I must admit that I’m a little out of practice when it comes to shopping for myself, particularly with two children to look after and a home needing some decorative attention, I always come last! So, when Annabel asked if I’d write this little feature and up a wish list of my most covetable items I was completely stumped. Then I started to turn my thoughts towards autumn which I’ve been doing a lot of lately, it’s my favourite season – I can’t wait to see the burnished bronze of the trees, smell the wood smoke in the air and whip up a cozy casserole or two. Let’s not be forgetting the beginning of Season 5 of Downton Abbey either! And quite suddenly, a warm, snuggly and tactile wish list was written. Hope you enjoy my selection and find a gem or two for yourself!
1. I’ve just painted my workspace a glorious, crisp white from rather boring magnolia and whilst I’ve still got the shelves to install and my desk to complete (I gave it a make-over) I’ve been turning my thoughts to soft furnishings to keep it cosy in the colder months. Loaf are producing some gorgeously stylish homewares at the moment and I particularly love their embroidered ‘Hiccup’ cushion from their Rhubarb & Custard collection. Soft, muted colours (I love the addition of the dusky pink) and intricate stitches. Mine.
2. Working as a stylist, I’m very lucky to be able to meet some incredible designer-makers and Mourne Textiles are close to my heart as they’re a traditional, family run workshop. Based at the foot of the Mourne mountains in Northern Ireland they hand weave these incredible textiles from local yarns and turn them into the most beautiful throws and cushions I’ve ever seen. As I’m an autumn/winter girl who loves to hibernate, a mound of their soft cushions and snuggly throws to bury myself under for the afternoon with a hot chocolate would be heavenly.
Hello you lovely lot! It’s the Pocketful of Dreams girls here again this morning, sharing with you the design and styling guide from a stunning garden wedding we had the recent pleasure to plan, design and style for our clients. With the end of a glorious summer starting to approach, what better time to reflect back on the gorgeous sunny days and weeks we’ve enjoyed, and for us, 2014 as really been the year of the outside wedding.
We’ve had the great pleasure of working with a range of outdoor settings from low-fi woodlands to farm estates, manicured gardens to rustic fields and most recently, the most beautiful of family gardens; a secret gem that unfolded to reveal mature trees and shrubbery, wild flowers and secret nooks and crannies. It really was a dream come true for us to have the opportunity to design and plan a wedding in such a beautiful – and personal – setting and today we’re sharing with you a small sample of the outdoor garden wedding concept that we executed.
“I truly believe that perfection is achieved when there is nothing more to take away. I like to keep it simple. Simple is sophistication and so I prefer clean lines. I have a bias towards 1950s and 1960s silhouettes but my goal when designing is never to rehash the same old clichéd full skirt and colourful petticoat look.
Instead I like to experiment with unusual fabrics, make modern modifications to vintage silhouettes whilst creating short and tea length wedding dresses that appear slightly unconventional yet very sophisticated.”
London based Tobi Hannah, is best known for her short dress wedding dress designs – such an expert is she at having honed the short wedding dress design, she has even written her own book about it.
Today, I want to introduce you to Tobi’s brand new collection of short wedding dresses. I caught up with Tobi recently and she told me all about this new collection, which I think could well appeal to those of our readers who appreciate sassy, vintage designs created with the modern bride in mind.
“My designs dresses are made for real people and are cut beautifully to flatter the female form in its natural state. I am so grateful to work with an amazing team of people who also believe in individuality and we work in harmony to help brides get their perfect wedding dress every year and we have SO much fun doing it!”
“From vintage and modern to the flintstones, degas ballerinas and book covers, I take inspiration from anywhere that resonates with me and fuels my imagination. I am in love with art and music (from jazz to heavy metal), I have more books than clothes and every single thing I love finds its way onto the dresses in a small or big way.
My new ‘Adventure’ collection owes its name to quote by Helen Keller. She is known around the world as a symbol of courage in the face of overwhelming odds. (She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree) Her story inspired me to create a collection that reflects my own interpretation of Helen Keller’s quote about life and adventure. Life is both beautiful and fragile - and personally, I believe that every bride should strive to be her own authentic self on her wedding day.”
Each wedding dress in the adventure collection has it’s own unique creation journey. The Affection Tea length wedding dress takes inspiration from an amazing painting by Leon Comerre of famous ballerina, Rosita Mauri.
There is something about these images – the light, the texture – their artistic interpretation and way those otherwise everyday and unceremonious style moments (putting on a tie, tieing a shoe lace) have been captured to feel so special. Yes, there is something wonderful about the way The Kitcheners have recorded these moments in time and I feel especially lucky that we get to enjoy and share them with you today.
