October 1st, 2015 | Rachel Parry
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.
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.
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.
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!
Main images by Reem Acra, visit our Gallery for more inspiration.
May 11th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Inspired by our latest celebrity spy subject, the gorgeous Olivia Palermo, today we’re talking bridal separates on the blog as we encourage brides to rip up the bridal wear rulebook by swapping a go-to gown for a more unusual skirt and top pairing.
Ever since fashion forward Miss Palermo stepped out in her dreamy tulle skirt and soft cashmere jumper combo, designers have latched onto the idea of giving brides more choice beyond the classic dress. As 2016 collections are unveiled it seems apparent that demand for separates has never been so strong with a vast array of detached designs making their way down the bridal catwalks.
Monique Lhuillier, Reem Acra, Theia and Hayley Paige are just a few of the daring designers to showcase separates with varying levels of skin exposure, and the catwalks were teaming with clever cuts and combos at Barcelona Bridal Week a few days ago (more on this to come).
For those that dare to bare, full skirt and crop top combinations are deemed one of the boldest looks within the trend. As well as a little fake tan, brides considering such designs may well have to schedule a few abs-blast classes into their pre-wedding schedule as torsos will be on show.
Just how cropped the top is depends on how fearless the female. Loose wide-strap tops that cut off just below the ribs give a flirtatious glimpse of the lower stomach while more adventurous bralet style designs from the likes of Tara LaTour are much more figure-flaunting.
Meanwhile for those that like the idea of a cropped top but aren’t so sure about flashing so much flesh, there’s always the option of a high-waist skirt to minimise the area on show.
Brides that would prefer to remain totally under wraps don’t have to miss out on the trend either, as designers such as Monique Lhuillier offer matching combos that meet in the middle, or in some cases overlap completely. The trend has also expanded to include sophisticated shirt and high-waist skirt duos, covering much of the body.
A mismatched look can also be easily achieved by following in similar footsteps to celebrity bride Olivia. The trick is to decide the type of silhouette you would like to create and whether or not you would like to mix up your fabric choices. Some designs like Theia will do the hard work for you by pairing a flowing silk chiffon A-line skirt with a cute cashmere crop top within their collections but as an alternative you can shop around to create your own dream duo.
Either way to nail the look so it says class rather than crass it’s all about perfecting flesh proportions. So if your separates expose your midriff choose a maxi-length skirt so not to flash your legs too. If your top meets your skirt you can afford to hitch up your hemline a little if you wish. Sleeved tops are also an effective way to strike the right balance while rocking the separates trend.
April 17th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Read on for more gowns in our Gallery…
October 14th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
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.
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 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 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.
October 16th, 2013 | Julia Braime
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Little Black Book
Venue: Browsholme Hall and Tithe Barn
Make up: Kerry Baker Makeup Artist
Photography: ZT Photography
Flowers: Ruth Mariner
September 30th, 2013 | Julia Braime
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…
What is your style philosophy?
Style and elegance with romance and joy. Body friendly dresses – corsetry is key.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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