Charlotte Balbier

the designer series: charlotte balbier talks to brides up north about her untamed love collection for 2017

June 7th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Untamed Love at White Gallery London 2016 (15)

You may recall a little earlier this year we were fortunate enough to share with you a first look at the stunning Untamed Love 2017 collection from Brides Up North friend and Sponsor, Charlotte Balbier.

As huge fans of Charlotte’s uber pretty designs we always expect her collections to send us weak at the knees – her latest Untamed Love collection however, sent us falling head over heels as well! Our favourite of Miss Balbier’s wonderful collections to date, we absolutely adore the fabulous variety of shapes, fabrics, colours and detailing that it offers.

Perhaps the most head-turning element of the collection is its three floral patterned dresses: Untamed Love, Bloom and Posey, which we just can’t stop looking at! If you too are fixated on these stunning designs, we have a very exciting date for your diary – on Saturday 18th June, 7th Heaven Bridal in Cheshire will be holding ‘In Bloom’, A Floral Celebration, which will give brides-to-be the exclusive opportunity to try on, and order, one of these spectacular floral gowns ahead of the collection’s official release into boutiques in August. Spaces are very limited so call today on 01260 277123 to book your appointment.

After teasing you with the initial first look, we’re today revealing the remainder of the Untamed Love Collection on the blog, whilst also hearing from the leading lady herself about what went into the designs and how the gorgeous results are being received…

Untamed Love at White Gallery London 2016 (1)

You’ve just launched your new collection Untamed Love, can you tell us how this collection differs from your previous collections?

charlotte says: I hoped to capture the bride’s attention and imagination with the new Untamed Love 2017 collection. It’s a different collection from what I’ve ever crafted and I dedicated more than 12 months of love and attention to its creation.  I love to constantly evolve the Charlotte Balbier brand to be at the forefront of the market and I could not be more delighted with the new gowns.  The Untamed Love Collection is all about celebrating individuality and being your own kind of beauty.

Where did you get the inspiration for this collection from?

I’ve taken all my inspiration for the Untamed Love Collection from my brides, because my brides are the most important thing. I love to connect with all of my brides via social media and I really take on all of their feedback. It’s great to hear which styles and shapes the brides resonate with and which gowns they are truly attracted to. I travel around the country all year around to trunk shows and meet with my clients individually to chat in person. I love having a strong connection with the brides who wear my gowns to embrace the individuality, style and fabulousness of each and every one of them. I have two very distinctive styles, one is glamorous and the other side is the inner Boho girl at heart. The Untamed Love Collection embraces my inner hippy and the more opulent side to me!

Untamed Love at White Gallery London 2016 (30)

Can you give us an overview of the various shapes of gowns that the collection includes? 

I try my best to give a large variety of gown shapes to brides with our collections. Dreamy ethereal gowns sit alongside fun and playful floral print works of art combined with classical simple and romantic gowns. The Agatha, Carmel and Bayley are beautiful fitted strapless gowns. Our new Aphrodite gown is a beautiful halter neck with delicate lace detailing. The Paige gown is simply stunning with a beautiful lace on skin back detailing and fishtail back to it. The Posy gown is a fun stunning floral separate and I literally cannot wait to see a bride wearing this gown on her big day. The Rosemary gown is beautifully one shouldered with floral cut out details on the back. Our Sofia gown and Rosalie gowns pay attention to a bride’s neckline and shoulders of a bride with beautiful lace and silver beaded detailing. My collection really does take into consideration all shapes and sizes and we love to give brides a lovely choice of shapes and fits to choose from.

Untamed Love at White Gallery London 2016 (8)

And what fabrics feature within the collection?

