The White Gallery, Jenny Packham and Cocktails at The Connaught

So on Monday we shut up shop and headed in to town to spend a day feeling glam and important at The White Gallery- a buying exhibition where bridal designers present their next seasons’ collections to the press, stockists and other industry folk.

I went last year for the first time but having only just started working at the boutique I was a little overwhelmed and far too shy to enjoy it properly. Thankfully I was a bit more confident this year and had fun playing with accessories and feeling fine fabrics and keeping an eye out for my dream dress. (It wasn’t there- although there were many, many beauties!)

We were invited to go and watch Ian Stuart’s runway show- my first ever fashion show experience and a brilliant one to start with as Ian’s dresses are so theatrical and- let me tell you- his runway show was no exception. I’m talking opera, Beauty and the Beast, pumping house and Mary Poppins… and that was just the soundtrack! I apologise for the less than professional pictures but here are a few snaps to whet your appetite…

The front row. Love the ombre effect Feathers! Kate Beckinsale look-a-like…The money shot and finale dress.

The model in that last dress sashayed down the catwalk to the sounds of Julie Andrews singing ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’.  Isn’t it just so camp and outrageous and brilliant??!  How commercial it is I’m not sure, but if you have a big personality and want some drama on your wedding day than Ian Stuart is definitely the man for you!

After much wandering, oohing and ahhing, a £7 bagel and more air-kissing than at The Baftas, we jumped in a cab and headed to Jenny Packham HQ in Mayfair where we were to view her 2013 collection.  Her ready-to-wear boutique where the viewing was taking place is just STUNNING, with more sparkly, colourful, glamorous creations than I have ever seen in one room.  Sadly I couldn’t take pictures of the shop itself, but we snapped away downstairs where the buying took place.  I can’t give too much away yet, but here is one of her beautiful new gowns due to arrive in store in the autumn…

‘Mimosa’ from the 2013 Jenny Packham collection

Honestly, it’s even more beautiful up close.

Nearly two hours later we emerged, a little bit sparkled out and in dire need of something alcoholic.  Cue a pop across the road to The Connaught Hotel for a cocktail…

Smug? Moi?

I had never been to The Connaught before, but please please please can I go back? What a luxurious treat- I’m talking marbled floors, wood-panelled walls and proper old-school decadence.  The Connaught Bar (tucked away at the back of the hotel) is super stylish, with monochrome furnishings and an emphatic nod to the twenties.

Inside the Connaught Bar

On sitting down we were treated to an amuse-bouche (I’ve no idea what was in it but there was definitely some sort of banana liqueur)  and an assortment of nibbles which was a very nice touch.  We made our cocktails last (well, at £16 each we were hardly going to neck them) but our nibbles were constantly re-filled and when we eventually asked for the bill we were each presented with our own cocktail’s recipe card to take home. Very. Nice. Indeed.

Oh to be one of the world’s elite and do that sort of thing every day, eh?  But all in all it was a very fun day out and a reminder of just how lucky I am to be working in such a fab industry.

And for those of you getting married next year, there are some STUNNING dresses arriving in store in September.  Including one that might be The One for me… hmmm, we shall just have to wait and see.

Have a lovely day!

Sama xxx

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