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March/april 2013
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issue 155
www.bridalbuyer.coM

high st yle
Harrogate its the business
other
peoples
shops
come inside
and see how
they do it
In the shade
Understanding
colour nuances;
getting to know
your fabrics

exclusivei
defending your
business against high
street competition
250+
collections
At BBeH
Dress

book
the story of
the making of a
best-seller
Stand C16
We look forward to seeing you on
Stand C16 where you can view our beautiful
bridal and bridesmaids collections
FINALIST
BEST BRIDALWEAR
MANUFACTURER
I N F O @ A L E X I A - D E S I G N S . C O . U K
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE NEW
COLLECTION PLEASE E-MAIL US ON
FOLLOW @ALEXIADESIGNSUK ON OR ALEXIA DESIGNS ON
Trudy Lee
www.trudylee.co.uk info@trudylee.co.uk 01707 643633
www. victoriakaygowns. co. uk
The Art of the Dress
For more information or to book an appointment
please contact us on 01424 854387
T: 01829 752192 E: i nf o@di anehar br i dge. com W: www. di anehar br i dge. com
di anehar br i dge @Di aneHar br i dge
View the fabulous new Diamond Divia boutique collection by Diane Harbridge where we will be hosting hourly
presentations throughout the day. Join us from 3pm - 6pm on Sunday afternoon for Mothers Day treats!
To book an appointment or for more information please contact us via the details below:
BBEH 10th - 12th March
Hall A Stand A27/28
Weve got through the
snow, survived the TK
Maxx scenario (and no,
they never returned a
call or email!), selected
the nalists in the Bridal
Buyer Awards, and even
planned out what to wear
on the big night. Weve
also seen the birth of a new trade body,
the BBSA. All that within the rst couple
of months of the year!
Many retailers are acutely aware of,
and overwhelmingly concerned over,
the much-talked about UK entrance of
Davids Bridals. To calm the waters, weve
had some good advice from across the
pond; Steve Lang, boss of Mon Cheri and
President of the American Bridal and
Prom Industry Association, also runs
seminars for retailers and in this issue
youll nd his suggestions on raising the
retail bar.
In this, a big Harrogate issue, we take a
good look at the new collections youll see
at BBEH which, with the Awards night,
promises to be a really good three days,
with opportunities to meet and greet
friends, colleagues and suppliers and,
importantly, to get those orders down
early and deliveries just when you want
them at the start of the selling season.
Harrogate is just a week or so away.
Bring on the sunshine
and plan to be there.
You can still pre-register
at www.bbeh.co.uk
From the editor
Features
28 RETAILFOCUS/1
When two designers go into retail you can
expect a mix of high-style and quirkiness
32 MRPETTICOAT
Louie Mingoia is going the whole hog,
adding every conceivable accessory to his
fabulous portfolio
35 COVERSTORYgETYOURRETAIL
ACTTOgEThER
Steve Lang, boss of Mon Cheri USA,
advises on how you can up your game
when the big boys move in
38 RETAILFOCUS/2
Abbi Lewis of the Confetti & Lace empire
talks about her part in a new y-on-the-
wall documentary about bridal retail
42 COVERSTORYThEMAkIngOF
AMASTERPIECE
Veni Infantino of Ronald Joyce, takes us
through a best-seller, from start to nish
47 TOPTIPS
His diary is full with Designer Days, but
Tony Mentel of Justin Alexander fame,
takes the time to share his thoughts
48 MOThERknOwSbEST
Amanda Wyatts design energy is
boundless. Shesmade the time to create a
new MOB collection... and it is a treat
52 bRAnChIngOUT
When a highly successful retailer opens
her own outlet store, you know there is
sound thinking behind the move
108 MEAndMYjOb
In the start of a new series, we talk to Ben
Dickeson, marketing manager at Benjamin
Roberts, about his role in bridal
110 whITEgALLERYLOndOn
If you want a sneaky peek at what the
top designers will be bringing to this
prestigious show, look no further
114 SITESEEIng
The quality of entries in the Best Retail
Website category in the Bridal Buyer
Awards was amazing. We got the nalists
to talk through their digital offerings
118 COVERSTORYCOLOUR-FULL
Can you distinguish one ivory from
another, or the difference between two
scarlets? Probably not nd out why
122 ThELOndOnbRIdALShOw
The capital will be buzzing in May. Heres
another reason to visit the big city
128 COVERSTORYThEREALLY
USEFULFAbRICgUIdE
Find your way round the fabric department
www.bRIdALbUYER.com 17
Contents
M/A.13
38
72
38
100
52
Awards
56 awordfromoursponsors
Meet those who make it all possible
62 youngTalenTs
The work of the 16 budding stars who are
the Best Student Designer nalists
Showbusiness
68 HarrogaTeHereweCome
The catwalk shows, seminars and BBEH
features that you wont want to miss
72 newnamesaTBBeH
Check out the rst-time show-ers who will
make a lasting impression
76 THedressIsTHeBusIness
Trends at BBEH... and who is showing them
84 forspeCIaloCCasIons
Think classy, cool, contemporary
90 maIdInColour
Itll be all bright on the night
96 manpower
What the fellas have to say about trends
100 THeexTrafaCTor
Shining bright in the Harrogate aisles
106 onTHeIrToes
The experts and their favourite styles
Regulars
21 HoTnewsyouneedToknow
121 you&yourweBsITe
125 onTHepHone
133 BusInessupdaTe
139 THeITdeparTmenT
133 legalmaTTers
146 BaCkpagegIrl

110
18 www.BrIdalBuyer.com
90
78
133
35
114

Back Issues If you would like to purchase back issues
please call us on 020 8955 7040 or
email ocean@alliance-media.co.uk
Copyright 2013 Ocean Media Exhibitions Limited. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any written material or illustration in any form for
any purpose, other than short extracts for review purposes, is strictly
forbidden. Neither Ocean Media Exhibitions Limited nor its agents
accept liability for loss or damage to transparencies or any other
material submitted for publication. The views expressed by interviewees
in Bridal Buyer do not necessarily reect those of the Editor or Ocean
Media Group.
editor Susi Rogol 020 7193 8535 editorial Ofce 14 Bracknell Gate,
London NW3 7EA bridalbuyer@rogolgoodkind.co.uk Design Kim Colley Proof Reader Clive
Burton Group ad sales Manager Nardene Smith 020 7772 8317 nardene.smith@oceanmedia.
co.uk Production Ronnie McGibbon 020 7772 8388 Marketing executive Carina Hunter 020
7772 8596 carina.hunter@oceanmedia.co.uk subscriptions Alliance 020 8955 7040 ocean@
alliance-media.co.uk Publishing & Marketing Director Judith Sutton 020 7772 8393 Head of
Bridal Wendy Adams 01423 770120 Printers Printech Europe
Bridal Buyer is published six times a year by Ocean Media Exhibitions Ltd,
1 Canada Square, 19th Floor, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP.
Tel 020 7772 8300 Fax 020 7772 8587. www.bridalbuyer.com.
96
76
106
Stand C16
We look forward to seeing you on Stand C16
where you can view our beautiful triple award winning plus size collection
FINALIST
BEST BRIDALWEAR
MANUFACTURER
2012/13
FINALIST
BEST PLUS SIZE
2011/12/13
FINALIST
WEDDING DRESS
OF THE YEAR
in 0@734
www.bridalbuyer.com 21
Cover image. A serious stunner from the
lovely Beautiful by Enzoani collection. In an
amazing scoop for retailers visiting BBEH,
the 2014 Beautiful collection will be unveiled
in the UK ahead of any other country. Make
an appointment now to see it rst and take
advantage of an amazing stock package.
+44 (0)1792 586615 / www.enzoani.com
/ BBEH Q2

MARCH/APR!L 2D13

!SSUE 155
WWW.BR!DALBUYER.COM

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Harrogate its the business
OTHER
PEOPLES
SHOPS
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Understanding
colour nuances;
getting to know
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defending your
business against high
street competition
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THE ITAlIAn BrIdAlwEAr
manufacturer, Eddy K, will
once again be gracing the
halls of Harrogate. The father-
and-son-design duo, Eddy and
Addy Kesterband, create no
less than six collections from
the companys headquarters
in Milan, including a stunning
eveningwear range, Festa and
Sera, and a collection of bridal
accessories. Fabrics for the
new season include taffeta,
satin, organza and tulle,
and some wonderful laces;
Swarovski embellishments
and some beautiful design
detailing add special touches.
with sizes running from UK
8-30, and a retail price range
of 1,250 to 2,500, there
is something here for every
bride. Stockists appreciate
the exibility on gown and
train lengths but more than
anything else, in this want-it-
fast age, a rush order service
of just eight weeks is available,
while standard delivery is
12-16 weeks. Eddy K has a UK
agent, Paul Blackburn, Crystal
Agency.
+44 (0)1204 888285
www.eddyk.com
BBEH M28/M30
News: dont miss out
With many hundreds of collections now in the nal stages of
preparation for Harrogate, our news pages include details of some
of the best-loved as well as the brand-new labels youll see there
Molto bella,
thats the
Eddy K
collections
Short n sweet
AustrAliAn designer
Wendy Makin has long
chosen BBeH as the platform
to show her collections in the
uKand this March she will be
delighting buyers with her
latest Belladonna line-up of
20 fabulously pretty gowns.
its a perfect mix of good old-
fashion glamour and modern
elegance; fabrics include
high-quality satins, chiffons
and delicate laces in both
formal and great-looking
destination gowns.
+44 (0)7771 542042
www.belldonnagowns.com.au
BBEH A41
BEEn wATCHIng Mr SElFrIdgE on TV on SUndAy nIgHTS? IF yoU droolEd
over those fabulous ribbon-tied boxes stacked in the Accessory department, and fancy
some for your own displays, get in contact with The Empty Box Company, who were
asked to make 120 of them for the props department at the production company.
+44 (0)1306 740193

nATHAlIE FrEnCH HAS
entered into a joint venture
to manufacture and distribute
an all-new range of bridalwear,
Brides by Harvee. According
to the companys marketing
manager, Abbi osborne, it
is an affordable collection,
using French lace, soft tulles
and delicate appliqus, and
will appeal to brides planning
a stylish wedding on a more
modest budget, as well as
maintaining a high margin for
stockists. Stock will be held
in various sizes for those last-
minute brides and matching
veils are also available to
complement the gown. Sizes
2 32 will be available; trade
prices start at 150 and go up
to 300.
+44 (0)1469 589646
www.bridesbyharvee.co.uk
BBEH M5
Brides by Harvee
to launch at BBEH
On the box
www.marklesley.co.uk

WINNER
Best Bridal Manufacturer
Mark Lesley and Donna Salado
Showcasing Their New Collections
Hall Q Stand Q7
British Bridal Exhibition Harrogate - 10th 12th March 2013
Stockist Enquiries
Tel: +44 (0) 1621 784784 | Email: info@marklesley.co.uk
www.bridalbuyer.com 23
in brief...
BBSA:
The new
Trade body
N
orthern europes
largest industry
event, Modatex (Messe
essen, 15-18 June) is
a true celebration of
all things bridal. hundreds of
collections and many thousands
of exhibitors are expected to
attend the four-day event which,
this year, includes many special
features.
of key importance, says event
Director siegrid hampsink
Gosso, is the introduction of
a stunning Designer suite,
which will house a number
of inuential brands that set
the style others follow. the
development of this special
area is further conrmation
of the exhibitions success in
attracting names with global
appeal looking to broaden their
distribution networks across
europe.
this top-end sector which
has been relatively untouched
by the economic climate has
special demands and the
need to be different, says
siegrid. In order to deliver an
ambience that both designer and
top retailer nd conducive to
their business, we have created
a luxurious arena with its own
personality.
the suite will have its own,
separate registration area,
special catering, and distinct
dcor tailored to complement
the collections on show. We
have employed the nest
exhibition designers and
interior professionals to create a
thoroughly modern and striking
backdrop that speaks of quality,
adventure, and elegance, says
siegrid who, with the Modatex
Modatex offers international avour
On 6 February, a new
organisation was born as the
result of the frustration felt by
bridal suppliers at having two
associations. Recognising that
it is vital to have one body
representing all interests, and
one forum to discuss issues
affecting our industry, BIS and
BBA have now been dissolved
so that a fresh start can be
made by the newly-created
British Bridal Suppliers
Association (BBSA).
While BBSA will represent
manufacturers and designers
supplying weddingwear to
retailers, those supplying
services to them will be
warmly welcomed as
associate members.
A small working group will
soon meet to discuss the
new Associations aims and
objectives and draw up a
constitution.
Those interested in nding
out more are invited to attend
a discussion group at the
Viper rooms in Harrogate
(next to the Royal Baths) on
Saturday 9 March at 6.30pm
for further information,
complimentary drinks and a
chance to relax pre-show.
BBSA will also host the
disco at the Old Swan Hotel
on Sunday, 10 March. For
details, see page 68.
Temporary contact details
are Joe@acsclothing.co.uk /
+44 (0)7771 777976
team, have been working on
establishing this show feature
for several years, in consultation
with both exhibitors and
visitors. seeing our plans
become reality this year is both
exciting and rewarding.
the Design suite will feature
its own daily catwalk shows
and it is here where buyers will
see some of the most exciting
collections come to life, styled
by the designers themselves, to
show the creative possibilities
that can be interpreted into the
shop environment. Important
is that those exhibiting in
this prestigious area sit well
alongside the exhibitions
offering of top names in
manufacturing. Buyers whose
choice of collections includes the
key commercial brands as well
as the top-end designer labels
will nd the whole proposition
irresistible.
Another big offering from
Modatex 2013 is free visitor
accommodation. For the rst
time, the many hundreds of
Modatex exhibitors will have the
opportunity to nominate their
key customers those whose
business they value most to
take advantage of this generous
offer. says siegrid: hospitality
has always been important to
us. When you invite friends to
stay with you, you make every
effort to ensure their comfort.
We are doing exactly the same,
but with a few more rooms in
the equation. And we have made
the administrative process easy
once we receive the nominated
names, we take over and make
all the necessary arrangements
and conrmations.
For regular Modatex updates,
visit www.modatexfair.eu
We have employed the nest
exhibition designers and
interior professionals to create a
thoroughly modern and striking
backdrop that speaks of quality,
adventure, and elegance

Get your
name down
If you havent already
registered for BBEH
(10-12 March) do it now as it will
fast-track your entry, leaving
you more time to shop the
show. Visit
www.bbeh.co.uk
in brief...
www.bridalbuyer.com 25
Congrats to
. the lovely Sarah Bird
of Ivory & Co, who tied the
knot at the end of December
when she married Paul
Bussey who, among
other major development
projects, made the time
to build the lavish Ivory
& Co stand at BBEH. The
couples four-year-old
daughter Jasmine was
bridesmaid, while Pauls
10-year-old son Michael was
best man. Sarah and Paul
honeymooned at Riviera
Maya in Mexico.
Kerstin Karges of the
beautiful Kisui label (see it
at White Gallery in May)
on the arrival of her even
more beautiful addition
baby Levian. Bring him to
Battersea Kerstin we have
volunteers lined up to take
him round the park!
Julia Barnes of Rosa
Couture on her striking
new-look website.
We love it!
MaxInE BRIGGS,
the new editor
of You & Your
Wedding, will
be responsible
for leading the
publications
print and online editorial
teams, while developing and
executing the editorial vision
across all platforms and
formats, in line with the wider
brand strategy.
I want Y&YW to provide
an invaluable guide to brides,
full of inspiration and advice
for the most exciting journey
of their lives, she told Bridal
Buyer. Our brand must be
the go-to destination for all
brides. By providing beautiful,
aspirational content, setting
trends, and creating social
conversations in the right
space, Y&YW will completely
enrich a brides repertoire.
Working with the very
experienced Y&YW team,
Maxine is looking at what the
publication currently offers
and is building on that by
creating even more value-
added features to hold the
brides hand at every stage.
Maxine brings over 12 years
experience in both traditional
media and digital platforms to
the role. I have always wanted
to edit a wedding title so this
is my dream job, she said.
New editor
for You & Your
Wedding
At Harrogate do not miss out on tHese treats in Hall C:
Lily Bella and Yarwood White will be showcasing beside one another at
Harrogate, March 2013. Lily Bella veils and headpieces feature exquisite
timeless designs of tulle net, feathers, pearls, crystals, and fully-removable
vintage inspired brooches. This delightful label will be launching its new
collection of belts at BBEH, alongside the new Lily Bella birdcage veil
collection, which promises to be its best yet.
In the latest Yarwood White collection, youll nd some enchanting
timeless bridal jewellery, contemporary classics that have put this award-
winning brand at the forefront of the sector in the UK for the past decade.
+44 (0)7718291415 /www.yarwood-white.com /
www.lilybella.co.uk / BBeH C76
chiffon and pure silk organza and
feature intricate oral embellishments
and hand beading with delicate opals,
seed pearls and crystals. Trade price for
the 15-gown collection will go from
750 to 1200 and only 20 top stores
will be invited to carry it.
Meanwhile, the core Diane
Harbridge collection, which will
showcase at BBEH, includes a number
of stunning pieces designed by Sharon
expressly for the label.
+44 (0)1829 752192 / www.
dianeharbridge.com /BBeH a27/28
THE nEWLY-forMED pArTnErSHIp
between Diane Harbridge and top
designer Sharon Bowen has resulted
in a rebranding exercise for the
Daisi Daisi label. responsibilities
for Harbridge & Bowen, as it is now
called, are clearly divided, with Sharon
having sole charge of design and
Diane spearheading nance, sales and
distribution of this superb collection
a move that will assure retailers
of top-notch customer service and
efcient delivery. Harbridge & Bowen
will introduce its rst collection under
that name at White Gallery in May.
fabrics are luxurious silk slipper
satins, ne Chantilly laces, soft tulles,
D
a
isi D
a
isi re-n
a
m
ed
PeoPle
PeoPle
Adding those all-important touches
F 9 H 5 = @
: C 7 I G
Froufrou Bridal Boutique in Tunbridge Wells managed
to win an industry award just one year after opening,
and is now a contender for the Best New Bridal Retailer
title in the Bridal Buyer Awards 2013. Dawn Walters
took a look inside to nd out how
<
ELENA TRUETT AND
Nicole Stillman are a
dream team. They grew
up in the same village in
East Sussex and attended
the local secondary
school. Nicole went on
to do graphic design at
university, while Helena
headed for London College of Fashion to
study fashion styling. Their combined career
paths gave them a wealth of experience and a
wide range of skills in areas such as fashion
photography, set design and styling. But it was
Helenas three-year stint in a bridal boutique
that set them on the road to where they are now.
This was where I had my Eureka moment! she
says. I had nally found a job that captured
all the things I loved doing most. It was not
hard to persuade Nicole that we should open
our own bridal boutique, and putting our skills
together gave us a very strong foundation on
which to base the business.
The girls spent hours and hours researching
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every angle they could think of to make sure
they had a solid business plan in place. We
looked at other bridal shops, their services and
their websites and talked to as many people
within the industry as possible. We attended
White Gallery to check out designers we had
in mind and to make an initial introduction.
We looked at retail spaces in different areas
of town and weighed up the pros and cons of
footfall versus rental costs and business rates.
We rmly believe that you can never do enough
research, but at some point you have to start
turning your ideas into reality, says Helena.
A6/@7<5/<21/@7<5
From the outset it was clear that they would
work really well together. We each bring
different skills to the business, which are
invaluable. It is also lovely to have someone to
throw ideas around with and share in your
success. You denitely need someone to do
a happy glory dance with when something
exciting happens! says Nicole.
Choosing the name was probably the hardest
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for trafc, which is perfect because a bridal
boutique is a destination shop rather than
somewhere you would just pop in to.
Helena and Nicole knew from the outset that
they wanted the shop to steer well away from
stereotypical bridal ufness. We wanted
to create something for the style-conscious
bride - something bright, modern and fresh
but still cosy. We created the
look bit by bit combining
antique nds with
contemporary elements.
Inspiration is everywhere
you look, from our bright
tea cup chandelier and
beautiful works of art, to
our inspiration wall that we
constantly keep updated. We
truly feel we have created the
perfect home from home; a
place where you can come and relax with your
friends and family.
The girls do not employ any staff apart
from a seamstress and they like it that way.
Meeting brides and their families is the best
part of the job! We absolutely love helping each
bride to create a look unique to her. It is also
the most direct way for us to get feedback from
the service we offer. We like to go that extra
mile for our brides, and can usually help them
source or create a look that specically meets
their needs. The fact that we both come from
fashion-related backgrounds helps put brides
at ease. They know that we can advise them
on body shapes and colours to suit them, and
we would never let them leave with a dress
that did not look amazing on. We also offer
an alteration service where the
cost is included in the gown,
unless the bride wishes to make
additional changes or add-ons
to the original design.
B63:/03::7<3C>
Froufrou carries dresses
by Stewart Parvin,
Sanyukta Shrestha, Lusan
Mandongus, Ivy & Aster,
Caroline Castiglian and Sarah
Seven, plus a unique handpicked collection of
gowns from Belle & Bunty and Reddoll, as well
as some original vintage nds. We love to have
these little collections as we are always on the
lookout for new, upcoming designers and we
tend to attract brides looking for something
a little less conventional, says Helena. The
designers we carry provide brilliantly for more
relaxed brides but equally we offer stunning,
structured gowns for those girls who are
after a traditional dress. In our collection >
decision they faced. We wanted something
that was quirky and catchy and looked good
when written, says Helena. Nicole was
searching for fashion or textile terms and
found froufrou in the dictionary. It means
the rustling of a silk skirt or to elaborately
decorate womens clothing with frills and
rufes. As soon as we found it we knew it was
right. It even sounded a little silly, which made
us both laugh!
:=1/B7=<:=1/B7=<:=1/B7=<
The girls chose to be in Tunbridge Wells
because it is a beautiful town only 50 minutes
from London by train. But nding the right
premises was trickier than they imagined.
We had two locations in mind in the town, but
its not until you start looking that the reality
of rental prices and business rates in prime
areas really sinks in. Once we had let go of our
dream of being in the old part of the town we
decided to look back at a property in the centre
that we had previously discounted.
It was in awful condition, but the price
was right and it was located opposite a hotel
that hosts lots of wedding fairs and indeed
weddings. With a bit of negotiating and a lot of
renovating we are thrilled with our choice and
the location. It is somewhat off the beaten track
for footfall, but still on a main thoroughfare
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there is a dress for every bride, whether she


is looking for a fully corseted, boned, full lace,
traditional, strapless gown or a 1920s-inspired
silk evening dress, or indeed something in
between.
As with all bridal retailers, Helena and
Nicole know that the buying choice is key to
their success. If you dont exercise control you
can get carried away and snap up everything
you love. It is equally hard not to just buy the
dresses you are drawn to because they are your
particular kind of gown. We have fallen into
the trap of buying for love before but have now
become much more focused and we try to be
more constructive in our choices, making sure
we cater for a variety of tastes. However, we
dont buy anything we dont personally like.
We like different shapes and styles of dresses
so together were able to pick a good mix.
The girls also recognise the importance of
carrying accessories. We hold a small selection
of one-off vintage pieces by Cherish Vintage.
We also carry, exclusive to us, the stunning
Twigs & Honey hair accessories - girls love
these and frequently come from London and
to win an award; not only will it help give
our boutique recognition within the bridal
retail industry, but it also gives condence to
our brides that we will provide them with an
outstanding service from the moment they
walk through our doors. It is such a huge
acclamation that what we are doing is right.
When you work so hard for something, you
always have moments of doubt
and this is the icing on the cake
that makes it all worthwhile. We
like to think we were selected
because of the new approach
we bring to the bridal industry
in the South East. This is not
a typical boutique and we
have pushed the boundaries
and worked tirelessly to
create something truly
unique. Froufrou Bridal Boutique
is not only about the gowns it sells - it also
encompasses a creative approach to life.
This year sees an expansion into bridesmaids
dresses for Froufrou, following a large number
of requests. Following extensive research they
have decided to bring across from America some
really gorgeous Ivy & Aster social dresses. To
complement this collection they will also be
introducing Two Birds Bridesmaid dresses.
However, staying true to the original meaning
of the word Boutique is very important to
them. We would hate to see our little shop
become lled to the rafters with stock, says
Helena. We are still very much in the process
of nding out which labels work for us. The
key for us is to rene what we have and make
it the best. We do the hard work of nding the
most beautiful dresses so our brides dont have
to. Of course we always have our eye on new
designers we would love to carry but our aim
is to offer an amazing collection of gorgeous
handpicked dresses that all work, rather than
huge amounts of stock that dont. Less is more,
as they say! BB
We dont buy
anything we dont
personally like.
We like different
shapes and styles
so together we can
pick a good mix
30 www.bridalbuyer.com
Stewart Parvin, gown left, is one of the ne designer
labels carried in Froufrou. But as well as the carefully-
picked collection of gowns, it is the shops quirky
atmosphere that sets the style
much further aeld to see them. We have a
small collection of jewellery by Alex Monroe,
which seems to just y off the shelves. We carry
the beautiful and very comfortable Rachel
Simpson shoes, plus stunning Elle & Cee
lingerie and some gorgeous
clutch bags by Red Ruby
Rose, says Helena. The
key to accessories is keep
your collection current
and small; it is much
nicer to see a beautiful
handpicked collection of
complementary accessories
beautifully displayed than to
have piles of stuff cluttering
the boutique, that will get
overlooked and tatty in no time.
Froufrou has a fabulous and very quirky
looking website. We knew that getting the
website right was crucial to the business. It is a
retailers rst point of contact with brides and
if it doesnt grab their attention initially then
its not working. We make sure the website
keeps brides informed about promotions such
as special discounts on gowns or accessories,
or designer days. Brides looking to nd a
luxury designer wedding dress at a huge
discount are delighted when they discover
that we hold sample sales at the beginning
and end of the year.
GettinG noticed
Towards the end of 2012, Froufrou was
named Regional Winner for Bridal Retailer
in London and the South East in the Wedding
Industry Awards and was highly commended
in the national nals. We were shocked and
overwhelmed to win this award after just a
year. It is so important to a retail business
R E T A I L
F O C U S
Add a bit of zest to your boutique with the fabulous NEW
Madeline Isaac-James collection. Come and see what all
the fuss is about at the White Gallery, 19-21 May 2013. Stand 201.
Exceptional quality, customer service and low minimums.
Exclusive territories available.
www.madelineisaacjames.com email: whitegallery@madelineisaacjames.com
Fresh. Exciting. Fun.
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You are known at Mr Petticoat just how many
styles do you have in the collection and how often are
new styles introduced?
Believe it or not, we have 20 different styles to work with
all the different gown silhouettes and when a new look
comes in for gowns, you can bet well have a petticoat to
bring out the best in it.
How many stockists do you have in the UK?
A lot, 800 I would say.
And how many petticoats do you sell each year?
Between 40,000 and 50,000. Bridal shops do see the
importance of having a selection of petticoats in store.
How quickly can you react to trends and produce a
completely new petticoat to suit a hot new silhouette?
We are used to working fast. I would say a week at the
outside.
What sort of style is the most popular right now?
Fishtails, of course, and very full styles to go with
ballgowns are in demand for bridal and also promwear.
A-line petticoats are always a favourite as that particular
dress silhouette is a real atterer.
Got any tips for retailers on how to best display
petticoats, or do you feel they are something that
should be tucked away in the dressing rooms?
Petticoats should hang outside the dressing room there
is something feminine and appealing about them and
especially full styles. A bride should have the opportunity
to try a dress on with different fullnesses of petticoat.
You have the best choice of sweets on your stand at
Harrogate what is your own favourite?
Im a Jelly Babies fan.
Aside from petticoats, what else is in the portfolio?
For starters, there is Carnival Lingerie a wonderful
range of 15 styles of bras, bustiers and fashion-right
AfDYhh]WcUh
Louie Mingoia has been an undercover
agent for many years, and knows
more about knickers and stockings,
garters, gloves and underskirts than
most. He is planning a few surprises
at BBEH, with a new stand, a new
location, and cracking new products
3








