Email: [email protected]
Fawley Tel: 02380 894 500
Cowes Tel: 01983 298001

May 2017 – Michaela Louisa Collection

Our Michaela Louisa collection never fails to surprise customers. The range is superb, with a mixture of soft ‘fit & flare’ dresses suitable for any summer event and dresses with jackets that really dress up well for Mothers of the Bride & Groom attending a slightly less formal wedding or for any wedding guest. Prices are also a real surprise as the attention to detail and design suggests a much higher cost.

Floaty dresses such as this beautiful pink floral design start from £179

Michaela Louise pink floral dress

 

Dresses with jackets like this gold and navy lace dress with matching navy bolero are right on trend with lace being a strong design feature at the moment and navy showing up in everyone’s collections as the trend for anything blue continues. Match this with a fabulous navy hat and gold shoes and handbag and it really would take you anywhere. It has the added advantage that it can certainly be worn as a cocktail dress without the jacket; probably with the same gold shoes and handbag!

 

Michaela Louisa navy and gold dress

This style is an amazing £298 including the matching bolero.

Cotton is always popular when the temperature soars especially for weddings abroad and what could be better than stretch Cotton for an amazing fit. This floral dress with a flirty flare to the skirt and its matching magenta short jacket is made of a lovely stretch fabric . it’s  50% Cotton, 47% Polyester and 3% Elastane so the fabric will keep you cool and fit beautifully.

Michaela Louisa tulip dress

 

Priced at £249 the price won’t make you hot under the collar.

 

As I’ve already said blue and navy is very fashionable right now and what could be better than putting the two shades together for this smart little outfit with vertical detail. The cornflower blue is stunning especially on those with blue eyes and would look cool and eye catching teamed with navy accessories. It is also priced at £249

JACKET CORNFLOWER DRESS

 

I hope this little introduction to the Michaela Louisa range has helped, there are lots more styles in the collection that work for lots of differing occasions so do pop into Charisma of Fawley or Charisma of Cowes to see them as they are carried in both shops.

January 2017 – Condici

Happy New Year and congratulations to those of you whose son or daughter got engaged over the holidays. I thought I should start the first few months of the year by blogging about some of the labels that we sell in a little more detail. This may help you so that you know which designers may suit your needs before you pay us a visit.

So let’s start at the top! CONDICI is a British label which is famous within the special occasion wear field. The two collections a year designed by Condici are the mainstay of what we sell at Charisma as they really do have something for everyone. Sizes are from an 8 to a 24 and many ladies who think they won’t be able to wear a ‘traditional’ Mother of the Bride outfit are pleasantly surprised when they try Condici’s tailoring.

Condici’s collections use, in the main two distinct fabrics, the first is a very comfortable and wearable polyester crepe, which most importantly is very crease resistant. There is nothing worse that spending weeks hunting down the perfect outfit for a big occasion and getting into the car feeling a million dollars, only to make your grand entrance with those horrible creases across the front of your skirt from sitting in the car on the way to the church or venue. Condici’s fabric is great and very comfortable to wear.

Condici

Many of the Condici style are a combination of two colours, for example my favourite this spring is Primrose and Navy, with the darker colour skirt it is very slimming and the lighter colour on the bodice of the dress and on the jacket is flattering and will look great in photographs. Look out for layered skirts as they give a lovely smooth look. Condici’s designers know that most ladies want more than spaghetti straps these days, so look out for dresses with lovely lace sleeves, which mean that you can comfortably remove your jacket once the ceremony is over and also wear the dress as a cocktail dress after the big day.

Condici Primrose and Navy

The second fabric used by Condici is a beautiful Chinese raw silk. These outfits are little more expensive but give a beautiful opulent look to any wedding group and the sheen of the fabric on a sunny day is stunning. The quality of the fabric also means that they will wear very well during the day and you will end the day looking as good as when you put your outfit on. The silk also carries you through into the evening very well.

Condici Chinese Raw Silk

Condici design wonderful millinery and we have a huge collection of matching hats and fascinators, often trimmed in the fabric used in the outfit which gives a wonderfully cohesive look to your ensemble. If you prefer something understated and simple we have several styles of fascinator which can be dyed to match your chosen outfit. This service takes approximately three weeks and Condici helpfully provide fabric swatches on their labels so that we can send theses off as a colour match. Even your shoes can be dyed to a complementary shade as we also sell Rainbow Club dyeable satin shoes.

