tindley

                              Designer dresses handmade in the UK
                                               BBEH STAND D8

                             191 London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 1HA
                                    tel: 01342 321514

    tel: 01707 643633

                     Best of
                        We champion UK-based bridal
                        manufacturers and designers

Nicola Anne

                                             ATTIRE 33
   In today’s difficult economic climate it’s never been so important to     Nicola Harvey-Rowley,
   support home-grown talent. Britain boasts some of the world’s most       Head Designer at Nicola Anne Bridalwear
   gifted bridal and accessories designers who, despite spiralling
   overheads, stay true to their roots and continue to make their
   dresses and accessories in the UK. We speak to a handful of British-
   based firms to determine the challenges and benefits of retaining a        Have Nicola Anne dresses always been designed and
   British-based manufacturing process.                                     made in the UK? If so, why was this so important to
                                                                            the brand?

                                                                            Nicola Anne Gowns have always been designed and made
                                                                            by our team in Leicestershire.
                                                                              We have been consistently told by our customers that
                                                                            our styles are classic, colourful and, above all, ‘different’.
                                                                            Together with our flexibility in the designs and sizing, we
                                                                            are able to offer a unique service to our retailers.

                                                                            What challenges do companies that design and made
                                                                            their dresses in the UK face?

                                                                            Our aim is to be competitive, but with the rising costs of
                                                                            our own economy, this will always be a challenge. That
                                                                            said, we would not look to source manufacturers overseas
                                                                            as all our customers buy from us mainly because we are
                                                                            ‘British Made’.

                                                                            What benefits do you feel the company has over those
Karl Metcalfe,                                                              who choose to manufacture abroad?
Sales Manager at Liza Designs                                                       Quite simply, our company delivers what it promises! We
                                                                            have complete control over our bespoke orders. Our
Have your tiaras always been designed and made in the UK? If so,            customers are able to speak to us regarding sizing for
why was this so important to the brand?                                     gowns and are even able to ask advice on design changes.
                                                                            In addition, our quick turn around for rush orders
Yes, I began designing and making all the tiaras myself, and although I     becomes invaluable during the busy months when every
now have a great team behind me the flexibility of manufacturing in          order counts.
house is one of our greatest advantages. Liza Designs now has a
reputation spanning more than 20 years of unrivalled customer service
and quality.

What challenges do companies that design and make their bridal
accessories in the UK face?

It’s all about labour costs and overheads. Most of our competitors use
factories in the Far East which have been much cheaper than using a
UK workforce. I think over the next few years we will see the gap
between the two options narrow with the growing economies of the
Far Eastern countries and transport costs escalating. Liza has the skills
to perform well under the new conditions that UK-based companies
will be facing.

What benefits do you feel your company has over those who choose
to manufacture abroad?

Liza Designs is in control of its own future. If we were to let a
customer down it would be our fault - there is nobody else to blame!
We carry vast stocks of materials, we have good reliable staff and we
remain both efficient and flexible. We don’t let our customers down:
they sometimes “ask the impossible” of us and they know we will
still deliver!

          0208 802 1399

To view our collections visit us at The Harrogate Bridal Fair, Hall Q Stand 7
                                                                 Emma Tindley,
                                                                 Head Designer at Emma Tindley

                                                                 Have Emma Tindley dresses always been designed and made in the
                                                                 UK? If so, why was this so important to the brand?

                                                                 My dresses have always been made in the UK and on my premises as I
                                                                 like to oversee every stage of the manufacturing process. This way, should
                                                                 any issues arise - such as quality of fabric to the intricate stitching of
                                                                 beadwork - I am on hand to ensure the quality remains constant. The
                                                                 dresses are all finished to a high standard and using couture techniques
                                                                 and some hand stitching, which would be lost if they were to be made
                                                                 abroad. I also like to make the dress designs as flexible as I can, so girls
                                                                 can personalise the styles by adding or changing details to each individual
                                                                 dress; this would be impossible to oversee abroad. I am quite determined
                                                                 that Emma Tindley dresses will always remain Made in the UK.

                                                                 What challenges do companies that design and made their dresses in
                                                                 the UK face?

                                                                 There are two big challenges when you choose to manufacture in the UK:
                                                                 The costs of employing staff in the UK and costs of premises, so my
Joyce Jackson,                                                   dresses are in a higher price bracket. I could never compete with China.
Managing Director of Joyce Jackson Bridal Veils                  Also the number of dresses I make is lower than those who manufacture
                                                                 abroad. I have a small team behind me and find it difficult to get
Have Joyce Jackson Bridal Veils always been designed             seamstresses. As I’m sure the industry is aware, it’s a dying art form and a
and made in the UK? If so, why was this so important to          bit like trying to find a plumber!
the brand?
                                                                 What benefits do you feel the company has over those who choose to
When I started the business 22 years ago everyone was            manufacture abroad?
manufacturing in the UK and I never gave another
thought to someone else doing work for me                        I think the main advantage I have over dresses made abroad is the fact
                                                                 that I can be that bit more flexible with the styles and girls can change
What challenges do companies that design and make                the details or even design a dress unique to them. My bespoke service
their bridal accessories in the UK face?                         does just that and girls get to see their dresses come together from start to
                                                                 finish. We also know exactly when the dresses will be finished and don’t
I do not think that there is a big threat to accessories as it   have to worry about customs!
is impossible to carry all the stock needed. Furthermore,
in my opinion, deliveries from China are not good at all.        Why is it so important for British bridal retailers to support companies
                                                                 who make their products in the UK?
What benefits do you feel the company has over those
who choose to manufacture abroad?                                Our customers in general have found out the hard way that companies
                                                                 that manufacture off shore are constrained by their suppliers, and so
We can supply an urgent custom-made order within a day.          cannot always say ‘Yes’ to the tight schedules that most retailers face these
This is an invaluable service for retailers.                     days. Retailers must look at the longer term and see that supplier service
                                                                 is every bit as important as their own customer service. Liza Designs is
Why is it so important for retailers to support bridal           keeping the skills we need alive in the UK by compromising some of the
and accessories designers who create and make their              high profits demanded by some companies who become more and more
designs in the UK?                                               reliant on the Far East as their cheaper option. A

If we do not have the support then the British industry
will die and newcomers coming into the trade will not
have the manufacture process in place and will import. In
all the years of being in bridal I have had very few
competitors. That shows that they do not want to make it,
and it is too difficult to buy from abroad.

