Mirror Mirror on the wall
From drizzly days to glamorous nights, one new clothing store in west Suffolk has a fabulous collection of outfits for all occasions. By Katy Evans
BE the fairest of them all at a fashion boutique full of trendy togs for day wear and glamorous garb for night time fun.
Mirror Mirror, on St Andrews Street South Street in Bury St Edmunds, offers a range of delectable outfits to appeal to women aged 18 and up.
Opening its doors just four months ago, the boutique stocks labels such as SOS jeans and raunchy evening wear by tfnc, John Zack, and Lispy, all of which will flatter slim figures. But the boutique doesn't just cater for smaller sizes and sells clothing for ladies up to a size 16.
Owned and run by business partners Jane Bowie and Susan Khan, the shop is situated right next to the newly renovated Extreme nightclub, which Jane hopes will bring in even more trade as revellers get to glimpse the flashy club wear currently on display in the window.
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“It's early days but I'm thoroughly enjoying working here. We are slightly out of the main town centre but as soon as the Cattle Market development is up and running (in 2008) there will be more customers passing by, as well as the clubbers next door,” says Jane.
Jane had 20 years' experience working in the car rental business before going into fashion retail. She admits she got to the point where she'd “had enough” and needed to change.
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Having left the car rentals business, Jane then worked for Windsmoor, a concession in Palmers department store in Bury, where she met Susan.
“Susan had run a shop before in Thetford so she had the experience in buying and I had the experience of selling.
“We looked round the shops in Bury and felt there was a gap in the market for something a bit different,” says Jane. “Then we saw this place (Mirror Mirror) and said 'let's go for it'. We are individual and offer something different from the run of the mill high street chains - such as a more personalised service, for one thing.”
Jane says that although the business has only been open a short while, trade is brisk and the new Italian lines coming in are selling very well.
“We have ladies who bring back fashions from Italy on a fortnightly basis and they are very popular,” she enthuses.
The small but perfectly formed boutique appeals to ladies ranging in age from 18 up to late 40s, due to the range of fashions from more funky lines such as skinny jeans and tight-fitting 'clubby' tops, as well as a stock of more demure jackets, elegant tops and dresses. They also stock a wide selection animal print garments - one of this season's current trends - including leggings, bags, floaty chiffon tops, and completely backless mini dresses, perfect to be worn over another of this season's must-haves - black leggings (or, for the more adventurous with bare legs and a pair of kinky boots).
And with the party season encroaching, Mirror Mirror will be stocking up on sophisticated cocktail numbers and dazzling full length gowns - perfect for all the social events coming up between now and Christmas.
Casual looks are also aplenty, including this very 'now' grey striped jumper dress in shades of grey (the new black, this season).
Despite drizzly weather on the day of the photo shoot, our models managed to pull off these casual looks with aplomb, although the next door nightclub comes in handy when the heavens open and flood the streets.
Jane has high hopes for the future and is thoroughly enthused by her new business enterprise.
“I love working here. For so long I was in a male-oriented industry and up to my elbows in grease so it's nice to do something feminine!”
Mirror Mirror is at 51, St Andrews Street South, Bury St Edmunds. Call 01284 756060. Visit the website at www.mirrormirrorboutique.co.uk.
Models: Summer Clover at Smile Models, Ipswich (07768 755149), and Suzanne Myhill.
With thanks to Extreme Night club.