It’s been an incredible year for Boho Bride, the beautiful bridal boutique set in Warwickshire, what with the launch of their very first bridal collection: the Freedom Collection. Behind the boutique and the new line, is Lynette Turner, a woman who is intent on delivering gowns ‘for the bride who wants to dress and express herself with absolute freedom’ – the modern 2017/18 bride of now.
Happily, I managed to catch up with the busy boutique owner and designer to discover more about the Freedom Collection and her experience within the industry…
*Sponsored by Boho Bride*
#1 Tell us a little about the history of the Boho Bride Boutique? When did you open the boutique and how did it all begin? What inspired you?
“I opened the boutique in December 2014. I had a light bulb moment actually, a friend told me about a new retail courtyard that had opened in a very smart garden centre near to where I live so I thought I would check it out one day as I was passing on my way to Stratford upon Avon. When I saw that they were still building other shops it just came to me that this would be the perfect place for a cosy bridal boutique. I have been in the bridal business on and off in different roles for quite a few years, so it wasn’t that strange to think of opening a bridal boutique. One of my great friends is Diane Hassall, she lives in the same village as I did, and our boys used to play together when they were little. Di was the first person I called to talk about my idea and what she thought. Di was a great help and recommended a few designers that I should check out who she thought would fit the style of boutique I wanted. I always set out to offer brides something different, not mainstream. I have always thought that one day I would have my own bridal boutique. I wouldn’t say that anything in particular inspired me, but I knew I wanted to be different.”
#2 What does Boho Bride Boutique offer brides? How is it different to other bridal boutiques?
“Our strap line is ‘for brides that dare to be different’ and this is our aim in everything we do. With a boho/vintage vibe, the boutique is a cosy and welcoming place where brides can feel relaxed and confident that they will find something unique. We only have one bride in at a time and this helps our brides to feel relaxed. Plus, they can try on as many dresses as they like too. We dedicate our time to our brides on a one to one basis and we are committed to helping our brides have a memorable experience from the first point of contact to their wedding day and beyond.”
#3 I hear that you have two mantras in life. What are these?
“Haha, yes I do: ‘roads are for journeys not destinations’ and ‘you snooze you lose’. These two mantras have kept me going in some dark times.”
#4 You’ve just recently launched your fabulous first bridal dress collection: the Freedom Collection. Where did the inspiration for the line come from? What made you want to design your own collection?
“I guess the inspiration has come from my brides actually; so many times our brides have liked the bodice of one dress but the skirt of another and then the fabric of another gown altogether. This can be really frustrating, so it got me thinking about how I could overcome this. I also wanted to feature a really boho collection that was the right price point for my brides, but I just couldn’t find anything that would work. I have always wanted to design a collection, I’m not a designer but I know what I like. I wanted a really boho look but a line that had the flexibility to mix and match different pieces and fabrics. This was the basis of the Freedom Collection. I am very lucky to have a fantastic lady that I work with for our alterations and our bespoke bride design service. I talked through my ideas with Laura from Lola & Em and that’s when the idea of the separated collection came to life really. Laura listened to what I wanted and made some sketches and the rest is history as they say. It has taken us over 12 months to design the different pieces and to source fabrics. We are delighted with the collection and so are our brides, they love the flexibility of having something completely unique that reflects their personality.”
#5 What does the Freedom Collection offer brides that other collections and brands don’t?
“It’s the flexibility to choose different pieces and fabrics and to know it is going to fit them perfectly.”
#6 If the Freedom Collection could have a particular celebrity or person to be the face of the line, who would it be? Who embodies the label in their style and personality?
“Gosh so many but I guess I have a crush on Eleanor Tomlinson at the moment (she plays Demelza in Poldark). I love her feistiness and her free spirit, the perfect Freedom Collection bride.”
#7 Do you have a favourite piece from the collection? If so, which one is it and why?
“I don’t have a particular favourite, I love them all, but I do like the way the different bolero jackets completely change the look of the skirts and slip dress when they are put together.”
#8 What type of materials does the Freedom Collection incorporate, and where are these sourced from? What can brides-to-be always rely on your Freedom Collection for?
“I wanted the collection to be romantic, so we have chosen free flowing fabrics for the slip dress and the skirt such as satin, chiffon and crepe. We also have different overlays, so the brides can see what each piece will look like in the different fabrics such as organza and lace. We have made some of the bolero jackets in guipure lace, which I adore, and we have also made some in delicate lace and spotty tulle for a softer look. We source our fabrics from lots of different places; we have even bought lace from eBay because we have fallen in love with it and just had to have it. Because we are making one off pieces we don’t need to buy in bulk, so we buy what we love.”