Condici

We have over half of the Spring/Summer 2017 collection in stock now so whenever your wedding we suggest getting in early and paying your first visit to us as soon as you can. We only ever have three outfits of each style so if you fall in love with a particular outfit you may need to be quick to get what you want. Our Spring Open Weekends are on Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th February at our Fawley shop and Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th February at our Cowes shop. These event are an ideal opportunity if you find it difficult to make time during the week to pay us a visit as we aren’t normally open on a Sunday and we will have extra staff on hand to help and advise.

 

SEPTEMBER 2016 – Viz-A-Viz Mix & Match Collections

 

Who hasn’t wished at one time or another for a more organised wardrobe? It’s not uncommon to have a wardrobe (or two) packed full of clothes and absolutely nothing that you want to put on.  Somehow we all need our clothes to work harder for us and have fewer clothes that we wear more often. A capsule wardrobe is probably the answer, but shopping for clothes that work well together can be a nightmare.

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Viz-A-Viz mix and match casuals may be the answer, with four colour collections twice a year and lots of really wearable pieces starting from a very affordable £20 the Viz-A-Viz designers have done all the work for us and created pieces which will work together in so many ways to create a different look whatever the occasion.

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Our latest collections, which are in our Fawley shop now are called ECOLOGY – in very wearable Gold and Truffle shades and featuring the latest shape of skirt in a lovely stretch fabric and VENICE in ever popular Eggshell and Graphite colours.

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For autumn and winter layering is the answer to a fashionable (and cosy) look and this is easy to achieve when you have a number of pieces which work well together in complimentary shades.

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Visit us to see not only the latest Viz-A-Viz styles but also our lovely new styles of MARBLE knitwear for when the weather gets chilly. Everybody loves dressing for autumn so remember Charisma is not just for weddings!

AUGUST 2016 Mother of the Bride BIG SALE!

Although our sale took place in July as usual, with amazing bargains on end of line items, Frank Lyman, Viz-A-Viz and Michaela Louisa dresses, this year we have decided to do things a little differently and will be designating August as our Big Mother of the Bride Sale Month.

We have a huge range of Mother of the Bride and Groom outfits discounted to 50% off and a large selection at an amazing 75% off. So we thought with this month’s blog we would highlight a few of our favourite styles that are in the sale.

Firstly this cream and black CONDICI layer dress in a lovely rich cream with black print and edging. It has a V neck, the dress is sleeveless and is worn with a neat matching jacket piped in black with beaded buttons. The layers are very flattering and the classic colour way won’t clash with anyone else. Great teamed with brightly coloured flowers and bridesmaids. This outfit was originally £729 and is now half price at £365 we have two available in a size 10 & 20. We also have a pink and black version in a size 22.

Condici mother of the bride Optimized-70774

Blush, Peach, Apricot, whatever you call it, it is the new go-to colour on the wedding scene. It’s been extremely popular for wedding colour schemes this summer and we don’t see that changing any time soon. This VENI INFANTINO fit and flare dress is absolutely beautiful, in soft chiffon and embellished with lace appliqué the back is even prettier than the front and it comes with a short chiffon jacket that it’s almost a shame to wear! This outfit is now 50% off!  It was £419, now just £209. Sizes 14, 16 & 18 available.

VENI INFANTINO  Optimized-991136_091 (1)

This JOHN CHARLES Duck Egg blue and pink floral dress has beautiful lace shoulders, beaded with tiny pearls and crystals. It’s a very feminine look in the award winning John Charles style with a neat little matching jacket, which shows off the waist beautifully. Lovely for a spring wedding at that tricky time early next year, you really don’t want to wait until the last minute to make your purchase. This outfit was £699 is now £349 at 50% off. It is a size 10.

JOHN CHARLES

ISPIRATO is the sister label to our wonderful Condici range, their styles have a lovely modern look. This Rose Ash ISPIRATO dress and jacket is very unusual in a soft lavender grey with black embroidery and black collar and cuffs on the bolero jacket. It has a slight stretch to the fabric so will be supremely comfortable and suit any time of year and colour scheme. One remaining, size 14 at 50% off. It was £642 and is now just £321.

