Alterations Explained

When it comes to your wedding dress, fit is key.  This is one of the reasons its so important to order your dress early to allow us plenty of time to ensure the perfect fit.  So here are some top tips to help you ensure it all runs smoothly.

When do we start alterations?

As weight can fluctuate we try to complete the alterations as close as possible to the wedding but with enough time for us to do the work.  As a general rule, we will start the fittings 6-8 weeks before your wedding day. 

How many fittings are required?

To allow us to get the proper fit for the dress we typically need 3 fittings. Sometimes we can complete the process in two fittings but it would be wise to allow yourself time for 3. 

How long does a fitting take?

For the first appointment you should allow 1 hour.  The second and third appointments are normally slightly less as the dress is becoming a closer fit to you.

What should a bride wear to her fitting?

In order for us to complete the fitting, you should ensure you bring any underwear you are planning to wear on the day plus your shoes. Its important to bring the shoes so you do not end up with a hem that is too short. 

Who should come to the fitting?

We ask that when the bride comes to her fitting that she brings as few other people as possible.  We understand that this is an exciting time which you want to share with friends, but we are carrying out precision work which the seamstress needs to be able to concentrate to do.  Sometimes if there are too many people the room can become quite loud and busy making it extremely difficult! 

How much do alterations cost?

We only charge you for what needs doing on the dress.  So if only the hem needs doing, you only pay for the hem.  Our costs are capped at £275 for alterations we would class as a standard fit alteration.  If you want something additional, e.g beading added, jackets made, then this may take your cost over £275. 

Why do I have to pay for alterations on top of the cost of the dress?

Unless specified, the dress we order for you will be "made to order" and not "made to measure". This means that the dress is put into production upon your order but will be made to a standard set of measurements.  Most brides do not fit exactly the measurements on the size chart so this is why we have to complete the alterations. Dresses can be ordered on a made to measure basis but this increases the cost by at least £400.  So it is more cost effective to have the dress altered by the boutique once it reaches us. 

Additional Sample Sale Dresses

We have some more dresses going to be available as a sample!  So this means you can buy the sample dress at a reduced cost.  This is perfect if you have a last minute wedding or if you want to save a few pennies.  Here are some of the dresses that will now be available. 

 

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 Marnie by Enzoani. Size 12. Was £2235 Now £1200

Marnie by Enzoani. Size 12. Was £2235 Now £1200

 Mahina by Charlie Brear Size 12 Was £2260 Now £1000

Mahina by Charlie Brear Size 12 Was £2260 Now £1000

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 Rosa Clara Asis Size 12 Was £1610 Now £700

Rosa Clara Asis Size 12 Was £1610 Now £700

 Blue By Enzoani Kara Size 14 Was £1740 Now £700

Blue By Enzoani Kara Size 14 Was £1740 Now £700

 Enzoani Midori Size 12. Was £2730 Now £1500

Enzoani Midori Size 12. Was £2730 Now £1500

There are more dresses available in the boutique so please do call us if you want more details.  Dont forget, there is only one of these dresses at this price so if you want it you need to be quick!  Dresses can be altered so if it is not your size give us a call and we can see what we can do. 

Lauren xx 

Greyfriars Photo Shoot

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of arranging a bridal fashion shoot with some amazing fellow Colchester suppliers.  We completed the photo shoot at GreyFriars in Colchester which is a luxurious 5* hotel and is absolutely beautiful.  The photographer on the day was Andrew Mark Wade photography.  Hair was by Admire Colchester and make up by Scarlett Allen.  I can highly recommend all of these suppliers, their work is amazing. 

Here are some of my favourite pictures from the day.  Let me know what you think! 

 Desiree by Eliza Jane Howell

Desiree by Eliza Jane Howell

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 McKinley by Enzoani

McKinley by Enzoani

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 Margo by Enzoani

Margo by Enzoani

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Knickers and Bras!

A question we usually get asked in the boutique is "what underwear should I have on under my dress". This is more of an issue than ever with the current fashion of low backs and slim fitting dresses.  So we have compiled some advice for you below which should ensure there are no VPL's or bra straps on show.

First thing is the colour of the underwear.  Obviously a bright colour or black is an instant no, but most people don't realise that white isn't a good choice either.  White can still show through under some dresses.  The colour you need is nude. Instead of standing out against your skin, nude will blend into the tones of your skin making them effectively invisible. 

