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.

Reem Acra 5

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.

Reem Acra 4

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.

Reem Acra 6

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!

Reem Acra 2

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

continue reading

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

eye candy. sabina motasem 2016 collection

July 28th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Mistinguett_with sleeves - dancing


This afternoon, it’s time for some eye candy of the most lovely, as we welcome bridalwear designer Sabina Motasem, and her gorgeous new en pointe collection to these pretty pages, with styling and design inspiration taken from the world of ballet. If you are looking for luxurious, understated elegance on your wedding day, look no further.



sabina says: I have taken inspiration from ballet for my latest collection of dresses. A ballerina, just like a bride, encapsulates elegance, grace and beauty through refined movement and flow. The dresses emphasize my brides’ gracefulness, as if floating weightlessly on air throughout her special day with the special man in her life.

I love the romance that comes from vintage Hollywood and the passion that comes from ballet.  I love to sprinkle a bit of that magic glamour and sophistication into everything I do.

Lily Chiffon - dancingLily

Each dress is handcrafted in London and made from the finest Italian silk crepes, chiffons and satins and French lace to achieve the highest quality finish. There are also beautiful separates, which slip on over many of the dresses, transforming them into completely new looks for day and night.



Our favorite?  It has to be Emillienne, a luxe dress with a choice of art nouveau beaded neck detail in either silver metal or rose gold, crystals or pearls.  Just delightful.

Get ready for your curtain call…

Genevieve - dancing


Prices start from £1,400 and gowns are available throughout the UK and internationally.


continue reading

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

eye candy. charlotte balbier willa rose collection 2016

June 22nd, 2015 | Julia Braime



One of our favourite bridal designers at Brides Up North HQ, and now a good friend of mine, I’m proud to share the 2016 Charlotte Balbier willa rose collection with you this afternoon on our pretty pages, marking 12 years in British Bridal fashion for this talented lady.





Charlotte amazes me year on year as her brand continues to evolve whilst ever maintaining her beautiful signature style. The new Willa Rose collection captivates the imagination with bohemian, free spirited designs to take Balbier brides on a magical journey.



For 2016, Charlotte’s ethereal, soft flowing chiffon gowns are adorned with exquisite beading, pearls and crystals, delicate rose details and her signature hand cut flower designs. There are daring low backs and, as always, graceful straps and sleeve details. The colour palette includes rose pink, antique gold and rich ivory shades.

Willa Rose-5191

Willa Rose





Personally, it’s my favourite Charlotte Balbier collection yet, and standout styles for me include Harlow (bling a ling!), Lilac and the eponymous Willa Rose.  Get stuck in…



Charlotte Balbier is making a personal appearance at Brides Up North Sponsor Boutique Jean Jackson Couture in the Northern Quarter Manchester on the 2nd July between 6pm-8pm.  Charlotte will be on hand to meet with brides and chat over their wedding gown ideas while sipping on Rose Pink lemonade and being treated to yummy treats.  The full details of the event can be seen here

For more visit

continue reading

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

eye candy. amanda wyatt promises of love collection 2016

June 16th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Amanda Wyatt Promises Of Love 2016 (5)

Launched at a swanky do we attended back in March 2015 (click here to see our write up of a fabulous day) the new 2016 collection promises of love by our Sponsor Amanda Wyatt has been hailed as her strongest to date.

Amanda Wyatt Promises Of Love 2016 (9)

A leading name in British bridal for over 20 years this forward thinking, design led fashion house year on year delivers beautiful wedding gowns that we know our readers love.

Amanda Wyatt Promises Of Love 2016 (38)

Amanda Wyatt Promises Of Love 2016 (40)

We adore Amanda’s gowns (and the lady herself even more!), so here at Brides Up North HQ we’re totally crushing on this collection.

Amanda Wyatt Promises Of Love 2016 (31)

Amanda Wyatt Promises Of Love 2016 (33)

Amanda’s signature fit, cut and wealth of styles are presented in soft flowing chiffons, French and Italian laces, fine tulle and rich satins, adorned with frosted pearl beading and embellished details. A soft colour palette of ivory hues and soft gold with hints of blush pinks and powder blue keeps things looking dreamy and different.

Amanda Wyatt Promises Of Love 2016 (21)

Amanda Wyatt Promises Of Love 2016 (23)

The collection is designed with matching accessories that compliment each gown, soft tulle silk veils and delicate hair accessories to complete your Amanda Wyatt styled look.

Amanda Wyatt Promises Of Love 2016 (8)

Amanda Wyatt Promises Of Love 2016 (12)

For more information visit

Images by Lee Garland

continue reading

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

lookbook. bell sleeves

May 19th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Delphine Manivet - Jonas

At one point strapless dresses had the monopoly on the bride-to-be market but ever since Miss Middleton covered her arms for her Westminster wedding sleeves have rocketed in popularity. Copy-Kate full-lace sleeves quickly appeared in designers’ collections giving ladies the opportunity to rock the royal look for their own big day. And as bridal trends have developed so too have sleeved designs.

We’ve seen sheer illusion like sleeves as well as those with cut out detailing and now as 70s fashions are resurrected to the fashion catwalks, big, blousy sleeved wedding dress designs are making an impact on the bridal catwalks too.

A perfect style for fashion forward brides opting for an informal outdoor ceremony, the designs are what we would call carefree couture. The beautifully cut silhouettes are fluid but without gripping every inch of the body enabling brides above a size 8 to get in on the effortless boho look.

Delphine Manivet - Aliocha

For ladies that like to keep things simple there are plain designs with elegant V necklines and long flowing skirts to mirror the ethereal bell-type sleeves. Hayley Paige’s Blush gown and Stone Fox Bride’s Frida are perfect examples.

Meanwhile for those wanting their dress to do a bit more talking there are designs with dainty cut out detailing as well as those featuring panels of differing materials such as lace and tulle. And while V necklines are certainly the most prominent, it’s possible to find designs with edgy alternatives like high-neck and off-the-shoulder creations.

Delphine Manivet - Amedee

Some of our favourite examples comefrom Delphine Manivet. The Tobivas and Amedee designs are stunning choices for brides with killer collar bones while Jonas provides plenty of cover-up but without losing shape.

Plus let’s not forget that in terms of proportions covering up one area of the body entitles you to expose another, so if you’re arms will be under wraps why not look for backless boho design so you can still flash some flesh?

Delphine Manivet - Maurice

The boho look shouldn’t be totally ruled out by brides in favour of high detailing either as certain designers are peppering their bell-sleeved beauties with sparkles and shine. Claire Pettibone is one such designer that has included boho/glam gowns, complete with sensational sleeves, within her collections. Ariel and Angelica from her latest Gothic Angel collection are among our top picks as well as plainer designs, Bianca and Laurel from her Romantique collection.

And it looks like there’s more to come. Having been at White Gallery in London this week we’ve spotted several designers that have incorporated flowing statement sleeves into their new collections, either as part of the dress itself, or as separate jackets or overlays which can give brides the option of two looks for their big day.

Delphine Manivet - Tobias

Whichever sleeved design catches your eye bear in mind that the finishing touches can really help take your look up to wow-factor level. Flamboyant florals in flower crowns and wild-looking bouquets lend themselves incredibly well to the boho look and instantly add interest to brides opting for less detailed dress designs. If however you feel a floral crown or elaborate bouquet would perhaps steal too much of the limelight, there is always the option to weave just one or two blooms into your chosen hairstyle to project that flawless free-spirit image.

Main feature images courtesy of Delphine Manivet, see our gallery for gown names and further referenced designers. 

continue reading

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