July 21st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Whatever your inclination – big bash, small soiree, elopement or five day wedding fest – it’s a rare bride who doesn’t get excited about her wedding dress. I’m relishing my unique opportunity to share so many stunning (hot off the catwalks) bridal gowns with you on these pages, as the designers send me the first shots of their brand new collections for 2015.
This afternoon, it’s all about classical cuts, shimmering silks and demure elegance as I show off the beautiful new look book by Nicola Anne Bridal, and hear from head designer Nikki about her inspirations and influences.
I love my job.
Nikki says: My inspiration starts with choosing the wonderful fabrics and embellishments.Sometimes I instinctively know what I will do with a fabric and others just evolve into a shape. I am always looking for collection influence everywhere, and this can be in obscure areas, such as cloud formations!
The woman I see wearing my gowns is feminine, timeless in her styling and above all knows luxury and quality.
Our gowns are available in any size. We are able to offer made to measure and design changes as we are British Made. Our ‘Toile fit’ service is also available, which allows the Bride to make fit adjustments to a calico bodice before the wedding gown is completed.
2015 looks set to be an exciting year for the brand. We are looking at overseas markets as we have had interest from areas of the world who see our British “design and made”label as unique and high end couture.
To see more and for stockist info, visit the Nicola Anne Bridal website.
July 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
“I approach designing a dress as if I have an artist’s brush and a blank canvas in my hands; I need the picture to move and change as your eyes wander across the design, focussing on detailed embellishment along the way, and finding something new and even more intriguing on the way back.” Terry Fox
Nothing like a bit of eye candy to get your Friday off to the right start, is there?
And this is the real deal.
First seen as an exclusive sneak peek in our Designer Preview post back in April, and still as boho and beautiful as ever, Terry Fox’s truly romantic collection for 2015 encapsulates “mystical creatures of the sea and the ancient call of the Siren song”.
Terry’s range stretches from gorgeously glamorous to simply elegant, or quirky, fun and vintage. The team say “All designs are hand made in the U.K., so you are guaranteed quality workmanship and a perfect fit by a team that really care about you and your special day. We also offer a bespoke service to customize and coordinate all the wedding party to add a touch of individuality, with great finishing touches.”
Pinterest fingers at the ready ladies…
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July 15th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Following this season’s trip to White Gallery, London – an international designer bridal trade and press show which I attend yearly, gathering the best in British and international bridal design – I’m proud to showcase a selection of our very favourite collections for 2015 here on these pages.
This afternoon, Sarah, the head designer at Ivory & Co, talks us through her inspirations for the label’s soft and stunning 2015 collection. Just dreamy.
What sort of woman does Ivory & Co design for?
Sarah says: The bride I design for at Ivory & Co is sophisticated and elegant – the sort of bride who loves the style of the icons such as Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. Brides who want romantic dresses with a designer look and are comfortable with something a little more unique and striking.
What were your inspirations for this collection of bridal gowns?
I worked on the designs in the new collection for months last year, sketching constantly and focusing on the styling being feminine and delicate. I took inspiration from many areas – including the romance of the Pre-Raphaelites and the romantic sweep of high fashion in the 1930′s and 1940′s (the swathes of fabric and long trains). In the attention to detail my inspiration was fairy-tales and mythology: think A Midsummer Nights Dream crossed with embellishments of the Ancient World.
What shapes, fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the collection and why?
The dress shapes for this season are flowing: whether they are full skirted or slinky they all have flowing floaty fabrics in silk chiffon or soft silk satins. We have embellished using an array of beautiful French laces and beading in Swarovski rhinestones, real freshwater pearls and illusion sequins. This all gives an illusion of soft decoration for a delicate and feminine look.
Lets get practical. Tell us about sizing and spend?
Ivory & Co make gowns in any size. Our standard range goes from UK 0 to 18 but we can also make any size above that by request. Brides can choose from two services – they can either chose a standard UK size or they can have our made to measure service where we make a whole new pattern block just to the bride’s individual measurements.
