Charlotte Balbier

lookbook: a lot of front

August 2nd, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

Julie Vino 2

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

Julie Vino 4

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.

Julie Vino

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.

Julei Vino 3

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.

Julie Vino 5

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lookbook: power skirts

July 19th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

Morilee Mystique

When it comes to finding the perfect wedding dress, it’s all about the finer details. The neckline, the sleeves, the detailing to the back, the train, the fabric – they all play a special part in creating your bridal look.

But for us, one of the most captivating features of a bridal gown has to be the skirt. This is what, by and large, defines the overall style of the dress – whether it’s vintage, boho, ethereal, all-out flamboyant or something else just as gorgeous, prim or fantastical.

And that’s why today’s look book spotlights some of the most irresistible on-trend styles with wow-factor skirts from some of our very favourite designers. Gals, you’re in for a treat!

Morilee 1959

ball gown

We’re opening our look book with the definitive all-time classic – the ball gown. It’s the stuff of fairytales and let’s be honest, we all want to try on a skirt in this style at least once, just to experience our very own Cinderella moment. The ball gown skirt doesn’t need to be an extravagant puffball or meringue, as perfectly showcased by Morilee with their variety of chic, understated styles – all with a magical sprinkling of va-va-voom that’ll be sure to make you feel like a modern-day princess.

ruffles

If the classic A-line skirt seems a bit too conventional for your special day, the ruffle offers up an alluring alternative that will add dimension and movement to your silhouette (we’re already imagining this skirt whooshing its way down the aisle). Wavy, fluted, cascading, spiraling or even frilly – ruffles come in so many gorgeous styles and sizes, all perfect for accentuating your figure and adding a playful twist to your bridal look. For sublime sophistication, look to Justin Alexander for gorgeous skirts designed with layers upon layers of tiered ruffles in sumptuous tulle or organza.

Morilee 2887

splits

Skirts with a sassy split are still very much an underrated option, but for the bride who likes something a touch risqué this is the choice du jour for a look that will be unlike anything else your wedding guests will have seen before. There are lots of variations – the split can be to the front or the side, knee-high or (hold your breath) thigh-high. Keep things romantic and sophisticated by teaming this style with luxe fabrics such as lace, organza or silk, and exquisite sweetheart necklines or embellished illusion bodices. One of our current favourites perfecting this style is Pronovias, with their delicately flowing fabrics and flawless, demure designs.

high low

Another style that we simply adore on the runways (yes, we’re looking at you Monique Lhuillier) but which we rarely see worn by real brides is the high low skirt. For the style-savvy bride who wants to make an entrance – the high low skirt is one of the few designs that will put your wedding shoes (and your pins) firmly in the spotlight. Combining the glamour of a mini dress with a classic long train – the high low hemline is bold, beautiful and flagrantly chic. Consider voluminous ruffles for added drama or a slinky lace skirt for a flattering silhouette.

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stop press: see caroline castigliano’s 2018 collection before anyone else

July 3rd, 2017 | Julia Braime

Celebrating Romance - Caroline Castigliano (1)

We’re just dashing in this lunchtime with news of a very rare opportunity to view the brand new collection by one of our very favourite designers before it’s available anywhere else!

The Caroline Castigliano 2018 Collection celebrating romance will be available in the Knightsbridge flagship store for an exclusive preview ahead of the launch all this week, until 8th July.

Celebrating Romance - Caroline Castigliano (2)

Drop everything.

Celebrating Romance - Caroline Castigliano (3)

This is a fantastic opportunity for brides-to-be to get an exclusive look at the latest bridal collection and to order their Caroline Castigliano bridal gown from this unique collection before anyone else.

Celebrating Romance - Caroline Castigliano (4)

The team here at Brides Up North have been lucky enough to get a peek at the gowns in person and we can vouch that you won’t be disappointed – this multi-faceted collection features timeless designs with ultra-feminine twists, elevated textures and highly luxurious accents. Basically, we fell in love.

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. And if these sneak peek images are anything to go by, I think a few of you lovely lot might be about to fall in love too!

Appointments can be booked on 0207 590 9120 or requested online by clicking here.

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first look: ivy & pearl by amanda wyatt

June 5th, 2017 | Julia Braime

Begonia, Ivy PEarl, Aster, Buttercup, Iris, fern & peach JAcket

To clear away those Monday blues we’re bringing you a huge helping of dress candy in the form of the mesmerisingly beautiful new collection from our fabulous Sponsor, Amanda Wyatt.

Aptly named ‘Ivy & Pearl’ the stunning set of designs draw on inspiration from the wild and feature oh-so-pretty fabrics and detailing, with a shape and style to suit every type of bride.

From girlie tea-lengths to flattering figure-hugging numbers and full on princess ball gowns, we’re in wedding dress heaven!

So, let’s hear a little more from the Amanda Wyatt team and take a look at the jaw-droppingly fabulous designs, one by one…

Lotus, Magnolia & Forgot me not

Can you tell us about the different styles and shapes of dresses included in the Ivy & Pearl Collection?

the team say: The new collection appeals to all bride styles and includes everything from short and flirty gowns to the full romantic tulle ball gowns. There are also sleek and simple A-lines and daring low-back slinky designs.

Can you give us an overview of the fabrics used within the collection and the different colour ways? 

Pretty Chantilly laces, rich Mikado’s and satins sit alongside the finest tulles and chiffons. The 2018 colour palette is a soft palette of ivory hues and an alluring selection of champagne golds. Clean, simple and elegantly classic.

Similarly, can you tell us a little about the details featured within the collection? 

