When I need knockout occasion wear there’s one place I head to because I know I’ll come away with something stellar and that I won’t bump into anyone wearing the same . You might be surprised to hear that my retailer of choice is actually a bridal boutique, and an award winning one at that.
Right in the centre of Morpeth, a sleepy little market town just a little North of Newcastle, you’ll find Kathryn Trueman Bridal. Nestled nicely off a little olde worlde side street with prime viewing over Market Square, you’ll find this treasure trove on the first floor of number 1 Newgate Street and from the moment you enter it’s a feast for the eyes.
I always call in advance to say that I’m coming and boutique owner Kath picks out pieces she thinks I’ll love and has them on a rail ready for me to try on, if I’m really lucky, she has a Costa Americano there for me too when I arrive. See Kath and I have built up a pretty awesome working relationship over the years, she knows me and my tastes pretty well now and that’s what keeps me coming back for more.
But it’s a bridal boutique! I hear you cry. Well this is a bridal store like no other in the North East. For a start it’s the only Inbal Dror stockist outside of London and one of only a handful in Europe – I might as well throw that out there right now as that’s reason enough on its own to visit; Inbal Dror gowns are like gold dust and to be able to view and try one on in the flesh is something pretty magical. When it comes to bridal buying Kath pushes the envelope, focusing on couture styles that inspire envy and lust, think figure hugging gowns that show off curves in the lightest, softest lace imaginable. Her sights are firmly set on the Israeli designers that are making waves amongst celebrities in the States right now. Inbal Dror is a favourite of Beyonce for award ceremonies and that’s because if you know where to go, you can buy quality bridal gowns that double up as occasion wear without anyone knowing otherwise.
Case in point: My Claire Pettibone Cheyenne bridal gown. I’ve worn it to award ceremonies, formal events and for a big gala dinner in London but because it’s black, you’d never know that it’s a bridal gown, in fact I look like a freaking gothic princess in it and I know it. I’ve worn a white Flora two-piece ensemble to present an award and a white Claire Pettibone wedding dress complete with headpiece for an award ceremony and I swear, you’d never guess it was bridal. See? Bridal is an excellent and most unexpected choice for an occasion, plus you feel like a queen whilst you’re in it so bow down bitches because I’m gonna let you in on a pretty well kept secret….
Kathryn Trueman has a secret sample shop in a tiny little Northumberland village called Guidepost. Let me explain, bridal stores are stocked with samples which each designer sends to boutiques so that customers have something to view and try on. The samples are there to show how the dresses look, feel and move and if you wish to buy, you then order in a brand new gown that’s all yours to take away and wear for your big day (or occasion). So, what happens to those samples? Well, because bridal trends change so rapidly now and aren’t so much directed by the US any more, the samples are constantly sent to the store in Guidepost and sold at a fraction of the retail price, and I mean a fraction.
So, how much could you realistically save? Well usually up to half the full retail price and sometimes more. What’s worth knowing though is that this secret sample store is always stocked, and is always in ‘sale mode’ so if you’re looking to buy a big name designer wedding gown, look there first. Another thing worth noting is that once in a blue moon, pretty much everything in the main Kathryn Trueman boutique in Morpeth is marked down to clear and that’s something you don’t want to miss.
That time is now Voyeurs. The Kathryn Trueman mainline boutique is about to go into meltdown, I’ve been in there today to talk shop and almost everything is marked down on a sliding scale starting at 70% off retail. This epic event will start on Thursday July 13th and will run until they say stop! Sadly there’s no Inbal Dror included but you will find some Claire Pettibone, David Fielden, Eliza Jane Howell, Temperley and loads more.
So, jump to it Voyeurs, get online and earmark your favourite styles, the sale includes accessories, headpieces, belts, shoes and hair pieces. I picked up a gorgeous pair of Emmy shoes today which should have been £437 and I bagged them for £107, a snip considering the detail in them. Even if you’re not getting married there’s no reason not to check out some of the more unusual bridal offerings and accessories as occasion wear, I promise you, you’ll thank me for this little tip….