The quality and palette of the fabrics used in the Untamed Love collection is second to none. There are plenty of uses of tulle, silks, French laces, and rich Mikado fabrics. We’ve even designed some fabrics exclusive to the Charlotte Balbier brand, including a specially designed chiffon material created in-house that is only available via our brand. Our two new floral gowns have literally wowed our stockists and the audience at The White Gallery where we launched the new collection in May. Untamed Love, is a soft sorbet of lilacs, apricot, plum, pinks and muted greens. This is a truly a show-stopping gown with on-trend pocket detail.

Why did you want to use colour within the collection and what would you say to brides who are considering wearing a coloured dress for their big day? 

I love to play with colour palettes and this is evident in the new collection. Sitting alongside the traditional ivory hues, are antique gold’s, silver pewters, apricot tones and of course my favourite blush and rose pink shades. Any bride wanting to make a statement during her wedding would wow her guests in the Untamed Love gown for sure. Colour is great for a bride who wants her day to be remembered above all others.

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sample sale alert: the little pearl bridal boutique

June 2nd, 2016 | Julia Braime

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (11)

Ladies on the dress hunt, it’s time to listen up, for we have exciting details on how to secure a dream gown at a dream price! Starting tomorrow, our good friend and Brides Up North Sponsor, Diana McMann, of The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique, will be holding a fabulous Summer Sample Sale, with a range of gorgeous gowns at a fraction of their retail price.

Located in the quaint North Yorkshire town of Pickering, The Little Pearl’s sample sale will run up until Sunday 12th June, and will feature up to 70% off dresses in sizes 10 to 16, from fabulous designers Charlotte Balbier, Enzoani, Maria Senvo and Sassi Holford.

To give us more details on the beautiful bargains that brides can bag, we’ll hand over the blog to the lovely Diana. It sounds like there’s never been a better time to become one of #Pearlsgirls!

With images by Hayley Baxter Photography.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (10)

diana says: It’s time to grab a wedding dress bargain as we stage our Summer Sample Sale, from Friday 3rd June and Sunday 12th June! Yes, you heard that right, our sale is on for just over a week, giving you plenty of time to come and see our gorgeous sale gowns! Remember though ladies, once they’re gone they’re gone, so get in touch quick! With up to 70% off and prices from £400 to £1,800, there are some fabulous dresses to be had!

A few star buys include the Lilac dress by Charlotte Balbier – a tulle skirted gown, with delicate lace sleeves and scattered handmade flowers – was £1,500, now just £900, in a size 10. Also, the stunning Kamila dress from Enzoani – an illusion sweetheart halter neck design, with lightly beaded lace and soft fishtail silhouette – was £2,100, now £1,050, in a size 12. Some of Sassi Holford’s gorgeous creations will feature in the sale too, including the wonderful Isla – a fabulous flowing silk design with georgette skirt, guipure lace bodice and deep V back – was £2,200, now £1,300, in a size 14.

Little Pearl Bridal Boutique (c) Hayley Baxter Photography (7)

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a truly personal touch: louise perry bridal

May 12th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Louise Perry Bridal (2)

Providing even more fabulous inspiration for you brides-to-be currently on the dream dress hunt, we’re thrilled to be welcoming Brides Up North sponsor Louise Perry Bridal to the blog today.

Located in the pretty West Yorkshire village of Saltaire, this warm and welcoming boutique has a stunning range of dresses, with something to suit all tastes and budgets.

With customer service at the very forefront of everything she does, owner Louise takes a personal approach to ensure brides and their guests have both a memorable and enjoyable experience during their time to the boutique.

To tell us more about what ladies can expect from an appointment at Louise Perry Bridal, we’ll hand over to the leading lady herself…

Louise Perry Bridal (11)

How did Louise Perry Bridal begin?

louise says: It was my lifelong dream to own my own business and give customers a wonderful experience when they came into my shop. It was only when I got married myself that I realised a bridal shop would be the ideal business for me. Having studied dressmaking and costume history, and with many years’ experience of sewing my own clothes, I had an understanding of how dresses are made and the intricacies of fabrics and trims. My degree and experience as a manager in a large organisation had also developed my skills in customer service and administration.

