Charlotte Balbier

first look: ivy & pearl by amanda wyatt

June 5th, 2017 | Julia Braime

Begonia, Ivy PEarl, Aster, Buttercup, Iris, fern & peach JAcket

To clear away those Monday blues we’re bringing you a huge helping of dress candy in the form of the mesmerisingly beautiful new collection from our fabulous Sponsor, Amanda Wyatt.

Aptly named ‘Ivy & Pearl’ the stunning set of designs draw on inspiration from the wild and feature oh-so-pretty fabrics and detailing, with a shape and style to suit every type of bride.

From girlie tea-lengths to flattering figure-hugging numbers and full on princess ball gowns, we’re in wedding dress heaven!

So, let’s hear a little more from the Amanda Wyatt team and take a look at the jaw-droppingly fabulous designs, one by one…

Lotus, Magnolia & Forgot me not

Can you tell us about the different styles and shapes of dresses included in the Ivy & Pearl Collection?

the team say: The new collection appeals to all bride styles and includes everything from short and flirty gowns to the full romantic tulle ball gowns. There are also sleek and simple A-lines and daring low-back slinky designs.

Can you give us an overview of the fabrics used within the collection and the different colour ways? 

Pretty Chantilly laces, rich Mikado’s and satins sit alongside the finest tulles and chiffons. The 2018 colour palette is a soft palette of ivory hues and an alluring selection of champagne golds. Clean, simple and elegantly classic.

Similarly, can you tell us a little about the details featured within the collection? 

Ethereal grace meets modern day bride in the Ivy & Pearl collection as it celebrates the Amanda Wyatt signature style with a twist. Decadent beading adorns the collection alongside sleek silhouettes for the brides who desire an understated and timeless look. There are also captivating designs with intricate back detailing.

Fern 1

What is the size and price range of the dresses within the collection? 

The collection is available in all sizes and prices range from £990 to £1,695.

What type of bride would you say this latest collection will appeal to? 

The new collection will appeal to all brides as it has such a beautiful array of styles that suit all brides style and personality.

Gardenia 3

What has the feedback been like from boutiques about the collection?

They love the intricate detailing and wealth of choice in the styles available. The Zinnia gown has proved to be the most popular.

How can our readers find out more about the new collection? 

The collection will be available in boutiques from mid-summer 2017. Those wanting more information can email fashion@amandawyatt.com. Also, to keep up do date on all the latest news, follow Amanda Wyatt on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Acacia (3)

Acacia – A high neck and long-sleeved lace detailed gown which flairs out into a beautiful skirt, with a cut hole back.

Aloe 2

Aloe – Embracing the 1950s bridal look with a fun midi-length puff skirt, featuring a sheer lace and sequin over cover.

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look book: sheer sublime

May 26th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

Symphony - Charlotte Balbier

Here at Brides Up North we love nothing more than the unveiling of new bridal collections that will determine brides’ big day looks. And every season now it seems designers are getting more daring with their creations, particularly when it comes to the sheer trend – see-through fabric panels that create the illusion of bare skin – as brides are encouraged to take a less is more approach to their attire.

We love this fresh take on bridal, giving ladies the opportunity to flaunt their figures whilst still technically keeping flesh under wraps. There’s no denying however that it takes one heck of a brave bride to go against the traditional demure grain – but what if you don’t want to be smothered in fabric, but you do still want to retain some style? If you’re after something clingier, slinkier, dare I say it sexier than a meringue, but don’t want to blow Uncle Dave’s pacemaker into oblivion?

Poem - Charlotte Balbier

Well, that makes sheer panels, barely-there lace and see-through chiffon your new best friends, and luckily for you, dresses with such detailing are the focus of today’s look book. From long-time fans of the look Berta Bridal to the stunning new Bohemian Blush collection from Brides Up North sponsor Charlotte Balbier (as featured recently on these pink pages), it seems everyone is getting in on the act. Though fierce, such designs featuring cleverly-positioned lace, illusion necklines and backs will still preserve your bridal modesty (and Dave’s pacemaker).

Berta Bridal are industry champions in creating dare-to-bare gowns, with style 17-113 and 17-130 from the F/W 2017 collection being seriously brave takes on the trend – all dangerously plunging necklines and sheer lace. Design 17-136’s sheer chiffon skirt puts legs at centre stage, whereas 17-144 is like the love-child of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and Jennifer Lopez circa 2009 made into wedding dress form – sexy, sassy, righteous.

Klara - Charlotte Balbier

Charlotte Balbier’s newest offerings are typically soft, feminine and fairytale-esque, but still offer a glimpse of what lies beneath. Symphony from Bohemian Blush is to die for, with its slinky A-line cut, sheer bodice and appliqued lace. The prettily-named Poem features a plunging neckline but saves most of its sheerness for the bodice back, making the whole look arguably more realizable. There’s also Sonnett, with its delicate sheer detailing and peach and pistachio colour injection – definitely worth a lingering look.

Many a real wedding favourite, Maggie Sottero is also getting in on the flash of flesh action. Verina has a dramatic illusion lace v-back and sleeves, looking regal but not matronly. Blanche is a whole lot of daring with its double keyhole back and lace illusion sweetheart neckline and the Maren – well, just wow. More Swarovski than you can shake a stick at.

