Charlotte Balbier

look book: a cut above

April 17th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Hayley Paige HP6450

Hayley Paige - HP6450

If we said cut-out wedding dress to you there’s a good chance horrifying thoughts of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding would spring to mind. But fear not, the type of dresses we’re referring to in today’s look book post are oh-so-elegant designs that reveal just the right amount of flesh and are set to be one of the biggest bridal trends on the 2015 catwalks.

We’ve witnessed cut-out detailing on in the fashion world over the past year or so, and while some designs brought out the inner-Jordan (cue the revealing bodycon) others demonstrate how baring just a little skin can be both sexy & sophisticated.

Reem Acra (2)

Reem Acra

In bridal wear designers are using cut-out detailing in numerous different ways to create dresses with graceful peek-a-boo charm. This means brides can choose which part of their figure they wish to flaunt – whether it be their chest, shoulders or midriff.

Hayley Paige HP6513

Hayley Paige - HP6513

Dresses with keyhole detailing in the back have been popular for a while now though designers appear to be getting bolder with their creations by cutting away more fabric than before. Some have also chosen to lower the keyhole from the shoulder blade area down to the lower back, which is considered a more flirtatious area of the body to reveal. Braver still, designers such as Hayley Paige offer gowns that border on being completely backless. Pretty detailing in floral corsages and intricate embellishing ensure that such dresses remain tasteful rather than tarty.

Keyhole detailing has also crept around to the front of some dress designs to reveal a little of the chest area, or even a glimpse of cleavage. These designs suit small framed brides beautifully but perhaps larger-busted ladies should give them a swerve so not to shock their vicar.

Claire Pettibone Adagio

Claire Pettibone - Adagio

Elsewhere designers are using cut-out detailing by getting creative with straps for a high fashion look. Again, Hayley Paige offers some head-turning examples within her collections – HP6450 and HP6513 being standout designs.

Hayley Paige HP6463

Hayley Paige - HP6463

For body confident brides there are some incredibly striking gowns with cut out detailing in the bodice of the dress which expose areas of the waist, hips and stomach. Reem Acra and Badgley Mischka are particularly talented at producing such dresses.

The level of exposure varies from small slits or triangles in the side of the dress, which can help accentuate a bride’s curves, to fuller areas of the torso being revealed, which might require a fair few pre-wedding-day planks to pull off.

Claire Pettibone Rachel 9back)

Claire Pettibone - Rachel

If you like the idea of flashing a your midriff but don’t want to strip back to the bare skin, there are designs that use pretty sheer fabrics to create an illusion cut away for that extra bit of coverage. Those that would prefer to keep the cut-out detailing at the top of the dress can also take advantage of effective illusion designs adorned with pretty embellishing for that extra wow factor.

Reem Acra

Reem Acra

Read on for more gowns in our Gallery…

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

lookbook: backwards forwards

October 14th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Heart's Desire back - Claire Pettibone

Heart’s Desire by Claire Pettibone

A bride entering her wedding venue is such an iconic moment and there is often one aim in mind – to impress on the aisle.

A beautiful dress is of course part of the essential ingredients required to provoke a positive reaction for the big first reveal. The hope is to take guests’ breath away (as well as the groom’s) during the grand entrance and to hold their gaze.

A dress with stunning back detailing is an effective way to achieve this and gives brides two bites at the ‘look at me’ cherry – a double reveal, if you will.

Claire Pettibone Bridal Runway Show with Wedding Paper Divas - Saturday, Oct. 12th

Iris by Claire Pettibone

Many designers are advocates of impressive back detailing which encourages brides to save the best part of the dress until that last moment as they make their way down the aisle. Whether they choose elegant embroidery, flamboyant corsages or a cute key hole cut-out, the dress is bound to impress.

Claire Pettibone is one designer who is particularly well-known for featuring stand-out back detailing in her collections. Many dresses within Pettibone’s enchanting Still Life collection are stunningly simple on the approach but the back demands a double take. Alchemy, Iris and Sonata all boast beautiful sheer backs revealing a glimpse of the bride’s skin but in an ‘oh so elegant’ kind of way.

For something a little more striking there is a namesake of mine as well as the highly romantic Heart’s Desire. Rachel features a jeweled keyhole back complete with large black corsages while Heart’s Desire has incredible embroidery detailing on its second reveal.

