October 4th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
You know us, readers: an edgy bride makes our hearts sing, we adore wedding creative cool and Fashion-with-a-Capital-F, but there will always be a special place in our hearts reserved for the classic, the timeless, the elegant. As the formidable Coco Chanel said, “Fashion changes, only style remains the same,” and, for lots of brides-to-be, the temptation of the classic often wins over the contemporary when it comes to their wedding gown. After all, those photographs will adorn mantelpieces and be pored over by future grandchildren in the years to come, and many of us want them to have longevity.
And the dress that sums up Coco’s motto of enduring style best of all? It’s got to be the A-line. Ask a little girl to draw a wedding dress and the A-line is what she’ll invariably produce – a bodice which fits to the waist and flares at the skirt. This design staple is feminine, romantic and almost universally flattering – what’s not to like?
Main images, Charlotte Balbier.
So, if an A-line ticks the boxes for you, where to start? Well, how about with Brides Up North’s very own Lead Sponsor, Charlotte Balbier. We’ve previewed Bohemian Blush here previously, and the Klara gown from that very collection is a classic A-line beauty, with full chiffon skirt (perfect for twirling and swirling, dancing fans), but this modesty is offset by a sheer bodice and stunning lace applique.
This combination of demure and daring is clearly a Balbier ‘thing’, with the Tuesday gown going for the same feel – a revealing Bardot lace neckline with a fabulously elegant chiffon skirt – just heavenly.
Then there’s the Romy – a boho dream of a dress with a small A-line skirt if you want something a little less princessy. We think the long cape is a stunning detail and destined to set a Balbier bride apart from the rest.
It’s hard to go wrong with directional bridal brand Pronovias, and a quick peep at their current ranges throws up a bevy of A-line lovelies. The Regina’s tattoo neckline adds fashion interest, whereas the cap sleeves and flowing skirt are classically romantic. In fact, we can’t decide between that and the Reina, with its tattoo-style bodice and satisfyingly swishy chiffon skirt.
The Rumba is a self-confessed adventure in modern bridal design, taking a classic A-line gown and showing how it can be “reinterpreted to create an original, sensual and very modern look”. More tattoo-style bodice and sleeve work with a full skirt and sweetheart neckline; the perfect fusion of classic and contemporary.
August 29th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
The décolletage takes centre stage in our look book today, with a handpicked selection of gowns that beautifully expose the neck, shoulders, back and upper chest in the most sophisticated and elegant of styles.
There’s a certain allure surrounding this part of the body, so you’ll want a dress that will accentuate this area in a demure yet discreetly sultry fashion – think strapless numbers, gorgeous Bardot styles or barely there spaghetti straps. For the more risqué brides-to-be among you though – a plunging neckline is a bold and sexy statement, to say the least.
The key to puling off this look, however, lies not just in your gown of choice but also in prepping your skin, ready to bare (almost) all. Stay on top of your skincare regime in the lead up to your big day (we’re talking regular exfoliation and indulgent body creams) to ensure this delicate zone is hydrated and smooth. And don’t forget that a sun-kissed glow will do wonders, too, when it comes to your wedding photography.
All set to now show off your glowing décolletage? Here are a few ideas to get your wedding dress inspo in full flow…
First up, we’re spotlighting breathtakingly beautiful dresses from the mesmerising Anna Campbell. The elegant Brooklyn gown typifies this bridal collection, embodying a romantic, bohemian vibe with its strapless sweetheart neckline, silk bow, low exposed back and detachable off the shoulder silk tulle sleeves. As for the v-shaped Ruby dress – it’s all about the detailing with its low, open back, paired with a delicate fringed lace fabric for an ultra classic look. The shimmering ivory Raine, meanwhile, combines a V-shaped bust with narrow straps and an open back – a sparkling, embellished design with the most flattering of silhouettes. And for a heady dose of vintage glamour – look no further than Chloe – a design that’s brim-full of sparkle, complete with cascading hand-beaded shoulder loops.
Daughters of Simone offers up a more carefree, contemporary look with its latest collections, which we simply adore. The floral lace Iver dress is one of our favourites – who could possibly resist this strapless gown, complete with top ruffle and scalloped eyelash trim along the hem? By contrast, the chiffon Miller gown presents a more minimalistic style – we just love how the ruffle, with its beautiful crochet lace, is intentionally longer to the back, helping to accentuate the waist. And for a peek-a-boo moment on your midriff as well as your décolletage – the Ono dress boasts a crochet-lace fitted bodice and playful off the shoulder flutter sleeves.
A long-standing favourite here at Brides Up North – Enzoani combines fashion-forward styles with those sought-after fairy-tale moments thanks to its luxe fabrics and fabulous detailing. It has an array of classic styles perfect for baring the décolletage area. From the tumbling ruffle A-line skirt, ruched tulle bodice and sweetheart neckline of the Jacqueline, and the beaded spaghetti straps and low v-backed Jamila to the whimsical strapless Luanne with its voluptuous beaded corded lace skirt – there are lots of exquisite, couture styles to fire up your wedding dress wish list.
