COVID 19 


Firstly, the Joanne Fleming Design studio showroom in central Brighton is completely self-contained with its own street entrance.

It is just a 15 minute walk from home, so I have been able to walk in every day as normal. All my designs are made here in the studio by myself, and I work on my own so have not had the complicated issues surrounding work colleague social distancing to consider.
My embroiderer works from home in a neighbouring town, so although she would generally visit the studio every week or two to collect and deliver work (and for chats!), we have always been very used to conducting a lot of consultation and design work via email etc. This has continued much as usual over the last few weeks, but we have just replaced those in-person handovers with courier swaps.

After a brief period of uncertainty at the start of lockdown, most of my fabric and haberdashery suppliers seem to be operating largely as normal, although orders can take longer to arrive due to increased workload/reduced workforce at wholesalers and importers. There are also isolated instances of specific fabrics being temporarily unavailable, but generally these can be worked around.

Overseas orders, where clients would not be expected to visit the studio for in-person fittings, can therefore continue entirely as normal.

So far so good.

The problematic area of course is the issue of the opening up of the showroom to personal visitors, whether that is for initial consultations with potential new clients, or for ongoing fittings for existing clients.

However, with some well considered advance planning I am confident that both of these scenarios will be possible in the near to mid future.

NEW CONSULTATIONS

From 16th June I opened up the appointments book to new clients who would like to visit the studio for an initial viewing and chat about what they are looking for. It is currently possible to bring one member of the visitor's household along if wished, and from the end of July we will be able to accomodate two guests in addition to the bride.

The studio samples will be available to view, and can be touched and examined. Unfortunately, although visitors may try on a sample or two if wished, I will not be able to assist in doing the dresses up or pinning to fit as I normally would as this is not possible to do without impinging on the required 2m social distance. This is where an accompanying member of the client's household may prove useful, as these gowns are rather difficult to do up oneself!

My aim will be to make this initial visit as fun and informative as possible ....I really want the process of exploring gown options together to be an exciting prospect rather than an ordeal to be got through.

Initially I will only be booking one appointment in every 3 day period, to allow for any gowns tried on to be set to one side for 72 hrs before they will be available for someone else to handle. This also has the advantage of allowing a thorough disinfecting of the premises immediately before each client's arrival and after their exit.

Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance to the studio, and I will be keeping the back door into the studio garden open during consultations to encourage a good through draft to thoroughly ventilate the premises.

Masks or face coverings may be worn during consultations if preferred, although not essential, as we will be maintaining good social distancing measures.

For appointments during the initial two week period until the end of June, I would respectfully ask that only people living within a 40 mile radius of Brighton take up these spots as I am concerned during the most sensitive initial lifting of restrictions that we minimise the risk of any potential infection being transferred between localities. I would also encourage avoidance of public transport to get to the studio if possible.

From 1st July onwards, subject to a review of the latest scientific advice, I will be opening up consultation appointments to visitors from further afield....though again I would encourage alternatives to public transport to be used where possible. Brighton is such a popular destination for day-trippers and holidaymakers during the summer, and recent evidence has shown this popularity has hardly abated in spite of the pandemic, with worrying numbers of visitors flooding into town with the sunshine, many of them travelling by train.

Although I know it will be very tempting to combine a trip to the studio with a wander around town and some time on the beach (something I positively encourage normally!), I would urge careful consideration of the heightened risk those very pleasurable activities may entail. Hopefully the dreaded 'R' value will continue to fall over the coming weeks, but of course we are still at a tricky point so I just want to emphasise how important it is to check the absolutely up-to-date advice before you travel.

If you are in a group with a higher susceptibility to the virus, or live with someone who is, or just feel understandably concerned about travelling to the studio in person.....but would still like to get things underway in the search for your dress, then I am very happy to book in an appointment via WhatsApp so we can chat through your options. This is something I am very used to doing in the normal run of things for my overseas clients, and these e-consultations are generally found very helpful.

IN-PERSON FITTINGS

Details of when it might be permissible to carry out more 'hands-on' consultations or in-person fitting appointments are much more opaque at this moment in time. I think it is likely this type of appointment will be bracketed in with service providers such as hairdressers and beauticians as it does necessarily involve some closer contact as your toile and gown are personally pinned and fitted to you.

The same basic hygiene precautions as detailed above would of course still apply, but in addition I think masks/face coverings will be required both for you and myself....at least for the duration of the actual close quarters part of the fitting.

My intention would be to keep the duration of this aspect of the fitting to less than 15 minutes. Upon arrival at the studio we would first have a chat about the process of the fitting, and I will explain exactly what I'll be looking to achieve so when you have your toile/gown on we can move smoothly and efficiently through the necessary steps.
Once this is accomplished within the 15 minutes period, I will move back to beyond the 2m distance, you can get changed back into your civvies, and we can have a more leisurely review of what has been decided. You will have plenty of time to raise any concerns or queries whilst relaxing on the couch, it is just the critical close contact part of the fitting that will be restricted to 15 minutes.

It is difficult to currently give a precise date for resumption of fitting appointments as the only guidance currently for hairdressers etc seems to 'possibly' be 4th July at the earliest. I would be happy to provisionally book fittings in from 4th July onwards on the understanding that any date may need to be rescheduled as the advice is updated or revised.

I hope this information has been helpful.....of course my principal concern is to keep everyone safe, but also to reassure you that the experience of choosing your gown, and the creation of it, will be just as exciting and fulfilling as I hope I have always made it.
It will be fine! We will even have a laugh at the craziness of it all I'm sure....it will certainly be a tale to tell the grandkids down the line....