Ethereal grace meets modern day bride in the Ivy & Pearl collection as it celebrates the Amanda Wyatt signature style with a twist. Decadent beading adorns the collection alongside sleek silhouettes for the brides who desire an understated and timeless look. There are also captivating designs with intricate back detailing.

Fern 1

What is the size and price range of the dresses within the collection? 

The collection is available in all sizes and prices range from £990 to £1,695.

What type of bride would you say this latest collection will appeal to? 

The new collection will appeal to all brides as it has such a beautiful array of styles that suit all brides style and personality.

Gardenia 3

What has the feedback been like from boutiques about the collection?

They love the intricate detailing and wealth of choice in the styles available. The Zinnia gown has proved to be the most popular.

How can our readers find out more about the new collection? 

The collection will be available in boutiques from mid-summer 2017. Those wanting more information can email fashion@amandawyatt.com. Also, to keep up do date on all the latest news, follow Amanda Wyatt on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Acacia (3)

Acacia – A high neck and long-sleeved lace detailed gown which flairs out into a beautiful skirt, with a cut hole back.

Aloe 2

Aloe – Embracing the 1950s bridal look with a fun midi-length puff skirt, featuring a sheer lace and sequin over cover.

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look book: sheer sublime

May 26th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

Symphony - Charlotte Balbier

Here at Brides Up North we love nothing more than the unveiling of new bridal collections that will determine brides’ big day looks. And every season now it seems designers are getting more daring with their creations, particularly when it comes to the sheer trend – see-through fabric panels that create the illusion of bare skin – as brides are encouraged to take a less is more approach to their attire.

We love this fresh take on bridal, giving ladies the opportunity to flaunt their figures whilst still technically keeping flesh under wraps. There’s no denying however that it takes one heck of a brave bride to go against the traditional demure grain – but what if you don’t want to be smothered in fabric, but you do still want to retain some style? If you’re after something clingier, slinkier, dare I say it sexier than a meringue, but don’t want to blow Uncle Dave’s pacemaker into oblivion?

Poem - Charlotte Balbier

Well, that makes sheer panels, barely-there lace and see-through chiffon your new best friends, and luckily for you, dresses with such detailing are the focus of today’s look book. From long-time fans of the look Berta Bridal to the stunning new Bohemian Blush collection from Brides Up North sponsor Charlotte Balbier (as featured recently on these pink pages), it seems everyone is getting in on the act. Though fierce, such designs featuring cleverly-positioned lace, illusion necklines and backs will still preserve your bridal modesty (and Dave’s pacemaker).

Berta Bridal are industry champions in creating dare-to-bare gowns, with style 17-113 and 17-130 from the F/W 2017 collection being seriously brave takes on the trend – all dangerously plunging necklines and sheer lace. Design 17-136’s sheer chiffon skirt puts legs at centre stage, whereas 17-144 is like the love-child of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and Jennifer Lopez circa 2009 made into wedding dress form – sexy, sassy, righteous.

Klara - Charlotte Balbier

Charlotte Balbier’s newest offerings are typically soft, feminine and fairytale-esque, but still offer a glimpse of what lies beneath. Symphony from Bohemian Blush is to die for, with its slinky A-line cut, sheer bodice and appliqued lace. The prettily-named Poem features a plunging neckline but saves most of its sheerness for the bodice back, making the whole look arguably more realizable. There’s also Sonnett, with its delicate sheer detailing and peach and pistachio colour injection – definitely worth a lingering look.

Many a real wedding favourite, Maggie Sottero is also getting in on the flash of flesh action. Verina has a dramatic illusion lace v-back and sleeves, looking regal but not matronly. Blanche is a whole lot of daring with its double keyhole back and lace illusion sweetheart neckline and the Maren – well, just wow. More Swarovski than you can shake a stick at.

Sonnett - Charlotte Balbier

And then there’s the inimitable Elie Saab, offering up everything from sheer sublime to the slightly bonkers but beautiful. Check out that potentially pant-flashing lace number. Would you? Could you?

We say, she who dares… wins.

Main dress images by Charlotte Balbier

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may your designer dress dreams come true: caroline castigliano exclusive sample sale

May 19th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

LILY

Lily

We’re bringing you an extra post this Friday afternoon to deliver exciting news of an upcoming event from Brides Up North Sponsor and dream dress designer Caroline Castigliano.

Next week, between Monday 22nd and Saturday 27th May, Caroline Castigliano is holding an exclusive sample sale at her flagship Knightsbridge boutique, London, offering you super lucky brides-to-be the opportunity to get your hands on one of her insanely beautiful dresses for a fraction of the usual price.

MALAWI

Malawi

The sale will feature ex sample and catwalk, prototype and past season dresses at the luxurious Knightsbridge store on Brompton Road, with gowns priced from £900 to £2,500. That means a fantastic saving of up to 70% off a truly stunning designer wedding dress. A-maz-ing!

There will only be one sample of each wedding gown so you girls need to get booking an appointment, like now! All the sale wedding dresses are in great condition and range from a size 8 to 12. An alteration package is also on offer to purchase on the day.

To book your appointment for this not-to-be-missed event, contact the team on 0207 590 9120.

VALENTINA

Valentina

For those fortunate to attend, the Knightsbridge boutique team offer brides the following advice:

– Bring someone with you whose opinion you really value, they can help you find the perfect designer wedding dress, however please note we are only able to accompany two guests with each bride

– We recommend you try a selection of dresses on before coming to the sale as this event is for brides ready to make a decision on the bridal gown they are going to wear

Happy shopping ladies!

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