We also provide a special bespoke service where we can either make bespoke changes to an existing design – or design a bespoke dress from scratch for a bride. This service is no more expensive than buying from our collection.
Our dresses retail from between £1,000 – £2,000.
What does 2014/ 2015 hold for Ivory & Co? What are you excited about?
We have just relocated to a fantastic headquarters in the gorgeous Worcestershire countryside. We have one of the biggest bridal showrooms in the UK with over 100 dresses and over 500 tiaras and accessories. We are excited about welcoming many brides here for appointments to try the new designs – or brides can book in for a bespoke appointment with me.
What are your best things in life?
My best things in life are of course my wonderful family but I’m very lucky that I have a fabulous job that I really love. It gives me a real sense of satisfaction when I leave the office at night knowing that I’ve made brides happy that day. I love days when brides come to collect their dress and their faces when they try it on for the first time, especially with bespoke jobs as it is rewarding to design something unique for a bride so they can have the dress of their dreams.
Where can Brides Up North find out more about Ivory & Co?
Brides Up North can see more about us by viewing our website www.ivoryandcobridal.co.uk or for accessories, www.ivoryandcotiaras.co.uk. Brides can follow us on Twitter and Facebook and we have a blog which can be reached from our websites.
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July 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Each spring, I’m excited to make my annual pilgrimage to the smoke to worship at the altar of bridal design at White Gallery, London. If you think I sound a little enthusiastic, you’d be right: with a personal background in fashion, this is the event that I look forward to most all year. A chance to see my favourite designers’ creations up close, catch up on the industry gossip, immerse myself in inspiration, lace, tulle and sequins.
Officially, White Gallery is one of the leading international designer bridal trade and press shows, gathering the best in British and international bridal design to preview and take to market the gowns and the gorgeous that will be landing in a bridal boutique near you next season.
Unofficially, it’s heaven.
Today, in our first Designer Series feature of 2014, I’m proud to introduce a new name to the pages of this wedding blog, a designer whose work really resonates with my own personal style. Showing for the first time in London this April, and currently without a UK stockist (lets start the campaign now girls!) Christos Costarellos is one to watch.
Costarellos has produced a beautiful, forward thinking collection for 2015 with influences from his Greek heritage and vintage icons. The result? Stunning, new-boho gowns that are totally on the fashion nail for next season.
What sort of woman do you design for?
Costarellos says: I don’t think I have a specific woman ‘type’ in mind when I design my dresses, but I believe that my work combines a classical, understated elegance with bold femininity and sensuality. In that sense, I design for women who have a strong personality and are not afraid to show it!
What were your inspirations for this collection?
The Greek landscape, history and tradition is at the heart of each of my collections, and my new bridal collection is no exception. Lace patterns found on Greek islands are combined with lines and forms inspired by one of my favourite designers from the past, Jeanne Lanvin. The collection also pays tribute to another great couturier of the early 20th century, Charles Worth – especially his luxurious embellishments which I find fascinating
What shapes, fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the collection and why?
In order to achieve a sense of vintage allure and lightness, transparent and very fine fabrics have been used in various ways – for instance, we have used 25 meters of tulle for a single skirt so that it would appear both playful and proper. We have also used lace extensively: as a fashion house we have many years of experience in the use of lace, and our new bridal collection is really a celebration of that tradition. Our expertise allows us to combine different kinds of lace in even more daring ways, in order to get a more contemporary look. Naturally, simple lines and forms that reference Ancient Greek dresses have also found their way into this collection, as well as more luxurious silhouettes and materials such as silk organza and embroidered fabrics.
What does 2014/ 2015 hold for your business?
I’m really excited about how our bridal collection has been received so far – it is the first time we have present our gowns abroad and the response has been very positive. We are also presenting our pret-à-porter summer collection in Los Angeles this year, at the Fashion Forwards showroom. As usual, we will be showing our new Spring-Summer 2015 pret-a-porter collection in Paris during fashion week in September and then we will attend NY bridal week in October.
