Being somewhat of a rookie in the wedding industry behind-the-scenes sort of stuff, I hadn’t heard of White Gallery until very recently. In a nutshell, it’s a trade show (held this year, its sixth, at Battersea Evolution in London between May 17th-19th) where designers show their new collections. Fashion week for bridal. It’s attended by key influential buyers and press from across the globe and is touted as “the place to discover the best in British and international bridal brands – from acclaimed designers to new talent.” Exciting! Can you imagine the buzz!?
I thought I’d give you a little roundup of what the designers at this year’s show will be showcasing, so that you’ll know what trends and designs are coming up soon. I hope to write a follow-up post after the event, too, so that you can see the new collections as they appeared on the day. Honestly, fashion shows and bridal – is this my perfect combination, or what!!
This season, Ian has focused his energy on designing for different body shapes, ages and personalities. Experimenting with softer fabrics and fluid silhouettes, Ian is bringing his unique flair and couture construction to a different spirit of bride he has not reached before, introducing softer shades of silver, pink and taupe, which he hopes will encourage the next generation of brides to embrace wearing colour on their wedding day.
There are four stand-out themes this year within the Ian Stuart collection:
- Ian Stuart Signature Style – textured, playful and dramatic
- Sexy & Statuesque – figure-hugging, with plunging lines and dynamic silhouettes
- Romantic and Regal – fairytale ball gowns, exquisite laces and glittering touches
- Fashionista Glamour – modern, unconventional and daring.
Couture bridal wear designer, Sassi Holford, is set to launch three collections.
- The Sassi Holford 2016 collection defines classic elegance with dramatic silhouettes and exquisite fabrics. Cinched in fishtails and glamorous ball gowns are the shapes that emphasise the beauty of the female figure and dramatise the wedding day. Key fabrics are matt silks, the return of duchesse satin and a modern take on damask. Soft silk crepe and precision draping express Sassi’s creativity with fluid bias cut, and, although lace still features, it appears more as an accent or a design detail.
- So Sassi is the creation of a young design team working in a highly creative environment under Sassi’s expert guidance. It is perfect for the modern bride with a sense of fashion and her own style. Building on the highly successful 2015 collection, also launched at White Gallery, the designers have kept a close eye on emerging fashion trends to incorporate exciting elements such as cutaways and bodycon. The contemporary styling is applied to shapes as diverse as asymmetric slim silhouette, tea-length and ballgown. Key fabrics are modern laces and damasks.
- Couture Veil offers a choice of four tulles and a wide selection of trims from simple stitched to gorgeous French lace. The new designs are handcrafted with appliqué, and hand cut fine lace feature detailing. For the perfect finishing touch, this bespoke service allows brides to create a unique veil.
The 2016 collection, ‘A Hindu princess walks barefoot on translucent snow,’ by Jesus Peiro conveys “that exotic and romantic touch found in the tale of a princess who is plunged into a scenario that is white in nature.
The dresses are smooth and soft, and offer a delicate balance between volume and materials. Finishings have frozen effects of iridescent luminosity by featuring delicate precious stones, brocades and fill coupé.
Necklines, sleeves and the adornments of each gown are the strong points of a very dreamlike collection, offering a feeling of fantasy by nurturing the imagination.”
Alan Hannah returns to White Gallery with his 2015 collection Floral Symphony. Combining art deco glamour with inspiration taken from flowers and colour, each style features exquisite embellishment, from the summer dress, featuring beautiful hand painted pink roses, to ‘Venus,’ featuring delicate lace specially dyed taupe to match the organza skirt, giving a twist of colour to a light and airy dress.
The 2016 collection is inspired by the ethereal and poetic elegance of the wild and beautiful English woodlands, which are captured in the idealisation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The new designs continue to include Naomi’s signature soft, floating, silk chiffon skirts and use of delicate tones of blush pinks and peach, but with a new addition of an ‘oyster’ hue. This new collection also sees the introduction of a new guipure lace used for illusion necklines and delicate straps, which fits perfectly with the free spirit and mystical feeling.
New for 2016, Charlotte will be captivating her brides’ imagination with bohemian and free spirited designs that will take Balbier brides on a magical journey. Sitting alongside these dreamlike gowns will be silken fluid bias cut designs, daring low back details.
OTHER DESIGNERS INCLUDE
- Andrea Hawkes, whose focus is on fit and using luxurious silk fabrics on the body, so the use of beautiful Italian silks and French laces can be expected in her collection.
- Heirlooms Ever After, the bespoke bridal headwear and accessories brand, will make its début. Combining the old with the new, the collection incorporates the bride’s ‘something borrowed’ object in each of the designs to create a truly special accessory and keepsake for the big day.
- Dajana Basic launches her new ‘Peony’ collection. Each gown is inspired by the delicate powdery colour shades of the Peony flower – elegant, feminine, young, fresh, and with a hint of modern sophistication, perfect for fashion forward brides.
- Maids to Measure, award-winning bridesmaid dress label, will launch the new fashion-forward ‘Modern Maids‘ collection, which focuses on feature backs and soft fabrics, and also a new pattern fabric and an evening collection.
- Sabina Motasem will showcase two collections: ‘Classic‘ and ‘Luxe‘. The styles take inspiration from the Edwardian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras, blending the glamour and sophistication of old and new Hollywood in clean modern lines and simple shapes. Each dress celebrates the style and glamour of an iconic woman from a bygone age.
- Accessories designer Camilla Carrington will be launching her new ‘Floriana‘ collection at the show. As the name suggests, it’s a collection that will embrace the beauty of flowers. Camilla continues to be inspired by nature and fairy tales. This collection continues to capture the essence of an enchanted forest and introduces more colour, a variety of muted tones for headpieces, jewellery and young attendant accessories.
- Muscat London Bridal is a collection of handmade contemporary wedding dresses for the confident bride. Established in 2012 by designer Kevin Muscat with a vision to create an alternative to the classic wedding gown, every piece in the collection is unashamedly minimal yet exquisitely feminine.
- Emerging label Ruth Milliam Bridal Couture is a design based studio with a focus on hand finished detail and craftsmanship, creating stunning bridal accessories and attire.
- Ivory & Co return with a new collection. Designed in an array of flowing silk fabrics, the dresses will be feminine and intricate with amazing corsetry to produce flattering silhouettes. Skirts will be flowing with long trains inspired by the dramatic sweep of high fashion in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s, and bodices are embellished with dazzling Swarovskis and lace appliqués; think a cross between A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the embellishments of ancient Greece and mythology.
Which designer are you most excited about? Which collection grabs you? Let me know!