Across the year, especially at Aurora Bride, we try and hold what the Americans call a Trunk Show. We sometimes call them Preview Events or Designer Weekends on this side of the pond but call them what you will they are essentially the same event. Its a chance for us to book in our designers and see their wider collections for one weekend of bridal fun! This will include dresses we may have seen on the catwalk but didn't order as a sample or a brand new tester event dress. Whatever the event they can have their benefits - here is what you need to know!
What is the difference between all these events I hear you cry (or just ask very politely)?
When you boil it down to the basics not a great deal. We tend to host 2 different types of events. The first is the standard Designer Preview Event or Trunk Show. This is where our designer will send over their full or additional collection for us to view for one weekend or week only - as mentioned before this will include dresses we saw on the catwalk previously but that were either too similar to something we already had in store or something we thought might be just outside our brides usual price range so wasn't right for us in store.
This doesn't mean they are awful dresses by any stretch of the imagination, but there has to be a limit to what you buy from the catwalks to make sure you have room for everything - after a few glasses of champagne at these events, a drink which is not my friend, that line gets a little more blurred but there always has to be a cut off, floor space in store alone dictates that!
The benefit of a Designer Event or Trunk Show are usually twofold - firstly the discounts that are in play during those weekends can be beneficial and secondly you get to see a more extensive range of gowns to what your store normally holds. The plus point to seeing the full variety of a range, is that even if you stick with your absolute fave you are now safe in the knowledge that you did you best and tried (nearly) everything on. Ultimately you know you are then making the right choice for you!
Our second type of show is with our preferred suppliers, designers like Essense of Australia or Stella York. As partners in crime with them we get to hold the most elusive of events - the TESTING event! In hushed tones I hear you getting excited for more information (or just wondering what I'm going on about).
A Testing Event is a little bit secret squirrel, we tend to get very little notice of these events and they are great fun! It's how I imagine life in New York to be - getting one of those special texts to preivew a secret designer event and turning up to a warehouse in New Jersey to buy a brand new set of Louboutin's for £2.55 - my view of New York life is based solely on chick lit so I wouldn't rely on its validity here - but you get the idea - its all last minute and very mysterious!
You probably want to low-down now on what a Testing Event is in the Bridal world. Basically it is what it says on the tin - an event where designers test their newly designed gowns! Designers start planning and sourcing fabrics for their new collections around 12-18 months in advance of the catwalk shows let alone for the launch into stores where you, the bride, would get to try them on! This means right now designers are working on dresses that may not hit shops till 2020/21 - they are definitely not winging it!
At Testing Events we get a massive advance preview on the dresses they are currently working on to see if brides like them and to check the have not gone wildly off piste with their new ideas. We get to host these events because the designers want your feedback - its important to know what brides are asking for - what trends are emerging - what they have got right and what they have got wrong! At testing, the designer or someone from their design team will be present, asking you loads of questions and picking your brain. Its not ever particularly intrusive and sometimes helpful for both bride and designer to vocalise ideas and requests - it helps you get to "the one"
With all these amazing perks to a Designer Trunk Show or Testing Event you should be aware of the restrictions they can pose on your shopping experience.
So for us, at Aurora Bride, the actual appointment itself runs exactly the same - you have a lovely consultant to help make it fun for you and she's entirely yours for your appointment. Each bride gets her own area still and your own allotted time space where no-one should intrude. There will be limits on photography at these events, especially the tester events (due to other designers wanting to sneak peak the new ranges on the sly - its all thrilling and 007 in bridal you know!). You may find stores are a little busier at these times, what with brides seeing if there is anything else out there for them and most important you will have to be the dreaded D work - DECISIVE!
For 99% of all trunk shows there are time limits on how long the stores get to keep the gowns meaning if you fall in love with something you have to decide then and there! This isn't the end of the world but if you are a first time trier or not ready to give up on the fun trying seshes then these events are not for you - maybe wait till you are ready and then check out for an event near you?
So that's basically the skinny on the Trunk Show! For more details on upcoming shows give us a call on 0208 6416041 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.aurora-bride.com for details
Upcoming shows include this weekend! Yep I'm so current on the blogs!
13-15th April - La Sposa Designer Weekend
20-22nd April - Essense of Australia - the secret squirrel testing event!
June - potentially a Stella York testing event - but if I told you more I'd have to kill you :-)
Good luck with the search girls! Hopefully see you soon!