May 14th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Forget the tulle skirt, sweetheart neckline and spaghetti straps – when it comes to the finer wedding dress details, the back is where it’s at.
And surprisingly, it’s always something that’s overlooked when a bride is compiling her dream dress wish list. But just ponder this for a moment; you spend the key parts of your day – walking down the aisle, exchanging your vows with your hubby-to-be and sharing your first dance as newlyweds – with your back to your guests. So, surely this part of your gown should be sprinkled with all kinds of prettiness too?
If an understated lace-up corset simply won’t cut it, look out instead for intricate styling details to the back of the gown, certain to make it ultra swoon-worthy. We’re talking sparkly embellishments, intricate beads and pearls, as well as luxe lace and even bows.
And so, to help you on your wedding dress journey, we’ve handpicked a few of these desirable details, certain to make you princess-perfect from all angles on your special day…
Main images by Rosa Clara.
We’re opening our look book with a vintage classic: lace. Typically, lace detailing is focused around the neckline and sleeves, but as Claire Pettibone perfectly showcases, lace can become the most beautiful of features on the reverse of your dress too. We just love her understated, demure wedding gowns, beaming with an ethereal quality. Pettibone’s collection pairs exquisitely embellished lace and buttons with sheer backs and luxurious fabrics such as Italian tulle for a full-on romantic bridal look.
Beading is another popular choice for adding that extra something to a gown that might, on first appearance at least, seem like a simple style. This could be anything from beaded straps and buttons to embellishments all over. For inspiration on all things beaded, look to Rosa Clara’s decadent collections. Timeless crisp white gowns, encompassing everything from mermaid cuts to sensual silk muslin, create enchanting silhouettes that are then perfectly accentuated by intricate beaded embroidery and dainty appliques to the back.
For a fun and feminine twist to the back of your gown – the classic bow is the statement you’ve been looking for. And nobody does it better than Temperley London. These swooshing, graceful gowns are the epitome of bridal elegance and the bows make the perfect finishing touches. Whether it’s a soft bow neatly tied at the nape of the neck or a larger prissy knot around the waist to emphasize the plumage of the skirt below – the option is yours. Just make sure one of your bridesmaids is on bow watch throughout the day to keep it perfectly tied and in place!
We do love a bit of sparkle here at Brides Up North, and we know that you do too! So, no look book would be complete without twinkly jewels thrown into the mix. A shimmery back makes for gorgeous photos as the lights and camera flashes bounce off these dainty gems, creating your very own crystal-infused Instagram filter in real life! Sophia Tolli has some beautiful diamante-encrusted gowns – by no means OTT but just enough sparkle for a stylish, sophisticated look.
But whatever bridal look you go for – remember to do a practice run on how to fully get into – and out of – your dress, tantrum-free. And don’t forget to give extra thought around your hairstyle too, and how this will compliment the back of your dress and really give it a chance to shine. The last thing you’ll want is to hide all those fabulous details under your tresses, so we suggest you begin your up-do Pinterest board pronto!
April 27th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
This season the bridal catwalks have dared brides to go beyond a traditional ivory dress, with blush, blue and even dazzling gold gowns making an appearance on the runway.
We understand however that a colourful gown, no matter how subtle, is still considered a more niche option, with many choosing to stick with a pure shade of fail-safe white. But this doesn’t mean that brides have to forgo colour altogether, as big day footwear provides an ideal area in which ladies can add a pop of pizazz and personality from any end of the spectrum.
When it’s time to get the shoe search underway, we highly advise looking to specialist bridal shoe designers who craft their creations with both comfort and style in mind – meaning you can keep your heels firmly on from the ‘I dos’ to the dance moves!
So, for those of you that crave a colour-pop, we’ve rounded up our favourite heels from the top designers in the industry, which we’re pretty sure will help inspire your choices. Ladies, let’s shop!
Main post images from Rachel Simpson.
