Garage Fire and Post-Conflagration Photoshoot

Image

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….

Image

whatever you do, do not open the door…. raging inferno inside….

Image

fire quenched…. all steaming nicely…

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…

Image

that heap contains most of our re-enactment footwear – Regency riding boots, 18th century shoes, medieval ones, my cavalry boots ; all melted….

Image

that’s what remained of my bucket tops cavalry boots….

Image

unlikely survivors… fire-starters… how ironic!

Image

the culprit

ImageImage

Image

the clothes were ruined – the ones n plastic covers, or in the wardrobe were covered with melted plastic, charred, some burnt. some , mostly wool, were just dirty – but changed size a bit – being first hot, then wet, and then drying up in still hot garage overnight, the wool shrank…

Image

  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….

  Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

a bit of Judith and Holofernes going on here….

Image

good acting, Lucas!

Image

Image

Image

a bit of lady Borgia….

Image

Pride and prejudice and the Zombies!

Image

Image

 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

Summer Bride 2013 Collection

Image

 

 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:-)

Image

travelling in style…

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

Image

 

 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..

Image

 

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…

Image

antique camisole, and a corset and drawers by me:-)

Image

Paul wasn’t too happy about my period stockings but in the end the ‘wool socks’ worked out just fine..

Image

absolutely loving the antique effect on this one:-)

Image

being a wistful bride…

 Paul didn’t take any other full gown pictures of this one – Lucas did it instead – ,:-)

Image

 As Emily was preparing for her  session,  Paul was taking a  few product shots:-)

Image

  Then it was Emily in Arabella – very much a Disney princess!

Image

 

Image

 

Image

Cindrella running from the palace at midnight:-)

and the real Emily….

Image

Next in line was Anette transformed into a Grecian goddess…

Image

 

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…

Image

and some more of Paul’s magic

Image

Image

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!

Image

Image

girls hard at work… 🙂

Refreshed, we had two more frocks to do – first Emily in a rather stunning corsetted outfit…

Image

Image

Image

and a close up…

and the beautiful flowers….

Image

The last frock of the day was Jeanette – and Anett definitely had some fun  pulling Marie Antoinette persona and acting it all up 🙂

Image

Image

 

last shot of the flowers, and that was it!

Image

 

 

 but just for fun, here a few behind the scenes pics:-)

Image

boys hard at work , in the Bridal suite… 🙂

Image

the bling!

Image

Image

Anett rocking the Athena look!

Image

a trophy wife?

Image

Paul teaching some modelling tricks…

 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!

Credits:

venue: Gosfield Hall
http://www.countryhouseweddings.co.uk/gosfield-hall/

 Photography: Paul Mockford: http://www.shearsmockford.com/

Bespoke Bridal gowns: Prior Engagement www.priorengagement.co.uk

www.priorattire.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… 🙂

 

Woo Woo Wedding memories

Image

 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…

Bedford Borough-20120526-00183

making the 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

Image

the groom, slightly nervous, but looking dashing!

Image

guests getting ready for the ceremony

 When the time came, we all entered the woods, walking along a lovely path, taking in all the sights…

LJP_2307

LJP_2322 guests arriving at the glade

 

 

 

    LJP_2335 LJP_2339 LJP_2343

the first glimpse of the bridesmaids and the bride…

LJP_2352 LJP_2355

 the ceremony…. we were a bit at the back, so please excuse the poor quality pictures!

LJP_2357 LJP_2364

 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

LJP_2369 LJP_2378 LJP_2381 LJP_2389

 and on the main filed  – mostly colourful tents with lovely surprised in them

  LJP_2400 LJP_2412

we loved the quest book and managed to sketch  our entry too:-)

 LJP_2415 LJP_2418

 and in the main tent – food! and the CAKE!

LJP_2422OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The speeches were moving and funny, food good, company divine –  in short a fantastic time was had by all!

 Woo 383

Spring bride collection part 1 – the dresses…….

Image 

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)

Image

Briar Rose

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. 

2. Alice

Image

Image

back view

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.

Image

the petticoat under the skirt

 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

Image

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

Image

Again, can be made in any colour, labour prices starting from £800

4. Gwendoline

Image

 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.

Image

Image

 The design can be reproduced to match any colour scheme,  with the labour prices starting from £1000

5. Helena

 

Image

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!

Image

 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

6. Rosamund

Image

 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:-)

Image

Image

 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!

Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza 2013

Image

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!

IMG-20130324-02455

driving in – snowy!

 Our stand was not a stand really, but a nice boudoir – very cosy and conveniently placed just off the cafe!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 once the place was ready, and the dresses on the mannequins, it was time to get dressed!

Birmingham-20130324-02436

stall ready, time to get respectable!

Birmingham-20130324-02437

Getting our lovely models ready

Birmingham-20130324-02439

lacing Anette into the swan gown…

 and then at last we were ready…

Birmingham-20130324-02441

just missing the Swan…

as she was heaving her hair done…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 and Lucas performing the last corrections…

Birmingham-20130324-02443

 The highlight of the day was the fashion show – there were a few companies taking part, all sporting lovely attire!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

there were some lovely vintage gowns around!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and the Prior Engagement team in action

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sophie in Frost

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jessica in Grace

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Beth in Arwen – behind her Anette in Swan and me in Mango

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….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Birmingham-20130324-02445

 Sarah, work done, went on to a mini shopping spree…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 and considering the goodies on offer, we think she showed  considerable restrain!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

great button bouquets

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

drinkies!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

amazing shoes!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and cakes….

 then it was time to pack up, and head back home- tinly little bit fatigued…..

Solihull-20130324-02451

dozing on and off, but always alert to the sound of camera snapping away…

 

 Now back home, enjoying a good cuppa of brown joy!

Bedford Borough-20130324-02457

 

 

 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!

The Winter Bride Collection

Image

 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….

 Our team:

 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 bImageouquerts, tiaras and combs.

 Kat Allen from  Rose Tinted VIntage in bedford provided some lovely  jewellery  and Lizzie pauling from  Lil MIschief furnished us with some furry accessories – hats, fascinators, stoles and capes.

 Our models were: Gem Bow Tyke, Sophie Mathews and me!

  and the gowns:

1.  The Swan

 

Image

Swan from the back…

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:-)

 

 

Image

 

 the Ice Queen look:

Image

Narnia is mine!!!

Image

 

2. Grace

Image

 

 Corset and skirts in shimmering blue silk duponi, handapplied silver lace decoration and beading.

Image

 

the skirts could be pinned up with tiny snowflakes for a more contemporary look!

Image

 

3. The Frost

 

 

Image

 

A fun gown in silk taffeta, decorated with lace, beaing, rhinestones, brooches – lots of sparkle!

 

Image

Image

4. The Aurora Borealis

 

Image

 

 A more traditional gown in silk satin and taffeta, with lots of sparkly decoration…

Image

Image

 

5. The Russian coat

Image

 

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!

Image

Image

 

  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!