As I looked around the plane on the way to Paris, I could see lots of excited little girls dressed as princesses on their way to EuroDisney. I don’t think we ever grow out of that fairytale dress dream – although perhaps our tastes become a little more sophisticated and I had the same flame of excitement burning inside me knowing that I had two special dresses in my suitcase. I am now quite often approached with offers of clothing (and in fact all kinds of other weird things) by brands hoping that I will feature them. 95% of the time I say no. Having completed my Marie Kondo clearout there is no way I want to clutter my dressing room with clothes that I don’t love. I also pledge to you as readers not to feature things that I feel half hearted about. My friends tell me I’m mad, that I should run a sideline on Ebay but that doesn’t feel very Midlifechic to me.

However in the run  up to our trip to Paris there were two offers that sparked so much joy that I gratefully accepted them. Why? Because they were for timeless dresses that I will cherish for years to come and because they were each so very different in style that I had the chance to play with two very distinct looks. One gave me a sassy look for an evening in Paris and the other a more romantic, elegant style. This is the first and it was all about chic Parisian sparkle. It ticks all of my favourite boxes; it is British made by a company that is very appropriately named Bombshell London, the brainchild of Katya Widman, a woman over 40 who has risked everything to follow her dream.

Let me tell you more about our evening (here’s my first post about our two days in Paris if you’ve missed it). After an apéritif in one of the famous ‘grands cafés’ of Montparnasse, we decided to head to the Marais for dinner…

evening in Paris

Red cap sleeve moss crepe dress; Jigsaw Milly shoes; vintage Selfridges snake print clutch

…if you’ve read my last post you’ll know we’d had a very relaxing day, largely because the torrential rain had left us with little choice other than sitting in bistros watching the world go by – so, we were in the mood for fun. By now I was getting used to Mr MC whipping the camera out at every possible opportunity saying ‘but your readers will want to see all of Paris’ …so here you are, a very exciting shot of the metro!

evening in Paris

There is something about this dress that gives you extra confidence. As soon as you put it on, it makes you want to walk tall and strut your stuff…

Nikki Garnett

It fits like a glove because of the very clever tailoring. I love the fact that it is made from crepe rather than jersey so it skims the body rather than clings. The elasticated ruching means that it contours your shape without any constricting seams or boning. You can breathe…and eat! The sizing recommends going by waist measurement (there is an onsite guide) although I found it was true to my usual dress size of a UK 12.

evening in Paris

The belt detail at the waist swings as you walk..It does all of the distracting work of a ruffle but without any of the fuss.

evening in Paris

The wrap skirt is securely fastened so you can stride out without losing the sashay of a dress with an hourglass cut like this.

evening in Paris

I think the sweetheart neckline is the stroke of genius. It reveals your clavicles without any hint of cleavage. This is what separates it from footballers wives territory. It also has an acetate perspiration resistant lining which will be helpful for women who feel the heat.

Bombshell review 4

I decided to follow Coco Chanel’s maxim and take one thing off before I left the hotel so I deliberately didn’t wear a necklace but I did wear vintage crystal drop earrings. With simple accessories it is an elegant dress that you can wear for a relaxed dinner; add a sparkly necklace and it would be perfect for a more formal event. It is a dress that stays put, you don’t need to fidget or adjust it – I know the shoulders appear a little unbalanced in this shot but that is me not the dress; the shoulder that I damaged in a car accident is now sitting higher than the other one.

Nikki Garnett

This is how the Bombshell dress made me feel…


…it seemed to work its magic on Mr MC too!

Nikki Garnett

When we’d finished taking photographs, we wandered through the Marais until we found a cosy little bistro for a light supper. Our evening ended in a surprising wine cellar that we came across near our hotel where a group of local artists and writers were enjoying a lively conversation about the future of Europe. We paid the corkage on a bottle of fine wine and joined in for a while – it was just how I imagined Montparnasse would be and the dress made my evening in Paris feel extra special.

About Bombshell

So let me tell you a bit more about Bombshell London. As I’ve already mentioned it is a British company and all of the dresses are made in the UK however they are very happy to ship internationally. I hadn’t heard of them before but when Katya got in touch with me, I recognised the dresses instantly. They hit the press when Nigella Lawson bought 12 in one go and they became her signature look – as well as occasion dresses they do day dresses too, including a collection in Liberty prints. So just to get under the skin of the brand, I asked Katya to tell me more about herself.

When did you first realise you loved dresses / dressmaking?

As a child I would sit with my Grandmother and watch black and white Hollywood movies.  I have always loved the hourglass silhouette championed by the starlets. Bombshell dresses really do work a magic making every woman come in at the waist.  Its all in the balance.

Where did you train?

I trained as a Costume Assistant in film and television and worked as a Costume Designer and Commercial stylist. My first memories of this are of sitting outside a wardrobe truck on a film set cleaning a mountain of black boots whilst wearing my diamond encrusted 40s cardigan.  The wardrobe mistress later informed me that it was a ‘test of my metal’ as they thought I was a bit too glam to graft – I go swimming in false eyelashes!  It’s just who I am.

What inspires you?

I am most certainly inspired by Hollywood stars of the golden era of film making and their feminine shaped, dramatic dresses.  Ultimately I am inspired by how clothes make me feel.  I love to cover my tummy with a sarong skirt and having a large bust I don’t like to wear anything too low. My designs consider these details.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Winning a Fashion Business award in 2014, I was quite taken aback.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Continuing to grow the Bombshell brand and keeping our production British.  Manufacturing in the UK is something dear to Bombshell.

What would you say to a woman who is looking to change career and follow their dream?

I would say go for it! If you have a hobby or passion that you would like to make a full time vocation there’s no better time than now.  There are so many platforms and communities on internet. It’s true what they say, if you love what you do it never feels like toil.

What advice would you give to someone looking for a special dress but not knowing where to start?

I would say focus on the bits you like about yourself and work on concealing your less favourite parts.  Nothing looks better than confidence feels and Bombshell dresses I am proud to say enable many women to look and feel amazing.

What is your dream for Bombshell?

Well, quite simply to create a world of Bombshells!


I really would like to thank Katya for choosing to work with me and I feel very honoured that she singled out our Midlifechic community as the one that would  be interested in her dresses – it tells me that we’re seen to be a sassy group of ladies.

This is the second of three posts about Paris this weekend – the first one is here if you’ve missed it: Two Days in Paris

Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post but the dress was provided for me to wear free of charge. As always, I only bring you brands that I genuinely recommend.