February 22nd, 2018 | Laura McDonagh
This afternoon we’re talking about sculpted columns, bold lines and architectural sweeps – but this isn’t a piece about wedding venues, oh no, it’s all about dresses – specifically, simple, fuss free-wedding gowns with clean lines and sleek silhouettes.
There’s something about a minimalist gown that, while timeless, has a simultaneous up-to-the-minute feel perfect for a fashion-forward bride. Here at Brides up North we love the edginess of a dress with less, and we’ve gathered together a whole lovely loot of unadorned beauties for your browsing pleasure.
Main post images by Cortana.
First up is Spanish designer Cortana, a label which boasts a romantic, boho vibe. We love the luxe factor of the Gala gown; a silk satin bias-cut beauty which looks slinky and effortlessly chic. The attention to detail is just stunning – that diagonal row of silk-covered buttons on the back gives us all the feels – and the thin straps feel bold and youthful and a little bit 90s-Calvin-Klein, which is always a good thing in case you’re wondering.
The Cortana collection also features the stunningly minimalist Grace with daring back and thin crossed strap detail and the silk brocade Linda, made with a touch of lurex to give a super-flattering fit and stretch. There’s also the Valentina which, quite frankly, makes my heart sing – the boat neckline! The sleek drapery! And is a strong contender in my frequent ‘What Would I Wear If I Got Married Again?’ mental debate (don’t mention that to my husband, kaythanks?)
Onwards to a Brides Up North favourite – the always-opulent Eliza Jane Howell. EJH is known for their decadent vintage designs, and so might not seem a natural bedfellow of the Clean Lines brigade. However, in Gill Harvey’s recent collections, we’re seeing subtlety, simplicity and lots of plain silk alongside the embellishment and embroidery. Belle from the Leading Lady collection is a stunner with a contemporary feel, complete with bold halterneck, textured figure-hugging fabric and a daring sheer back. Daisy from the Legend collection and Clarissa from the Debutante range are unquestionably more vintage in style but still simple and sleek, with Daisy offering the tiniest hint of embellishment and Clarissa’s floaty sleeves a great option for brides less inclined to bare. Luna from the Stardust range gets close to the fussier end of the spectrum with its frothy skirt and mini train, but the long sleeves, close fit and semi-sheer overlay is dreamily clean and sculpted.
December 5th, 2017 | Julia Braime
There’s only one way to get through Monday, and that’s crushing on pretty dresses. Fortunate for you, we have a fabulous instalment of gorgeous gowns coming right up as we take a look at the stunning new 2018 collection from Lyn Ashworth.
Handmade and crafted from start to finish by British designer Sarah Barrett and her highly experienced team of cutters and seamstress, the Lyn Ashworth name has become renowned for its romantic and flowing skirts and perfectly fitted boned bodices – and the latest Daydreamer collection is no different.
True to its name, the collection is filled with captivating designs that offer a perfect balance between fairy tale and fashion. With a focus on ‘texture, twinkle and tulle’ there are some incredible princess style gowns with shimmering detail, but also some beautiful Bardot designs with 3D floral touches, and amazing A-line gowns with on-trend monochrome influences.
We’re in love and easily find ourselves daydreaming of twirling around in these incredible gowns!
Here to tell us more is the lady who created all the magic, designer Sarah Barrett.
Can you give us a brief overview of the Daydreamer collection?
sarah says: Inspired by texture and light, the 2018 ‘Daydreamer’ collection is all about beautiful fabrics, ruffles, twinkle and tulle. From hand appliqued three-dimensional embellishments and delicate beaded French lace, to shimmering sequins, I wanted to create a collection with a contemporary take on our signature style.
Where did you draw inspiration from for the collection?
We are surrounded by texture and light. Different light can portray a different texture and a different texture can portray a different light. I wanted to mimic the amazing contrast between the two and use beautiful fabrics to portray this. We used hand-appliqué beading and 3D embellishment to maximise the luxurious and luminous fabrics used across the collection.
Can you tell us a little about the fabrics and colourways included in this collection?
