Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

lookbook: bardot bride

November 7th, 2016 | Alexis Forsyth

marchesa

Marchesa

The bardot-style neckline has been a mainstay on the high street this summer, so we’re not surprised to see that it’s transcended into the world of bridal fashion too, and put simply – we absolutely adore this trend!

Off-the-shoulder dresses are both romantic and demure, creating a beautiful silhouette that accentuates a bride’s décolletage and neckline. The style is sweet with an air of innocence, but with straps ‘tumbling’ off the shoulder, it also hints at a bride’s more vivacious and flirtatious side too.

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Marchesa

What we love most about the look though is its versatility. From straight-cut straps and mini V-necks, to sweetheart necklines and ruffled bell sleeves – there’s an off-the-shoulder style to make every bride swoon.

Looking at collections from some of the industry’s top designers, off-the-shoulder detailing is making an appearance in a variety of bridal creations; from fit and flare numbers and traditional A-line gowns to structured mermaid and carefree boho dresses.

When it comes to the fabric, elegant lace, semi-sheer tulle, layered chiffon and flawless silk, are just a few that work beautifully with the trend, adding a whimsical and ethereal twist to current collections.

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Oscar de la Renta

Designers who are advocates of the trend include Oscar de la Renta, with the new bridal collection boasting pretty draped sleeves and exquisite sequin detailing: the stuff fairytales are made of!

Marchesa is also doing its bit for the look with numerous attention-grabbing dresses stopping short of the shoulders. Perfect for those wanting to make a statement, there are opulent designs embellished with pearls and crystals, as well as dreamy hand cut petals and striking 3D roses. The colour palette gives brides the opportunity to make a bigger statement still, with romantic nude and blush pink options in addition to traditional white and ivory tones.

For something more classic, Carolina Herrera’s vintage-inspired gowns are like works of art with intricate floral embroidery and sheer off-the-shoulder fabrics subtly highlighting a bride’s neck and shoulders. Justin Alexander’s collection also features the bardot neckline in a range of elegant and feminine styles, complete with delicate lace applique and sparkling beaded detail.

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friday fabulous: bridesmaids by amanda wyatt

November 4th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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For today’s Friday Fabulous we’re turning our attention to brides’ leading ladies, as it’s important for a girl and all her #squad to look and feel amazing too, right?

So for those in search of beautiful dresses in a gorgeous range of colours, styles and fabrics to suit all ages, we give you the stunning bridesmaid collection from our wonderful Sponsor, Amanda Wyatt.

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Made famous for her perfect fit, British designer Amanda doesn’t stop at providing a dream dress for the bride, but for adult and teenage bridesmaids, plus cute little flower girls too! The beautiful gowns are sure to please all, with short and full length designs to choose from, featuring pretty detailing in pleated bodices, illusion necklines and dreamy tulle skirts.

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Perfect for those wanting to mix and match their maids, brides can pick one style in a variety of different colours, or alternatively chose just one hue but mix up the dress designs with short sleeve, twisted strap and bateau neckline options, to name but a few.

We have to say the star of the show for us in these new campaign images has to be the sweet little flower girl, particularly the shot of her slipping into those gold sparkly heels – a girl after our own hearts for sure!

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lookbook: new capes on the block

August 26th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Reem Acra Pia

Reem Acra

Over the past couple of years we’ve seen a peppering of capes on the bridal catwalks, but the 2017 runways have experienced a much stronger surge of the statement topper as it fast becomes a top industry trend.

For it seems that where Solange Knowles once went, others are keen to follow as the rise of the cape was undoubtedly boosted by Miss Knowles fashion-forward bridal attire back in 2014, with killer capes an accessory for both her elegant gown and edgy jumpsuit.

Providing a sleek and stylish alternative to a veil, designers are offering capes of all shapes and sizes; from those that just cover the shoulders and very tops of the arms, to more cloak-like cover-ups that billow all the way down to the floor.

