Welcome to our Mother of the Bride and Groom section with outfits designed by Joyce Young OBE and her fabulous team in London and Glasgow. All our Special Occasion outfits are made to measure in our production unit in Glasgow giving great flexibility in style and fabric. Our look is elegant and stylish,well cut in luxurious fabrics. Contemporary and classic styles to suit all shapes and sizes from petite to plus size. Having your outfit specially made ensures confidence and a perfect fit. Joyce answers frequently asked questions below
Designer Joyce Young personally answers your most popular questions:
Q. What should clients know before they approach you for a bespoke outfit and how should they prepare?
A. We have 28 years experience in creating stunning elegant designs that fit perfectly and make you feel happy and confident. All the designs photographed on our website we have in stock as samples in our showrooms in Glasgow and London.
Let us know which of our styles you would like to try in case it maybe in London or vice versa and we can make sure it is here for you. Once you choose a design it is individually made to your measurements in our own production unit in your choice of colour. We are very flexible on minor style change . Alternatively we can design a totally unique outfit for you.
Q. What happens at the initial consultation and thereafter ?
A. An appointment is one and a half hours when we will initially discuss your wedding and how you envisage looking. Chat about colour and your priorities. Then try on sample outfits and hats, and give you our expert advice. We can complete your look with hat bag and shoes. Sorted all in one place.
Q. How long does the process take and when should you arrange your first appointment ?
A. We don’t advise leaving your first appointment too close to the date of the wedding although this year has been exceptional for everybody as lots of brides and mothers didn’t get a chance to shop before lockdown. Ideally a year in advance isn’t too early, 6 months is good and 3 months in autumn/winter the quieter season is feasible. We are very flexible as we have our own production unit. I would advise coming early as we have all our fabrics for next year and the run up to the wedding is more enjoyable when you are organised. Especially in the light of what has happened over the last year.
Q. How do you translate a mother of the bride/groom’s vision for her outfit ? If she isn’t sure about what she wants, how would you help her to realise her ideas or encourage her to consider options she might not have thought of ? How much input should you have in terms of design?
A. Our clients come to us because they like the Joyce Young style. We are not dressmakers and we won’t copy other designer’s work. We have plenty of ideas of our own for our clients to choose from and we are happy to make exclusive designs for clients if they fit into overall look. We work hand in hand with our clients to create their vision.
Q. What inspires you? Which designers do you admire most?
A. I love the simplicity and elegance of Armani.
Q. What is the most challenging aspect of designing a bespoke outfit
A. Weight ! Nearly everyone intends or would like to lose weight for the wedding. This very often is the reason for Mothers leaving going shopping till too close for comfort to the wedding. Loosing or gaining weight can be challenging when making an outfit to measure when the end result has to be a perfect fit.
Q. Describe the amount of work that goes into an outfit. What kind of techniques do you use in the process?
A. I feel clothes have become very devalued with so many mass produced garments imported from overseas. It’s not until our clients go through the made to measure process that they truly appreciate the cost that is in the outfits. It is a labour intensive process which for us involves a team of experienced and highly skilled professionals. In our company there are up to six individuals involved from the beginning to the final collection. Firstly the designer or stylist, fitter, pattern cutter, cutter, machinist, hand finisher and milliner. Each contributes an essential skill to the finished dress or outfit. Our pattern cutters use traditional techniques and we also use a computer system for grading. All our machinery is industrial which ensures a professional finish.
We focus on pleating, embroidery and beading with specialist knowledge in these areas.
Q. Have you noticed any trends emerging while designing in the past year?
A. I don’t tend to follow trends. I choose luxury fabrics and colours that I love and “women of a certain age” know what they suit that will flatter or disguise their weak points. Following fashion is for teenagers for me it’s about designing a variety of elegant styles so we have a choice to offer to all shapes and sizes.
Q. What are your favourite fabrics at the moment? What about styles of dress? Any materials you’ve recently bought that you’d love to incorporate into a look?