August 21st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
Naeem Khan – Chrysler
Today’s look book is all about those subtle details and gorgeous embellishments that can transform an otherwise ordinary wedding dress into something extra special and utterly Instagram-worthy.
Usually – and quite rightly so – we focus on the overall style and fit of a gown, not to mention the sumptuous lace, tulle or silk fabrics and such like. But, for us, the delicate embroidery and finer detailing are where it’s at when it comes to choosing your dream dress.
Whether it’s flapper-esque fringes (we’ll never ever tire of a Gatsby throwback), intricate beading or dazzling diamantes, there’s lots to capture the imagination of the discerning bride-to-be – and add a touch of sparkle too, of course. Vintage, glamorous, kitsch, contemporary – whatever the style or theme, there’s an embellishment out there to make your gown quite literally the perfect fit for your special day.
As always, here at Brides Up North, we’re looking to some of our favourite designers as well as the runways for top bridal fashion inspo and have rounded up a few of the most coveted looks you’ll find on the rails this season.
Jenny Packham – Harmonica
Jenny Packham’s demure styles ooze a feminine aesthetic and timeless elegance; and we can see why her designs are so popular among the celebrity elite, thanks to their floaty, slinky silhouettes. Treasure is one of our favourites from the new 2018 collection – a beautifully embellished ivory gown, brimming in sparkle but by no means OTT. Combining plush silk chiffon with a fringe studded lace panel – Harmony is another gorgeous creation guaranteed to make a statement. By contrast, the barley-hued Dare gown is all about the shimmer, with a heady dose of sequins for a full-on spectacle, and the ever so pretty Verity & Bloom halter neck dress is altogether more understated, with a pretty pearl and crystal-adorned bodice.
Fringing, feathers and floral appliques feature heavily in the new collection from designer Naeem Khan. Be warned though, these designs aren’t for the fainthearted bride! The Chrysler gown is embellishment at its best, with swathes of fringes and flashes of silver tumbling from the fabric, head to toe. We just love the flapper look embodied by the Argentina dress; skimming the knee with frivolous fringing and plenty of sparkle. Then there’s the Sedona from the Fall 2017 collection – an ultra-chic and glam gown – we’re talking silk fringes (perfect for swishing around on the dance floor!) and a jewel-embroidered neck. If you’re daring to be different on your big day and fancy a couture-inspired moment while walking down the aisle, then this is the designer for you.
Eliza Jane Howell – Luna
Sabrina Dahan’s ethereal styled gowns are dreamy creations, pairing lavish fabrics with dainty beading and subtle hints of shimmer. The Isabelle gown brings the pretty by the bucket load and is, we think, the epitome of bridal elegance. As for the stylish Liliane – who could resist that beautiful tulle wrap and pretty floral detailing? The Sylvie, meanwhile, is a gorgeous backless number from the new spring 2018 collection, boasting that sought-after fuller skirt and a sprinkling of twinkly sequins.
For supreme vintage glamour, look no further than Eliza Jane Howell, another favourite of ours whose designs look to the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 30s for bridal inspiration. The new Stardust Collection is brimming with decadent, unstructured gowns, adorned with exquisite embroidery – perfect for the modern-day bride after a retro twist. The Tucana with its fabulous billowing sleeves and the Aerial with its floral detailing are just two of this season’s stunning highlights.
With so many options (and let’s be honest, we’ve only featured a mere snapshot of what’s out there!), any sparkle-loving brides-to-be will certainly be spoilt for choice.
August 2nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
For our latest lookbook post, we’re taking lead from gossip mags’ favourite and reigning Brides Up North gym inspiration Pippa Middleton – seriously though, I would swap one of my legs for those biceps. Sigh.
Prior to the wedding of the year, fashion commentators consulted their crystal balls and clamoured to predict the style the Duchess’ little sister would go for – arguably it was all a bit more, well, interesting than the 2011 debate about Kate’s dress decisions because so much (length, sleeves, modest front) is set in stone for a Royal bride. Pippa however, could freestyle it a little – and so she did, surprising the world’s media with her unexpectedly classic Giles Deacon princess gown.
We’ve already fully dissected the new Mrs James Matthews’ bridal style in a Get The Look special, but today we’re zooming in on one of the key details of her stunning frock: namely, the high-neck. We’ve been thinking: what inspiration is out there (other than the £40,000 bespoke designer option, obvs) for a girl who wants a lot of front in her frock?
Main feature images from Julie Vino.