First up is our fabulous Sponsor, Charlotte Mills, where each shoe sole is embossed with the phrase, “Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something Blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe.” And yes, each left shoe includes an original silver sixpence to bring you luck on your big day. Sticking with wedding traditions, why not add your ‘something blue’ in the shape of a shoe? The April Blue peep toe sandal is delicate in pale blue with a heart design at the back and cross-over ankle straps, while the Cece Blue is a T-bar peep toe with a low block heel and an iridescent pearl blue tonal glitter bow. Ms Mills also has some fab options if you want a stand-out heel. Check out the Becky range, each with a show-stopping glitter block heel and the Eve, a court shoe also rocking a pretty, shimmering heel.
Next, another stylish Sponsor of Brides Up North, Paradox London, where you can expect to find some bold blues in the shape of the Adaline Navy and Catrina Navy. The Adaline is ideal if you want a bit of height but don’t fancy teetering on a stiletto, while the Catrina has some lovely embellishment detail. Add pizzazz with the Alandra Red, a bejewelled stiletto sure to make an entrance, or tone it down a tad and plump for the Manhattan Blush or Macpherson Blush. The Manhattan sports a chunky jewel embellishment on the strap, while the Macpherson is a beautiful sandal with a sexy strap design to flatter the foot.
Taking a step into Rachel Simpson’s collections, the Mimosa shoe is heart-stoppingly beautiful. The soft petal design is inspired by nature – choose it in the pale mint leather, which is overlaid on metallic champagne gold leather to beautifully highlight the petal design. For a darker shade of green, look to the Olivia peep toe in luxurious velvet, which is enhanced with a luxe copper glitter heel. For your ‘something blue’, slip into a pair of Isabelle Ice Blue peep toes, with an art deco vibe and subtle metallic leather detailing, or the Valentina Cobalt – the perfect footwear for that kingfisher flash. And, if you’re looking for ruby red, check out the Bonita Red glitter courts, complete with full red satin bow.
April 10th, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
While not exactly a Weddingworld staple in the way that a veil is, capes make an appearance on the white carpet of the bridal runways season after season. And before you dismiss the idea of a cape or cover up out of hand, be aware that they’re not just for fashion-forward brides or those craving a dramatic entrance. In fact, many brides opt for a cover up for the simple reason that they want a muted, modest look for their ceremony but then want to switch up their style for the evening; in this instance, capes or cover ups can provide versatility without going down the two-dress-route (and completely blowing the budget). Plus take note, readers: cover ups come in all shapes and styles, from sheer, delicately-beaded, vintage-style numbers to blingy Beyonce-style (faux) furs – and this season we’re even seeing fresh, unorthodox pieces such as satin bomber jackets and denim cut-offs emerge. What a time to be a bride!
So, if you fancy the statement of something trailing down the aisle behind you but a cathedral-length veil is a tad too conventional, join us as we take a look at what designers are offering in the way of capes and other cover ups.
Main post images by Savin London.
Let’s begin with something classically cape-like, such as Savannah Miller’s Lisa. So far, so vintage. Made from blush velvet and adorned with pearls, this would be glorious for a winter wedding or with a castle as a backdrop – is it just me or is there a bit of a medieval feel to this one? There’s also the May capelet, a strikingly simple tulle creation with more than a nod to the 70s with its ruffle drawstring neckline. And then there’s my personal favourite: the Edith. You’d have to have been dead (or, you know, at least have been locked out of your Instagram) to have missed the frenzy from fashion bloggers over the M&S constellation print dress over the winter, and the delightful Edith plays to the same trend. With its starry lace pattern, it’s cosmic, cute and a little bit kooky without being too far out.
So now that you’re warming up to the idea, let’s take a look at trendy trailblazer Halfpenny London’s offerings, starting with the Wren top. Halfpenny prides itself on creating vintage-style pieces for modern brides, and this mantra is perfectly encapsulated in the simple but striking Wren – we love its boxy shape, the pleated piecrust collar and the row of delicate buttons down the back. Arguably more classic in style, the Ridley’s batwing shape and sheer lace is universally flattering and is worn over a number of different gowns in the Halfpenny campaign images to illustrate its gorgeous versatility. And then there’s the Cliff dress – not technically a cape, but a fitted satin dress with an oversized sheer three-tiered lace overlay which gives the definite impression of a cover up. Striking, stylish and undeniably stunning.
