With weddings and all manner of formal events filling up the next three months’ worth of weekends in your diary, it’s time to buy a dress. But you want to make sure that it’s a great dress that no one else will have—and that doesn’t cost a month’s wages at that.
Too much to ask? Not in our expert view. While it might sound like the holy grail of occasion dressing, there are a handful of labels out there that are still just niche enough. These are brands where you can score a fabulous frock safe in the knowledge that you won’t turn up to an event and come face to face with your fashion doppelgänger. Some are trusted oldies that we’ve closely guarded over the years, while others are newer brands that aren’t stocked on any multi-retailer websites (yet).
But this is a place where we’re happy to share and spare you a same-dress drama this season, so like your very own fashion godmother, click on the gallery to shop from these carefully edited buys below…
This new (and affordable) London-based label is a total newcomer and not available to shop anywhere else but via its own website.
New brand Outline is founded on 30 years of expertise of its founders, who have been making clothes for many UK brands.
With just a handful of stores in London (and online exclusives such as this gorgeous gown), we’d say Spanish brand Bimba y Lola is flying pretty low under the radar.
Fennell's dresses have a celebrity following, but her party-perfect pieces are not known to everyone.
Unlike retail success story Zara, fellow Spanish retailer Hoss is less established in the UK.
U.S. brand Realisation is a fast ticket to effortless cool-girl style.
House of Hackney is known for its lust-worthy wallpapers and fabrics, but it has a desirable sideline in equally covetable clothing.
Brand founder Isabelle Waring creates gorgeous dresses using the traditional techniques her grandmother taught her.
You can only shop Aussie-born designer Kelly Love’s romantic designer on Young British Designers.com.
US-based Reformation had a pop-up shop in the capital last year, but it’s still very much the fashion insider’s go-to label. Be organised when shopping as you’ll have to wait for your parcel to come from the States.
Zara’s sister label doesn’t have any stores in the UK, making it the best-kept Inditex secret.
Opening Image: Getty
Next up, discover the lesser-known French Instagram style stars you're going to want to dress like.