Thursday, June 25, 2009

wedding forecast by JM :: trunk show vs. sample sale

Designer devotees and fashionistas share a common love for trunk shows and sample sales. While I have explained the world of sample sales in my previous blog "Sample This," the following question pops up quite often: What exactly is the difference between the two? More specifically, what is a bridal trunk show?

Above: Photo of the infamous Kleinfield's bridal store in Manhattan; Photo credit:

Bridal trunk shows are traveling collections of wedding dresses from a featured designer. A company representative or sometimes the designer will personally host this special event, giving brides the luxury of viewing an entire collection. Most bridal salons and boutique divisions in department stores do not have showrooms to display full collections. Because of space limitation, they only carry a selected amount of dresses from each designer. At a trunk show, brides have the opportunity to try on the latest designs. Some of the styles may not even be available to the general public as they are from an upcoming season. Others may be an exclusive sample as the designer is looking for consumer feedback prior to placing the gown in production. And many times, bridal salons will bring in designers not currently carried in their store giving them the chance to do a market analysis of their region.

Above: Photo of Donna Salyer's bridal store in Kentucky; Photo credit:

It’s an amazing perk to have a representative or the designer in attendance as you will be treated to a personal consultation. Make it a point to chat with them and utilize their expertise to get your questions answered. Unlike sample sales, dresses at a trunk show are not discounted. However, there are plenty of special services and incentives that you can take advantage of. Special accessories like veils, additional buttons, and lace may be thrown in. Or the rep may waive fees for removing sleeves, adding length to a train, re-designing a neckline, and other custom changes that you are considering. Some bridal salons may also offer a percentage discount for dresses ordered during the show.

With that in mind, why wouldn’t you want to partake in a fashion event like this? Trunk shows are always on the move so contact your local bridal boutiques and department stores to request their calendar of events. If you have a favorite designer, be sure to book your appointment early as space is limited. Be prepared to make that purchase as that unique find will make its exit in a couple of days only to enter into a new city for the next wide-eyed bride in the know.

Above: Photo of WED bridal salon; Photo credit: Brian Noppe

Below is a list of my personal picks of upcoming trunk shows at Here Comes the Bride in San Diego and Mon Amie in Orange County:

Here Comes the Bride
(619) 688-9201

  • Rose Clara | June 26–28
  • Rivini | July 17–19
  • Lazaro | August 14–16
Mon Amie
(714) 546-5700
  • Ines Di Santo | June 27–28
    - Meet designer Veronica Di Santo
    - Fashion show at 9:30am on June 17
  • Jim Hjelm | July 31 – August 2
    - Meet designer Francesca Pitera
    - Fashion show at 9:30am on August 1
  • Monique Lhuillier | August 14–16
    - Fashion show at 9:30am on August 15

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