From demure, dainty Edwardian cotton; through slinky 30s bias-cut satin; elegant, sophisticated, well-balanced 40s dresses with soft flowing A-line skirts; flirty, pretty, prom-style 50s; the pared-down aesthetic of the 60s; to the relaxed boho lacy 70s: you are choosing from the best of eighty years of fashion.
I have a carefully curated collection of around eighty dresses, each a really good example from the various decades. I see just one client at a time in my studio in my home in west London, and provide a relaxed personalised service to help you choose what suits your body shape and personality. The result is a dress that will feel much more individually yours than one found on the high street.
My lovely original vintage dresses generally pre-date mass production which is evident when they are handled. The fabrics are much softer to the touch than most modern dresses and often have a gentler more flowing feel. The details are quite different to modern dresses: the necklines tend to be a little higher – sometimes with pretty features like little lace collars, they may have softly gathered shoulders, or long lace sleeves. They date from a time when it was not acceptable to show too much: it’s more about subtle suggestion and a more romantic way of dressing.
I work closely with a fantastic seamstress to make the dresses perfect for my brides. We can update the features of the dress to your taste which we do in keeping with the feel of the dress, not losing what makes it special. I am very proud of the end results – I strongly feel that my brides look wonderful in their gowns. You are making a very individual and very environmentally-friendly choice when you wear vintage. I believe every bride should be unique – not wearing a dress (however lovely) that can be seen hanging in many dress shops.
I enjoyed a long career in hairdressing working for many top London salons and also styling the hair for fashion shows in London, Paris and Milan plus magazines and TV. This culminated in being made Head of Staff Training for the Vidal Sassoon organisation where I worked for five years. I then changed career and completed an HND course in footwear and accessories design at Cordwainers College now affiliated with London College of Fashion. There I learned practical skills including pattern cutting and sample making as well as studying the history of fashion. I used this knowledge to begin buying and renovating vintage wedding dresses in 2010. Since when I have helped many brides through the process of choosing and fitting their perfect dress.
Where are you and when are you open?
I work in my home studio in Brentford in west London. Accessible by public transport or car, I am two minutes walk from Brentford railway station, and have free car parking space. I am very flexible about when I see clients and appointments can be made any weekday during the daytime or evening, or Saturday daytime. You are welcome to bring one or two friends or relations, although some girls can focus better on their own so it is up to you how you feel most comfortable. There is no charge for appointments.
Can you arrange alterations?
Original vintage dresses tend to be smaller than modern clothing, mostly they are 6/ 8 /10 /12 with a few a little larger. Do get in touch to check what I have in your size. I work closely with a brilliant seamstress to fit the dresses, vintage pattern cutting is different to modern shaping so fitting is often required. It is usually possible to make them a bit bigger with the addition of panels or sometimes even simpler methods, and it need not be expensive. We can also make small style changes; adding lace or beading; changing a sleeve etc – to make it perfect for each client.
Vintage style dresses made to order
If you don’t find a vintage dress that suits you we can always make one from my own small collection which I have designed based on the various classic eras. The Heavenly Collection of Florence, Butterfly, Bette, Angel, Violette and Blanche are ethically produced to order in west London from lace produced here in the UK or France wherever possible. These can be made in sizes 6 to 16, with necklines, sleeves and decoration according to your personal taste.
How much do the dresses cost?
It depends on the era and the rarity of the dress but generally my vintage wedding dresses are between £395 and £995. If you tell me your area of interest I can be more specific. It is very important to me that my clients feel they have all the help they need to get them looking wonderful in the dress, so I don’t see it as just ‘selling a dress’. I source appropriate slips, advise on suitable underwear etc, and during the fittings with my seamstress we discuss what my clients would really like and can also make any accessories, veils, sashes etc. All my dresses are cleaned and have been restored with care. Grace my seamstress is a joy to work with and also hugely experienced at working with my brides to make it a really lovely experience for them.
Please note that fitting with Grace is charged separately, as the needs are different for every client.
For a new vintage-style dress made to order from my Heavenly Collection prices start at £1195, plus fitting or style changes. Prices vary depending on fabric/dress choice. As a general guide the price range is £1195 to £1495.
For anything else you’d like to know, please ask us