Well, first up is Ersa Atelier, with their to-die-for designs from Bucharest. Sisters Gabriela and Cristina make much artful use of the high-neck in their most recent collections and the results are just – well, see for yourself. Serena with its delicate beaded and detailed sleeved top and plain waisted frothy skirt gives the impression of separates and pulls off the almost impossible feat of being both regal and ‘fashiony’. Pea is at the opposite end of the formality spectrum and is everything its short ‘n’ sweet appellation suggests, with its dropped waist and simple crochet-style fabric. Celie, with its glorious Art Deco-style scallops, speaks of another era, and its high-neck almost looks like a little lace collar – statement and simplicity all at once. If you’re a fan of the high-neck, this collection demands closer inspection.
Jesus Peiro’s current collection also embraces high-necks but takes the look in a slightly different direction. Dresses 7019 and 7002 – the first a halter-neck with a draped sash and large bow at the waist, the second a breathtakingly simple origami-style bodice with subtly slashed neckline and full-on princess skirt – are almost sculptural in design and certainly current rather than classic in feel. Dress 7074 is more conventional – delicate lace overlay and elbow-length sleeves balanced by a mermaid flare – but no less attention-grabbing. The Nanda Devi collection heads for more ethereal territory, so if a Midsummer Night’s Dream-slash-fairytale vibe is your bag, JP’s website is definitely worth a trawl: drifting skirts, pretty lace crop tops and full-length lace sleeves abound. Dreamy bridal design brilliance.
You might be forgiven for thinking that ‘high-necked’ as a descriptor automatically aligns itself with ‘modest’ or even ‘prudish’, and that a high-necked dress is definitely a distant cousin of ‘modern bride’ and even further removed from ‘sexy bride’. Allow us to dispel all misconceptions with Julie Vino’s daring Napoli, Roma and Venice collections. Here we see the modesty of the high neck neutered with plunging backs, daring sheer panels, Swarovski and exposed shoulders – what on earth would Ms Middleton think?
And finally, in more situations than I’d like to admit I find myself asking the question “what would Vera Wang do?” and, in the case of designing a wedding gown for her Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 collections, the answer seems to have frequently been “put a high-neck on it”. Thank you, Vera, for showing us the way with the halter-neck wonderfulness of the Galilea, the all-over lace glamour of the Cecile and the wow-factor of Clemence’s peasant gown perfection. Inspiration overload.
July 19th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
When it comes to finding the perfect wedding dress, it’s all about the finer details. The neckline, the sleeves, the detailing to the back, the train, the fabric – they all play a special part in creating your bridal look.
But for us, one of the most captivating features of a bridal gown has to be the skirt. This is what, by and large, defines the overall style of the dress – whether it’s vintage, boho, ethereal, all-out flamboyant or something else just as gorgeous, prim or fantastical.
And that’s why today’s look book spotlights some of the most irresistible on-trend styles with wow-factor skirts from some of our very favourite designers. Gals, you’re in for a treat!
We’re opening our look book with the definitive all-time classic – the ball gown. It’s the stuff of fairytales and let’s be honest, we all want to try on a skirt in this style at least once, just to experience our very own Cinderella moment. The ball gown skirt doesn’t need to be an extravagant puffball or meringue, as perfectly showcased by Morilee with their variety of chic, understated styles – all with a magical sprinkling of va-va-voom that’ll be sure to make you feel like a modern-day princess.
If the classic A-line skirt seems a bit too conventional for your special day, the ruffle offers up an alluring alternative that will add dimension and movement to your silhouette (we’re already imagining this skirt whooshing its way down the aisle). Wavy, fluted, cascading, spiraling or even frilly – ruffles come in so many gorgeous styles and sizes, all perfect for accentuating your figure and adding a playful twist to your bridal look. For sublime sophistication, look to Justin Alexander for gorgeous skirts designed with layers upon layers of tiered ruffles in sumptuous tulle or organza.
Skirts with a sassy split are still very much an underrated option, but for the bride who likes something a touch risqué this is the choice du jour for a look that will be unlike anything else your wedding guests will have seen before. There are lots of variations – the split can be to the front or the side, knee-high or (hold your breath) thigh-high. Keep things romantic and sophisticated by teaming this style with luxe fabrics such as lace, organza or silk, and exquisite sweetheart necklines or embellished illusion bodices. One of our current favourites perfecting this style is Pronovias, with their delicately flowing fabrics and flawless, demure designs.
Another style that we simply adore on the runways (yes, we’re looking at you Monique Lhuillier) but which we rarely see worn by real brides is the high low skirt. For the style-savvy bride who wants to make an entrance – the high low skirt is one of the few designs that will put your wedding shoes (and your pins) firmly in the spotlight. Combining the glamour of a mini dress with a classic long train – the high low hemline is bold, beautiful and flagrantly chic. Consider voluminous ruffles for added drama or a slinky lace skirt for a flattering silhouette.
June 5th, 2017 | Julia Braime
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…
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, to keep up do date on all the latest news, follow Amanda Wyatt on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Acacia – A high neck and long-sleeved lace detailed gown which flairs out into a beautiful skirt, with a cut hole back.
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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