Friday is DEFINITELY Fri-Yay here on Festival Brides today because we’re giving you the chance to win your wedding dress! Oh yes, you read that right! Calm Amongst The Chaos is a fabulous British designer label that we’ve recently welcomed to our festival wedding directory and they’re celebrating the launch of their new collection, The White Garden, with a brilliant competition. So, here’s designer Frances Farmer to tell you more about the designs and this downright fabulous competition..
Tell us a little about Calm Amongst The Chaos…
Calm Amongst The Chaos is a bridal studio based in Ringwood Hampshire.
We are a team of designers led by me, Frances Farmer, who create contemporary couture, made-to-measure and ready-to-wear wedding gowns for the modern bohemian bride. We also offer styling advice for shape, style and wedding day.
What made you decide to start the business
I graduated with a fashion degree from Bournemouth & Poole College in 1985. Initially known by the label ‘Chaos’ the first items off the cutting table included underwear and then leisurewear. After a break to raise a family, I returned with a collection of wraps, shawls and boleros including gorgeous white faux fur wraps that were popular winter wedding bridal accessories. Encouraged by this interest I planned a photo shoot hoping to source some vintage style gowns to show off the wraps to their best effect. Unable to find the gowns I wanted, I guess I did what any good designer would do and created my first collection of six unique gowns, inspired by the serene stars of Hollywood in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and the label “Calm Amongst the Chaos” was born. The signature gown was known as ‘Frances’ in honour of my namesake actress Frances Farmer. Other gowns in the collection included Bette, Lillian, Katherine and Greta all talented actresses but also known for their stylish fashions. The collection was a the with non-conventional brides who knew what they wanted and were unabale to find it amongst the traditional offerings on offer.
The increase in demand saw me recruit Hannah to the team and move to my design studio and workroom in the centre of Ringwood in the New Forest. In five years at the studio the team has been enhanced by my daughter and junior designer Agy, plus design team members Carmel and Penny. You can still find a faux fur wrap if you look carefully but ‘Calm Amongst the Chaos’ it is now all about beautiful gowns for brides, stunning outfits for the Mother of the Bride and bespoke occasion wear for any big occasion. The White Garden Collection, launched June 2017, is my first ready-to-wear collection and a new bridal shop attached to my studio in Ringwood opens Autumn 2017.
Tell us a little bit more about your new collection, White Garden…
The White Garden Collection is the first ready to wear range from Calm Amongst The Chaos Couture and features six exquisite bohemian wedding dresses. Each gown is handmade in England using exquisite lace fabrics, tulles and silks, and is available in five different sizes. With romantic, fit and flare or billowing silhouettes the collection is designed with the free-spirited bride in mind. The dresses all have a stretch element ensuring comfort and ease of fit. Away from the traditional, these dresses evoke natural beauty and keep up with trends, stepping away from the constraints of the bridal norm!
The White Garden Collection is available to purchase online from. Dresses take up to 5 months from date of ordering. The ready-to-wear collection starts at £1795 and for made-to-measure & couture services the price begins at £2500. Occasion and Evening wear from £450
What was the inspiration for the collection?
I was inspired by a visit to the White Garden at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. The garden was restored by 1930’s poet Vita Sackville West, who was known to sit and write her poetry amongst the magnificent blooms in every shade of white, cream and ivory. I designed these six heavenly gowns using luxurious ethereal fabrics and named them after Vita and six other prominent female writers from that period, Agatha (Christie), Virginia (Woolf), Bea (Potter), Nancy (Mitford) and Edith (Nesbit).
Who is a ‘Calm Amongst The Chaos’ bride?
The Chaos bride is unique and she enjoys being individual. She usually has some strong ideas around style and the kind of occasion she wants to enjoy on her wedding day, but also is open to new inspiration from our dedicated team of designers. Ultimately, the Chaos bride is modern and free spirted at heart who strives to stay true to herself.
What are the stand out features and elements in the new collection?
The fact that they are stretchy is the most exciting thing about this collection. They are a pleasure to wear as they mould to your shape and are just so comfortable whilst looking effortlessly bohemian. Handmade in our studio using exquisite laces and tulles the collection incorporates unique techniques and focusses on the details; oversized sleeves, flared hems and deliciously low backs. We believe these gowns will really stand out to the modern, free spirted bride whose looking for that perfect bohemian gown.
Tell us a little bit more about the shoot at Somerley House…
The shoot at Somerley House was just amazing. Lord and Lady Somerton who currently occupy the Georgian manor were so welcoming; from the word go they were fantastic giving us free reign to wander around choosing ideal places for our photoshoot. The house is quite magnificent inside and out with some beautiful artifacts, paintings and regency furniture. These reminders of days gone by linked perfectly with our initial inspiration which was Sissinghurst castle in Kent, that although different in architectural style the romantic nature of the properties were very in keeping with one another. We feel very priveleged to have been able to team up with such a beautiful local wedding venue to promote The White Garden Collection.
What are some of your favourite memories + experiences from previous weddings/couples you’ve worked with?
Over time we have worked with some lovely brides to create their wedding gowns. We have found that some have very positive ideas from the onset whilst others want to be entirely guided by us. One particular project was one of the first. The bride was getting married on Table Mountain, South Africa. She was being lown into the forest where the scene had been set for the ceremony. They were an amazing couple and truly in love. Her gown was inspired from the days of hollywood glamour and had metres of silk and chiffon to make up the dress. It’s unique people and weddings like this that really make our job a joy to do.
What’s your best piece of advice for brides who’re trying to choose their wedding dress?
Our number one piece of advice is that the style needs to reflect you. It sounds so obvious but it’s really important not to go out of your comfort zone and choose something that you would never wear. We appreciate a wedding dress won’t be your ‘normal’ style but it can still reflect your personality and then work with the sort of wedding you’re going to have. Rather than choosing a theme for your wedding day think about the general atmosphere of the day, whether it be super casual or more put together and formal, and make sure that your dress goes with it 100%. But most importantly, just make sure you love your dress!
And now – THE COMPETITION! Can you explain what’s on offer and what brides have to do to be in with a chance of winning?
To celebrate the launch of these 6 bohemian bridal gowns, Calm Amongst The Chaos are giving away TWO chances to win your very own wedding dress from The White Garden Collection. Winners can choose from any of the 6 ready to wear gowns
HOW TO ENTER – TWO CHANCES TO WIN!
To be in with a chance of winning, simply enter your details on our competition website or follow the link from our Facebook page.
For a second chance to win, head to Instagram #MyWGCDress and like one of our competition posts to enter. There are two dresses up for grabs, and ten runners-up prizes in total. Please see the website for prize details and T&C’s.
The competition closes at 12pm on 28th July so good luck!
So come on then ladies, you know what you’ve got to do – get entering! If you want to find out more about Calm Amongst The Chaos, hop over to their website or check out their listing in our festival wedding directory.