March 15th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
Unsure about thousands of sparkles, puff sleeves and a skirt so voluminous you disappear into it the second you sit down? Never fear – if you’re a bride who prefers the simpler things in life, there are gorgeous gown options aplenty. And to help you make your selection, for this look book we’ve rounded up a collection of our very favourite pared back & pretty designs.
Main post images by Watters.
First stop, and setting the styling bar high, is the fabulous Amanda Wakeley whose gowns are all about the elegance and glamour. The Amber is beautifully graceful dress in luxe silk jersey and showcases a pretty Swarovski-encrusted belt fir just the right amount of sparkle. The Antonella is a panelled silk Mikado dress with a full skirt and cathedral train – simple in style but luxurious in quality! We also love the Olivia – minimalist from the front but dramatic at the back, with rows of delicate beading and a draped train giving the best of both worlds!
Another brand to explore is Watters. The silk Hymn gown has the most exquisite illusion back, dotted with buttons, yet gives the impression of a clean, simple sheath from the front. Then there’s the Geneva – a dream for brides who want simple and elegant with a sexy edge. The Leona is chic and beautifully minimal, while the Mabel has a lovely satin bow detail on the back and a simple and sophisticated air. If you fancy a very plain bodice but a bit of oomph in the skirt department, try the Cassia skirt, made from soft netting. It’s playful and full but looks divine with a classic bodice for a more minimalist look.
Next up, Enzoani. See the Lindsey for a timeless gown with a gorgeously full A-line skirt. The detail comes in the form of a pretty, glimmering beaded waistband. The Lenore is an inner dress with a bateau illusion neckline over a sweetheart neckline that you can wear underneath your chosen gown for a unique look. Choose a simple dress to wear it with for maximum impact. The Justice has a sleek bodice down to the knee, before flaring into a tulle skirt accentuated with embroidered stones, while the Lacy is simple and chic at the front with a glamorous illusion back for an old-Hollywood feel. Or rock the Grecian goddess look in the Harmony, a full-length mermaid gown with beaded straps and subtle ruching.
Finally, we look to the fabulous Jesus Peiro – a designer that gets the pared back and pretty brief down to a tee. We love how gorgeous textured fabrics are used to create structured dresses with impact but that still have a calm and clear overall appearance, such as design 8000 and 8027, the latter finished with a simple yet highly satisfying bow. More slim-line gowns are in the offering too; some in sumptuous silk fabrics and others in matt. For just a touch of detailing we adore the cowl back and jewel embellishment of 8017, and also the simple sheer linear panels of 8002. However, if it’s a truly pure creation you crave, there can be no better choice than the amazingly-cut 8062.
So, as you can see, if you see yourself gliding down the aisle in a dress that you wear – rather than one that wears you – there’s an exquisite array of chic and minimalist gowns out there to get trying on. High time for some boutique bookings we feel!
March 2nd, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson
This season, the catwalks are dancing with spectacular sleeve detail. From illusion sleeves with lace detail, to puffball sleeves, to flutter sleeves, to bell sleeves, to off-the-shoulder sleeves, to blouson sleeves … yes, OK, you get the picture. There’s an incredible array of delightful choice in the sleeve department. So, we’ve done the hard work for you (oh, it’s tough looking at wedding gowns for hours on end!) and whittled down the options to a collection of gorgeous creations that will no doubt send you all misty-eyed.
Main image Rime Arodaky.
From the bell to the blouson, Lillian West has got your arms covered when it comes to dreamy, romantic sleeves this season. Styles 6463 and 6509 have a gorgeous vintage vibe, with flared skirts to echo the flute of the bell sleeves. Flutter like a butterfly in style 6517, as ethereal chiffon cascades from the shoulders of this beautiful illusion neckline and deep illusion back. Go boho with blouson sleeves and a crepe gypsy skirt in style 6518, or an off-the-shoulder illusion blouson bodice in style 6476.