When choosing your underwear you want to make sure it is plain as possible.  If you are wearing a slim fitting dress any type of bows, lace and ribbons will show through. Ideally, you would have something that is seamless, again minimizing the risk of any bumps or line. 

Lots of brides want to wear some form of shape wear under their dresses.  This is perfectly fine, just ensure that again they are nude in colour, plain and seam free. 

Depending on your dress, you most likely wont need a bra.  A large majority of dresses will have bra cups built into them or we can add cups when completing your fittings. If you would prefer to have a bra then you will again need to apply the rules above: nude colour, plain and seam free. 

Another option is to use something called Lift Its.  I'm not normally a fan of stick on bra's but these are brilliant.  They give the lift of a bra without having straps on show.  We can give you details of where you can find these if you would like some.  

When a bride purchases a dress from MiliMili Bridal, we are now giving them an underwear information sheet which has pictures of different options available on the market.  If you haven't received yours let me know and I will send one out to you. 

I hope this has helped but feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Lauren xx 

 

Rosa Clara 2019 Launch in Barcelona

Last weekend I had the pleasure of going out to Barcelona to pick the new dresses from the Rosa Clara collection.  This has to be one of the favourite bits of my job! 

We arrived in Barcelona on the Friday around midnight (thanks to a 1 hour delay sitting on the tarmac, good old Ryanair!) and went straight to our hotel as we were exhausted.  Upon arrival at the hotel we were given a bottle of prosecco and some gorgeous chocolates from Rosa Clara, they were delicious! 

We decided on the Saturday that we would have a holiday day and spent our time being tourists taking in Barcelona.  If you have never been I highly recommend it, there are so many beautiful sights to see.  We went to see the famous Gaudi Sagrada Familia which is quite honestly breathtaking.  They started to build it in 1882 and it is still not finished!  They anticipate to complete it in 2026! 

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We spent the rest of the day shopping, there is literally a Zara on every street (my idea of heaven!) and then went for a meal.  As it was a holiday I broke my diet, but thats allowed surely! 

Anyway, I digress with stories of my day when you actually clicked on this blog to find out about the new Rosa Clara dresses. 

Currently we stock the Rosa Clara collection only, but I have had soooo many requests for dresses in the Couture Collection that I decided it was time we got them in.  So I'm pleased to announce we now stock 2 Rosa Clara collections, Rosa Clara and Couture! What is the difference between the two?  Rosa Clara couture is the main collection and is inspired by "haute couture" and is made with the best fabrics from around the world.  The Rosa Clara collection is a more affordable line with a large variety of styles available.  Both are made in Barcelona using the highest standards and fabrics.  They both feature the elegance and simplicity which Rosa Clara has become synonymous with and which has appealed to some of the most fashionable brides aound the world. 

I'm afraid I cannot show you any pictures of the new collections as they are top secret until the official pictures are launched, but I can promise you that you will love them.  They are stylish and sophisticated with a modern edge, just like our brides. 

We have ordered a couple of dresses that were in previous collections so I can show you these ones. 

First up is Penelope from the Rosa Clara Couture range.  This dress is stunning!  It has the most beautiful lace sleeves and the much sort after slit in the skirt. I love it!

 

 Rosa Clara Penelope

Rosa Clara Penelope

The next dress is Rosa Clara Couture Pasion.  The bead work on this dress is beautiful and it is a real statement piece. 

 Rosa Clara Pasion

Rosa Clara Pasion

The third and final sneak peek I can give you in from the Rosa Clara collection.  This dress is called Alejo and is made from the softest tulle.  We have never been what I would call a "Disney Princess" style shop, its always been important to me that any princess cut gowns we have are modern and sophisticated.  I think this dress ticks those boxes> 

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 We are expecting these dresses in around summer time, but if you cant wait till then check out our current Rosa Clara collection.  They are all stunning pieces and perfect for brides who have that extra ounce of sophistication. 

Lots of love,

Lauren xx 

Sample Sale Dresses

I am starting the year with some exciting news on the blog.  We are adding some more dresses into our sample sale!