Do you feel there’s anything extra the government could
do to better support UK-based designers and
manufacturers? If so, what?

Yes, I feel the government could cut some of the red tape,
for example, making VAT clearer on certain items. I am
also in favour of the government giving grants to British
manufacturers who exhibit abroad and feel they should
promote British whenever possible.
                                                                                                                                  ATTIRE 37
                   in their eyes
Designers Sarah and Christine Hatton are the
driving force behind their increasingly successful
Crystabelle bridal and occasion jewellery brand.
We talk to them about their bespoke designs and
determination to be different
                                                           field to be too constrained and I needed something
                                                           I had carte blanche to create exactly what I wanted,
                                                           with no brief to adhere to,” explains Sarah Hatton.
                                                              “I started making jewellery for myself, then a
                                                           friend asked me to design something for her and it
                                                           snowballed from there.”
                                                              Christine Hatton trained as a dress designer and
                                                           worked in women’s and childrenswear for many years,
                                                           before branching into wedding dress design.
                                                              “The love of the wedding industry kept me there
                                                           for quite some time,” she remembers, “but when
Magpie brides intent on as much sparkle as they can        Sarah suggested a turn to jewellery, it just felt right.
muster for their wedding day and retailers keen to         I was able to remain in an industry I loved, but with
provide it for them are amongst the many fans of           the perfect chance to stretch my creativity in a totally
Crystabelle jewellery, as the brand promises to add as     different direction.”
much twinkle as customers require to their purchase,          Sarah and Christine wanted to feature crystal in the
thanks to the unique nature of each bespoke piece          name of the brand, as it originally defined the focus of
and the best quality materials that they use, including    their designs.
Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls and gems                “Belle means charming and beautiful and we
sourced from around the world.                             believe we are makers of both, hence the company
   Founded in 2004 by family members Sarah and             name,” they explain. Their current collections are a
Christine Hatton and based in Cheshire, Crystabelle        celebration of all things pearl and sparkle.
has grown to be a very creditable company in a very           “One of the collections we have introduced most
competitive market and is now available through            recently is our freshwater pearl and Swarovski crystal
retailers and on-line.                                     tiaras and complementary jewellery,” they explain.
   Both from art and design backgrounds, Sarah and            “The pearls and vines are mixed with the tiniest
Christine design and make all the jewellery they sell      of fully-coated silver Swarovski crystal which gives
and are also in charge of running the business. They       that extra sparkle and lifts the iridescent colours from
have a distinct passion for all things creative and        the pearls. Pearls are the ultimate symbol of love and
credit this as the impetus and reason for their decision   marriage and have always been considered valuable
to launch the business.                                    since man first walked the earth.”
   “I have a degree in graphic design, but I found that       “The components in this new collection aren’t


necessarily new to the wedding field, but what we           our entire range is adaptable in colour, component and
do with them is. We don’t just string bracelets and        dimension, we literally have something for everyone!”
necklaces, we entwine several threads, producing              “We will often design a range exclusively for
unique patterns. The end result is quite stunning. We      a stockist, so that they have a jewellery and tiara
also have an eye for the little details which may not be   collection that harmonises with their wedding and
explicit to the design, but are key to the final piece.”    bridesmaids’ dresses perfectly.”
   Another of their new collections is a vintage-             The response has certainly been incredibly
inspired collection of tiaras and jewellery, with subtle   favourable, as the brand goes from strength to
colours of Swarovski crystals to give the gold pieces a    strength. Sarah and Christine credit this to their
modern edge.                                               unique designs.
   “The collection we are currently working on is our         “We have always strived to make something
statement necklaces for brides that want a little more     different. It would be easy to simply reinvent the
drama,” Christine says.                                    wheel but that’s not what we are about. It gives
   “We’ve been inspired by different periods in history     us pleasure to design something new and our
and given the pieces a contemporary edge. The              customers and retailers like this about us. They are so
necklaces are quite beautiful and perfect for brides       complimentary about our jewellery and we can’t help
with a little attitude!”                                   but smile at some of the lovely responses our bridal
   Sarah and Christine source materials from all over      range receives.”
the world.                                                    Shortlisted as finalists at the Wrapit Wedding
   “The hunt for them can take months, but we’re           Awards Bridal Accessories category in 2008, the
thrilled when we think we’ve found something no-one        couple consider their greatest success in the business
else is using and we put great store in finding quality     so far to be making tiaras for Coleen Nolan.
components as we will only use the best in our work,”         “It was very exciting to see them worn by such a
they explain.                                              well known celebrity,” says Christine. “Also, the fact
   They try to launch new lines every couple of            that more people are recognizing the brand name is a
months as they have a large customer base that like to     success in itself for us.”
be kept aware of the latest jewellery trends.
   “We’re constantly coming up with new ideas              So what can we expect from the brand in 2009?
though,” they laugh. “Designing is certainly the best         “More colour!” they state. “We love using colour
bit of our job!”                                           in our wedding jewellery, but brides are still wary
   The couple have benefited from press coverage to         of using too much of it. Obviously clear crystal and
promote their business so far, in addition to attending    white pearls are never going to go out of fashion, but
wedding fairs when they have the time, as they feel        soft colours are becoming more popular.”
this is a great way to meet prospective customers and         If the current level of success enjoyed by these
keep in touch with demand. They also make full use of      ladies is anything to go by, we suggest that trend
their well-designed website for promotion.                 predictors for the bridal jewellery market take note! A
   “We launched our website last year,” says Sarah.
“We absolutely love it as it looks very feminine and
inviting and our customers have found it extremely
easy to use.”
                                                            Further information
So how did they source stockists?
                                                            To find out more about Crystabelle, call
“Our stockists have found us so far,” they muse. “They
                                                            +44 (0)161 485 6585 for mail order and stockist
have read press coverage and like that we are making
                                                            enquiries, +44 (0)161 486 6099 for trade/wholesale
something a little different. We think our range is so
                                                            enquiries, or visit
dynamic that we suit any outlet and, because virtually

                                                                                                                       ATTIRE 39
1.          2.