Rachel back - Claire Pettibone

Rachel by Claire Pettibone

Both Maggie Sottero and Justin Alexander also have some seriously stunning gowns with detailed backs in their collections. Sottero’s Melanie, Francesca and Savannah Marie each feature wonderful low illusion backs adorned with floral designs and sparkling crystals. Alexander’s 8596, 8689 and 8780 are equally stunning illusion back options for graceful brides.

For those wanting to flash a little flesh Sottero’s Indiana has both illusion and cut-out detailing while her Brandy backless design, framed by a bead embroidered trim with Swarovski crystals, will also attract attention. Alexander offers an elegant backless creation in his 8764 dress.

Sonata back - Claire Pettibone

Sonata by Claire Pettibone

But if it’s full on cut-away back with eye-catching detailing you’ve been dreaming of, I urge you to take a look at Enzoani’s latest collection. The designs are striking and sophisticated with the right amount of sexiness thrown in for a killer combination. Jamie and Joanna are beautifully bold choices for brides that dare to bare but the absolute show stopper has to be Jasmine. For me this dress has it all; a simple silhouette with a mesmorising lace adorned sheer caped overlay and draped jeweled detailing in the back. I could totally picture Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine to tie the knot in this dress and I’m sure it will mean the dog days of dress shopping are over for many other fashion forward brides-to-be.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Enter The Huldra. An Exclusive First Look At The Brand New Legend Bridal Collection By Fable & Promise

October 16th, 2013 | Julia Braime

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

Of all the posts I put together for these pages, the fashion features have to be my favourite.  I don’t know if it’s the result of a misspent youth pouring over the pages of Vogue or my early career days as a fashion gal in London, but I just can’t get enough of the dresses.  Especially when they are part of a brand spanking new collection by my very own long time Featured Supplier Charlotte (and her team) of Fable & Promise

I’ll let the talented lady explain for herself, as I sit here in a puddle of drool.  Major dress lust at Brides Up North HQ right now.  Major. 

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

Charlotte says:  It has always been our ambition to design and create a full bridal collection and after an invitation to design a collection for Manchester Fashion Week we decided now was the time to take our dream and make it real.

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

We love creating one off designs for our bespoke customers. We adore the varied inspirations and eclectic design ideas, but bringing out our own collection has been one of the most exciting, rewarding and slightly indulgent processes we have ever had the pleasure of immersing ourselves in. To take all our ideas and influences, create embellishments and choose fabrics, colours and textures simply because we love them has just been amazing. 

The result is our Legend Collection; a series of three mini collections inspired by myth and folklore.

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

The Huldra are said to be the beautiful daughters of ‘the hidden people’ or forest sprits from Norse folklore. They are stunningly beautiful women with long blonde hair and flower crowns. The Huldra often try to disguise themselves but can never hide the fact that they are more dazzling than other women. The Huldra love music and their music is heard by hunters and sons of farmers who are drawn by their lovely singing. It is said that when a Huldra marries she becomes human and lives out her life with her human husband.

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

We wanted to capture the wild nature of the Huldra. We chose warm tones and very tactile textures. The seven Huldra; Aurelie, Fiylinn, Elysia, Rosalka, Orla, Lilith and Taiah, are untamed and natural; asymmetrical or jagged layers of tulle and chiffon over heavy lace and satin with copious amounts of handmade flowers and matching accessories.

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

There are two other mini collection in the series. Keep an eye on our Facebook and website to learn more about The Asrai and The Sidhe.

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

We are really proud of the team we worked with on this shoot and absolutely love how everyone worked together to turn our ideas into reality.

Browsholme Hall was the perfect choice of venue. We had used the Tithe barn for our Birds of Prey shoot but we knew the stunning grounds with its old gardens and woodland would be perfect.

We worked closely with Kerry, Duncan and Rachel to create looks perfect for our collection; alluring eyes in aubergines, olives and golds with wild and loose tresses completed the looks brilliantly.

We absolutely love how Zoe of ZT Photography managed to capture perfectly the feel we wanted for the Huldra. 

