Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

look book: glitz & glam

December 7th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson

Eliza Jane Howell-Hope

Eliza Jane Howell

T’is the season to be festive and that means going all out with the glitz and the glamour – we’re talking heavily embellished, glittering gowns to send your betrothed weak at the knees, full-on swishy skirts a princess would be proud of (take note, Meghan) and gold and silver metallics to make your guests’ jaws drop. Feast your eyes on these glitz and glam gowns.

Jenny Packham_euphoria

Jenny Packham

First stop on the train to destination sparkle is Jenny Packham, an expert at marrying glittery gorgeousness with an elegant silhouette. Take the romantically named Valentine – an extravagantly detailed bodice balanced with a crepe lace skirt – and the Euphoria, which is embellished from head to toe in flattering vertical contours. Awe epitomises daring sophistication – a crystal-encrusted figure-hugging number that balances a plunging neckline with beautiful cap sleeves – while Rapture is star-studded and glorious.

blush-hayley-paige-kingston

Hayley Paige

For serious swishability style points, Hayley Paige is right on the money, with dreamy skirts just begging to be whisked around a fairy-tale dance floor. We’re awarding the Gael a whopping 10/10 on the swishability scale – an embellished ball gown with dimensional floral beading and embroidery, a rhinestone-beaded strap, a low open back and, of course, that glorious full tulle skirt. Hot on its heels is the Lincoln, a sequin- and crystal-encrusted ball gown with a full, layered tulle skirt and the Rory, a lace ball gown with cashmere lining and a full, cascading tulle skirt. Just don’t swish too close to the candles.

Zeta-with-Mitzi-cape - Eliza Jane Howell

Eliza Jane Howell

Eliza Jane Howell’s collections take us on a historical journey, each gown evoking an era and style that is breath-taking. Within the Stardust collection you’ll find sassy silver dresses exploding with pizzazz. Take Portia, Zeta and Comet – you could be forgiven for thinking real stars lie captured in the shimmering fabrics. Full-on, unforgettable dazzle with a vintage vibe: not what your guests will expect. If you love a bit of silver but want to tone it down a bit, take a look at the Fredrika, a flapper-style, rather regal gown, and the Hope, with its art deco vibe. Both rock a beautiful silvery accent that delivers more than just a nod to the party season.

Ruth Milliam Tatiana

Ruth Milliam

From shimmering silver to glimmering gold, Ruth Milliam is showcasing statement gold-kissed gowns this season – some a little whacky, like the yellow-tinted Orphelia. We love the Tatiana, with its hand-sewn gold-leaf beading, and the Bianca, a voluminous tulle skirt with delicate floral lace topped with gold detailed straps. For the bold bride there’s the Ianthe, a long-sleeved gold and silver hand-beaded gown that doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination but is balanced with a full, silk organza skirt. Milliam gowns are made to order and can be hand-dyed to any colour so, if you fancy a jolly Father Christmas red for your Christmas Eve wedding, you can go for it! Who said a bride should wear white?

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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. 

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lookbook. bridal separates

May 11th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Reem Acra 2

Reem Acra

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.

Hayley Paige 3

Hayley Paige

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.

Reem Acra

Reem Acra

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.

Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier 

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.

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look book: a cut above

April 17th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Hayley Paige HP6450

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.

Reem Acra (2)

Reem Acra

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

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

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

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 9back)

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.

Reem Acra

Reem Acra

Read on for more gowns in our Gallery…

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