If a place is as fantastic as St. Audries, one cannot stay away from it for long – and so, just over 3 years after our wedding there, we were heading back – this time for a ball the … Continue reading
As some of you may already know, on December 28th we had a garage fire – a faulty socket started a rather unexpected conflagration. The fire was discovered by our neighbours and the fire brigade was called….
The firemen did a sterling job, and an hour later the garage was soaked in water, steaming like hell, but secure – and so the boys left, bearing quite a lot of our post Christmas posh choccies – at least a token of gratitude.
The next morning we inspected the damage…. there was a lot of personal items there, bikes, re-enactment stuff, tools, tents, camping gear, furniture etc – but also almost all my stock – both finished items ( including the gowns from the Autumn Bride collection) and wool, silk and linen awaiting their turn to be sewn up into lovely costumes. It also contained quite a lot of other people’s items, things left behind, or brought for re sizing, embellishment etc…
The inspection did not bring good news – just a few pictures here…
Fortunately we were insured – unfortunately I didn’t realize that in order to cover the 3rd party items i need to have an additional third party option – public liability was apparently no good, as the folks who lost their things would have to claim on their own insurances and prove that I was liable – negligent, or actually starting the fire. Since it was plain I wasn’t – they would lose the case. So now it looks like the money the insurance is going to pay for the stock and business equipment is going to be mostly spent on paying up other people. The insurers were a bit surprised that that ‘s what I intended to do – they clearly though that was other people’s loss and nothing to do with me. It was just as clear to me, that I cannot afford to treat my clients so – and they are all being reimbursed ( about 4 grand…) as soon as the money arrives.. lesson to other costumers etc – do check your insurances for the 3rd party damage! I have learnt my lesson….
I will just have enough to pay up for the new fabrics to help me rebuild the stock ( will take a few years…). oh well. Not a good start of the year, but nobody was hurt – and most of the possessions are just that – possessions….
There was a silver lining though – we decided that the lovely charred wall in the garage and all the damaged items are only too good not to take advantage of, so we held 2 photo shoots in the garage, exploring the post apocalyptic, distressed ideas, letting the gowns shine one last time….
Many, many thanks to the models who come over and got dirty with us!
photography – Pitcheresque Imagery
models: Miss Lilian Love, Helen Underwood, Jenny Bowers, Izabela Pitcher, Lucas Pitcher
Well, I must say it took Paul record time to sort out the official images – 2 weeks and all done – brilliant:-) all editing done, we can now have a proper blog entry!
I have to admit this shoot was slightly problematic to organize as just a few weeks before the date the venue changed their mind and decided to charge us for using the premises. Well, that wasn’t going to happen, so we needed t find another venue available on that day ( many of us had already booked a day of work). Fortunately lovely Allyson from St.Audries Park, our own venue, stepped in, and put us in touch with Laura from Gosfield Hall- a truly spectacular place in Essex. Laura was only too happy to help us us and the shoot was sorted out in no time at all, it was a bit of a drive, but not too much – and the location was more than worth spending two hours in the car:-)
We picked Sarah, out usual MUA and Emily, one of our models, on the way through Bedford andwe off we went, in a rather convivial atmosphere:-)
On arrival, Laura greeted us and showed us around the venue – needless to say, we were hugely impressed and started planning the shoot straight away. The boys had their own room to store their toys, and Sarah was more than happy with our changing and prep room
Paul and Jason arrived shortly after, and Anette, another model joined us before 11. everything was ready for the shoot. we started with the Edwardian Bride – getting ready photos., shot amidst the elegant splendour of the Queen’s Suite..
Sarah worked her magic on my face and hair, and i was ready to be laced in the long line Edwardian corset… the result below…
Paul didn’t take any other full gown pictures of this one – Lucas did it instead – ,:-)
As Emily was preparing for her session, Paul was taking a few product shots:-)
Then it was Emily in Arabella – very much a Disney princess!
and the real Emily….
Next in line was Anette transformed into a Grecian goddess…
I manged to snatch a quick photo on my mobile too – Anett’s reaction when she saw the room – absolutely breathtaking splendour of the Bride suite…
and some more of Paul’s magic
All that excitement meant we were quite hungry at that point – but luckily enough Laura was ready with our lunch – freshly prepared by the chef – and it was simply delicious!
Refreshed, we had two more frocks to do – first Emily in a rather stunning corsetted outfit…
and the beautiful flowers….