Graphic Designer Emilie married Engineer Julien on 30th May this year at Dalduff Farm in Crosshill, Scotland. Their Spring wedding day was full of rustic charm. Located on a farm, which provided a completely blank canvass for them to style and decorate, the couple were very ably assisted by the Be Eventful team in bringing the space to life. I adore all the little touches and that modern wedding dress that so beautifully replicates the Edwardian lawn dress style of a by-gone era. These really are very beautiful wedding photographs and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
“Julien and I love to travel and we wanted to highlight our experience in travel and adventure. What we like most of all are beautiful evenings, movies under the stars, barbecues in the garden, laughter and good times with friends, so the keywords in designing our wedding were travel, botany, enjoy, barbecue and bonfire! We wanted something simple, but with lots of love.”
“Julien and I met eight years ago. We never really talked about marriage, except once during a trip to Scotland (we live in France). When one day, nine months before the wedding we decided to marry and remembered this conversation in Scotland and immediately chose it as the place for our wedding. It was a challenge to arrange everything from a distance in just nine months, but at the same time very exciting too.
We wanted for our wedding to take place in an unusual place, a farm in the middle of nature. Dalduff Farm really was the perfect place for us because of the old farmhouse which was ideal for outdoor cocktail, and an interior wooden space for the meal and celebrations. In addition, the owner (James) was a pleasure to work with and allowed us to decorate the venue to our heart’s content, it was fantastic! He also provided the catering and the food he offered was excellent! Dalduff was the perfect
“My dress was by Laure de Sagazan, a French designer. I already loved the delicate work of Laura, but this dress was something else. I tried ten beautiful dresses and this particular gown was hanging in a corner on it’s own. I asked if I could try it on but the designer warned me that it might not fit as it wasn’t customised.
I tried it on anyway and it became immediately obvious – this was ‘the one’!”
“The table plan was an old world map, each table named after a country we visited. Above each table, I made a wreath with hoops of steel brought from France, on which were placed the name of each country. The marks were small places “Polaroids” of photos I had taken in each country.
We had prepared postcards and a mailbox, tattoos, candy bar and a whiskey bar, with different types of Scotch whiskey for people to “become familiar with”
“We love the work of Three Sisters Bake, and I wanted a Naked Cake! We also had some really delicious giant meringues! We also provided cream and berries and people were able to make a DIY pavlova.”
“We hired Kitchener Photography to shoot our wedding. The Kitchener’s work is indescribable – they sublimate the marriage by their presence and their work – we couldn’t have dreamt of better. They knew perfectly how to capture the atmosphere of the marriage, the looks, the people, the laughter, the warmth of the fire!
We had a wonderful meeting with Joanne and Dylan who we found to be a great couple. We have so many beautiful photos that we cannot thank them enough – I simply cannot recommend them more highly.”
When I was a little girl, I was bridesmaid on a couple of occasions and both times, I simply couldn’t wait to wear ‘the dress’. For young maids and flower girls, a wedding day is a dressing-up opportunity not to be missed, a chance to pull on a party frock par excellence and bring to life all of those childhood dreams of princesses and pretty dresses with huge skirts, bows and sparkles.
So today, it’s an absolute treat to share with you this interview with Nicki Macfarlane who designs dresses that send little bridesmaids into raptures. Nicki’s designs are beautiful, timeless and come complete with all of those accessories and details that are loved by the wearer and by the bride as well. Indeed, we all admired Nicki’s designs at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as the young bridesmaids made their way up the aisle at Westminster Abbey wearing iconic ballerina-length, box pleated full dresses made of ivory silk satin gazar, layered over organza, wild silk and generous petticoats complete with Nicki’s signature extravagant bow at the back.
But, let’s hear from Nicki, who so kindly tell her story and share her experiences with us here at Love My Dress and with you all…
Can you give, for readers who don’t know your story, a little overview of how you came to be a designer of such beautiful dresses for bridesmaids and flower girls?
Having designed children’s clothes for my entire adult life, this all came about by accident – or serendipity. I was asked, as a one-off commission to make 22 bespoke bridesmaids’ dresses for one wedding and loved it so much that I started the eponymous company with a view to producing special occasion dresses made to a very high standard.
When you start to design a new collection, what is the process? Do you start with an overview of what you want to collection to be or a mood board with the elements you want to include?
Usually we have an initial concept of the new collection’s theme based solely around a single fabric or style idea. Once that first sample is mocked up, we then build the collection outwards from that and it evolves as we go. We have learned from experience that this works better that having the whole lot on paper before anything is made up. This way the collection finds its own direction, we can see the gaps and it is more cohesive.