I love making people happy and matching a bride to her perfect dress is a dream come true!

How would you describe the feel and look of your boutique?

I get a lot of compliments about my boutique. When I designed it, I wanted the experience to appeal to all the senses, from the soft classical music in the background, to the specially selected pure origin coffee that I serve to my customers. I’d like to think it allows a bride to take time out in a beautiful, spacious environment where she is able to make her important decision, without pressure.

The boutique itself is quite large, light and airy with beautiful wooden floorboards and plenty of space for a bride to walk around in her chosen dresses. I only see one bride at a time, which allows the bride and her guests all the privacy needed to make a decision.

In terms of the feel, a customer recently said that the moment they walked into the shop, they breathed a sigh of relief and all their troubles drifted away! That is exactly the feeling I was going for – relaxed and welcoming!

Louise Perry Bridal (1)

What designers do you stock, can you tell us a little about each one?

I currently stock three collections by Demetrios, Cosmobella and Oreasposa. All three are Italian designers and based in Milan. Cosmobella is my mid-range and largest collection. It combines beautiful detailing with affordability. Demetrios dresses are slightly more expensive, but with an exquisite finish. My OreaSposa collection meanwhile is very affordable, without compromising on quality.

In September I will also be introducing Ronald Joyce to my collections and will hold a special launch event for interested brides.

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exclusive & exquisite: introducing luella’s bridal

May 11th, 2016 | Julia Braime

Luella's Bridal (7)

Ladies on the dream dress hunt are going to want to listen up this morning as we introduce Brides Up North Featured Supplier, Luella’s Bridal, to the blog.

Aiming to offer brides a choice of stunning gowns that can’t be found elsewhere, the team behind the pretty boutique source their collections from around the world, working with an impressive portfolio of designers to find dresses that are both beautiful and original.

Though located in Wimbledon Village, London, brides-to-be don’t have to make the journey down south to view the boutique’s wonderful designs first hand, as the ladies at Luella’s are taking their entire collection of bridal dresses and accessories on tour, starting with a visit to Nottingham from 19th to 22nd May.

During the fabulous pop-up event ladies will be able to try on a selection of wonderful gowns, whilst getting expert advice and enjoying a lovely glass of fizz. To fill you in on all the details of the boutique and the upcoming event we’ll hand over the blog to Rachel Attwell, owner and creative director at Luella’s Bridal.

Luella's Bridal (3)

Where is Luella’s located and how would you describe the look and feel of the boutique?

rachel says: Luella’s is a unique bridal boutique located in Wimbledon Village, London. Decorated with soft and beautiful wallpapers, vintage suitcases and chandeliers and furnished with antique cabinets and a day bed; it’s the perfect girly boutique for every bride

What designers do you stock; can you tell us a little about each one?

We work with a great selection of both UK and international designers, stocking pieces from collections designed in New Zealand, Australia, USA and Israel. We also launched our first own brand collection at the beginning of the year. The Luella Collection can be described as ‘Modern Bohemian’ with a ‘British Victoriana’ influence and has been inspired by the feminine and floaty shapes of bohemianism mixed with the glamorous Biba style of the late 70’s. The collection consists of seven unique styles in a mixture of warm Mediterranean colours.

For true British style we have Emma Tindley and Rasha London who offer a mix of contemporary styles and a range of more traditional style lace dresses. We are also the exclusive London stockist for Vicky Rowe’s gorgeous collection of beaded bridal wear that has been inspired by the 1970’s and we are the exclusive stockist of her new range of bridesmaid dresses.

Most recently we welcomed Israeli designer Inbal Raviv, whose designs beautifully combine romantic and modern elements to create sophisticated boho style dresses. We also stock dresses by Limor Rosen and Vered Giladi who are also from Israel. Vered offers a beautiful selection of tops and skirts and Limor’s collection includes everything from stunning lace to intricately beaded designs.

