This year for me is all about getting out from behind my desk and putting my foot in the door of the wedding industry. Don’t get me wrong, I have been firmly working in ‘Weddings & Events’ for well over a decade but have only tentatively trod in the social & networking scene of my associates in the industry. Of course you make friends and work colleagues over that period of time but in order to be remembered and referred to by people, you need to be present, you need to make an effort, especially as a photographer because they are so many good ones around!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not shy..its just that the industry, as in most, can be quite overwhelming, sometimes intimidating & often fiercely competitive as well as (what you’d expect from weddings)…beautiful, fluffy and romantic!
There are some incredibly creative and quite charming people out there and through my recent endeavours I have managed to meet them and in some cases work with them. This helps me refer wonderful people to my brides & clients who are also overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choice and who have occasionally suffered at the hands of bad service. It is good to go out & seek the current trends, source new suppliers & find innovative new services that are springing up everywhere!
I met Andrea Hawkes, Bespoke Bridal Designer, recently at the Icetank Studios in Convent Garden where they held their fabulous #weddinginatank event. Andrea was showcasing her designs, modelled by the delightful Sophie, who incredibly isn’t a professional model but one of Andreas lovely part-time assistants, this is a great advert for real brides looking for wearable but stunning gowns.
Of course Andreas simple, elegant & finely crafted designs caught my attention but then when she introduced herself I was immediately struck by her informality and pleasant manner and decided it would be great to visit her at her new boutique.
Andrea has a First Class Degree in Fashion Design and has worked with some of the finest in the Luxury Bridal Industry..Philipa Lepley, Suzanne Neville & Stephanie Allin amongst those and felt that it was time to set up her bespoke bridal label..Andrea Hawkes Bridal.
Andrea wants to bring to her brides not only a wonderful design service, stunning wedding gowns but also personal attention, build a relationship and nurture the process of buying that dream wedding dress.
I have seen that ‘buying the dress’ can be under appreciated, overwhelmingly hard and should in fact be magical, special and the most precious garment of clothing ever purchased. I’m very glad to have met another designer that feels it is important to have a relationship..there are a few designers, gladly I have met them that do have a relationship with their brides but unfortunately, sometimes the process and experience is lost when the designs are left in the hands of some stockists that perhaps do not share the same vision.
Driving through the welcoming streets of this creative and thriving district of Clerkenwell you are reassured by the signage of the businesses around. Creative enterprise is rich here, design is paramount and this generates only more talent. The lack of ‘For Sale’ boards and ‘To Let’ signs only endorse that. The shop fronts have the distinct luxurious ‘Farrow & Ball’ colour palette and the Georgian residences are charming, historic and very pretty. It is warm and welcoming and a nice place to be. With a charming little restaurant/coffee shop right next door to the boutique a perfect excuse to hang around a little longer and parking on the street is inexpensive and in plenty.
Andrea and her partner have created a wonderful space for brides to come and seek their wedding gown. The boutique has a contemporary and classic interior. The fixtures are in keeping with the Georgian history of the building and there are gorgeous contemporary effects that are organic in approach and sympathetic to the building.
With fresh flowers, a stunning sofa (tempted to check out the label, be a great office addition) perfect for the #MOB & Bridesmaids to watch the bridal fashion show, ambient music, warm surroundings, a boiling kettle or a glass of bubbles to hand, a perfect place to try on your wedding dress for the first time and be looked after by Andrea, Sophie or Ausra, Andreas assistants.
On approach you are wowed by the window display. Not by huge extravagant abundance but the ‘stop you in your tracks’ gowns. Whilst I visited a lady walked in from the street as the stunning occasion dress in the window had caught her eye and she had to enquire about having one made especially for her, how wonderful to fall in love with a dress that you just have to have and than it be custom-made just for you. Nothing better.
Today is press day for the boutique and Andrea has some wonderful guests from the world of wedding media coming to visit. She has already been noticed and featured by the most discerning titles in bridal media with a recent feature by Elle Wedding, Brides magazine will be visiting & Elle..to name only a couple. Andrea also mentioned that she will be showcasing at The White Gallery. For her first year in business this is a real accolade, a distinct note to her designs and professionalism I am sure her Catwalk collection will be very well received.
I cannot finish my post without mentioning the wonderful tribute to this weeks romantic holiday..Valentines Day..the stunning heart that graces the window by local florists Florunikon was quite stunning. A simple but powerful dressing to an already beautiful window.
I heartedly recommend those seeking a wedding gown or a dress for that special occasion pay Andrea Hawkes Bridal a visit very soon.
Full Address and contact details here:
Visits are by Appointment.
65 Amwell Street