                  We showcase three pages
                  of bridal gowns that feature
                  fabulous folded fabrics

            Bridal Trends
                1. D’Zage
                +44 (0)20 8554 2332

                2. Ian Stuart
                +44 (0)20 8761 6302

                3. Eternity Bride
                +44 (0)870 770 7670

                4. Pronuptia
                +44 (0)845 2968740

                5. Phil Collins
                +44 (0)8701 124 858

                6. Alan Hannah
                +44 (0)20 8882 0007

                7. Impression Bridal UK
                +44 (0)1727 851 452

                8. Mori Lee
                +44 (0)1476 541 116

                9. Justin Alexander
                +44 (0)1908 615 599

      8.   9.

                                    ATTIRE 41
  10.                       11.         12.

 10. Suzanne Neville
 +44 (0)1483 533 209              13.

 11. Victoria Shelsher
 +44 (0)1844 290 135

 12. Essense of Australia
 +44 (0)800 961 140

 13. Je T’aime
 +44 (0)20 8554 2332

                                                Setting up costs-Commercial Property Lease-
                                                Business Plan-Vat-Accounts-
                                                Fixtures-Fittings Advertising-Sales Stationary
                                                -Purchasing stock-Fitting garments etc…

                                                Increase sales-Stock control-Showroom design
                                                -Staff training-Advertising-
                                                Stationary with Terms’ conditions-
                                                Disposal of discontinued dresses etc…

                                                Valuation of existing business
                                                Current stock and sales value- Business Plan –
                                                Employment- Managing a successful business etc…

                                                                                                                   Picture supplied by
                                                Supply to the Bridal Industry
                                                Importing from Far East -Business Plan-Financial Cost
                                                Trade Exhibitions etc…

                                                30 Years experience in the Bridal & Fashion
                                                Industry Consultancy from £350 per day
                                                Visit the web site for additional information
                                                Telephone 01256 766 744

                                                                           Visit us at BBEH,
                                                          The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate 7th - 9th September 2008
                                                                    All enquiries tel: 01256 766 744

We are looking for new stockists in all areas

Simply Stunning Bridal Gowns Ltd
92 Dudley Road, Sedgley, Dudley DY3 1TA
         Tel: 01902 677277

           Hollywood Dreams
            Enquiries: 0208 801 9797 E-mail:
1.              2.                3.               Bridal Trends

                                               1. Alfred Angelo
                                               +44 (0)1908 262 626

                                               2. Pronuptia
                                               +44 (0)845 2968740


                                               3. Sassi Holford
                                               +44 (0)20 7584 1532

                                               4. Sacha
                                               +44 (0)1621 856 497

                                               5. Art Couture
                                               +44 (0)1432 815 978
                     Encourage your brides
                     to add a splash of        6. Kosibah Creations
                                               +44 (0)20 7424 8832
                     colour to their dresses
                     with a vibrant sash
                                               7. Essense of Australia
                                               +44 (0)800 961 140
                                               8. Kate Sherford
                                               +44 (0)1823 256 012


                                                                        ATTIRE 45

Over the
Cute capped sleeves are all
the rage – here are our pick
of the best

2.                        Bridal Trends




                         1. Impression Bridal UK
          7.             +44 (0)1727 851 452

                         2. D’Zage
                         +44 (0)20 8554 2332

                         3. Eternity Bride
                         +44 (0)870 770 7670

                         4. Sassi Holford
                         +44 (0)20 7584 1532

                         5. Estés
                         +44 (0)1621 855 653

                         6. Charlotte Balbier
                         +44 (0)1625 521 547

                         7. Pronuptia
                         +44 (0)845 2968740

                                                ATTIRE 47
   1.                                                                          Bridal Trends
                                 2.                                  3.


                                      Swan Lake
                                      A fabulous neckline can add elegance and sophistication to a
                                      gown. Here are our favourites…

1. Sacha James
+44 (0)1621 856 497

2. Estés
+44 (0)1621 855 653

3. Kosibah Creations
+44 (0)20 7424 8832

4. D’Zage
+44 (0)20 8554 2332

5. Ian Stuart
+44 (0)20 8761 6302

6. Suzanne Neville
+44 (0)1483 533 209

                                                                                             ATTIRE 49
                                                           This winter Heirloom will introduce more
                                                           accessories for evening wear, for example fancy
                                                           bows, cummerbunds and waistcoats. Their
                                                           current collection has broad appeal and features
                                                           an extensive range of waistcoats to enhance any
                                                           suit choice.

A Man’s World
Stock up with some of these stunning grooms’ accessories

                                                                                                                Grooms’ Accessories

                                                                                               BABETTE WASSERMAN
                                                                                               Babette Wasserman is renowned for her cutting edge jewellery
                                                                                               designs for men and women. Her latest range of cufflinks and
RICHARD JONES                                                                                  accessories is bang on trend for 2008. The men’s Pelle Plaited cuffs                                                                         mix leather with sterling silver or rose gold clasps for a stylish way to
Richard Jones has been a specialist shirt maker for close on four decades.They are a           bring the leather trend to your outfit. The cuffs are made from fine
leading supplier to the UK retail sector for wedding and special occasion shirts.              strands of black or brown leather plaited into a tight rope-like cuff
   They offer a stock supported service for men’s and boys’ styles. At any one time they        with a simple clasp.
keep 100,000 shirts in their warehouse. They stock selected sizes up to a collar size of 23.      The new London Links cufflinks bring in the trend for sterling
In addition they also offer a full range of accessories from stock including waistcoats,        silver accessories. A simple solid silver design in a quirky triangular
wedding cravats and bows.                                                                      shape is an easy way to wear sterling silver every day.
   New products for this season include an increased range of co-ordinating silk ties,
cufflinks and handkerchiefs presented in a silk covered gift box for the wedding day. They
offer lots of plain colours to ensure the men’s silk accessories will match the colour theme
of the wedding occasion.                                                                       ANTHONY FORMALWEAR
   In a response to frequent requests they have now added a Page Boy design to their 
successful range of wedding day socks for the men in the wedding party.                        Leading the way in vibrant, stylish suits and accessories, Anthony
                                                                                               Formalwear boasts a growing selection of waistcoats to add a touch
                                                                                               of flair to any suit. From traditional formal wear to the contemporary
                                                                                               designer range, the wide selection allows men to create any look,
                                                                                               from classic chic to individual or high fashion.

