Glory Days was founded by Hayley Claire Neil – dressmaker, costume designer and vintage devotee. Having developed a passion for fashion history and design at an early age, Hayley designed, sewed, sketched and embroidered her way through school, gained a degree in costume design, maker, and embroidered her way through school gained a degree in costume design at the Edinburgh College of Art and went on to work as a freelance costume designer, maker, and assistant in the enchanting realms of theatre and film.
Following on epiphany which struck whilst on a depressingly uninspiring shopping trip to help find wedding dresses for her sister, Hayley made her dreams a reality and opened the boutique in York in March 2012. Taking the name ‘Glory Days’ from the Pulp song she herself walked down the aisle to on her wedding day, she set out with a wish to offer an alternative choice of dress for the off-the-beaten-track bride.
What inspires your designs?
I’m often inspired by bygone styles of the 20th Century, but also nature, music, and modern-day couture catwalks. Fabrics inspire me too, and chic simple lines and graceful cuts which work with the female body rather than against it.
What tips do you have for brides when choosing a dress?
I think having an open mind is one of the most important things. Brides do tend to have a good idea of what suits them but it’s also good to try on a few wild-card options as you never know what might surprise you! Also don’t let anyone convince you that if you’re a certain shape or size then certain dress styles are to be avoided at all costs; it breaks my heart when brides come to the boutique saying someone has told them that they shouldn’t wear empire line/high necked/low backed gowns because of this, or to avoid satin because it ‘shows everything’. You never know until you try something.
Do you have a particular style?
Someone recently commented that my Rolling In Roses Instagram feed has quite a dusky moody feel for a bridal designer, and I guess that’s true! I think there will always be a slightly atmospheric rebellious element to my work, but overall I’d describe it as historical nostalgia fused with modern romance.
Give me a stylish one liner/statement that you would pin on your wall.
alternative bride, Bridal Dress, Glory Days, Gown, Hayley Claire Neil, Interview, Magazine Issue 6, York
“Don’t tell me who to be. I’ll wear what I want to wear.”