April 12th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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 tulle with floral diamante comb detailing
Antique Veil – silk tulle with antique diamante and pearl comb to complement
French Lace Veil – silk tulle with French lace veil detailing
Pearl & Diamante Veil – an intricate pearl and diamante veilcontinue reading
April 6th, 2017 | Julia Braime
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
February 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
January 21st, 2017 | Rachel Parry
This weekend we’re handing over the blogging reins to our guest writer, the lovely Sophie Grabham, Online Editor at Love Our Wedding Magazine, to fill us in on all the new bridal shoe trends for the year ahead…
sophie says: Gorgeous wedding shoes have always been the perfect finishing touch to any bridal look, but with shorter hemlines and high-low dresses growing in popularity, they’re more important than ever before!
Brides are now looking for show-stopping heels that play a big part in their overall look. So whether you’re in search of something comfy and low, or sky-high and striking, here are a few 2017 top trends to look out when choosing your perfect pair…
Rachel Simpson – Ginger
Ultra-glam and bang on-trend, metallics are a great choice for stylish brides. Confident, fashion-forward brides can opt for a full-on metallic design, while those looking for a more chic and timeless style may prefer to stick to metallic detailing or muted tones. Check out this gorgeous design from Rachel Simpson, for a vintage twist on metallics.
Following on from metallics, sequins are also big news for 2017! This trend is everywhere in the wedding world right now, from bridesmaid dresses to table runners, so it’s no surprise that shoe designers have embraced the trend, too. From all-out glamour, to subtle hints of sparkle, make the sequin trend work for you by finding a design to suit your style. Rainbow Club have a stunning selection of sequin shoes and matching clutch bags this season, as do Pink by Paradox.
Pink by Paradox – Eve
A great way to add a pop of colour to your bridal look is by wearing a funky pair of colourful heels. Feeling brave? Go for a bright and beautiful pair to really stand out from the crowd, perhaps with a bold floral print – another key trend for 2017. If you’re more of a pastels girl, try chic shades of blush, champagne or nude. Or, why not choose a blue shade, so your heels can double up as your ‘something blue’? Rainbow Club offer a great shoe dyeing service, making it easy to match your shoes to your scheme.
One trend we adore, especially for autumn/winter weddings, is bridal boots. We love this chic pair by Harriet Wilde that will keep you looking stylish and feeling warm! What more could you ask for?
Rainbow Club – Harlow
Forget heels sinking in the sand, the latest trend for barefoot sandals is a real game changer for those marrying abroad. The romantic boho designs simply adorn the top of the foot, and are ideal for laid-back summer celebrations. Forever Soles have a stunning range, including silver, beaded and crochet designs, that will have you looking effortlessly elegant.
Personalise your look and jazz-up a plain pair of heels with beautiful shoe clips. Customising a non-bridal shoe will mean you can wear them again and again after the big day, and is also a great option for matching up your bridesmaids shoes, too. Again, Rachel Simpson has some stunning designs, including embellished and floral style clips, that will instantly make your footwear fancy. Check out Brides Up North Sponsor Charlotte Mills‘s collection too.
Rachel Simpson – Simone shoe clips
Love Our Wedding is stocked by hundreds of top bridal boutiques, venues & fairs nationwide. Visit loveourweddingmag.com to download or order your FREE monthly copy today.
December 17th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Caroline Castigliano is regarded as the connoisseur of luxury bridal wear in the UK and this year celebrates 25 years in business. Her name is synonymous with understated chic bridal gowns and contemporary designer style.
Castigliano’s signature is an unquestionably feminine silhouette, which is effortlessly glamourous. Her unique ability to cut and construct a garment, enables her to create a gown that is confident and sexy, yet exudes a deep sense of style. Everything about a Castigliano gown is unique; from the exquisite choice of fabric, to the foundation of the gown, which is created using unique corsetry and undergarment techniques. All Caroline Castigliano gowns are handcrafted in the United Kingdom. Here at Brides Up North, we fell in love with her delectable creations a long time ago.
Now, new exclusive bridal gowns have arrived at Caroline’s Knightsbridge store and Castigliano are offering brides-to-be a fantastic shopping experience to celebrate.
caroline says: Brides (along with a chosen family member or close friend) who join us in store over the festive season will be able enjoy champagne and delicious treats as they are guided through their appointment by our experienced wedding stylists who are all experts in bringing each brides vision to life.
These stunning gowns are all created from luxury fabrics and laces and handcrafted here in here in the United Kingdom.
All brides who order their dress before the 30th of December will be offered a festive seasonal gift – £500 off Caroline Castigliano’s made to measure service! What better reason to take a break from your Christmas shopping and commence a festive dress hunt?
Appointments can be booked on 0207 590 9120 or on email@example.com
December 8th, 2016 | Rachel Parry
Cressy & Piper
We’re all about pushing wedding boundaries, thinking outside the big day box and sometimes, just sometimes, breaking the bridal rules. This is perhaps why we’re such a fan of the super-stylish Separates collection from our good industry friend and Sponsor, Charlotte Balbier.
Daring to go where other bridal wear labels won’t, Charlotte was one of the first British designers to introduce an inter-changeable Separates range to her collections, which enable a bride to build and create her own individual big day look using slips, skirts, toppers and belts.
Encouraging fashion-forward and free-spirited brides to throw the wedding attire rule book out of the window, the versatile range provides options beyond the traditional wedding gown and helps a bride to express their unique individuality, personality and style through their bridalwear choices.
Better still, when broken down into individual components, the pieces can be worn long beyond the wedding day – so while not conventional, they’re certainly both practical and pretty.
This new imagery from Charlotte Balbier showcases perfectly how the Separates can be teamed for a high-impact wedding day look and then switched-up and restyled for cool and edgy casualwear.
For example, brides wanting a classic yet contemporary look for their wedding could pair the lace Cressy topper with the voluminous Piper tulle skirt, while for the boho bride the Rowe satin and lace topper and Saint chiffon skirt provide a dreamy duo. For a flirtier look, the Una thick lace topper and pretty, flared Pippa puff-ball skirt is most definitely a winning combination.
Following the big day, brides can then add their Separates to their everyday wardrobe with toppers doubling up as on-trend cropped tops and soft jackets and gilets providing classy winter cover-ups.
Cressy & Piper
Personal favourites that would earn a place on our wardrobe wish list include the Cressida satin and lace topper, the fabulous Marabou feather Sparrow jacket and the super-soft Hester fur jacket. If Santa happens to be listening, we’ve been awfully good this year!
For more, visit www.charlottebalbier.com.
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