As one of the UK’s leading formal hire
companies, Cameron Ross has a comprehensive
range of accessories to accompany its stylish
formal, evening and highland wear ranges.
From cummerbunds and ties in every colour of
the rainbow and more, to traditional top hats
and stylish black shoes, the accessories range is
undeniably extensive.
                                                                                                                                                          ATTIRE 51

7 Standen Street
Royal Tunbridge Wells   Royal Tunbridge Wells
KENT                    KENT
TN4 9RL                 TN2 5TN

(01892) 521146          (01892) 548511

 “If you are attending the
 BBEH, try to visit for the full
 three days. This will allow
 yourself time to browse and
 see everything on offer as the
 exhibitors spend time and
 money to give you the very
 best show in the industry”

‘Tis the Season
                    Regular                                                                                    Special agent

                    columnist,                                                                                 I wonder how many retailers are aware of what
                    Jane                                                                                       is involved in the life of an agent or company
                                                                                                               representative? For those of you who aren’t sure, I
                    Watson,                                                                                    thought I would give you an insight into some of
                    explains                                                                                   the experiences encountered on a day to day basis.
                                                                                                                  Their first call of the day would perhaps
                    how to
                                                                                                               be at 9.30am. To arrive on time the agent or
                    make space                                                                                 representative would need to set the alarm for
                    for the new                                                                                6.00am, have a shower and a light breakfast ready
                                                                                                               to leave home at 7.00am. The appointment may
bridal collections, and asks                                                                                   only be a one and half hour trip; however, having
retailers to consider the role of                                                                              to allow for traffic could take two and a half hours.
                                                                                                                  The appointment is normally booked a few days
an agent or representative                                                                                     before or even weeks in advance. Knowing the
                                                                                                               retailer is expecting a visit, the agent would expect
                                                                                                               them to be ready to view the collection. However,
                                                                                                               this is not always the situation; arriving with a
                                                                                                               collection of dresses and abruptly told you only
 New collections for 2009
                                                       rail and give them to the local colleges or
                                                                                                               have half an hour as they are busy, it is obvious they
                                                       universities for use by the students. I am sure
                                                                                                               didn’t really want to see the collection and didn’t
 Are you ready?                                        they will be very grateful for the beautiful fabrics.
                                                                                                               know how to say “no”.
 Do you know what your budget is for the               Alternatively, send them to countries abroad.
                                                                                                                  Another example is clients will look at the
 new designs?                                          When giving them to colleges or universities
                                                                                                               complete collection on offer then say they can’t
 At this time of year, you may possibly be viewing     consider putting a small cut in the bodice so that
                                                                                                               afford to purchase any more dresses at the moment.
 the new designs for 2009. If you have not already     the dresses can’t be passed on to charity shops,
                                                                                                                  Clients cancelling appointments when the
 been shown the collections, you may be looking        creating unfair competition for you.
                                                                                                               agent is already on the road to visit them is
 forward to viewing the vast number of suppliers          So now your rail is still full but only with
                                                                                                               another situation to try to avoid. Indeed, visiting
 and designers at the British Bridal Exhibition,       modern dresses. It is not a good time to have
                                                                                                               retailers can be costly and disheartening for the
 Harrogate (BBEH) in September.                        a sale now so wait, if you can, until September
                                                                                                               agent or representative and a waste of time for
   If you are attending the BBEH, try to visit         when the majority of brides will begin to look for
                                                                                                               all concerned.
 for the full three days. This will allow yourself     their dresses for 2009.
                                                                                                                  My point is spare a thought for your agent or
 time to browse and see everything on offer as the         If you have ordered your 2009 designs they
                                                                                                               representative; they work hard, have busy lives
 exhibitors spend time and money to give you the       will possibly arrive in September so during
                                                                                                               and need genuine customers.
 very best show in the industry                        your sale you can also show your new designs.
                                                                                                                  If you have your budget ready so you know what
   This is the time you need to be looking at your     Therefore your advertising will work twice as
                                                                                                               you can afford to spend then every one is happy. A
 existing samples to create room for new ones.         hard for you
 You may be adding to your already full sale rail to      Don’t forget the “three day genuine sale” is          Further information
 make way for the new collections, so make some        best. (See Attire Bridal, issue 1 - if you missed        Visit the website with your point of view or email
 informed decisions now.                               this issue, simply request it for free via the           Jane Watson at
   Sort out the really old samples on the sale         website                            or

                                                                                                                                                       ATTIRE 53
                                                                                            The bridal market changes almost as often as the mind
                                                                                            of a bride and, as with business, it is often the support
                                                                                            provided that seals any crucial decisions. Many people
                                                                                            consider a bridal gown to be the most important
                                                                                            purchase in the lead up to a wedding, however, a dream
                                                                                            dress cannot meet expectations unless the bride feels
                                                                                            and looks comfortable and confident, elusive emotions
                                                                                            that can be achieved with the appropriate choice of
                                                                                            underwear. With bridal fashion constantly evolving,
                                                                                            the right lingerie can make or break the sale of a gown,
                                                                                            as many styles could be rejected as impractical without
                                                                                            due consideration of the lingerie available. In offering
                                                                                            lingerie, retailers can tap into an area of the market
                                                                                            which takes up minimal space but offers a large return
                                                                                            in sales, whether in relation to a gorgeous gown or as a
                                                                                            stand alone purchase for the all important honeymoon.
                                                                                            Read on for our pick of the most stunning styles for the
                                                                                            ceremony and the celebrations that follow...

                                                                                    As the image of the modern bride transforms,
                                                                                    lingerie is becoming an important and influential
                                                                                    add on sale. Read on to discover the best products on
                                                                                    the market...