Where can Brides Up North find out more?
You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all our latest news, and also check out our Pinterest boards for additional inspiration and photos! On our website you can browse images from all our latest collections, as well as an updated list with stockists carrying our brand around the world.
Visit the Christos Costarellos website for more information (Ed: the site uses sound so if you are browsing at work, look for the mute button at button at bottom left, or disable your browser sound first).
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April 17th, 2014 | Julia Braime
I’m really happy to welcome my lovely industry friend and colleague Charlotte Balbier to the wedding blog this morning, as I give you a sneak peek at her beautiful 2015 Collection, straight from the catwalk at last week’s White Gallery.
I’ve known Charlotte for some years now, and spent a little time with the lady herself and her lovely Mum, the fabulously talented Amanda Wyatt, on their stand at the show, watching as Charlotte unveiled her new line to assembled buyers and press. I can absolutely vouch for this: This is a designer who really cares. A lot of heart goes into each and every Charlotte Balbier design, and she positively glowed as she swirled and showed her designs to the audience and discussed what made each and every one unique and special.
And glow she might, for the new collection is an absolute triumph.
Charlotte, you should be very proud. Brides Up North, they’ll be landing in a stockist near you soon. Yippee!
Charlotte’s own wedding day at Iscoyd Park, Cheshire
The collection was designed in celebration of Charlotte and her new husband Teddy’s 2014 wedding day and is inspired by the historical and traditional setting of Iscoyd Park. 2015 marks eleven years for Charlotte at the forefront of British Bridal design, a truly amazing decade as one of the UK’s leading bridal designers.
The Iscoyd Park Collection is made up of over twenty gorgeous gowns in an array of styles, and delightfully includes two of Charlotte’s own wedding gowns, named ‘Charlotte’ and ‘Iscoyd Park.’ Charlotte’s designs inherently traditional but with that added extra twist for a modern gown.
The 2014 collection, ‘A Decade of Style’ won the Wedding Ideas Magazine ‘Designer Of The year’ award and this year is all set to become Charlotte’s most successful year to date with exciting plans and collaborations ahead. Go girl!
To find out more about Charlotte Balbier’s designs and view a list of Northern stockists, visit her website.
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April 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Of all the shows the Brides Up North team were privileged to attend this week at White Gallery, Ian Stuart Bride stood out for it’s energy, creativity and sense of theatre.
This man isn’t just a designer, he’s an artist and entertainer.
This is just a sneak peek at the first five looks that made it down the catwalk this weekend, with the rest to be revealed soon. I can’t wait to share the 2015 look book with you shortly.
Ian Stuart describes his life as dancing through a world of inspiration. Looking through artistic eyes, he searches for moments and images of beauty each day.
Gathering these and channelling them into beautiful gowns, he creates wedding dresses that are a unique reflection of nature, music, history, architecture and humanity, each design has its own story to tell. Within the diversity of inspiration, touches of Elizabethan, art deco and bohemian stand out, creating a spirit for 2015 that is angelic, quirky and statuesque.
Luxurious fabrics and colours help to tie all essences of the collection together, but most of all, it is the unmistakable handwriting of Ian Stuart that is conveyed as the premier trend.
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April 10th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Our fashion-tastic week continues here at Brides Up North, dahlings, with more exclusive updates fresh from the bridal catwalks at this year’s White Gallery, London.
Unless you’ve been on an extreme tech detox over the last few days, you can’t have failed to notice that the online wedding industry (see our Twitter and Facebook feeds as exhibit A) is abuzz with news from the Capital about the stunning 2015 bridal collections which will be arriving in your local bridal boutiques in the very near future.
The eye candy cranks up a notch this morning as we showcase the stunning Echo Collection by Emma Hunt London. This is Emma’s inaugural diffusion collection and aims to be timeless and elegant with a fresh modern appeal. Got it in one, Ms Hunt.
