Maxi mum glam­our

Brigit Grant on what to wear when your lit­tle dar­ling is get­ting mar­ried (or bar­mitz­va­hed)

The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Contents -

IT USED to be so sim­ple. When a daugh­ter told her par­ents she was get­ting mar­ried (usu­ally af­ter a for­mal re­quest for her hand to the fa­ther), a mother knew ex­actly what she had to do and what she should wear. In the 1960s, an MOB would be bang on trend in a boxy-cut semi­fit­ted jacket with mink trim, a straight, slim skirt and a hat made from large fab­ric rose petals for the big day. Look­ing neat and groomed was what mat­tered and if one opted for long, a stole was es­sen­tial and a low-cut back out of the ques­tion. In­deed only par­ents of brides fol­low­ing the hip­pie trail got to un­but­ton their jack­ets for the cer­e­mony and there weren’t too many of them in Stam­ford Hill.

Pity then to­day’s MOB — and that could be you —for she has to find an out­fit that fits with her daugh­ter’s theme for the nup­tials, at a time when wed­dings grow ever more ex­trav­a­gant and pur­chas­ing a suit­able gown re­quires a lot­tery win. Not ev­ery­one has the bud­get of a Bev­er­ley Hills house­wife to spend on an out­fit for their child’s wed­ding and the flu­id­ity of fash­ion means they don’t have to, as there are re­tail­ers and cou­turi­ers who make stun­ning dresses with­out pric­ing them­selves out of the mar­ket. Best of all there are some de­sign­ers who un­der­stand that MOBs need TLC at this very try­ing time. “I call it sim­chah ther­apy,” says

Katya Wild­man, who has coun­selled many trou­bled MOBs through the rigours of out­fit se­lec­tion. “It is my job to un­der­stand all the emo­tions a woman is go­ing through. She wants to over­come her body fears and look ra­di­ant; con­fi­dent yet de­mure. The ob­jec­tive is mak­ing the fin­ished look ap­pear ef­fort­less, even though it hasn’t been.”

Katya, who cre­ated the Bomb­shell dress for women who need to dis­guise and en­hance their fig­ure, knows that the mother of the bride — and the groom, for that mat­ter — need some­thing spe­cial. “A dress that doesn’t outshine the bride, but still makes a state­ment. And if her ex-hus­band is bring­ing his new spouse, well, I can help with that too.”

Mak­ing dresses for A-lis­ters on the red car­pet gives Katya a head start when it comes to cre­at­ing a gown that is the right colour, length and fit. “Its pre­ci­sion stuff, whether they are buy­ing off the peg or go­ing for be­spoke. Clothes and emo­tions are so in­trin­si­cally linked. To feel fab­u­lous about ones ap­pear­ance of­ten makes for a sure fire suc­cess­ful day and great pho­tos.”

Look­ing like an Os­car win­ner for un­der £500 isn’t a bad place for an MOB to start, par­tic­u­larly when the dress may be worn only once, though Casablanca-born cou­turier Rachel El­baz likes to think that her dresses will get lots of wear post- celebration, as she will al­ter them for a small fee. Based at Rachel Cou­ture in Knights­bridge, Rachel is very use to work­ing with or­tho­dox clients and her team of skilled ma­chin­ists and pat­tern cut­ters cre­ate each be­spoke garment in their own ate­lier on the premises.

Af­ter an ini­tial con­sul­ta­tion with the client, when the de­sign is agreed, the fab­ric (from France or Italy) is cho­sen and mea­sure­ments taken, it takes three to five weeks to de­liver the fi­nal cre­ation with about two fit­tings in be­tween. Be­ing cared for by the ex­u­ber­ant Rachel at her fragrant ate­lier is how one imag­ines a fit­ting with Coco Chanel might have been, right down to the ac­cent

and that’s an ex­pe­ri­ence ev­ery MOB should have.

Nigel Ray­ment may be a man, but he knows a thing or two about dress­ing women who need a com­plete look for an im­por­tant oc­ca­sion. He is also a mas­ter milliner — and if you are in­tend­ing to wear a hat, know­ing that you can ac­quire a com­plete out­fit at his shop in Mar­ble Arch makes the whole thing so much eas­ier.

Hats are just so right for a wed­ding and add a touch of roy­alty to the pro­ceed­ings, which is some­thing West End de­signer Suzan­nah knows all about, as she makes clothes for the young roy­als, who are wild about her struc­tured bodices and full skirts.

Navy, black and dam­son are her colours for au­tumn/win­ter 2013, which is much sim­pler to team with shoes than a fuch­sia or turquoise.

Not ev­ery wed­ding, thank­fully, re­quires an MOB to be draped in swathes of silk ge­or­gette or en­cased in a mer­maid tail body-con satin.

Some wed­dings are sim­ple day­light af­fairs that call for in­ter­est­ing at­tire such as a great coat worn over a day dress.

Online re­tailer Joe Browns has come up with some in­cred­i­ble coats this sea­son, such as the Heath­cliff and From Rus­sia With Love de­signs which, when teamed with ap­pro­pri­ate head­wear and a high heel, are ideal for a low-key func­tion.

The Eli­nor dress and Karine jacket at Ro­nen Chen might also be right for oc­ca­sion as they can be dressed up taste­fully with state­ment jew­ellery, such as the glit­ter­ing neck­lace your hus­band buys you to com­mem­o­rate your mo­ment as mother of the bride.

Doris Day dress by Suzan­nah, £650

Duchesse Col­larette dress, Suzan­nah, £1,350

Po­laire dress, Suzan­nah, £950

Dress and bolero jacket by l’Ate­lier, £399

From Rus­sia with Love coat, Joe Brown, £69.95

Re­laxed printed coverup, Joe Browns, £44.95

An­tique Unique tu­nic, Joe Browns, £39.95

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