Inspirato

These are just a few of the lovely outfits that we have in our sale. If these are not right for you there are plenty more styles at vastly reduced prices, so if you or a friend have a wedding to dress for do come and pay us a visit! We’ll be happy to help you choose something.

JULY 2016 – What’s Happening at Charisma Now?

I thought I’d change things a bit this month and update everyone on what’s happening in both Charisma shops right now.

June hasn’t been the greatest month weather wise but this hasn’t stopped lots of ladies in Cowes from buying our new Orientique T shirts. The bright painted effect scenes seem to be just what ladies have needed to cheer themselves up and brighten their day! These have often been teamed with the lovely Anna Montana soft, stretch jeans in beautiful soft grey or blush pink. Priced at just £45 the jeans are an absolute bargain and the quality is what you would expect from jeans of a much higher price.

Frank Lyman

The summer Condici range has been in stock for a while now, which is the collection for Mums buying for weddings right through to December and we have sold to quite a few ladies with weddings from August right through to next March. We sold a new Condici with matching millinery to a lady this week for her daughter’s wedding next March. She is now popping the outfit into her wardrobe and relaxing until she comes in for her fitting in January 2017. In between times she can just purchase the underwear that she wants to wear on the day (always worth wearing this when you come for a fitting as it’s surprising what a difference it can make to the fit of your outfit). Also she can consider her accessories, shoes, handbag and jewellery, but the pressure is certainly off and it’s a nice feeling to be able to answer the question “have you got your outfit yet?”, with a smug yes rather than a slightly nervous no.

Our Michaela Louisa outfits have almost sold out this season as they can be worn for so many occasions; parties, the races, the Henley Regatta or as wedding guest outfits. They are also great for Mother of the Bride and Groom at slightly less formal weddings, which is happening more and more these days as people get married for the second time or venture abroad for beach weddings. The soft fit and flare dresses by Michaela Louisa have looked stunning on our customers, some highlights being the royal blue polka dot dress and the watercolour flower print dress, both with royals blue jackets in a lovely ‘tuxedo’ shape.

michael louisa                     michael louisa outfit

The Frank Lyman mesh fabric has proved popular in both shops, being so light and summery and simply looking so different, which after all is what we always look to buy for Charisma so that we have styles and looks that you won’t find elsewhere.

Frank Lyman cruisewear    Frank Lyman

Our Viz-A-Viz collections have once again been popular at our Fawley shop, the prices are great, with T shirts from just £20. We have four collections: Lake Como – Mint, Sea Green, White & Pebble, Tokyo – Chambray, Indigo & Ivory, Safari – Stone, Gold, Sage & Verdi – Olive, Black, Khaki & Lime. I’ve been loving my sea green crops from the Lake Como collection and have my eye on the pretty T shirts with the feather motif and matching light weight summer scarf in mint and pebble (grey).

Viz-A-viz decide their own price reductions so although our sale doesn’t start until Wednesday 13th July there are already some reductions including some £20 T shirts at just £16.

Enjoy July ladies; let’s hope we finally get some sunshine. We look forward to seeing many of you at our sales (date of the Cowes sale to follow shortly) and remember; Today give a stranger one of your smiles, it might be the only sunshine she sees all day.

Welcome to Our New Store – Charisma of Cowes!

We’re delighted to welcome you to our brand new Charisma Fashions boutique, based in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Our grand opening on Saturday 14th May had great success and we’d like to say a massive thanks to all the ladies of Cowes for making it special! We hope we can continue to help customers in Cowes find their perfect occasion wear for their weddings or special events.

Why we chose to open Charisma of Cowes

For years the Charisma team have held annual events in the Isle of Wight to showcase our seasonal mother of the bride and special occasion wear collections. As we are based in Fawley it was very easy for us to travel over and give women the opportunity to see and try on our designer labels. Though after spending a lot of time with our customers on the island, we realised that there was very little to offer women looking for dedicated higher-end attire.

This sparked the launch of Charisma of Cowes, which we set up with the aim to cater for ladies seeking designer clothing, millinery and accessories suitable for weddings and their special occasions. Based at 39 Cowes High Street, our new store stocks all our well-known labels in sizes 8-26 – Condici, Ispirato, John Charles and Veni Infantino etc. – as well as wedding guest outfits. We also stock smart separates by Frank Lyman, evening wear by Gina Bacconi and other labels perfect for an evening out, an event or cruise.

