To brides, the words “trunk show” conjure up images of a road-weary salesman pulling discount dresses out of a weathered chest.
“A trunk show is an opportunity to try a wider selection of styles from the featured designer,” said Sharon Townsend, owner and manager of Tiffanys Bridal. “If a bride is interested in a particular designer, a trunk show gives her access to samples from all or most of that designer’s new collection.”
That doesn’t mean that stores pull ragged samples from a trunk; the designer ships carefully-packaged gowns to the boutique hosting the show. Bridal stores normally have a few gowns from each collection in stock, but a trunk show makes 15 to 25 gowns available and therefore increases the chance that a bride will try on the exact same dress she’s been eyeing in a magazine.
Then there’s the added bonus: saving money. Trunk shows almost always mean special discounts for brides who purchase gowns from that particular collection during the show. Of course, that may mean some quick decision making (shows usually last one weekend, Friday through Sunday), however, if a bride has found “the one,” commitment phobia normally won’t take hold. Indecisive brides can still sleep on it, but that often means forgoing the markdown.
To avoid missing shows by the designers they like best, Townsend recommends that brides regularly check local bridal stores’ Web sites for updates to trunk show schedules. However, all is not lost if the show is over.
“If you miss a trunk show but must see a gown that’s not in the boutique, a store that has hosted the designer’s show can request to get the gown in the shop again,” Townsend said.