Sonnett - Charlotte Balbier

And then there’s the inimitable Elie Saab, offering up everything from sheer sublime to the slightly bonkers but beautiful. Check out that potentially pant-flashing lace number. Would you? Could you?

We say, she who dares… wins.

Main dress images by Charlotte Balbier

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may your designer dress dreams come true: caroline castigliano exclusive sample sale

May 19th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

LILY

Lily

We’re bringing you an extra post this Friday afternoon to deliver exciting news of an upcoming event from Brides Up North Sponsor and dream dress designer Caroline Castigliano.

Next week, between Monday 22nd and Saturday 27th May, Caroline Castigliano is holding an exclusive sample sale at her flagship Knightsbridge boutique, London, offering you super lucky brides-to-be the opportunity to get your hands on one of her insanely beautiful dresses for a fraction of the usual price.

MALAWI

Malawi

The sale will feature ex sample and catwalk, prototype and past season dresses at the luxurious Knightsbridge store on Brompton Road, with gowns priced from £900 to £2,500. That means a fantastic saving of up to 70% off a truly stunning designer wedding dress. A-maz-ing!

There will only be one sample of each wedding gown so you girls need to get booking an appointment, like now! All the sale wedding dresses are in great condition and range from a size 8 to 12. An alteration package is also on offer to purchase on the day.

To book your appointment for this not-to-be-missed event, contact the team on 0207 590 9120.

VALENTINA

Valentina

For those fortunate to attend, the Knightsbridge boutique team offer brides the following advice:

– Bring someone with you whose opinion you really value, they can help you find the perfect designer wedding dress, however please note we are only able to accompany two guests with each bride

– We recommend you try a selection of dresses on before coming to the sale as this event is for brides ready to make a decision on the bridal gown they are going to wear

Happy shopping ladies!

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look book: charlotte balbier veil collection

April 12th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Pearl Veil

Pearl Veil – traditional lace with beautiful pearl trim detail

Nothing quite says bride like a gorgeous gown topped off with a veil. In line with fast-paced bridalwear trends it’s not a case of one style suits all, with designers creating a variety of veils to match with and complement gowns in their collections, meaning the options vary in length, layers and detail.

One of the latest designers to turn her talented hands to such accessories, is our wonderful Lead Sponsor and top British bridal designer, Charlotte Balbier. Last week on the blog we shared a special preview of Charlotte’s insanely-beautiful new wedding dress collection for 2018 – Bohemian Blush – and now the princess of bridalwear Miss Balbier, is treating us to full look at her fabulous new collection of veils.

Featuring an option for all styles of weddings, the fanciful designs range from flirty and elegant to dazzling and dramatic, with delicate fine tulles decorated with embellishments, beading, pearls and lace pattern detailing.

So, join us as we swoon over the highly-derisible designs on offer…

Silk Veil

Silk Veil – silk tulle with floral diamante comb detailing

Antique Veil

Antique Veil – silk tulle with antique diamante and pearl comb to complement

French Lace Veil

French Lace Veil – silk tulle with French lace veil detailing

Pearl & Diamante

Pearl & Diamante Veil – an intricate pearl and diamante veilcontinue reading

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first look: bohemian blush by charlotte balbier

April 6th, 2017 | Julia Braime

Tabby LR

Tabby

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (well, almost), as the countdown is on to British and International bridal designers unveiling their hotly-anticipated new collections at The White Gallery in London, next month.

We make no secret that this is one of our absolute highlights of the year, and we’re sure you’ll all agree with us, for what girl doesn’t love pouring over stunning wedding dresses and admiring designers’ talents in pushing creative boundaries to produce gowns that are heart-stoppingly beautiful!?

Though we can’t take you all to the FROW with us, we have a huge treat in store for you today as we’re sharing a super special preview of our Lead Sponsor Charlotte Balbier’s gorgeous new collection for 2018 – Bohemian Blush – which is set to be officially launched at The White Gallery, making this kind of a big deal!

Forever 1 LR

Forever

Perfectly girly and beautifully feminine, we are uber fans of Charlotte’s truly swoon-worthy creations and always look forward to seeing what this stylish lady has in store for us next – and we can safely say she’s outdone herself once again, as the latest offering is her best yet!

As fellow fans will know, Charlotte has embraced the boho look in her previous dress designs, but this time around she’s gone with an all-out, injecting a breezy boho vibe into the entire Bohemian Blush collection.

Jayde copy LR

Jayde

Rightly so, every bride dreams her bridal gown will stand out and be remembered forever, and in this latest collection its clear to see that Charlotte has paid the utmost attention to detail to give each gown its own unique touch and character. There is the captivating Halo gown that is handcrafted with 3D floral fabrics; the Klara gown, which embraces sequins on sheer skin, and the stunning Jayde floral gown in an exclusive print to the house of Balbier, which is topped off with a fashion-forward bow.

