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look book: all about the sleeves

March 2nd, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

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This season, the catwalks are dancing with spectacular sleeve detail. From illusion sleeves with lace detail, to puffball sleeves, to flutter sleeves, to bell sleeves, to off-the-shoulder sleeves, to blouson sleeves … yes, OK, you get the picture. There’s an incredible array of delightful choice in the sleeve department. So, we’ve done the hard work for you (oh, it’s tough looking at wedding gowns for hours on end!) and whittled down the options to a collection of gorgeous creations that will no doubt send you all misty-eyed.

Main image Rime Arodaky.

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From the bell to the blouson, Lillian West has got your arms covered when it comes to dreamy, romantic sleeves this season. Styles 6463 and 6509 have a gorgeous vintage vibe, with flared skirts to echo the flute of the bell sleeves. Flutter like a butterfly in style 6517, as ethereal chiffon cascades from the shoulders of this beautiful illusion neckline and deep illusion back. Go boho with blouson sleeves and a crepe gypsy skirt in style 6518, or an off-the-shoulder illusion blouson bodice in style 6476.

If you’re looking for effortless cool with a bit of grit thrown in (think rocking up to the church on a motorbike with bed hair and sharply contoured cheeks), Rime Arodaky is right up your alley. The puffy sleeves are to die for. Check out the Zappa, with its funnel neck, puffy sleeves and plaited high-waisted skirt. Or the Jude, a sleek silhouette with a gigantic puff adorning each wrist. The off-the-shoulder Madden sports large ruffles in plumetis and organza and brings a bit of romance to the occasion. And, for the ultimate in ruffled sleeves, look no further than the Arlo and the Joni, both crepe gowns with dazzling appeal. Pass me the black kohl eyeliner, quick.

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There’s a delicate vibe to Theia’s sleeve detail that gives us the romantic feels. Sandy is sophisticated, with hand-appliquéd, scallop-edged sleeves that swish down the aisle. Layla is covered with thousands of glass-cut beads and micro pearls which, combined with the off-the-shoulder flutter sleeves, create an ethereal effect. For a long-sleeved gown with gorgeous floral detail that the designer describes as a ‘tattoo effect’, take a look at Karina. Then there’s the Sasha, with a stunning mermaid skirt and a cut-out cape-style sleeve and Ellie, with its chic silhouette and fabulous bell sleeves.

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Absolutely nailing the illusion sleeve is Hayley Paige. Pascal is completely divine, with its long-sleeved illusion bodice with metallic floral micro beading. Stevie is another off-the-shoulder creation with a glorious bateau neckline and full skirt, while Rogers combines an illusion sleeve with a delicate butterfly flutter at the wrist and a low scoop back. So pretty. For a more obvious flutter, try Frida, a fit-to-flare gown with a deep V scalloped neckline and a detachable, cascading sleeve. And, finally, we mustn’t forget the cap sleeve, for a subtle nod to the season’s trend. Check out Vaughn, with its low open back, full tulle skirt and lovely bateau neckline.

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So, come on ladies, dress your arms to impress. After all, they do have a huge roll to play in the proceedings, from presenting the hand upon which your dashing groom will slip the wedding ring, to making some serious shapes on the dancefloor in the evening. Whether your totally boho or a chic petite, there’s a sleeve out there for you!

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look book: clean lines

February 22nd, 2018 | Laura McDonagh

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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.

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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?)

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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.

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first look: luella’s bridal 2018 expectations collection

February 8th, 2018 | Julia Braime

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With the weekend almost in sight, we think it’s high time for some serious dress candy; which might just be the extra inspiration you need if you’re about to embark on your dream gown search.

Today’s gorgeous loot of loveliness comes in the form of the brand-new collection from our fabulous Sponsor Luella’s Bridal. Located in the Wimbledon Village area of London, this independent boutique not only stocks a stylish range of creations from edgy international designers, but it also produces its own line of totally dreamy dresses.

Having just launched their second collection, titled Expectations, the team at Luella’s wanted you lucky Brides Up North readers to be among the first to see these utterly beautiful gowns in all their glory. And so today we’re brining you a first look at the five stunning designs that make up the collection, while finding out about the inspiration behind these fine creations.

Here to tell us more is the lovely owner of Luella’s, Rachel Attwell…

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Tell us about the inspiration behind Expectations?

rachel says: The collection is inspired by Trinidadian jewellery designer, Sarah May. The collection includes five distinctly different dresses, which have been carefully designed to match Sarah’s island pod rings, which were inspired by her original engagement ring and then her subsequent life journey. Named; Happy, Love, Dream, Believe and Abundance.

The idea behind the collection, is that each ring can be interpreted in the wearers own unique way and Luella’s felt that there was something truly special about having a ring to wear that is so personal to each individual.

As such, we felt that it was important to include an assortment of styles to reflect the essence of the rings and therefore our bride’s personality. Each dress has an element of sparkle so that even the simplest styles, still look and feel truly special.

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Can you give us an overview of the styles of dresses that make up the collection?

All of the dresses have been designed by the Luella’s team and are handmade in the UK. Each has been designed to reflect our beautiful free-spirited brides and includes a mixture of simple understated and intricately beaded slip style dresses and beautiful lace and tulle gowns. There is a selection of low plunging backs, soft flowing skirts, stunning hand beaded lace and our signature pleated skirt.

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What about the fabrics and colourways used within the collection?

