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 email@example.com. 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.
May 9th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
David Tutera – 117265
This evening we’re handing over the blogging reins to our guest writer, the lovely Sophie Grabham, Online Editor at Love Our Wedding Magazine, who is focusing on some revealing bridal dress trends for those of you that dare to bare…
Sophie says: When it comes to bridal fashion for 2017/18, it’s all about sexy and sophisticated designs that flash a little flesh without being too revealing. From plunging v-necklines and daring back details to high leg splits in the skirt; there are plenty of ways to adopt this trend in an effortless and fashionable way.
Blue by Enzoani – Jamari
Confident, fashion-forward brides are embracing the current trend for stunning deep-v necklines, for a flirty, feminine look. Many bridal collections are now working this style, often with illusion panelling for added modesty – especially important if you’re having a church ceremony and want to be on-trend but not too revealing! This style is perfect for smaller busts that need less support, while creating the illusion of a cleavage. From long or capped sleeves to strapless designs, this look comes in many forms to suit your personal style and body shape. See gorgeous examples from Bonny Bridal, Enzoani and Kenneth Winston.
Modeca – Aurora
If you want to show off a little skin, but aren’t quite brave enough to wear a low neckline, v-back detailing might be right up your street. Back detail is a real focus this year with many designers placing a lot of emphasis on this area of the gown. All eyes will be on your back during your ceremony, after all, so it’s a great way to make a statement. Whether you choose an open v-back or a little illusion detailing for extra coverage, low back details are where it’s at for this year and beyond. Remember you won’t be able to wear a bra with this style, so a great fit around the bust is key. Check out stunning styles from Casablanca Bridals, Mark Lesley and Mori Lee for inspiration.
April 26th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
Oscar De La Renta
We at Brides Up North have seen the future, and it looks like detail. While sleek and simple silhouettes are still on the up; a lot of the line-up for 2017 is all about the fuss. It seems designers can’t get enough of frippery – in the form of embellishment, ruffles, statement backs and shoulders, creative high-low hemlines and, my ultimate favourite, bows and blooms.
Banish dated ideas of Margaret Thatcher’s pussy-bow blouses or cutesy, little girl headbands – bows are incredibly versatile and can create an exciting focal point for a bridal gown. If you’re trying to create a fairy-tale feel for your big day, bow detailing can be dreamy and romantic – exhibit A: the whimsical organza bow on Caroline Herrera’s Andie – but, think outside of the box. Bows can also be fashion-forward, origami-esque, cleancut; the Radnor by Charlie Brear, is a perfect example. There’s also the pseudo-bow; more architectural than a ruffle, more formal than a flounce – think fabric tucked and twisted into the suggestion of a bow. Oscar de la Renta is all over this look, with the ballerina-esque Hayden or the statement Hunter gown.
Positioning is also key – bridal runways saw bows placed at the nape of the back, as a classic waist-cincher, or even at the neck and shoulder; Halfpenny London’s daring Christabelle skirt and Irene top is a bold example.
Blooms are also making a striking statement on the bridal catwalks in the form of floral prints, flower embroidery and lace patterns. Sounds a bit girly, you say? Well, it certainly can be. BHLDN’s Tulley or Tahlia tops sport flowers AND sequins, and are a super-sweet option if you’re set on separates. Brides Up North Lead Sponsor Charlotte Balbier, is also all over the floral trend with the deliciously sweet Posy from the Untamed Love collection and the ah-maz-ing Jayde from her latest Bohemian Blush collection. The Posy floral skirt and cropped top scores edgy fashion points, and it boasts pockets – perfect for ticking off three trends in one. Oh, and Jayde has blooms and a bow!
Sassi Holford’s Blossom is a full-on interpretation of the floral trend with its use of bright colour, whereas Halfpenny London go in a different direction with the 3D flowers on the Ebony gown. Too much? Needle & Thread’s Rosette dress is a feminine classic with its slim sleeves and tulle skirt, but the embroidered petals in pink and ivory threads are a subtle nod to the floral fad. The laser-cut floral lace of Rolling in Roses’ Violet achieves a similar result of subtle floral gorgeousness.
So, will you be flirting with bows and blooms for your big day?
March 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
We just love it when we get to share an exclusive first look at a designer’s brand new collection – and this afternoon on the blog, we are doing just that!
Prepare for some serious dress candy ladies, as we reveal a special preview of the 2018 collection from our hugely talented Sponsor, Felicity Cooper Bridal.
The stunning label was launched by North West designer Fiona Cooper back in 2010 and has continued to go from strength to strength, with brides falling head over heels for its pretty bohemian designs that are both feminine and fashionable.
Here to introduce the latest collection with stunning imagery and video footage, is the leading lady herself.
With images by Lucy G Photography.
What is the name of the new collection and does it have a certain theme?
fiona says: ‘Authentic Luxe’ is our 2018 collection and we are so excited to preview it here exclusively! It has a bohemian luxe vibe – the look we love the most!
Where did you get the inspiration from for the new collection?
The 2018 collection has a relaxed feel. I have taken inspiration from so many things, including interior design trends, bohemian fashion and the brides I meet.
Can you give us an overview of the various styles that feature in the collection?
The majority of the collection is slim fitting; off-shoulder gowns and spaghetti straps play a prominent part.
And what fabrics have been used?
My usual signature fabrics; silk chiffon in both matt and shine, delicate French laces, soft draping crepe and a really quirky geometric stretch cotton.
Do you have a personal favourite dress from the collection?
Oh, I have a few, though I think Willow and Poppy are my very favourites!
How has the new collection been received so far by those that have seen it?
Some of our stockists have had sneak previews and so far we have had an amazing response. We can’t wait to get the collection in their boutiques and to the brides!
What type of bride do you think the new collection will appeal to?
We really think our dresses appeal to the relaxed bride, fun loving and fashion thinking bride. The bride who knows her own mind and style, who wants to be comfortable yet look breath-taking.
When and where will the new collection be available from?
The collection will be available at trunk shows with our stockists over the coming months and permanently with them from the summer. I would advise any bride wanting to try the new collection to contact their nearest stockist, book into the trunk shows and make sure the dress they want to try will be there!
Any other news to share with us?
With the success of Felicity Cooper Bridal with our wonderful stockists we have decided to close our Knutsford boutique to enable us to concentrate fully on our brand and support our stockists. We will be hosting special events in the North West and I will be attending as many trunk shows as I can personally. Our stockist trunk show dates so far are:
Frock & Soul – 8th and 9th April
The White Yard – 1st May
Kimberley Ann Bridal Boutique – 8th and 9th July
For a full list of stockists visit www.felicitycooper.co.uk
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