#9 Tell us about your design process for the new collection. Where did it all begin?
“It started with our brides really, liking the bodice of one dress, the skirt of another and the fabrics on another! It was very frustrating for the bride and myself not being able to give them their dream wedding gown. So, it started with different tops and bottoms and it evolved from there but with a very boho look. The collection is also perfect for curvy brides because we make every piece to fit our brides’ individual shapes.”
#10 Do the trends influence your work?
“Yes, I guess so, but I have always been a fan of the more relaxed bohemian style and our brides love it too.”
#11 From your wealth of experience, when it comes to brides searching for their wedding dress, where should they start? What should they be thinking about? The venue? Their accessories? Comfort?
“It’s amazing how much social media can help brides when they start out looking for the perfect wedding gown. However sometimes what a bride thinks will suit her quite often doesn’t. I think most brides are very well informed and style conscious so know what they like to a point. Brides should always start with what they feel comfortable in and what reflects their personality. The type of wedding venue is usually a good starting point and the practicality of the venue. If a bride is getting married in a barn in the middle of a field then a massive wedding gown with a huge train is not going to be very practical. But if she has her heart set on a big princess dress then who are we to say what she should or shouldn’t have. We just want our brides to be happy and in love with their gown. Accessories always put the finishing touches to a brides wedding day look and we quite often design and make them for our brides to complement their wedding dress.”
#12 Where would you like to see yourself, your design work and the boutique in 10 years’ time?
“A very exciting question. I would like to see us doing more bespoke work, especially with mothers-of-the-bride and bridesmaids, so watch this space. I would like a high end high-street location as well as keeping where we are now because we love it here. I would like to keep adding to the collection each year with new pieces but still staying true to our roots of offering brides something a bit different. I want to continue offering brides a really lovely experience and build on that side of the business too. We are about to launch Luxury Bridal Appointments where the bride can come in for a personal styling appointment and have a mini bridal hair and makeup trial. They can then try on the gown they have ordered, or try on lots of different gowns so they can really visualise how they can look on their wedding day with all the accessories as well. A real bridal pamper day.”
#13 Talk us through a regular work day, what do you get up to?
“Well, I have a home in France and when I’m not there I actually live with my parents in the Cotswolds with my youngest son George. So, it starts with a morning chat with my partner on Facetime then it’s the usual routine of getting ready and off to the boutique which is a 10 minute drive from where I live. When I get to the boutique I open up and get everything ready for the day depending on whether we have brides or fittings, before checking emails and all my social media platforms. I plan what I need to do for the next day and sort out anything that needs my urgent attention. I email and text all the brides that have appointments coming up to make sure they can still make their appointments. If I have fittings we get the boutique looking its best so it feels cosy and welcoming. I have a number of friends I try to see as often as I can but weekends are difficult because I work. I like walking in the countryside, the Cotswolds are beautiful and sometimes I just need to chill and re-charge. I have to say I do most of my re-charging in France, we have a pretty cottage in the middle of no-where which needs a lot of renovation, but I love its rustic charm and the log burner in the winter, it’s lovely getting all snuggled up on the sofa with thick socks. I try to get out there once a month to see my partner who lives out there permanently.”
#14 Name a celebrity wedding you loved…
“It was a film actually, I remember as a little girl watching The Sound Of Music and adoring the scene where Julie Andrews walks down the aisle of the huge church. It simply captivated me and that is when I fell in love with wedding dresses. I thought she looked so perfect and the wedding gown was stunning.”
#15 If you could create a bespoke dress or collection of separates for any celebrity (dead or alive) who would it be?
“Bridget Bardot. She is the perfect boho icon for our collection, free spirited and sassy.”
#16 Have you ever had any unusual wedding dress requests? If so, what?
“We had a bride that wanted us to make a non-wedding wedding gown which we did and she looked amazing.”
THE QUICK FIRE ROUND:
#1 Summer or Winter? “Summer.”
#2 Heels or flats? “Depends on where I am going – but I love my wellies too!”
#3 Pet hate? “Arrogance.”
#4 Alcoholic beverage of choice? “Fizz darling!!”
#5 Pearls or diamonds? “Diamonds.”
#6 Great British Bake Off or Strictly Come Dancing? “I’m a fan of both, but love Strictly.”
#7 Coffee or tea? “Earl Grey tea.”
#8 Favourite destination? “My place in France.”
#9 Early rise or lie in? “Early.”
#10 Chic in Chanel or dressed down in ripped denim? “Chanel dress.”
#11 Tousled waves or traditional up-do? “Tousled waves…without the frizz.”
#12 Lace or embellishment? “It has to be both I’m afraid!”
All images are sourced from Boho Bride