TRADITIONAL BRIDAL                                          White Mischief Bridal                                     Lepel
Charnos continue to celebrate their 50th Anniversary
in autumn/winter 08 with a bridal collection inspired
by treasured moments, romance and enchanting
fairytales. The modern yet timeless Eve collection
provides the answer to every bride’s dream with sexy,
practical, and pretty lingerie that looks every bit as
fabulous as it feels. The ivory colourway brings an
understated vintage glamour to the collection, whilst
the stylish Swiss embroidery combined with silk
touch microfibre creates a range which is perfect for
bridal wear. This ultra feminine range includes full
cup and multi-way bras, a basque, French brief, thong
and suspender belt. Access or
telephone +44 (0)115 850 8000 for more details.

Penrose, the first Italian designer of an exclusively
bridal lingerie collection, is now available in the UK
through White Mischief Bridal. Penrose creations
are designed to enhance the natural beauty of the
bride’s silhouette. Items such as soft bodies, corsets,
bras, slips, and hosiery are made from precious fabrics
and styled by exquisite tailoring in sophisticated         Lepel understands a bride’s desire to feel confident,      detachable suspenders, a strapless bra available up to
white, ivory, neutral, and black colours. This season      stylish, and captivating on her wedding day and has       a DD cup priced at £20, and an underwired plunge
has seen the introduction of seductive transparencies      designed three stunning bridal collections focusing on    bra available up to an E cup at the same price. Each
created by twice folded tulle, as well as the ‘Exclusive   simple sophistication this season. The delightful Pearl   style has accompanying co-ordinates in the form of
Collection’, which includes a range of truly seamless      collection creates a truly classic look, with a mix of    a suspender short that costs £14 available in sizes S
undergarments made with state of the art techniques.       soft ivory satin, delicate embroidered mesh, and pretty   to XL, and string available in sizes S – L priced at
For further information contact White Mischief             pearl bead detailing. This range is offered in a choice    £8. Telephone +44 (0)115 983 6000 to find out more
Bridal on +44 (0)1903 810 104.                             of three styles; a figure flattering basque available       about the range.
                                                           up to a DD cup priced at £30 with the option of

                                                                             ‘Be cherished forever and ever in Bjem Bridal Lingerie’


                                                                            Bjem Bride’s beautiful collection of speciality, luxury lingerie designed
                                                                            specifically for today’s modern bride. Sumptuous silk satins in a pallette
                                                                              of ivory, blush pink and aqua blue are complemented with exclusive
                                                                              sequinned embroidery, swarovski crystal embellishment and unique
                                                                                 jewellery trims. A bespoke service is available on personalised
                                                                                          crystal messages and designs for no extra cost.
                                                                             Bjem bridal lingerie is available for immediate delivery.Wholesale prices
                                                                             start from £8 and sizes are available from 8 to 20 and 30 to 38 A to E.
                                                                                                     Bjem Bridal Lingerie

                                        This romantic torselette from
                                        Carnival Lingerie is available
                                        through specialist bridal
                                        distributor Jupon Ltd, and
                                        features a cleverly shaped
                                        structure that is perfect for
                                        creating a highly desirable, well
                                        defined waist. The sensational
                                        strapless style is made from
                                        luxurious, soft lace with a deep
                                        decollete and low back to be
                                        both sensual and practical for
                                        brides that have chosen popular,
                                        close fitting gowns. Visit www.
                               or ring +44 (0)1753
                                        622 922 for further information.

Benmark Foundations Ltd is a family business that has been importing
lingerie from the U.S. for 60 years, and count leading manufacturer
Dominique as an exclusive supplier of quality bridal underwear. With
great support and fantastic fit, the Dominique Bridal range includes
basques, strapless bras, longline bras, a seamless bustier with a hidden
wire and matching briefs and thong to complete the look.
   This season Benmark have introduced a new full figure basque,
Dominique style 8900, in an ivory tone complemented by feminine
embroidery on a fine background. The basque has a fantastic size range
from B to F cup in back sizes 32 to 48, with matching thongs and a brief
design also available. Look out for a new strapless underwired bra with
a boned cup up to a size G in the same range. Call +44 (0)208 908 2690
for more details.

                                                                                                                                          ATTIRE 55
                                                                                                                       Bjem Bridal


HONEYMOON                                                   bra with seamed-cup details and coordinating deep
Bjem Bride’s beautiful collection of speciality, luxury     thong. For further details call +44 (0)114 241 8888 or
lingerie has been designed specifically for the modern       access
bride. Sumptuous silk satins in a feminine palette
of ivory, blush pink, and aqua are complemented             Diamon’T’s Pure Lingerie collection is an adorable
effortlessly with embroidery, sequins, Swarovski             and affordable range including luxury lace garters,
crystals and jewellery trims.                               satin and mesh thongs, and a beautiful babydoll set in
   This small company is able to create individual          black or ivory chiffon adorned with the words ‘Mrs’                       Eternal Spirits
designs to fit customers’ needs by adding any message        or ‘Just Married’, presented in a tissue lined gift box
or design to their products, which have been made           and perfect for the wedding night. The personalised
from the quality fabric with great attention to detail      service Diamon’T introduced from its inception
in many different shapes and colours to fit under             remains extremely popular, and allows customers to
any gown. Some of Bjem’s bestselling lines are the          have any item from the collection decorated by hand
ivory silk bodice and ‘just married’ Swarovski crystal      with the message or name of their choice in diamanté
message briefs, as well as the classic embroidered          rhinestones, with prices starting from RRP £19.99.
narrow garter with sequins. New products include            To order a catalogue visit or
a smoothline bodice and blue and pink Swarovski             telephone +44 (0)845 330 2366.
crystal garters, and wholesale prices start at £6 with
bespoke items available at no extra charge. Visit the       Award-winning company Eternal Spirits are one
handy website at or telephone           of the UK’s most talked about corsetry specialists,
+44 (0)7932 794 398 for more information.                   offering a unique range of traditionally made,
                                                            handcrafted corsetry, lingerie and bridal wear in
Succinctly in line with the company ethos of ‘Love          their exclusive Bridal Parlour. La Belle Epoque is
The Fit’ and available in D-H cup sizes without             the company’s decadent autumn/winter story, and is
forsaking comfort and style, Panache have launched          influenced by the elegance of Paris and Edwardian
four fabulous new bridal styles this season. Hestia is      England. The rich colour palette of the collection
an exquisite silk bridal story in classic ivory or sultry   is derived from peacock feathers, where metallic
black using guipure embroidery trim with delicate           gold, bronze, and chocolate meet jewel tones such
organza and pearl bows. The stunning structured             as emerald and violet in designs adorned with pearls
basque features traditional satin lacing and is made of     and Swarovski crystals. Luxurious silks, leathers,
smooth satin with delicate detail across the top of the     and traditional wools combine classic tailoring and
cups and straps. Thong briefs again match the design        conceptual design for an original and glamorous
with pretty yet simple detailing, and a Hestia twin-set     bridal aesthetic. For details call +44 (0)7789 281 159
is also available featuring a smooth, padded balconnet      or access A

