“Leggings and a comfy jumper. I’m not sure I’m ready to return to a non-elasticated waistband life.”Stylist, Lauren Hornsby of Browns Bride on what she mainly wore during lockdown
Enveloped in the bustling heart of London lies the prestigious Browns Bride, the creation of Caroline Burstein (whose parents founded the iconic boutique Browns in South Molton Street in 1970). Previously co-founder of beauty brand, Molton Brown (which she sold in 1993) Caroline seized the moment to effortlessly fuse together beauty and high fashion to conceive Browns Bride in 2004, a revolutionary step forward for the bridal industry, unseen before and refreshingly iconic. Curating a fine selection of designers including the likes of Viktor & Rolf Mariage, Vivienne Westwood, Galia Lahav, Peter Langner, Monique Lhuillier, Mira Zwillinger and Lihi Hod (to name a few) as well as a unique accessory offering, Browns swiftly became the store to attend once he had popped the question. I caught up (digitally, of course) with Browns Bride’s stylist and communications coordinator, Lauren Hornsby to get the low-down on her lockdown and the brand’s approach to the future, post-lockdown…
#1 Provide us with three words that sum-up how you were feeling about lockdown when it first started, and then three words about how you feel now:
Before: “Indifferent, OK, comfortable.”
After: “Grateful, enlightened, appreciative.”
#2 What time do you get up? Did this change in lockdown? Was life a little slower? Talk to us about your usual daily routine and how this was changed by lockdown…
“Usually I’d be up early to catch my train into London with all the other commuters so it was nice adjusting to a slower paced morning! Instead of waiting in line to grab a “coffee to go” for the train, I’d instead sit at my coffee table and enjoy the calm as the sun came up. I’ve made a conscious effort to continue that time at my coffee table before my day begins, it’s a few lovely minutes of “me time”!”
#3 How did lockdown impact business, and how can people (brides/the wedding industry) support Browns Bride?
“Business understandably halted almost immediately – our doors closed on March 24th and we were unsure when we’d be able to return to our beloved boutique. It didn’t stop all together though, we still had a small team each working from home; answering enquiries, booking future appointments and organising deliveries. The industry has faced unimaginable challenges and now more than ever, it’s important that we all come together to support one another.”
#4 Name three local businesses/small Instagram businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “LGBTQ Equality Weddings on Instagram – @lgbtqequalityweddings – definitely deserves a shoutout! Ava shares so much inclusivity within the wedding industry from real brides and weddings to businesses. With all the change at the moment including the Black Lives Matter movement, we’ve found her Instagram page to be a valuable hub for resources to help educate, enlighten and motivate!”
No.2 “Paul Rothe & Son – not even just a local gem, they’re a London gem! A family run delicatessen, just a few streets over from Selfridges which has been running since 1900.”
No.3 “Coach & Horses (also in Marylebone). A great little pub, local to us – who we’ve discovered are running a takeaway service at the minute. Rosé to go? What a dream!”
#5 What is/what was your favourite isolation snack?
“Crisps and dip. It might now be physically impossible for me to eat a crisp without some sort of tasty dip accompanying it. I think I might have a problem.”
#6 Before lockdown eased slightly, what was your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you were feeling down?
“Chatting with friends on Zoom or Facetime was definitely my favourite “pick me up”. Sometimes I’d find myself in that quarantine ‘funk’ and not feel like doing anything, but being on a call with my girls and a glass of wine in-hand was the best medicine!”
#7 What’s the item you could NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dreamt continuously about) during lockdown…
“Flour! All my friends were posting their bakes and recipes and I could not for the love of me find flour to bake with. Unlike – what seems like – everyone I follow, I was unable to finesse my baking skills during lockdown!”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
“Zoom! It was crazy how an app we had never heard of before suddenly overnight became an integral part of our day-to-day chats!”
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
“The food shopping felt like an army mission!”
#11 Name your lockdown love:
“Getting to spend more quality time with my fiancé and our kitten!”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“The first person I’ll hug will most likely be my mum and sister! I’ve missed them both terribly.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated during lockdown?
“When lockdown was announced, our neighbours knocked on our door to see if we needed any “hard to come by” provisions as the supermarket shelves began emptying fast! It was so lovely to feel a sense of community from such a small gesture.”
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at Browns?
“We’re mostly looking forward to all the events planned over summer where we can showcase the latest collections from our designers. We have some exciting trunk shows planned and we’re looking forward to welcoming our brides…at a safe distance of course!”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “My family. I will never take for granted popping in to see them again.”
No.2 “Being able to go wherever, whenever (…pretty sure that’s a Shakira song).”
No.3 “Seeing people smile! Everyone wearing masks means you don’t get to see everyone’s smiles like you used to.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
“Reubens on Baker Street! Me and the girls have been dying to get a sandwich there for ages so we can’t wait for them to re-open so we can order their famous salt beef sandwich.”
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“We absolutely flew through Tiger King on Netflix and Normal People on BBC1. It feels like a lifetime ago now but we hooked on both!
We’ve also just started The Sinner Season 3, which is quite dark but I like to balance that with something uplifting such as Queer Eye on Netflix. It never disappoints and each season has me balling like a baby from the sheer joy that is the Fab 5!”
#18 What would be on your quarantine book list?
“I managed to get through some good reads during lockdown! My favourite Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It truly is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read! I’ve also just started Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo and I cannot put it down!”
#19 For a little Instagram-escapism, what three accounts would you recommend?
No.1 “@thehuntedyard – so much flower inspiration here! Pampas grass galore.”
No.2 “@the_lane if you don’t follow them already…be prepared to fall down a rabbit hole of wedding inspo!”
No.3 “@shopsundae where all of our typography dreams come true!”
#20 Name three things you bought online during lockdown.
“Furniture, plants and books! For some reason I didn’t buy many clothes and I’m glad I didn’t as there are some fab sales at the moment!”
#21 What was your lockdown outfit most days?
“Leggings and a comfy jumper. I’m not sure I’m ready to return to a non-elasticated waistband life.”
#22 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“We really got into frozen margaritas! Especially during those super-hot days which we had back in May!”
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