Emma Hunt London: The Echo Collection has been designed with the discerning bride in mind. Our gowns are made entirely in Britain using the finest fabrics such as silk crepe satin, French Levers lace, silk marocaine and silk satin chiffon, and all the dresses have a pure silk lining for a luxurious finish.
The overall tone of the collection is one of lightness and grace with soft, fluid silhouettes complimented with discreet structuring ad exquisite detailing such as beaded waistbands, appliqued corded lace and Swarovski accents.
April 9th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its been a bit of a haute couture week at Brides Up North HQ. We’ve been at White Gallery London checking out the brand new bridal wear collections from the big names in the wedding dress industry and are really excited to bring you some exclusive catwalk previews direct from the event over the next few days. Fast fashion or what?!
I’m obsessed with Alan Hannah’s beautiful gowns, and actually wore one of Marguerite’s creations for my own wedding back in 2010 (the dress was called All The Jazz and was a blush duchess satin… swoon), so it makes sense to open play on these pages by debuting their label’s exciting 2015 collections first.
For their main line, as well as the perfect couture cut and execution Marguerite has some really lovely new embellishment ideas including hand painted flowers and striking textured beading. The MiaMia line is full of verve and panache with beautiful lace and dramatic skirts with theatrical detailing. For me, there’s something to delight every bride here – soft sparkle, lovely lace, swishing satins, structured silks and contemporary twists, but always with an integral elegance and flair.
And to top it all off? All Alan Hannah’s gowns are designed and made in England. You know we like things home grown at Brides Up North!
^^^Editor’s pick: this blush satin gown with chiffon skirts and crystal belt detail is to die for^^^
The 2015 collections will be arriving in bridal boutiques near you later this year. In the meantime, check out Alan Hannah’s current collection and a list of Northern stockists by visiting their website.
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February 7th, 2014 | Julia Braime
It’s only February 2014, but already the invitations to view the biggest bridal houses’ 2015 collections have started to roll in here at Brides Up North HQ, and we are excitedly marking some special dates in our office diary. Last year we brought you our Designer Series of interviews with some of the most recognised names in the industry, and are looking forward to doing the same again later this spring.
You know me though, I like to keep things fresh, mixed up and interesting – and that’s why alongside the established designers I also like to keep my readers abridged of the hottest happenings in bridal couture, the newest labels on the scene and also laud the work of talented, smaller, independent designers.
So when the lovely Holly Cuthbert of brand new label Maria Senvo contacted me to show off her inaugural collection, I couldn’t wait to share it with the rest of you. Coming soon to a bridal boutique (and some of the Brides Up North Luxury Wedding Exhibitions!) near you, let’s meet the lady behind the designs.
Please introduce Maria Senvo and tell us a little about your brand?
The label has been set up by me and my partner Ryan, so we have both a male and female influence on the designs which we think is what makes them so unique. Our first collection launches this month, alongside the website and we also have some exciting events coming up over the coming months. Our first one coincides with London Fashion Week and is the invitation only launch of the label. We are super busy planning at the moment but it’s set to be great!
What is your style philosophy?
Stay true to yourself and don’t be afraid to be different. Many brides are taking their day to day style and working this into their big day looks to be individual and stylised. Gone are the days where brides wear what is expected of them… be bold.
Tell us about the new collection by Maria Senvo?
We always say… “If you’re a cool girl and your am to pm wardrobe is simple, paired down and effortless, what do you then wear to get married in?”
That bride – someone not unlike ourselves we think – really is the inspiration for each and every design. The aim always was to master that elusive paired down aesthetic with just the right amount of glamour. As well as the bride herself the inspirations are endless from art, culture and modernism, even the campaign taster shot at a British sculpture park oozes an essence of what the brand is really about; creating what we hope really is a striking new presence in a somewhat traditional industry.
What fabrics and embellishments were chosen for the new collection and why?