32EEE0@72/:0CG3@1=;
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by Wolford.
W












































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low-back torsolettes. In garters we offer 12 different styles
all individually and prettily boxed, with and without
pendants; in stockings, hold-ups and stay-ups by Wolford.
We do both round and heart-shaped umbrellas in ivory and
white, a full range of ngered and ngerless gloves in a
variety of colours and styles, and body shapers in foam, gel
and stick-on.
Is that it?
Noooo. Not nearly. We are introducing a beautiful range
of 30 veils from Poirier, and well as their latest headdress
collection. Then we have Bjem, a UK collection of luxury
lingerie which features diamant crystals; a European
range called Hair Bling which is brilliant for bridesmaids,
prom-girls and partygoers and comes in a great choice
of styles and colours. We also have eight styles of ring
cushions, some with matching garters; Sticky Straps, the
easy x for a quick repair, and new to us is a collection of
beautiful rings and bracelets.
We know bridalwear retailers buy petticoats in
quantity but are they buying the lingerie? Are they
making the best of the opportunity to sell undies?
Some bridalwear retailers do and understand the clear
benets. But there are many who are not aware of the
potential and do not recognise the value of top-up sales. It
makes no sense for a shop to send a customer next door to a
lingerie specialist when they can sell the desirable products
themselves and make the prot for their own business.
How long has Jupon been in bridal?
Since March 1991. And we have been to every Harrogate
show since then some 44 in all.
We understand you have a few big surprises for
visitors to Harrogate. Give us a clue then.
All I will tell you now is that we have a new and much
larger stand with a bigger-than-ever range on display and
some wonderful collections of new items. Come and see us
at BBEH, in Hall B, on stand B39. 00
>
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If bridal retail has a Mary Portas-style guru, Steve Lang is surely
it. Boss and owner of US brand Mon Cheri, founder and president
of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association and a
successful trainer in formalwear retail seminars, this is the man
who can teach us a thing or two. Dominic Bliss reports
I
n the eArLy 2000s, Steve LAng foUnded A Body
called the Mon Cheri Academy which has so far trained
more than 1,250 bridal and formalwear retailers from all
over the world.
the areas he and his trainer colleagues cover range
from sales techniques, marketing techniques, nancial
planning and social networking to product knowledge,
alterations and store management. Lang has even devised
computer software that allows retailers to test out how
certain strategies may affect their cash ow.
Its nancial modeling specic to the formalwear
industry, explains Steve, who wrote the program for the
software himself. It helps retailers drill down and see
which decisions are most benecial for their companies
and which should be avoided. for example, what happens
to cash ow if retailers add a line? or drop a line? or do
more hiring, conduct new marketing, expand, try to buy the
property, borrow more money? the list of potential queries
is endless.
SaleS on the up
Steve says that the benets to retailers who follow his
training advice have been astonishing. retailers invariably
report that their sales increase and their expenses subside
after attending this training programme, he adds with the
classic bravado of an American sales guru. I have had many
retailers tell me their best years in business have materialised
after attending the seminars.
having worked so closely
with so many bridal and
formalwear retailers, Lang
is familiar with the problems
they face, especially when it
comes to competition from
multiple retailers. he strongly
believes that well-trained
staff are the most important
weapons an independent
retailer can deploy.
If your sales staff average a
C-grade in their ability to close
sales, then your overall sales
performance for the shop will
Get your retail
act together
www.bridalbuyer.com 35
>
average a C-grade, too. It will never reach the level you want
it to rise to. he explains. one can buy every [fashion] line in
the marketplace but if the sales staff cannot close sales, the
store will gravitate towards mediocrity and the cost of added
inventory will drain the cash. the most successful retailers
amongst the stores today in any eld are the ones that are
consummate in salesmanship and in the ability to deliver
service. numerous studies have been conducted and it has
been proven over and over that the main reasons customers
return to a particular retail environment is service and
selection, above and beyond price. Price is rarely the number
one determinant of success.
Aware that the huge US multiple (or box store, as he calls
it) davids Bridals is poised to enter the UK market, Steve says
he knows how best to deal with this threat since he witnessed
the companys impact on the US marketplace.
preparing for the box Store
My number one recommendation is to make sure that your
The main reasons
customers return to
a particular retail
environment is service
and selection, above
and beyond price. Price
is rarely the number
one determinant
of success
Straight Talking






































































sales staff is prepared to educate customers on the differences between
what Davids sells and what they stock in their own shops, he says. The
average bridal retailer has better quality product made by more prolic
designers and manufacturers than one can nd in the box stores. The
salesperson on the selling oor must be aware of every aspect of the product
theyre selling and be able to communicate this to the consumer.
He stresses how important it is that salespeople tell customers how
products in multiple stores may have been tried on by numerous brides,
and may be covered with perspiration. He adds: Full-service bridal stores
ordering dresses that are fresh and untouched have a great advantage
over what the box stores sell.
Ironically, Steve has seen many
US independents fare better after
Davids have set up shop in town.
Davids spends a lot of money
that draws trafc into the area.
But many customers are turned
off by the high-pressure tactics
used in the box store environment.
We teach full-service retailers
how to take care of every bride
because their future customers are
generated by recommendations. We teach the store owners that every new
bride is like a sapling that must be nurtured. From the saplings come
mighty forests.
His team also works hard to help traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers
to compete with cheaper online retailers. Retailers must promote the
in-store experience, Steve says. There are certain consumers that do
not care about this and will always be price shoppers. They need to be
ignored so that energy can be deployed against the type of consumer who
enjoys being pampered. It is imperative that those who do visit a retail
establishment immediately sense the difference between a full-service
bridal shop versus the online experience or shopping in a box store.
4756B7<54/93@A
As reported regularly on bridalbuyer.com, another area where Steve has
made great inroads is in combating dress counterfeiters. He formed the
American Bridal and Prom Industry Association just over a year ago
with the prime objective of tackling these counterfeiters head-on. Since

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Top tips for shop owners and managers

36EEE0@72/:0CG3@1=;
01
B63
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lmresslons are cruclal.
welcome a new cusLomer
wlLhln 10 Lo 1S seconds
ol Lhelr walklng lnLo Lhe
sLore. ll you're busy, show
Lhem Lo a seaL, glve Lhem
a caLalogue and oller
relreshmenLs.
02
034@73<2
1CAB=;3@A.
LeL Lhem know you are noL
merely Lrylng Lo Lake Lhelr
money. 1ell Lhem you really
wanL Lo hnd Lhe dress ol
Lhelr dreams. llnd some
common ground wlLh
Lhem - maybe your lrlend
jusL goL marrled, maybe
you llve near Lhem, maybe
you drlve a slmllar car. lL ls
lmeraLlve LhaL you converL
a sLranger Lo a lrlend, a
lrlend Lo a cusLomer and a
cusLomer Lo a relerral, says
Lang. ou musL conLlnue
Lhe cycle.
03
723<B74G
G=C@A/:3A
B==:A( Acknowledge
any lcLures lrom
magazlnes or webslLes
LhaL Lhe cusLomer brlngs
ln. LlsLen Lo verbal
descrlLlons ol whaL Lhey
do and don'L llke. Show
manulacLurers' vldeos Lo
Lhem. Assess Lhelr body
language.
04
A6=EB63
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ll you don'L llsLen Lo Lhe
cusLomer's needs Lhen
you won'L show her Lhe
dress LhaL's rlghL lor her.
1he rlghL dress ls based on
Lhe Lhree 8s - her body,
her budgeL and her bellel
ol whaL she wanLs Lo look
llke on her weddlng day.
05
7<D=:D3
=B63@A( Say
Lo Lhe lrlend or moLher
accomanylng her. She
looks beauLllul! wouldn'L
you agree uo N01 say
How do you Lhlnk she
looks 1he hrsL sLaLemenL
wlll ellclL a oslLlve
resonse whlle Lhe second
rlsks a negaLlve. Ask oLher
members ol sLall, Loo, lor
oslLlve second olnlons.
06
3<6/<13
D/:C3(
Lxlaln why your dress ls
Lhe besL quallLy she could
buy. VenLlon how your
reuLaLlon ls aL sLake.
Vake Lhem Lhlnk ol Lhe
rlsks ol buylng a cheaer
dress onllne or lrom a
home seller. Never seak
ol rlce, only seak
ol value.
07
/A94=@
B63A/:3( ll
a sale aears noL Lo be
haenlng, ask why noL.
Llne u Lhe dresses your
brlde has looked aL and
geL her Lo conhrm whlch
one she loves Lhe mosL.
1hen ask Lhem Lo leave a
small reLurnable deoslL
Lo geL you Lo conLlnue
researchlng dresses
lor Lhem. 1hls ls more
lnLlmaLe Lhan exchanglng
a buslness card, Lang
says. 1hey wlll reLurn Lo
geL Lhelr money back or
make Lhe urchase, buL
you geL a second shoL aL
Lhem.
08
>:/G5==2
1=>0/21=>(
1ell Lhem
you are golng Lo ask your
manager ll you can oller
her a deal on accessorles.
Steve Langs eight
steps to selling gowns
Full-service bridal
stores ordering dresses
that are fresh and
untouched have a great
advantage over what
the box stores sell
AB@/756BB/:97<5

the ABPIA is a non-prot organisation, under US law it is allowed to
lobby politicians. It currently has 400 members within the formalwear
industry.
So far the ABPIA has identied around 2,500 Chinese websites that are
selling counterfeited fashion products. Through a court in the American
state of New Jersey ABPIA has led an injunction against 40 of the most
egregious counterfeiting websites.
This injunction dramatically magnies the power with which to
ght the counterfeiters, Lang explains. First of all it demands that the
defendants cease and desist their activities. Beyond that, it empowers us
to serve notice to all members of the supply chain aiding and abetting
counterfeiters to cease lending support to their illegal activities. We have
served notice to PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, UPS, FedEx,
DHL, domain registrars, portals such as Google and basically anyone else
in the supply chain that helps facilitate movement of counterfeit goods
into the country. This injunction now empowers United States Customs
and United States Homeland Security to aid us in our ght.
Its all pretty powerful stuff. Lang says that even before the injunction
was served, PayPal had begun seizing funds from the 40 defendants. The
judge made it very clear that she will add as many players as necessary to
support the effort to stop the ow of illegal goods coming into the [United
States], Lang adds. This empowers us to ght back against this scourge
on so many fronts. We can now demand that anyone in the supply chain
doing business with the counterfeiters reveals to the court the names,
addresses and locations of any customer identied as a counterfeiter. The
counterfeiters were counting on the distance between the United States
and China to cyber-squat and hide from the law. We now have a powerful
method to root them out.
Steve says the problem of counterfeiting in the fashion industry
has become such big news that one of Americas largest TV networks
(he wouldnt yet reveal which one) has agreed to run a major expos
documentary on the issue. They are willing to travel to Asia with me to
walk into some of these factories unannounced. This will be covered on
national television.
A key objective is that the exposure will educate bridal and prom dress
buyers to be extra-wary whenever the online price looks too good to be
true. Along with the Mon Cheri Academy training seminars that he
offers, it is a major contribution to the formalwear industry, and one that
could eventually see benets for retailers all over the world. 00

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Rosa Couture
See us at BBEH - Stand C1
www.rosacouture.com | info@rosacouture.com
'((/0//,*++'..(*)./*,)

F
OR THE BRIDAL INDUSTRY, THIS
is always a busy time of year. More
girls get engaged at Christmas/
New Year and on Valentines Day
than at any other time of year. And,
of course, everyone is getting ready
for BBEH in Harrogate.
Confetti & Laces Abbi Lewis, however, has
another reason for thinking that staff at her
ve shops might be run off their feet in the
coming weeks and months once she becomes
the star of her own TV show.
Due to air on Thursday 28 February, The
Wedding Shop is part of ITV1s new season of
documentaries. Made by the team behind One
Born Every Minute, its a one-hour lm that
Abbi believes is going to be good for both her
business, and the bridal industry as a whole.
The producers wanted to get the story of
modern brides, explains Abbi. No ones ever
properly lmed inside a bridal shop and seen
the different characters that work there, the
customers that come through the doors and the
demands made of us.
W 38 WWW.BRIDALBUYER.COM
The lm has been a long time in the making.
The producers rst went to see Abbi back in
September 2011, when they were planning the
pilot for the show. Ten minutes after leaving her
shop, they called to say they wanted to go with
them, rather than another bridal shop that had
been in the running. For the next two and a half
months they lmed a pilot with Abbi and her
staff before pitching it to the TV bosses.
They loved the pilot, says Abbi. Funnily
enough, I found out on the same day that we
were nalists for the Bridal Buyer Awards, so
it was an amazing day. I was really chuffed
about the TV show too. The crew came back and
started lming over the next nine months.
The format of the programme is y-on-the-
wall, documentary style, lming brides coming
in and trying on dresses. There was so much
footage something like 257 hours to get 44
minutes in the end, says Abbi. It took the crew
a little while to understand the timescale of an
actual wedding though. From start to nish,
youre probably talking about six months, so
they were around for quite a long time.
They focused on three main bridal parties.
Neither the customers nor staff were told what
to say or do, though every now and again the
crew would drop in a few questions. There
are two main characters in the programme,
Jane and Marg, of our Stanningley store.
They remind me of something out of Creature
Comforts, sitting together and having a bit of a
chat theyre so funny! Ive seen the programme
twice now and I couldnt stop crying. Its just
brilliant. Its moving and really funny.
Abbi has absolutely no regrets about having
decided to get involved with TV. We went into
it with our eyes wide open, she says. Even if
it did turn out not so good, its still advertising
which has to be benecial.
I knew it could have gone horribly wrong,
so it was a bit of a risk. But Im the type of
person that will take a bit of a gamble, albeit
an educated gamble. I will weigh up the pros
and cons of buying labels, going into new areas
like menswear, opening up branches, making
changes Sometimes you just have to try it.
It was the same for this programme. I took a
I












Coming to a small screen near you, TV special, The
Wedding Shop, throws the spotlight on Abbi Lewis award-
winning Confetti & Lace empire. Debbie Codd discovered
that Abbi was more than ready for all the media attention
AS SEEN
ON TV...







































































R E T A I L
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It was a brave step
to agree to be the
focus of a y-on-the-
wall documentary,
especially when
one is dealing with
customers who
could be very over-
anxious as well as
over-excited. But
the pro team here
got on with it... and
actually enjoyed the
experience
C





positive attitude to the whole thing and decided
to give it 100%. Luckily, weve got really great
staff and a lot of them have been with me for
years. Some are very camera shy and werent
forced to go on camera; others were upset
theyre not in it!
ALL SORTS
What is lovely about the lm is that you see
all the stories behind it, not just the brides
coming in. We had a lovely girl, Natasha, whose
family were a little split as her mum and dad
had divorced a long time ago. In fact, her mum
didnt actually go to the wedding. You see all of
that happen, but you also see all the support and
love of her family. And us as well. We helped her
through it, went to the wedding, got her laced
into the dress and supported her.
We also had, for the rst time in the seven
years that Ive been in the bridal industry, a bride
who was jilted the day before her wedding. It
was a bank holiday in May and we were waiting
for her to collect her dress as she was the last
of the day. It got to 5pm, then 5.30, then 6pm.
We stayed late as we knew she was getting
married in the morning but she didnt turn up.
I left a note with my mobile number, but we
didnt dare go round to her house and drop the
dress off, just in case something had happened.
The following day we got the news that shed
been jilted. Happily, they did get married later,
though not until the September and she wore
the same Pronovias dress. It all helps make the
programme very dramatic.
It has to be said that Abbi has never been short
of business ideas. She opened her rst shop,
Confetti & Lace, in Stanningley in Leeds back in
2005, using redundancy money to buy her rst
four Romantica dresses after going on to their
stand in Harrogate. She started off her rst
shop with just her and two others, now there
are 27 staff over ve branches. Her original
shop has been joined by Brides of Harrogate
as well as, since last September, one in Leeds
city centre, Abigaels Bridal Boutique. She also
has two branches of Yorkshire Menswear, in
Harrogate and Leeds.
I never thought in a million years that wed
ever be as big as we are now. For me, its just
been a case of calculating, thinking were up to
capacity so now we could do with another store.
All my shops have different names, mainly so
that people dont turn up for appointments at
the wrong one!
Yorkshire Menswear seemed like a natural
complement to the bridal shops, though its
high volume we hire out over 3,000 suits a
year for a very small prot. Its good to be
able to offer our customers something for the
whole bridal party.
Id say all of our brides are very different,
and our ranges are too. Each of our branches
has its own identity but you can tell its still us.
At Brides of Harrogate, for instance, weve got
four very large changing rooms/areas for our
clients. Whereas in Stanningley, its more like
one large room with four changing rooms and
all the brides can come out at the same time.
We run four bridal appointments and upstairs
in Stanningley weve got bridesmaids too. So
on a Saturday, we can have four appointments
for bridal and two for bridesmaids. We have

R E T A I L
F O C U S
at least six bridal consultants running four
appointments at the same time, so its quite
full on.
OFFERING CHOICE
Nowadays, Abbi is a long way from only being
able to have the left-over labels that no one else
stocked. Newly-opened Abigaels Bridal Boutique
offers Maggie Sottero, Ritva Westenius, Amanda
Wyatt, Justin Alexander, St Patrick, Da Vinci,
Alfred Angelo, Essence and White Rose. At
Confetti & Lace, its Benjamin Roberts Tia, Ellis
Bridal, Enzoani, Impression, Mori Lee and
Alfred Angelo. That selection is complemented
at Brides of Harrogate by Amanda Wakeley
(a very recent addition), Pronovias, Charlotte
Balbier, Ellis Bridal, Benjamin Roberts, Justin
Alexander, Impression, Alfred Angelo and
White Rose. If brides dont nd what they want
in one of our branches, then we send them to
another where we have different labels, says
Abbi. The aim is to keep them within the
SPREADING THE WORD
Abbi doesnt seem to be resting on her
laurels either. Weve got a strong presence
at wedding fairs and in-store events, were
doing a lot more trunk shows and designer
weekends, and were open seven days a week.
Im active on Twitter and Facebook, and weve
invested in Google. Wed like to think that
recommendations are our main source of
customers, but I dont think you can rely on
that. I do lots on email, including surveys and
polls, so weve got a massive database. I buy
email addresses at wedding fairs which I pay
150 a month for so I can market by sending
out emails about our different branches, as
well as separately.
I think the bridal industry is much more
professional now. If you have a dusty old shop
that youve been opening four days a week,
Im afraid that might not survive, though itd
be the same if you had a fruit and veg shop.
Youve got to keep evolving and changing,
and this programme is hopefully going to
help with that. As retailers, as shop workers,
we know that weve got that delivery date to
work towards, which is someones wedding
day. Things do go wrong but its how you
handle it that counts. I wanted that to come
across and its actually turned out so much
better than Id hoped. And it portrays us and
our industry in such a fantastic light I cannot
tell you! Its such a big coup for us and I hope
everyone else likes it. And you never know
They say if it goes down well we could be
looking at a series we only need 10.3 million
viewers! BB
The Wedding Shop is on ITV1 at 9pm on
Thursday 28 February
40 WWW.BRIDALBUYER.COM
group, but if someone is after a label that we
dont stock, then we will send them somewhere
else because I like to help other businesses
where I can. Hopefully, once you do that you
get it reciprocated.
Over the years, weve just built up the
labels that we stock. Its been a question of
going to the shows and seeing whats coming
through, especially at Harrogate where I do a
lot of buying. Im just someone shopping for a
wedding dress, but on a bigger scale! I know
what I like so I keep on looking in magazines,
listening to girls and what theyre buying, then
if Ive got an oppportunity Ill put in an enquiry
with a particular designer.
I think weve got a good reputation both
with customers and suppliers I pay a lot of
suppliers on a weekly standing order and they
like that. Quite often, I might even be in credit
with them until I get stock coming through.
The ve-shop group now has no less than 27 staff,
every one of which is deeply passionate about bridal
and making their brides dreams come true
If someone is after a label that we dont stock then we
will send them elsewhere because I like to help other
businesses where I can
R E T A I L
F O C U S