Poem 1 LR

Poem

All the gowns are hand-created from the finest French laces, soft flowing chiffons, layered organzas, rich Mikados and silk tulles. The 2018 colour palette introduces sweet tones of ballet pink, sugared peach, blush pinks and peach, pearled ivory and a pistachio green, alongside the classic ever-popular ivory and champagne shades.

Symphony 2 LR

Symphony

charlotte says: We have always created dresses for a bride who knows who she is, to be their own kind of beauty and celebrate their individuality.

This collection celebrates the free-spirited women and Bohemian spirit. I created the Bohemian Blush collection for brides to be gorgeously unique; the gowns are easy and effortless. Whether her dream day is running through a woodland barefoot or wearing a flower crown, this sassy collection will appeal to all.

I’ve fused together my two style crushes of boho and pretty to create this delicious collection.

Sasha LR

Sasha

If (like us) you’ve already developed a serious crush on Bohemian Blush, you will be pleased to hear that we will be bringing you more on the collection soon, so watch-this-space!

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creating couture: blossom & belle’s unique wedding gowns

February 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Blossom & Belle Couture (c) All You Need is Love Photography (3)

While there are numerous stunning wedding dress designs hanging on the rails of boutiques, for some brides nothing completes the dream wedding picture like having a couture gown specially made for their big day.

Brides Up North Sponsor and dress-maker extraordinaire Antonia Aitken of Blossom and Belle, is fully versed in the art of creating beautiful bespoke wedding gowns, from the structure and cut to the fabric and finish. As such, we’re putting the blog in her skilful hands this afternoon so she can tell us exactly what couture is, and how she goes about creating it through her one-off, timeless wedding gown designs.

She also has news of a fabulous Blossom and Belle charity tea party event taking place in York on Sunday 26th February, which will feature workshops, high-end suppliers and delicious treats, so be sure to read to the end of the post for full details.

With images by All You Need Is Love Photography

Blossom & Belle Couture (c) All You Need is Love Photography (22)

How would you define a couture wedding gown?

antonia says: Couture is not ‘dressmaking or copying a design’ – rather it is the creation of a luxury item which starts from design through to pattern cutting, toiles and fittings and the final amazing result.

Couture is not off the peg. It is a unique creation that no one else will have. It is a process that takes time, not something that can be made in an instant. Specialised elements, from hand stitched hems and embellishments, to steel boned bodices and button and loop detailing, are the epitome of a couture gown. It is timeless piece that will look just as wonderful in years to come as it does on the day of the wedding.

What skills must you have as a dress maker to craft such creations?

As the design director at Blossom and Belle I pride myself in my skill to create a one-off bespoke gown or outfit.

It’s having the ability to see a client for the first time and knowing exactly what she will suit. It is the art of how fabric will work and fall on the form. Knowing about colours, textures and the cut and line of a design. How to emphasise the best features of a client and disguise those that they are less keen on.

I do not work from someone else’s pattern, I make my own, which is a meticulous process requiring great skill and an art form in itself.

Blossom & Belle Couture (c) All You Need is Love Photography (9)

Blossom & Belle Couture (c) All You Need is Love Photography (30)

What do brides enjoy about having a couture gown for their big day?

For my clients, it’s the knowledge that they are wearing something truly unique and luxurious and in their own size – not mass produced and not off the peg – something made especially for them.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the process a bride can expect to follow if she decides to have a couture Blossom and Belle gown made?

The whole process of having your own gown created is really quite lovely. After your first free consultation, where we go over ideas and look through fabrics and any trimmings or embellishment ideas, I will design a range of gowns for you to choose from and take your measurements. I also say at this point that the bride should get their underwear as this is vital to the fit of the gown.  A toile is then made in calico, which is a mock-up of the wedding dress and where tweaks and design decisions are made. Having a couture gown made just for you is a very private affair and no one else, unless you want to, will see your gown being created.

There should be no more than five fittings, although some brides like to have more as they love to see everything taking shape and enjoy the process so much.

Finally, for the full experience, I’m available to dress the bride on the day of the wedding to make sure everything is perfect.

Blossom & Belle Couture (c) All You Need is Love Photography (12)

What would you say to brides who are worried that having a couture dress made will be expensive and time consuming?

A couture gown is unique and made just for you, which is why it can cost more than an off the peg gown. Only the finest of fabrics are used, meticulous hand beading and hand stitching are all involved in the process of having a couture gown made. It can take several months just to make one gown, which is why fittings are spread over time to suit the bride and to allow for any tweaks to be made.

We never ask for the full price of the gown to be paid upfront, rather it is paid by instalments, which takes the pressure off.  I do say that you never lose money on a couture gown as it becomes an heirloom passed down through the family.

Blossom & Belle Couture (c) All You Need is Love Photography (13)

What is the feedback like from brides who have had a Blossom and Belle Couture dress made?

I always receive wonderful feedback from brides, and have even been invited to the wedding. Over the time of the dress being made we get to know each other very well.

I have had one bride recently send me a photograph of her 17-year-old daughter wearing her gown that was made by me 20 years ago and it still looks wonderful and timeless. I also had one bride love the style of her vintage inspired gown so much, she had another two made in different colours!

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