If you’re looking for effortless cool with a bit of grit thrown in (think rocking up to the church on a motorbike with bed hair and sharply contoured cheeks), Rime Arodaky is right up your alley. The puffy sleeves are to die for. Check out the Zappa, with its funnel neck, puffy sleeves and plaited high-waisted skirt. Or the Jude, a sleek silhouette with a gigantic puff adorning each wrist. The off-the-shoulder Madden sports large ruffles in plumetis and organza and brings a bit of romance to the occasion. And, for the ultimate in ruffled sleeves, look no further than the Arlo and the Joni, both crepe gowns with dazzling appeal. Pass me the black kohl eyeliner, quick.
There’s a delicate vibe to Theia’s sleeve detail that gives us the romantic feels. Sandy is sophisticated, with hand-appliquéd, scallop-edged sleeves that swish down the aisle. Layla is covered with thousands of glass-cut beads and micro pearls which, combined with the off-the-shoulder flutter sleeves, create an ethereal effect. For a long-sleeved gown with gorgeous floral detail that the designer describes as a ‘tattoo effect’, take a look at Karina. Then there’s the Sasha, with a stunning mermaid skirt and a cut-out cape-style sleeve and Ellie, with its chic silhouette and fabulous bell sleeves.
Absolutely nailing the illusion sleeve is Hayley Paige. Pascal is completely divine, with its long-sleeved illusion bodice with metallic floral micro beading. Stevie is another off-the-shoulder creation with a glorious bateau neckline and full skirt, while Rogers combines an illusion sleeve with a delicate butterfly flutter at the wrist and a low scoop back. So pretty. For a more obvious flutter, try Frida, a fit-to-flare gown with a deep V scalloped neckline and a detachable, cascading sleeve. And, finally, we mustn’t forget the cap sleeve, for a subtle nod to the season’s trend. Check out Vaughn, with its low open back, full tulle skirt and lovely bateau neckline.
So, come on ladies, dress your arms to impress. After all, they do have a huge roll to play in the proceedings, from presenting the hand upon which your dashing groom will slip the wedding ring, to making some serious shapes on the dancefloor in the evening. Whether your totally boho or a chic petite, there’s a sleeve out there for you!
February 22nd, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
This afternoon we’re talking about sculpted columns, bold lines and architectural sweeps – but this isn’t a piece about wedding venues, oh no, it’s all about dresses – specifically, simple, fuss free-wedding gowns with clean lines and sleek silhouettes.
There’s something about a minimalist gown that, while timeless, has a simultaneous up-to-the-minute feel perfect for a fashion-forward bride. Here at Brides up North we love the edginess of a dress with less, and we’ve gathered together a whole lovely loot of unadorned beauties for your browsing pleasure.
Main post images by Cortana.
First up is Spanish designer Cortana, a label which boasts a romantic, boho vibe. We love the luxe factor of the Gala gown; a silk satin bias-cut beauty which looks slinky and effortlessly chic. The attention to detail is just stunning – that diagonal row of silk-covered buttons on the back gives us all the feels – and the thin straps feel bold and youthful and a little bit 90s-Calvin-Klein, which is always a good thing in case you’re wondering.
The Cortana collection also features the stunningly minimalist Grace with daring back and thin crossed strap detail and the silk brocade Linda, made with a touch of lurex to give a super-flattering fit and stretch. There’s also the Valentina which, quite frankly, makes my heart sing – the boat neckline! The sleek drapery! And is a strong contender in my frequent ‘What Would I Wear If I Got Married Again?’ mental debate (don’t mention that to my husband, kaythanks?)
Onwards to a Brides Up North favourite – the always-opulent Eliza Jane Howell. EJH is known for their decadent vintage designs, and so might not seem a natural bedfellow of the Clean Lines brigade. However, in Gill Harvey’s recent collections, we’re seeing subtlety, simplicity and lots of plain silk alongside the embellishment and embroidery. Belle from the Leading Lady collection is a stunner with a contemporary feel, complete with bold halterneck, textured figure-hugging fabric and a daring sheer back. Daisy from the Legend collection and Clarissa from the Debutante range are unquestionably more vintage in style but still simple and sleek, with Daisy offering the tiniest hint of embellishment and Clarissa’s floaty sleeves a great option for brides less inclined to bare. Luna from the Stardust range gets close to the fussier end of the spectrum with its frothy skirt and mini train, but the long sleeves, close fit and semi-sheer overlay is dreamily clean and sculpted.
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