Well, last night was a bit of fun! Rashida of Lily Christina Bridal Collection invited me to her launch party for Pronovias' brand new Atelier Pronovias collection. Of course I gladly accepted and went along with a few of my illustrations to show the brides and their entourages, who were invited to the event.
I wanted to draw a bespoke illustration for Rashida to keep and display at the launch, and then later in her boutique. So she chose her favourite dress, the 'Royal', from the Atelier Pronovias range for me to illustrate in the style of one of my dress portraits. Unfortunately, this was the one dress that didn't come into the shop in time for the catwalk show last night, so I still haven't seen it actually 'in the flesh'. It didn't matter too much, as all the other gowns in the collection were stunning, but of course, it would have been amazing to see it. It's not every day I get up-close to such stunning dresses after all!
I hadn't had the time to visit the boutique up until last night, so was excited to visit and see the location just down the road from Stradbroke, where I live. The boutique is situated within the Coach House Offices, a gated premises, at The Old Rectory in Badingham. It is approached through a set of automated gates, up a long, private driveway and is strictly appointment-only. Every customer gets the VIP experience with the whole place to themselves to try on wedding dresses from the collections stocked. It's truly a dreamy place in the Suffolk countryside, to shop for the dress of your dreams...#LocationGoals!
So, after arriving around half six to give Rashida her framed dress illustration, I displayed a few of my portraits in the area where the guests would be coming to watch the fashion show and mingle with the suppliers attending. Never one to turn down a glass of fizz, I gladly accepted one (actually two!) and sipped it whilst I got my drawings laid out. I also had time to meet and speak to Siobhan, who co-owns the other wedding dress shop, RS Bridal Collection in Melton Mowbray, along with Rashida - she was really very lovely. From around seven o'clock the VIP guests started to arrive, and were each given a (rather fantastic looking) goody bag, and a glass of something they fancied – before taking their seats alongside the catwalk. Everyone seemed really happy to be there, and there was a really lovely atmosphere amongst the guests and contributors to the party.
At the beginning of the unveiling of the new collection, Rashida made a short speech and gave me and my work a lovely shout-out, and a particular mention of the illustration of the Atelier Pronovias 'Royal' dress I'd drawn – which was much appreciated. She also gave me a yummy tin of shortbread biscuits to thank me for being part of the launch. Thanks Rashida!
I bumped into Victoria Bradfield MUA (who did some beautiful make-up on a couple of the models), which was nice as I'd not seen her since the 'Truly Vintage' Wedding Fair at Glemham Hall, back in the summer. We stood and watched the girls come down the red-carpet together, chatted about which were our fave pieces, and giggled about how I really should get married, just so I can wear a beautiful, white dress (I know that's not a reason to get married...)!
The show went really well, and the dresses from the Pronovias new collections, were absolutely beautiful. I particularly loved the 'Regina' dress with it's chiffon skirt and beaded lace appliqués. The models were supplied with a gorgeous bouquet of red roses by Miss Fleur Floral Design, and photographed by Elizabeth Jayne Photography.
I spoke to some lovely bride-to-bes and their friends and family about my illustrations and how they could be used for their wedding, either incorporated into their wedding stationery, or used as a keepsake piece to commemorate their special day by. It was an absolute pleasure to be part of an event so local to me, and I hope to be involved with Lily Christina Bridal Collection, in the future.