                                                                                                                                        ATTIRE 57
On Display

   ATTIRE                    Bridal
                                           Fa liab e
                                             st le
                                             Re ervic         Help your bride choose the best fabrics
                                                              for her bridal party. The Carrington Bride
                                                              book is a beautifully presented collection
                                                              of stunning, quality fabrics brought
                                                              together in one indispensable volume.
                                                                                                    The fabric of a great wedding…
                                                                                                      …starts with a great dress

                                                                                                           Place your order 24/7
                                                                                                           View online swatches
                                                                                                           Order samples swatches or full orders
                                                                                                           quickly and easily

                                                                                                           See our latest ranges as they are added

                                                                                        To order your copy

                                                                                   call 01204 692223 or visit

     To advertise here call Mark White                  Michael’s Bridal Fabrics
                                                   Unit F15, Northfleet Indst Est, Lower Road, Northfleet, Kent DA11 9SW
         on +44 (0)1376 514 000                           Tel: 01322 380480/568 FAX: 01322 380680

       or visit            We offer a fast, reliable and friendly service on our continually increasing range
                                                                 (currently over 1,500 choices) of bridal fabrics.
                                                 All fabrics and trimmings are available in cut lengths via our 6 sample books.
                                              Range includes: plain and shot taffeta, velvet, duchess satins, organzas, shimmer,
                                              chiffons, crepes, various embroidered and beaded fabrics, inc tulles and chiffons.
                                                       We also offer a range of embroided/beaded edgings and motifs.

                                                                      We have no minimum order value or quantity.
                                                     Credit/Debit card payment accepted. Free monthly updates on stock availability


                                                                                    ADORE Bride
  Specialists in the Art Of Dyeing Shoes
                                                                                   Unique sophistication, dazzling design,
                                                                                       unmatched value and service.

                                                                                      Prices for highly structured Bodices
                                                                                      start from £45 and Gowns for £95.

                                                                                           Call Duncan: 0845 490 0209


Buying Time
Award-winning bridal retailer, Abigail Neill, discusses her recent
buying trip to Madrid, and talks tactics for sourcing stock from
The British Bridal Exhibition in Harrogate
                                 The radio alarm clock     fashionable/alterable dress? What’s the margin? Does
                                 interrupted my cosy       it fill a gap? Do ‘I’ really like it?… Oh God the list is
                                 sleep at 5am. My full     endless. If I consider Pareto’s rule; 80% of my sales
                                 time Sales Assistant      will result from 20% of my stock so the reality is that
                                 Lauren and I had          all of that jotting and analysing is probably wasted
                                 a flight to catch to       effort. Maybe I should shift focus onto what I simply
                                 Madrid. We were off on     ‘love’ and enjoy the buying process a little more?
                                 our first international       Despite the over analysis, my buying confidence has
                                 buying trip and had       grown. I’m still relatively strict about sample spend
                                 been invited to the       and it seems to have stood me in good stead. Much
                                 launch of the 2008        to the annoyance of my suppliers I avoid making
San Patrick collection. Despite the early start I was      buying decisions until after a show. It is tempting to
looking forward to a little sunshine, tapas in Plaza       get carried away and it was certainly a temptation the
Mayor, a few vinos and, of course, the fabulous            first time I visited Harrogate where I met business
catwalk shows.                                             owners who start with a budget and then spend twice
   Lauren was due to arrive at my house at 6am for a       the amount on day one! It’s easily done and I too am
timely and civilised departure so I had a whole hour       like a girl in a sweetie store. I get really excited about
to throw together my bags, enjoy a quick shower and        new styles, colours and fabric options and whilst I
grab a coffee. Then, the village church bell struck six.    don’t have a fashion PhD, I know what I like and
Yes, six! Not ‘five’ as per the luminous ‘5.00am’ on the    I know what my brides like. They are probably the
alarm clock but ‘six’. Oh dear, or words to that effect.    most important buying factors that I should consider.
It wasn’t 5am at all. It was 6am and foolishly I had       Comically I have brought one or two dresses that
forgotten to put the clocks forward! The door bell         have been such a disaster they’ve been relegated to
rang, I froze - it was Lauren. Leaping up and whilst       a cupboard. A lightweight v-neck a-line dress (great
disturbing my husband with several expletives I raced      shape) which featured the occasional and randomly
downstairs, tripped over the dog and answered the          stitched coloured tulle bow (bad detail). Before
door in my nightdress – not the best attire for such       cupboard relegation I used it with customers to break
an occasion. And if the scary welcome at our front         the ice as a ‘what not to wear’ example. Brides laughed
door wasn’t enough for poor Lauren, after frantically      out loud and their mums often said that there would
packing, I then drove at excessive speeds to Gatwick       be a bride out there somewhere that would love it.
in order to catch our flight.                               Well, she’s not in Essex and I am still looking.
   Despite being tired from a morning of frenzied             Like many retailers occasionally I find the
travel, the buying trip was a great success…               subject of ‘minimums’ frustrating. On the other
   Under the glare of blinding spot lights we sat          hand I understand why designers require a good
poised and watched as six stunning Spanish models          representative of styles in-store. Stock rotation can
paraded 100 of the latest bridal gowns. The dresses        be demanding - it’s another business challenge and I
were exquisite. I loved so many but like other retailers   suppose it keeps me on my business toes.
I am restricted by space and budget. I suspect that           BBEH is round the corner and, as usual, I’ll be
with regards to buying I probably labour more than         looking for fresh new styles and accessories for
most. As a relatively young business I take the subject    our collection. I hope to find time to pop into my
seriously, perhaps too seriously. Annoyingly for many      favourite boutique and visit Betty’s for afternoon
of my suppliers I have the same approach when I visit      tea. I expect the start of the trip to be more civilised     Further information
BBEH. Armed with pads, pens, cameras and post              than the Madrid adventure – I know that the clocks           Abigail Neill runs Abigail’s Collction,
it notes, I relentlessly jot away, coding design lists     aren’t scheduled to change and after discussing the          based in Colchester, Essex.
with a series of ticks and crosses whilst asking myself    embarrassing door greeting situation with Lauren             Tel: +44 (0)1206 574 575
a myriad of questions … Will the design appeal to          (who politely described me as ‘unrecognisable’) I have
my brides? Will it repeat? Is it a wearable/flattering/     brought a new nightdress! A

