It’s no secret that I am a Fur Coat No Knickers super fan. Laura and Emma are the purveyors of the friendliest bridal boutique in the country. No joke, these babes are some of the nicest human beings you will ever meet.
For years now they’ve been the go-to store for vintage wedding dresses, and in 2013 they expanded their range to include made to measure designs. All lovingly handmade in Britain, they wanted to be able to help every bride, whatever her shape or size. They love their vintage gowns, but with vintage sizing being stingy at the best of times, it was really hard for them to cater to anyone over a size 12.
“We love vintage dresses but by their nature they are on the small side”, they say. “Although we search for more realistic sizes, there have been occasions where we just can’t help. We hated that. So we set about designing our very own collection that would be every bit as beautiful as the dresses in our shop but available from size 8 to 22. That collection is Flaunt It.”
“The designs are based on vintage dresses that we’ve found and loved over the years, with shapes that are very flattering. They are created from carefully chosen lace, tulle and silk organza which, to our eyes, don’t stand out as being too modern when hanging next to the original dresses.”
“The dresses can all be customised by taking away sleeves, adding different volumes of petticoat, coloured binding, sashes, headpieces and of course by tweaking the fit to the individual, just like we do with our vintage dresses.”
When my favourite vintage wedding dress shop launched their own, self designed, collection based on vintage styles (but able to be sized up to a Uk size 22!) I was super excited to be able to host an exclusive competition for one of my readers to win one. Alongside Fur Coat No Knickers founders and designers Emma and Laura, I read every single entry, eventually picking the gorgeous Diana as our winner. Her story touched our hearts and we were all so honoured to be able to fulfil her dream to feel beautiful on her wedding day.
I am utterly thrilled to be sharing that wedding with you all today! It was held at Chester Zoo.
“Our wedding was us. It was just us”, Diana began. “It was the most laidback, chilled out event ever. Everyone commented on how impressed they were that we’d managed to instil a sense of ourselves through proceedings. Neither of us wanted a big fancy event. We just wanted to get married and have a kickass party and that’s what we did. The Doctor Who stuff was more me than Ben but I loved it and so did the kids.”
Antonia and Harvey had a three day wedding at Roskilly’s Ice Cream Farm in Cornwall. Their wedding was a true labour of love, with the couple and their friends and family working hard to create the wedding of their dreams. The weekend happened to be the hottest of the year which couldn’t have been more perfect for their outdoor, ice cream farm celebration!
“Ultimately we wanted something that we would enjoy going to and to have a festival style, laid-back feel to the whole party”, began the groom. “Being the most expensive party of our lives, we didn’t want it to be over in a day so we had three days!”
“The retro caravans made for a great backdrop to the festival theme and allowed us to create our weekend jamboree. We dragged our friends to the far end of the country, and in return gave them a church overlooking a Cornish fishing village, magnificent tipis and hippy buses. We had smoke bombs instead of confetti, original 1950s Monte Carlo pin-up glamour playing cards as place cards and table runners made from old public WC roller-towels. Our bunting was Mexican Day of the Dead bunting, we had a piñata ‘first dance’ and lucked out on finding an incredible caterer, celebrating the best of Cornish food. Antonia’s Fur Coat No Knickers dress was a theme unto itself – it was supremely glamorous, laden with historical allure. Yes it was vintage, yes it was rural, but the day sparkled with lavishness.”
Charlotte and Leo, originally from Brighton but currently living in Liverpool, knew they wanted to marry in the city where they met. So they planned their wedding from afar and booked out an entire guest house right on the sea front to accommodate their guests! A Room with a View has nine guest rooms and was the perfect place for everyone to get ready. The floor to ceiling windows looking over the beach and pier made for some great photos from Lisa Devlin too!
The ceremony was held in the cafe below the famous Brighton bandstand (they originally planned to get married on it but the weather wouldn’t allow it!) “When we began planning we decided we wanted to have a big party to celebrate with our friends and family, most of whom live down South, while we are currently living in Liverpool for my job”, began Charlotte. “We don’t get to go down as often as we would like, or to see everyone on each occasion, so we wanted to make the day as fun as possible for all the family and friends who are so important to us. We consciously decided in the end not to call upon our friends’ many musical, artistic and culinary skills as we wanted everyone to be able to relax and enjoy the day, although many of them were absolute super stars at helping us set up the day before.”
Cathy and Gerard had a simple but beautiful wedding in London. Their ceremony was at Stoke Newington Town Hall and their reception at the fabulously funky 06 St.Chad’s Place. The wedding was simple and the couple refused tot stress over the little details, but it was no less beautiful. Cathy wore cute, short 60s vintage dress from Fur Coat No Knickers, they had no bridesmaids or groomsmen and as the venue was so cool anyway they didn’t need to decorate it much. Their biggest undertaking was the paper crane decorations made from their guests’ RSVPs!
“We didn’t have any ideas, colours or themes in mind for our wedding”, Cathy began. “The starting point was that I’d always wanted to receive a telegram but never had so I decided that we’d make telegrams for the wedding invites. When we started getting RSVPs it seemed like a bit of a shame that there was all this paper we were going to just recycle so we decided to re-use it. Firstly we started making the returned envelopes into paper cranes and then we stuck the RSVPs together with ribbon to make a kind of bunting. My big sister then told me about a Japanese legend that promises that if you make a thousand paper cranes you’ll be granted eternal good luck so that’s what we tried to do with all the leftover invites, envelopes and some old copies of the Financial Times.”
Sometime late last Summer I strolled into my favourite wedding boutique to visit my friends, Laura & Emma, who own it. Whenever I’m in central London I always pop into Fur Coat No Knickers to see their latest pretty vintage wedding dresses, to drink some Cava and to catch up on all the latest gossip. But this fateful day in August was different. I was greeted at the door with squeals from Laura, “I’m engaged! Tom Proposed last week!” she shrieked. More Cava was popped and we started to discuss all things wedding – but this time not other people’s – hers!
Working in with wedding industry, Laura had quite a good idea about what she did – and did not – want for their March wedding. She knew Emma Case was the girl to shoot it and that obviously she’d be wearing a dress from Fur Coat No Knickers. She also knew they wanted something casual, low-key, fun and stress-free.
“To Have Emma Case to snap our big day was amazing”, Laura began. “She and husband Pete are so cool and so chilled and they capture everything. They are like two little meerkats popping up and down throughout the day and they are such a laugh. We love our photos so so much. The photo shoot bit of the day was awesome fun and they made us play lots of games to keep us relaxed. I loved this part of the day because Tom & I got to spend some time together. Emma & Pete made us feel so comfortable and it was so fun. I can’t recommend them enough. They totally rocked our day.”