For those of you who are not sure what a sample sale is, I will explain.  The sample sale is an excellent opportunity for you if you are looking to purchase a designer gown but don't necessarily want to pay the price of one or if you do not have time to order a dress in.  The dresses which are available in the sale are our ex samples, so these are the ones we use in the boutique for people to try on.  Some are in immaculate condition and others may need a little extra tlc but this is reflected in the price of the dress.  The dresses are ones that have either been discontinued by the designers or if we need to make room for more stock. 

We normally have samples available through out the year, we just add to them as we go. I have listed below some of the new dresses which will now be available in the sample sale. If you see something you like be sure to book in quick and try it on, as there if only one of each sample.  They are sold on a first come first serve basis, we cannot reserve them for anyone.  Full payment is required for the dress and you can take it away with you on the day.  Dont worry, you wlll be looked after exactly the same as a bride ordering a new dress in! 

One last thing to mention, the sizes!  If you see a dress you love but it isn't in your size still give us a call as we can often alter dresses to fit. 

 

 Rosa Clara "Astral" Was £1550 Now £775. This dress is a size 12 but I would say realistically it is more of a uk 10. 

Rosa Clara "Astral" Was £1550 Now £775. This dress is a size 12 but I would say realistically it is more of a uk 10. 

 Rosa Clara "Alejandra" Was £1650 Now £875. Size 14

Rosa Clara "Alejandra" Was £1650 Now £875. Size 14

 Rosa Clara "Abadia" Was £1790 Now £900 Size 12

Rosa Clara "Abadia" Was £1790 Now £900 Size 12

 Blue By Enzoani "Kodie" Was £1740 Now £1000. Size 14

Blue By Enzoani "Kodie" Was £1740 Now £1000. Size 14

 Blue By Enzoani "Keaton" Size 12 Was £1350 now £650.

Blue By Enzoani "Keaton" Size 12 Was £1350 now £650.

Exciting things for 2018

I cant believe it is coming to the end of another year, it really is true that the older you get the quicker time seems to go.  What an amazing year 2017 has been though!  2017 has been our busiest year so far, with lots of brides choosing our modern designs and enjoying the boutique service we provide. This year has also seen the start of our in house seamstress service which allows us to cater for all our brides needs under one roof.  We also won our fabulous award this for "Bridal Retailer Website" at the Bridal Buyer Awards which was such a proud moment for us. 

 Andrew collecting our award at The Bridal Buyer Awards. 

Andrew collecting our award at The Bridal Buyer Awards. 

2017 was great but 2018 is going to be even better!  We have so many plans in the pipe line which are rather exciting!

To start the year off we are going to be giving our changing room a makeover, think velvet chairs, marble tables, lots of plants/cacti and a fabulous mirrored wall! We are currently waiting for everything to arrive which will now be in the new year, so I am going to have to be patient for a little while longer.  Massive thank you to Samantha at Morph Designs for putting the design ideas together, its going to look fab! 

 Cannot wait for these chairs to arrive! 

Cannot wait for these chairs to arrive! 

I have also been working away behind the scenes with the lovely Tanya of Chez Bec Jewellery.  She is currently putting together a custom collection just for MiliMili.   These are going to be statement pieces which include back necklaces, cuffs and crawler earrings, all perfect for our modern brides. 

In the new year we are also going to be completing a photo shoot which will show our dresses in an amazingly setting at a local venue. I am still working on the last few details of this one so I cant give too much away at this stage. 

New year also means new collections!!  We go straight into our buying mood in January when we fly off to Barcelona to choose our new Rosa Clara 2019 collection.  This will be followed in March with a trip to London to pick the new designs from the rest of our designers.  Its a tough job but someone has to do it!

Make sure you keep an eye on our Facebook/Instagram as we will be announcing various other events and competitions throughout the year. 

Our success could not be possible without so many people so I have a list of thank you's!  Firstly, my husband Andrew as without his support none of this would be possible.  Thank you to our amazing designers who all are brilliant to work with.  Big thank you to Abby, Penny and Alina who are all fabulous at what they do!  Finally, a massive thank you to our brides for letting us be a part of your special day!

See you all in the new year!! 

Lauren xx 

 

December Gown of the Month

Hello everyone, 

I have decided to start a new feature on the blog which is to show case our favourite gown of the month.  Each month we will highlight a new dress and explain why it is fabulous and why you need to try it!

Drum roll please, this months dress is..........Margo by Enzoani. 

 

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If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram you will already know how much I love this dress by the amount I post about it. 