Intricate beaded bodies, elongated lines and pleats adorn the collection that when turned around reveal scoop detail backs and razor sharp features. The collection is designed with a new generation bride in mind who is looking for something a little different from her gown. Each is handmade and hand beaded and feels amazing to wear! The fabrics range from silks to crepe chiffon and everything in between.
Do you have a personal favourite from the new collection? Which piece and why?
We both have our favourites for different reasons! Mine (Holly) is the Joy gown as it’s the first gown we designed and also happens to be one of the favourites with our brides so far. Ryan loves the Edith gown as the shape is so different to anything else out there and the heavy lace teamed with the soft crepe looks elegantly stylish.
What accessories would you pair with pieces from your new collection?
For our campaign shoot we used pieces from the latest Indian Summer collection from Flo & Percy. We love the style of their accessories and they complement our gowns perfectly. A lot of our boutiques also hand make bespoke accessories to match our gowns which is a gorgeous little addition when shopping for a Maria Senvo gown.
What beauty look would complement the pieces in your new collection?
Our own style is very paired down and somewhat European so we love the effortless looks that look less bridal and more day to day. On the shoot our makeup and hair stylist scooped hair into high ponytails or brushed long length hair back off the models face… paired with neutral eyes (add a little subtle false lash for definition) and a pop of colour on the lip to take your big day look from am to pm.
Do you have a “signature” piece?
We definitely have a signature look running through the collection – spot it for yourselves?
How do you decide on the “names” for your gowns?
The name of the collection ‘The Fifteen Collection’ is purely the year date of the collection. As we designers are always a year ahead of ourselves this collection launches this month yet will be sold internationally as 2015 pieces. The dress names were a little more tricky, a lot of the dress names have a personal meaning to us be it names of family and friends or aims and achievements we have.
What sizes are available in your gowns?
The gowns are size 6 – 22 but custom sizing is also available as each gown is handmade to order.
What is the retail price range for your designs?
The designs start at around £1,500 and range up to around £2,700 for our Swarovski custom gown.
What sets Maria Senvo apart from other bridal wear brands?
The designs mix a respect for the old with a flair for the new but what makes Maria Senvo unique is how we understand the woman inside our dress. Composed and sensual, she wants to be comfortable yet elegant, fashion forward but timeless. The first collection is new and bold and altogether interesting for 2014, but to call us minimalists would be too simple. The seemingly uncomplicated pieces are stylish and on closer inspection, playful experiments in shapes and fabrics with a focus on the finer points in design, so that the inside of the garments are just as beautiful as the outside. Trust us – when stepped into they feel sensational!
Was there a defining point in your career that made your business the success that it is today?
As young entrepreneurs the biggest step so far was taking the leap and setting up the label – it really just keeps going from strength to strength and the reaction to the collection has been unbelievable.
What are your plans for the future?
At the moment we are concentrating on our UK launch and with London Fashion Week just 2 weeks away we are busy bees to say the least!
What would “a day in the life” at Maria Senvo HQ be like?
We have a studio which in every way encompasses the typical studio you would imagine – from moodboards to swatches it’s an organised chaos! Ryan is a real night owl and is constantly tapping away until the early hours most days. No two days are the same and we split our time between London and Manchester for many reasons, both cities have a great culture for design and both have wonderful support systems for new generation brands such as ourselves. Every day is vibrant.
How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you or see more of your designs?
Our new website launches this month housing some great features for brides like “create your own lookbook” and “request a sketch” and is a great spot to see more of our designs and keep up to date with all our events. We also love to hear from our brides to be direct through our social media.
Do you have any Northern stockists – how can Brides Up North find them?
Yes! The lovely The Case Of The Curious Bride in Manchester is the exclusive stockist for the North and the boutique is a gorgeous hub of treats – with Melanie (the owner) also housing an abundance of accessories for brides to lust after alongside our debut collection.