H<9
C:5
5
FTER FOUR YEARS AT THE THEN LONDON
College of Fashion, Veni Infantino left
with a fashion degree and a love of bridal.
She started working straight away in the
bridal and eveningwear sector at both Ellis
Bridals, before joining Ronald Joyce 13
years ago. Shes now responsible for all of
the Ronald Joyce brands, including Victoria
Jane, Bridesmaids and Veni Infantino
Occasionwear.
Coming up with new designs for two
Ronald Joyce collections a year is no small
feat but, with all her years of experience, Veni has got the process down
to a ne art. As she explains
/BB63AB/@B
As with any design process, research is a key factor as is experimenting
with different concepts such as new fabrics, trends and colour. But rst,
you must research your end customer, the bride, looking at her age and
what each particular type of bride is looking for. Secondly, you must
think about your market and the price bracket for the dress. Next, the
most essential research of all the trends. This all begins in Paris, where
I study fabrics from all over the world at a specialist exhibition. There I
get a chance to see the new seasons offerings and start to imagine my
new collection in my head.
For me, the most important sources of inspiration are travel and
movies, both have a tremendous inuence on the nal results of my
work. The brides themselves are another vital factor Im always looking
at the different gure types when I attend designer days at Ronald
Joyce stockists across the country. This allows me to have a dress in my
collection for each and every woman, to make them feel fabulous on their
special day.
When deciding on fabrics, I take all of the background research into
account so I can be condent that Im choosing a fabric that will not only
look elegant but will also atter the bride. As soon as I have taken a decision
on the fabrics I will use, I begin designing intricate beading detail. And
then I begin sketching out how I would like the dress to look.
B/97<5A6/>3
I bring my designs to life by creating a toile of the shape and approving
the beading. The toile is a great way for me to see whether the dress will
work. At this stage, I may have to make some adjustments to the shape.
The beading always goes on last, as a nishing touch. Beading a wedding
As designer for Ronald Joyce,
Veni Infantino has a good idea
of what makes a great wedding
dress, particularly after 28 years in
the bridal industry. Here, she tells
Joanne George about designing a
dress, from start to nish
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dress is the most intricate part of the process. This is because each bead is
hand sewn, ensuring that each gown is totally distinct.
The timescale varies with each design, though. If a dress doesnt
accurately follow my sketch the production may take a lot longer. The
amount of detail can also have an effect dresses with a great deal of
intricate beading will take time to produce while designs without any
beading at all will obviously be quicker to complete.
It is only when I am totally happy with the toile, that I give the go-
ahead for the nal garment to be made. It is the same with every dress,
and once they all are complete, there is a selection process where my team
choose the shapes and designs that they think are the best. Then, the
garments are tried on models, making sure that each one ts beautifully
and correcting anything I think isnt entirely perfect.
47@AB@3/1B7=<A
Next comes what is the most exciting part for me seeing the actual
nished dress; this is what gives me the greatest sense of satisfaction.
The rst prototype arrives and once any alterations I want have been
done, I approve the gown one last time
and send the agents on the road to show
my new collection to the industry.
Once we have a sample, it takes eight
months for it to reach the shop oor. We
do two collections a year the Spring/
Summer collection in September and
our Autumn/Winter collection in March.
The collection that we show at March
BBEH is in store in August/September;
the collection shown at the September
exhibition is delivered December/
January.
I always design a range of gowns
so there should, ideally, be something
for everyone. However, many dresses
do not make it into the collection as we
only pick the best and most sensational
ones for our brides. We select them
according to price, shape and fabric, so
that theres lots of variety. Production is
very difcult when you have too many
styles in a collection, so we only go to
production with the very best ones.
Our agents sell all over the world
so we always invite them to preview
each collection and give their feedback.
Their opinions are crucial as theyre
the ones who come into contact with
our stockists. But, ultimately, the nal
decision on which designs are produced is always mine.
;G4/D=C@7B3B67<5
Designing each dress is by far my favourite part of the whole process. I
lock myself away for months when Im putting together a collection this
allows me to be really creative without too many distractions. My aim is
for the collection to be balanced, modern, new and exciting. It takes days
before I can get started, but once Ive got going I love it! I do really enjoy
pinning the toile to the stand; its the rst time I can see the whole design
come alive. I can tell at that stage whether its going to be a great dress. It
is so rewarding to see my sketches come to life.
In every collection, I always have a favourite design but that changes
from season to season. The only consistent thing about my favourites is
that I usually pick a timeless piece. I want brides to look at their wedding
photographs in 20 years time and still think WOW! I would say that is
my ultimate aim for each of my collections.
+44 (0)8455 615522 / www.ronaldjoyce.com / BBEH M19
I want brides
to look at
their wedding
photographs
in 20 years
time and still
think WOW!
That is my
ultimate aim
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MALIS-HENDERSON
MONTREAL.LONDON.NEWYORK
Visit us on stand 601 at The White Gallery,
Battersea Evolution 19-21 May 2013
www.mhtiara.com
0161 272 0532
10
There is no point lling your shop with dresses
that compete with each other by being too similar
you will just confuse your brides and staff. The
right mixture of labels and styling is vital says
Tony Mentel of Justin Alexander
I
You should be able To deal wiTh different
types of bride with different types of wedding ideas
and budgets if your shop is big enough to hold the
stock. If your premises are small, pick a niche sector,
such as plus-size girls or vintage-style weddings and
become a recognised specialist.
www.bridalbuyer.com 47
good advice
tips
top
have a representative selection of
each label. There is no point in having a
couple of dresses from lots of collections
as a bride who wants to see a particular
range wants to go to a shop where she
can see a proper selection. 2
3
Have tHe rigHt collections for your
demograpHic. If you know your brides better you will
know better what to buy. Do your research, see what
other shops in the area have, nd out what is missing and
ll that niche. Make sure the price points you have are
realistic for the area your shop is in.
4
cHeck catcHment areas. We like to give our stockists
a generous area of exclusivity, but some labels will sell to
everyone. You do not want to be competing with ve other
shops for the same bride, as this can lead to war between
retailers. Remember, it is useful to be a listed stockist on a
collections website brides will nd you that way.
5
display is very important. Look at how high street chains
or big department stores entice shoppers in with seasonal
windows think like the big boys. Go window shopping
and learn from the designer stores how they make
products look more luxurious a crystal brooch in a wicker
basket looks worth 50p, but that same brooch in a glass cabinet on black
velvet can look like 100.
7
Customer service is the number
one reason why a bridal shop works or
fails. You are selling dreams, so make it
a beautiful experience. Make a bride feel
special, because if she enjoys choosing
her dress she will be your best source of
repeat business think of all the friends and relations
she could recommend or discourage from visiting your
store. Show a bride you can make her look amazing;
give her better service than your competitors.
a website is now the key way
to attract customers into a
store. Make sure yours is up-
to-date and easy-to-navigate.
Ask friends and family to test
run and score your site. Do
your research, nd out what
websites you like using. Linked
to facebook and Twitter, your
website can really work for you.
1 0
create tHe rigHt
atmospHere. If your shop looks
a mess why would a girl want to
spend thousands of pounds with
you? Keep the shop looking smart,
and make sure it smells nice. (If your staff are going to
eat lunch in, make sure there are no food smells. And
no cigarettes, pets, damp). Money invested in good
lighting will pay for itself and if you have music, make
sure it is appropriate and neutral. Fill the shop with
fresh owers many orists will happily give you
weekly ower arrangements if you allow them to
display their business cards. When I visit shops
(which I do often) all around the world, the
ones that work the best are those with
amazing, friendly, sincere staff, and a
beautiful armosphere.
8
designer days and trunk sHows are a good
way of boosting sales. Most collections will lend you
their samples for a weekend and you can create an
event out of it, but remember you have to book
these a lot in advance.
9
6
train staff. To sell a product they need to be
able to talk condently about it the fabrics,
the detailing; is it beading, embroidery,
lace, brocade? And what type of
lace Venice, embroidered,
Chantilly, Alencon? Ask the sales rep from
the collection, make notes, talk
with knowledge.
They say that a womans work is never done, and this is
absolutely true of Amanda Wyatt. A self-confessed workaholic,
her passion for and commitment to her brand means that she
nds ever more hours in the day as her new MOB label proves
48EEE0@72/:0CG3@1=;
Ach\Yf
_bckgVYgh
1961Alan and HeaLher wyaLL
esLabllsh 8rlde 8e Lovely ln
VanchesLer. 8oLh are lnvolved ln Lhe
deslgn, cuLLlng and maklng ol Lhe
gowns as Lhey are boLh Lralned ln
Lallorlng and dress maklng.
1971 RelocaLlon Lo new
remlses ooslLe whaL became Lhe
Arndale CenLre. SLore was one ol Lhe
largesL ln Lhe UK wlLh 12 large hLLlng
rooms. 1urnover durlng Lhe 70s and
80s reached I7S0k. Veanwhlle, Alan
and HeaLher sLarL [ean LllzabeLh
twholesale accessory comany ln
1972 whlch soon develoed lnLo
selllng brldal gowns, brldesmalds, haLs
Lo Lhe Lrade. Havlng Lhe reLall sho
ln VanchesLer lus oenlng anoLher
slx sLores LhroughouL Lhe 70s and
early 80s meanL LhaL Lhe exerlence
ol selllng Lo brldes enabled [ean
LllzabeLh Lo develo lnLo Lhe leadlng
suller ol Lhe Llme.
1982 Amanda wyaLL jolns Lhe
comany Lo work ln Lhe 8rlde 8e
Lovely sLore.
1985 Amanda jolns [ean LllzabeLh.
works her way Lhrough all Lhe
dearLmenLs ol Lhe buslness endlng u
worklng alongslde Alan on deslgn and
selllng brldal collecLlons Lo reLallers.
1989[ean LllzabeLh and 8rlde 8e
Lovely are sold Lo Culd PLC. Alan and
Amanda go Lo work ln 8lackburn and
exerlence worklng lor a large PLC.
1993/1994Amanda seLs
u Amanda wyaLL LLd wlLh a vlew Lo
ollerlng reLallers someLhlng dlllerenL Lo
whaL was on oller aL Lhe Llme. Heavlly-
beaded gowns were everywhere and
Amanda launched her hrsL collecLlon
ol maLL saLln gowns wlLh gulure lace
Lrlms and dellcaLe bead work, whlch
were well recelved by Lhe reLallers who








































































what more could anyone ask for?
A



B
OT CONTENT WITH BEING ONE OF
the UKs most successful bridalwear
manufacturers (she celebrates 20
years in the industry this year) and
only recently launching a hugely
well-received bridesmaid collection,
this super-admirable doyenne of the
industry is now entering the MOB sector in more
ways than one (more of that later). Amanda Wyatts
stunning, brand new capsule collection of elegant,
well thought-out pieces will be launched at Harrogate
in March. And if you like what
you see, youll be pleased to
learn that there are more in the
pipeline. It was the success of
the 2013 bridesmaid collection
from Amanda Wyatt that
started the ball rolling on this
new concept. Amandas many
retailers have persistently
requested that she make a
capsule collection of mother-
of-the-bride occasion wear pieces that encompass that
powerful fusion that she is so famous for: attention to
t and detail.
You may (or may not yet know) that Amanda is
going to be a mother-of-the-bride herself later this year.
Her daughter Charlotte Balbier (yes, her!) is getting
married in December and naturally, like any mother-
of-a-bride-to-be, Amanda started to think about what
she might wear for the wedding. Never one to miss
an opportunity, she has spent the past few months
researching the extensive occasionwear market and
working in partnership, talking to her retailers about
what is available to them and, more importantly, what
isnt. With my daughters wedding coming up in
December all things bridal are right at the forefront
of my mind even more so than ever! she says. As
a consumer in the industry myself in the lead-up to
the big day, I couldnt help but notice the gap in the
market for affordable luxury occasionwear for both
the mother of the bride and the wedding guests..
Amanda listened carefully to what the retailers had
to say and worked out exactly
what was needed. She has
always been famous for her
attention to t, gaining a cult
following with brides over the
years who want to not only
look but also feel fabulous and
comfortable on their big day.
The MOB is no different, and
Amandas new collection has
been designed with the real
woman in mind. Each piece has been created to be
beautiful and elegant but, importantly, to be workable
and comfortable, too. Amanda is determined that the
mother of the bride should be relaxed and at ease on the
day and that her outt should not rule the roost. Its no
good if its fabulous while shes standing but bunching
up and cutting into her when she sits down!
Research showed Amanda that much of the market
is made up of classic collections, so she has aimed
for a range that is stylish and chic for an elegant,
This collection is
designed with real
women in mind. Each
piece is beautiful,
elegant and at the
same time comfortable
Timeline










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sophisticated look. Amanda has worked with her in-
house team to design all the pieces herself. Keeping
the real woman rmly in mind, Amanda designed each
piece to atter the female shape and to draw the eye
to delicate details. The shape is elegant, the structure
is expert and the t is fabulous. Amanda has used
luxury fabrics owing chiffon, delicate lace, rich
taffeta and soft satin in a vast colour palette to suit
preferences and skin tones. Using all the resources the
company is so proud of, including a fabulous customer
service, despatch and marketing team, Amanda feels
condent and excited to launch the collection at BBEH
in March.
Amanda Wyatts mother-of-the-bride range
features 10 key pieces available in sizes 8 30, with a
recommended retail price range of 295 - 450. They
are dresses that have the option to be teamed with
boleros and jackets. Amanda wanted the collection to
be suitable for all manner of events, from weddings to
other evening events as well as the races and cruises
and therefore it sits beautifully alongside the Balbier-
Wyatt occasionwear collection.
With a guaranteed delivery time of 4-6 weeks from
order, Amanda Wyatts new collection has been
created with both the retailer and the consumer
in mind. Quite simply, a fabulous new range of
exciting affordable occasionwear from someone who
absolutely knows how to make a woman look good
and feel great what more could anyone ask for?
Amanda herself is very excited about her new baby:
2013 is set to be a prominent year for the brand and
me personally. I cant wait to hear the reaction to the
collection. 00







































































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With the recession dragging on for much longer
than anyone thought, Laura Dalys new outlet
store could be just what cash-strapped brides need.
And, as we discovered, the Bellissima Weddings
owners new venture could also help protect her
from the threat of an American invasion
h
HE AMERICANS ARE COMING! WELL, THEY ARE IF
all the rumours about Davids Bridals plans to open
in the UK are to be believed. Only time will tell, but
even if the rumours arent true, the suggestion that
the US retail giant might be coming to our shores
has been enough to make many bridal retailers take
a long hard look at what they do, and consider new
sources of income.
Laura Daly, owner of Bellissima Weddings and chair of
the Retail Bridalwear Association, is more than ready for
any American invasion. The Essex bridal shop that she
opened more than 12 years ago is hugely successful but
shes always looking for new ideas to protect her brand.
Having noticed that brides-to-be were increasingly feeling
the effects of the recession, Laura came up with the idea of
opening an outlet that would be able to offer lower prices
while at the same time helping her to clear her stock room!
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Wed had the idea of opening an outlet for some time,
explains Laura. Over the years, all bridal shops accumulate
such a lot of stuff and dont really know what to do with
it. You have a sale and will sell ten dresses if youre really
lucky, but the rest will go back upstairs. Then you might
donate a couple of dresses to charity which makes you feel
great, though theyre then going on to the market in a way
that you cant control. That may mean theyre going to be
sold too cheaply and could be a rival to either another bridal
shop or even your own. The idea of writing them off and
burning them makes me feel ill its wrong on every level.
I would rather stop people in the street and give them away
than do that.
Over the past couple of years, weve been aware that
more and more girls are on a stricter budget. They dont
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want to buy a cheap wedding dress just because they havent
got much money, and they dont appreciate being directed
to Monsoon or Bhs. On the other hand, I dont want to push
these girls online to start chancing their arm with knock-
off Chinese copies. There are horror stories out there on
the internet, but for every one or two that are bad there are
actually some good ones too so you dont want them nding
them and telling everyone Well, I went online and found my
wedding dress for 2.50 and it was wonderful!
That brought Laura back to the thorny question of all that
stock, and what on earth to do with it. Increasingly the idea
of an outlet seemed the way to go, she says, spurred on a
little by the threat of Davids Bridal coming over. I think it
will probably happen and, unfortunately, were in Essex and
if theyre going to try the UK its probably going to be on my
doorstep, somewhere with easy access to Stansted Airport.
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We decided to look at our business and work out what we
could do to insure our position in the market for the next year.
Even if the rumours arent true, we need to keep reassessing
our business model as what worked one year
wont necessarily work the next. Things have
been tough for people, and although our
average spend on a dress hasnt dropped a
huge amount, it still has gone down by about
100 to 1,100. Were a big shop and have a
good reputation in the area so we have a huge
number of girls coming in. And you can see
that theyre struggling with money.
Weve always tried to be honest and help
people out where we can. One girl came in
and said If only I could get this cheaper, and I thought if
only I could sell it to you cheaper, but I cant.
Thats when we thought, why cant we? All of this stuff is
discontinued, its still in good condition, and weve got more
and more of it piling up. How about opening up an outlet?
It will just be end of lines, theres no repeats, theres no new
stuff there, it will be exclusively things that have slowed
down.
From there, the plan took shape and in November last year,
the rst phase of the outlet opened, selling occasionwear and
outts for mother-of-the-bride. The bridal section followed in
January. And, as if it was meant to be, when they were rst
cosidering the outlet concept, Laura was given details of a
shop to rent that turned out to be just perfect.
















Over the years, bridal
shops accumulate such
a lot of stuff. You have
a sale and you will sell
ten dresses if youre
really lucky
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54 www.bridalbuyer.com
Further afield
Its about 20-25 minutes away from our main shop, in a different
area, says Laura. Its still in a fairly afuent area, but on a main
road position rather than a high street. The road is a very busy one on
the way into Southend and a car goes past every nanosecond. Its still
denitely a shop rather than a warehouse with a warehouse, you have
to spend a fortune on advertising to make sure people know where you
are. This advertised itself from day one it made its whole monthly
gure in the rst week.
a sTyle aparT
The outlet has a very different feel to the main Bellissima shop, and its
smaller too, at around 2,500 sq ft in total. It is open ve days a week,
though Laura might tweak the hours once she sees what demand is
like. Her former manageress is running the outlet part time, working
with two other members of staff. The whole thing has been kept under
tight control as Laura is determined that the new business is going to
earn its keep. However great this is going to be for our stock room, the
outlet has got to make money. If it doesnt, then its a pointless exercise,
especially as well be paying for two lots of premises.
As all the dresses stocked are going to be
discontinued ones, the brands will be the same as
those in Bellissima including Ian Stuart, Maggie
Sottero, Charlotte Balbier, Benjamin roberts,
Enzoani, Ellis Bridal and Mori Lee. Sizes will be
those of the samples that Laura has ordered in
for the main shop. It will be a mix of whatever
we have here and we wont be buying in any
other labels. Weve cleared it with our designers
and Ive promised them that if anybody stocks
those labels in that area and thinks we are going
to be selling from under their noses, we most denitely arent.
My suppliers have been cool about it. They know me well enough.
And as chair of the rBA I am not about to start ruining the industry!
Im not putting myself in direct competition with anyone in that area
and, as we have always done, if we get girls coming in who want to buy
things full price, well simply direct them to whoevers the nearest. Were
not doing orders and were not doing layaways you come in, you buy
it and you take it away.
There are probably three or four bridal shops in the area around the
outlet, but so far Laura hasnt had a negative response from anyone. No
one has come banging on my door asking what on earth were doing,
she says. The fact that Ive spoke to the manufacturers and got their
blessing has been an important point. Other retailers have got to take
us on trust a little bit on this. Were not going to be doing anything
silly the outlets just not set up like that. The place doesnt even have
a computer!
The riGhT price
Stock will uctuate, because it will depend on how many dresses they sell.
She admits that there might come a point in the future where they have to
start buying in discontinued dresses from their manufacturers, though
at the moment there are about 200 dresses that theyve accumulated over
the years and havent been able to shift.
Shes also thought very carefully about how to position the outlet in
relation to her original shop. Weve made sure that the outlet is a nice
place to buy your wedding dress after all its a special occasion, even
if you havent got a huge budget. We dont want girls to feel like theyve
settled for second best. The setting is a reection of the business so the
outlet has been decorated in a much simpler way than Bellissima itself
its all white walls, oors and lots of sparkly halogen lights. We also
know we need enough choice on the rails to make women feel that they
can buy with condence.
Prices are whats going to attract the brides to the outlet though,
with discounts of 40-70%. Dresses will go from 100 upwards, although
it will depend on what they originally retailed for
a discontinued Ian Stuart dress, for example,
will still be over 1,000. Most gowns will be in the
300-400 range, which is a very good price.
Laura has no worries about damaging her
mainstream business either. The Bellissima bride
is a very different type of girl. The ones that come
to our main shop appreciate the full service, they
want to buy a current season dress, maybe one
theyve seen in a magazine. Were very hot on
customer service and we hold their hands from the minute they come
in right up until they get married. Thats what theyre paying for. We
work almost exclusively by word of mouth, we hardly advertise at all,
and were known for our service, for the dcor, the type of labels that we
stock. I dont think that type of bride is suddenly going to want to go to
the outlet and buy an end-of-season dress.
clear objecTives
Laura sees the outlet more as mopping up those girls that they dont and
cant help in their current set up. Last year, we saw a lot of girls on very
tight budgets, and very tight timescales. We couldnt rustle up a dress in
time so they went elsewhere. Now, well be able to send them over to the
outlet, though if I suddenly see that all our customers are shooting over
there I might have to think again!
All of this puts Laura in a very good position to fend off competition
from Davids Bridal, if and when they arrive. And shes condent that
independent retailers can hold their own, particularly by learning from
the experience of their American counterparts.
Davids Bridal is huge in the States but independent bridal stores still
thrive over there. We have the knowledge and business model of all those
shops in the US to draw on. What are they doing thats kept them in
business? And what werent the ones that went out of business doing?
We can learn from them. Its not all doom and gloom by a long shot and
sometimes the market needs a bit of a shake up.
Our suppliers are going to have to work closely with us and put
support in place. More and more girls are looking for quick-turn-around
weddings and Davids Bridal can service that market. So we need to talk
to our designers and manufacturers and nd out how they can help.
Maybe its by emailing us a list of all their available stock every Friday so
that we know on a Saturday what we can take a quick order on, and place
that order with them on the same day.
Its all about tightening up your operation, making sure that all your
staff know what theyre doing, and dealing with every wedding like its a
royal wedding, because thats going to be the difference. BB
At the outlet, we are
not doing orders and
we are not doing
layaways you come
in, you buy it, and you
take it away
THE
AWARDS
2O13

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With the recent shortlists announced,
Balbier Wyatt are delighted to say that
we are sponsoring two retailer
categories in the Bridal Buyer
Awards, both of which are
close to our hearts as a
business this year.
Amanda Wyatt will be
sponsoring the award for
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Best Retailer in the North;
as a passionate supporter of
independent bridal boutiques
nationwide, she has stood
by her vision from the
start, choosing to work
in partnership with her
stockists and putting
the wellbeing of her
partners at the centre of everything
the company does. She says: It is
with great pride that I look forward
to presenting the winner of this
esteemed award in March.
Amanda Wyatt


















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hard to make our businesses
successful in an industry full of
creativity, style and inspirational
people; the Awards reward the
hard work and recognise the
blood sweat and tears that
go into our businesses
year on year. It is quite a
triumph and something
that we hope will continue
for years to come! We are delighted
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to be sponsoring the Best Bridal Retailer
South this year. The number of stores out
there that deserve a really big pat on the
back or maybe even a hug just
for getting through this tough
nancial year is incredible.
Louise Johnson
Jenna Whatmough
THESE AWARDS ARE GREAT
for the industry as they
bring everyone together and
recognise those along the entire
chain of industry members,
from suppliers to retailers and
from bridalwear designers to
fabric suppliers. We all work
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The Awards recognise the
blood, sweat and tears that go
into our businesses

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A word
from our
sponsors






































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am passionate about. I love the thriving
industry in which we all have the pleasure
of working, and it is great that so many
people are inspired to enter this journey
with us by opening a new and exciting
boutique. I cannot wait for March and I
am excited to announce the winner
of this vibrant category.
Charlotte Balbier
CHARLOTTE BALBIER
will be sponsoring the
award for the Best New
Retailer. As an avid
enthusiast who always
looks to support her
independent boutiques both
current and new to the
industry, Charlotte is proud
to be involved in the awards
this year. The new retailer
award is something that I
THE BRIDAL BUYER AWARDS ARE
a fabulous opportunity to recognise and
acknowledge the cream of the cream. You
do not think of awards when youre
immersing passion, enthusiasm
and total dedication into
your business, which is
why being shortlisted as
a nalist holds so much
importance. Theres usually
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an incredible team supporting the
business and these awards allow
each and every one of them to stand
proud in their achievements. Dont
forget to grab every opportunity
to shout from the roof tops
if youre a nalist; youve
achieved an industry-
recognised prestigious
status which makes your
business stand out from the
crowd. We fully appreciate how
much hard work and dedication
is invested into a successful
business, which is why we are
keen to sponsor these awards.
Jeanette Stephens
kkk"lYXcgcZhkUfY"Wca
to the awards is as important as
announcing your success if you win.
With growing internet use amongst
UK brides, retailer websites are now
as important as the shop window. We
are keen to support retailers who
have invested time and effort into
their websites in an effort to
become multi-channel, and
we recognise them with this
award.
Richard Freedman
CAMERON ROSS IS
proud to be part of the
Bridal Buyer Awards 2013
as we feel it is important
to acknowledge the
success of both retailers
and suppliers in the
industry. Highlighting
the nomination on social
media channels, your
website and any media
activity on the run up
WERE ALWAYS KEEN TO BE INVOLVED
with the Bridal Buyer Awards as they
allow us all to celebrate what is truly great
about the wedding industry recognising
established brands as well as
important new talent. Its so
key for us as an industry
to identify excellence and
to celebrate what we do
so well helping couples
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create their dream day!
Being nominated for or
winning an award is also a
fantastic way to promote your
brand. Make the most of
the recognition by using
the nalist awards
logo on your adverts
and website and use
social media to tweet,
email and generally shout about your
good news! At Perfect Wedding we
know how crucial nding the right
bridesmaid dresses is in helping a bride
create her colour scheme. Im looking
forward to congratulating the winners!
Helen Webster

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I love the thriving industry
in which we all have
the pleasure of working,
and it is great that so
many people are inspired
to enter this journey
with us by opening
a new and exciting
boutique

