Charlotte Balbier

lookbook: sheer brilliance

October 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Reem Acra 3

Over time we’re seeing bridal gowns that are less virginal and pure as designers become much bolder with their designs, chopping and changing the traditional wedding dress as we know it.

We’ve witnessed the hemline of some dresses get higher, necklines get lower, backs on full show, and more recently, cutaway detailing which exposes various areas of brides’ physiques, from their arms to their abs.

And it looks like brides will continue to bare all, as this year’s designer catwalks have been awash with striking sheer gowns.

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Though bridal dresses with see-through detailing are nothing new, the most recent take on the translucent look sees the sexiness taken up a notch – with some gowns leaving very little to the imagination.

That said, similar to the cutaway trend, brides can opt to be as coy or confident as they like with the look, be it donning a barely there gown to show off their figure from top to toe, or choosing a dress with subtle sheer detailing on just the arms or across the chest.

For brave brides Reem Acra has some fabulous sheer showstoppers. Most expose the arms, chest and torso area though the necessities are covered by decorative embroidery and lace detail that’s so delicate it appears to have been etched onto the skin. Though revealing the dresses are both soft and romantic, and in most cases follow the rule of only exposing one half of the body.

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Heightening the risqué factor further are designers such as Anna Romysh Haute Couture, who showcased daring and distinctively different dresses on the 2015 White Gallery catwalks. Though some of the gowns did offer full body cover, in the sense that they were floor length, long sleeved and high necked, flesh was still flashed though beautifully detailed sheer fabrics. Other dresses meanwhile flaunted either the pins or upper half of the body. The Romysh dresses also stood out in terms of colour, with metallics and even black designs getting runway time.

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Fortunately, there are much more toned down options available for those who like the idea of showing just a little skin, or at least giving the impression that they are doing so. While some sheer fabrics do expose the bare skin beneath, others are cleverly placed over nude slips to give the illusion of exposure. Anna Kara has some particularly pretty options along these lines within her collection, which is classic and elegant but with a modern edge.

Tamer still are dress designs with just small or subtle elements of transparency.  Such designs can be found within numerous designers’ collections, including Augusta Jones, Naeem Khan, Simone Carvalli and Sharon Elle Design. Some of our favourites however, come from Monique Lhuillier and Claire Pettibone, which show that there is no need for brides to fear the sheer!

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Main images by Reem Acra, visit our Gallery for more inspiration.

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a diary date for #pearlsgirls

September 29th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Georgina Harrison Photography

Brides Up North fave Diana of The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (plus some of her ever so lovely friends) are hijacking these pretty pages this lunchtime with a very special invitation.

diana says: We would like to thrilled to invite you to an afternoon of pure elegance & style, hosted by the fabulous boutique venue, The Pheasant in Harome, North Yorkshire on Sunday 11th October 2015 from 1pm to 4pm.

Exclusive Event Invitation

We will shower you with fizz and canapés on arrival, where you will then have the chance to chat to some of the best local wedding suppliers there are. There will be lots more treats throughout the afternoon and a few surprises too!!

Hayley Baxter Photography
At 2pm there will be an exclusive preview of new collection gowns that have arrived in to the boutique from Charlotte Balbier, Enzoani and Sassi Holford Bridal Design plus some of their gorgeous current collections. There’ll be lots of sparkle, shoes, feathers and lingerie too from our accessory designers – Rachel Simpson Shoes, Charlotte Mills Bridal, Flo & Percy, Chez Bec, Sasso Bride, Pompadour Couture Lingerie and Amanda Wyatt. It is going to be amazingly beautiful!

Samantha Ward Photography

You can keep up to date on all of our fabulous ‘wedding friends’ that will joining us on the day via our Facebook event page. Tickets are FREE so to book your place, just call the boutique on 01751 798080, email or click here to go through to our contact form on on our website.We just need to know numbers for all the treats we have planned for you.

Get the girls together and enjoy an afternoon of wedding inspiration…

See you there! #pearlsgirls

Images by Georgina Harrison, Hayley Baxter and Samantha Ward.

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look book: 3d florals

September 8th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Oscar de la Renta - Ella

Ella by Oscar de le Renta

Elegant petals in one form or another, have been gracing bridal designers’ collections since pretty much day dot – though the florals spotted on recent catwalks have well and truly come into bloom.

This is because numerous designers have taken to adding enchanting floral details that stand proud of their dress designs, adding extra texture, interest and depth. So with 3D florals set to be one of the biggest trends of 2016 we thought we’d showcase some of the botanical beauties on offer.