ZT Photography for Fable & Promise

Little Black Book

Venue: Browsholme Hall and Tithe Barn

Make up: Kerry Baker Makeup Artist

Hair: L’Hairport by Duncan Fisher and Rachel Mason Hair

Photography: ZT Photography

Flowers: Ruth Mariner

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 ZT Photography

Fable & Promise are a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Delicate Threads. The Designer Series: Naomi Neoh Secret Garden 2014 Collection

September 30th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Naomi Neoh

I’m thrilled to welcome one of my very favourite wedding dress designers to the pages of the wedding blog this evening – I’ve been swooning ever since discovering the Naomi Neoh bridal label, and can’t wait to share her latest collection with you all. 

As well as being super duper stunning, these dresses are clever too – and we all know that’s a winning combination.  Ex-physicist Naomi designs with the real bride in mind and nearly all her designs have lightweight but effective corsetry inside to give every size and shape of bride the perfect silhouette in her wedding dress.  A beautiful science, if you ask me.  Let’s meet her…

Naomi Neoh

Celeste

What is your style philosophy?

Style and elegance with romance and joy.  Body friendly dresses – corsetry is key.

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Clementine

Clementine

Tell us about the new collection by Naomi Neoh? What were your inspirations? 

This collection is esoteric, dreamy and ethereal with the romance of pre-Raphaelites.  The gowns are gentle, detailed and have slim lines with super light lace interwoven into the design and look amazing against the skin.  Layering of sheer fabrics and subtle antique tones creates a movement of colour for elegant dancing dresses. 

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Dahlia

Dahlia

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Dahlia

Where do you look for inspiration?

Ginger Rogers – I watched a lot of the Ginger Rogers old movies to get the inspiration for this collection!

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Fleur

Fleur

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Fleur

What fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the new collection and why?

We’re using more texture in these gowns – we have a plisse chiffon which is delicately pleated and adds a different dimension to the gowns.  There are more colours: peach, apricot, powder pink, and antique ivory.  I still love to use flowers but these are smaller and more delicate.  You’ll be seeing lots of lace – small patterns, light weight weaves and delicate threads.

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Fleur 5

Do you have a personal favourite from the new collection? 

Oh it’s really hard – its all about getting the right dress on the right person – that’s when the magic happens.  But I do love Peony right now – it will probably change next week – because she has subtle colour, delicate lace on the back and arms, flattering pleating and an elegant silhouette.

How do you decide on the “names” for your gowns?

This collection were all named after flowers.

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Lily

Lily

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Orchid

Orchid

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Dahlia

Dahlia

What sizes are available in your gowns? 

6 to 16 and then made to measure if you want it or need it up to any size. 

What is the retail price range for your designs?

£2000 to £3000 but there are a few special ones which are more. 

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Orchid

Orchid

What sets Naomi Neoh apart from other bridal wear brands?

Commitment, passion, dedication to making distinctive, beautifully balanced, elegant gowns which we love to try on and we hope you will delight in wearing.  An absolute obsession with fabrics, sourcing the best and most distinctive silks and laces. 

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Peony

Peony

How did you get into wedding dress design – what is your story?

I took a curious path to my career as a dress designer.  I read physics at Durham and worked as an IT consultant and merchandiser before finding my true calling. Fabric has always been my first love – and bridal wear allows an indulgence into the most luxurious silks, laces and embellishments. I create dresses which feel fabulous to wear as well as making you look amazing.

Since the launch of my first bridal collection in 2008, the brand has grown into a dedicated team working from the West Dulwich studio where all the gowns are created.

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Penelope

Penelope

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Penelope

Was there a defining point in your career that made your business the success that it is today?

When I decided to make a super light pink wedding dress – ‘Dita’. 

What are your plans for the future?

Well I don’t really know but I love to explore and try new things, so we’ll see, at the moment I’m thinking about creating a super high end range to indulge all our fabric fantasies. 

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Snowdrop

Snowdrop

Is this your dream career? 

Running your own business is a lifestyle more than a career – it is definitely for me.  I have a genetic condition which flares up every few years and leaves me bedridden for months and sometimes years, running my own business allows me the flexibility to work when I can, and keeps me going on the tough days.

What would “a day in the life” at Naomi Neoh HQ be like?

I think it’s creative, fun, hard work, inspiring, challenging and constantly changing.

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Violette

Violette

Where do you go and what do you do to relax?