I look forward to hopefully meeting some of you in person in the not too distant future, and in the meantime stay safe and well!




Firstly, the Joanne Fleming Design studio showroom in central Brighton is completely self-contained with its own street entrance. 
It is just a 15 minute walk from home, so I have been able to walk in every day as normal. All my designs are made here in the studio by myself, and I work on my own so have not had the complicated issues surrounding work colleague social distancing to consider. My embroiderer works from home in a neighbouring town, so although she would generally visit the studio every week or two to collect and deliver work (and for chats!), we have always been very used to conducting a lot of consultation and design work via email etc. This has continued much as usual over the last few weeks, but we have just replaced those in-person handovers with courier swaps.

After a brief period of uncertainty at the start of lockdown, most of my fabric and haberdashery suppliers seem to be operating largely as normal, although orders can take longer to arrive due to increased workload/reduced workforce at wholesalers and importers. There are also isolated instances of specific fabrics being temporarily unavailable, but generally these can be worked around.

Overseas orders, where clients would not be expected to visit the studio for in-person fittings, can therefore continue entirely as normal.  

So far so good.

The problematic area of course is the issue of the opening up of the showroom to personal visitors, whether that is for initial consultations with potential new clients, or for ongoing fittings for existing clients.

However, with some well considered advance planning I am confident that both of these scenarios are now possible.

NEW CONSULTATIONS

From 16th June I opened up the appointments book to new clients who would like to visit the studio for an initial viewing and chat about what they are looking for.  It is currently  possible to bring one member of the visitor's household along if wished, and from the end of July we will be able to accomodate two guests in addition to the bride.

The studio samples will be available to view, and can be touched and examined. Unfortunately, although visitors may try on a sample or two if wished, I will only be able to assist in doing the dresses up whilst standing behind but cannot pin to fit as I normally would as this is not possible to do without impinging  on the advised 2m  or required 1m social distance.  This is where an accompanying member of the client's household may prove useful to help out as they will be able to get closer.

My aim will be to make this initial visit as fun and informative as possible ....I really want the process of exploring gown options together to be an exciting prospect rather than an ordeal to be got through.

Initially I will only be booking one appointment in every 3 day period, to allow for any gowns tried on to be set to one side for 72 hrs before they will be available for someone else to handle. This also has the advantage of allowing a thorough disinfecting of the premises immediately before each client's arrival and after their exit.

Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance to the studio and in the changing area, and I will be keeping the back door into the studio garden open during consultations to encourage a good through draft to thoroughly ventilate the premises.

Masks or face coverings may be worn during consultations if preferred, although not essential, as we will be maintaining good social distancing measures.

For appointments during the initial two week period until the end of June, I would respectfully ask that only people living within a 40 mile radius of Brighton take up these spots as I am concerned during the most sensitive initial lifting of restrictions that we minimise the risk of any potential infection being transferred between localities. I would also encourage avoidance of public transport to get to the studio if possible.

From 1st July onwards, subject to a review of the latest scientific advice, I will be opening up consultation appointments to visitors from further afield....though again I would encourage alternatives to public transport to be used where possible. Brighton is such a popular destination for day-trippers and holidaymakers during the summer, and recent evidence has shown this popularity has hardly abated in spite of the pandemic, with worrying numbers of visitors flooding into town with the sunshine, many of them travelling by train.

Although I know it will be very tempting to combine a trip to the studio with a wander around town and some time on the beach (something I positively encourage normally!), I would urge careful consideration of the heightened risk those very pleasurable activities may entail. Hopefully the dreaded 'R' value will continue to fall over the coming weeks, but of course we are still at a tricky point so I just want to emphasise how important it is to check the absolutely up-to-date advice before you travel.

If you are in a group with a higher susceptibility to the virus, or live with someone who is, or just feel understandably concerned about travelling to the studio in person.....but would still like to get things underway in the search for your dress, then I am very happy to book in an appointment via WhatsApp so we can chat through your options. This is something I am very used to doing in the normal run of things for my overseas clients, and these e-consultations are generally found very helpful.

IN-PERSON FITTINGS

From the 4th July the studio will be open for booked fitting appointments and for initial consultations for visitors from all over the country

The same basic hygiene precautions as detailed above would of course still apply for fittings, but in addition I will be wearing a clear face visor, and clients may prefer to wear a face covering too for the duration of the actual close quarters part of the fitting (although not strictly essential as my face visor will provide some protection for us both)

My intention is to keep the duration of this aspect of the fitting to less than 15 minutes. Upon arrival at the studio we would first have a chat about the process of the fitting, and I will explain exactly what I'll be looking to achieve so when you have your toile/gown on we can move smoothly and efficiently through the necessary steps. 
Once this is accomplished within the 15 minutes period, I will move back to beyond the 2m distance, you can get changed back into your civvies, and we can have a more leisurely review of what has been decided. You will have plenty of time to raise any concerns or queries whilst relaxing on the couch, it is just the critical close contact part of the fitting that will be restricted to 15 minutes. 


I hope this information has been helpful.....of course my principal concern is to keep everyone safe, but also to reassure you that the experience of choosing your gown, and the creation of it, will be just as exciting and fulfilling as I hope I have always made it.
It will be fine! We will even have a laugh at the craziness of it all I'm sure....it will certainly be a tale to tell the grandkids down the line....

I look forward to hopefully meeting some of you in person in the not too distant future, and in the meantime stay safe and well!

Re-opening the JFD Studio 

Re-opening the JFD Studio

SHE LOOKED LIKE THE 

EDITION DELUXE

of a 

Wicked

french novel