May, 2014

27 May
1

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Seeing my dresses on the British Soap Awards red carpet was amazing!

Hello everyone!!

Thank you so much for reading my blog. It’s really lovely to hear your thoughts so please feel free to leave your comments.

What a weekend!!! After months of planning and preparation the day of the British Soap Awards finally arrived and more importantly for us, we launched our ‘Enais Chapman’ online boutique. I was so nervous I could hardly breathe.

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Although it was quite a stressful weekend it was also so much fun. I loved being with the Emmerdale gang. There’s only a few occasions throughout the year where a lot of us can get together as our work schedules are so hectic, people generally need to spend their free time with their families. However this weekend the majority of the cast and crew came out to play and despite only picking up one award at the ceremony, albeit a fantastic award (we won Most Spectacular Scene) everybody really seemed to let their hair down. I think what’s really lovely about our cast is that we are incredibly supportive of the other soaps as we know how tough it can be working on what at times can feel like a treadmill of never-ending episodes and so we were really pleased for Corrie and particularly Julie Hesmondlaugh and David Neilsen (Hayley and Roy) on picking up so many awards for their excellent portrayal of the ‘Hayley’s cancer storyline’. I personally was also absolutely thrilled for Hollyoaks and their Best Soap award as like us they tend to be the underdog and so it was a wonderful achievement for all involved.

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The weekend was also a huge achievement for all of the Enais Chapman team as four of our dresses were showcased on the red carpet and our website and online boutique were officially opened. As I said I have been so nervous these past few weeks as obviously we are opening ourselves up to criticism and opinion however we have received some really positive feedback about the collection which is amazing. Our Harlow gown (the dress I wore on the evening) has even made it onto several of the best dressed lists which is absolutely amazing!! It was such an wonderful feeling seeing the other girls in their dresses too. To watch them evolve from sketch to toile to production and then finally gracing the red carpet was incredible. Laura Norton who plays Kerry Wyatt opted for a bespoke apple green creation which we aptly named the Laura gown and Roxy Shahidi wore our Cate gown which will be available later in the year and Michelle Hardwick wore our Bergman gown. Anyway it’s back to business for us now as alongside working on our next made-to-order collection we are also developing the Ready to Wear side of our label which will be available online in the autumn. No doubt we will be buried in sketches and swatches over the next few months, however as always I’ll keep you all posted with how it’s going.

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This week I also revealed my inner minx as I took part in playing an epic trick on my on-screen husband Matthew Wolfenden for ITV2 show ‘Tricked’. If you’ve not seen the show show before it basically sees magician Ben Hanlin play tricks and perform illusions on famous faces. Our trick was incredible and we really got Matthew good. He had absolutely no idea that he was being tricked which I found hilarious as he’s always poking fun at me and telling me how gullible I am. Unfortunately I can’t give away any real details about the trick itself however I can assure it’s one you won’t want to miss when the new series airs in September!!

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Matthew and I with magician Ben Hanlin.

I’m absolutely loving Britain’s Got Talent this year and so I’m incredibly excited to be going to the live finals this Saturday as I’m appearing as a guest on Britain’s Got More Talent. I think BGMT is having it’s best series ever as everyone looks like they are having so much fun although having watched last night’s first live show I’ll admit I’m a little worried about what the lovely Stephen Mulhern has got in store for me as last night it was games galore…oh well I just need to remember I was once Justin Beiber on national TV, I don’t think anything will ever beat that in terms of making a fool of myself. I’ll be sure to fill you in on all of the fun and gates.

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Anyway I’ll say bye for now and speak soon.

Lots of love

Natalie X

P.s. We celebrated my lovely hubby James’ birthday too this weekend. I think Freddie enjoyed the chocolate cake don’t you….look at his mouth!

15 May
2

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I’m so inspired by the red carpet gowns at Cannes for my own dress line

Hello everyone!!

Thank you so much for reading my blog and for leaving your comments, they’ve been so lovely to read, especially the recent ones about our dress line. They’ve been extremely encouraging, particularly as I’ve been feeling a little frazzled over the last week and so in need of a good energy boost. As my mum would say I’ve definitely been burning the candle at both ends, learning lines, performing with the Emmerdale band, travelling to London, having dress fittings and design meetings and trying to build our business, whilst of course being a wife and mummy. Oh the perils of being a modern day woman! I’m starting to feel really ready for my holiday to Dubai, which thankfully is only a few weeks away. I’ve splurged on a few nice treats for my trip as since I went on honeymoon (a whole 6 years ago) I now have a thing where I can’t go away without a couple of shiny new bits and bobs e.g. make up, handbag, bikinis, beach wear etc AND I have to dress appropriately for the airport and plane, which for most sensible people is comfortably, however for me it’s anything that Joan Collins would deem to be acceptable i.e. heeled shoes, huge sunglasses, smart/casual dress and a little pashmina (in case I get a bit chilly…of course). In my head I’m totally sashaying around like 1950′s Elizabeth Taylor, however in reality I probably look a little bit worse for wear with grubby hand prints all over me, baby wipes hanging out of my pocket and shin and heel bruises from where I’ve walked into Freddie’s pram, still I refuse to give in to dropping my standards of Joan Collinsness and so will persevere with trying to be incredibly glamorous….(I’ll let you know how I get on with it).