                                                                                                                                                                  ATTIRE 59
Expert advice from Jane Watson and Beth Scott

Adding a new supplier                                      Opportunities for
                                                                                                                      out the competition and ask yourself why customers
                                                                                                                      will want to purchase their goods from you and not
                                                                                                                      your competitor

                                                                                                                         However, if you have a fantastic sales record, are
                                                                                                                      taking a good wage and making really good profits
Q       I have been running my bridal shop for two
        years and receive regular calls from agents
keen to show me their bridal collections. So far I
                                                                                                                      then go for it.

stock four different designers, and am considering
taking on a fifth. As I found my existing suppliers
                                                           Q       The opportunity has just come up to
                                                                   purchase the retail premises next to my
                                                           existing shop, which would allow me to diversify my
at a bridal trade show, I’ve never dealt with an agent
                                                           in-store offering. At present I only sell bridal attire
before and am not sure if this is the best way to
                                                           and accessories, but I’ve been considering expanding
source new lines. What is your opinion? Any advice
would be gratefully received.
                                                           into formalwear or mother of the bride outfits.What
                                                           would you recommend? I’d be interested in hearing          Q      I’ve heard people talking about hackers and
                                                                                                                             site attacks – what are the possible risks to
                                                                                                                      my business?
                                                           your thoughts about the merits/drawbacks of each.
A        Jane Watson says: First I would consider
         carefully if you really need another supplier,
bearing in mind that you need to buy new samples
from all your suppliers each season. Having five            A       Jane Watson says: I would check out my
                                                                   current overheads, plus the new premises, as       A        Beth Scott says: There are two principal risks
                                                                                                                               your website faces: hacking and denial of
                                                                                                                      service attacks.
suppliers each wanting you to order a minimum of 12        you may need additional staff.
                                                              I find that a very high percentage of retailers do not       The first of these – hacking – is where someone
to 18 new gowns through the year could be as many
                                                           know what their every day running costs are.               gains unauthorised access to your site and makes
as 50 or 75 new samples possibly creating a situation
                                                              This is a very important part of planning. When         changes. These changes may merely be cosmetic
of too many samples and a very big sale rail.
                                                           you know what your costs are, multiply the costs to        vandalism or they may be for fraudulent purposes.
   My answer to the second part of your question
                                                           see what weekly sales you need to cover costs of both      Vandalism is a serious problem in that no business
is if you have not seen the collection at the bridal
                                                           premises and make profits. For example, are you as the      wants someone changing their public face, especially
trade show the agent may visit with a presentation of
                                                           proprietor having a monthly wage? Taking on more           if it involves abusive text or offensive images. Indeed,
photographs. If this is the situation when the agent
                                                           responsibility without payment is not a good idea.         there is also a knock-on effect whereby potential
visits your showrooms why not ask to see some of the
                                                              If there is a demand for a Mother of the Bride          customers are less likely to trust a site that has obvious
gowns so you can check out the quality.
                                                           collection check out the local competition and try to      security flaws.
   Ask about minimum orders required, delivery and
                                                           ensure your collection is different to your competitors.        The more worrying instance of hacking involves
what is expected of you by the supplier. How close
                                                           Men’s formal wear is normally easy as I understand         unauthorised access to the site in order to compromise
are other stockists with this collection? Alternatively,
                                                           the suppliers will help with samples for window            the site security – this may allow the hacker to access
make an appointment to see the complete collection
                                                           displays as stock is not always needed. Again, check       either your business information or your customers’
at the trade show.

                                                                                                                                              Q&A Special

                                          Jane Watson has over 30
                                          years experience in bridal
                                          retail, selling dresses to brides
                                          and supplying shops with Eva
                                          Jordan Couture Bridal and
                                          Samantha Jane Collection
                                          Bridesmaids and Proms.
  Beth Scott answers your                 In response to retailer
  questions on behalf of Loud-            demand, seven years ago she Ltd, a firm that             launched a consultancy firm,
  has been making websites for            ‘Starting a Bridal Business’,
  over a decade, specialising             to advise new and existing
  in e-commerce sites for                 bridal retailers on all aspects
  independent businesses.                 of running a successful shop.