We are keen to support


retailers who have invested
time and effort into their
websites in an effort to
become multi-channel
and we recognise them
with this award
























kkk"Vf]h]g\Vf]XU`kYUfUggcW]Uh]cb"cf["i_
like to congratulate all of the
nalists at this years awards.
It is a great achievement to
be seen as the benchmark
for your chosen sector
of the industry. We are
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delighted to sponsor the Best Prom
Collection as this is a new and expanding
area of the bridal industry. We wish to
support bridal retailers who invest time
and effort into developing new areas of
their business as this benets the
industry overall.
Joe Freedman
THE BBA IS A PROUD
sponsor of the Bridal
Buyer Awards as we feel
it is important for the
industry to recognise
and reward success. It is
through the sharing of
these success stories we
can all benet and develop
our own businesses.
Firstly, the BBA would
FOR MANY YEARS NOW HITCHED.co.uk
has been developing its bridalwear section,
which means supporting the global
designers and winners of The Bridal
Buyer Awards year on year. The awards
are an amazing event to witness;
not only is it great to see how
everyone is expanding,
but also to be reminded
just how strong the bridal
industry is in the UK.
kkk"\]hW\YX"Wc"i_
Its an honour to be
involved with such an
exciting bridal event
year on year. Without
being connected to the
bridalwear designers
and individual bridalwear
shops, we wouldnt have such a
strong section on hitched.co.uk.
It is The Bridal Buyer Awards
each year that unites and brings
our industry closer together.
Darren Noel
kkk"fVU`hX"cf["i_
From the very European look, to
the English Rose via the American
Dream, nding the best of whats
on offer can indeed be tricky
for bride and retailer alike. With
so much choice and so many
companies all vying for
what is a relatively
small market, making
the nals of the Bridal
Buyer Awards is a huge
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achievement and immediately ags up
the must haves for retailers, and in
turn gives our brides the buzz of buying
into an award-winning label. The RBA
is extremely proud to be sponsoring
Best Headdress Designer for the
second year running.
Laura Daly
F65
HERE IN THE UK, A BRIDE
shopping for her wedding
is faced with a mind-
boggling and unrivalled
choice of styles, designers
and price points.
THE BRIDAL BUYER AWARDS ARE
fantastic because they recognise excellence
from businesses and designers in the
wedding industry.
To be a nalist means that your hard
work, creativity and dedication
has been recognised. Finalists
should make the most of
this recognition in their
marketing campaign
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by using the Award logo on
their e-mails, advertising and
social media, as it is a clear
indication of the quality of
their products and designs.
We love to sponsor such
prestigious awards, because
supporting it means it can go from
strength to strength every year.
It is an important showcase of the
best in the wedding industry and
we love to be a part of it.
Sarah Bird
665
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It is great to see how everyone
is expanding, but also to be
reminded just how strong the
bridal industry is in the UK
With so many companies all
vying for a relatively small
market, making the nals of
the Bridal Buyer Awards is a
huge achievement
Being a nalist means that
your hard work, creativity and
dedication has been recognised























We wish to support bridal
retailers who invest time and
effort into developing new areas
of their business








kkk"]UbghiUfh!Vf]XY"Wca
nominated for an award is such an
honour and a great condence boost!
Its also a great selling tool, which
we can all be proud of and use in
our PR, websites and advertising.
For the past few years I have
sponsored the Best Student
Designer award; it is
always a pleasure to see
how fashion colleges
increasingly acknowledge
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the importance of bridalwear design. The
Awards programme gives the nalists the
opportunity to actually make their dream
design into a 3D reality and almost all
past winners have immediately been given
career opportunities. For this I am
really proud!
Ian Stuart
=UbGhiUfh
I BELIEVE THE BRIDAL
Buyer Awards not only
brings the industry together,
but celebrates all aspect of
this industry. In todays
competitive world, everybody
is constantly striving to
be the best they can be,
and the Awards ceremony
is recognition of the past
years hard work. Being
THE BRIDAL BUYER AWARDS
are a truly tting tribute to the amazing
talent that the bridal industry has to offer.
For the nalists it shows recognition of
the design talent and skill which is
so evident in their collections.
It is a great honour for
Moreland Productions to
sponsor this award. Having
photographed some of the
leading labels in the bridal
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industry over the years it is wonderful
to be involved in the awards
programme, that acknowledges the
design talent the bridal industry has
to offer today. To be nominated by
your peers is truly amazing all the
nalists must be so proud.
Paul Moreland
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THESE AWARDS ARE AN
institution, lending weight
to the industry as a
whole. In these uncertain
times, both retailers and
consumers can be anxious
about exactly who they
are dealing with and it
is re-assuring to see the
industry leaders held up
K\]hYFcgY6f]XU`
THE BRIDAL BUYER AWARDS ARE
good for the industry because they offer
trade-wide recognition for companies
that show themselves to be the
best in their chosen sector. To
the nalists it gives their
company and especially
its staff the satisfaction of
knowing that their efforts
to become one of the best
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are worthwhile; any
company is only as
good as its staff.
Being a sponsor
means you are
recognised as a
successful company promoting your
business in front of 600 trade related
guests at the awards; it is also nice, in
our case, to see the proud winners with
their trophy that has one of our products
displayed within it.
Barry Bristow



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Menswear is ever-more
important, offering an
exciting product range
and retailers helping
generate critical
extra revenue
The Bridal Buyer Awards are good
for the industry because they offer
trade-wide recognition for companies
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Having photographed
some of the leading
labels in the bridal
industry over the
years it is wonderful
to be involved in the
awards programme




















as the pioneers and standard-setters.
Menswear is evermore important to
retailers, offering an exciting product
range and helping stores generate
critical extra revenue. We are
delighted to support this
entralling sector.
Yvonne Macgregor
ADVERTISING PROMOTION



















































l declded Lo choose classlclsL arLlsL lrederlck LelghLon
due Lo hls 8rlLlsh rooLs and arLlcularly because ol hls
wesL orkshlre rooLs. Scarborough born alnLer lrederlck
LelghLon olLen roduced oll masLerleces delcLlng Roman
and Creclan, angellc-llke scenes lull ol vlsual romance and
longlng. 1hls lor me was exacLly Lhe connoLaLlon l wanLed
Lo glve ouL when deslgnlng Lhe dress. wlLh my dralng and
lemlnlne llnes, l wanLed Lo glve LhaL aura ol new-lound love
wlLh a vlrglnal quallLy, buL keelng LhaL classlc and 8rlLlsh-
lnslred look.

1he work and exhlblLlon lnsLallaLlons ol
[aanese ayol Kusama are cenLred around
Lhe reeLlLlon ol aLLerns and shaes tshe
ls known ln Lhe arL world as Lhe 'Prlncess
olka doLs' and her laLesL collaboraLlon wlLh
Loulsa \ulLLon/Varc [acobs showcases Lhls.
Vy deslgn ls sleek and LlghLly-hLLed wlLh long
sleeves, a hlgh curved neckllne and an oen
back. 1he enLlre dress, whlch wlll be ln saLln
or olyesLer, ls covered wlLh laser-cuL chlllon
olka doLs, loosely sLlLched on Lo allow lor
lndlvldual movemenL.




































































































Vy deslgn was lnslred by Lhe lndlvldual grooves
on Lhe shell LhaL ls Lhe locus ln 8oLLlcelll's 1he 8lrLh
ol \enus and l have used Lhem as Lhe hlghllghL
ol my gown - ln Lhe lorm ol a elum LhaL fows
down Lhe back. 1he labrlcs l wlll be uslng are a
llghL, cree-backed saLln lor Lhe elum and a ure
sllk duchess saLln lor Lhe maln body ol Lhe dress. l
am lncororaLlng a small amounL ol beadlng Lo
add sarkle Lo Lhe curved walsLllne.lne.

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l Look my lnslraLlon lrom [lm ulne's drawlngs ol
lanLs and looked Lo LranslaLe hls Lechnlque and
colour cholce lnLo Lhe deslgn lor a brldal gown.
lmorLanLly, l wanLed Lo creaLe a dress LhaL
suggesLed a lanL, so l have used whlLe, green and
brown as Lhe colours, wlLh lnLrlcaLe embroldery on
Lhe sklrL reresenLlng Lhe rooLs, Laken dlrecLly lrom
ulne's work. 1he sllhoueLLe ls curvy and Lhe eLal
and vlne deLalllng adds a lemlnlne solLness Lo Lhe
mascullne elemenL ol exaggeraLed shoulders.
























lor hls 8lgger PlcLure exhlblLlon, uavld Hockney used
nlne vldeo cameras, hxed Lo a movlng vehlcle, recordlng
a counLry road Lhrough Lhe seasons and creaLlng a
cublsL collage ol Lhe changlng scene. 1he monLage
ellecL has lnfuenced my deslgn. Lhe organza sklrL labrlc
was rlnLed on a home lnk-jeL rlnLer lrom de-saLurlsed
hoLograhs Lo show Lhe layers LhaL make u lamlly
llle and a brlde's own ersonallLy. 1he dress ls hLLed wlLh
several small sy cameras so Lhe brlde can vldeo her
own day and lorm her own vldeo monLage. Hockney
wears a haL and jackeL. my brlde's jackeL ls made lrom
a wool/coLLon labrlc lrom LlnLon Vllls, Lhe headdress ls
based on orkshlre's whlLe rose symbol.

As well as looklng aL VoneL's llle and
where he was born and grew u, l looked
aL Lhe lashlons ol Lhe erlod. VoneL ls
known lor hls waLerlllles and fowers - l
was lnslred by hls vlvld colours LhaL almosL
look llke Lhey are comlng ouL ol Lhe canvas,
and LhaL goL me Lhlnklng abouL rlbbon
embroldery. 1he bodlce ol my dress ls
black coLLon velveL whlle Lhe sklrL uses Lwo
labrlcs, layerlng black slub sllk haboLal wlLh
black ure sllk chlllon Lo creaLe volume and
LexLure. 1he embroldery deLalllng ls ln red
and green ure sllk rlbbon.

1he work ol arLlsL/archlLecL Charles
Rennle VaclnLosh and Lhe arL
movemenL wlLh whlch he ls assoclaLed
- ArL Nouveau - lnslred my hnal
deslgn. 1he whlLe sllk/saLln dress, whlch
has a sllghL back hshLall, wlll be blas-cuL
Lo lollow Lhe curve ol Lhe body and Lhe
sweeLhearL neckllne wlll be Lrlmmed
wlLh earl beadlng LhaL conLlnues
around Lo Lhe scoo dro back. 1he hlgh
neck anel ls ln whlLe chlllon backed
wlLh lnLerlaclng Lo hold Lhe welghL ol
Lhe 2-u roses, a leaLure LhaL ls reeaLed
on Lhe sklrL.






















































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63
64 www.bridalbuyer.com
challenge a brief so that they can pass on the best
information to their students and push them to the
limit. And by the same token, it saddens me that
there are others who fail to realise the importance
of the role they play in structuring a students
thinking and inuencing their direction.
Ians involvement doesnt stop when he and
Bridal Buyers Susi Rogol have selected 12
nalists (that selection process is based on the
interpretation of the brief, the explanation of
methodology, the understanding of practicalities).
From the time colleges are notied that one or
more of their students will be required to make
up their design for display at BBEH March
and the nal selection of the winner, Ian offers
suggestions, guidance and support to ensure that
the very best result is achieved. And, of course,
the opportunity to be advised by one of the great
names in the industry is, in itself, something of a
prize.
A growing number of past winners, and
nalists, of the Best Student Designer Award have
been so enthused by the experience and condence
gained throughout the awards process, that they
have chosen to remain in bridal. And that is Ians
particular interest. As an industry we need a
constant ow of new ideas, new talents and new
names, says Ian. They are our life-blood and
they are our future. This particular award seeks
out and nds the best and I rmly believe that the
bridal business should embrace and encourage the
youngsters coming through. BB

Congratulations to
Alicia Emsley, Hull College of Art & Design
Amy Lawson, Hull College of Art & Design
Chloe Thompson, Hull College of Art & Design
Christopher Huckbody, University of Hudderseld
Faye Jones, University of Hudderseld
Jacqui Luker, University of Derby
Jordan Rae, Hull College of Art & Design
Kelly Marie Redhead, Shefeld Hallam
Lindsey Greasley, Shefeld Hallam
Natalie Clark, Hull College of Art & Design
Nicole Winder, University of Hudderseld
Thomasina Helyard, Hull College of Art & Design

Inspired by Van Gogh, I designed this dress to look
like a sunower, to be feminine and to ow and to
encapsulate the vivid colours that attracted the artist
for what is possibly the most famous of all his works.
The top of the dress is covered in small satin discs
to create the impression of seeds, while the skirt is in
shaped sections designed to replicate petals.

Georgia OKeefe is known for the boldness of her still- life compositions. Often she would paint large owers, but she also loved the landscape of New Mexico,
where she lived. Following my research into her work, I explored the style the 1920s and loved the intricate detailing of the embellishment on the garments shown in paintings of the time, which I felt complemented bridalwear, too. My design is a spaghetti-strap jumpsuit with a cape that cascades into a full-length train.

My design is inspired by Mexican
artist Frida Kahlo. After a horric
accident, Kahlo was bed-ridden
for long periods of time and
forced to wear a leather brace.
I have incorporated this into my
design, etched with the words
Me gustaria pintar pero no hay
colores (Id like to paint you
but there are no colours) taken
from her diary, and referring to
her relationship with artist Diego
Rivera. Within the wings of my
dress, I have incorporated an
image of one of her paintings
which I freehand embroidered.

Known for her dizzying patterns, Bridget
Rileys style of painting gave birth to the Op Art
movement in the 1960s. My design emulates this by
juxtaposing black and white, using 3D laser-cut and
manipulated geometric shapes. Structure, texture
form and illusion are created to showcase moden
manufacturing through contemporary design.
Riley said: The eye can travel over the surface in
a way parallel to the way it moves over nature. One
moment there will be nothing to look at and the
next second the canvas seems to rell, to be
crowded with with visual events.

I looked at Erts beautiful
illustrations, mainly focusing on
his draping techniques and ne
detailing, and started modelling
on the stand as this allowed me to
really see the effect of drapes, how
they worked and hung. This inspired
my design as I could see how to
manipulate the fabric and my nal
design is a mixture of different-sized
drapes positioned around the body,
enhancing the hip area. I plan to
layer the drapes using very pale grey
silk/Lycra ryana stretch satin with
white silk/ Elastane georgette.
young talents

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BBEH wouldnt be the same without a party for
buyers and suppliers on the Sunday evening, and
the March exhibition promises some serious fun.
The newly-formed trade association for British bridal
suppliers, BBSA, will host the disco in the
Garden Room at the Old Swan on Sunday 10 March,
sponsored by Wedding Ideas magazine. Tickets cost 5
and are available in advance from andyjackson@email.com
or on the door. A ripping-roaring night is planned
with great entertainment.
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There are complimentary goodies in Bar Q pastries
and coffee in the morning, zz and snacks at lunch
and a classic tea and scones for a late afternoon
break. Catering points will also be available in Hall Q,
Hall B and Hall C. The Food Point in the Kings Suite
next to Hall Q will be serving delicious salads and full
meal options.




































The Wedding Dress of the Year
display featuring Ronald Joyce,
Mori Lee, Alfred Sung Bridal,
Benjamin Roberts, Amanda
Wyatt and Ellis Bridals will be
in the linkway between Hall Q
and Hall C sponsored once again
by Ivory & Co. The winner of
this hotly-contended category
in the Bridal Buyer Awards will
be announced on the Big Night,
Monday 11 March. For
ticket information, contact
georgia@bridal-uk.com





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International Centre. Whether youre a nalist or not it is
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1 S K e c l v r e S y c n a L l u s n o C
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Steve Hooper

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69
A>317/:47<2A
With every Harrogate
show comes a number
of rst-time exhibitors
some dipping their feet in
bridal waters for the rst
time, others already
established who look
to the UKs biggest show
as a way to expand their
stockist network. March
BBEH has some treats in
store, including these.






























6JC8=:9&-BDCI=H6<D!GJ7N
& Frost is set to become one of
the UKs luxury hair accessories
brands, specialising in high-quality,
limited-edition pieces.
The companys Sara de la Torre
says: We are inspired by elegant
and yet quirky British chic! We
love women who want
to look different and special through
small details like hair accessories. Our
unique selling point is our ability to
provide exclusive pieces in any type
of material from Swarovski crystal
to leather and lace. We are constantly
exploring the possibilities of new
materials and design techniques.
Our bridal collection is inspired by
minimal chic and the Roaring Twenties.
Instead of the traditional tiara and
veil, brides can now choose a delicate
cloche-style headpiece or a beaded clip
with Art Deco details. We love the old-
world glamour in The Great Gatsby,
Anna Karenina and Downton Abbey.
BBEH






















72EEE0@72/:0CG3@1=;








































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We are inspired by elegant and
yet quirky British chic. We love
women who want to look different
and special through small details
like hair accessories
New Names at
R
uby &
Frost
Bridal is special because a bride is
beautiful by default and everything
around her needs to be special too. The
hair piece is crucial because the brides
face is constantly photographed. We
love to create timeless pieces that suit a
variety of brides no matter what their
age or style. Whether the brides hair is
up or down, long or short, straight or
wavy, our accessories add an effortless
touch of distinction and glamour.
We believe that hair clips and hair
chains with crystals are the key trend
in accessories for 2013. Swarovski Hair
Chains will denitely take off this year.
They are one of our exclusive creations
and are becoming our best-selling
product by far.
77:=8++
@













h
6CIGJBH6C9I>6G6H>H6C
award-wlnnlng, lamlly-run Llaras
and accessorles company, based
ln 8lcesLer, 0xlordshlre, and
lounded ln 2008. Vark Scully
says. 1he company grew lrom
a hobby my wlle Kelly Look up
when she was lll a lew years ago.
She ls Lhe creaLlve LalenL behlnd
Lhe 1laras, alded by me - l provlde Lhe
LanLrums! we moved lnLo Lrade sales abouL
Lwo and a hall years ago.
we belleve ln provldlng producLs whlch
are unlque Lo Lhe markeLplace and all
are handmade ln Lhe UK. 8rldes need Lo
leel LhaL everyLhlng LhaL complemenLs
Lhelr blg day ls speclal and Lallored lor
Lhem. 8espoke ls our sLandard. we
provlde allordable quallLy comblned
wlLh a passlon lor cusLomer servlce.
we work closely wlLh sLocklsLs Lo
make sure LhaL our accessorles
complemenL Lhelr dresses.
AlLhough we also sell reLall
and someLlmes sLock more Lhan
one sLore ln an area, we can oller
excluslve collecLlons and avold brand
compeLlLlon. we also work wlLh our
sLocklsLs aL deslgner evenLs allowlng

& Frost is set to become one of
t






















G
I6GI>C<6H6
couLure shoe
company, Lhe House
ol Vooshkl tLhe name
comes lrom lounder
\lkkl VcCarLhy's young
son's aLLempL Lo say
Lxcuse me! has been
deslgnlng weddlng
gowns lor Lhree and a hall years.
8rldal has Laken over Lhe buslness
compleLely, says \lkkl, who 'hunLed down'
0llvla, Lhe company deslgner, who had
prevlously worked as a consulLanL ln a brldal
bouLlque, and ollered her Lhe opporLunlLy Lo
do whaLever she wanLed.
0ur eLhos ls Lo glve glrls a hlgh-quallLy
dress aL an allordable prlce, \lkkl says. Lvery
brlde wanLs Lo be unlque and our bespoke
servlce allows her Lo be jusL LhaL. 1haL's why
we are ollerlng our 2012 collecLlon wlLh
EEE0@72/:0CG3@1=;73
cusLomlsable opLlons. All dresses come ln
lour lengLhs lrom Lea lengLh tjusL below Lhe
knee, Lo call lengLh, ballerlna lengLh tjusL
above Lhe ankle and long wlLh a Lraln. 1here
are also lour sleeve opLlons, neckllne changes
and an exLenslve range ol colours. NoL all
brldes are sLandard slze, nor do Lhey have Lhe
money Lo pay lor alLeraLlons.
whaL we seem Lo excel aL are vlnLage
sLyles wlLh a modern LwlsL. 0ur lavourlLe era
ls Lhe laLe S0s and early 60s when glrls were
sLepplng ouL ol Lhelr moLhers' shadows.
whaL appeals Lo me mosL abouL brldal ls Lhe
exclLemenL ol deslgnlng a brlde's dream dress
and seelng her lace when she Lrles lL on lor
Lhe hrsL Llme!
0ur Lalklng polnL lor 2012 would have
Lo be our Lea-lengLh gowns wlLh Lo-dle-lor
shoes, plus hlgher lace neckllnes or collars
wlLh open or sheer backs or decolleLage. Skln
ls ln - ln Lhe mosL dreamy and demure way.
77:=8+*
brldes Lo meeL Kelly and be lnvolved ln Lhe
creaLlve process.
88LH ls 1HL weddlng lndusLry Lrade
show. we shall be exhlblLlng lLems whlch
have commerclal appeal buL are sLlll
bespoke lor Lhe brlde, plus some lLems lor
Lhe nlche markeL.
we are already seelng lnsplraLlon Laken
lrom uownLon Abbey and Lhe 1910/20s era
so lorehead pleces wlll be blg ln 2012. Peak
Llaras have made a comeback, halr vlnes and
chunky blb necklaces wlll also be blg along
wlLh belLs and sashes whlch can Lranslorm a
dress lor Lhe evenlng.
77:=B(
We are
already seeing
inspiration taken
from Downton Abbey
and the 1910/20s
era so forehead
pieces will be
big in 2013
H
ouse of M
ooshki
Tantrum
s and T
iaras



























special finds
products incorporating fashion prints
with the highest quality materials. Pierre
Mantoux has a dedicated bridal range.
Every bride wants to feel at her most
condent on her wedding day, and
our brands ensure that she can. They
are premium products within their
respective marketplaces - and a bride
should seek nothing less than luxury
on her special day. Moving into bridal
will help us to reach a market we havent
previously accessed.
We shall be bringing samples from
our basic ranges; our colour focus for
2013 is nude and black. Shapewear
and hosiery are key pieces for a bridal
wardrobe and a necessity, but they
should be understated and have a
subtle presence.
BBEH C
t
hiS KEnT-baSEd coMPany WaS
started 15 years ago by husband-
and-wife team Sarah and andrew
charlesworth, acting as agents for
brands. in 2002 they became the
agents for Spanx. From there on
the company went from strength to
strength and are now distributors
for over ve brands including
hanro UK, donna Karan Sleepwear,
dKny Sleepwear and loungewear
and Maryan beachwear. They have a
showroom in central London and the
hanro concession in harrods.
Sophie charlesworth says: We only
distribute brands that we believe in - those
which offer good quality, are exciting, and
evolve to accommodate the ever-changing
retail market.
at harrogate, we shall be showing the
most premium shapewear available in the
market, offering unique silhouettes which
solve the problems faced by every woman.
Ultimately, shapewear promotes body
condence. Fogal and Pierre Mantoux
are both premium hosiery brands, luxury
Intim
ates L
ingerie
showing at Harrogate consists of 16 gowns
designed to make the bride feel glamorous
and romantic on her big day. Each gown
is named after a rose, so it carries a touch
of nostalgia while remaining rmly in the
21st century. From the rst stitch to the last
button, the dress is created with the utmost
care. To be part of that is a true privilege.
My predictions for 2013? An abundance
of lace - seductive keyhole backs on dresses,
and also more glitz and sparkle hence the
arrival of Darcey, our all-over silver and gold
embellished sequinned dress.
BBEH A20
Q
iana B
ridal
L
ondon CollEgE of fAsHion-
trained Wendy Peddlesdon and
her business partner Eileen have a
background in the lm and TV industry.
Their costumes were seen in the ITV
Sunday-night Mr Selfridge as well as
many others. Wendy has worked as a
freelance bridal designer as well as
developing a Fashion
course at Brighton University.
It was while looking at a costume
book we came across a fabric called Qiana
which, in 1960s America, was claimed to
be more luxurious than silk, Wendy says.
We thought it very apt! Our advertising
describes the gowns that brides dream
about, with a hint of now combined with
all thats best from the past. That tells you
everything about Qiana.
The Classic Rose collection well be
Shapewear and
hosiery are key pieces
for a bridal wardrobe
and a necessity,
but theyshould be
understated and have
a subtle presence
74 www.bridalbuyer.com
Predictions
for 2013? An
abundance of lace
and seductive
keyhole backs
tel: 01323 741419
email: enquiries@qianabridal.co.uk
www.qianabridal.co.uk
Visit us at BBEH on 10-12 March,
on stand A20
We create the highest quality luxury wedding dresses and bridal
gowns using only the finest silk, organza and lace. Exquisite, layered,
full, soft silk skirts with structured bodices have been inspired by the
glamorous and romantic dresses of the 1950s. All the wedding dresses
have been designed and hand crafted in the UK using the skills
and techniques of contemporary couture.

