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.
June 2nd, 2017 | Rachel Parry
A perfect combination of pretty and personal, today’s real wedding features a romantic colour palette combined with individual touches for a day that’s a true reflection of the bride and groom.
There are subtle references to Katie and Simon’s roots, interests and hobbies through their flower, cake and décor choices, showing others how to incorporate special touches into their special day.
The highlight of this wedding for us though has to be Katie’s beautiful high-neck wedding dress – she was ahead of Pippa Middleton on that trend!
With images by Katie Sidell Photography.
katie says: We got engaged on the 26th August 2014, in Rome at a beautiful square with a fountain called Piazza Novana. We had planned to go out for an evening meal and a few drinks that evening. After our meal we walked to Piazza Novana. When we arrived at the square Simon asked me to go and have a look for a nice place to drink. Unbeknown to me he was trying to ask someone to take a video of him proposing. Unfortunately they didn’t understand English so that plan failed. When I came back Simon got down on one knee (right in front of the big water fountain) and showed me the beautiful ring. He then asked me to marry him. I was so overwhelmed as I really wasn’t expecting it. I remember crying with happiness and of course said yes. It was so romantic.
We set the date for 25th June 2016. We definitely wanted a summer wedding so wanted the weather to be nice but not too hot. On record June tended to be the nicest month. We were fortunate to get the weather because it had rained in the morning as I was walking into the church but when we came out it was glorious.
Our ceremony was held at St Michael and All Angels Church in Bramhall. I have lived in Bramhall all my life and I’m very fond of this church. We chose Adlington Hall for the reception. The venue blew us both away. It is beautiful and we liked the fact it is an exclusive venue where we would be the only party there. The staff who worked there were so lovely and really made us feel special. We never looked back.
Our wedding had a rustic theme overall, which went particularly well with Adlington Hall and the beautiful high beams in its hunting lodge. There were a few subthemes too, which brought some personal elements to the day. As I was born in Scotland and Simon in England, so the men’s buttonholes included thistles and roses, and we also had thistles and roses within the bouquets. We had a park theme for the table plan. We chose ten parks throughout the world we had both been to, such as Central Park in New York and Villa Borghese Park in Rome. As we both represent our counties in tennis (Simon for Derbyshire and myself for Cheshire) we had Wimbledon themed cupcakes for our wedding cake. We also met each other through tennis and have known each other since we were about ten-year-old as we competed in the same tennis tournaments.
The colour scheme was lilac. This has always been my favourite colour and as a little girl I always dreamt of lilac flowers for my wedding. For our invitations, Michelle from Smileyhiley used rustic hearts and purple lace to help set the scene for the theming of the wedding.
I chose a Ronald Joyce wedding dress from Isaac Charles in Poynton. It was a drop waist design with a high neck because I felt these type of dresses were the most flattering for my figure. The wedding dress was made from very delicate lace, which I always wanted. It had pretty diamonds scattered throughout the dress and a shoulder/elbow length veil.
I actually thought I would go for something very simple with not much detail, when in fact the dress I chose was the complete opposite. When I put the dress on I knew it was the one straight away and never wanted to take it off. It was so beautiful and elegant and like nothing I had ever seen before.
On the day of the wedding, makeup artist Chloe Alexandra did my makeup and stylist Lisa Marshall did my hair.
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