Mums’ style sorted: we speak to four top Scottish occasionwear boutiques

If your mum has no idea where to start shopping for her wedding outfit, point her in the direction of one of these Scottish stores that specialise in stylish looks for mother of the bride or groom…

Frox of Falkirk

Gold jumpsuit by Gill Harvey and floral dress by Ian Stuart for Veromia Irresistible both from Frox of Falkirk
Right: Hand-beaded jumpsuit in Antique Gold (style 6032) by Gill Harvey, £POA; Left: Floral shift dress by In Style by Ian Stuart (part of Irresistible by Veromia), £POA, both Frox of Falkirk

Where did it all begin? Owner Fiona Wilson opened the store in 2009.

What’s your USP? We’re known for our professionalism and for giving customers a pressure-free experience. We pride ourselves on the quality of our service. Our staff are trained to the highest standard and the whole team work very hard. We cater to women of all shapes, whether you’re a size 8 or a size 32.

What outfit styles do you stock? We have a fantastic selection of designers and a very wide range of options – we have over 2,000 outfits in various styles, colours and fabrics, so there’s bound to be something to suit you. Our clients always leave with their dream outfit.

What are you looking forward to in 2021? Getting back to some sort of normality! We can’t wait to have our lovely customers back in store, and to help them choose their ideal outfit. It’s why we love our job!

What is your proudest achievement? Frox moved from Vicar Street to larger premises at 16-18 Newmarket Street and then, a few years ago, we moved again, up the street to number 32, to an even bigger place. We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity to grow the business, all thanks to our customers. We also won Best Mother of the Bride Retailer at the Confetti Awards 2020, which was amazing.

Natalie Godfrey, Frox of Falkirk

Joyce Young Design Studios, Glasgow

Mother of the bride and bride wearing Joyce Young Design Studios and two couture outfits by Joyce Young Design Studios
From left: Elegant coat and dress with guipure detail, £POA, and Philippa couture wedding dress, £POA; Trench lace dress with detachable pleated chiffon overskirt, £POA; Chanel-style contemporary coat over pleated dress, £POA, all Joyce Young Design Studios

Tell us about your company I launched the business in 1993. I’d graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1975 and then ran a fashion business before stopping to concentrate on bringing up my family. When I returned after my career break, I designed for Marks & Spencer for six years, before setting out on my own again. From about the age of seven I loved making outfits for my dolls, spending all my pocket money on fabric, and I’ve been creating wedding dresses since I was a student.

Which fashion designers do you admire? I’ve always loved Armani for the simplicity of the line, the drape, the softness and the choice of colours.

What do you think makes the Scottish wedding industry special? It’s so friendly – we all know each other. It’s lovely to meet up with fellow suppliers at exhibitions and award ceremonies. I really miss that.

Do you have a signature style? My work is classic with a quirky twist.

Proudest moment? Going to Buckingham Palace to be made an OBE by Prince Charles.

Do you enjoy the process of making bespoke outfits? The initial thrill I had when designing such important outfits has never diminished over the years and I am as enthusiastic now as ever. I’m so lucky to be backed by an amazingly talented team.

Joyce Young OBE, Joyce Young Design Studios

Catwalk, Falkirk

Veni Infantino dresses from Catwalk in Falkirk
Left: Crepe gown with pearlescent beaded chiffon top detail (style 991701) by Veni Infantino, £575; Right: Fitted gown with lace overlay and matching chiffon coat (style 991712) by Veni Infantino, £575, both Catwalk

Tell us about your boutique Established in Falkirk in 2004, Catwalk is a family business, completely focused on providing exceptional service to the mother of the bride, mother of the groom and wedding guests.

What inspires you? Quality fabrics and flattering designs. We personally source and select our collections each season, bringing new styles and award-winning designers to our beautiful boutique.

Which labels do you carry? Our extensive range of special occasionwear features designers such as Veni Infantino, Invitations by Veni, Condici, Ispirato, John Charles, Lizabella and Veromia. They’re chosen for their exquisite attention to detail and excellent cut, and they’re complemented perfectly by our fabulous collection of matching headpieces, shoes and bags.

What are you most proud of as a team? We’re delighted to have won Scotland’s Best Mother of the Bride Outfitter at the VOWS Awards for nine years running. We are so proud of our reputation for outstanding service, which we believe is second to none. We consider our biggest achievement to be the numerous thank-you cards, photos and testimonials we’ve received, which we absolutely treasure!

Louise Brown, Catwalk

Sheila Conn Ladies Fashions, Biggar

Two Veni Infantino dresses from Sheila Conn Ladies Fashions in Biggar
Right: Calf-length pleated dress with bateau neckline, 3/4-length sleeves and floral lace detailing (style 991654) by Veni Infantino, £520; Left: Tea-length A-line dress in mikado and crepe with cowl neck (style 991516C) by Veni Infantino, £560, both Sheila Conn Ladies Fashions

What’s the background to your business? It all began after my parents retired, 25 years ago. I am so passionate about our store in Biggar and serving such wonderful customers – they make us feel excited about our work every single day.

What drives you? Ensuring our clients have the best experience ever. We offer honest, truthful, helpful advice at all times.

Which designers do you stock? Veni Infantino, Condici, Ispirato, Joseph Ribkoff, Lizabella, Bariloche, Marble, Barbara Lebek and Gardeur.

Favourite label? I’d say Joseph Ribkoff. He caters for almost every occasion. The fit is flawless, the clothes are wearable and elegant, and customers love the styling.

What are you looking forward to this year? Covid made 2020 the most difficult period of 25 years in business, with weddings postponed for so many disappointed customers. We’re hoping to see an end to the trauma, and to finally be able to help our clients find their special outfit. Better days are ahead.

Proudest achievement? Going from strength to strength every year and building a huge client base. It’s so satisfying to have ladies coming back time and time again. We’re so proud of the friendships we’ve made with them all.

Shona Thorpe, Sheila Conn Ladies Fashions