Charisma of Cowes

Alongside our comprehensive range of high-end wear, we want to offer our new Cowes customers the high level of service and care that is so important to Charisma Fashions. Our Cowes store assistants will be on-hand to give you advice and help in any way they can to ensure you’re thrilled with your outfit and it creates the ‘wow factor’ at your event.

Celebrating the Cowes grand opening

It was great to celebrate the occasion with some familiar faces at our champagne-filled grand opening weekend, and again we’d like to thank all the ladies of Cowes for coming in and making us feel so welcome to your lovely friendly community.

New Charisma Fashions store

We are feeling our way as to exactly what to stock the shop with so we’d appreciate any feedback and comments – we’d love to work with you ladies to fill Charisma of Cowes with fabulous things!

The Charisma of Cowes boutique is open from 10am-5pm on Tuesday to Saturday. If you’re looking for beautiful wedding outfits and accessories, cruise wear or evening and classic day wear, why not pop into our new store? You can find us at:

39 High Street, Cowes, PO31 7RS.

We hope to see you here! For any more information, please call us on 02380 894 500 or email [email protected] and we’ll be happy to assist you.

 

 

June 2016 –  Shopping for a Late Summer, Autumn or Winter Wedding

 
It may sound ridiculous to talk about winter weddings in June, but our late collection is arriving NOW.
Many Mums are confused about when to shop for their outfit. (See our Feb blog). It tends to be easier to know when to shop for a spring outfit rather than a late summer or winter wedding. The main thing you need to know is that the weights and fabrics for Mother of the Bride/Groom outfits don’t really vary, so whenever you pick your outfit it is unlikely to look out of place. Buying the outfit you love and that fits with the style of the wedding when you find it, is the best advice we can give.
Taking our ‘Top of the Range’ label Condici as an example; what is called the ‘summer’ collection is arriving now, but these outfits have been designed to be worn by last minute shoppers through July, August and September or snapped up early by savvy Mums who have weddings right up to Christmas time (sorry, yes I did say the C word!) Because of their beautiful strong jewel colours, Aruba blue, purple or even the ever classic black and ivory they also work well on a less sunny day. There won’t be another collection of wedding outfits arriving until December when the spring 2017 stock begins to arrive.

Condici summer outfit  Condici blue
Because so many weddings take place at a venue rather than in church these days, keeping warm has become less of a problem for winter wedding guests, but if you are attending a wedding in church a dress with a coat or a beautiful fake fur jacket over your outfit will keep you cosy, add style and give you the wow factor when you finally reveal your full outfit at the reception.

Even pastel colours, which are so ‘weddingy’ can be worn for autumn and winter. If you have always dreamed of wearing pink or pale blue for your son or daughter’s wedding, but worry that it won’t be suitable for the time of year, try teaming it with on trend navy. Pastel and navy outfits look classically stylish and tick all the boxes. This Condici one has beautiful navy lace sleeves so you will be comfortable in it at the reception and you can wear it as a cocktail dress after the wedding. Who said a LBD had to be black?
Condici navy outfit
If you’re shopping for your wedding outfit and would like any help on choosing the right style, feel free to contact the Charisma team on 02380 894 500 or pop into our stores.
 

MAY 2016 – Put Your Best Foot Forward

The footwear you choose for a special occasion can make or break the day. It’s so important to be comfortable but the wrong accessories can ruin the look of even the most expensive outfit.

At Charisma we have been selling shoes in classic colours for some time, but it can be difficult to find just the right shade to complement an outfit. So, last year we became agents for Rainbow Club shoes, which can be dyed to match your outfit.

Rainbow Club shoes

Rainbow Club have more than 50 styles of shoe with varying heel heights (from flat to a towering 11.5cm) and 8 different handbags that can be matched to you outfit if you send us a 2” square swatch of fabric. Dying takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks. The shoes are designed to be worn all day long so feature Bliss Padded Lining and Cushion Comfort Soles and are available in half sizes. Some styles are also available in a wider fitting to ensure comfort all day. Look out for Lexi, one of our best selling styles featuring a 6.25cm heel – high enough to be elegant without being uncomfortable, it has a beautiful criss-cross detail on the front.