For more feminine and floaty styles we have Rose & Delilah and Sally Eagle’s collection of elegant and romantic wedding gowns, while for something really unique we have Australian designer Gwendolynne’s stunning dresses, which are a mixture of intricate hand beading on a combination of floaty silk chiffon and tulle.

In addition to dresses, we have an amazing selection of accessories, ranging from modern diamante style pieces to relaxed boho style and original vintage items.

Luella's Bridal (9)

How do you pick the right designers for Luella’s and what do you think makes a good bridal collection?

We are so lucky to be in the position where we are approached by designers rather than the other way round. All our dresses have been sourced from all over the world and have been carefully selected because of their exquisite detailing and originality. We try to ensure that they blend seamlessly together like one large beautiful collection; making sure at the same time that they are not too similar. We look for designs that are elegant, unique and effortlessly sophisticated. The majority of our designs have straps or sleeves and are extremely comfortable to wear. We also cater for a wide range of budgets.

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celebrity spy: met gala 2016: poppy delevingne

May 9th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Image via www.eonline.com

image source

As one of our very favourite red carpet events of the year, we were thrilled to see celebs making a stylish return to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute last week for the annual Met Gala.

With opulent and outlandish outfits galore, garments are picked to wow, shock and stun, as stars vie for the paparazzi limelight. Their choice of threads do all have something in common though, as each year’s gala celebrates the theme of the current Costume Institute exhibition, making the dress code for 2016 – ‘Fashion in an Age of Technology’.

Cue a whole host of beautiful metallic maidens in shimmering and reflective garments with tech themed embellishment, artistic cut-outs and robotic style finishes.

As is always the case at such events there some sensational faux pars (errrrr, Madonna what were you thinking?!), but thankfully the fashion hits outweighed the skips with the likes of Sienna Miller, Kylie Jenner, Blake Lively and Jourdan Dunn setting our hearts racing.

There was one lady in particular though who caught our eye (alright, we literally couldn’t stop looking at her) and that was the fabulous Poppy Delevingne. Reminding us that there is more than one hot Delevingne on the celeb circuit, model Poppy rocked a striking sheer and beaded gown whilst dripping in lavish jewels.

While not an obvious bridal look, we feel that ladies soon to be making their way down the aisle can certainly take a style tip or two out of Poppy’s on-trend book, and so today we’re making her the subject of our celebrity spy post…

the dress

POPPY @ THE MET - GOWN

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source.

Ok, so as we said, while perhaps not wholly suitable for a wedding there are certainly elements of Poppy’s stunning Marchesa dress that translate to current bridal trends. Embellishing: check, tassels: check, metallics: check, sheer panels: check. You get the idea!

So while you brides-to-be might not be able to steal Poppy’s look from top-to-toe, you can definitely give a nod to it on your big day.

For fabulous embellishment and beaded detail we would say to look to designers such as Jenny Packham, Anna Campbell, Ellie Saab and Eliza Jane Howell. Whether it’s a boho, vintage or a super glam look you are after, a creation from one of these talented designers is sure to tick the box.

The high street also have plenty of plush designs that would get Poppy’s approval, with stores including Monsoon, Phase Eight and Asos, encouraging brides to get their glam on!

The level of detail varies from one design to the next, giving brides the opportunity to follow in Poppy’s footsteps with full on razzle dazzle appearance, or pare things back a little with lighter scattering of beads and gems.

And while most brides might want to stick close to tradition with a white or ivory design, there are also metallic creations hitting the bridal runways, broadening the choices available to gold, bronze, silver and copper.

the hair & makeup

POPPY @ THE MET - HAIR & MAKEUP

Clockwise from top left: image source| image source| image source, photography by Amanda K Photography| image source, photography by Kristen Wood| image source| image source, photography by Shelley Richmond of Kindred Photography| image source, photography by Tamiz Photography| image source, photography by Rebekah J Murray| image source| image source, photography by EK Studios.

