A NO-frills service is the pledge from Bodice & Bustle boss Anna Lysakowski.

Yet a bulging book of testimonials from blushing brides proves she makes every effort to ensure their big day is the very best.

The Polish-born proprietor of the newly-revamped bridal and evening wear shop at the top of Hockerill Street explained with a smile:
“I refuse to buy dresses with frills – because everyone has them and I don’t want them. That’s what makes us special – and that’s what the girls who come here want.”

Open again after a month-long closure to gut and refurbish her showroom, Anna is already looking forward to a busy 2008, which will kick off in earnest with a special fashion show on February 16. Satisfied clients past and present will model the latest styles – including an exclusive collection of gowns from Milan – when she takes her catwalk to the perfect setting:
St Michael’s Church at Windhill.

While frills may not feature, Anna hoped that brides of all ages – from teens to 60-plus – would find the dress of their dreams on her rails. She confessed: “I’m one of those people who detests it when someone tells me I look fantastic when I know I don’t. I’m very critical and therefore I have to be honest with customers too – but gentle.”

A qualified fashion designer, she believed could find a most flattering fit and suitable style for brides of every shape, size and situation, but, ultimately, she said: “I would rather lose a customer than give bad advice.”

That approach has paid dividends, with former bridesmaids returning to buy the gown for their own big day, former brides taking along sisters and friends and even divorcees coming back to buy a second dress when they tie the knot again.

Ideally, the painstaking process will take up to six months, but a 10-day deadline was successfully beaten when the Bodice & Bustle team were called in to cope with a whirlwind wedding. Anna and her team can also advice on the most appropriate dress for venues ranging from swish hotels to country chapels – and even a beach. Her former career as a flight attendant means she packs her creations in hand luggage-sized boxes so they can be taken onboard and arrive abroad in perfect condition.

Shoes, shrugs, stoles and stockings complete the look with a selection of jewellery, hair accessories and tiaras. Bodice & Bustle also sells evening gowns, prom dresses and christening gowns as well as bridesmaid and some mother of the bride outfits.

To arrange an appointment call (01279) 755507.