“We jumped into it head and heart first and never looked back.” Gail and Lauren of The Mews Bridal on starting the brand
Featuring a plethora of achingly chic and timelessly cool French bridal designers, The Mews Bridal (with stores in Clifton, Notting Hill and NYC) is, understandably, always lingering high – and glittering – on many a bride’s boutique to-visit list. Stocking the likes of Rime Arodaky, Caroline Takvorian, Laure de Sagazan and Margaux Tardits (to name a few) The Mews is where fashion fuses effortlessly with bridal and becomes one, offering a hybrid form of gown that many a contemporary bride covets for the aisle. The brand, driven by the Mother and Daughter team Gail and Lauren, continues to surprise, thrive and delight with their unique approach to bridal, and luckily, I managed to catch up with Lauren for a few mintues to discuss everything The Mews…
#1 What was the initial starting point for The Mews Bridal? The ‘light-bulb’ moment when you thought: we’re going to do this?
“Like many entrepreneurs, we felt there was a true gap in the market and at that time, there weren’t any bridal stores that we felt represented our styles. There were two very real light bulb moments when we were planning on opening London and New York. We had carved such a beautiful niche in the bridal industry that it dawned on us that we had to do it before anyone else did! So, we jumped into it head and heart first and never looked back.”
#2 When you first launched The Mews Bridal, what did you want to achieve?
“We created The Mews as we wanted to bring a breath of fresh air to the wedding industry. We wanted to create a safe and approachable haven for brides that wanted something original and wanted to stand out from the crowd. Steering well away from the boutiques that reveled in awkward traditions (standing on a pedestal in voluminous tulle gowns, white gloves to browse through dresses and pretentious saleswomen). Bridal cliches that made women like ourselves view the entire experience of a bride as being something separate from ourselves.
That, in combination with curating a line of original designers that are hard to find and not overly saturated, is what I believe keeps us relevant.”
#3 Tell us a little more about the history of The Mews Bridal. When did the Clifton store first open? When did the other boutique’s follow?
“My Mother opened up The Mews Bridal in Clifton over ten years ago; initially stocking solely British designers as she found there was a gap in the market for mixing bridal and fashion together. After spending years living and working in France I decided to join the business and open its second boutique in Notting Hill, London specialising in French Bridal Couture.
In Autumn of 2016, we took French bridal couture state-side opening our third boutique in New York. After a few visits to NY Bridal Week and a (completely booked out) pop-up store to test the waters later, we jumped on the opportunity to put our incredible edit in front of New York brides.”
#4 Tell us a little more about the beautifully curated array of French designers you stock, what do each of these designers offer your brides?
“The French have an unparalleled attention to detail – a standard of work they completely set for themselves. Every intricate detail is executed with a precision and passion that reflects everything they stand for. But besides the quality, what draws us to French style is the way they marry elegance with ease.
Rime Arodaky for the wild hearted brides who want elegance with an edge, Laure de Sagazan for the free-spirited romantics with poetic, billowing fabrics and Margaux Tardits for a modern take on nostalgic silhouettes.”
#5 When it comes to introducing a new brand to The Mews Bridal, what are you looking for?
“Something original. At The Mews Bridal we are renowned for our collection of modern yet timeless dresses. So a brand that can marry those two styles together whilst using the highest quality of fabrics – as quality is key for us.”
#6 What makes The Mews Bridal different from other bridal boutiques? Why should brides be booking an appointment with you?
“I’d say there are two things that make The Mews stand out from the crowd.
Firstly, it has to be our designers. We are the exclusive stockist to five Parisian bridal designers. They beautifully balance the scale between tradition and modernism. This really gives the dresses that ‘Parisian chic’ style that people crave.
Secondly, our approach with brides is as relaxed as possible. We’d hate to think that we are pushy – trying to get brides to buy a dress and throwing customer experience out of the window. We encourage our girls to really be stylists, not sales people. If a dress isn’t right for you, we’ll tell you.”
#7 What’s important to The Mews Bridal when it comes to the bridal appointment? How do you make brides feel special?
“The wedding industry tends to label what kind of bride you are and we wanted our brand to inspire brides to feel confident in defining themselves. As a bride you should be your own muse.
We like to give a personalised experience at The Mews. We really listen to our brides gaining as much information as we can before their appointment so we can tailor their fitting to make it feel as comfortable and enjoyable for them as possible.
We see our brides as individuals rather than just a number.”
#8 Do you hold events at the boutique that brides and their bridal party can attend?”
“Yes, we love to do collaborations and events with similar brands to The Mews such as Soho house, Diptyque, Show, Cowshed, Jo Malone, Girls Not Brides & Byredo to name a few.”
#9 What’s new to The Mews Bridal this 2020?
“We are currently creating some more pieces for our e-shop for your honeymoon outfits for bachelorette parties! We are also aiming to work more with Girls Not Brides; a charity very close to hearts that help to end child marriage.”
#10 Who are your key French style inspirations?
“Jane Birkin – the ultimate Parisian trend setter.”
#11 Who would you absolutely love to walk into The Mews Bridal and book an appointment?
“Kate Moss – because it would be just so cool to dress her.”
#12 And finally, how can brides get in touch? When do you suggest they get in touch (time-wise when it comes to the dress hunt)?
“My advice would come in three parts:
No.1 Don’t let other voices take you down a path you don’t like. Your wedding dress should be an extension of your personal style, only taken a bit further. Despite having the best intentions, other people might try to get you to buy a dress that ultimately isn’t ‘you’. Listen to your own style. The happiest brides are sometimes actually the ones that come in by themselves for their first appointment!
No.2 Always be open to all shapes and cuts. You might have your heart set on a dress or style, but when you try it on it might not work for you. Be prepared to try on as many different types of dresses, especially early on. When you find out what works best for your style and body shape – make sure you get your stylist to focus on it!
No.3 Give yourself plenty of time! Don’t leave getting your dress until just a couple of months before the wedding. Many dresses, like ours, are handmade and need six months to make sure they are completely fitted to you perfectly.
You can get in touch via email, phone, social media or through our online booking form. Whatever suits you best – we are here to help you enjoy the whole journey with us!”
THE QUICK FIRE ROUND
#1 Summer or Winter?
2 Heels or flats?
#3 Pet hate?
#4 Favourite wine?
#5 Pearls or diamonds?
#6 Coffee or tea?
#7 Favourite destination?
#8 Early rise or lie in?
“The early bird always catches the worm.”
#9 Dressed up or dressed down in denim?
“Dressed down in an ‘effortless’ way rather than ‘I couldn’t be bothered’ way!”
#10 Favourite book?
#11 Favourite way to relax?
“A long dog walk in the countryside.”
#12 One piece of business advice on running and creating a brand?
“Don’t get too ahead of yourself & enjoy the journey.”
#13 Social media hate?
“The effect it has on mental health.”
#14 Social media love?
“Connecting us to so many lovely brides across the world.”
#15 Name one thing you wish you had more time for:
“To spend more time with my family but unfortunately we live all over the place!”
Discover more about The Mews by clicking here.
Discover more interviews with Bridal Editor’s latest WFH Diary series here.