Margo is a classic, lace and crepe fit-and-flare gown with a twist. The dress features an unlined, illusion lace bodice that blends into the skin and a show stopping skirt side split to show off those legs. Finished with a jaw-dropping lace train, low illusion back, delicate covered buttons and an invisible zipper closure.

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If you do not feel comfortable with the split and unlined bodice, we can have the bodice lined for you.  The split can also be sewn up to a point where you feel comfortable. 

This dress has the ultimate wow factor and will make sure you stand out on your day.  This dress is proving to be popular amongst our brides already so make sure you dont miss out.  Book an appointment to come and try it on. 

 

 

Competition Time!

I am excited to announce we are running our biggest ever competition.  This is a not to be missed prize.

One lucky bride will win £500 off a wedding dress at MiliMili Bridal Colchester and also an engagement shoot with Andrew Mark Wade photography worth £200! I know, its an amazing prize.

To enter: book an appointment at MiliMili Bridal from today until 23rd December and once you have been in for your appointment your name will be entered into the draw.  It really is that simple.

We will draw the name of the winner at the close of business on the 23rd December. 

So spread the word to any bride you know who are getting married and are looking for the special dress. 

Bridal Buyers Retail Website of the Year

As some of you may have seen on our Facebook and Instagram pages, we have recently won an Award!  MiliMili Bridal officially have the best bridal website not just in Colchester but in the uk!  We are so pleased with this award win as we put the website together ourselves and did not have an external company do it for us.

The awards were held in September in Harrogate at the yearly trade show hosted by the industry trade magazine Bridal Buyer.  Unfortunately it was the first day of school for my little boy so I was unable to attend. Andrew stepped in though and went to the awards on our behalf.  The awards are a lovely event where you get to meet other bridal shop owners and also the dress designers. 

I was left sitting at home keeping updated on the proceedings via Twitter. I genuinely did not think we would win but there was that thought that just maybe we could do it.  As I was watching the other categories be announced I decided to go to bed as there was no way of us winning.  I just let my phone on so that if we did win my phone would beep as we are mentioned on twitter.  

I was just about to drift off when I heard the beep on my phone.  I jumped up and grabbed my phoning, dropping it in the process, and there it was: 

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I was so over the moon and literally started dancing round my bedroom! It means so much to have your hard work recognised and I genuinely think we have a really good website! 

Bridal Materials

I don't know about you, but I really struggle with online shopping. I cant stand it, I like to be able to go into a lovely shop, have a look round, ask the shop assistant any questions I have then purchase my item there and then.  Old fashioned, perhaps, but I like to physically see what I am buying. This especially applies to when I am buying clothes.  We have all ordered a gorgeous looking outfit just for it to turn up and be made out of that horrible cheap material which is falling apart.  So Brides, please do not take this risk when buying your wedding dress!  This is most likely going to be the most expensive dress you ever purchase, you want something made beautifully using the best materials.  

Below I have compiled a guide to the most common bridal materials that you will encounter when wedding dress shopping. This will help prepare you when you go shopping and hopefully give you an idea of what material you like.

 

SILK

Silk in one of the most popular fabrics used for wedding dresses.  It is a natural fibre which actually comes from the cocoons of a silk worm. It is a luxurious fabric which has a natural shimmer and feels amazing to wear. The fabric is very versatile and is also durable making it suit for all seasons.  Silk is an expensive material, so it can put the cost up of a dress but it is worth every penny!

TAFFETA

Taffeta is made from silk or synthetic fibres.  It has almost a scrunchy effect and the stiffer the fabric the higher the quality.  It makes a great rustle sound as you move! It is what I would class as a traditional bridal fabric which is also great for colours. 

TULLE

If you want to look like a fairy princess on your day then tulle is probably the material for you.  Its a light fabric which has an open weave which makes it look like netting, in fact lots of brides refer to it as netting. Tulle is also what most veils will be made from.  A good quality tulle should not feel harsh to the touch, it should be soft and full of volume.  The major downside of tulle is that it is easy to snag on jewellery so keep that in mind when choosing accessories. 

 Rosa Clara Alada has an incredible tulle skirt which is so soft to touch its like a cloud. 

Rosa Clara Alada has an incredible tulle skirt which is so soft to touch its like a cloud. 

