Located in the idyllic, quaint village of picturesque Hillsborough, County Down, the vintage-inspired themed decor at Petticoat Lane boasts luxurious carpets, rich decor, spacious changing-areas and sumptuously opulent lighting, all of which works to create the ideal, relaxed environment for any bride-to-be searching for the most important dress of your life. Future brides will be spoilt with the most intimate, specialised service, as well as complimentary champagne!
Experienced staff will cater to your every need, ensuring any bride need stress no further during this busy time by offering to customize your perfect dress, which they will look after for you until your special day.
With each dress carefully selected by Petticoat Lane owners to ensure the utmost quality, elegance and style, the attention to detail within this dress haven is rivaled only by the detail within the dresses themselves. Created by mother and daughter dynamic duo Denise Patterson and Katie Larmour two and a half years ago, recent bride Katie explains they were keen to offer more variety after researching the market thoroughly and discovering many bridal shops were stocked by the same designers, meaning limited variety and choice for future-brides: “Designer-wise, we were excited to stock designers not currently available within Northern Ireland, to be able to offer something different for our brides.”
Having identified this niche within Northern Ireland’s bridal business, Katie spent a year researching and frequenting the fashion capitals of the world in her bid to source exclusive designers. After meeting with leading New York and London designers, Katie began stocking such exclusive ranges as Charlie Brear and Amsale, which currently remain unavailable elsewhere in Northern Ireland. Innovative designer Charlie Brear offers beautiful vintage dresses from each era of the 1900’s through to the 1970’s, all of which can be customized with gorgeous detachable details, such as add-in sleeves, to take you from ceremony to reception seamlessly. With such a design, you can make like Kate Middleton and without the price-tag of two dresses, effortlessly achieve two different looks for ceremony to reception!
Petticoat Lane consists of an elaborate range of bridal-designs, many of which are exclusive to the vintage-style themed boutique, as well as a fantastic selection of UK-based collections, providing the ultimate selection to spoil brides-to-be with the luxury of choice. The vintage boutique remains the exclusive stockist of such exclusive luxury ranges as Mia Mia by Alan Hannah, an English based designer; and Nicki McFarlene, a London-based children’s designer who has created a beautiful mix of Old-English-style flower-dresses. Other leading designers stocked by the Hillsborough boutique include the romantically themed American-based designers Tara Keely and Jim Heijm Blush, as well as outstanding creations from Caroline Castigliano; Lusan Mandongus; Dessy; and Carla Ruiz, to name but a few.
Boutique-owner Katie emphasised her belief in the importance of selling good-quality products, explaining that since Kate Middleton’s now infamous Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen lace dress at the royal wedding, lace has been an extremely popular best-seller. Despite this, Katie explains: “Lace remains a popular trend, but it’s all about lace elements, rather than all over lace. So for 2014 brides it is all about the embellishment, be it lace capped-sleeves, a sash, embroidery or the veil. We hand-pick each dress to ensure no sub-standard, heavily beaded gowns.”
The upcoming season means subtle fashion evolutions, even within bridal trends, as Katie reveals: “Different neck-lengths are becoming extremely popular in 2014; such as the cowl neck, and the boat neckline. The back detail has become a lot more popular also, with beautiful embroidery and details emphasizing the back of the dress, which offers a really gorgeous, flattering silhouette and elegant sophistication.”
Furthermore, with its range of show-stopping necklaces, breathtaking ear-rings and high-impact decorative pieces from the expansive range of jewellery by locally-based designer Helen Fitzpatrick, which simply exudes vintage Hollywood glamour, brides-to-be are provided with the opportunity to accessorize with something “really different” for your big day to compliment that perfect dress.
But understanding, recent-bride Katie also stressed that at the boutique there is no pressure into buying all at once: “Even though we stock all of the beautiful bridal accessories, we like to urge the bride not to buy everything in one day, but space it out.
“When you have bought the wedding dress, it is such a big occasion, so we like to encourage the bride not to rush into anything, but encourage them to space it out and come back a few days later. When the bride comes back for her alterations, this is usually a great way to space out the purchases.”
The gorgeous boutique offers only the best in quality fabrics, lace and embellishment, with the mid to upper-price range reaching prices of just £1,600 – £3,000 for the finest of hand-chosen, couture designs. Situated in the tranquil, picturesque village of Hillsborough, with its rustic surroundings, quaint cafes and gorgeous restaurants, Katie explained how vital the gorgeous location is proving to be for the enchanting boutique: “In terms of the beautiful surroundings, such as the back-drop of the castle, and the quaint village on offer, it really is the perfect place for a lovely day-trip! So in terms of location for Petticoat Lane, we knew it just had to be here.
“This way people can really make a day of coming to the shop! It becomes a day-trip, an event, which is what buying your wedding dress should be, as it’s so important
“Petticoat Lane is all about getting to enjoy the atmosphere of the village and the shop itself, making a day out of such a special occasion, soaking up the relaxed atmosphere and having fun. In terms of the shop itself, with the building’s original beams and rustic decor, this just adds to the gorgeous antique-style and vintage-feel. The image almost sells itself for us! People know what they are looking for when they come to Petticoat Lane, as it has such a distinctive style and atmosphere.”
The gorgeous, stylish vintage boutique really does go far and beyond to ensure all things run smoothly on the build up to your big day, even offering to look after your precious dress for up to two days before your wedding, as well as offering to steam or press the dress and veil all free of charge. Make sure you visit Petticoat Lane for the all-important perfect dress and exquisite shopping experience now. Visit http://www.petticoatlanebridal.com/ now for more details.
By Kathryn McGowan
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