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Wedding Expert #3 - Elizabeth Malcolm Bridalwear

By rekeeley, Dec 14 2014 09:00AM

We are swooning over the 3rd in our #WeddingExpert guest blogs by the lovely Elizabeth Malcolm Bridalwear owner Lizzie! We were lucky enough to have stand at Lizzie's grand opening earlier in 2014 and couldn't think of anyone better to ask those all important wedding dress questions!

1. Please tell us a bit about you and how you got your business started

I'm Lizzie Malcolm and I own Elizabeth Malcolm, a couture bridalwear label, with a boutique in the market town of Belper, Derbyshire. We offer a purely bespoke service where all gowns are designed and manufactured for each individual bride.

A bride can come into the boutique and either choose from our extensive range of handcrafted wedding gowns made from fine silks, satins, French leavers lace and Swarovski crystals. Or they can have the ultimate in luxury couture and have their dream wedding dress designed and handmade to their exact specifications.

All of our bridal gowns are designed and handmade, exclusively by us, right here in Derbyshire, and are not available through any other outlets anywhere in the world.

To say that owning my own bridal boutique was always the goal would be an understatement. As a child I was given second hand wedding dresses to play with and twirl in and thus began my love for bridalwear. A surprise gift one birthday of a sewing machine had me well away sewing bits and pieces, cushions, clothes and I do remember the odd dress made out of a pair of curtains!

I took a BA Hons Degree in Fashion and was dedicated to focusing on bridalwear throughout my studies. For my final project I created a 1930s inspired bridalwear collection, called “Putting on the Ritz!”. I then went on to complete over a year of work experience at various bridal shops and manufacturers, one being Phillipa Lepley, the UK’s leading couture bridalwear designer.

Having left my 2 year bridalwear seamstress job in April 2014 I took the plunge to start up my own boutique with my own designs. Having found the perfect location, Derwentside Shopping Mill, I had my unit renovated and we set about creating my vision of what I wanted the boutique to look and feel like.

I was passionate about creating a beautiful, relaxed space where every bride feels comfortable to try on as many dresses as they like and not to feel embarrassed to come up with their own ideas of the perfect dress. We take one to one appointments, close our doors and produce the ideal environment for the bride to choose her perfect dress.

2. Please try and describe the style of your business in 3 words

Bespoke, Classic designs and beautiful embellishments (I know that’s 6!)

3. What kind of services do you offer?

We specialise in creating purely bespoke wedding dresses, however there are plenty of beautiful styles at the Belper boutique, with my signature classic shapes and exquisite hand sewn embellishments for brides to choose from. I also have a range of stunning British made accessorise and stock some of the most fabulous Rainbow Couture shoes. These shoes can also be dyed to your specific colour, before your wedding, or even after the big day so you can wear them again and again!

And, even if you haven’t had your gown made by us we still offer an alteration service, where we can do a simple fit or hem line, or we can add elements to the dress such as a sash, flowers or crystals etc.

4. What has been your favourite dress/event to work on and why?

My favourite dress changes every day, depending what mood I am in. Today I really love my Ophelia gown with matching lace appliquéd veil. The fabric is a delicate porcelain satin with a French leavers lace overlay on the bodice. The scalloped lace edge falls high on the neck, and the delicate sleeves are reminiscent of popular elegant Edwardian fashions. The beautiful full circle skirt is made out of a stunning Chiffon that I am in love with. To accentuate the waist you could chose between a variety of belts. You could have a lovely chiffon sash tied in a delicate bow, or add a splash of colour and have my Rose belt made out of the same satin with a gorgeously girly handmade pink silk flower!

5. Do you have any special plans for 2015?

I will be creating even more beautiful gowns for my lovely brides, and expanding the boutique a little with more collections!

6. What advice would you give to brides when seeking their dream dress?

The single most important piece of advice I could give to a bride would be not to worry if you don’t know what you want when you start looking for wedding dresses. Be open-minded and don’t be afraid to try on as many different styles as possible! All dresses look different on the hanger and you might have an idea of what you like, try it on and be amazed at how different it looks on you.

Also don’t worry if you don’t react in floods of tears. Everyone is different and reacts differently!

7. What questions should brides always ask their dress maker before they book?

As it takes some commitment time wise from brides it is always good to ask how many appointments/fittings they will need to attend. For one of my gowns it could be 5 to 6 appointments, so we can get the all important fit of the gown perfect.

When will I receive the gown?

How can it be cleaned? This is always a good question to ask anyway. It is easer to ask a dressmaker who has made the gown though as they will know what it is made from and all the interlinings that have gone into it. All the embellishments sewn on and whether or not it is silk.

8. Do you have any advice to brides wanting to make their own dress?

Its all down to the pattern and cutting out. Get your pattern perfect before even cutting it out in your chosen fabric, which means lots of practice dresses! Also being accurate when cutting out your pieces, following the right grain line, making sure the fabric is the right way round, matching patterns together if you have lace or a patterned fabric. This is essential preparation that needs to be perfect otherwise you are on the back foot before you even start to sew the gown together!

You can find Elizabeth Malcolm on the web through www.elizabethmalcolm.co.uk or call the boutique on 01773 417707. All email enquiries to [email protected]

Elizabeth Malcolm Bridalwear is based at Derwentside Shopping Mill (Antiques Centre), Derwent Street, Belper, Derbyshire, DE56 1WN

Find them on facebook www.facebook.com/ElizabethMalcolmBridalwear

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