CHIFFON

Chiffon is a light woven fabric which is incredibly sheer and has a weightless floaty look.  This has made chiffon the perfect choice for weddings abroad in hot climates. It is often used in layers to build up the skirt or can be used over another material.  As with tulle, this material can snag easily.

ORGANZA

I always think Organza is in the middle of Chiffon and Tulle.  It is sheer and light weight like Chiffon but it is stiffer like tulle.  It is a more structured material but because it is lightweight it is again a good choice for abroad weddings. 

LACE

Over the last few years it has all been about lace!  There are so many different types of lace that there is bound to be one that you love. Some of the more well known types include Chantilly, Alencon, Guipure, Corded and beaded.  I could write a whole blog on different laces alone.  

 Blue by Enzoani Keaton - there is so many different laces to choose from you are bound to find one you love. 

Blue by Enzoani Keaton - there is so many different laces to choose from you are bound to find one you love. 

CREPE/CREPE DE CHINE

I have to say that crepe is currently my favourite material. We are finding that this is also our brides preferred choice of material too.   This material is perfect for slim dresses as it creates a beautiful silhouette.  Not only does it have a luxurious feel but it consists of a delicate texture which gives it an exceptional drape.  I absolutely love this material!

This is only a brief guide as there is so many more materials out there but I think these will be the ones you will most likely come across.  If you want to actually see/feel the materials then please come into us and I will be happy to show you them.  

Enjoy dress shopping!

Lauren xxx 

 

 

Guide to Wedding Dress Necklines

Choosing your wedding dress is normally one of the first things you want to do once you are engaged.  But there is so much choice out there it can become tricky to find the dress that makes you feel like the most beautiful, sexy version of you. 

So to help, I'll be doing a series of blogs going through different shapes and styles available. To start off with, I'll be looking at the necklines available. 

Strapless

This is probably the most well known of the bridal necklines.  As the name suggests, the strapless dress has no straps attached anywhere.  Whilst strapless in a classic neckline, it does seem to divide opinions.  A lot of brides worry they will be pulling up their dress all day, however the trick to avoiding this is a well fitted dress. The dress should sit snugly across the bust and under the arms, if you have this right the dress is not going anywhere!  

Sweetheart

The sweetheart neckline is again a classic which has been loved for its feminine look.  This neckline forms a heart shape across the bust which gets rid of any harsh lines thus making for a softer look.  It will dip down in the middle so will reveal a little cleavage, how much depends on the dress. 

V Neck

I have to admit that this is one of my personal favourites. The V is made by two diagonal pieces that come from the shoulder and meet at chest level. Again, depending on how deep the V is, you will show some cleavage.  A V-neck will make your neck look longer, so its an elegant choice. 

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High Neck

On a high neck dress, the material will come up higher than usual , normally with a collar which comes up to the brides neck. It is a very sophisticated option which calls for less jewellery and normally an updo. 

Halter Neck

This is probably one of the rarer necklines but is such a flattering style. They show off brides shoulders as they have a high neck which secures around behind the neck. It will accentuate your figure and reduce the broadness of shoulders.  For shorter brides, the halter top can make you appear taller and emphasize the neck line. 

Square

The square neckline is created by two straps and a straight line over the bust. This neckline tends to broaden your shoulders so may be one to avoid if you are already conscious of yours.

Bateau

This is a stunning and chic alternative to the sweetheart neckline. Is it an elegant look especially when you keep the dress free from lace and bling and rather concentrate on the material and cut of the dress. 

 

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The best way to find the right neckline for you is to try them on!  You will quickly discover what does and doesn't work for you. 

Happy shopping! xx 

Top Tips for Finding your Wedding Dress

So you have the ring, you've picked a date and now you need the dress.  Many brides come into us feeling nervous, but there really is no reason to be! I have compiled some top tips to help you find the dress without added stress. 

1) Don't worry if you don't know what style will suit you best.  Most brides don't.  That is why myself and Abby are here to help and guide you and help you find the dress that makes you feel the best.

2) Do some homework.  Who doesn't love a Pinterest board!  Search websites for styles that you like. Look to see what the current trends are and what elements of them you like. 

3) Book an appointment in advance.  We recommend between 8 months to a year in advance.  Giving yourself this time not only helps us but also takes out any last minute dress panic. 