A. I love silks but there are also a lot of modern blends that are soft and luxurious. I prefer a fabric with drape and movement to anything rigid. I feel movement is more flattering.
I have bought some beautiful new bridal fabrics which I can’t wait to make up.
Q. Any particularly memorable outfits you’ve made for clients that stand out?
A. We obviously have our favourite outfits over the years but it wouldn’t be very professional of me to say which ones (a bit like a favourite child). We love all the outfits that leave our studios as each and everyone has been made with love and care for the individual bride or mother wearing it.
Q. How do you approach designing your other collections? How does the process differ from designing something bespoke for a client? Where do you find your inspiration?
A. Fabric is always my inspiration. I love looking through new collections of fabric. This is when i usually get a vision of what I could make with it. Over the years I have got carried away buying far too many beautiful fabrics, far more that we have time to use, so much so that we have now opened a fabric shop next to the factory and showroom at Unit 4 called The Glasgow Fabric Store. After fabric my inspiration comes from seeing our existing designs on the real life brides who come into the showroom and my creative juices always get going and I my brain gets overrun with far too many ideas. It’s always difficult to chose THE one as there are so many options.
Q. What about made to measure, what’s goes into this? How do you adapt an existing design to suit a client’s individual needs?
A. As above. Our client chooses from our extensive collection of made up design sample dresses and outfits which can be seen on our website. These are individually made to measure in her choice of fabric and colour. As it is a very personal service we can accommodate any changes into the design.
Q. Talk us through your current collection.
A. Our current collection for Brides and Mothers can be seen on our website. We continue with our classic shapes and change colour and detail each season and add new fabrics and styles to the existing ones. We design a good choice of different styles so that we have something suitable for all shapes and sizes. Over our 28 years in business we have come to realise that few people are exactly the same and made to measure is the ideal solution when choosing an outfit or dress for a very special occasion. Alongside our silks, jacquards and laces we also have a unique contemporary Scottish Collection using tartan which is a very popular niche market for us.
Q. What is the latest project that you are working on ?
A. During lockdown I decided that we should diversify and have an e-commerce presence.
Nothing will ever replace the experience of having a couture or made to measure outfit and now with so many high street shops disappearing that personal shopping experience will become even more sought after. Our core business will aways be designing individual outfit and giving that special client service that we have become known for.
However, not everyone can make it into our showrooms in Glasgow or London or can afford the Couture experience. I have a passion for designing elegant dresses that are relaxed and easy to wear for grown up ladies. Many of us after working all our lives and bringing up families and looking after other people are a bit heavier than we remember being a few years ago and find ourselves in a different body the inner self and the outer new self, struggle to come to terms with what we should be wearing. We don’t need to act or dress our age but can’t wear what our daughters are wearing. We have a collection called Casual Chic which our clients have been wearing for the last couple of years. Most have come back and bought at least another one with some ladies owning 8 of them.
We have now launched our new Casual Chic designs for summer and winter plus a brand new Signature Collection. Signature designs are elegant styles also loose around the waist and tummy area but a bit dressier than Casual Chic. All are perfect for special occasions but ultimately very wearable again. Add a hat and high heels and you’re off to a wedding. Remove the hat add a beautiful silk scarf from the collection and boots or flats and you can wear your dress on an evening out or any smart /casual event. The whole collection has coordinating accessories, silk scarves, silk wraps and fur collars and cuffs. The styles are elegant but also easy to wear and flattering to different body shapes. The collections are made to order to your nearest size in our own production unit in Glasgow. There is a wide choice of colours and styles which are will be available for a few seasons so if you love a style of dress you will be able to buy it again in another colour. It’s not here today and gone tomorrow. Being in control of our own production we have great flexibility. This is the ultimate in slow fashion. We are very excited about these new collections online. Meanwhile they are available to purchase in our showrooms in London and Glasgow.
Interview by Tie the Knot Scotland magazine with designer Joyce Young.
How to Measure
Measure around your back and the fullest part of your bust
Measure the slimmest part below your ribs and above your navel
Measure around the fullest part of your hips
Get someone to help you with this and measure from head to toe