London, Paris, Milan, Hawea.
Three of those locations have become bywords for fashion and romance, and wedding dress designer Annette Richan is helping add her home of Hawea to that glamorous list.
It all came about after she was invited to attend New Zealand Bridal Fashion Week in Auckland last August.
For the first time, her dresses with a “modern romance” theme were showcased at the Auckland event.
The exposure she achieved from that event , attended by more than 30,000 people, led to invitations to attend bridal fashion weeks in London, Paris and Milan.
“We chose to go to London and are really looking forward to it.”
This would be her first venture offshore and going to London made sense, as it was the first show in the European season, Mrs Richan said.
“We hope to expand the brand to UK and European markets and wholesalers.
“London Bridal Fashion Week hosts the top bridal designers from around the world and attracts approximately 3500 wholesalers, media and industry VIPs, so we are very honoured to be showcasing.”
She would be attending with her husband and friends “five of us will go” family would look after their children while they were away.
It had been a very busy year since attending New Zealand Bridal Fashion Week, and although she was still working from her home-based studio, by the time she returned from London she would probably be ready to take on other staff, she said.
“I would 100% love to have local seamstresses,” she said.
She was “still trying to grapple” with the fact she was off to London seems real”.
She would be taking her summer collection to the show, and would create some unique pieces as well.
The local community had been “really, really supportive” and she was grateful to those who had helped get her to this point, Mrs Richan said.
Despite concerns about Covid-19, the show would go ahead.
London Bridal Fashion Week head of bridal Cassandra Denman said the health and safety of all those attending was their primary concern but the risk to individuals in the UK remained low and there were no restrictions on travel or trade.
Retail Bridal Association chairwoman Nicola Garton said as the first major show on the European calendar it was important to give retailers the opportunity to conduct their buying at a time when the risk was low and contained in the UK.