4) Taking pictures - this one is always a sticky point. Whilst we wouldn't stop anyone taking pictures we would strongly recommend that you don't.  The lighting in the shop is not made for photos on phones and quite often it is not very flattering.  Also, the dress is not fitted to you yet so you will not be seeing a true reflection of the dress. Instead, try to take a mental picture and you need to concentrate on how you feel when you are wearing it. 

5) When deciding who is going to come shopping with you, consider whose opinion you value and who knows your style.  Try to limit how many people you bring with you, too many opinions is really not a good thing.  Also, from a practical level its extremely difficult for us to give you the best experience possible when we are having to climb over people!

6) Try to go with an open mind and don't automatically discard a style.  Many a time we have had a bride who has picked a dress she would never have normally tried on. 

7)  If you have nude colour underwear then bring it with you.  Many of the dress require a simple, seam free style of underwear.

8) This next point is a hard one but, when you have found the one you love, stop looking!!  There will always be new styles coming out, there will always be that one more shop you can go to, but trust me when I say you are only making it more difficult for yourself.  We have also had it happen when a bride loves a dress but wants to try a couple more, but when they came back a few weeks later to purchase the dress it has been discontinued so she can no longer have it. 

9) Talk to your advisor, if there is something you are not sure about on the dress then tell us as more often than not its something we can fix. Tell us as much information as possible as it allows us to help you find that perfect dress.

10) Enjoy the experience, its once in a lifetime so stay calm and enjoy! 

 

2017/18 Collection Launch

Its that time of year again when our designers launch their new collections and Abby and I had the pleasure this weekend of going to pick the new dresses for the boutique.  We had a brilliant time and the designers have truly created some special pieces. 

The dresses wont be available in the boutique until September time, but who would like some sneak peeks!!?  Silly question, I thought so.  Excuse the pictures as they are just ones I took on my phone, so not the official ones.

First stop was Eliza Jane Howell with this beautifully hand beaded creations.  These are take your breath away stunning gowns. 

 Ostrich feather!!!!

Ostrich feather!!!!

 Gorgeous long sleeves with a beautiful illusion back. 

Gorgeous long sleeves with a beautiful illusion back. 

 The beading on the top of this dress is exquisite. 

The beading on the top of this dress is exquisite. 

Next stop was Charlie Brear with her edgy contemporary style which we love.  The materials she uses for her dresses are a cut above the rest and the cuts of her dresses are just superb.

 Perfect for those who want something on their arms.

Perfect for those who want something on their arms.

 The back on this dress is gorgeous!

The back on this dress is gorgeous!

 Introducing the Bridal Jumper! Idea for those winter weddings. 

Introducing the Bridal Jumper! Idea for those winter weddings. 

 This dress has the most amazing sleeves, they are attached at the wrist. 

This dress has the most amazing sleeves, they are attached at the wrist. 

These are just a small selection of the beauties we have ordered, look out for the official pictures coming soon!

 

Who are MiliMili Bridal

Come April, we will have been open for 5 years! I know, crazy how time goes so quickly. You wouldn't believe though how many people still come in asking if we are new. So if you are one of those people who didn't know we existed, here are some facts about what we do.

We are a contemporary bridal boutique. Our dresses have a fashion edge to them. If you want a dress that makes everyone go "wow, thats gorgeous. So nice to see a bride in something different" then come to us.

We are a boutique. Why am I making a specific point on that you may ask? Its because as a boutique we can provide a service different to most other bridal shops. We provide a personal service, you get to know us as individuals just as we get to know you. Most brides seem to end up with my mobile number too so there is always someone at the end of the phone for you when you need us.

Our unique collection of dresses. I cant tell you how many brides have come into the shop and said "these dresses are so different to everywhere else we have been". We have brides coming from miles away just to see our collection as they cannot find anywhere else like it. Every dress in the boutique I have personally picked. There isn't one dress in here that I do not know or cannot explain the reason behind it being here. I have a strict quality policy that our designers have to meet before I will stock them. At the end of the day you girls are purchasing what will probably be the most expensive dress of your life, you want to know that these are quality pieces.

Oh and one final thing, I am rather fond of Jo Malone so we have several diffusers on the go, the boutique smells amazing!

So give us a call and come and see for yourself what we are like!

Meet the Designers: Eliza Jane Howell

The second designer in our series is the seriously glamorous Eliza Jane Howell.  The designer behind this label is an elegant lady called Gill Harvey.  