The collection is made from a variety of beautiful silks, satins and French laces and the most exquisite selection of hand beaded appliques. We have used more than 16 metres of tulle in the skirt of one of our designs! The dresses are made in a mixture of colours ranging from soft ivories to warm cream tones and our Nieve dress also comes with a slip that can be ordered in a choice of ivory or oyster.

Talk us through the dress designs one by one…

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Isla – The Isla dress is made from two layers of sumptuous silk satin in a soft ivory colourway. The bias-cut design features a low v neckline and plunging v-back which is framed with the most exquisite handmade beading in a floral design in ivory and soft blush tones. The dress also features and optional long flowing train and can be made in either off white, ivory or oyster silk satin.

Price £2,800

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texture, twinkle & tulle: the lyn ashworth by sarah barrett 2018 daydreamer collection

December 5th, 2017 | Julia Braime

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?!

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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.

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luxurious, playful & feminine: the ‘celebrating romance’ collection by caroline castigliano

December 1st, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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We have a fabulous Friday treat in store for you today, as we’re taking a look at the stunning 2018 collection from our Sponsor and top British bridal designer, Caroline Castigliano.

We’ve long been fans of Caroline’s instantly-recognisable gowns which feature expert corsetry and classic lines for a cut and fit like no other. Thinking beyond the aesthetics, Caroline takes into consideration the architecture and movement of a dress to ensure a wow-worthy moment when the bride makes her entrance.

And yet again we’ve fallen head over heels for her latest collection, Celebrating Romance, which we shot as an exclusive for issue 09 of UNVEILED and that we are also sharing with you today. Romantic, elegant and sensual these gowns give us all the feels! There is a shape and style for all and we love Caroline’s talent in combining classic beauty with on-trend fashion elements.

So let’s hear more from the designer herself on what Celebrating Romance has in store for you lucky brides-to-be…

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Burgundy

Can you give us a brief overview of the 2018 Celebrating Romance Collection?

caroline says: The 2018 Celebrating Romance collection features timeless designs with ultra-feminine twists, elevated textures and highly luxurious accents.

There is a light airy feel throughout the collection, with a range of silhouettes from A-line, to circle skirts and fishtails, all creating beautiful movement and a powerful but understated vision.

I have continued to build the collection around our structure and corsetry so even in the most effortless gown there is a secret hidden structure.

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Four Seasons

Where did you draw inspiration from for the collection?

The inspiration for Celebrating Romance was ultra-feminine gowns – very fluid, I just wanted to create gowns that feel light and airy but create shape and power – the collection needed to be sensual and playful yet only suggestive.

I get inspired by fashion and pick different elements that are in vogue and create these along with my signature look of classic lines – this really inspires me and keeps me excited.

Can you tell us a little about the fabrics and colourways included in the collection?

The main fabrics are guipure lace, Chantilly lace, silk georgette, satin faced organza, crepe and Mikado.

The collection comes in a colour palette of ivory with soft water colours and hints of nude foundations.

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In My Dreams

Similarly, what details feature within the collection?

I have a number of unique features in the collection, there is a lot of layering – this creates a beautiful texture and 3D depth. I have continued with our unique stretch corset that is to die for, not only does this corset fit well but it is really comfortable. There are also new necklines – along with skirt silhouettes.

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Manhattan

Do you have a favourite design from the collection?

My favourite gown from the new collection is Monarchy. It has a deep sweetheart neckline and I’ve moulded beautiful beaded guipure lace over the bodice, with lace trickling down the silk organza skirt.

What type of bride would the 2018 collection appeal to?

The Caroline Castigliano bride is into style, she understands fashion but is not ruled by it, she is passionate about quality and loves effortless glamour.

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look book: winter wedding wonders

November 13th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson

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Winter weddings are a gift for the bride who wants to add a twist to her wedding attire to suit the season; whether that by covering-up more a little more flesh with luxurious detailing and fabrics, adding some sparkling accessories, or throwing on an extra cool layer. We’re thinking floaty capes, long delicate sleeves, cute high-neck collars, and even edgy biker jackets. So, in case you hadn’t guessed, today’s Look Book post is all about the latest bridalwear designs that we feel are particularly well suited to winter…

Main feature images Monique Lhuillier, see ‘the big picture’ for more styles.

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The fashion-forward bride can’t go wrong with a cape for the season – and who doesn’t want to exude a Wonder Woman aura on the biggest day of her life? Badgley Mischka has some of the dreamiest bridal capes on the scene. Both The Angel and The Annabelle complement the beautiful, clean silhouettes of their gowns with divine capes that scream vintage Hollywood glamour with a boho edge. The Ally-A tulle jacket has a dreamy train that does the job of a veil as well as a cape and, for the more daring bride, the Ashton Bralette and Jacket is a sexy, vintage glam two-piece bodice, layering a long-sleeved lace jacket over a strapless sweetheart bra top that you can pair with a skirt of your choice.

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In complete contrast to the ethereal cape, Monique Lhuillier is showcasing bold and edgy jackets in her Fall 2018 collection. The Alexis has biker chick written all over it, while The Sawyer has a slightly softer feel, with laser cut lace detailing. Also in the collection is The Yoko, a trouser suit for the bride who wants to break out of the box.

If you just want a nod to the season, Amanda Wyatt is showcasing some beautiful gowns with collars. The Buttercup has an elegant lace collar with cute cap-sleeves and a beaded belt at the waist. Definitely a dress that demands an up-do to show off the gorgeous detailing. Then there’s The Audrey, an A-line gown with a pretty satin collar edged with beading, and The Aria, a mid-calf length satin gown with a collar sporting no fewer than 7,000 beads from the front to the back in a pretty V-drop.

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