I find it very hard to relax – I have to be forced into it!  I like yoga, walking in the countryside, cooking, gardening, reading, seeing my friends, and I keep promising myself to practice the piano – a good Beethoven sonata is a great stress reliever.  I’m a recent member of the National Trust and I’m loving the palaces and great houses in the beautiful rolling hills of the British countryside – very inspiring.

Naomi Neoh Secret Garden Collection Violette

What are your “best things” in life?

Love, friendship and happiness, and the simple things: a freshly made bed, ripe summer fruits, seeing your plants grow.

How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you/ see more of your designs? 

Visit our website at www.naomineoh.com or contact us through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Naomineoh

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as supplied by Naomi Neoh

This is not a sponsored post

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

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

Wedding Blog Fashion Exclusive: Starlets! A Styled Bridal Shoot In Yorkshire By The Little Bridal Company

January 29th, 2013 | Julia Braime

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

This afternoon I am proud to introduce lovely Brides Up North Featured Supplier Becky of Bradford based The Little Bridal Company as she debuts her first complete collection here on the blog.  Becky is fiercely proud to be a Northern bridal designer and draws heavily on design influences from bygone eras to create beautiful and distinctive designs.  And we are all for that around here!

.

Get ready to twirl, girls!

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

Becky says:  The photo shoot took place in the simply stunning The Midland Hotel in the centre of Bradford.  The idea behind the shoot was to bring together up and coming bright stars of the bridal business based in and around Bradford. Bradford has had a bad press over the last few years, resulting in a lack of jobs and opportunity. I wanted to show that there really is something good happening in our city so watch out!

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

My first complete off the peg collection is named ‘Starlets’  and my muse a young actress, especially one working her way up through the star system. This rings so true in so many ways. The Little Bridal Company with myself at the helm is at the beginning of its own journey through the star system. So too is a bride.

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company.

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

The inspiration behind The Little Bridal Company has many origins.

.

Thanks to my grandparents the love of musicals is deep-set: ‘Seven Brides For Seven Brothers’, ‘Wizard Of Oz’ and ‘Some Like It Hot’ (to name but a few). Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Sofia Lauren graced the screens with their true beauty – no air brushing needed – and they had womanly, hour glass figures. No wonder we are seeing a vintage revival with so many smoke screens in the world today! These films take you away to a fantasy world where the good prevail, the bad lose and everybody lives happily ever after.  Isn’t that what we need to pick us up in this time of austerity?

.

It isn’t reality but who wants reality 24/7 and what better time to embrace this feeling than on your wedding day were you do get your happily ever after and your knight in shining armour?! You are the star in your own show for that one day and just maybe if you work at it that feeling will stay with you for your entire marriage just like in the good old days.

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

The Little Bridal Company harps back to the days of elegance and sultriness of the 1940′s and 50′s glory days, with echoes of the war time ethos ‘make do and mend’ when dresses were made from old bed sheets and curtaining during the war and grow your own and self sustainability were encouraged.

.

In this current age we are encouraged to spend, spend, spend and told that new is best, but in the world of weddings this is not always the best way to go. Embracing the old and fashionably labelling it ‘vintage’ has helped the modern day bride personalise every element of her special day.  ‘Something old’ and ‘something borrowed’ has now taken on a whole new role and I applaud this.

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

‘Starlets’ is a soft, feminine collection created for my 2013 brides to be.  The collection is heavily influenced by ‘The New Look’ collection of 1947 by Dior:  this post war collection brought back the femininity, soft rounded shapes and full flowing shapes which had been lost during the war when women went to work to aid the war effort and fabric was in short supply.

.

The term fit or flounce was first penned around this time describing the quintessential silhouettes of the era. The dresses placed great emphasis on the narrowing of the waist, creating a feminine and curvaceous silhouette.

.

.

Karen Spencer for The Little Bridal Company

.

.

Little Black Book

.

Dresses – The Little Bridal Company

Suits – Pins Bespoke Tailors

Photographer – Karen Spencer

Location – The Midland Hotel

Make up – Holly Hutchinson

Florist and props – Greenhouse

Bouquets and headpieces – Urban Bride

.

.

  – Images © 2013 Karen Spencer

The Little Bridal Company is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

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

.

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone