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(Almost) High Street Honey: Alice & Olivia

April 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Alice & Olivia ZACK

I’ve spent the last three days staring at beautiful wedding dresses (two at White Gallery in London and last Sunday at our Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibition at Nostell Priory) and you know what?  I don’t feel like stopping anytime soon.

Yesterday after our meetings and viewings were concluded and before hopping back on the train Up North, Ellie and I headed for my spiritual home, Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, for a slap up sushi lunch and a spot of browsing.  Alice & Olivia MCBAIN

One thing I was obsessed with when planning my own wedding was my “going away” dress.  You know, the fabulous frock that I would slip into as my new husband whisked me off on our fabulous honeymoon to live happily ever after (whilst our friends went back to work on Monday).  The pressure was on and dress had to be perfect – a little bit Audrey, a little bit Grace, flirty, sparkly, a nod to bridal and ever so Summer Holiday (in October).

So today, four years after our wedding (goddammit!) I found the perfect frock.  Step forward Alice & Oliva, Stacey Bendet I salute you. I seriously thought about whipping out the credit card then and there, but decided to accept that it wasn’t meant to be (for me anyway) and share my find with you actual soon-to-be-weds instead.

Alice & Olivia CLOVER

(^^^This one^^^)

Alice & Olivia EADDY

Alice & Olivia BRIT

Alice & Olivia ADELIA  

Alice & Olivia ANIKA

And whilst looking around, I spotted lots more bridal-esque pieces that could certainly make it into the shortlist for a pretty rehearsal dinner outfit, engagement party frock, special hen party piece or even to walk the aisle itself.  Ok, so a designer in Harvey Nichols ain’t exactly budget, but if we’re quibbling, fact: HN is actually on the “high street”. 

Technicalities aside, I think Alice & Olivia totally deserves the Brides Up North High Street Honey accolade.  What do you think?

I think I want to go shopping.  Now.

Alice & Olivia GORE

Alice & Olivia HILTA

Alice & Olivia PERCIE

Alice & Olivia LENA

 

. Alice & Olivia BETRICE

Alice & Olivia CHAP

Alice & Olivia FELICE

Alice & Olivia FRANCESCA

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Alice & Olivia

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Here Come The Girls! High Street Honey: Monsoon

February 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime

High Street Honey Monsoon

1. Effie Dress, £169;  2. Dallas Dress, £109;  3. Ava Dress £99;  4. Ania Dress, £139;  5. Crissy Dress, £119;  6. Evina Dress, £179;  7. Beatrice Dress, £139;  8. Bonnie Dress, £89;  9. Lyra Dress, £139;  10. Lainie Maxi, £179;  11. Lorena Maxi, £119;  12. Lyra Maxi, £179. 

You know we’re not adverse to a bit of high street browsing here at Brides Up North HQ in our quest to uncover the prettiest bridesmaid offerings and bridal accoutrements out there – in boutiques, online and by pounding the pavement.  It’s a hard job… yaddah yaddah yaddah. 

This afternoon, step forward Monsoon, with their tonal selection of pretty gowns in a wash of muted red, white and blue.  Given our recent weather, Monsoon may not be the best named retailer on the block, but in terms of bridal party offerings, it’s as good as a day on the beach. 

Click here to check out my other recent High Street Honey finds

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Monsoon

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Bridesmaid Mecca. High Street Honey: Coast

January 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Researching for our regular Friday Fabulous feature is no great hardship –  I love scouring the interwebs for the prettiest new things.  It sometimes hurts my credit card, but other than that, the pleasure is all mine.  Chancing upon something really rather lovely from Coast for this afternoon’s coveted spot (wait and see), I decided to stick around and browse the rest of this High Street Honey’s new Spring collection.

High Street Honey Coast S14

All dresses by Coast:  Amorette, in naturals, £150; Venus, in yellow, £95; Riley, in orange, £135; Poppy, in green, £125; Tulia, in pink, £165; Mandy, in naturals, £125; Glamour Bow, in orange, £160; Lori Lee Lace, in grey, £125; Mirabella, in yellow, £125; Aloisa, in white, £350; Carraway, in blue/ silver, £160; Darling, in white, £295

As I said at the end of last year, in 2014 I’ll be checking out all the most popular High Street retailers (and lesser known online finds too) and picking our favourite looks for, so that you don’t have to.  No gorgeous gowns get past me!  Whether it’s bridesmaids dresses you need, a frock for your reception dinner or heading off on honeymoon, we’ll have it covered.

Let me tell you ladies, if you are in the market for bridesmaid dresses this season, I think we’ve just found heaven.  Usually strong on this front, those fabulous people at Coast HQ have just raised the bar that little bit higher. 

The lines come in sizes 6 to 18, are pretty affordable and with a new petites range just added, this wedding blogger is seriously impressed.  Here’s my top picks for maids and mates.  Gather your girls, but hands off Riley, she’s all mine!

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Coast

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Eye Candy: The “8” Bridal Collection

January 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime

The 8 Bridal Collection by Phase Eight

You all know I’m not afraid to champion a true High Street Honey when I find one, but there are high street success stories and then there’s this brand new “8” Bridal collection by Phase Eight, which has completely knocked my socks off.

The 8 Bridal Collection by Phase Eight

When it comes to “the gown” itself, I’m usually resolutely designer all the way.  But, girls, this lady might be for turning.  What do you think Brides Up North, does this stunning new collection make you think about buying (quelle horreur!) off the peg?  I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

And could I get away with the swishy number below at my baby girl’s christening?  No?  Bah.

Images supplied by Phase Eight, visit their website for more details. 

The 8 Bridal Collection by Phase Eight

Phase Eight say:  Our new vintage inspired collection matches exquisite detailing with a contemporary silhouette to offer feminine elegance and delicate charm.

Breathtaking beading and vintage inspired lace designs are expertly fitted with clever inner construction and dreamy tulle skirts for a truly ethereal feel whilst luxurious fabrics, intricate embroidery, floral appliqué and fringing add unique style to each individual shape. 

The 8 Bridal Collection by Phase Eight

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Posted in Eye Candy, High Street Honey, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | 1 COMMENT so far, click here to join the discussion! »

Glitterball. High Street Honey: New Look

December 11th, 2013 | Julia Braime

It’s been a while since we ran our last High Street Honey series here on Brides Up North (mainly since pulling the editorial together was an unhealthy online shopping enabler), but – especially as we approach the festive season – I think it’s high time that we reinstate this popular feature.  

I’ll be checking out all the most popular High Street retailers (and lesser known online finds too) and picking our favourite looks, so that you don’t have to.  No gorgeous gowns get past me!  Whether it’s bridesmaids dresses you need, a frock for your reception dinner or heading off on honeymoon, we’ll have it covered.

This week, I’ve been browsing the online aisles at fashion forward favourite New Look who contacted me recently to show off their sparkly sequin dresses, evening party dresses and prom dresses, with sartorial options for a wedding guest or glitzy bridesmaid (see this beautiful Real Wedding for inspiration) in mind.  And since it’s the festive season, these  wouldn’t go amiss at your Christmas do either.  See what I do for you!

High Street Honey New Look AW 2013

1  Gold Sequin 3/4 Sleeve Bodycon Dress £39.99

2  Navy Sequin Floral Bodycon Lace Dress £27.99

3   Belle Heart Black Sequin Side Panel Pleated Dress £22.99

4  Tokyo Doll Gold Strappy Sequin Contrast Cami Dress £27.99

5  Gold Sequin Sleeveless Bodycon Dress £24.99

6  AX Paris Navy Sequin Plunge Maxi Dress £60.00

7  Parisian Gold Floral Sequin Skater Dress £34.99

8  AX Paris Bronze Lace Midi Dress £35.00

Finding the perfect outfit to wear to a wedding can be a bit of a challenge. There are many factors to consider when choosing what frock (or trouser suit, or shorts suit, or separates!), from the location of the ceremony and the reception to the time of day and season in which the event will be held.

Even in winter, guests have more flexibility with a daytime wedding ands can wear shorter, above-the knee length dresses to create a more casual look.  Have some fun experimenting with vibrant colours and punchy patterns as much as possible. For the autumn/ winter season, haute hues on Pantone’s Fashion Colour Report include samba red, koi orange, vivacious magenta, acai purple, and Mykonos blue.  Patterns that are sure to pop this season range from dainty oriental butterflies and flower prints to fierce tribal and animal patterns. If you decide to wear brighter hues or eye-catching prints, be sure to pair them with neutral bags and shoes to balance out the look, and don’t forget a pretty shrug or jacket to keep of the chill. High Street Honey New Look AW 2013 (2)  

1  Red Metallic Ruched Side Bodycon Dress £24.99

2  AX Paris Black Floral Print Midi Dress £28.00

3  Tokyo Doll Burgundy Metallic Grid Shoulder Midi Dress £27.99

4  Burgundy Lace Cap Sleeve Midi Dress £22.99

5  AX Paris Red Crochet Neck Midi Dress £30.00

6  AX Paris Purple Crochet Waist Midi Dress £28.00

7  AX Paris Purple Raglan Bodycon Dress £22.00

8  Dark Red One Shoulder High Neck Aztec Dress £19.99

If the wedding is being held in the evening, skip the flirty frock in favour of something more sophisticated like a curve-hugging bodycon dress or midi dress in emerald green, gold or midnight blue.  You can amp up the wow factor with crocodile and snakeskin print clutches, bags and heels that incorporate the current colour blocking trend or (my favourite) plenty of sequins. 

Now, where’s my credit card…

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 New Look

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Posted in High Street Honey, Winter Wedding | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Friday Fabulous!

May 31st, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Friday Fabulous Ted Baker

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It appears that someone from the Ted Baker design team has climbed all up inside my head and turned what they found there into the perfect party shoe.

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Just imagine rocking your wedding day dance floor in these babies!

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Mine are already on order, are yours?

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Cinders Glitter Court Shoe £95 Ted Baker

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2013 Ted Baker

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Posted in Friday Fabulous, High Street Honey, Wedding Shoes | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

So VERY Valentines…

February 7th, 2013 | Julia Braime

So VERY Valentines

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Whether you think it’s a load of old nonsense or are in the mood for romance, it’s a great excuse to treat yourself (or leave this page open on HIS browser).  This year, show yourself some love. 

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Beya V Back Body Con Dress in Rose by Reiss £149

Tunnel Vision Dress by French Connection £150

Lariat sneakers by Kurt Geiger £90

Merimee Clutch by Coast £55

Sheriff & Cherry Wayfarer style acetate sunglasses at Harvey Nicols £85

LP No.9 by Penhaligons £80 100ml

What Next Candy Love Hearts Money Box at Selfridges £11.99

Suede Court Shoe £49.99 by Zara 

Pixelated Heart Earrings by Topshop £8.50 

10  Rosie Lace Dress £80 Boutique By Jaeger

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Prices were correct at the time of publishing

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  – Images © 2013 as credited

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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High Street Honey: Phase Eight Wedding Dress Collection 2013

January 23rd, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Phase Eight Wedding Dress Collection 2013

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Now you know that I’m a fan of the Great British High Street, particularly for it’s variety, fast fashions and amazing accessory options… but would I recommend buying your actual wedding dress from a high street label?  I’m not sure.  Its a total toss up between affordable, accessible designs and that whole once-in-a-lifetime boutique, bespoke experience.  Honestly?  If you can afford it, I’d generally opt for high end.

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Then these pictures landed in my inbox. I may well be swayed

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Coast and Monsoon are excellent at producing beautiful bridal collections that continue to fly off the pegs, and now I think they have found a major contender in Phase Eight, as they launch their stunning wedding collection (for brides and the bridal party) for 2013. 

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My opinion? Dreamy, daring, sexy and cool.  I’m dying to get down the shops and see how these beauties look in real life.

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(any excuse).  

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Phase Eight Wedding Dress Collection 2013

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Phase Eight Wedding Dress Collection 2013

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Phase Eight say: This season, Phase Eight’s enchanting wedding collection twists romantic, whimsical detailing with a modern silhouette, perfect for every fairytale romance.  Revisit a time when Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn were the style sweethearts of a nation, with vintage inspired full-length wedding dresses in duchesse satin and crepe de chine. Exquisite floral appliqué and pearl beading details adorn the bridal gowns adding a feminine elegance and delicate charm to the clean, fluid silhouettes.