A fashion graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, Gill Harvey first gained international success with her Medici knitwear collection. Successful evening wear, occasion wear and red carpet collections followed and in 2012 Eliza Jane Howell was launched, followed by The Gill Harvey Collection in 2013. Gill Harvey named Eliza Jane Howell after her grandmother, who was also a fashion designer.

Eliza Jane Howell gowns are all hand beaded and sometimes come with extra embellishments of hand embroidery. Each dress is individually made by combining exquisite traditional and modern beading techniques and patterns. It's this blend of old and new that makes an Eliza Jane Howell dress truly unique and an heirloom piece to be passed on to the next generation.

In 2016 Gill Harvey for Eliza Jane Howell was voted Best Bridal Designer by the first ever UK Wedding Awards and in addition won Best British Bridal Designer in the British Wedding Awards.

Our brides have loved this collection as it provides an alternative to the every day bridal look.  Call us today to book your appointment to try this gorgeous collection on 01206 616368.

Meet our Designers: Ian Stuart

As we pride ourselves on being a true designer boutique, I thought we should explain a little more about our designers and why we love them so much. So to start off we are discussing Ian Stuart. Forgive the length of this post, there is just so much to say about him.

Ian Stuart has always had a passion for fashion, art, music and theatre. This passion was the driving force which determined his future as a bridal gown designer.

During his fashion education Ian specialised in bridal and evening wear design, for which he won numerous student awards. Upon graduating Ian began his training at Belville Sassoon, one of London’s finest couture houses who specialise in creating gowns for socialites and members of the Royal family. This training gave him invaluable knowledge of cut, proportion, balance and wearability within design.

Ian then went on to create bi-annual collections for leading bridal and evening wear manufacturers in London before moving on to New York to further his career, where he created bridal wear labels which where sold throughout the world.

With more than a decade of knowledge and experience behind him, the cutting-edge designer decided that it was time to launch his own bridal wear brand based in London. The Collection Designed by Ian Stuart Ltd was an instant success and attracted worldwide publicity.

Launching his own brand has allowed Ian to concentrate on creating collections which truly reflect his passion for innovative bridal design, without any restraints or compromise. His main objective is to provide brides-to-be with a luxurious and diverse selection of shapes, colours, and fabrics to reflect their own individual style.

Ian Stuart is regularly nominated for awards. Some of the awards he accepted include:

2015: New Bridal Retailer (for his Flagship store- The Blewcoat) – You & Your Wedding Magazine

2013: Best Wedding Dress Designer– Retail Bridal Association UK

2012: Best Occasionwear Collection– Bridal Buyer Awards UK

2012: Best Mother of The Bride Collection– Wedding Ideas Awards UK

2012: Best Wedding Dress Designer– Retail Bridal Association UK

2011: Best Wedding Dress Designer– Retail Bridal Association UK

2011: Best Bridal Designer– Perfect Wedding Awards UK

2010: Bridal Designer of the Year– Bridal Buyer Awards UK

2008: Outstanding Contribution to the Industry– Bridal Buyer Awards UK

2004, 2005, 2006, 2007: Bridal Designer of the Year– Bridal Buyer Awards UK

2004: The Bride of the Year– Good Morning Television UK

2002: Style Innovator– Design Excellence in the Bridal Industry USA

2001: Rising Star– Design Excellence in the Bridal Industry USA

1999: Best New Designer of the Year– Brides magazine UK

Ian was also chosen by the prestigious V&A museum to showcase his Flowerbomb dress at their popular wedding dress exhibition. Ian's design was being showcased along with some of the most famous wedding dresses of our time, including those worn by Kate Moss, Gwen Stefani and Dita Von Teese.

So if you want a dramatic style which has hints of Carrie Bradshaw and Helena Bonham Carter then Ian Stuart is the designer for you! You can see his latest collection, Unforgettably Me in the boutique now.

 

 

What is Bias Cut?

If you have been into our boutique recently you will hear us talking about how amazing our two new dresses from Charlie Brear are - the Payton and Torum.  One of the things we love about them is that they are Bias Cut dresses. You might be thinking to yourself "what does that mean" so I thought I would give a quick explanation. 