76EEE0@72/:0CG3@1=;
The dress is
the business

















































Increasingly, major collections are introducing brand new styles in March aware
that a retailers busy period has moved across the calendar. One of the great
advantages of buying at BBEH March, the very rst show of the year, is that you
can secure early delivery slots and be the rst with the latest looks in store

















































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!sabeIIe MontaQue
+44 (D) 179D 753D53
www.decorumbride.com
BBEH A34
0036AB/@A
7

t
G
OFTLY DOES IT IN ALL THE
new bridal collections. Floaty silk
chiffons, voluminous organzas
and romantic ballgowns with
full tulle skirts mean that
romance is very much alive!
Look out, too, for elegantly-
tted lace gowns with enchanting touches of
detail eye-catching belts and intricately-beaded
bodices, as well as elongated shtails, modied
A-lines and t-to-are gowns with epic skirts.
There are hundreds of gorgeous new designs
with a focus on high-quality fabrics and superior
cut and t, all with subtle touches of detail an
elegant satin ribbon, a delicate lace trim. Colour
plays its role with soft blush tones.
The industry is favouring silk, silk and more
silk as natural fabrics make great strides,
especially in the mid-upper tier. Many brides are
asking for satin, so bear this in mind.
When it comes to necklines, look out for
delicate and interesting styles where the
shoulders and neck might be covered with lace
appliqu on tulle but the back features a sexy
keyhole to bridge the gap between strapless and
covered. Backless appears to be the way forward,
with stunning contemporary gowns cut to bare,
and yet more with ne illusion panels on tulle.
Theres a lot of emphasis on hand beading
the ner and the more exquisite the better, and
it features across the board on all fabrics and
on all styles.
Vintage continues to make a big impact,
with patchwork lace, heavy rich satins, crepes
and tulle on slim, light, oaty silhouettes in
varying shades of ivory with a hint of dip-dyed
pink and nude here and there. Antique-style
beadwork and lace appliqu add interest to
several collections. The soft external drape often
belies the structured internal dress, so that girls
have the feel of a vintage gown but the t of a
modern dress. Make sure you point this out to
your brides.
Curvier brides are also being styled without
compromise. Expert structure means that
lighter fabrics can be used successfully,
affording greater comfort, yet still allowing for
a sumptuous dress. 00



>
EEE0@72/:0CG3@1=;77

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EIIa Rosa
+44 (D)176553D282
www.privateIabeIby.co.uk
BBEH B18/23
Tara KeeIy
+44 (D)1423 56187D
www.|Imcouture.com
BBEH C24/4D

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78 EEE0@72/:0CG3@1=;

































Victoria Jane
+44 (D)845 5615522
www.victoria|aneuk.com
BBEH M24
Ben|amin Roberts
+44 (D)1792 5647D
www.ben|aminroberts.co.uk
BBEH Cairn HoteI
Diane HarbridQe
+44 (D)1829 752192
www.dianeharbridQe.com
BBEH A27/28

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Agnes C42
Vodern \lnLage by
Allred Angelo Calrn HoLel
PrlvaLe CollecLlon by
Allred Angelo Calrn HoLel
Allure 8rldals A22/21
Amalh 8rldal 8
Amanda wyaLL A18/2S
Angel 824a
Annals 8rldal C44
AnneLLe C62
ArL CouLure C2S/29
8eauLllul 2
8ellauonna 8rldal A41
8elllce 8y \eromla C16
8enjamln RoberLs Calrn HoLel
8lue by Lnzoanl 2
8rldes by Harvee VS
8rldes ueslre by wendy Sulllvan A27
CaboLlne Novla C2/2
CrysLal 8reeze 816
ua \lncl 8rldal C28/24
uecorum 8rlde A24
uesLlny lnlormal C28/24
ulane Harbrldge A27/28
ulsney lalry 1ale weddlngs
by Allred Angelo, Prlncess 8rldal
CollecLlon Calrn HoLel
uonna Salado 7
u'Zage 8rldal C16
Lddy K V28
LllLe Sosa UK A42
Lllza [ane Howell 829a
Llla Rosa 818/22
Lllls 821
Lncore Calrn HoLel
Lnzoanl 2
larage 827
lemme 8rldal 818/22
LLernlLy 8rldal C2S/29
Clno CerruLl C22
Hermolne CollecLlon V12
Hllary Vorgan A22
lmresslon 8rldal C28/24
lnLuzurl V22/22
lsabelle VonLagu A24
lvory & Co 8rldal V26
[ack Sulllvan 8rldal A27
[ean lox A24
[lm Hjelm 8lush C24/40
[LV Luroe LLd C24/40
[usLln Alexander 1
[usLln Alexander SlgnaLure 1
KaLhy lreland weddlngs by 28e 8
Kay Vason 8rldes A44
KenneLh wlnsLon 818/22
Klss Lhe lrog 8rldal A42
Llsa Varle CS6
Lllllan wesL 1
Llly ueslgns V22
Lou Lou 824
Lusan Vandongus V20
Vade ln Love A1
Vaggle SoLLero VajesLlc HoLel
Vanon C12
Vark Lesley 8rlde 7
Vark Lesley CouLure 8rlde 7
Vark Lesley Paradlse 8rlde 7
Von Cherl 8rldal 8
Vooshkl C6S
Vorl Lee V24
VS Voda A21a
Nlckl llynn A22
0nly ou by [ean lox A24
Phoenlx Cowns C9
PrlvaLe Label by C 818/22
lana 8rldal A20
Ronald [oyce V19
Rosa CouLure C1
SlncerlLy 8rldal 1
Sonsle by \eromla C16
Sohla 1olll 6
SweeLhearL 1
Sylvla Rose A24
1ara Keely C24/40
1la by 8enjamln RoberLs Calrn HoLel
1ony 8owls 8rldal 8
1rue 8rlde A22
\enus 8rldal A26/20
\erlse 8rldal A10
\eromla 8rldal C16
\lcLorla Kay A21
wendy Vakln 8rldal ueslgns A41
whlLe Rose C29/21
whlLe Rose Plus C29/21
wLoo 8rldes Calrn HoLel
0036AB/@A















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Gino Cerruti
+44 (D)87D 712 DD14
www.whoIesaIeQown.com
BBEH C32
Victoria Kay
+44 (D)1424 427284
www.victoriakayQowns.co.uk
BBEH A21






































Idg]b;ckbg
EEE0@72/:0CG3@1=;79
Yvonne and the White Rose team are looking forward to
meeting new and present customers at British Bridal
Exhibition Harrogate Stand C29/31 on 10-12 March 2013
Tel: 0208 368 1500 www.whiterosebridal.com
For special
occasions













































Front row, red-carpet style is very much in vogue
and the demand for great-looking, adventurous
occasionwear is on the increase. Accordingly, more
and more bridalwear designers are adding a party
line arm to their portfolios

Mascara
+44 (D)2D 8965 1522
www.mascaracoIIection.com
BBEH C22/41























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>
85
Party time
57 Grand C27
Alvina Valenta C24/40
Amanda Wyatt A18/35
Angel B24a
Annette C62
Bianco Evento C33
By Wishes C62
Capture M13
Champagne Fashions A4
Crystal Breeze B16
Dessy Group C27
Encore Cairn Hotel
Farage B37
Gino Cerruti C32
Goya London A4
Jim Hjelm Occasions C24/40
JLM Europe C24/40
Joan Lee Accessories B4
Kelsey Rose B21
Kyra Naz Couture B22
Lara Designs M11
Lela Rose C27
Lily Designs M33
Linzi Jay Bridesmaids & Occasionwear
Cairn Hotel
Lou Lou B24
Love by Enzoani Q2
Lovelie C27
Made in Love A1
Manon C12
Mascara Pour La Femme C22/41
Mori Lee M24
Noir by Lazaro C24/40
Nova Collection C37
Ronald Joyce M19
Social Bridesmaids C27
Tony Bowls Evening Q8
Torre B9/10
True Bride A30
Venus Bridal A26/30
White Rose Bridal C31
MOBs
Amanda Wyatt A18/35
Annette C62
By Wishes C62
Champagne Fashions A4
Crystal Breeze B16
Dress Code by Veromia C16
Gino Cerruti C32
Goya London A4
Joan Lee Accessories B4
LAtelier C22/41
Lara Designs M11
Lela Rose C27
Lily Designs M33
Linzi Jay Bridesmaids &
Occasionwear Cairn Hotel
LouLou B24
Manon C12
Mark Lesley Mother of the Bride Q7
Mori Lee M24
Noir by Lazaro C24/40
Nova Collection C37
Ronald Joyce M19
Venus Bridal A26/30
86 www.bridalbuyer.com
Evening and after-six

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True Bride
+44 (0)1273 728637
www.truebride.co.uk
BBEH A30
Gino Cerruti
+44 (0)807 712 0012
www.wholesalegown.com
BBEH C32

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We invite you to view
our new 2013 collection at
BBEH 10-12 March
STAND B24
T: 020 8368 1500
www.angelbride.co.uk
www.louloubridal.co.uk
info@louloubridal.co.uk
Unit 18, Propeller Park, NCR Business Centre,
400 North Circular Road, Wembley,
London, NW10 0AB
T: 020 8368 1500
British Bridal Exhibition
Harrogate 2013
STAND B24
Fall in love with
Loulou

90EEE0@72/:0CG3@1=;
Maid in colour








































BBEH March is the perfect place to browse the latest
bridemaids and prom collections two sectors of
the industry that gather momentum each season as
retailers recognise the turnover potential that can be
realised when catering to the girls

KeIsey Rose
+44 (D)2D 8888 8833
www.keIseyrose.co.uk
BBEH B21
AnQeI
+44 (D)2D 8368 5557
www.anQeIbride.co.uk
BBEH B24
AIvina VaIenta
+44 (D)1423 56187D
www.|Imcouture.com
BBEH C24/4D
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57@:AABC44
9

K
HATS A WEDDING
without a fabulous
splash of colour?
This is where the
bridesmaids come
in, showcasing the
hottest jewel tones
and a fabulous
range of fabrics fusing chic styles with delicate
overlaid lace and silky smooth satins.
Chiffon is the fabric of choice, with crinkle
chiffon making a big impact this year as well as
soft taffeta for a light but more structured look.
Theres variety of necklines, cascading rufes
and delicate ribbon and ower detailing; styles
range from long and sweeping to fun and irty
fties puffballs. Classic styles with a hint of
vintage are there too, and slim-tting dresses
with asymmetric pleating for a attering
silhouette on all shapes and sizes.
Not everyone wants drama on the colour
front make sure you buy in a range of subtle
shades too you will see some sweet pastels
jostling with striking two-tones, mixed up with
a pop of bright lemons and greens.
Look out for rufed and layered chiffon
sleeves, chiffon owers, waterfall details, cowl
necklines and peplums, contrasting fabrics and
satin waistbands.
Some collections are available in a range of
fabrics and a kaleidoscope of over 70 shades,
which allows brides to co-ordinate their
bridesmaids with the chosen wedding theme.
And as for proms? Wow is the key factor
here and sparkle is still the shining light of
the collections that today include alongside
the shortsie, cutsie numbers with multi-layers
of net some svelte and elegant contenders for
the crown. 00




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Mori Lee
+44 (D)845 561 5522
www.moriIee.co.uk
BBEH M24













92 www.bridalbUyer.com
Honouring maids
57 Grand C27
Alfred Angelo Autumn 2013
Bridesmaids Cairn Hotel
Alfred Sung Bridesmaids C27
Modern Vintage by Alfred Angelo
Bridesmaid Collection Cairn Hotel
Alvina Valenta Maids C24/40
Amal Bridal Q8
Amanda Wyatt A18/35
Angel B24a
Annette C62
By Wishes C62
Champagne Fashions A4
Colours by Kenneth
Winston B18/23
Crystal Breeze B16
Damas Bridesmaids C25/29
Daisy Day Q3
DaVinci Bridesmaids C28/34
Decorum Bride A34
Dessy Girl C27
Dessy Group C27
Dessy Junior Maids C27
Diane Harbridge A27/28
Disney Fairytale Weddings by
Alfred Angelo, Royal Blossoms
Cairn Hotel
Disney Fairytale Weddings by
Alfred Angelo, Royal Maidens
Cairn Hotel
DZage Bridesmaids C16
Gino Cerruti C32
Goya London A4
Hilary Morgan A33
Impression Bridal C28/34
Jean Fox A34
Jim Hjelm Occasions C24/40
JLM Europe Ltd C24/40
Joan Lee Accessories B4
Kelsey Rose B21
Kiss the Frog Bridal A42
Kyra Naz Couture B22
Lara Designs M11
Lela Rose C27
Lily Designs M33
Linzi Jay Bridesmaids
& OccasionWear Cairn Hotel
Lou Lou B24
Lovelie C27
Luna B A32
Manon C12
Mark Lesley Bridesmaids Q7
Mori Lee M24
Next Generation M10
Noir by Lazaro C24/40
Nova Collection C37
Only You by Jean Fox A34
Peppermint B37
Phoenix Gowns C9
Premier Designs C54
Pretty Princess M10
Romano M10
Ronald Joyce M19
Rosa Couture C1
Social Bridesmaids C27
Sophia Tolli Q6
Sylvia Rose A34
Tara Lee UK C75
True Bride A32
True Essentials A32
Venus Bridal B15/25
Verise Bridal A10
Veromia Bridesmaids C16
Vianni M10
Watters Maids Cairn Hotel
White Rose C29/31
Wtoo Maids Cairn Hotel
For prom girls
Alvina Valenta Maids C24/40
Amanda Wyatt A18/35
Angel B24a
Annette C62
Champagne Fashions A4
Crystal Breeze B16
Damas Bridesmaids C25/29
Diamond Edition B18/23
Fairygodmother M13
Gino Cerruti C32
Gorgeous M13
Goya London A4
Hilary Morgan A33
Inca C55
Jim Hjelm Occasions C24/40
JLM Europe Ltd C24/40
Joan Lee Accessories B4
Kelsey Rose B21
Kiss the Frog Bridal A43
Kyra Naz Couture B22
Lara Designs M11
Lily Designs M33
Linzi Jay Bridesmaids
& OccasionWear Cairn Hotel
Lou Lou B24
Manon C12
Mark Lesley Kiss Prom Q7
Mori Lee M24
Noir by Lazaro C24/40
Nova Collection C37
Rosa Couture C1
Signature M13
Tony Bowls Evenings Q8
Torre B9/10
True Bride A32
True Essentials A32
Venus Bridal A26/30
White Rose Bridal C31
GIRLS STUFF

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Flower Girls
+44 (0)1909 774444
www.dessy.co.uk
BBEH C27/36

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I N F O @ A L E X I A - D E S I G N S . C O . U K
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE NEW
COLLECTION PLEASE E-MAIL US ON
FOLLOW @ALEXIADESIGNSUK ON OR ALEXIA DESIGNS ON
96EEE0@72/:0CG3@1=;
Man p ower
B
O BRIDE IS GOING TO BE
happy to let her man look like
the poor relation on the big day.
She needs to walk down the aisle
and feel that whats waiting for
her at the altar is absolutely
worth all the time and effort she
has put into her own appearance.
Savvy retailers will have woken up and
smelled the roses a long time ago if you
havent, BBEH is your next big opportunity
to make sure youve got just what you need to
keep grooms happy and their brides happier!
Bear in mind that 95 percent of grooms still
prefer to hire, so the rental market is denitely
here to stay for a good while yet. >














HeirIoom Waistcoats
+44 (D)17D6 367711
www heirIoomwaistcoats.co.uk
BBEH B34











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What will the menswear suppliers will
be showing at Harrogate? A bit of sheen,
cropped jackets and narrow cuts. And lots
of grey, black and blue. Chic stuff that is
certain to delight the bride





































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At Heirloom all garments are made in the
UK so you can buy British and be proud of it!
Sister company to Swarbricks, which has been
dressing grooms in the northwest of England
for 35 years, Heirloom is a well-respected
manufacturer and stockist of waistcoats and
neckwear that has been supplying independent
formal hire shops here for 11 years.
For 2013, Heirloom reports a big swing to
the more traditional cuts and styles. It seems
that subtle, contemporary, neat designs are key.
Theres an exciting new range of waistcoats to
be unveiled at Harrogate expect shades of blue
and purple, as these are the leading colours
at the moment. Men are becoming keener to
step outside of the box when it comes to formal
wear, says Jane Powell at Heirloom. Even in
the classic ranges they expect a bit of a twist.
Double-breasted and step collar waistcoats
are becoming more popular, while cravats are
taking a dive in favour of traditional ties.
67@3C>
The rental market is huge, with 95% of grooms
in the UK still preferring to hire. Retailers
need to make sure they are investing in the
right styles, says Jane. Morning suits do not
date so much, so theres less of a risk. Most
importantly, remember that the bride has all
the inuence she roams around endless bridal
fayres looking at what she wants her man to
wear and she usually gets her way. Now and
again he puts his foot down, particularly when
the colour scheme is pink!
At Cameron Ross a grey silk short jacket and
tailcoat are where its at. Lightweight fabric
combined with excellent tailoring means the
outts feel and look great. The waistcoat and
neckwear range has been widely extended to
give grooms a bigger choice and one of the best
additions is the double-breasted Dove waistcoat
in a fabulous contemporary style. Neckwear has
been really jazzed up with stunning magenta
and raspberry shades to complement the
stronger jewel tones that are being shown for
bridesmaids. Brides who have a whole colour
co-ordinated thing going on will love these!
A fabulous quirky initiative is the Help
Jean Yves
+44 (D)1737 83D819
www.|eanyves.co.uk
BBEH B9/1D
The UItimate FormaI
Suit Hire Company
+44 (D)17D6 367711
www.uItimateformaIhire.co.uk
BBEH B32
Torre
+44 (D)1252 623111
www.torre.pt
BBEH B9/1D

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for Heroes kilt, which gives grooms the opportunity to raise money
for a worthy cause whole sporting traditional Highland dress on their
wedding day. the tartan draws from the colours of the famous H4H logo,
featuring black, red, duck-egg blue and navy and looks great with a black
sporran and black Argyll jacket. 4 from the hire price of each kilt rental
is donated to Help for Heroes.
Cameron ross has also relaunched its interactive outt builder. the
new features and navigation give a better online experience for grooms
using the internet to research and plan their outts. the company is also
introducing an online management tool for hirewear orders, making it
easier for chaps to organise their groomsmens party.
Meanwhile, new at Anthony Formalwear is a new luxury number, a
superb range in a ne italian wool and cashmere mix. in two styles and
three colours to allow for mix and match possibilities, a three piece will
retail for 895.
offering it all
Jean Yves formalwear range includes herringbone tailcoats and lounge
suits. black and grey continue to play a prominent role on the colour
front, but navy is the shade to look out for in the new collections. Check
out a new style called tan Moda, and twilight, a key seller from 2012. if
youre looking to offer a dinner suit at a really keen price ask to see the
budget-priced option which is just under 40!
Jean Yves is widely considered the leader in the shirt department, and
the company is enjoying fantastic growth in this area. the three types of
shirt each have a different coloured neck label a godsend for a retailer
rushed off his or her feet on a busy day. the lowest priced shirt, with a
unique patented collar, comes in two sizes and has mock double cuffs
(red label); a new slim-t shirt has been introduced for the season (purple
label), and the Prestige Plain shirt has a black label. All shirts come in
white, ivory or black and there are various collar shapes.
Jean Yves offers no less than ten styles of wedding shoe, mostly in
black but also some in white, ivory and black/white as well as a super
designer shoe, all at great prices.
Sheening exampleS
At Masterhand, sheen is most denitely in for 2013. shades of grey and
navy feature alongside black, with silk mix fabrics adding a lustre to
the product that makes it super luxurious. emphasis on the details such
as stitching and linings gives the range a really stylish edge. slimmer,
shorter styles with a tailored t dominante. Morning coats have regained
their position as the classic leader in this collection, now with slimmer
lines to t the market.
Peter Posh also reports that traditional tails still top the charts, however
the modern wedding lounge suit is increasing in popularity too. stretton,
a new lightweight mohair three-piece suit in charcoal grey features a
lightly tted single breasted jacket with AMF stitched peak lapels with
a ticket pocket. the front has a single button fastening with a carefully
swept back front to give the waistcoat maximum exposure. team it with a
matching waistcoat or one of Peter Poshs many coloured designs. Venice,
the same suit in a light beige colour, is perfect for summer weddings or
weddings abroad.
the company fully recognises the importance of keeping up with the
trends in bridal fashion and offers plain waistcoats in silver and ivory,
which continue to be the best sellers. there are also subtle designs
featuring new shades in fuchsia, vintage rose, royal blue, purple and
gunmetal grey are new to their range.
top hats are also in high demand and there are new ones in the range
in black, grey and navy. Like so many other companies, Peter Posh has
introduced slimmer, more tted shirts. Are we led to believe that men are
slimming down? not judging by the waistcoat sizes Heirloom has been
asked for. ive had measurement requests that i have been convinced
must be a mistake, says Jane Powell. However, it does appear that
slimmer, leaner cuts are here for now, even in the larger sizes. time to
pack away all those baggy shirts. BB
Already with several awards, our stock service garments
feature not just the traditional English look, but an exciting
and hugely successful the lightweights Mohair Family:
Silver Grey, Navy, Sanford, Black, Charcoal, Beige and now BLUE.
Tel: 01252 623 111 | Fax: 01252 623 123 | Email: torreukltd@btconnect.com | www.torre.pt
NEW SKY BLUE MOHAIR FOR 2013
WINNER
BEST GROOMSWEAR
COLLECTION
WINNER
BEST GROOMSWEAR
MANUFACTURER/
SUPPLIER
WINNER
BEST MENSWEAR
SUPPLIER
Join the
multi-award winning
Cameron Ross Hire Wear
Visit Stand B2, 10-12 March, BBEH
Were looking to expand our network in the London
and Birmingham area.
To become an authorised stockist visit www.hirewear.co.uk
or email enquiries@hirewear.co.uk
e: sbartlett@hwiweb.com t: 01329 550612
Visit www.jeanyves.co.uk
Looking forward to seeing you on stand A9 at
e: sbartlett@hwiweb.com t: 01329 550612
Visit www.jeanyves.co.uk
Looking forward to seeing you on stand A9 at
































Accessories are no longer an after-thought it
is the headdress and veil that can clinch the
sale so it is important that you stock some
beautiful and versatile pieces. Jewellery and
lingerie are prot-generators, too, and easy to
sell to a customer whose heart you have won
with the perfect dress
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Joyce Jackson
+44 (D)1392 2D7D4D
www.rainbowcIub.co.uk
BBEH M38
TwiIiQht DesiQns
+44 (D)1827 769478
www.twiIiQhtdesiQns.co.uk
BBEH C11

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+44 (D)15D9 5D1DDD
www.incaUK.com
BBEH C55
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ATE MIDDLETON MAY HAVE
borrowed a fabulous Cartier
tiara for her nuptials, but
most of your customers will
not be in such a fortunate
position. However, accessories
are making more and more of
an impact on the bridal scene and the choice
you will see at BBEH March is nothing short
of mind-blowing.
The average spend in the sector is
increasing too; headdresses and jewellery
are no longer an afterthought. More tiaras,
headbands and gorgeous bridal jewellery will
be on display than ever before, but vintage
continues to exert a major inuence and this
means that asymmetrical crystal-encrusted
statement side headpieces will be among the
most popular purchases.
For the new season, there is a move away
from geometric designs as softer face-framing
styles in antique metals become the look
a result of the Downton Abbey, perhaps?
Versatile hairvines are also key to be worn
as hair accessories, as chokers or as a belt.
The increasing popularity of open-back
gowns means that many brides are looking
for hair accessories to wear at the back of
the head, so its worth picking up veil combs
and hair pins, as well as some of the beautiful
A











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back pendants now available.
Crystal is still the sparkle element of choice,
but pearls of every form and shape and shade
are catching up fast. Teamed with lace and
twisted with muted metals, this is the newest,
chicest combination. Jazz up your collections
with brow bands, bun rings and combs with
huge organza and lace owers so that your
brides dont need to go anywhere else to
complete their look.
In the veil department, look out for sheer,
soft Italian tulle with lace motifs or diamant
edging. Veils with exquisite hand-stitched or
lace edgings will be the big story. Birdcage
veils will continue to be popular, too. 00






















Warren York
+44 (D)1476 59D255
www.warrenyork.co.uk
BBEH A39
EmmerIinQ
+49 9621 9166665D
www.emmerIinQ.co.uk
BBEH B38
Arianna
+44 (D)1254 6651D4
www.ariannatiaras.com
Cairn HoteI

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Agnes C43
AmandaWyatt A18/35
AriannaTiaras CairnHotel
BjemBrides B39
CollectionsByJuneEllen C60
CrystalValley C53
DaisyDay Q3
ElizaJaneHowell B39a
Emmerling C21
EnVogueBridalAccessories A38
Inca C55
Ivory&CoTiaras M36
JuneEllenCollections C60
JuponAccessories B39
LilyDesigns M33
LinziJay CairnHotel
LinziJayCommunion CairnHotel
LittleTemptations C54
NathalieFrench M5
Natraj A5
NextGeneration M10
OMYGOD M12
PremierDesigns C54
PrettyPrincess M10
RainbowClubHeaddresses M42
Romano M10
Ruby&Frost C66
SassoBride M2
StarletJewellery C58
TantrumsandTiaras M3
TwilightDesigns C11
Vianni M10
WarrenYorkInternational A39
Lingerie
Annette C62
BjemBrides B39
BiancoEvento C33
ByWishes C62
CarnivalCreations B39
EastmanStaples C62
FlatteringMe B39
JuponAccessories B39
JuponPetticoats B39
LinziJayCommunion CairnHotel
Penrose B39
PierreMantoux C6
Spanx C6
StickyStraps B39
Veils
Agnes C43
AmandaWyatt A18/35
Annais C44
AriannaTiaras CairnHotel
BiancoEvento C33
BjemBrides B39
CollectionsByJuneEllen C60
DaisyDay Q3
ElizabethDickens M21
Emmerling C21
EnVogueBridalAccessories A38
Farage B37
JoyceJackson M38
Headdresses
JuneEllenCollections C60
JuponAccessories B39
LinziJay CairnHotel
LinziJayCommunion CairnHotel
LMbyLusanMandongus M8
MadeinLove A1
PrettyPrincess M10
RainbowClubVeils M42
Romano M10
SassoBride M2
StarletJewellery C58
TwilightDesigns C11
Vianni M10
WarrenYorkInternational A39