Zaeem Jamal

Zaeem Jamal

Some may wonder why a bride would want to detract attention from, or even worse, hide, their dress, but many designers use light, sheer fabrics to create their capes, and finish pretty applique or beaded detail to match the gown below. Other capes meanwhile are an extension of the dress, designed to add an element of movement and drama. Then there are those that are detachable, and though these may indeed cover-up more of the dress than others, they allow for a ‘big reveal’ moment later in the day when the cape is removed.

Similar to the growing trend of bridal separates, a cape can help a bride to switch up her look from day to night and is also a particularly useful option for ladies wanting to cover up their arms for the ceremony.

BRIDAL FASHION WEEK APRIL 2016

Mira Zwillinger

Some of our very favourite capes to have been flaunted on recent catwalks include dreamy transparent options from designers such as Monique Lhuillier and Mira Zwillinger, with Sassi Holford’s Savannah cape worn over the elegant Sienna slip dress sending us particularly weak at the knees.

Meanwhile for a more high-fashion look we adore Houghton’s flowing Jetta cape, which would be sure to achieve maximum head-turning impact on the aisle (though just be sure to wear something underneath, unlike the model). Statement-setters out there might also fall for the highly stylish yet beautifully simple look of Lela Rose’s The Yacht, with its sophisticated shirt fasten detail and on-point collar.

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fashion-forward flair: introducing felicity cooper bridal

June 13th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Felicity Cooper Bridal (2)

If you’re still on the hunt for that one perfect dress for your wedding day, this afternoon’s post may be of extra interest as we introduce new Brides Up North Sponsor, Felicity Cooper Bridal, to the blog.

Set up by talented designer and boutique owner Fiona Cooper in 2010, the stunning brand has gone from strength-to-strength and is now stocked at select dress shops in the UK and Europe, with Fiona’s own shop, The Wedding Boutique, in Cheshire, being the Flagship store for Felicity Cooper.

Dress designs are created with brides’ requests in mind resulting in fashion forward gowns that are guaranteed to turn heads. From dreamy lace Boho designs to elegant silk chiffon gowns, ladies making a decision on just one could be tricky!

Here to fill us in on all the details of the beautiful brand is the creator herself…

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When and why did you first set up Felicity Cooper Bridal and what is your background in the fashion and bridal industry?

fiona says: I opened The Wedding Boutique Cheshire back in 2008. From listening to brides’ like and dislikes we decided to create a bridal label that would fill the gap we had in the boutique. This went from strength to strength and in early 2016 we made the decision to relaunch The Wedding Boutique as the flagship store for Felicity Cooper.

What type of bride is a Felicity Cooper bride?

A Felicity Cooper bride ultimately wants to have fun; she’s relaxed and fashion forward, she wants to stand out from the crowd through flair not fuss.

Felicity Cooper Bridal (1)

How would you describe the look and feel of Felicity Cooper designs?

Both First Love and the 2017 Natural Soul collections have an emphasis on fabric and cuts, flowing lines and low back detail. The new collection is bringing more embellishment and beading with a hint of colour.

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eye candy: the separates collection by charlotte balbier

February 2nd, 2016 | Julia Braime

Tempest Lace

Our lead Sponsor here at Brides Up North, Charlotte Balbier is famous for celebrating a bride’s individuality and style and sometimes, just sometimes, breaking all the bridal rules (kinda why we love her)!

With great delight we are proud to debut the new Balbier separates collection on our pretty pages.  Charlotte has created 11 inter-changeable separates all designed for the bride to build and create her own individual look.

Tempest & 1252 Sash

Maybe a satin slip with a lace topper and satin sash, or a ball gown skirt, crop top and lace reverse bolero? Whatever your personality and look the new separates collection offers a diverse way of creating your very own bridal syle.

charlotte says: Now, more than ever before, a Charlotte Balbier bride is a free spirited feminine woman who is confident in both her fashion and bridal style, expressing her unique individuality, personality and style through her Balbier gown.

Girls, get ready for some serious dress crushing…

Harper

Harper:  A slipper satin dress with shoestring straps and low back. Fabulous with one of the lace overlay gowns, lace toppers or worn simply as it is.

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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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