The bias cut started in 1927 by a Parisian Couturier by the name of Madeleine Vionette. Simply put, a bias cut is when the pattern pieces are cut diagonally across the grain of a fabric. A true bias will make an angle of 45 degrees across the length and the width of a fabric. 

The reason why designers use this cut is because it creates a garment which will closely follow the curves of your body. It also provides a great stretch in the material which again allows the dress to accentuate curves and will drape softly. Many brides love the delicate, graceful flow of a finely made bias cut silk dress.  

To cut a dress on a bias requires a lot of skill, time and attention.  The cut is often used for the most luxury and delicate materials such as silks.  

We absolutely love the bias cut dresses and the delicate way they fall which is why we always encourage our brides to try one. The dress may not be covered in crystals and bling but these dresses are all about the most beautiful cut, fit, materials and design which are quite honestly out of this world! They are a sophisticated and elegant design option. 

 

 

 

Sample Sale - Additional 15% off 19th & 20th November

Its that time again when we will be selling some of our samples off due to discontinuations and to make room for new dresses.  So its a fabulous chance to grab yourself a bargain and its ideal if you have a last minute wedding as you can take your dress away with you on the day.  For one weekend only you can get an additional 15% off the sale price! 

The dresses are sold on a first come, first served basis.  We cannot hold any dresses for you, so come prepared to buy so you don't miss out on the dress of your dreams.  

They are all dresses which have been tried on at MiliMili but they are in amazing condition.  Here are some of the dresses which will be featured in the Sample Sale.  

Charlotte Balbier Dresses

 Nora Size 12 Was £990 Now £450

Nora Size 12 Was £990 Now £450

 Aliona Size 16 Was £1495 Now £750

Aliona Size 16 Was £1495 Now £750

 Willa Rose Size 12 Was £1245 Now £650

Willa Rose Size 12 Was £1245 Now £650

 Tarron Size 12 Was £1090 Now £400   

Tarron Size 12 Was £1090 Now £400

 

 Annabelle Size 8 Was £1299 Now £500

Annabelle Size 8 Was £1299 Now £500

 Lilac Size 12 Was £1485 Now £300

Lilac Size 12 Was £1485 Now £300

Blue By Enzoani

 Honolulu Size 10 Was £1070 Now £550

Honolulu Size 10 Was £1070 Now £550

 Hamlet Size 14 Was £1040 Now £350

Hamlet Size 14 Was £1040 Now £350

Ian Stuart

 Thandie Size 12 Was £1850 Now £800

Thandie Size 12 Was £1850 Now £800

 La Paix Size 16 was £1850 Now £800

La Paix Size 16 was £1850 Now £800

Charlie Brear Trunk Show - 10th December 2016

We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a Charlie Brear trunk show on the 10th December 2016.

Not sure what this means?  Well allow me to explain! 

A trunk show is an event when the specific designers sends us additional gowns for the weekend thus allowing us to show you the new collections and pieces we do not normally have in the boutique.  

This is a perfect opportunity if you have found a designer you adore but haven't quite found the right dress yet. The trunk show allows you to concentrate on the dresses by that designer and find your dream dress. 

The appointment will last for the normal 1.5 hours in which time you can view the dresses and decide upon which ones you wish to try.  We will be there every step of the way and will provide advice and guidance. Whilst trying the dresses we will help you to visualise how the dress will work for you on the day.  The dress should be doing the work, not the bride working for the dress. 

As Charlie Brear is an internationally renowned designer who is in high demand, we expect this event to book up quickly.  So contact us as soon as possible to book your appointment. 

Tips for Trunk Show appointments:

  • Be prepared to buy your dress.  We offer a 10% discount throughout the trunk show duration, so it is a limited offer.  We also only have the additional dresses for the limited period of time, so if you wanted to show a specific person before you buy then you need to make sure they are there with you.  Once the dresses leave us they are difficult to get back to try and usually comes with an additional cost. 
  • Think carefully about who you want to bring with you.  Do not be tempted to bring lots of different people with you to obtain their opinions.  Too many opinions causes confusion and we usually find the most important opinion, that of the bride, gets lost. We would recommend bringing one or two people with you that you feel comfortable helping you make your decision. 
  • When it comes to underwear, think nude colour boring seamless knickers.  You will not have lines and colours showing through you dress making decisions difficult. 

We look forward to meeting you and by following our tips we are sure you will find the perfect dress for your wedding day.