Jewellery
Agnes C43
AmandaWyatt A18/35
AriannaTiaras CairnHotel
BjemBrides B39
BiancoEvento C33
CollectionsbyJuneEllen C60
CrystalValley C53
DonnsDiamondJewellery C7
Emmerling C21
EnVogueBridalAccessories A38
Inca C55
Ivory&CoTiaras M36
JuneEllenCollections C60
JuponAccessories B39
LilyDesigns M33
LinziJay CairnHotel
LinziJayCommunion CairnHotel
NathalieFrench M5
Natraj A5
OMYGOD M12
Ruby&Frost C66
SassoBride M2
StarletJewellery C58
TantrumsandTiaras M3
TwilightDesigns C11
WarrenYorkInternational A39
Hats
AriannaTiaras CairnHotel
BiancoEvento C33
Farage B37
MadeinLove A1
OMYGOD M12
SassoBride M2
Inca Bridal Jewellery
+44 (0)1509 501000
www.incaUK.com
BBEH C55
102 www.bridalbuyer.com
Collections by June Ellen
+44 (0)1652 650009
www.juneellen.co.uk
BBEH C60
Elizabeth Dickens
+44 (0)1353 723675
www.elizabethdickensveils.co.uk
BBEH M21
shimmer shine
by Veromia
DRESS CODE
Stand C16
We look forward to seeing you on
Stand C16 where you can view our
stunning Mother of the Bride collection











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107
What is the rst thing you do
when you get into work in the
morning?
Kettle on, go through emails,
then sit down with my marketing
assistant Cath to plan the
day. This is usually when she
reminds me of everything Ive not
completed from the day before!
Your background is in graphic
design have you done a
complete redesign of the
company branding?
Before I joined, all the design
work was outsourced, often to
different companies so there
wasnt a great deal of continuity.
The logo was in need of an
update, and the online stuff was
all over the place so it wasnt quite
a re-design from the ground up
but more a case of pulling all the
elements together and updating
it without stepping too far away
from what people recognise as the
Benjamin Roberts branding.
How important is consistency
across all the media?
Continuity across platforms
is vital in keeping a coherent
identity as a company.
Its really important that we
have a consistent image, not just
in the obvious sense of colours and
fonts, but also in the general tone
of company literature and the way
we present ourselves online.
We try to make sure that the
Benjamin Roberts you see in a
magazine is the same Benjamin
Roberts youll recognise online, in
a store, or at a show.
How often do you produce new
brochures, yers, look books?
We bring out a new brochure/look
book with each new collection so
generally once a year. We pair this
with a smaller booklet version
aimed at brides, and do short yer
runs for specic promotions.
Our sales team then get a
full A3 photographic set of the
collections each season to take on
the road as their personal look
books.
What is involved in planning a
show?
Too much to mention! My role
is the visual stuff, though a
lot of that does feed into other
areas, especially with regard to
brochures, dress labels, price lists
etc so getting things nalised on
within budget.
Karen and I are both very visual
people so, regardless of the topic,
meetings generally involve lots of
scraps of paper, coloured post-it
notes representing random things
and strange gesturing while one
of us tries to convince the other
that our idea will work!
Are you mainly ofce based or do
you sometimes get to go out and
about?
I attend most of the shows where
we exhibit and try to see as many
of our stockists and press contacts
as I can while I am there.
I nd you can learn more in
ve minutes face to face about
how were doing, what the stores
want from us and how we can
help them than in an entire season
sitting behind a desk!
What do you love the most about
your job and what do you like
the least?!
Thats an easy one, and the answer
to both is shows!
The weeks leading up to the
launch of a new collection, with so
much to do in such a short space
of time, is denitely when you
feel the pressure the most. It can
literally mean working round the
clock to get it all done.
However, the pay-off is always
worth it when the show goes well
it puts all the hard work into
perspective and its great to see all
the usual faces and let your hair
down a bit.
What happens when you and
Karen [Taft] have marketing
meetings?
Karen is very actively involved
in our marketing so sometimes a
project will be almost fully formed
by the time Im involved (for
example the Dublin event).
Im in charge of reducing the
information down into a format
we can advertise to stockists
and the press, maybe coming up
Taking delivery of a new collection of bridal
dresses is one of the highlights of running a
bridal shop. All that new gorgeousness to ooh
and aah over and hang on the rails. But along
that welltrodden path of design, manufacture
and delivery there is a whole host of other stuff
going on, all of which is fundamental to the
success of those dresses. We caught up with
Ben Dickeson, marketing manager at Benjamin
Roberts, who told us about his role
time (especially images!) is critical.
I also get involved with planning
things like the room layout,
catwalk show times, setting up
the stand (which we always build
ourselves) and how well run
things day to day.
There is usually a mad panic to
get everything nished and on the
vans the day before we leave!
This year well be doing both
Harrogate shows and London
Bridal Week, along with some of
the European shows.
We are also putting on our
own smaller bridal showcases
around the UK and Ireland to
give stockists a chance to see our
new collections in a more intimate
setting. The rst one will be in
Dublin in March.
How involved are you in the
photoshoots?
I attended my rst one recently!
For this shoot we used a very
talented local photographer who
suggested a Welsh castle not far
from our ofces.
Having been used to images
landing on my desk ready to go,
it was great to see the process
through from start to nish and
be able to change simple things on
set which would have taken hours
in photoshop afterwards!
me
and my
job...
with a name for the show, doing
artwork for yers and arranging
a mailshot.
On other projects, like the
website redevelopment, the whole
thing is driven by myself and Cath
so well meet to update Karen on
the progress and make sure she
is happy with the direction its
moving in and that its staying
I also still get a buzz when our
new brochures arrive back from
the printers.
When youve worked on
something from the ground up
the initial concept through to the
photo shoot, the editing and the
nal layout you cant beat that
feeling of nally holding it your
hands! BB
How vital do you think a website is?
Our website is often the rst point of
contact between us and a bride, so it
becomes a vital part of that relationship, and hopefully
it serves as a useful resource for our stockists too. We
are currently working on a brand new website, which will
be cleaner and easier to use. Weve been a little slow on
the uptake with social networking, so getting that up to
scratch is our next priority.
108 www.bridalbuyer.com
Tell All
BRIDAL COLLECTION 2014
Stockists required - contact us for available regions
www.terryfox.co.uk 01284 752191 info@terryfox.co.uk
Visit us on stand 404
at The White Gallery,
19-21 May 2013

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The highlight for
us this year is the use of
fabric to create
soft tones and beautiful
movement to truly celebrate
the female form.
Elizabeth Stuart
























My 2014 highlight is my range of jewelled
belts. They are designed using silk grosgrain
ribbon and Chantilly lace and include lavish
embellishment incorporating Swarovski
crystals, silver beads and pearls.
Emily Jean
























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shapely low-line
shtails and
vintage glamorous
embellishments
like dress clips
and belt clasps.
erry Fox TTerry Fox
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The highlight for
us this year is the use of
fabric to create
soft tones and beautiful
movement to truly celebrate
the female form.
Elizabeth Stuart

The highlight for


us this year is the use of
fabric to create
soft tones and beautiful
movement to truly celebrate
the female form.
Elizabeth Stuart

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My 2014 highlight is my range of jewelled


belts. They are designed using silk grosgrain
ribbon and Chantilly lace and include lavish
embellishment incorporating Swarovski
crystals, silver beads and pearls.

My 2014 highlight is my range of jewelled


belts. They are designed using silk grosgrain
ribbon and Chantilly lace and include lavish
embellishment incorporating Swarovski
crystals, silver beads and pearls.

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Pitcher Angela
Blue Bridalwear

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crystals, silver beads and pearls.


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Emily Jean

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New rich textures using


a multitude of stone cuts,
and colours such as warm
golden tones in the plating
and crystals. New shapes
will include contemporary
organic formations that
blend into the hair, and
delicate pieces with a fairy-
like feel to them.
Jenny Packham,
Jenny Packham
Accessories























Fluid lines
creating a softer
silhouette. Yes, lace, but
innitely more modern.
Embellishment is important
for me in 2014 mixing laces
and adding texture through
different motifs. The new
season will see colour, too.
Stephanie Allin



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t

Flattering slinky peau de
soie, a smattering of beads;
lace owing allowing for
movement, skilfully tailored
billowing skirts of satin,
setting a scene for vintage-
meets-modern, -feminine
glamour; plunging backs and
shoulder-baring draping.
Ritva Westenius
Beautiful, textured and embellished
organzas and laces; belts, bows and
collars; a new range of dresses for
informal weddings and parties that sit
perfectly alongside our new collection
of formal bridesmaid and First Holy
Communion dresses.
Nicki Macfarlane
A beautifully simple equation: the
fabrics - jacquard and damask; the
silhouette extreme shtail; the
embellishment- three-dimensional
effects; the look winning.
Sassi Holford






1920s-inspired owing, silky tulle skirts
that create movement; snug-tting semi-
transparent bodices; shiny Swarovski beads;
airy fabrics Chantilly and blond lace and
Swiss embroidery on organza silks.
Marta Raich, Novia dArt
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estenius
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Flattering slinky peau de
soie, a smattering of beads;
lace owing allowing for
movement, skilfully tailored
billowing skirts of satin,
setting a scene for vintage-
meets-modern, -feminine
glamour; plunging backs and
-baring draping.
estenius





















Beautiful, textured and embellished
organzas and laces; belts, bows and





















Beautiful, textured and embellished
organzas and laces; belts, bows and
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collars; a new range of dresses for
informal weddings and parties that sit
perfectly alongside our new collection
of formal bridesmaid and First Holy
Communion dresses.
Nicki Macfarlane





















collars; a new range of dresses for
informal weddings and parties that sit
perfectly alongside our new collection
of formal bridesmaid and First Holy
Communion dresses.
Nicki Macfarlane
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1920s-inspired owing, silky tulle skirts
that create movement; snug-tting semi-
transparent bodices; shiny Swarovski beads;
airy fabrics Chantilly and blond lace and
Swiss embroidery on organza silks.
Marta Raich, Novia dArt
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1920s-inspired owing, silky tulle skirts
that create movement; snug-tting semi-
transparent bodices; shiny Swarovski beads;
airy fabrics Chantilly and blond lace and
Swiss embroidery on organza silks.
Marta Raich, Novia dArt
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ion: the
jacquard and k; the
ette extreme shtail; the
shment three dimensional
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New rich textures using
a multitude of stone cuts,
and colours such as warm
golden tones in the plating
and crystals. New shapes
will include contemporary
organic formations that
blend into the hair
delicate pieces with a fairy-
like feel to them.





















New rich textures using
a multitude of stone cuts,
and colours such as warm
golden tones in the plating
and crystals. New shapes
will include contemporary
organic formations that
, and blend into the hair
delicate pieces with a fairy-
like feel to them.





















for me in 2014 mixing laces





















Fluid lines
creating a softer
es, lace, but silhouette. Y Yes, lace, but
innitely more modern.
Embellishment is important
for me in 2014 mixing laces
and adding texture through
shment- three-dimensional
cts; the look winning.
Sassi Holford





















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like feel to them.
Jenny Packham,
Jenny Packham
Accessories





















like feel to them.
Jenny Packham,
Jenny Packham
Accessories





















and adding texture through
different motifs. The new
, too. season will see colour
Stephanie Allin





















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Our adaptable gowns
have evolved and play
with tones, overlays and detailing
to create more diversity. Our Viola
gown has been designed to be worn
in ve different ways.
Rachel Harrimond,
Hazaar
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Its our
30th Anniversary
this year and we will
have the Oscar of all
collections. Antique lace,silk
and exceptional beaded
embellishments.
Marina Adamou,
Hollywood Dreams


















Soft silk tulle and rich taffeta
are hot fabric trends; the
shtail and t-are style is
denitely going to be there but
soft layered oaty gowns will
be important. 2014 will be the
year of the belt.
Charlotte Balbier
lor Loday's woman 'lrom a Llme when dresslng was
an eleganL arL', blllowlng sklrLs, ballgowns and a new
sleeker sllhoueLLe, rlbbons, bows, fowers and Lhe
mosL dellcaLe ol sarkle and vlnLage sLyle Lrlms.
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Im fascinated by the
1930s and the swirling
dance dresses worn by
Ginger. This inspires a
new range of soft, slim
dresses with art deco
beaded detailing, in
owing silk chiffon.
Naomi Neoh














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Lace:
delicate, feminine
without excessive detailing,
playing in the wind; the
appreciation of handwork in an era
of mass-production; colour inuences
and the chance to change; silhouettes
that emphasise the best features.
Marina Kvasova,
Katya Katya Shehurina
The highlight of our White
Gallery collection is the various
pale hues pinks, silvers and
blues. Expect tiny waists, fuller
skirts, dramatic embellishments
dimensional or contrasting and
a wonderous washed organza.
Vatana Watters,
Watters Brides

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Skull caps of silk and sequinned
headbands in gold and ivory mixed
with feathers and pearls. Delicious
feather capes and crushed
velvet shawls. A oor-length veil
bedecked in golden feathers and
ne pearls. And the wild Apache
with beautiful quills barnacled
with Swarovski.
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Pearls, lace, muted
diamant; our Indulgence
Collection, which features
very special pieces
headdresses and matching
jewellery with elaborate,
intricate beadwork.
Exuberant styles a la Great
Gatsby and Mr Selfridge.
Polly Edwards











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Silhouettes that range from traditional and luxurious to casual
and gure-hugging, gowns created expressly for the UK and Irish
markets; brilliant colours, gorgeous fabrics, stylish accessories.
Kim De Boeck, Linea Raffaelli











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Silk organza is denitely THE fabric for next
year; its soft, feminine, and can be used in so
many different ways. Shoulders will remain
covered with a hint of lace.
Emma Tindley,
Emma Tindley Couture

In headdresses,
clean owing lines will
give an overall elegant and
more grown up look. We are
launching an MOB collection
alongside our bridal range.
Helena Talbot,
HT Headwear








Elope is our new theme
we love the idea of wedding
gowns that are very light,
easy and comfortable,
created for the modern
urban brides who have left
behind them the traditional
perception of wedding gowns.
Ee-Lyn Tang Pulham,
Love, Yu
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Cleverly-designed accessories to
complement any gown; organza
and lace, the added detail of
textured, three-dimensional lace-
on-lace, a classic touch of sparkle;
design inuences
from past eras.
Varvara Dimitrea,
Nymphi














































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Art Nouveau is the
inspiration of lace design
in 2014 which includes
unique oral and
botanical prints. The
silhouette is body-
hugging; classic
designs of wedding
gowns are given a
modern twist with
surprising details.
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professional help from Gareth
The Kent-based store called in
reect its ourishing business.
to re-create its online offering to
Crystal Fairy Company wanted
and a move to new premises, The
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ensure that pages load and
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The Kent-based store called in
reect its ourishing business.
to re-create its online offering to
Crystal Fairy Company wanted
and a move to new premises, The
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informative pages to encourage
brief called for user
created a unique site. The design
and dislikes, and to ensure it
websites to collate a list of likes
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o drive more trafc to the TTo drive more trafc to the
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with a Coming Soon ash until
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blog posts, and testimonials can
house, so features including
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refresh quickly
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informative pages to encourage
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created a unique site. The design
and dislikes, and to ensure it
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platform it desired.
realise the sleek interactive
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o drive more trafc to the
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with a Coming Soon ash until
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ensure that pages load and
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with search engine optimisation
budget to employ expert help
has dedicated part of its 2013
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o drive more trafc to the TTo drive more trafc to the
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respect and admire.
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consultancy Internet
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business began in 2007.
has been working with since its
Line Creative, who the company
of call was design agency Thin
retail brand image. The rst port
its recognisable and feminine
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Sanderson wanted its new
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consultancy Internet
ogether with e-commerce
business began in 2007.
has been working with since its
Line Creative, who the company
of call was design agency Thin
retail brand image. The rst port
its recognisable and feminine
e-commerce website to reect
Sanderson wanted its new
, Ellie B 3 A B C = 3 6 B
Sanderson has a dedicated team
adding new merchandise. Elle
price checking existing items and
made on a daily basis including
overall aesthetic. Site updates are
white backgrounds to give a clean
often clipped and cut-out onto
style the site, where they are
Suppliers images are used to
6 B
Marks and Spencer




























Sanderson has a dedicated team
adding new merchandise. Elle
price checking existing items and
made on a daily basis including
overall aesthetic. Site updates are
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115
Love sites
when pLanning iTs
online update, Shefeld-based
boutique the White Room, took
into account the feedback theyd
received from judges on their
website entry to the Bridal
Buyer Awards 2012. This
included providing a product-
led platform to give brides
immediate access to the gowns
on offer.
The company reviewed
popular bridal and non-
industry related sites to ensure
its new site was distinctive
and original. An online
specialist was hired to create
this and ensure the online
offering reects the style of the
boutique.

The siTe
The website displays a range
of bespoke photography for
general illustration, to show
off the boutiques range of
collections and also give
a sneak peek of the shops
interior. Product shots come
straight from the designers;
brand and dress names
annotate the images, in addition
to style numbers, material and
colour descriptions.
The White
Room, Shefeld
Although the White Rooms
SEO work was originally based on
the use of key words and Google
or Facebook adverts, things have
progressed. The boutique wanted
to create links with popular
industry sites, too, and a web
marketing rm has been hired to
optimise these threads.
To keep things fresh, updates
are made on an almost daily basis,
The website
displays a range of
bespoke photography
for general
illustration, to show
off the boutiques
collections

be it news items or blog entries


which the companys owners do
themselves.
FinaLisTs commenTs:
Being nominated means that
the hard work weve put in to
building a brand is paying off,
says Kieran Curry, partner in the
White Room. From a business
point of view, having the BB
Awards to focus elements of our
business on each year is a
great incentive.
wanTing To provide its
customers with a professional,
easy-to-use website, LuLu
Browns bridal boutique employed
marketing agency Roomftytwo,
an agency they had worked with
previously, to create its online
offering.
As well as reviewing numerous
websites, a survey was carried out
to gain ideas for the new platform
direct from brides themselves. The
research found that customers
LuLu Browns
Being nominated
as a nalist in the BB
Awards means the
days and nights of
research and hours of
uploading content has
all been worth it

were frustrated by seeing a wide


range of gowns pictured on
websites, only to visit the shop
and see hardly any in store.
The siTe
Each and every gown shown on
the site reects exactly whats in
the shop itself, and the brands
that LuLu Browns works with
are highlighted throughout. In
terms of imagery, pictures come
straight from the suppliers and
dress designers all of which
have been specically shot to
show the dresses off at their very
best. Photos of the gowns come
complete with special instore
names, rather than the generic
numbers.
The website is updated on a
weekly basis. Small changes,
such as uploading new images
and news stories, are done
in house, whilst anything
technical is handed over to the
professionals.
In terms of SEO work, LuLu
Browns doesnt tend to go down
the paid for listings route, rather
the company make regular blog
entries, update news pieces and
make good use of the sites Twitter
feed.
FinaLisTs commenTs:
We are constantly being told
brides feel like they already know
us before they visit the boutique
and, when I hear that, I know we
are doing something right, says
Helen Lord, managing director of
LuLu Browns. Being nominated
as a nalist in the BB Awards
means the days and nights of
research and hours of uploading
content have all been worth it.
lulu-browns.com
116 www.bridaLbuyer.com
whiteroombridal.co.uk
W100 W125 W097 W125 B662
Phoenix Gowns
CELEBRATE THE FUTURE WI TH PHOENI X GOWNS
No discontinuation of styles & No minimum order Flexibility can be arranged with regard to delivery time frames Styles can be tailored in line with customer special requests
Six week rush delivery available free of charge on orders taken at BBEH We provide a high level of customer service whatever the quantity of order.
Please visit us at 10-12 March 2013 / Stand C9
We look forward to seeing you there or contact us on 01689 831841 for a private viewing.
Email: tian@phoenixgowns.co.uk | www.phoenixgowns.co.uk. Also follow us on Twitter @PhoenixGowns
See for yourself the Quality and Attention to detail of our designs
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S
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H
E BUYER FOR A BRIDESM
AIDS SUPPLIER CALLED

in late in the day at a fabric w
arehouse and asked to
see som
e bright red satin. A
dozen rolls w
ere w
hisked
before his eyes. H
m
m
, he said, I think I like the rst
tw
o or three, but I w
asnt so keen on the last one. Ill pop
back tom
orrow
and m
ake up m
y m
ind.
The next m
orning, he w
as there, bright as a button.
For no reason, the salesm
an show
ed him
the sam
ples in the
reverse order of the previous day. H
m
m
, he said,, I still
prefer the rst tw
o or three, and w
rote an order for those.
Paperw
ork com
pleted, the salesm
an returned to the
back ofce and said to his colleague: That custom
er is a
professional buyer. O
ne day he likes one lot, the next day just
the opposite, how
can he be so changeable? Its a m
ystery!
<
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ne hundred and fty years ago, a certain M
ichel Eugene
Chevreul, the boss of a fabric-dying enterprise in France,
produced a learned treatise the result of 11 years research
into the w
ay the hum
an eye perceives colour. H
is
ndings form
ed the basis of the understanding of
colour, w
hether you are an artist, tapestry m
aker,
stain glass w
orker or fashion designer. But, as
TV
s science darling Brian Cox tells us in his book,
W
onders of Life, our eyes have their lim
itations.
A
t the back of our eyes are receptors, called rods,
w
hich pick up brightness, and cones, w
hich pick
up red, yellow
or blue colours and m
ix them
in the brain to
m
ake a picture. They quickly get tired how
ever, if faced w
ith
intense colour or light.
O
ur fabric buyer, in search of the perfect shade, had sim
ply
suffered red blindness; by the tim
e he had got to the tw
elfth
roll of fabric, his receptors m
ust have been on the verge of
failure and all colours w
ould have taken on a greenish hue
as the blue and yellow
cones carried on feeding inform
ation
dow
n the optic nerve. A
t the base of the rods and cones lies
a chem
ical fam
ily called rhodopsins, and these can take 20
m
inutes to get back to full functionality once w
hen faced, for
exam
ple, w
ith a sudden bright light at night .
Being in bridal, if you have ever thought you w
ere
suffering from
w
hite blindness, youre not alone. I rem
em
ber
one Spanish supplier subjecting buyers to a nightm
arish
procession of no less than 144 w
edding dresses, all in exactly
the sam
e shade of ivory. The old hands knew
to arrive early,
sam
ple the Cava, pick their favourites from
the m
annequins,
and head straight for the beach.
B
6
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um
ans
w
ere
never
designed
to
be
assaulted
w
ith
a
snow
storm
of bright lights and colours. A
m
ere 150,000
years ago w
hen our species started spreading out of A
frica
to cover the globe, w
e w
ere ne-tuned to spotting the
differences in natural colours around us, as w
e searched our
surroundings for predators and prey. That is w
hy w
e are
so com
fortable in an environm
ent of m
uted greens, sands,
greys, sky blues and sunshine colours.
Psychologists w
ill tell you that colours, or certainly
shades and hues of colours, inuence our em
otions. The
excitem
ent of bright red is vastly different from
the earthy
com
fort of brick red. Even conventions can do it put red
and green together and you think of holly and Christm
as.
So the w
hole look of your retail environm
ent can tell a
story about you. Its your unspoken public face right
O
n
e
S
p
a
n
is
h
s
u
p
p
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r
s
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b
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y
e
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to

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p
r
o
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e
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le
s
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a
t 1
4
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w
e
d
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r
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s
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e
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e
s
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e
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a
d
e
o
f iv
o
r
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AB@=<5=>7<7=<
EEE0@72/:0CG3@1=; 119
from
your shop front and logo to the paint colour in your
bridal room
s, w
here you are looking to create relaxed m
ood,
as w
ell as show
off your precious purchases to advantage.
Leave your bride in a w
aiting area facing a bright green
(cheerful) w
all, and theres no w
ay she can m
ake a decision
on a green bridesm
aid dress. H
er blue and yellow
cones w
ill
have been K
O
d.
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Look at the colours in the big-chain shops. They have throw
n
m
illions on getting into the m
ind of the custom
er, so let them

do the spending w
hile you can reap the rew
ards.
In the holiday business, Thom
as Cook sells dream
s so for
them
its sky blue and sunshine yellow
; Costa Coffee, features
dark, rich colours; branded fashion shops such as D
iesel and
Firetrap are all about urban tones grey brick, acid colours,
and acres of grunge-coloured stock. Stroll into John Lew
is
probably the U
K
s m
ost successful retailer and note the
neutral colours. D
ebenham
s tells the sam
e story.
But colour theory is m
ore com
plex than that. In his early
days, a lot of M
onsieur Chevreuls w
ork as Superintendent
of the dyeing departm
ent of the R
oyal M
anufactories,
G
obelins, involved m
atching up colours to repair such w
orks
as the fam
ous Bayeux Tapestry. W
hen a custom
er brought
him
a thread of w
ool and asked him
to produce a m
atch to
repair their ow
n tapestry, he w
ould place it in the w
eave but
found it never looked the sam
e as the originals. Eleven years
of painstaking w
ork dem
onstrated that the colours that the
thread w
as being placed next to had a great deal of inuence
as to how
the eye saw
it.
Chevreuls Law
of Sim
ultaneous Colours covers 400 pages,
but his Colour W
heel is the key, w
here he divides the rainbow

of natural colours into 32, and places the com
plem
entary
colours exactly opposite each other, w
ith red, for exam
ple,
opposite green, this being the colour that w
ill m
ake one
jum
p out from
the other, a crucial piece of know
ledge for
fashion designers. But separate your red and green shades
w
ith a thin w
hite, grey, or black line and the colours appear
different as they are not m
ixing in the eye any m
ore. Colours
next to each other in the rainbow
violet, purple blue, for
instance, sit there com
fortably.
Chevreuls studies on fashion show
ed how
skin and hair
tones determ
ined the m
ost suitable colour for the w
earer
w
hether the skin is w
hite, copper, olive or black a nightm
are
for brides trying to pick a colour to suit all her friends.
M
aybe thats w
hy the trend of m
ulti-coloured bridesm
aids is
so popular in todays cosm
opolitan society.
M
odernist artists such as Ben N
icholson and M
ark R
othko
experim
ented w
ith interacting blocks of colour placed next
to each other to see them
interact in the eye, w
hile Bridget
R
iley assem
bles colours on canvas that sim
ply m
ake the
senses dance.
Its a com
plex picture, but w
hat does it m
ean to bridal
retailers and their suppliers? First of all, be aw
are that your
eyes soon tire of seeing the sam
e colours tim
e and tim
e
again. The longer you take to m
ake a decision on a dress, the
m
ore difcult it gets. Taking a break not only refreshes you
m
entally but allow
s your cones to refresh them
selves. Your
precious brides can suffer the sam
e m
alady.
Thinking of refreshing your shop dcor? Start from
the
outside, pick a colour, design style and them
e that reects
your m
essage. A
re you cheap and cheerful, posh and
exclusive, hom
ely or traditional? Pick interior colours that
present your stock in the best possible w
ay. Choose neutrals
enlivened by interior colour kickers, w
ith m
aybe different
shades for bridal, guestw
ear and m
ensw
ear areas.
A
nd look around you. Visit the high street, art galleries,
hotels and public buildings. See w
hat different colour
environm
ents do for your com
fort and equilibrium
. A
nd
im
agine how
different colour backdrops w
ill show
off your
collections in store.
M
ichel
Chevreul
put
a
lifetim
e
of
analysis
into
understanding colour. A
fresh coat of paint in your shop
w
ont take m
ore than a day.
00














































































































































































