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Wedding accessories are designed to enhance and complement each look, from satin peep toe shoes and dainty clutch bags to pearl encrusted fascinators and silk corsages. Beautifully coordinating feather boleros in pretty neutrals add the perfect finishing touch to your bridal style.

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Phase Eight Wedding Dress Collection 2013

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Phase Eight Wedding Dress Collection 2013

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Phase Eight Wedding Dress Collection 2013

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This season Phase Eight also offers a delectable collection of gorgeous bridesmaid dresses in divine colours and flattering shapes. Fabulously feminine dresses featuring pretty bows and full skirts emanate an air of timeless elegance, whilst breathtaking full length maxi dresses exude luxury and glamour. Whatever bridal theme you have chosen for your special day, Phase Eight will have a dress to please even the fussiest of bridesmaids!

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Phase Eight Wedding Dress Collection 2013

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Phase Eight Wedding Dress Collection 2013

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Phase Eight Wedding Dress Collection 2013

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Phase Eight Wedding Dress Collection 2013

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Simply browse the bridal collection online, and call 0207 471 4422 to have them delivered to your nearest Phase Eight store to try on at your leisure! There is no charge for this service, so the only difficult part is deciding which dress to choose for your big day. Or Brides-to-be can simply order online at www.phase-eight.co.uk. Wedding dresses are available in size 6 to size 20.

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  – Images © 2013 Phase Eight

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in High Street Honey, Wedding Dresses | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

I’m SOLD!

January 8th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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I'm Sold!

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The best thing about the January blues?  Beating them with a bit of sale shopping.  Can I hear a “Hell Yeah!”?

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Pick up some cut price pieces to make your wedding day and all those little occasions before it sparkle that little bit brighter.

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Crystallized Cotton Dress WAS £135 NOW £55 at French Connection

Mimosa Shoe WAS £75 NOW £35 at Coast

Bridge Fitted V Neck Cream Dress WAS £189 NOW £169 at Reiss 

Antibes WAS £120 NOW £59 by Kurt Geiger 

Clarissa Faux Fur Collar WAS £55 NOW £35 at Coast

Nancy WAS £139 NOW £197.50 at Bourne Collection 

Star Gazer Ring WAS £12.50 NOW £6.25 at Topshop 

Roberta Sequin Dress WAS £160 NOW £99 at Coast

Stella Crepe Jacket WAS £165 NOW £41.50 at French Connection

10 DKNY White & Rose Gold Watch WAS £175 NOW £87.50 at Red Direct

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  – Images © 2013 as credited

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Posted in High Street Honey, UK Wedding Blog | Filed Under | NO COMMENTS yet, click here to start the discussion! »

Sunset Strip! High Street Honey: French Connection

July 10th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Sunset Strip French Connection

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1   The Sparkle Hour Dress £40.50 – on sale!

2   Electric Circus Strappy Dress £195

3   Empress Orchid Dress £60 – on sale!

4   Luxury Lace Dress £165

5   Sunspark Strapless Dress £71.25 – on sale!

6   Luscious Sequins Dress £41.50 – on sale!

7   Metal Torre Dress £82.50 – on sale!

8   Hail Helen Dress £54 – on sale!

9 Spell On You Flared Dress £30 – on sale!

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It’s been a while since I’ve lauded a particular retailer as one of my high street honeys, but after a quick trolley dash when looking for something (or anything!) to wear for my recent Brides Up North Tweet Up events, French Connection really stood out amongst the other high street giants.  Their latest collections have been pretty and flippy, in sublime sunset shades, with just the right amount of sexy sparkle.  Plus with a real variety of lengths and cuts, there is a silhouette to suit every shape.

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To be honest, they had me at the sequins.  I do love a bit of Summer sparkle, don’t you? 

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Whether you are looking for a pretty hen party frock, last minute bargains that your bridesmaids will LOVE or something special for sundowners on your honeymoon, high street honey French Connection has got it covered.

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Twinkle and twirl!

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Prices were correct at the time of going to press

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  – Images © 2012 French Connection

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Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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