Couture Heritage

Buying special occasion wear or evening wear is an opportunity for seriously glamming up your wardrobe. Little else will increase the anticipation seeing your stunning mother of the bride dress hung on the door waiting to go into its garment carrier, or a vibrant cocktail dress laid out on the bed as you prepare your makeup. A dress with a couture background adds an extra frisson because the craftsmanship that goes into creating a couture dress is the culmination of a designer’s drive for purity in every cut and stitch. We stock couture designers such as Linea Raffaelli, Ian Stuart and Paule Vasseur who, whilst different in styles, all invest a passion for perfection every couture dress they make. With a Paule Vasseur mother of the bride dress we know its sublime structure and attention to the smallest detail gives it a timeless quality that lends it the versatility to also be worn as evening wear or to a formal garden party. Every boldly beautiful Linea Raffaelli dress has been crafted by a Belgian family-owned fashion house and, as with the jet-setting couture of Ian Stuart’s Neapolitan collection, will give you a thrill whether it’s worn at a cocktail party or wedding feast.

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The long and the short of it

Most women know what size they are can vary from shop to shop, even which brand of dress you try on. However, it is the cut and shape that will make a dramatic difference to how fantastic you look in your evening wear, or the John Charles mother of the bride dress you’ve had your eye on for the last two months.

Should you be wearing a short jacket with your Condici dress, or a long one? In the capable and friendly hands of our stylists at our boutique off Oxford Street, it wont take long to find out which of our internationally renowned designers, such as the elegant Condici mother of the bride dresses and jackets, will suit your frame.

A long jacket is a wonderful garment to elongate the body and coupled with a straight, sleeveless shift Condici dress flatters those with a generous waistline. To accentuate a more petite body try a short jacket coupled with, say the couture beauty of an Ian Stuart dress. For those with a more curvaceous figure a shorter jacket, although not too short, will create the wow factor you want in occasion wear, such as you’ll find in the sophistication of the Paule Vasseur collection.

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Size does matter!

At weddings, christenings, a day at the races, it is important to ensure your dress looks fantastic and fits perfectly. Poor fitting occasion wear destines you to a day of inconvenience at the least, at worst serious discomfort that will ruin the day for you.

An Ian Stuart mother of the bride dress will always look utterly gorgeous and, in the correct size, will carry you stylishly through an entire wedding day: from a champagne breakfast, the tear jerking ceremony and a glorious evening of delightful food and dancing. Mother of the bride dresses in the wrong size will make a day of celebration more a day of torment.

The specialist stylists in our family boutique will be able to find you the perfect fit from internationally celebrated designers including John Charles and Condici. A John Charles mother of the bride dress marries sophisticated elegance with a dash of glamour that looks amazing in all sizes. The Condici outfits are particularly designed to flatter all figures. Your stylist will help you find a Condici dress that precisely suits a curvier figure, a petite frame, a thicker waist or those blessed with a larger bottom. Take advantage of our experience of finding the perfect fit, so you can have a perfect day.

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Baby Joy

A christening, or naming ceremony, is one of the most joyous occasions in life. Not only is it an important ceremony where a new member of the family is more formally introduced to family and friends, it also provides an opportunity for the extended family to spend time with each other.

And, of course, it is a great time to look at a new dress or check out the latest designer hats. When considering what is most appropriate for a christening you should keep in mind the venue. The event is very often held in a Church or a large open space. Even on a warm summer’s day these can be chilly buildings, so a jacket is a must. The beautiful tailoring of the Condici outfits lends itself well to a church environment. Each dress has a matching jacket or coat in wonderful silks and crepes. For a more fluid, less structured dress, that also comes with co-ordinating jackests, Ann Balon outfits tick the right boxes: made from Italian lace an Ann Balon dress combine comfort with classic styling.

A hat is not always necessary at a christening, however in the chill of a church a designer hat will not only look good it will have the added bonus of keeping the cold at bay.

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Party Time

As we shake off the chilly shackles of winter, minds naturally turn to balmy British summer evenings and sun soaked holidays with deep blue skies and cocktail parties. You may already have an evening in mind, but in the relaxed atmosphere of an al fresco summer it’s always best to have a dress or two carefully packed away in tissue paper, ready for an impromptu party.

For those who want a splash of vibrant colour matched with incredible couture craftsmanship, evening wear from the Linea Raffaelli collection is bound to dazzle and delight in equal measures. Matching a free flowing summer spirit are the dreamy Gina Bacconi creations. A contemporary dress with fluid lines makes them ideal all occasion wear, garden parties and romantic moonlit walks along promenades. A party that requires a more formal dress is well served by the Paule Vasseur collection. Excellent cut, the use of Venetian glass buttons, and a design influenced by period French fabric design, gives the wearer a refined, structured dress.

So the choice is yours: a luxurious Linea Raffaelli dress that is very feminine with a huge amount of glamour; the contemporary dreaminess of a Gina Bacconi dress; or the formal structure from the Paule Vasseur collection.