The collection features an abundance of amazing fabrics including three-dimensional floral tulle and guipure lace, delicate French beaded lace and light shimmering sequins. There are also a few monochrome accents threaded throughout the collection using black velvet ribbon belts.
Similarly, what details feature within the collection?
Texture is a major influence for this collection. From beautiful Guipure lace to delicate light-catching sequins, there is something for all brides. Our skirt shapes have been designed in a way that offers volume and movement with a light-as-air feel.
Do you have a favourite design from the collection, and, if so, which one is it and what do you love about it?
Champagne Blush was the first dress I created for this collection, which I simply adore. It encapsulates the whole essence of the theme of texture, twinkle and tulle. You should always start a collection with a show stopper and well every girl needs a little Champagne in her life, wouldn’t you say?!
What type of bride would the Daydreamer collection appeal to?
Within this collection there is a dress for all brides. The joy of all my collections is that each dress can be adapted to suit a bride’s own individual style.
What are the key features of a Lyn Ashworth gown and how do your designs stand out from others?
A Lyn Ashworth gown is renowned for its quality and fit. Designing and manufacturing in our studio in Staffordshire, allows me to have a very hands-on approach and I am extremely proud to be flying the Made in England flag. All of my dresses are designed and made in-house, which allows flexibility in lead times and design for my brides.
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 3rd, 2017 | Julia Braime
Ladies, we think it’s high time for a little dress candy – and the treats we have in store today are nothing short of delicious!
Courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor So Sassi, we invite you to swoon over the new 2018 Collection from this fabulous set of designers.
Made up of a bright collective of fashion graduates, the So Sassi design team works hard to develop unique, individual and fashion forward styles, giving their brides a collection, which is not only all those things, but one that is created with love and passion.
According to its creators, the 2018 collection celebrates brides who want to embrace their own style, brides who are not afraid to make a statement and brides that want a twist on tradition. Tick, tick, tick!
There is a gorgeous blend of styles, silhouettes and fabrics, with new design elements including cold shoulders, fringed back details, feature sleeves and ballerina-length tulle skirts.
Having already poured over the collection numerous times, highlights for us include Charlie, Rosie and Scarlett, but we’d love to know which of these beauties melt your heart most, as we take you through the designs, one by one!
Annalise: Beautiful soft fishtail gown with gathered tulle bust and diamante detail.
Aria: A wow gown with lace side and back cut-out detail gives this gown a real edge. Style with Aria shrugette for an alternative look.
Anya: A striking fishtail gown with soft sweetheart neckline – perfect for accessorising!
Bianca: All about the bohemian vibes with this stunning lace column gown and v neckline detail.
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.
December 17th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Caroline Castigliano is regarded as the connoisseur of luxury bridal wear in the UK and this year celebrates 25 years in business. Her name is synonymous with understated chic bridal gowns and contemporary designer style.
Castigliano’s signature is an unquestionably feminine silhouette, which is effortlessly glamourous. Her unique ability to cut and construct a garment, enables her to create a gown that is confident and sexy, yet exudes a deep sense of style. Everything about a Castigliano gown is unique; from the exquisite choice of fabric, to the foundation of the gown, which is created using unique corsetry and undergarment techniques. All Caroline Castigliano gowns are handcrafted in the United Kingdom. Here at Brides Up North, we fell in love with her delectable creations a long time ago.
Now, new exclusive bridal gowns have arrived at Caroline’s Knightsbridge store and Castigliano are offering brides-to-be a fantastic shopping experience to celebrate.
caroline says: Brides (along with a chosen family member or close friend) who join us in store over the festive season will be able enjoy champagne and delicious treats as they are guided through their appointment by our experienced wedding stylists who are all experts in bringing each brides vision to life.
These stunning gowns are all created from luxury fabrics and laces and handcrafted here in here in the United Kingdom.
All brides who order their dress before the 30th of December will be offered a festive seasonal gift – £500 off Caroline Castigliano’s made to measure service! What better reason to take a break from your Christmas shopping and commence a festive dress hunt?
Appointments can be booked on 0207 590 9120 or on firstname.lastname@example.org
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