Oscar de la Renta - Elizabeth

Large, blousy flower corsages that we’ve seen for several seasons now will continue as part of the 3D trend, which is good news for those who like their blooms big. Usually where such corsages are used the dress will feature just one or two pretty flower heads, often across the shoulder, on the hip or as part of a belt or sash – but there are exceptions, of course.

One designer who remains totally unfazed by flowers is Ian Stuart (who could forget the sensational Flower Bomb?) Stuart’s fabulous Lady Luxe collection reflects his passion for incorporating lots of blousy corsages into his designs but also features several contrasting dresses that are peppered with a flurry of dainty floral appliques, for a slightly more pared back look. Floral favourites for us include beautiful ball gowns, Hummingbird and Rosa Montana, as well as the fishtail Papillon design with matching jacket.

Similarly, queen of bridal Jenny Packham, has used both full floral corsages as well as petite petal details within her latest collection. Gowns vary from the simple and elegant Ceres, with floral corsages resting upon its straps, to the likes of busier designs, including strapless Hero, and knee-length Puck.

Oscar de la Renta - look 4

As Angel Sanchez demonstrates, 3D florals can also be used as a clever and classic way to cover up areas of modesty, particularly when it comes to sheer and deep plunging numbers.

Elsewhere we’ve seen Oscar de le Renta using three-dimensional flowers to embellish some very fashion forward designs. His short cocktail dresses are particularly striking with embroidered organza flowers providing head-turning detail.

Meanwhile for those who would prefer a modern big day look, but with just a scattering of blooms, Katya Katya Shehurina has some truly dreamy options. Inspired by the romanticism of Venice, the lightly structured silk taffeta designs offer brides-to-be a lively yet low-key flower fix. We love the girly charm of Monica and Theresa, though Grazia is the perfect choice for those in search of their something blue.

Further floral inspiration can be found in collections by Charlotte Balbier, Emma Hunt and Yumi Katsura, making the eye-popping trend a hard one to miss.

Main feature images by Oscar de le Renta, explore our Gallery to see more designers’ interpretations of the trend. 

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friday fabulous!

September 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime


The prettiest sleeves on the scene. If in doubt, add lace!

Sicily Cover Up by Coast, £75

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pretty lovely. willa rose 2016: the full collection.

August 26th, 2015 | Julia Braime


You know we love charlotte balbier’s beautiful gowns, right?  ^^^ Could we be more obvious?!

Well, if you hadn’t already guessed that we’re gaga for our friend and colleague Ms. Balbier’s beautiful work, look no further. After sharing some sneak peeks from Charlotte’s stunning Willa Rose collection for 2016, we’re back… and this time with the full – and extremely lovely – look book. Here, the designer talks us through each look in the collection.

Eyes down ladies, Wednesday afternoon just got interesting.

(…and very pretty).


charlotte says: The 2016 Charlotte Balbier, ‘Willa Rose’ collection captivates a bride’s imagination with bohemian free spirited designs to take my brides on a magical journey.


Willa Rose is the signature gown from the new collection. This dress features a soft flowing chiffon skirt with a delicate floral cotton lace bodice. This gown is the ultimate boho gown for the free spirited brides.


Alexandria is a beautiful lace off the shoulder gown with button detailing down the back.  The lace top-half opens into beautiful A-line layers of chiffon giving the Alexandra a fabulous shape.


Aliona has been cut into a lovely deep-plunge neckline.  The back of the gown is sheer with lace detailing flowing downwards into the main body of the skirt.


Amba is one of the collection’s super playful gowns. Layers of tulle plunge into a v-neckline at the front and the back.  We love the sequin detailing around the waistline.


Beth embraces the boho free-spirited bride with gorgeous floral straps embellished with hand-cut flowers.  The hand-cut flowers run through the whole gown, decorating a sheer lace back and around the lower back of the gown.


Camille is all about accentuating a bride’s decolletage with a striking Queen-Ann neckline. The diamond cut adds a further wow factor to the back of the gown with delicate buttons embellishing the silk full skirt.

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Cara comprises stunning sequin patterns decorating a beautiful V-neck and short-sleeved dress.  Silver and ivory sequin detailing runs right down the mermaid shaped skirt.


Erin is the figure-hugging gown halter-neck gown of the Willa Rose collection.  The back is finished with a lovely art deco silver embellishment.

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