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Ceremonial day

With a gilt edge invitation sitting happily on the mantelpiece it is time to shop for a new dress, a pleasure for most women. But before you hit the shops, pause and contemplate the occasion you are buying for. Without careful consideration of the event you are attending you might end up going out again and buying another dress the day before; it could be a disaster in the making.

Ceremonial days are highlight of the year. Whether it is the christening of a nephew or niece, graduation of one of your children, a retirement party, or a bar mitzvah, occasion wear needn’t be a minefield. At the Nigel Rayment boutique our stylists will discuss the event you are buying for and you can appraise which of our designers will suit your occasion best. For instance an elegant Condici outfit offers you an understated luxury perfect for when you are searching for a mother of the bride dress, whereas the confidant haute couture heritage of the Linea Raffaelli collection means it is wonderful evening wear for the most fashionable of engagement parties.

The designer hats Nigel Rayment is world famous for, available from our hat shop in London, can be matched to your dress; ensuring your outfit is perfect for the ceremony.

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Fascinating Feathers

A fascinator will always add a touch of elegance to an outfit, marking out the difference from a merely formal occasion to a special event in your life. A Nigel Rayment fascinator has the quintessential pedigree expected from a milliner in London in every jaunty angle and wispy feather.

The fascinator has a long history going back to the 17th Century. Although it fell out of favour in the mid 20th Century it has undergone a resurgence in recent times and now has a very special place in British society. A staple of weddings, it is often worn by the mother of the bride, bridesmaids and other wedding guests. Due to the strict dress code in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot hats and fascinators are deemed necessary for the more distinguished race meetings around the world.

Our hat shop in London has gorgeous range of fascinators which we can pair with your special occasion wear. On our website you can see how a fascinator can perfectly compliment the range of John Charles mother of the bride dresses, as well as the Ian Stuart Neapolitan collection. Using sinamay, organza, silk, tulle and, of course, feathers, each fascinator is a beautifully crafted head piece giving your dress an immaculate finish.


Stunning affordable hats

Delicately coloured feathers, gently swaying around your hat is just the ticket to make you stand out from the crowd; whether you require an Ascot hat, or have a christening or a wedding to attend.

A walk around the hat shops in London looking for  wonderful couture hats, such as the delicious creations by Philip Treacy, will give you a real idea not only of what hats for weddings are available, but also give you an indication of the investment you will have to put into purchasing one.

Nigel Rayment is one such hat shop in London, but with a real difference. Our family boutique not only offer the dazzling choice of designer hats you would expect from a milliner in London, we also have a range of hats that have the designer edge your occasion demands, but in the price band that fits in with your budget.

The Niche Collection, created by Kirk Rayment, is a range statement head pieces in a wonderful array of colours and feathery embellishments. So if you are looking for an ethereal fascinator to add a touch of elegance to the christening, or vividly coloured wide sweeping brimmed hat, this collection delivers at a price that will make you smile.


Mother of the Groom

The discovery that you are about to welcome your son’s girlfriend into your family is a joyous occasion in itself; yet you cannot deny there is another thrill to be enjoyed, finding a new dress for the wedding day. And a trip to Nigel Rayment will help you decide on which mother of the groom dress is right for your personality and the wedding venue.


Are you an outgoing glamorous woman who loves colour and pattern? Or are you a woman who prefers your occasion wear to be flowing and simple? Do you like your dress to be restrained but with a dash of colour? Are you simply unsure where to start? After all, there are many mother of the groom dresses available and the choice might be overwhelming.


In the calm environment of our Marble Arch boutique, specialist stylists will talk through your needs and guide you through our select range of international designers. For those looking for a discreet style, the Condici outfits excel, whereas if you want a dress with a couture pedigree you will find both Linea Raffaelli and the new Ian Stuart spring collection inspirational. And for the woman who likes to keep it simple? Ann Balon crafts flattering, fluid dresses to suit all shapes and sizes.

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Keeping it Simple

On the day of your daughter’s wedding you may be of the mind to keep your mother of the bride dress a simple affair. After all, on the bride’s big day it is the wedding dress that you want everyone to notice. When you see your daughter walk down the aisle accompanied by her father, you prefer an outfit that is elegant as well as comfortable, a subtle dress that is nevertheless exquisite: a timeless classic.

For such occasion wear an Ann Balon designed dress will imbue you with the quiet quality the event requires. Ann Balon outfit are carefully crafted using delicate Italian lace and a palette of vivid colours that are batch dyed for a unique finish. Each Ann Balon dress is created to suit women of all shapes and sizes, ensuring you feel comfortable throughout the whole day.

A wedding outfit is not complete without a head piece. So settle down with a Nigel Rayment’s stylists who will help you couple your dress with a designer hat or fascinator from the latest Nigel Rayment collection. As you would expect from one of the premier hat shops in London, each design can be matched perfectly with your Ann Balon dress.

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