The last frock of the day was Jeanette – and Anett definitely had some fun pulling Marie Antoinette persona and acting it all up 🙂
last shot of the flowers, and that was it!
but just for fun, here a few behind the scenes pics:-)
And that’s it , folks! more info on the frocks themselves, designs and pricing in the part 1 here
Many, many thanks to all the team – you were all superb!
venue: Gosfield Hall
Photography: Paul Mockford: http://www.shearsmockford.com/
Bespoke Bridal gowns: Prior Engagement www.priorengagement.co.uk
Styling, hair, makeup: – Sarah Dunn from http://sarahsdoowopdos.wordpress.com/
Bridal bouquets: Flowers by Eleanor, http://www.flowersbyeleanor.co.uk/
Bridal shoes and accessories http://www.crystal-calla-tiara.com/
Jewellery – the Unfound Door: www.unfounddoor.co.uk/
well,hope you enjoyed it, am already thinking of the autumnal collection… 🙂
It has been exactly a year ( plus a few hours) since we walking down the forest path to take our places amidst other folks in a beautiful glade, and eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Bride.
The Bride was a friend of ours, Becki Thurston, and her husband to be, also a friend, Wayne Lawrence. The fabled WooWoo Wedding was a long expected and a beautifully prepared affair, mostly relying on a DIY skills of all the people involved. and, oh my, didn’t it work!
The invites were handmade and explained clearly the ceremony and all festivities – including dress inspiration -midsummer night dream, in a very eclectic form, was the key, in short, it was encouraged to wear’ the one thing you always wanted to wear and didn’t have a suitable occasion to do so..’
The venue – a field and a glade near Tournament Stud in Brackley again, run by friends). the decoration etc were mostly a joint effort – everybody helped. we contributed with about 60 m of silk bunting…
The party has been going on since Thursday, with a registry ceremony Saturday morning, if I remember well – but the great reception, with the hand fasting ceremony was taking place in the glade, on Saturday afternoon.
We arrived just in time to see Sarah and Lizzie finishing the bridal and guests hair styling, and the guests were slowly starting to make their way towards the Glade. we quickly pitched our tent, changed into our glad rags and joined the guests
When the time came, we all entered the woods, walking along a lovely path, taking in all the sights…
the first glimpse of the bridesmaids and the bride…
the ceremony…. we were a bit at the back, so please excuse the poor quality pictures!
and all done, the happy couple leaving to all of us singing ‘ Over the fields and far away’. the si.nging must have been pretty poor as the couple climbed onto their carriage and legged it… closely followed by the rest of the crowd
and on the main filed – mostly colourful tents with lovely surprised in them
we loved the quest book and managed to sketch our entry too:-)
and in the main tent – food! and the CAKE!
The speeches were moving and funny, food good, company divine – in short a fantastic time was had by all!
And so it is done! The collection is finished and photographed and as we are awaiting the professional pictures, I thought I would post some technical information about the frocks themselves – fabrics used, pricing, etc. this post is illustratedwith the pictures taken on the day by my hunband, Lucas, the proper images and a blog about the day of the photoshoot with all credits etc, will be posted in a few weeks time!
The theme: Spring, flowers, pinks, greens and whites, all freshness.
1. Briar rose ( already photographed extensively at St. Audries – link here)
17th century inspired bodice, fully boned, coutil base covered with silk satin, linen lining,decorated with antique metallic and silk ribbon lace, plus the skirt fabric at the neck; lacing at the back. here size 12 ( so a bit too big for me);
Skirts, worn on net petticoats and muslin petticoat, are in 3D rose fabric, mounted on cotton organdy base. fabric used – 9m or the top and lining,
Price bracket – this design can be rendered in any colour and almost any fabric with labour prices starting from £800 for a bespoke item.
A 50ties inspired gown consisting of a corset in silk taffeta and an assymetrically draped circle skirt in silk taffeta (James Hare, 5m), worn on a net petticoat and a funky flounced petticoat, the corset and the skirt are decorated with a pink trim.
This design can be rendered in any colour, with taffetas and satins working best for the skirt. Labour prices starting from £600
3.Lily of the Valley
A truly fairytale gown, ideal for summer and spring weddings, especialy for handfastening ceremonies in the fields ( but that just my imagination running wild towards the vision of celtic priestesses, elf beauties and woodland nymphs…)
The outfit consists of a silk brocade corset, decorated with simple lace trim. The skirts of silk georgette ( 10m) are worn on a light petticoat for decency’s sake:-) silk armbands with the flowing sleeves add the elven, 12 century look to the ensemble
Again, can be made in any colour, labour prices starting from £800
A Victorian inspired ensemble: corset and skirts in silk duponi (2 shades, altogether 15m used) lined with organdy and silk, with braid ( 10m), lace( 15m), fringe (4m) and flower decoration. the skirts can be worn with or without the apron fronted overdress.