                                                              Protect your interests
financial details. These details could then be used for                                                                   paper next to your computer – a sticky note may be
fraudulent purchases on other sites etc.                                                                                 tempting idea but it allows anyone who can get to
   As a business, there is not much you can do to                                                                        your computer to get to your website, bank account
protect against hacking but your hosting service                                                                         and email.
should be taking the relevant precautions. In addition,
there are services such as “Hackersafe” which, for a
                                                            Q      I’m now aware of the risks posed to my
                                                                   business by hackers and site attacks. But
                                                            what should I be doing to keep myself safe online?
                                                                                                                            Another method of gaining access to details online
                                                                                                                         (eBay, PayPal and online banking have real problems
monthly fee, check your website on a regular basis,                                                                      with it) is the “phishing” e-mail. This normally takes
highlighting potential vulnerabilities as they are                                                                       the form of an e-mail, apparently from eBay (or
detected. On an individual level you should take good
care not to introduce possible openings into the site
                                                            A       Beth Scott says: This falls into two areas:
                                                                    firstly, safeguarding your computer and
                                                            secondly, protecting your personal details.
                                                                                                                         PayPal or whoever), informing you of some problem
                                                                                                                         with your account and asking you to log in. If you log
yourself                                                    To safeguard your computer, you should be running            in by clicking on the link in the e-mail then you will
– further details are in the question below.                anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, a firewall        be logged in - but it will have been via another site
   The other risk is a distributed denial of service        and if you have a Windows computer (as most of               that will have captured your username and password.
(DDOS) attack – this is where the attacker floods            you will have) it should have the latest patches and         While it is sometimes easy to spot a “phishing”
your host with a huge number of users simultaneously        security updates. It’s probably safest to configure all       e-mail (poor spelling or grammar are the obvious
to overload the server, thus preventing any other users     these things to keep themselves updated automatically.       giveaways),the surest way to avoid getting caught is
gaining access to the site. To arrange a large number       To protect your personal details, set your computer          never to click on the link in an e-mail but to type in
of simultaneous users normally requires the use of          up so that it needs a password to access it, even if it is   the website address yourself. A
hijacked (usually by a virus) computers. There is little    your personal machine and only used at home. Your
that you can do to prevent such an attack but they          house could be burgled and without a password the
tend to be made against high-profile websites, as there      burglar can easily get into your address book, find
is a fair amount of effort and planning necessary.           your banking details etc. Whenever you’ve logged
   Again, your hosting company should be active in          into something (be it updating your website, checking
detecting and stopping DDOS attacks.                        orders or online banking), be sure to log out once
These risks sound (and are) serious, but as long as                                                                        If you have a question about any aspect of your
                                                            you’ve finished what you were doing. It’s not a good
your website host takes the appropriate care and you                                                                       business, simply write to Q&A Special, Attire
                                                            idea to use the same password for everything and
take care of your personal data security (see the next                                                                     Bridal magazine, Broseley House, Newlands
                                                            neither is it a good idea to use obvious passwords
answer for some pointers) the risk of your website                                                                         Drive, Witham, Essex CM8 2UL. Alternatively,
                                                            such as dates of birth and children’s names. You also
being hacked into is quite low.                                                                                            send your queries to:
                                                            don’t want to keep all your passwords on a piece of

                                                                                                                                                                  ATTIRE 61
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ATTIRE                     Bridal                   Plus
ISSUE 7                                                 Industry News Expert Advice
September/October 2008
Available from: 22nd August 2008                               Retailer Interview
Advertising deadline: 8th August 2008
                                                                                      ATTIRE 65
Custom-made career          Nuala Tivnan opened her self-named bespoke bridal and occasion gown shop earlier
                            this year. She has been inundated with orders since, so we spoke to her about her
                            business and the somewhat unconventional design roles she had previously held…
                            Nuala Tivnan’s many
                            talents are endless.
                            Not only is she owner
                            and director of Nuala’s
                            Bespoke Gowns in
                            Braintree, Essex, but
she is also the designer, pattern cutter, dressmaker,
tailor, body mapping and colour consultant and
quality controller for the business.
   “My skills go way back to my Great
Grandmother,” Nuala explains.
   “I learned to crochet, knit, embroider and sew.
My Mum got me a job sewing when I was 16 and
from there I progressed to make my own wedding
gown, as well as many for family and friends.”
   “I worked for Daniel Poole as a supervisor and
both Nicole Farhi and French Connection as a
quality controller. I also worked for a rave gear
company and a bridal shop for almost eight years!”
   Inspired by her husband to open her own store,
Nuala wisely began by purchasing and designing
her website in October 2006, then opened her store
in February 2008.
   “My dream had become reality!,” she remembers.
   We found out more…                                   and haberdashery industry, both in England and       motorbike sites regularly, but he enjoyed building it
                                                        abroad, so I source my materials from there.         and said it was a challenge! I love it!
How did you decide on the location of your store?
I had moved to Braintree from London and seen           How have customers responded to your bridal          If you could design a gown for someone in the
the shop in August 2006, but I put it to the back of    collection?                                          public eye, who would it be and why?
my mind, as I was busy with other commitments.          So far, I’ve seen many a happy face, made their      I would love to have designed a gown for Princess
   My daughter, Kelly-Marie, then came home             dreams come true, and received recommendations       Diana, her elegance and grace would have carried
with a brochure for that same shop, which was now       as a result. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting   off my dress to perfection. Sadly she is no longer
empty and I decided it was destiny! I loved the size    some really fantastic people.                        with us. In complete contrast, I would also like
and layout of the shop and the location was perfect.                                                         to design for Pamela Anderson, because she’s all
There was a need for my skills in the town and I        How do you promote your business?                    woman and my husband thinks she is sexy! He
could fulfil my life-long ambition to design and         I attend local wedding fairs, advertise in local     would love to teach her how to ride a motorbike.
make dress for weddings and special occasions.          papers and magazines as well as using everything     For once he’d be lost for words!
   Opening the store also gave me the opportunity       from the Internet, to friends of friends to the
to work with my daughter, as she makes tiaras,          Yellow Pages and the local church to promote my      What do you most enjoy about your role?
fascinators and does all the embellishments on the      business.                                            Meeting people, sharing their experience on
dresses. I have recently taught her all my skills and                                                        their special day and making them look and feel
she now helps to make the dresses too, she’s a gem!     Are you hoping to stay as the sole trader for your   beautiful and happy. I simply enjoy the whole
                                                        gowns, or will you be sourcing stockists?            process, from the design, to choosing the fabrics, to
Tell us a little about the style of gowns that you      I make all my own gowns, so at the moment I’m        the final stage. The most satisfying part is to see a
design and produce…                                     not sourcing stockists, but you never know, if       customer’s face at the final fitting in their gown. It
They are unique, bespoke gowns designed and             someone approaches me, maybe!                        makes me tingle when I see their excitement and
made to the highest standard possible. Each style is                                                         delight. A
entirely different.                                      Who designed your website?
                                                                                                              Further information
                                                        My website,, was designed by
                                                                                                              For more information on Nuala’s Bespoke
Where do you source materials?                          a friend, Jon, from UK Biker. It was completely
                                                                                                              Gowns, call +44 (0)1376 560 730 or visit
I have many contacts and friends in the fabric          different from his normal designs, as he works with


           Hollywood Dreams
            Enquiries: 0208 801 9797 E-mail:

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