Q

&
A
the right message
One of my plans for the new year is to improve
my boutiques presence on the internet with a
little website redesign. But before I start brieng
my designer, I would like to have a clear idea of
the direction I should be going in. Do I go for bold
images or chic illustrations? It is so hard to tell
what will give a good rst impression.
Your online presence should reect the atmosphere and
ethos of your boutique and help strengthen and build your
brand (and therefore your business!). Before you start the
design process, think about the type of bride your shop is
aiming to attract and brainstorm with your staff how this
could be reected online. For example, if your boutique
has a vintage vibe, soft pastel colours, pretty illustrations
and girly fonts will help give potential
customers an idea of what to expect
when they visit you. But dont forget to
make sure all the essential information
a bride will need is easy to nd and
clearly presented.
Please can you explain how
using certain words help improve
a websites ranking? Do I need to
do this on my site and where do I
need to use them?
What youre talking about here are
keywords and these are words (or
phrases) search engines look for when
compiling their results lists. Therefore
its essential you use them to make
sure your website can be found by
brides-to-be. Firstly work out what your
keywords should be (think about what
a customer would type into a search
engine if they wanted to nd your shop
online) and have a look on Google Analytics, a free internet
analysis tool, to see which words are commonly used in
searches relating to wedding dress shops. From there its
best to work these keywords into the text content of your
website, as well as asking your web developer to make sure
they are included when they build the site.
a bride recently told me if she had seen on my
website how lovely my shop is, she wouldnt have
made appointments elsewhere. Luckily, I got her
business but it made me wonder if I am missing
out by not showing photos of the interior of my
shop. I cant afford to have professional images
taken now but should I consider it in the future?
When youve spent so much time and effort making your
boutique look beautiful its only natural you would want
to show it off! Adding pictures of to your website can help
You & your website
Claire Snewin is off on maternity leave, but will return! We
wish her the very best. From our next issue of You & Your
Weddings new web editor Victoria Joy will pick up the reins
create a positive rst impression and help reassure
potential customers about the quality of service they will
receive. Saving towards having some professional photos
of your shop taken would be a smart business move. In
the meantime, assess the quality of the images you have
and consider adding them somewhere on your site. They
do not have to be the rst thing you see on the homepage
but it may be worth investigating whether you can add a
few select images to your about us or contact us pages.

Ive noticed a number of large retailers offer
regular newsletters to their customers. I have a
small shop with just one part-time assistant but
should I consider doing something similar?
Newsletters can be a brilliant way
to connect with your customers
and keep them engaged with whats
going on at your shop. They can also
be a great marketing tool to promote
new stock lines, in-store events and
sales. However, you will need to
invest some money to get a newsletter
mailing off the ground and youll
need to regularly generate new
and interesting content to ll them.
Newsletters arent essential for small
retailers and you can achieve similar
results by using social media like
Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch
with your customers. These tools
are free and wont consume huge
amounts of your time.
What are your views on
the off-the-shelf website
templates that are advertised
on television? They are probably far better than
anything my daughter who works with me and I
could put together so do you recommend going
down this route?
If youre just starting out, these services can be a good
way to get a quick and stress-free online presence. Before
you commit, do some research and make sure you nd
a provider that offers all the services your boutique
will need. For example do they have the URL you want
and are they offering enough server space to carry all
the images your site will need to promote the dresses
and designers you stock? And do they have templates
that reect your boutiques brand and style? You will
be limited in what you can achieve on these sites and as
your website is going to be a very important business
tool for your boutique, you may want to consider
upgrading to a site you have more control over. BB
www.BrIDaLBuyer.com 121
Brainstorm with your
staff about how you can
reect the atmosphere
and ethos of your shop
on your website




























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Ciara Elliot
FAST tALKINg
Meet the new editor of Wedding magazine and Flowers, Ciara Elliott
Hello new editor of Wedding
magazine. Where were you
before?
Hello! I was editor of bridal
magazine Confetti and before that
I was editor of Irish Tatler. Ive
also worked as fashion editor in
a national newspaper for eight
years, as well as social editor in
another newspaper for ve years.
Through my bridal and fashion
experience Ive worked in radio,
TV and online environments, and
am still contributing regularly
to national TV, radio and
newspapers.
on the phone to...
So are you a newcomer to our
shores?
The move from Ireland to the
UK is new, and I love the new
challenge that being in a bigger
market and publishing world
brings.
Are you planning a new broom
job with the magazine and if so,
what changes are your priority?
Actually it wasnt the plan at all
but I do look at the issues that
Ive worked on and they denitely
www.bridAlbuyer.com 125
What appealed to you about Wedding and Wedding Flowers
when the job opportunity came up?
I was toying with the idea of moving full-time over to the
UK and when this role came up I jumped at the chance to edit
these beautiful magazines.
look different! Weve had almost
a complete changeover in staff
in the last six months and the
magazine is really reecting this
huge new inux of ideas and
energy. In readership and print
sales were on an all-time high.
Weve hired a brilliant new art
editor, style editor and features
writer, and when a new team
comes in its hard to keep things
the same, as everyone has so
many fresh ideas. Weve also just
thing, just as it is for social media.
Our stats for last year were 60k
uniques per month and 600,000
page impressions per month.
Twitter is our biggie when it
comes to social media, with 35k
followers.
Can you see a time coming when
online will take priority over
print?
Not in the immediate future but
within the next ve to ten years I
think it is almost a certainty, yes.
Whats your own taste
romantic ballgowns or slinky
red-carpet?
Ha ha! I change my mind
constantly but Im kind of veering
back to big 80s puff ball dresses
now I am sort of going through
a Four Weddings and a Funeral
style phase I think Im just
sick of seeing lace dresses and
tastefully designed vintage bring
back hats and old-fashioned ower
girls! So much more interesting
for the wedding industry too!
Will you and your team be at
Harrogate this March and what
do you look to achieve when you
are there at the show?
Yes, the fashion team and I will
be there! We love buzzing around
and looking at all of the new
ideas coming through and its a
great chance to do all-important
meetings and lunches. Its always
a really busy few days for us, but
always so enjoyable, and thats
what makes it special.
Contact
+ 44 (0)1206 851117 ext. 261
ciara.elliott@burdamagazines.co.uk
www.weddingmagazine.co.uk
Where does Wedding
stand in the line-up
of consumer bridal
glossies?
Wedding uctuates
between the second and
third spot in the line-
up, behind Brides and
ahead of You and Your
Wedding.
What is the rst-read/
most read section in
the magazine?
Its always the fashion.
Every bride wants to see
pictures of what dress
they will wear and how
they will look fab on the
day.
done a re-vamp of
Wedding Flowers
magazine (our
specialist sister
title which sells
worldwide) which
has just come out.
Who is your average
reader?
Were in the ABC1
bride-to-be market,
and our reader is very
much your typical bride-to-be.
Shes in the 25-35 years age group
and prepared to spend on average
about 20,000 on her wedding.
Our reader wants our insider
knowledge to make her wedding
sensational yet achievable, with
affordable glamour her ultimate
aim. She knows all eyes are on
her for that one special day in her
life, and this is her big chance
to step out in condence and
be remembered for all the right
reasons.
Any idea what she is planning to
spend on her wedding dress?
Between 1,000 and 3,000.
Do most of your readers also
visit your website?
Its hard to track that kind of
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A U T U M N / W I N T E R C O L L E C T I O N S
EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR THE NEW BRIDAL SEASON
Browse & Buy from OVER 250 collections featuring the very best in Bridalwear,
Occasionwear, Accessories and Menswear
10-12 MARCH 2013
REGISTER TO ATTEND AT BBEH.CO.UK
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bbeh.co.uk
Can you and your staff tell the difference between
certain laces or different types of silks? We thought a
basic guide would be of value and that the knowledge
you glean from it would impress your brides
7
HOOSING A WEDDING DRESS IS ABOUT SO MUCH
more than style, shape and season; the fabric is also
a vitally important element. The same dress made up
in two totally different fabrics will create two totally
different moods, whilst two fabrics that have the same
weight and drapability allow a designer to offer a
price-accessible version of an expensive gown.
Fashions in bridal fabrics change, say suppliers like Michael Bristow
of Michaels Bridal Fabrics, but do so less abruptly than is evident in the
high fashion arena. In bridal, it is evolution rather than revolution, though
there is often a peak of interest when a celebrity bride opts for a particular
fabric and other brides and designers decide to incorporate elements of that
column-inch-grabbing look and feel into their own gowns.
Of course bridal gowns can be made in any fabric, from opulent silks to
embroidered cottons to linen (the bridal fabric in Mexico), and each one is
suitable for a different style of wedding and different style of bride! Kate
Moss chose silk for her gorgeous and totally distinctive bias-cut John
Galliano gown, and white chiffon for her ock of small bridesmaids, saying
that she wanted to create a dreamy and soft-focus look for her wedding in
July 2011. Silk and lace are among the most characteristic bridal fabrics -
or perhaps we should say silks and laces because there are literally dozens
of each. What you as a retailer do not want, is a customer asking you for
a specic fabric or type of fabric that you cant, in all honesty, identify in
anything other than name.
In this guide, we look at the most popular fabrics used in bridal today.
A7:9 either on its own or blended with other materials is the basis for
many fabrics. Silk was rst developed in China more than 4,000 years ago
and is made from the cocoons of silkworms. Silk threads are extremely
ne and are often woven to create other fabrics from the heavy, luxurious
duchess satin to the lighter, more gauze-like chiffon, tulle and organza.
2C163AAA/B7< can be made from silk or, more economically, from a blend
of silk and man-made bres. Woven to have a sheen on one side, it has a
smooth, glossy appearance and is equally appropriate for a formal or simple
wedding gown. This fabric can crease so is better suited to more structured
silhouettes; it is also too warm for summer. Princess Annes daughter Zara
Phillips dress by Stewart Parvin was made in a combination of silk faille - a
slightly glossy fabric which drapes well - and duchess satin.
1@3>3 has a crinkly texture and is usually made from a blend of silk and
man-made bres. It is ideal for informal, owing dresses in loose styles.
Heavy silk crepe is often seen in designer gowns such as the bridesmaids
dress worn by Pippa Middleton, designed by Sarah Burton.
B/443B/ is a heavy, crisp fabric with a polished or glassy nish, which
rustles as it moves. It is made from silk or a silk mix. A taffeta dress will
always make an impact and the fabric is rst choice for big dresses and
structured styles. Full-skirted and ballroom-style wedding gowns featuring
layers of tulle underskirts, are often made from taffeta.
7B/:7/<A/B7< is manufactured to offer a different texture and quality and
is made of a blend of silk and man-made bres such as polyester or acetate.
Its a versatile fabric, suitable for many shapes and styles of gown, with a
soft and subtle sheen. It is also crease-resistant - an important consideration
for many brides. Newer Italian satins may have little or no silk content but
look like pure silk at a fraction of the price.
A7:9 2C>7=< is a textured fabric with slubs in the weave - these are
naturally-occurring bumps in the yarn which give the textured effect.
Dupion also has a slight gloss to it. Shantung is a similar, but slightly
thinner, fabric.
A7:9;79/2= is a blended silk fabric which has a crisp, elegant look and is
normally rather heavier than 100% silk. It has a special weave designed to
catch the light and as it is quite stiff, it works well for modern, structured
gowns whether shorter or full-length. It is less matte than crepe and less
shiny than satin.
For the bride who is looking for something ethereal and romantic,
especially for a late Spring or Summer wedding, there is a wide choice of
light, oaty silk-based fabrics such as organza, chiffon and charmeuse.
53=@53BB3, for example, is made from sheer silk or man-made bres,
ideal for soft, draped, loose styles and warm weather or beach weddings.

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for example, is made from sheer silk or man-made bres,
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Kate Moss chose


silk for her gorgeous
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Georgette looks elegant when draped or layered and
may be used in veils and trains, or to layer with a more
formal fabric to soften the look.
Organza, like georgette and chiffon, is a sheer fabric made
from silk or a mixture of silk and man-made bres, but it has a
crisper weave than the other two. Organza is an excellent volume-booster
for big skirts where multi-layers are a feature. It works well on both
structured and looser, draped styles of gown and can add an extra touch of
romance to veils, trains and overlays.
ChiffOn is a very sheer and ne fabric and a popular choice for tradition-
minded brides. It drapes well and may be used alongside other fabrics
on sleeves or over the shoulders. It gives a dress a soft and romantic feel
and is attering to curvy as well as slimmer gures. Like the other light
fabrics it can be made from silk, silk mix, or man-made bres. Because it is
transparent it is ideal layering fabric.
Tulle is another fabric which is traditionally associated with weddings,
as well as ballet tutus! Because it is available in various weights it can be
highly versatile. Made from silk or silk mix, it is woven into a very ne net,
looser than netting but stiffer than chiffon, so works well in a dress which
needs a bouffant look. Ballgown-style dresses, underskirts, veils and trains
all feature tulle, often combined with other fabrics. Kim Kardashians
wedding gown by Vera Wang combined a full tulle skirt with a bodice made
from Chantilly lace, and movie star Anne Hathaway wore layers of sheer
silk tulle designed by Valentino and with a hint of pink.
VelVeT, the perfect fabric for a winter wedding, is available in several
different thicknesses and can also be embossed or patterned for the bride
who is looking for something different. Velvet can be made from silk, cotton
or man-made bres and is used in both formal and unstructured styles.
Moving on to lace a fabric that received a huge boost in popularity
when details of the Duchess of Cambridges Sarah Burton-designed gown
were revealed in April 2011. There are literally dozens of different types
of lace from all over the world, made using a variety of techniques and
yarns; some pattern designs are centuries old. Hand-made lace is still made
in the traditional way using bobbins or needles; machine-made net can be
embroidered to make patterned lace.
Lace can look wonderful against the skin or over another fabric, and
gives a gown a timeless, classic look. Among the most popular types are:
alenCOn laCe, rst made in the town of that name in France in the 16th
century, is a ne needlepoint lace with a oral design, usually on a sheer
net background, making it perfect for veil trims, and layering on a gown.
Brussels laCe is another bobbin lace which is often seen in heirloom
and antique bridal veils; less often on dresses.
ChanTilly laCe (which was combined with hand-cut English Cluny lace
on the Duchess of Cambridges wedding gown) is ne and delicate. It is a
hand-made bobbin lace, often featuring ribbons or owers on netting or
organza. It is light in weight and motifs are sometimes outlined in a heavier
silky thread.
COrded laCe came originally from Alencon in Northern France. In this
type of lace details are often outlined in heavier thread or cord to produce
an ornate pattern and give a three-dimensional effect. This is another style
of lace popular with brides who like a traditional or antique look.
guipure laCe is a needlepoint lace made with a heavy buttonhole machine
stitch on a coarse mesh net, which produces a strong fabric that does not
fray. It usually consists of a continuous motif in a oral or geometric
design, and is robust enough to incorporate into a bodice or skirt.
laser laCe is a newcomer and can be very striking. Satin fabrics are cut
into shape using a laser, and then embroidered onto different fabrics. BB
22 YEARS SERVING THE INDUSTRY
COME AND VISIT US AT
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YOU AT THE SHOW
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OCTOBER
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THE UKS BIGGEST WEDDING EVENT
CATWALK
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Three dedicated bridal areas, offering retailers a
comprehensive platform to display and sell their collections:
THE BRIDAL ZONE offers top brands at exclusive prices
THE BOUTIQUE AREA creates a more exclusive boutique feel for retailers stocking bridal labels
THE DESIGNER AREA offers designers and boutiques an environment to display their high end collections
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2011
WINNER
Best Plus-size Collection
Preview of just 3 dresses from our Fall 2013 Collection
Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a stockist
for any of our seven Collections
Tel. 01279 418555
www.bonny.co.uk
Style 1323 Style 1317
Style 324
Finding the right candidate
Firstly, you must bear in mind that it is unlawful to
discriminate against a would-be employee: advertising for
an experienced mature employee could amount to unlawful
discrimination.
The format and content of application forms is important
as are the arrangements for the interview and the job and
person specications. The wording of an advertisement
should not suggest that the needs of disabled people cannot
be catered for; it is also unlawful to ask potential recruits
questions about their health or prior sickness records,
within an application form or during interview (subject to
certain limited exceptions).
Making an oFFer
Any job offer should be set out in writing to avoid possible
confusion over duties and responsibilities further down the
line. The offer letter should also conrm any conditions to
which the offer is subject, for example, receipt of satisfactory
references. At this stage you can ask questions about
health, and make the job offer conditional upon receipt of
a satisfactory report or medical questionnaire. Employers
must carry out certain checks to clarify that someone is
entitled to work in the UK.
the contract oF eMployMent
There are various things that you must include in a contract
of employment that is given to an employee within
two months of starting work These include:

pay and interval of payment; hours of work;
holiday entitlement and holiday pay; a brief
description of the work; place of work; terms related
to work outside the UK for a period of more than one
month; terms as to length of temporary or xed term
work; pensions, including a note stating whether
there is a contracting-out certicate in force under
the Pension Schemes Act 1993; certain information
on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Setting pay
You need to comply with the requirements for equal
pay between men and women when setting pay
for work of equal value. For details of the National
Minimum Wage see http://bit.ly/EcWZC.
Business things
you should know
03
eMployee rightS
Employees receive various rights from the rst day of their
employment. These include:
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) which covers employees if they
are off work on sick leave for four days or more in a row.
Paid holiday All employees are entitled to a minimum of
5.6 weeks (28 days) paid annual leave per year. Bank and
public holidays can be included as part of the minimum 5.6
weeks paid annual leave. Part-timers get this pro rata.
Rest breaks Employees aged 18 or over should not be
required to work an average of more than 48 hours per
week, unless they give their voluntary consent in writing.
Workers must have minimum daily and weekly rest
periods.
Family leave Most employees are entitled to take time off
work for the birth or adoption of a child. An employee is
also entitled to emergency time off in a number of dened
situations, including an emergency involving a dependant.
Health and safety Employees should receive health and
safety information, training and appropriate protective
clothing free of charge.
A right not to suffer unlawful discrimination You must
not treat workers less favourably because of their race,
nationality, ethnic grouping, sex, maternity, pregnancy,
disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief,
membership or non-membership of a trade union or their
marital/civil partnership status.
What iF it all goeS Wrong?
It is worth noting that employees whose
employment commenced after 6 April 2012 will
now need two years service in order to bring a
claim for ordinary unfair dismissal arising from
the termination of their employment; in certain
circumstances an employee does not need to have
any specic length of service in order to pursue
an unfair dismissal claim. Employees who can
establish that the reason for their
dismissal was discriminatory, can
pursue an automatic unfair dismissal
claim against their employer despite
not having two years service. You
should always consider the grounds
for dismissal in any circumstances
and ensure that nothing points to
discrimination of any form being the
real reason.
in SuMMary
Whilst the issues facing employers
when taking on employees may
seem overwhelming, when broken
down they are, for the most part,
common sense and ensure fairness
for both parties. BB
itS your business
www.bridalbuyer.com 133
Our latest round-up of advice to keep you well informed
Taking on an employee is a signicant step for a small business
to take. Understanding the legal issues can make a huge
difference to the experience, and costs, for all of those involved,
says solicitor Mark Stephens
01
Stafng up
Any job offer
should be set out
in writing to avoid
possible confusion
over duties and
responsibilities
further down
the line
>
Yummy
Goats Cheese, Tomato and Caramelised Red
Onion Tartlet with a Mixed Leaf Salad and Balsamic
Dressing
***
Roast Chicken Stuffed with a wild garlic mousse,
new potato cake with a cream sauce
Or Roasted Pumpkin and Vegetable Brochette,
Chargrilled Spears of Asparagus, Wild Rice and
Spiced Tomato Dressing (v)
***
Vanilla cheesecake with Chantilly cream
and mixed berry compote
the
AwArds
2o13
+
the 2o13 categories
Best Bridal Retailer North
Best Bridal Retailer South
Best Groomswear Retailer UK
Best New Bridal Retailer
Best Retail Website
Best Bridal Manufacturer
Best Groomswear Supplier
Best Bridesmaid Collection
Best Prom Collection
Best Occasionwear Collection
Best Bridal Headdress Designer
Best Plus Size Collection
Best Shoe Collection
Best Fabric Supplier
British Bridal Designer of the Year
Best Student Designer
Wedding Dress of the Year
tICKets
Tickets have been selling
fast, but it is still worth calling
Georgia Pick on
+44 (0)1423 770120 /
email georgia@uk-bridal.com
to see what is still available.
Tickets are 80 each plus VAT
The event the industry is waiting for the Bridal
Buyer Awards 2013 is almost upon us. Its the
time when we can congratulate the nalists in
the 17 categories, and take pride together in the
achievements of every sector of our market. The
entertainment is booked, the dcor is planned; it
will be a great night
simply the best
V O R Y & CO.
E xqui si te Ti aras & J e wellery
I
134 www.bridalbuyer.com
time check
*