The design can be reproduced to match any colour scheme, with the labour prices starting from £1000
A simple and graceful dress in white embroidered cotton (4m), with a silk sash. Inspired by the 20ties and Downton Abbey series, this dress is perfect for brides favouring freedom of movement and natural lines – ideal for boho and destination weddings!
Can be customised to fit with any colour scheme and the dress can me made more elaborate by adding a short train. Labour prices from £400
A 18th century inspired gown consisting of a silk petticoat with a flounce, silk skirt with a train (7m) and a cotton stays ( corset) with decorative lacing. All worn on a muslin chemise and hip pads:-)
A Rustic Tuscany vineyard look, can be rendered in many colours and many different trims. labour prices starting from £900.
some of the dresses may be offered on sale as samples, please do enquire!
And that’s it in part 1 – in part two we will no doubt drool over Paul Mockford professional photos: I will also provide a full list of all the suppliers involved in the shoot – so stand by!
Well, it was a rather exciting day! the very unusual wedding fair, The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza, taking place in Fazeley Studios, in Birmingham was abuzz with people. Despite frosty weather, unusual for late March, we managed to get there on time – and so did our lovely models and the stylist, Sarah.. and here’s a short pictorial report from the day!
Our stand was not a stand really, but a nice boudoir – very cosy and conveniently placed just off the cafe!
once the place was ready, and the dresses on the mannequins, it was time to get dressed!
and then at last we were ready…
as she was heaving her hair done…
and Lucas performing the last corrections…
The highlight of the day was the fashion show – there were a few companies taking part, all sporting lovely attire!
and the Prior Engagement team in action
after the show we had an imprompty photoshoot with Jay Mountford – soo looking forward to the photos!
Then back to the stall – fortunatelly our little boudoir was perfect for lounging….
Sarah, work done, went on to a mini shopping spree…
and considering the goodies on offer, we think she showed considerable restrain!
then it was time to pack up, and head back home- tinly little bit fatigued…..
Now back home, enjoying a good cuppa of brown joy!
Many thanks to all the guys in the team, some of them travelling across the country to be there – greatly appreciated! xxx
Also, check out the results of the impromptu photoshoot with Jay – some amazing pictures!
A brief glimpse at the newest collection of the sample bridal dresses from Prior Engagement – all handmade examples of what can be done with a few basic tools and a pile of silks…. Prior Engagement is a sister branch of my main company, Prior Attire, and specialises in unique historical, Steampunk, unusual and definately unorthodox wedding dresses – all bespoke made, one-of-a-kind designs.
The winter bride desings have been bubbling inside me for the last few months, so it was a joy to actually start working on them. Although I love creating historically correct garments, the research that goes into them and the period accurate techniques, the bridal and the steampunk side of the business let me use my own imagination more and indulge in the design process as well. The results – below:-)
We have booked the venue, Woodland Manor Hotel about 4 weeks in advance, hoping for some snow on a day, but knowing that even if there is no wintery magic outside, the interiors will provide us with lots of interesting background.
Fortunatelly, a week before the shoot it snowed and on the day of the event we had snow – and quite a lot of ice….
Paul Mockford from Shears Mockford Photography , with whom we worked before on a 18th century bridal shoot at Harrowden Hall. Jason was on hand to help him out with the lights, as was my husband, Lucas ( who was also snapping away…).
Our stylist, Sarah Dunn from Sarah’s Doo-Wop-Dos
Tina Haden from The Haberdashery Bride was providing lovely bouquerts, tiaras and combs.
Our models were: Gem Bow Tyke, Sophie Mathews and me!
and the gowns:
1. The Swan
corset in silk satin duchesse, hand-applied rhinestones, skirt in silk and feathers… lots of feathers…. we shot a mellow bridal version and then a more dramatic look:-)
the Ice Queen look:
Corset and skirts in shimmering blue silk duponi, handapplied silver lace decoration and beading.
the skirts could be pinned up with tiny snowflakes for a more contemporary look!
3. The Frost
A fun gown in silk taffeta, decorated with lace, beaing, rhinestones, brooches – lots of sparkle!
4. The Aurora Borealis
A more traditional gown in silk satin and taffeta, with lots of sparkly decoration…
5. The Russian coat
A coat to keep the bride warm on her way – in cotton velvet, lined with silk, trimmed with faux fur – and decorated with thousands of blingy bits!
And that’s that’s winter sample collection – something to help our future brides decide on the style, fabrics and decoration:_)
Many thanks to all involved – and looking forward to shooting our Spring Bride Collection in April!