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As I said it’s been a manic week or so, with the highlight being seeing Eden Taylor-Draper (Emmerdale‘s Belle Dingle) in our first Enais Chapman gown. It was an incredibly special moment as Eden had chosen us to design her prom dress, which I felt was a real privilege as proms have become extremely popular in the UK over the last 10 years and choosing the right prom dress has become nearly as important as choosing the right wedding dress. I suppose you could say the prom dress is a ‘coming of age dress’ and that’s exactly what it was for Eden. I along with the rest of the country have watched Eden play Belle Dingle for the last decade. She’s grown from being a tiny, cute little girl with a cheeky smile into a beautiful, elegant and truly talented young lady and so to be part of that moment in time when she’s saying goodbye to her schooldays and embarking on the next chapter of her life was truly special. Needless to say we all had a little tear, and I have to say it was the most lovely, rewarding feeling when she said how much she loved the gown and how amazing she felt in it. It was also wonderful to get such a positive response from her parents as designing for a 16-year-old can be a little daunting. Obviously you want to keep the client happy, but at the same time reassure the parents that you’re not going to put them in something more appropriate for the Moulin Rouge. I hope you’ll agree that Eden looked absolutely stunning and we were all very proud of her.

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As the Soap Awards are drawing nearer we’ve also been doing numerous fittings as we are dressing a few girls (including myself) for the event. I love doing fittings as that’s when you see a dress really take shape and work with a person’s body. It’s so important to get the right fit, that extra half inch really does make all the difference and you can always tell the moment the perfect fit happens as suddenly the person who you’re fitting totally changes the way they carry themselves. They become more confident and they stand upright with their spine elongated which looks really elegant. Essentially this is what Kate and I want to capture as we want every woman who wears one of our dresses to feel – strong, confident and elegant. I really can’t wait until we open our online boutique and present our collection to the general public. Only 2 weeks to go!!

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It’s an extremely glamorous time of year as obviously we’ve just had the Met Ball held in New York and now the Cannes Film Festival is under way. I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the beautiful gowns that will be showcased on the red carpet over the next few days. Kate and I will be watching with an extremely close eye as these events provide us with so much inspiration when designing pieces for our collections. I think my favourite look from last year was Cara Delevigne at the premiere of The Great Gatsby movie. I thought she looked incredible, the jewels, the dress, the make-up were all perfect and really channelled old Hollywood in an extremely modern way. Everything that I like!

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Whilst obviously prepping for the Awards with Kate and overseeing the art direction for our branding, I also travelled to London this week for a couple of meetings regarding the development of the label into next year, which was very exciting. I really enjoy the business aspect of building a company and admire women like Karen Brady and Michelle Mone, who are incredibly strong, intelligent women who built their own hugely successful companies at a young age and are now incredibly influential in the business world. This is definitely my kind of girl power and something that one day I hope to have myself. Speaking of girl power I’m also a huge fan of Victoria Beckham and find her transition from pop star to fully-fledged designer incredibly inspiring. Building a company whilst being a mother to four children is an amazing achievement and so I have huge admiration for her.

Anyway I’m going to stop talking now and say hope you all have a lovely weekend and speak again soon.

Love Natalie Xx

05 May
7

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An exclusive glimpse of my first red carpet collection

 

Hello Everyone,

Thank you so much for reading my blog. Its been lovely to read your comments, please keep them coming.

First things first. I am absolutely loving the longer evenings and milder temperatures, in fact, it’s been that warm in Leeds I was actually able to sit out in my garden and I even had to apply sun cream as the sun was so strong. I definitely feel like summer is here and more importantly HOLIDAYS are on the way!! Hurray.

Last weekend, myself and the Emmerdale band “The barmaid and the vets” performed at the Lucy Mai Sanderson spring ball in Leeds. We had a fantastic time and it was so lovely being back on stage together, as our last big gig was in the autumn. We had a rehearsal early on in the week to brush off the dust so to speak, and thankfully we weren’t too rusty!! A wonderful night was had by all.

 

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This weekend was absolutely manic as we were shooting the images for our Enais Chapman debut collection lookbook and website. It was an absolutely fantastic day and we had an amazing team including photographer Rob Evans and international make-up artist Scott Beswick. In keeping with the whole theme and ethos of our brand, I wanted the images to have a very vintage Hollywood feel whilst still being quite modern, which I think Rob captured excellently. The make up was also divine. Scott created the Great Gatsby esque/ Hollywood starlet look absolutely perfectly, i got so excited seeing the models and that was before they’d even stepped into our gowns. When they finally did, my heart was in my mouth and I felt overwhelmingly nervous as it was the first time anyone else had seen or worn our collection. Upto now it had only been Kate and I working on them on either mannequins or me. I felt incredibly relived when each model said how gorgeous the dresses were and how they felt really beautiful in them!

 

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It was also extremely encouraging when the rest of the team also commented on how gorgeous they were. Nevertheless I still don’t think I actually breathed properly until the end of the day when I felt we’d captured everything we needed too.

 

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Our dresses were beautifully accessorised with stunning headbands and bracelets and necklaces from bespoke jeweller Victoria Walker, who is incredibly talented and hand makes vintage inspired pieces. With a pumping soundtrack in the background and Rob snapping away, the models worked both the dresses and the gowns brilliantly. It felt quite strange to be on the other side, making decisions about set ups, styling and hair and makeup as I’m so used to being in front of the camera. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it, when I could breathe that is. It was incredibly satisfying for both myself and Kate to finally see the collection on people and we are so excited to open our made to order online boutique at the end of the month. I can’t wait for you all to see the final edit of the images. Also keep your eyes peeled at the British Soap Awards as you may well be seeing a couple of our bespoke gowns on the red carpet. Needless to say I’m very excited, albeit incredibly nervous.

 

Screen grabs and behind the scenes

Screen grabs and behind the scenes

 

Anyway as always I’ll say goodby for now and speak very soon.

Love Natalie xx

Ps had a slightly worrying experience at the hairdressers, I thought I was being attacked by darlecks!! It all turned out fine in the end though! Xxx

 

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