The Case Of The Curious Bride will be exhibiting at Brides Up North’s North West events this Spring. Click here to add the dates to your diaries and see Maria Senvo’s beautiful new collection in person.
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January 3rd, 2014 | Julia Braime
If you are new to the blog, you’ll soon find out that we are pretty keen on our bridal fashion here on these pages. Last year we ran an exclusive series of interviews debuting all our favourite designer’s new lines for 2014 (dresses that you’ll be trying on in your local bridal boutiques right now) – click here to catch up – and today I’m proud to introduce you to a hot new talent in bridal and Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Kelly of KMR Bridal.
Kelly says: Hi I’m Kelly, designer and owner of the brand and label KMR. I spent four years learning my craft at Sheffield Hallam University studying a Masters Degree in Fashion Design. Following the success of my graduate bridal collection ‘Forging Heritage’ and completion of my degree I started my own business and launched my label KMR Bridal. I am a contemporary bridal and occasion wear designer offering a bespoke service. Under the label KMR, I also produce my own collections and accessories which can be ordered and made to measure.
Let’s find out more, and watch out for a special offer exclusive to Brides Up North readers!
What is your design and style philosophy?
As a designer I have a strong design philosophy. I used skilled artistry and traditional construction techniques mixed with innovative fabrics and contemporary silhouettes. When it comes to style I believe that every woman has their own style and as a designer it is my job to ensure a bride not only looks glamorous on her big day but she is tempered with her own personality. I get to know all my brides and learn about their wedding day it helps ensure their dream wedding dress is created.
Tell us about your latest collection?
My graduate collection for Spring/ Summer 2014 is called ‘Forging Heritage.’ Studying in Sheffield increased my awareness of the local heritage of craftsmanship and the legacy it has created for the city today. The inspiration for my collection came from Sheffield; it had become the City I know and love and is now my home. From my time spent working in the bridal industry it became apparent that many wedding dresses today are manufactured abroad. As a designer I wanted to highlight this decline in craftsmanship in my collection and showcase British manufacturing and design. To do this I collaborated with a local craftsman, a Sheffield cutler who helped my design and manufacture some bespoke jewellery and accessories to compliment the garments in my collection. This worked well with my Sheffield theme. We recycled old cutlery to create some striking jewellery which would be suitable for the catwalk and styling for the shoot.
The aim of the collection was to highlight the decline of craftsmanship whilst informing a modern young bride to be sustainable and preserve cultural wedding traditions. I created a collection of pieces that have elements of jewellery/ metalwork that can be re-worn, treasured and passed down to future generations. Through emotional attachment between the bride and the collection piece the product’s legacy, family values and a sense of belonging will be strengthened. By creating this collection the aim was to solve the problems highlighted showcasing Sheffield’s past, present and future.
The colour palette was inspired by Sheffield’s heritage of silver plate, a metallic palette of silver shades, dirty lilacs, pale dove greys and off-whites.
The silhouettes are bold and offer a contemporary take on bridal wear challenging traditions with unconventional fabrics and colours. The fabrics allowed structure and creative panelling creating a clean defined look. I wanted to show brides that bridal wear can be considered fashion and can be challenged. Not every bride wants to look the same as the rest.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I take inspiration from my surroundings, art, culture and travels. I am heavily influenced by Britain’s heritage, my time studying in Sheffield increased my awareness of its rich heritage and my entire graduation project and collection was based on this subject. As a society proud of our heritage, designers, artists and other creatives should regenerate the past, bring it to the present and ensure a continued legacy for the future.
What sort of woman do you design for?
I design for women of all shapes and size and all ages. The brides I usually design for appreciate quality and craftsmanship and want a gown that is unique. Some women can’t find the dress they are looking for so come to me with lots of different design details from different dresses and I can then use them to create their dream dress. Some brides love the idea of being involved in the creative process and the journey of creating their own one-off gown which they can treasure, and remember forever. It’s a fantastic way to have complete control of your dress from the silhouette, shapes, colour, fabrics and detailing ensuring that the dress encapsulates their personality and their wedding day.