7.30pm Champagne Reception
*

8.00pm Dinner
*

10.00pm Awards Ceremony presented
by TV personality John Scott
*

11.30pm Dancing to Candy
Apple Blue
*

1.30am Last orders at the bar
*

2.00am Carriages
March 11...
it's a date
W
hether you are looking to
expand your existing shop or nd
a struggling rival to turn around,
you should keep a number of
considerations in mind.
While many assume that its
best to acquire a companys
shares, the alternative, the purchase of assets, should also
be considered. a share purchase may be the simplest route
from a commercial standpoint, but it does mean that you will
acquire everything. however, an asset purchase allows you
to cherry-pick the best assets and leave behind the liabilities
debts, onerous shop leases and staff for example.
Whichever route, its never too soon to get the advisers
involved. they can guide and ag up show-stopping pitfalls
before too much time and money has been spent.
Due Diligence
Before incurring substantial due diligence (investigation)
costs, make sure you have legally enforceable rights of
exclusivity. these should lock-out other bidders during
negotiations with the target company. it may even be possible
to obtain an indemnity from the seller to cover your costs in
the event that they pull out without valid reason.
it is vital to know what you are buying. Properly
executed due diligence should give you a full
picture of how the company is performing now
and how its likely to in future. legal
due diligence can uncover issues
regarding employment matters,
intellectual property rights (designs,
for example) and compliance with
relevant legislation. Financial
due diligence will focus on the
quality of historical earnings
and maintainable prots, future
prospects of the business and balance-
sheet black holes. you should also
carry out your own commercial due
diligence.
Warranties
youll need good warranties from
the owners of the company being
sold to cover the risks and liabilities. By
insisting on a comprehensive set of warranties
you will motivate the seller to disclose all possible
problems. Without warranties you
risk forming an incomplete and
inaccurate view of the company
as well as denying yourself
any recourse in the event of an
undisclosed liability.
Where there is a single seller
its your business
Mary Elliott of the corporate department of Fox Williams,
says that acquiring a company is one of the most common
and effective ways to grow any business but points out the
element of risk involved
03
In Good Company
An asset purchase allows
you to cherry-pick the best
assets and leave behind
the liabilities such as debts,
onerous leases and staff
www.briDalbuyer.com 135
there is usually just one person offering a warranty. if
there are several shareholders all selling their interests
in the company, agreeing the identity of the warrantors
can be more difcult but is nevertheless important. Where
shareholders have been one-step removed from the day-to-
day management of the company (maybe theyre sleeping
shareholders), they will be reluctant to give any warranties
on matters in which they have not been actively involved.
however, as purchaser you would be strongly advised to
ensure liability for the warranties is given on a joint and
several basis. this means that you can pursue any one or
more of the warrantors for the whole liability in the event of
a breach. it is then up to the shareholders to determine how
they contribute to and share any such liability. of course, if
the seller does not have the money to pay out on a claim, you
will still be left carrying the can. For this reason, if you are
buying from a large corporate, you may want to ask for a
parent company to back up the warranties.
Playing safe
For all transactions you should consider holding back part of
the purchase price. if it is intended that any of the sellers are
remaining with the business after completion, discuss the
possibility of an earn-out structure or deferred consideration
where part of the purchase price is paid upfront and the
remainder held back until certain conditions (say given
levels of turnover and prot) have been satised. Similarly
you could agree to ring-fence part of the price. this is then
held in a retention account for an agreed period of time to
which you have recourse in the event that you discover any
issues after completion.
every company will have its key assets and any sensible
buyer will work hard to ensure that the acquisition has
as little impact on those assets as possible. you should
uncover whether there are any change of control clauses
in the relevant contracts. these could trigger termination
rights for those that deal with the company being bought
on completion of the transaction. also look for any potential
change of control provisions in the employment contracts.
it is rare to nd purchasers who can comfortably nance
an acquisition out of their own resources. this means
that careful thought will need to be given as
to where the funds are coming from. you
may need to approach the bank for an
extension of overdraft facilities or to
secure a long-term loan.
alternatively an investment
partner may offer up the
additional cash, but regardless of
whether this is another individual
or a venture capitalist/institutional
outt, it is likely that such a partner
will be pursuing their own agenda
and want sufcient control and
protections over management
decisions and cash ows of the
businesses.
sellers exPections
Most investors will be concerned about their exit
route as this is how they recoup their investment. Be sure
you understand any investment partners expectations and
be aware that such funding gives rise to a new round of
negotiations and legal documentation quite separate from
the intended acquisition. BB
>
THE FINEST IN
BRIDAL DESIGN
VICTORIO & LUCCHINO NOVIAS
THE FINEST IN
BRIDAL DESIGN
whitegallery.com
19-21 MAY 2013
BAT T ERS EA PARK, LONDON
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t really is surprising how many owners
have no clear appreciation of who their competitors are,
how they operate or even whether they are successful.
to answer this key question properly, you should begin
by drawing up a comprehensive list of your competitors.
remember to look not only at the web, but also at shops
that are based within, say 20 miles, who may stock the
same range of gowns.
the rivals on your list will be bridal shops, but are they
true competitors? Do they target the same types of bride?
Do they specialise in a specic area that is of little interest to
you? are their price points set to attract the same sector of
the market that you serve?
accurate answers will give you a clear understanding of
where your own shop ts. you should also be able to identify
specic segments of the market that are not adequately
serviced say, accessories, an in-house beautician, or a tie-in
with a chauffeur.
For each of the potential competitors on your list,
obtain as much information as possible on their
strategy, pricing, services, customers, abilities and
how they do business. maintain a dossier for each
rival and develop the habit of acquiring in-depth
knowledge of your competitors activities. Find out,
for example, what their returns policy is, whether
they charge for the use of credit cards and how
exible they are with alterations.
next, identify those rms that are
clearly not direct competitors. you
may offer designer gowns, they
may specialise in mass-market
ranges. whatever the differences,
identify these rms at an early stage.
For your intelligence work to pay off
quickly you need to concentrate on your
direct competitors.
to assess your position you need to
obtain the answers to specic questions
about your primary competitors.
suggested questions are:
*
how does their pricing compare
with your own and with other
primary competitors?
*
what is their nancial position / protability?
*
are they expanding, standing still or shrinking?
*
what do their shops look like? are they clean, tidy,
with good changing facilities and lighting?
*
what share of the local market do they control?
*
how do they take payment?
*
how do they advertise?
*
Do they offer Designer Days?
*
how does the quality of their gowns compare with
yours and others?
*
Do you know of brides that have been to you and
Its your business
Competition is an essential part of business life. It pushes us
all along the road to better service and greater achievement.
But with the cost of weddings rising and family budgets
under pressure you need to stay ahead, says AlanBowes
03
Sizing up the competition
successful businesses
are those that dominate
particular markets or niches;
they achieve this by adding
more value to their services
www.brIdalbuyer.com 137
bought elsewhere? why?
*
are you winning custom from them? why?
*
what are their opening hours? is this exible?
now you need to analyse the information collected to
identify your standing in the market. By comparing your
performance with that of your competitors you can seek out
ways in which you can successfully distinguish your shop
from those of your rivals.
you must understand where you stand in the market, as
opposed to where you think you stand. the key measures
here are your market share, protability and your own
pricing policy.
Businesses that carry out this analysis properly are
almost always surprised by the results. you may think that
you have a strategy of premium pricing and that you are a
dominant player in your chosen market, only to nd that, in
reality, other rms have higher prices and a bigger market
share. you may think that you are upselling to brides more
than the others, but is it really true?
the most important use to which you can put marketing
intelligence lies in devising a unique competitive advantage
- such as late night opening one or two days a week, being
very exible on unused returns, or serving a glass of wine
to get the bride in the mood and so on. think about adding
extra appeal to the parents who, in many cases, are picking
up the tab for the bridalwear? maybe interest free credit?
it is almost inevitable that by scrutinising the way in
which your competitors do business you will have come
across good ideas that are successful. however, simply
copying what your competitors do is a
very negative approach and is not likely
to have much of an impact in the long
run. rather, you should pick up on the
general lessons of what works and what
doesnt and use your own experience and
expertise to set out distinctive plans.
you are looking for two things. Firstly,
those services and methods that are
successfully offered by your
competitors but which your own
shop either doesnt provide at all or
which isnt done as well. secondly,
the holes in your competitors
armoury; the things at which you
excel or for which there is a demand
which none of you can satisfy.
successful businesses are
those that dominate particular
markets or niches: they achieve
this dominance by adding more
value to their services. in other
words, they offer some unique
combination of services to customers
that together form an unbeatable package. as a
result, customers brides in this context - are willing to
pay a premium. it is difcult for a competitor to poach
business from a market leader because their level of service
engenders a good deal of loyalty (and recommendations)
from the satised customer base.
your competitor intelligence programme will expose
opportunities for you to become a (local) market leader. to
succeed you might have to move into new product areas or
rethink the way in which you operate. But if you begin with
a real understanding of your marketplace you stand a good
chance of coming out on top. BB
REGISTER ONLINE now and join us for our second year at the
London Bridal Show. London Olympia will host a selection of bridal
manufacturers showcasing their new 2014 Spring/Summer collections
An intimAte mid-seAson preview of spring/summer 2014
Exhibitors: ALfred sung bENJAMiN robErts CALListA CrYstAL VALLEY
dAvinCi DEMEtrios destinY ELitE sposA UK eternitY BridAL iMprEssioN
JAsmine LiLLiAN WEst perfeCt BridAL sHoes tiA verdon trAding Wtoo
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J
a
s
m
i
n
e
I
m
a
g
e
:

W
t
o
o
*
Breffo
Spiderpodium
A steel spider wrapped
in soft rubbery plastic,
the spiderpodium can
be bent into all kinds
of shapes to hold your
mobile device upright,
or hang it on the car
dashboard or anywhere
handy. Versions are
available for tablet or
smartphone. British
designed and made, and
quite brilliant.
15 at breffo.com
*
ThumBS up! Zip
earphoneS
Say goodbye to tangled
earphone wire misery
with the Zip headphones.
The wires zip together,
like a jacket without the,
er, jacket. Works brilliantly,
but a little heavier to wear
than ordinary earbuds.
13 at menkind.co.uk
*
paladone Quick
clip camera lenS
Extend the photo
capabilities of your
smartphone with this
clip-on lens that instantly
adds wide angle or macro
eld of view, depending
on which way round you
put it on. Wide angle lets
you get everyone in the
room in shot without
having to back out of the
door, and macro allows
you to capture close-up
pictures of owers and
butteries. Nice.
20 at red5.co.uk

t
ablets may be superb for showing brides
electronic catalogues, videos from designers and
pictures of venues but the viewing experience can be
hugely improved if you link your tablet to a separate
speaker.
the handiest type of speaker is a battery-powered
portable unit that connects to the tablet by a bluetooth
wireless link. the speaker can be placed on the table
while the customer holds the tablet to look at the content.
the speaker needs to be kept charged (another gizmo to
plug into the mains every night!) but most provide enough
power to keep going for the entire business day. it also
needs to be paired with the
tablet but this is a very simple
process that only needs to be
done once.
the iron law of audio is
that you get the sound quality
you pay for, and the laws of
physics dictate that large,
heavy speakers sound better
than small, light speakers
(thats why the speakers in
super-light items like tablets
and at screen tellies are such
rubbish).
at the bottom end of the
market, small, light speakers
give surprisingly good sound
for under 100.
Logitechs UE Boombox is a
nicely-styled unit that sells at
around 70. its compact casing
and lightweight construction
mean the sound lacks bass,
but the upside is that it is very
handy to carry around.
The Supertooth Disco2 looks
a bit like a miniature power station cooling tower with its
waisted shape, and it is available in a wide range of rather
funky colours. it is slightly underpowered if you want a
disco sound but the 16w it produces should be more than
enough for a shop. if you want more, or need better stereo
separation, you can buy two and link them.
the disco2 will set you back about 70.
step up a grade to speakers in the 100 - 200 range
and you get some very stylish speakers with good sound
quality.
The Jabra Solemate, for example, is styled to resemble
a trainer, which sounds rather bizarre but actually works
rather well. the underside has a sculpted exible sole
that holds the unit rmly on a table or shelf however
well-polished, and a fabric pull tag takes the edge off the
very hard design aesthetic of most speakers. available in
contrasting shades of black and, er, white.
three treble speakers on the front and a unique bass
bar at the back give excellent sound quality, though the
maximum volume is a bit low. the battery life of about 8
hours should keep you going through the working day.
the price of the Jabra solemate is about 150.
british digital audio specialists pure recently launched
their new Jongo system for multi-room audio, which
allows you to play the music on your tablet or smartphone
throughout a building - all Jongo speakers have wifi that
streams music from the wireless router. many of pures
digital radios also link in to the Jongo network.
but the system also works superbly well using just one
portable, battery powered speaker, the Jongo S340B. this
is also tted with bluetooth so you can use it to play the
soundtrack while watching a
video on your phone or tablet.
the Jongo is still heavier
and bulkier than the solemate,
but by the afore-mentioned
laws of physics the sound is
even better. and it comes in a
variety of rather pretty pastel
shades including lime and
burnt orange. average cost is
150.
tablets and smartphone
arent the only electronic
devices that have seen the
quality of their internal
loudspeakers squeezed as
the space available decreases
- television sets have been
getting thinner and thinner
ever since at screens replaced
monster glass tubes and as
a result sound quality has
actually been going down as
the picture quality gets better.
the audio industry has
stepped in with sound bars
that sit under the tV set to provide better forward-facing
stereo. they usually come with a subwoofer that sits on the
oor and lls in the bass.
british company orbitsound has just launched a soundbar
that uses advanced audio signal software to generate very
high quality stereo sound from a box positioned in front
of the telly.
the soundbar is connected to new tVs by the now-standard
optical cable, but can also connect to older sets using rCa
cables. the interesting new feature of the Orbitsound
system is built-in bluetooth, so you can play music on your
phone or tablet as well.
the orbitsound system could be an ideal solution to the
problem of providing high quality audio for a tV set on the
wall playing promotional videos that can also be used with
your tablet.
the m12 soundbar comes with a hefty subwoofer for
lling in the bass and a comprehensive set of cables. Very
good value at 400. BB
TEchnO tips
the handiest type of speaker
is a battery-powered portable
unit that connects to the tablet
by a Bluetooth wireless link
Sound advice
tablet computers can do great things for a bridalwear shop but the sound
they produce is frankly pathetic. heres Chris Partriges solution
Whats
NeW
www.BriDaLBUyEr.com 139
PRE-REGISTRATION // INFORMATION // NEWS MODATEXFAIR.COM
ME S S E E S S E N
DEUTSCHLAND // GERMANY
15-18 JUNI / JUNE 2013
See the latest fashion from over 190 exhibitors and over 400 brands
on display at the biggest trade show in Northern Europe in two
stunning exhibition halls.
Y O U R P R E M I E R B R I D A L D E S T I N A T I O N
Judging from this
Jane Watson of the authoritative Bridal Consultancy Service (+44 (0)7500 334480 /www.bridal-
business.co.uk) was one of the judging team in this years Bridal Buyer Awards. I thought it an
honour to be asked to judge the supplier awards categories, she said. And I can assure nalists
that the whole process is honest and fair, with every judge having to individually assess each in-
dividual entrant and their business. It was a great experience seeing how each supplier managed
their business for the great good of the retailer and how they support their stockists with their
service, website information, point-of-sale material and trunk shows. Well done everyone.
Industry
charity is
back at
BBEH
The Fashion & TexTile
Childrens Trust returns to
Harrogate in March, to continue
raising awareness of grants
available to families working in
the UK bridalwear industry.
Established in 1853 the
charity supports hundreds of
disadvantaged children and
young people across the UK,
whose parents or carers work
in retail, manufacture, design,
distribution and other aspects
of our sector.
The grants help to provide
practical and tangible support
a childs well-being, by
providing funding and, among
other things, essentials such
as clothing, bedding, white
goods and school uniform for
children whose well-being
is at risk due to nancial
hardship, or enabling access to
education by funding specialist
equipment, extra tuition,
learning support or school
necessities for children held
back by sickness or disability.
As the recession continues
to bite, FTCT has seen a 34%
rise in the number of grants
awarded in the past year alone.
With many more families still
in need of help, the charity
are appealing to members of
the bridalwear community for
support. The charity are calling
for both visitors and exhibitors
at BBEH to stop by the FTCT
stand, L7, to nd out how you
can help to raise awareness of
the charity and its work among
friends and colleagues in the
industry.
If you know of someone
who needs help for their child,
tell them about FTCT. For more
information, visit
www.ftct.org.uk or call
020 7170 4117
in brief...
... and even more news
Thought youd read it all? Well you were wrong. BBEH is when it
all comes together for the industry, but in the run-up to the show
news abounds. Check bridalbuyer.com for daily industry updates
and www.bbeh.co.uk for the latest on BBEH, its exhibitors and its
special features. Register at the website now
ExHiBiTing aT HaRRogaTE
will be norris Steam, one of
the UKs leading suppliers of
commercial steam generator iron
systems, vacuum ironing tables
and garment steamers. ofcial
UK agents for Stirovap Pressing
Equipment and the world-
renowned Jiffy Steamer Co, the
oldest and largest manufacturer
of garment steamers for
commercial and professional
use, norris Steam boasts an
impressive list of over 8,000
clients worldwide, ranging from
top international bridal designers
to small boutique stores. Rob
Shepherdson is especially keen to
talk about the new range of Pink
edition steam generator irons.
These have been developed to
raise money for Breast Cancer
Care UK. 10% of all pre-tax sales
will be donated directly to the
charity, he said.
+44 (0)20 7791 0070 / www.
norrissteam.co.uk / BBEH A3
Full steam ahead
ocean Media Group has
signed a partnership agreement
with FORWED SRL for the running
of Italy Bridal Expo. The new bridal
trade show, launching 10-13 May
at Fiera di Roma, brings together
buyers from Europe, Japan and
the Middle East with Italian
manufacturers. A fantastic location
and perfect timing to enable shops
to buy early for the coming season,
Italy Bridal Expo will provide the ideal
platform from which to grow and
become the biggest and the best
bridal trade show in Italy.
Dave Moran, Ocean Medias
CEO says: Were delighted to be
working with FORWED SRL on this
exciting new launch. It strengthens
our existing bridal portfolio of
shows in the UK, Germany and The
Netherlands, and ts in perfectly
with our European expansion
programme. Were also talking to
organisers, old and new, in a further
ve countries. Its going to be a busy
year watch this space.
Ocean Media Group is the
organiser of the top bridal trade
shows in Germany (Modatex) and
the UK (BBEH, White Gallery) as
well as the UKs leading consumer
wedding show, The National
Wedding Show.
FORWED SRL is an exhibition
business with ten years of
experience running b2c shows in
Milan, Rome, Verona and Latina with
thousands of visitors attending each
event.
For further details please contact
ocean Media Group limited
one canada square
canary Wharf
london e14 5ap
italianbridal@oceanmedia.co.uk
in Europe
www.bridalbuyer.com 141
Ocean expands its
bridal business
Directory
T: +44 (0)161 476 8600
F: +44(0)161 480 5385
sales@bennett-silks.co.uk
www.bennett-silks.co.uk
Bennett Silks Ltd
Established 1904
100% PURE SILKS & SILK BLENDS
All your silk requirements.
Please check our website
for a full list of agents
Stock supported range,
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and worldwide distribution.
YOUR ENQUIRIES ARE WELCOME
FABRICS
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POINT OF SALE
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www.pongees.co.uk
sales@pongees.co.uk
020 7739 9130
FOR ALL YOUR BRIDAL SILK REQUIREMENTS
Including Duchess Satin, Taffeta, Faille, Double
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Fully Stock Supported In Our London
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1m minimum order
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Pongees Ltd. 28-30 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NN
For all your bridal wear needs from dress covers to hangers to shoulder covers to carrier bags.
Hoesh offer a fast and reliable service. Stock service available on all colours and sizes.
In-house printing facility also available on all items.
T: 0116 2765221 | F: 0116 2765110 | E: sales@hoeshinternational.co.uk | www.hoeshinternational.co.uk | www.garmentcovers.co.uk
Hoesh House, Unit 4, Trevanth Road, Leicester LE4 9LS
VISIT US ON STAND B28A
PACKAGING
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TIARAS BASES
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ALICE BANDS IN STOCK
METAL TIARA BASES 3MM
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SMOOTH SHOULDERED 71 X 42MM
SMOOTH SHOULDERED 110 X 55MM
3 Pownall Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5DR
T: 01625 531 545 M: 07774 612206
donaldskinner@btconnect.com
www.tiaras-online.com
Our range of Tiara Bases
that are Stylish yet are
not Expensive
We offer a fast reliable service on our continually increasing range (over 3,000 choices) of
Bridal Fabric, Trimmings and Accessories.
All Fabrics and Trimmings are available in cut lengths via our 8 sample books.
Range includes: plain and shot Taffeta, Velvet, Duchess Satins, Organzas, Mikado, Chiffons,
Crepes, various Satins (Silk/Poly/Acetate), Bridal/Waistcoat Brocades, Laces, various
Embroidered and Beaded Fabrics, inc Tulles and Chiffons.
We also offer a range of Embroided/Beaded Edgings and Motifs.
Many of the designs feature Crystals and a selection incorporate 3D effects.
Our latest product range of over 600 designs of Dress Accessories including Buckles,
Brooches, Clasps and Buttons, many designs feature Crystals and/or Pearls.
Email: admin@michaelsbridalfabrics.co.uk www.michaelsbridalfabrics.co.uk
Unit F15, Northeet Indst Est, Lower Road, Northeet Kent DA11 9SW
Tel: 01322 380480/568 Fax: 01322 380680
WE HAVE NO MINIMUM ORDER VALUE OR QUANTITY.
PLEASE CONTACT US TO ARRANGE TO SEE OUR LATEST OFFERINGS.
Stay in touch
with the latest
news from
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Bridal Buyer
Europe
SIGN UP FOR OUR
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bridalbuyer.com
(UK) Ltd
Contact Chris Day on:
T: 020 7275 0117 E: basinghall@yahoo.co.uk
9-15 Helmsley Place, London Fields, London E8 3SB
Stockists of bridal, evening and childrens wear
fabrics in silks and synthetics.
Satins, crepes, shantungs, chions, habutaes
and organzas in an extensive coordinated
palette of shades all available from stock.
Sequin embroideries are a speciality. Exclusive
stockists of Sormeh shirring elastics.
WEDDING BOXES
BEADING AND ACCESSORIES
SATIN SHOE DYES
FABRICS
FABRICS
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T: 01924 240 947 | E: sales@beadmaster.com W: www.beadmaster.com
beadmaster.com
Beadmaster.com are a leading supplier of loose beads and jewellery making
components to costumiers, jewellers, designers, dressmakers, dancers and many more people
We are dedicated to offer a new and extensive range of beads and components
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The Silk suppliers of choice for many discerning Bridal And Couture Designers.
From the lightest Silk Tulles to the heaviest Duchesse Satins and Marocaines as
well as Prints, Laces and Embroideries.
Studland Hall, Studland Street, Hammersmith, London W6 0JS
T : 020 8741 3777 T/F : 020 8741 7775 E : info@trade80silks.co.uk
All on a Next day service.
Trims & Borders
Source new suppliers with
the only comprehensive,
online directory in the
business.
Catch up with the latest industry news,
and gain fantastic insight into new
collections. Comment on stories and join
in discussions.
Read the latest edition of Bridal Buyer
online, as well as a selection of previous
issues.
With over 100,000 visits a year it is THE
place to share experience and nd out
what your competitors are up to
If you have a story for BB.com contact susi@rogol-goodkind.com
Follow us on @BridalBuyer
log on today www.bridalbuyer.com

www.amsterdambridal.com
Ammsterdam heart of Hollaand
Early buying, Early delivery
THE OFFICAL SHOW MAGAZINE
Bridal
AMSTERDAMBRIDAL
I
have been known to literally
shriek in the halls of harrogate, half
spilling my champers and mouthful of
marshmallows, oMG, oMG im in love
with that dress only to realise that the
primary reason im excited is because
a particular dress has caught my eye
simply because it is so different.
thank goodness for my grounded staff
who occasionally rein me in and remind me
that our brides are gorgeous essex Girls and
not lookalike lady Gagas!
So, whenever youre buying, hold in mind
who you are buying for as well as their
potential bridal spend and style. theres
BEING HEARD
146 www.BrIdalBuyEr.com
Buying time
buying and sourcing fabulous new stock is an essential business
skill. Get it right and enjoy a busy, bustling and protable shop, get
it wrong and youll have nothing more than a larger than life walk-
in wardrobe on your hands, says Abi Neill
Top tips
for show shopping
*
Ask to be shown
best sellers
*
Take your current stock list
and sales analysis
*
Set a budget and stick to it!
*
Buy what you love, leave
what you dont
many a consideration when shopping for new
suppliers, so heres a few thoughts before you
sign on that dotted line;
NEw supplIErs opEratIoNal
NEEd-to-kNows
ask questions and make notes on the
following or better still, perhaps, do a little
preshow research by phone too:
l what are the seasonal minimums and
discontinuations, lead times, delivery costs
and rush cut options?
l is there a recommended margin and do
they publish their rrPs?
l whats their design exibility (if any)
including fabric options/modications and
the costs associated?
l are the designs well constructed and do
they allow for ease of alteration?
l Does the company support Designer Days
or provide sample loans?
l ask about their existing network of
retailers (including geographic locality and
exclusivity).
l Do they have their own Uk-based store
or do they support online sales activity
that could compete with your offering? its
also worth understanding their marketing
strategy including website and (from a brides
viewpoint) the brands desirability.
stylE sElEctIoN
this is a critical area! Do you love the
styles on offer? are your sales staff going
to enthuse and ooze excitement when these
new fabulous pieces arrive instore and, most
importantly, are your brides going to fall
completely and utterly in love with them?
will they compete against existing styles that
you carry or sit fabulously alongside your
existing collection?
Dont buy a brand for your store for
strategic reasons (ie to keep competitors at
bay or become a label collector); buy a brand
and hang it on your rails because you love
it and because you can and will sell it!
work toGEthEr
R
elationships between suppliers
and retailers need to be mutually
benecial. the recent tk Maxx
saga depressed me rather, and
i made my views on the subject
fairly well known.
i applaud the suppliers who
apologised with hands held high; in my view
they demonstrated an appropriately honest
response. Undoubtedly, it was a worrying
episode that has shaken industry relations,
but, in my opinion now is the time to move
forward positively and in partnership.
yes, we retailers are the customer and
it may help some suppliers to occasionally
remember that is the case, but when you
begin dialogue with a new designer or
manufacturer its only fair to remember that
there is an expectation placed upon us too.
Successful businesses dont just happen by accident;
controlling, over-analytical and ever-so-slightly
they are run by obsessive, compulsive,
paranoid men and women. Sounds familiar?
at its most basic, it will include a minimum
spend including a good selection of their best
and latest styles on our rails, payment of our
accounts and a professional representation of
their brand.
id like to make clear that i do not think
a them and us attitude is the way forward.
work together in mutual partnership with
your chosen suppliers. thats my philosophy
and to a degree i also take heed of the fact
that, in truth, we need each other.

ENjoy shoppING!
Selecting beautiful bridal products for your
store is one of the most exciting tasks during
the planning and continued development of a
bridal boutique, but its also one of the most
important.
Some would argue that creating a beautiful
shop and lling it with pretty dresses and
bling-tastically gorgeous accessories and
shoes is the easy bit and im inclined to agree.
the hard work starts afterwards.
you see, really successful and protable
businesses dont just happen by accident:
theyre run by obsessive, compulsive,
controlling, over-analytical and ever-so-
slightly paranoid men and women. Sounds
familiar? it certainly does to me, lol.
So my message is this: you need to have fun
and enjoy your buying but analyse, control
and be obsessive about this aspect of your
business, too in my opinion its paramount
to your future success.
ill see you in the halls this March; ill be
the one buying the latest lady Gaga dress
designs, Champagne in one hand, sales
analysis in the other BB
Abi Neill owns the award-winning Abigails
Collection & The Grooms Room in Colchester.
You can follow her tweets@AbigailsColl or
contact her on +44 (0)1206 574575