 

Lexi Shoes

Lexi Shoes

Your chosen shoe can be embellished with a variety of clips featuring flowers, diamanté or satin bows; which much like a clip on earring, can be attached to the front or side of a pair of shoes or the front of a handbag to create a really special look. (The Greta handbag has a discreet little gap in the front seam to allow a clip to fit neatly on the front). Consider echoing the detailing on your chosen outfit. The clips can be removed after the big day making your shoes more wearable for other occasions and can then be used on your other shoes. A plain black court shoe looks amazing with a diamanté or coloured detail on it.

 

Bag and she red

Once you have chosen the style and colour for your shoes and handbag consider protecting your heels. Although the fabric of the Rainbow Club shoes is spray treated to protect it once they have been dyed, walking on lawns in high heels is never an easy thing to do and once your heels are muddy it will be difficult to make your shoes look pristine again. We stock Clean Heels, which were featured on the TV show Dragons Den. They are small plastic stoppers, which slip onto your heels and are available in three different sizes to suit most heel widths, they create a wider area to stand on and stop thin heels from sinking into grass. These are especially helpful during the wedding photography, which often involves standing around on grass for long periods of time. They retail at £4.99 and can make all the difference.

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Choose well, be comfortable and enjoy the big day!

APRIL 2016 – Preparing For Your Mother of the Bride (or Groom) Shopping Trip

The exciting announcement has been made and the date has been set. As a mother of the Bride or Groom you’ve possibly been to the wedding dress shops to assist with the decision on The Dress, but now it’s your turn. Here are some pointers on making the most of your shopping trip for the all-important Mother of the Bride or Groom outfit.

Firstly it’s nice if you can do a little research before your visit – do have a look at the different sections on our website. We try to have labels with very different looks, it may be that you love the classic formality of Condici, the soft floaty silks of Capri or the modern statement style of John Charles, but this is really just a starting point to give you an idea of what each label looks like. It may well be that the style you love in a photograph isn’t the look that you like yourself in once you begin trying on. Hopefully these three outfits will give you an idea of just how diverse our selection is:

Mother of the Bride Outfits

Pearl Dust full skirted dress by Ispirato – £579, White and Royal Blue polka dot fit and flare dress and jacket by Michaela Louisa – £318, and Robin Egg laser cut silk and lace shift dress and jacket Condici – £779

If possible come to see us wearing flesh tone tights and if you would like to you can bring a pair of neutral slip on shoes, it does help to stand in a heel to see the overall look of an outfit. A special dress and big hat with black opaque tights and flat boots won’t help you to make the best decision! But don’t worry if you forget, we do have a selection of shoes in the changing room that you can borrow.

Do try to step outside of your comfort zone and try a few outfits that you think ‘aren’t you’; it’s amazing how often ladies end up choosing a style that they really didn’t expect to like when it was on the hanger and dressing for a wedding is so different to our everyday casual choices.

If you don’t feel confident to make the decision alone then feel free to bring a trusted friend or family member with you to reassure you, but don’t ask too many people as everyone will have a different opinion on their personal favourite, which may confuse you. In the end you must choose the style that YOU feel confident in and will look forward to wearing on the big day. How good and comfortable you feel is much more important than anyone else’s opinion in this instance.

It will help if you can have a chat with the Bride and the other Mum before you come to establish if there are any colours, styles and options that you need to avoid. The general feel of the wedding is important too, as a pastel vintage theme might require quite a different ensemble to say a wedding party with the gents in tuxes and the bridesmaids wearing fuchsia. In fact a swatch of the bridesmaid’s outfit colour is really helpful if it’s not shrouded in secrecy.

Please don’t be nervous, it’s our job to help and advise, not just sell you the first outfit that fits. After all you are our best advert! We are happy to spend time with you discussing the colours of other members’ outfits of the wedding party to ensure the correct balance in the photographs. Our aim is to ensure that you look and feel great on the day. The most important thing is to come with an open mind and be prepared to try things to see if you like them on you. It may turn out to be a much easier decision than you first thought! We look forward to meeting you and helping you to look your best on the special day.

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