The recent meeting of the Bess Jenkins Club was held at the Pine Bluff Country Club.

The recent meeting of the Bess Jenkins Club was held at the Pine Bluff Country Club.

President Marjie Hart introduced Julia Barrett, who gave a most interesting program on British fashion designer Elizabeth Emanuel, who is perhaps best known for her design of Princess Diana of Wales’ beautiful wedding gown.

After attending the City of London School for Girls, Emanuel studied at the Harrow School of Art, where she completed a course in fashion design. While there, she also met and married David Emanuel. Both then entered the Royal College of Art and received master’s degrees in fashion. The couple soon launched their own fashion house, the Emanuel Salon in Brook St., Mayfair.

Only two years later, they closed their ready-to-wear shop in order to concentrate on custom-made clothing. They promptly became the favorite designer of Lady Diana Spencer before her marriage to the Prince of Wales. After the royal wedding and the huge success of the wedding dress, the Emanuels went on to design most of the Princess of Wales’ wardrobe for her Gulf Tour and a few years later the Emanual Shop was opened in Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, making their previously exclusive clothing available to the general public. Their collections were also sold at several exclusive stores in both London and the U.S.

The couple later separated, then divorced with Elizabeth retaining the Brook St. studio and salon. She went on to design costumes for Walt Disney and uniforms, luggage and accessories for several airlines. Still later she was commissioned to do work for Estee Lauder and for special performances at Albert Hall in London. She went on to design a line of wedding dresses. In 2010, Elizabeth again returned to the catwalk during London’s Fashion Week, showing her little black dress collection.

After a brief business meeting, hostesses Rosemary Baird, Bobbye Nixon and Mandy Alford served coffee and an elegant and delicious vanilla cheesecake garnished with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. Tables were centered with beautiful potted miniature red roses.