Since sending my last newsletter (which admittedly, followed a long gap) I’ve received messages, and visits from clients, which made me realise how poorly I’ve communicated my whereabouts. Several gave up after pounding up and down the New Kings Road, expecting to pop into my showroom, and in general I hadn’t appreciated the difficulty in finding me.
The exciting news is that I will have a showroom again fairly soon, and it will be cause for a big celebration in the New Year!
It’s that lovely time of year when the days are shortening, and end with a deep golden or red sky, followed by the richest of blue tones, as night falls. Autumn leaves are everywhere, and evenings are for keeping warm and cosy……….
However, we do have a reminder of those last gorgeous days of summer to follow!
The New Showroom
For those of you following my Instagram and Facebook accounts, you will have noticed a decline in activity, because I’ve been too busy working through layouts, and having fun sourcing everything my new showroom needs.
To prove this really is happening, here are images showing work in progress.
Specialist damp proofing was required, with a pumped system, plastic clad walls, and sand-filled egg box-style floor system. When covered, no one would know this was underneath, but it allows any damp to be directed via channels to a pump system.
The floor was then covered with chipboard, and plasterboards on the walls, neatly boxing in the necessary pipework.
I can feel absolutely confident that the fabrics, clothes, and patterns stored in the basement will be dry, which is a dream, compared with my Pimlico days.
The plasterboards have been skimmed, and the walls are drying out. Already, the space looks clean and neat, with a lovely grey oak flooring. What a posh workroom this will be – I can’t wait to move my cutting table down here!
The kitchenette was designed by George at Howdens, keeping the grey theme. We had fun working on the smallest, simplest kitchen, and I’m really looking forward to using it.
Upstairs, the showroom was also stripped out, and the first foundations have been built – namely the window display platform, and the fitting area.
A new oak staircase has just been installed – far easier than climbing ladders!
Mark, and his team are a joy to work with, and doing the grandest of designs – visit their site here.
The grand sale continues…
I thought it would be lovely to re-visit some of the special and memorable images my designs have been captured in. Here are a selection of very special pieces which are in the sale.
These images photographed by lovely Les Wilson remain my favourites. I love them as much now, as when they were shot.
Jackie O is a unique shift dress with draped tails, and crop back-to-front jacket, with feature collar. Made from fabulous Garigue wool satin, this is a timeless classic. Was £1500, SALE £800.
Aqua Duck Egg Beaded dress, still has the biggest wow effect. Was £3000, SALE £1000.
Ivory Duchesse Satin Wedding ‘dress’ is actually a very versatile draped corset bodice, with fishtail skirt, and detachable train. Was £3000, SALE £1500. Beaded French lace shrug was £950, SALE £400.
Through the summer, I missed showing these beautiful knits by Magaschoni, made in the finest cashmere, which has been dip dyed in colours of turquoise and orange. Perfect for winter sun holidays, or thinking ahead to sunny days in 2018.
LEFT – Scarf, available in turquoise and orange, was £229 SALE £115.
RIGHT – One size poncho in turquoise and orange. Was £200, SALE £100.
Round neck asymmetric hem jumper available in turquoise and orange, sizes Small, Medium and Large. Was £240, SALE £120.
Another of the Magaschoni knitwear stories, perfect for warmer weather, is this lovely linen and silk mix, which features a textured stripe. I love wearing my black crop top in the summer.
LEFT & MIDDLE – Crop top is available in medium and large (smallish sizing), in colours black, blanc and sweet lilac. Was £229, SALE £115.
RIGHT – Asymmetric sides waterfall cardi is available in medium and large (smallish sizing) in colours black, blanc and sweet lilac. Was £264, SALE £130.
Thinking ahead to glamorous winter parties, here are evening looks to make a grand entrance.
Stephanie Beacham wearing ivory beaded velvet jacket. Was £1,200, SALE £500.
Greta, all over beaded gold bias dress, modelled by Mel C. Was £3,700, SALE £2,000.
Stephanie Beacham wearing ivory beaded Chloe dress with cowl neck. Was £3000, SALE £1500.
Mica model wearing the fabulous feather jacket with Chloe dress. Was £1800, SALE £900.
Bride of the Month – Alexia
“Unlike most brides, I dreaded wedding dress shopping! While I absolutely love shopping in real life, the pressure and stress of trying to find a dress that would be perfect, especially when I wanted something completely unique, was something I really struggled with. Furthermore, having a wedding abroad meant I wanted something light-weight, to move in freely, and most importantly, a dress I would feel super-special wearing.
And that’s where Allison came to the rescue! Introduced to me by my sister, who had Allison create her wedding dress, she made me feel at ease, really listened to what I hoped for – and came up with THE most stunning design… I aspired to a modern, sleek and non-traditional look, which was also classic and wouldn’t date.
Allison created exactly that – it was quite literally, the dress of my dreams. I felt like an absolute princess (albeit a modern one!) on my wedding day, and received so many compliments on my dress. I’ve even had friends of friends, who have seen my wedding pics on social media contact me to ask where my dress was from.
My only regret, I’d like to wear my dress of dreams everyday!”
Alexia was married in Ibiza in September, and from the moment she described the location, I was captivated, and could envisage her, and her dress floating amongst the modern, planted terraces.
The way of achieving the lightest, gossamer fitted dress, was to work on a fitted base of nude-colour body mesh. The different French corded lace motifs were cut, positioned and placed in a flowing design, and keeping the irregular shapes on the neckline and hem edges. Many of you will have seen me working with gold pins, which are perfect with lace, because they stay in place!
The lace motifs are then stitched by hand and machine. It’s a long, time-consuming process, but the result is worth it. Once the bodice was stitched, the lace sleeves could be stitched in to the armholes in the same way.
I loved Alexia’s dress so much, that I decided to have a similar sample for my showroom. The back detail, with hook closure enables a bride to wear a fine bra, without it being noticed, and results in a very stylish open back. The skirt is slightly different to Alexia’s, with an overlayer of the finest Italian silk chiffon, which retains the light, floaty feel.
Alfie’s Thought of the Day
“If you can’t be better than your competition, just dress better.”