I love cake, I love corsets and I love being involved in a charity event.
Astra from Timeless Couture has a close friend, Robyn, who has recently been diagnosed with cervical cancer. She is only in her mid 20′s. One of the charities who has been very supportive and helpful to Robyn is The Mercedes Curnow Foundation who promote awareness of the early detection of cervical cancer in young women and funding private screening & hpv tests. They are fighting to lower the age of cervical screening in England from 25-20. This is something Robyn feels passionately about.
To show support and love for Robyn, Astra decided to organise an event that would involve her family and friends and to hopefully raise funds for The Mercedes Cunrow Foundation. Corset design is a love of Astra’s and her exquisite, bespoke pieces combine vintage inspired details and modern contempoary shapes. She partners Rachel at Timeless Couture and together they create beautiful bespoke wedding dresses, two of which you can see in the main photograph above . Robyn was one of the models in our photoshoot with Timeless Couture earlier in the year, see the gorgeous girl on the telephone above…so it seemed perfect to combine a corset photoshoot with afternoon tea at a special venue.
It was a ladies only day (for obvious reasons!, as Astra put it “no smelly boys”) and all the guests had the opportunity to be involved in the photoshoot.
This idea grew into producing a corset calendar which would be sold to raise further funds.
Stancliffe Hall in Darley Dale offered us the use of their venue, completely free of charge, which was an incredibly generous gesture. It is an outstandingly beautiful privately owned Hall, set in over 50 acres of stunning parkland in the heart of the Peak District.
The photography and styling for the shoot was left in the hands of Emma from Ms Honey Boudoir, who also owns Emma Cleveley Photography. She donated her time, talent, sexy props & experience for the day.
Tineke kindly supplied all the flowers for the day and there were lots of raffle prizes donated by local businesses.
Darby & Joan provided the afternoon tea for the ladies and we donated two days to set up the venue and supplied our vintage china.
Some of the ladies were hesitant about stripping off and posing, but before Emma knew it there was a queue of ladies desperate to be transformed into a sexy siren for a couple of hours. It was credit to Emma’s skill and easy going presence that made the shoot such a success, guiding the girls through poses to flatter their figures and enhanced their best bits. Hopefully we can share some of these photographs with you soon.
Another charity who had been tremendously supportive of Robyn was MacMillan Cancer Support. Most people are familiar with the amazing work they do on a daily basis, providing practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care. A spokesperson from the charity attended to talk about their role in helping cancer patients and their families. Some of the funds raised on the day were donated to MacMillan.
Pimms, afternoon tea, a room full of great ladies having a well earned sunny Sunday afternoon to themselves, a beautiful venue, pants and bras flying around everywhere, laughs and tears and raising money for two amazing charities.
A good day.
Photograph of Robyn – Yvonne Lishman Photography
Main image – Emma Case Photography
Apologies for the pun on the title of this post – I am cringing myself, but it is better than the others I thought of…
Darby & Joan were invited to cater for an afternoon tea party at Kedleston Hall at the beginning of this month. The guest list was made up of 125 textile artists from the Second Turning Textile Group. The group had just opened their new exhibition at the Hall which is open until 22nd September.
Very broadly, the work & exhibition was inspired by the architecture, collections and landscape at Kedleston Hall and showed how rich, lively and versatile textiles can be.
Our menu was what we do best – finger sandwiches, teetering high layer cakes, fresh out of the oven scones, rich chocolate brownies and lots of tea. A simple menu, but one that we knew would be enjoyed and appreciated.
We had two areas to serve. We set up camp in the Orangery and had a handful of guests seated with us in there and the rest of the group were served in a marquee.
The weather was kind, the guests were very lovely, the atmosphere gentle and it was another great success.
Thank you to Kedleston for inviting us to work with you – it doesn’t get much better than working with The National Trust.
Not forgetting a huge thank you to Emma Cleveley Photography for capturing the day so beautifully.
I love working with Cathy & Susie from Vintage Chic Wedding Fair, their relaxed & feminine style is perfect for what Darby & Joan offer. Their 6th wedding fair was held last Sunday at The Centennial Centre in Birmingham. I have to say that I was exhausted when my alarm went off at six that morning as the previous day had been manically busy & the last thing I felt like doing was packing the car up again & driving for an hour. My aching feet, sore knees from wearing heels all day (I must be getting old!) & slightly fuzzy head all disappeared when I arrived at the venue. Wedding fairs are such light hearted, happy events & I had a fantastic day sharing stories with exhibitors & talking with brides & their families.
It was great to see many familiar faces as a few of the exhibitors have shown with the company before, Meeni, Whimsical Wishes, Passion for Flowers, Cotton & Crumbs & Vintage Twee were amongst the gorgeous companies showcasing their inspirational services & products.
For the first time, I am Staggered were exhibiting. I can’t imagine that many (or any!) men will be reading this blog, but for you brides who are, tell your man about this website & service. Invaluable, funny & relevant advice for grooms-to-be.
The overall feel of all of Vintage Chic wedding fairs has always been to offer brides “vintage with a modern twist” inspiration & ideas. This is just our cup of tea.
The Centennial Centre was the largest venue the company had used & it was a big hit with everyone. It was light, bright & airy & it was transformed once the exhibitors got to work with their gorgeous styling ideas. Everyone had worked hard to promote the fair & as the doors opened at 11am, there was a steady stream of brides, grooms & their families. Yey!!
There were demonstrations throughout the day, Le Keux Events & Sarah Russell were busy with hair & make up, Fishee Designs brought along a brilliant photo-booth with props, My Craftea Day got crafty, My Dance Birmingham showed us all how to do the balloon dance (well worth seeing!). As always, Simon Partridge was there during the day singing, ensuring a mellow, relaxed & happy atmosphere.
If you missed attending the fair then you really did miss out as it was just fab.
Looking forward to the next one! xx
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