A Designer Weekend, sometimes known by its American name, a 'Trunk Show', is an event where a boutique will preview a selection of the latest gowns from a designer. This will usually take place over a weekend, hence the name, Designer Weekend.
It's a great idea to shop for your wedding gown at one of these special events as the collection will preview a variety of styles that the boutique doesn't usually stock. Boutiques tend to know what sells well locally and will pick similar gowns at similar price points to stock in-store, therefore at a trunk show you might pick up something more unique or something you wouldn't have usually got to see. With the focus on one designer you will be able to get to know their quality and style in-depth, pick up catalogues, view their matching accessories and maybe even benefit from a discount.
You’ve spent hours on Pinterest researching wedding gowns and have fallen in love with a certain designer. Want to be the first to see their latest collection, even before it hits stores? You need to visit a trunk show!
What is a trunk show?
Back in the times of the travelling salesmen, designers would literally take a trunk of clothes to a shop and leave it with them for a few days, then collect the trunk and move onto the next shop. Today, bridal trunk shows, or the more British term “Designer Weekend” are based on this concept of a store exclusively borrowing a collection of dresses for their customers to come and have a look and try on the latest gowns. These usually take place as the name would suggest, over a weekend. Focusing on just one designer each weekend gives brides to be the option to really find out more about the chosen designer and they can see the quality, fit, different materials used and get to know signature style of the designer. These exclusive events usually happen just once in each town, and once in each shop, so you won’t want to miss out! Retailers really do make these into lovely events and may have promotions, prosecco, nibbles and special people in store to chat to about your dress such as the seamstress or even the designer themselves!
When a designer releases their new collection, retailers order the dresses they would like to stock in their boutiques. These dresses then take time to be made and, in the meantime, holding a trunk show means they can borrow a collection of dresses, fresh of the catwalk, to showcase to brides-to-be before they are in the shops. If you’re a fashion-conscious trend-setter you will want to be wearing the latest designs before anyone else, so getting to a trunk show would be ideal for you!
Why shop at a trunk show?
Bridal boutiques will usually only stock dresses from a handful of designers, and only certain styles from each collection – determined by the boutique owners’ experience and knowledge of what sells well locally and what suits their customers taste and price point. Shopping during a trunk show means that as well as seeing all the dresses the boutique currently stocks, you will also get to see the very latest designs from the designer you love and things that the boutique might not usually stock... perhaps dresses which are a bit more unique or daring! Most boutiques offer a discount for ordering your dress during a trunk show too!
It’s incredibly important to know your budget before you start visit a trunk show – don’t forget to factor in extras such as alterations and accessories like your veil, accessories and shoes. You need to know how much you can spend and be prepared to commit – the dresses borrowed for the trunk show won’t be available in your local store again for a while, if ever!
How do you find out about trunk shows near you?
Social media is your friend here. Find out who your local bridal boutiques are and which designers they stock, ensure you are following their pages and check out their events listings. If they don’t have any trunk shows booked be sure to let them know what you are interested in seeing.
You can also find out about all the upcoming Ronald Joyce trunk shows on our events page.