“What do we do?” I’m asking, looking at Sam who is sitting on a petite blush settee. I squint at him slyly. “Are we supposed to… discuss this?” Now I turn to look at the shop assistant, Michaela, wide-eyed. “I don’t know what we do!” Michaela bursts out laughing.
We’re on Sloane Street in Emilia Wickstead, which is a new store here, just down the road from one of the temping agencies I used when I first arrived, desperate to find my place in London. And now here I am, in a dress by an up-and-coming designer, made famous by dressing Kate Middleton and Samantha Cameron, and it is the one I want to be my wedding dress.
I have been told not to go wedding dress shopping with my fiancé (bad luck), but he’s the only person I want there, and I already have a good track record of ignoring everyone to do what I want anyway.
Emilia Wickstead must be good at doing what she wants too; how else do you build a made-to-measure business into the foundations of an empire? The shop in Knightsbridge in which we’re standing is evidence of that– just eight short years in the making. I love this dress, but I love it all the more for being the vision of an ambitious young woman.
When Michaela mentions the dress is 30% off in the sale then darts off to calculate what that is, I think “How can that be bad luck?” but I say, “Should we do it?” The skirt has volume in the back and I am swinging it to test its dancefloor potential. It’s a big purchase and a big deal and I don’t know how you’re supposed to feel when you try on your wedding dress for the first time, except this feels pretty good.
The dusty pink Emilia Wickstead bag is huge and I hit everyone with it as I get on the tube. “Sorry,” I lie, hoping everyone wants to know what’s inside.
When we tell Jenny and Mike, Sam’s parents, they’re pleased. “Must be a family tradition,” Jenny says. “Mike came with me to buy mine.”