‘Dress’ - twenty-five years on stronger and glitzier than ever
“Providing service, real attentive service and doing things like last-minute alterations on a Friday to a beautiful long dress in time for unveiling at a special occasion on the Saturday” replied Debbie Lorrain, the energetic proprietor of ‘Dress’ when asked the secret behind the twenty-five years of success in sprinkling a layer of glitz and glamour for a generation of Marlborough ladies to embrace.
April 1991 saw the forerunner of ‘Dress’ - ‘Wedding Belles’ - open on the High street adjacent to Angel Yard. A move, a change of name, and a process of evolution where Wedding dresses were superseded by elegant evening dresses enabled Debbie to keep ‘Dress’ in front. “Service is vital, it’s something that you can’t get when buying online” stated Debbie. “Also being prepared to change direction and evolve” she added. “It was Mary Portas, ten years ago on the telly that gave me the inspiration”. “She went into businesses and made them look at themselves differently” she explained. “At that point we were solely bridal, which is one hit, and she was trying to make people broaden their markets. I went back and looked at the figures and thought this isn’t going to work, no-one else was doing evening wear, and I thought “that’s what I’m going to do!” My inspiration was Mary Portas, to get us where we are today as we are today”.
And today the range and scope is pretty wide. “Proms started about fifteen years ago and have gone from strength to strength, and we serve an area where there are more than fifty schools” “Our typical clients are ladies that like to party. Girls, women that like to get dressed up, for a black tie special birthday or smart event, theres a lot of that in this area, but now we’ve moved into the ‘guest at wedding’ and Royal Ascot’ market, not in a massive way, and dresses that are wearable again.” she added.
The next twenty five years? “Phew” “I probably won’t be here” answered Debbie, “But ‘Dress’ will be around and serving the generations to come of Marlborough’s ladies looking for that extra special elegant evening dress, gown, or accessory for that important occasion”.