Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

lookbook. bell sleeves

May 19th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Delphine Manivet - Jonas

At one point strapless dresses had the monopoly on the bride-to-be market but ever since Miss Middleton covered her arms for her Westminster wedding sleeves have rocketed in popularity. Copy-Kate full-lace sleeves quickly appeared in designers’ collections giving ladies the opportunity to rock the royal look for their own big day. And as bridal trends have developed so too have sleeved designs.

We’ve seen sheer illusion like sleeves as well as those with cut out detailing and now as 70s fashions are resurrected to the fashion catwalks, big, blousy sleeved wedding dress designs are making an impact on the bridal catwalks too.

A perfect style for fashion forward brides opting for an informal outdoor ceremony, the designs are what we would call carefree couture. The beautifully cut silhouettes are fluid but without gripping every inch of the body enabling brides above a size 8 to get in on the effortless boho look.

Delphine Manivet - Aliocha

For ladies that like to keep things simple there are plain designs with elegant V necklines and long flowing skirts to mirror the ethereal bell-type sleeves. Hayley Paige’s Blush gown and Stone Fox Bride’s Frida are perfect examples.

Meanwhile for those wanting their dress to do a bit more talking there are designs with dainty cut out detailing as well as those featuring panels of differing materials such as lace and tulle. And while V necklines are certainly the most prominent, it’s possible to find designs with edgy alternatives like high-neck and off-the-shoulder creations.

Delphine Manivet - Amedee

Some of our favourite examples comefrom Delphine Manivet. The Tobivas and Amedee designs are stunning choices for brides with killer collar bones while Jonas provides plenty of cover-up but without losing shape.

Plus let’s not forget that in terms of proportions covering up one area of the body entitles you to expose another, so if you’re arms will be under wraps why not look for backless boho design so you can still flash some flesh?

Delphine Manivet - Maurice

The boho look shouldn’t be totally ruled out by brides in favour of high detailing either as certain designers are peppering their bell-sleeved beauties with sparkles and shine. Claire Pettibone is one such designer that has included boho/glam gowns, complete with sensational sleeves, within her collections. Ariel and Angelica from her latest Gothic Angel collection are among our top picks as well as plainer designs, Bianca and Laurel from her Romantique collection.

And it looks like there’s more to come. Having been at White Gallery in London this week we’ve spotted several designers that have incorporated flowing statement sleeves into their new collections, either as part of the dress itself, or as separate jackets or overlays which can give brides the option of two looks for their big day.

Delphine Manivet - Tobias

Whichever sleeved design catches your eye bear in mind that the finishing touches can really help take your look up to wow-factor level. Flamboyant florals in flower crowns and wild-looking bouquets lend themselves incredibly well to the boho look and instantly add interest to brides opting for less detailed dress designs. If however you feel a floral crown or elaborate bouquet would perhaps steal too much of the limelight, there is always the option to weave just one or two blooms into your chosen hairstyle to project that flawless free-spirit image.

Main feature images courtesy of Delphine Manivet, see our gallery for gown names and further referenced designers. 

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about the author

Rachel Parry
Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...

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