Poppy kept her hair poker straight and vamped up her look with a dark lip colour, but although alternative, neither of these are out of bounds for a wedding.

Just as Poppy did, keeping hair sleek and simple is a good way to let the dress take centre stage and a wise move for brides opting for heavily detailed dresses. For a slightly different take on the look, brides could wear their hair to the side with a coordinating beaded hair comb to hold locks in place, or sweep the hair up into a sleek ponytail.

While Poppy’s choice of dark plum lipstick might be a shade too far for brides, a colourful lippy can be a fun and fashionable way of adding individual personality and style to a big day look. Similar to Poppy, those choosing to go down this route should keep other elements of the makeup simple – so neutral colours on the eyes, a slick of eyeliner and mascara and just a touch of blush or bronze.

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bohemian beauties: rebeca juliet bridal launch event

May 3rd, 2016 | Rachel Parry

Rebecca Juliet Bridal (c) Sarah Valentine Photography (11)

Back in March our wonderful sponsor and new talent to the wedding industry Rebecca Juliet Bridal, held a rather special launch event in the North West to showcase a range of beautiful bespoke wedding dresses, all handmade by designer Rebecca at her studio in the picturesque village of Chipping.

Calling upon some of her creative industry friends, Rebecca treated brides-to-be to an evening of bridal fashion, complete with fizz, cakes and chocolate, at the stunning Eaves Hall in Clitheroe.

Great fun was had by all as brides were given oodles of inspiration for every element of their wedding day.

For those that couldn’t make the event Rebecca is taking over the blog this afternoon to tell us how it all went whilst filling us in on her gorgeous debut collection and giving details on how brides-to-be can book an appointment at her studio to view the collection, or discuss a fully bespoke dress for something truly unique.

With images by Sarah Valentine Photography.

Rebecca Juliet Bridal (c) Sarah Valentine Photography (99)

After months of planning, how did your launch event go?

rebecca says: It was a fantastic evening to celebrate the launch of my new business. Rebecca Juliet Bridal has been a dream of mine for many years and it was really emotional watching my dresses go down the runway to smiles and applause from our guests.

It was also a great opportunity to work with some other exceptionally talented local wedding experts; I felt honored that they had gathered to support me with my new venture and the Eaves Hall were the perfect hosts.

What did the event involve?

Upon arrival guests were given a lovely ribbon charm bracelet to wear and were welcomed by the mesmerising voice of Hannah Rose, an up and coming local musician, with beautiful mellow acoustic music that is ideal to underpin any wedding day. They were then spoiled with glasses of bubbly and delicious cake mini canapes from the award winning Lisa Marie Cakes as well as exquisite handmade chocolates from Bowland Chocolate Company.

The highlight of the evening was the catwalk where we showcased the debut collection; a blend of bohemian and chic to give a really fabulous and classy look for brides-to-be. The models looked amazing in the gowns, as they weaved through the guest tables having had a full makeover from Baie 16 using Jane Iredale products, a salon only range of beautiful make up.

They loved rocking up the runway to a great music selection from Total Entertainment Solutions, who managed all the sound and lighting for the event. After the show the models stayed in the dresses and mingled with our guests as Hannah continued to impress us with her stunning singing voice.

Rebecca Juliet Bridal (c) Sarah Valentine Photography (25)

What other suppliers took part in the evening?

Eaves Hall hosted the event for me. This exclusive venue, which is part of the fabulous James’s Places group, was beautifully decorated with floral arches and stunning blossom tree table centre pieces by the very talented Felicity Farm Flowers.

The hall was further enhanced with show stopping blossom trees and huge vintage letters from Brides Little Helper, another award winning local supplier to give it a magical feeling akin to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Sarah Valentine Photography, a fine art photographer, mingled effortlessly and captured the memories of the evening beautifully for me.

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