What is a Trunk Show/Designer Day?

When your status changes from “in a relationship” to “engaged” and you enter the world of bridal dress shopping you’ll be introduced to a whole new vocabulary. “Trunk Show” and “Designer Days” are just some of the new phrases you’ll come across again and again.

 So what is a trunk show?

Let’s delve into the history book (or Wikipedia for you Millennials!).

In the early 1800’s travelling salesmen would journey from place to place with their steamer trunks filled with wares. Everything from the latest designer fashion would be revealed. Retail space was often limited so trunk shows would become the must-see event whenever they rolled into town. The Trunk Show ‘tradition’ continued after retailers began expanding their space as clothing was transported from designer’s studios to stores in large trunks. Today, rather than trunks, garment bags & boxes are the modern mode for transport.

History lesson over now – if you’re still with me! Trunk shows are still a “must see” event in bridal as it allows a boutique to showcase (usually for a weekend) even more gowns from their designers. Even though here at The Pantiles Bride we have a wide selection of gowns from each of our brands it’s impossible to stock every design from each of them. If we did our rails would be rammed and we’d need a boutique twenty times bigger!


What happens at a trunk show and why is it a great idea to book in to find your dress?

When the trunk show gowns arrive they’re either all the current dresses (which can be eight to twenty gowns) or a selection from the new collection. We can often request gowns from past collections as well. The focus for the weekend will be around this designer.

So if you’re fan-girling a particular designer who you are following obsessively on Instagram and Pinterest (promise we won’t tell!) this is the ideal opportunity to see a much wider selection of gowns from that designer. If you’re really lucky you might just get to meet the designer in person which is when a trunk show becomes a Designer Day!!

Welcome to a Designer Day!

A Designer Day isn’t just the British way of saying Trunk Show it’s when there’s a chance to meet the designer in person or a stylist from the brand who, with their intimate knowledge of the gowns, will take you through the infinite possibilities of what will work best for both your figure and your bridal style.

Several of our designers at The Pantiles Bride offer a full design and made to measure service so this is the opportunity to have a bespoke gown created for you with the added bonus of having a one-to-one consultation with the designer herself.


So what events have we got planned for 2019?

Our first event in the calendar is a Suzanne Neville trunk show on Saturday 26 January. On this occasion Suzanne wasn’t free but we just couldn’t wait to showcase her new 2019 collection so we are being loaned an extra 10 gowns from her 2019 collection which will boost our already extensive collection. There will be a style to suit most brides from sophisticated slinky silhouettes in Italian crepe to floaty feminine silk organza skirts to her classic corseted gowns in her signature Mikado.

This will be your chance to delve further into the Suzanne Neville collection with the expertise of The Pantiles Bride team who have been working with Suzanne for 18 years. If you choose to bespoke your gown you couldn’t be in better hands! Oh and as if this wasn’t enough of a reason to book we’re also offering a saving of £200 on any gown ordered at the event. What are you waiting for?

Click here to book an appointment


There is a £40 booking fee for this event payable when you confirm your time on Saturday 26 January.

Some of our brides in stunning Suzanne Neville gowns…


In February we have two events – one designer day and another trunk show.

On Saturday 9 February we’re delighted to welcome Sassi Holford who will be helping us celebrate our 22nd Birthday here at The Pantiles Bride.

Sassi was our first British designer, who has been with us since we opened on 13 February 1997 and she has only missed visiting us a couple of times – once when she had just had twins and in 2008 when she was busy designing Autumn Kelly’s royal wedding dress! We’ll forgive you Sassi! This year she’s back with us again and we love having her with us at The Pantiles Bride as we constantly learn more about her incredible designs and how we can adapt them for our brides.

Sassi is synonymous with classic, up-to-date romantic wedding dresses. She is one of the top bridal designers in the UK with her atelier workshops in Somerset.
Click below to book your appointment to view the 2019 collection and classics and to have a personal consultation with one of our team and with Sassi.

There is a £40 booking fee for this event payable when you confirm your time on Saturday 9 February. Should you order on the day you will receive either free made to measure or a £200 saving on your gown.

Click here to book an appointment


Sassi has a dress for everyone…


Willowby will be with us the following weekend 15 & 16 February (yes February is busy!) where we are the first UK boutique to showcase the new Love her Madly Spring 2019 collection from specially created for free-spirited brides.

This US collection is a complete contrast to the classic and contemporary designs of Sassi Holford and Suzanne Neville as Vatana Watters says “Willowby takes the road less travelled, with a natural, airy, free-spiritedness”. You are invited to “Come with us on a trip to the 1970s. Unabashed colour. Exotic textures and tones. Music. Togetherness. Optimism. Freedom. And a new kind of love”.

We can’t wait to see this collection again as it was last September when we saw it launched at our buying trip in Harrogate, We hope that you love it as much as we do. Imagine – you might be the first bride to see this new collection and find your dress. You can also request to have gowns sent in from previous collections – Folklore, La Luna, Metamorphosis and Dreamscape (don’t you just love those names?).

We’re offering a £100 accessory voucher when you order your Willowby gown at the event.

Click here to book an appointment. There’s a £25 fee for both the Friday and Saturday appointments.


Here’s a preview of two gorgeous gowns from the Love Me Madly collection that you can try at the trunk show.

And, here are two of our beautiful Pantiles Brides wearing gowns by Willowby


Top tips for getting the most out of a Trunk Show or Designer Day

Come and try on dresses with us from our eight different designers so that you know your style prior to booking onto an event.

It’s really worth doing your online research beforehand as the dresses are often only available once a year and when the loan dresses go off to the next location it’s highly unlikely you will be able to see your favourite dress again unless it’s one from our own stock.

Also for special offers at an event it really is time related to making a decision on the day so it’s a time to find the one, fall in love and go for it.

Maria Musgrove-Wethey

The Vibrant Pantiles and Pantiles Bride