What fabrics and embellishments do you prefer to work with?
I work with some fantastic British fabric suppliers and this is something I am particularly passionate about. This is part of my ethos to support other British businesses and I manufacture all my gowns in my own studio in Sheffield. I like to offer brides diversity and a wide range of choice when it comes to fabrics. It is an aspect of the creative process that the bride can heavily be involved in.
I like to show brides how they can create a unique gown using untraditional bridal fabrics to create contemporary silhouettes. For my graduate collection I used Japanese cow hide leather, embossed silver leather, silk habotai, satin cotton and a fine metal mesh. Silks and lace are a personal favourite and I love working with lace as there is so much scope to produce truly unique pieces. As a designer I appreciate a client’s budget and will work with them to ensure we select the best fabric to suit their design.
Embellishments can completely transform a wedding gown. As I create dresses of different styles for a diverse range of clients every dress is different. I love embellishing gowns adorned with beads, crystals, pearls, embroidery, ruffles, pleats, ribbon, bows crystal lace applique motifs and trims. Embellishments can personalise a wedding dress and can help create a completely unique design. Working with each bride I ensure each gown is detailed with ornate embellishments that sit together in perfect unison.
Do you have a personal favourite from your collections? Which piece and why?
My favourite piece from my graduate collection is the midi length white leather dress with long sleeves and a metal mesh panel down the front. The shape of the dress and the lines are so flattering on any shape. It received some great feedback at fashion shows this year not just as a contemporary wedding dress but as a fashion piece.
Tell us about your bespoke design service?
I offer brides the opportunity to have a completely bespoke gown designed and handmade for them. I allow each client to be part of the design process creating a one-off bespoke gown that is made to measure. I work with each bride from start to finish ensuring their specifications are met considering, silhouettes, shape, style, fabric and colour. Working with every bride individually I ensure that the dress they have always wanted is created and made to the highest standard in my Sheffield studio.
What beauty look or jewellery would complement your designs? Why?
As each gown is a one-off bespoke design the jewellery and beauty can be tailored to the individual client’s style and can reflect their wedding and personality. This ensures that their overall look reflects their vision of a dream wedding.
How do you decide on the “names” for your designs and collections?
When deciding names for either a specific design or a collection, I reflect on the theme that has inspired that design.
What sizes are available in your designs? Are all your pieces made to measure?
I have worked with brides of all shapes and sizes. I treat every client as an individual and none of my gowns are made to a generic size. All my designs are made to measure, to suit your shape and to fit you perfectly. It is so important that a dress fits a bride correctly to ensure their perfect day.
What is the process for your clients from the first meeting to the final fitting?
I outline the couture process in five stages. Firstly I invite brides to a free consultation to meet me at my design studio which will focus on the bride’s specific requirements including silhouettes, shape, style, colour and fabrics. Following the consultation I will develop a range of designs to fit the bride’s specifications.
The second step is the design and selection, I invite the bride to visit my studio and select a final design and fabric allowing the bride to be part of the creative process. The third step is the toile fitting. The brides design will be made up as a calico toile for the bride to try on. I will fit the mock up gown and make any alterations or minor changes necessary before making the dress in the final fabric. This ensures the dress fits perfectly.
The fourth step is the dress fittings, the final fabric will be cut and the bride’s dress will begin to take shape. To ensure a perfect fit and to finalise finishing touches several fittings will take place ensuring the bride remains involved in the couture making process. The last step is the final fitting and once complete the bride can take the gown home and wear it with pride on their special day.
What is the price range for your designs?
Bespoke wedding dress designs range from £900 upwards. As each gown is bespoke and made to measure prices vary with fabrics and complexity. Gowns usually take between 4-6 months to create although shorter deadlines can be achieved.
Do you design bridesmaid dresses or mother of the bride outfits?
Yes, under my label I also design and make outfits for weddings, special occasions, bridesmaid dresses, evening gowns, prom dresses, mother of the bride and groom.
Do you design and make any accessories under your label?
I design and make handmade veils, bouquets, bespoke garters and accessories to compliment your gown.
What sets KMR Bridal apart from other bridal wear brands, and you apart from other designers?
Unlike most bridal wear brands I offer a completely unique service. I allow you to work with me to create your dream wedding dress. There won’t be another bride wearing the same dress as you, as my designs are not mass produced and stocked in boutiques across the country. Many brides find they like various details from different dresses, for example the skirt of one dress and the sleeves from another. I can take details you like and put them into one dress, your dream dress. This gives brides the control to choose which silhouettes, shapes, colours, fabrics and styles they like to take their vision and make it a reality. Your dress will be tailored to fit you and your body, made to measure. You can walk down the aisle in a truly unique gown.
Do you have a “signature” piece?
I would consider my signature piece to be a guipure lace and crepe gown which I made a few years ago for a past collection. This dress has been a favourite of clients and has been adapted to suit their specifications. The keyhole back, lace heart shaped bodice and crepe skirt with lace train was inspired by 1950’s Hollywood. The dress has an elegant and sophisticated appeal and has always remained a personal favourite.
How did you get into wedding dress design – what is your story?
At the age of sixteen I got my first Saturday job working in a fabric, haberdashery and bridal shop. This stepped me into the world of bridal and was a great job to support me during my A levels of which I studied Textiles. Following my A levels I went to study a Masters degree in Fashion design in Sheffield. During my four years on the course I learnt and developed my craft and specialised in bridal wear. Alongside my studies I produced bespoke wedding and bridesmaid dresses made to measure for clients. I also spent 9 months working at bridal design studio and boutique Tickled Pink Bridal working with the design team.
In my fourth year at University I entered a national competition sponsored by Bridal designer Ian Stuart and Susi Rogol of Bridal Buyer. I was selected as one of twelve finalists to manufacture my submitted design to be displayed at the British Bridal Exhibition in Harrogate. My design was showcased as one of the final six entrants on the catwalk at the awards ceremony. My graduate bridal collection was selected to open the universities fashion show, of which I was also awarded runner up prize in the Brightest Spark competition judged by Panache Lingerie. Upon leaving university I went to work for Sheffield based designer Nabil Nayal working on his Spring/ Summer 2014 collection and began to launch my own label and business.
What are your plans for the future?
My ambition has always been to own business as a bridal designer. My time at university and in the industry has helped me reach my goal. Now I want to continue to help brides create their dream wedding gowns and grow my business.
Is this your dream career?
Yes this is my dream career, I am so lucky to be doing the job I love! After studying for four years at University I knew that I wanted my own bridal label. I love the whole process of creating a bespoke gown for a client from the design to the making. The most rewarding aspect of my job is seeing a happy bride leave with her own handmade gown and then receiving gorgeous photos from her big day!
What would “a day in the life” at KMR Bridal HQ be like?
A creative and hectic one! I spend most my time in my studio sketching designs and making beautiful gowns, creating patterns, cutting out fabric and sewing.
Where do you go and what do you do to relax?
I enjoy spending time with my friends and my fiancé. We are now planning our own wedding so I never seem to have much time to relax. When I can though I enjoy reading and socialising with my friends, often going out for a lovely meal and a catch up!
What are your “best things” in life?
Family, friends and fashion. They are the most important things to me, they are my life and my work.
How can Brides Up North readers get in touch with you/ see more of your designs?
When booking a consultation brides are invited to my Sheffield studio where they can look through and try on my dresses and accessories. There they can then begin the wonderful process of designing their perfect bespoke wedding gown.
Is there anything else that we should know?
I am offering any Brides Up North readers a free bespoke garter worth £69.99 if they choose for me to design their wedding dress. If any Brides Up North readers have any questions or queries feel free to contact me, I am happy to help!