12 non-typical designer wedding dresses featuring Lanvin, Temperley, Hervé Léger, Roland Mouret, Matthew Williamson & more

Net A Porter Wedding
[image: Grazia Daily]

If you’re looking for an “un-typical” wedding dress and don’t want to limit yourself to the dresses that designers designate as wedding apparel you’re going to love Net A Porter’s Wedding Dress Gallery.

The clever peeps at NAP have examined countless collections and selected super-cool white dresses that could work just as well for walking down the aisle as for glamming up for a Saturday night. So not only do you pull off an ‘un-typical’ look for your wedding day, you also get to wear your dress again!

I also love the idea of trying on dresses in the comfort of your own home and making a whole night of it with your mum / sister / girlfriends / champagne / dark chocolate / tea! Order as much as your credit card will allow and try on all the dresses where you feel your most comfortable.

Below are my favourites but you can ogle the entire collection here.

TEMPERLEY LONDON Romily embellished silk-blend chiffon gown: £3200
Temperley London’s silk-blend chiffon gown is decorated with floral appliqués and crystal and bead embellishments.
Temperley London Wedding Dress

MARCHESA Chantilly lace and satin gown: £5660
Marchesa’s ivory gown echoes modern romance – Chantilly lace andtulle are beautifully draped over a full satin skirt, trailing to an elegant train.
Marchesa Wedding Dress

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My interview with Stephanie Allin, one of the UK’s top wedding dress designers

stephanie allin sketch
I’ve decided to start a new series called The Wedding Smashers where I’ll be interviewing some of the ‘best in the business’ for the blog. I’ll be asking them questions about how the’ve carved their prominent places in the wedding industry (as well as how they began) and how they’ve managed to build their soaring businesses to where they are today.

I’m kicking off with wedding dress designer extraordinaire, Stephanie Allin who creates beautiful contemporary yet classic couture bridal gowns, or as she puts it, romantic designs with modern sensibility.

She designed my wedding dress which I couldn’t have been more thrilled with. It was a total hit and even landed up in an article in The Times. I went to Stephanie’s flagship London boutique in Chiltern Street to interview her, and not only does she reveal lots of anecdotes, her inspirations and the the story behind her latest collection, she gives some really great business advice to budding entrepreneurs, and tips to brides searching for their dream dress too.

Stephanie Allin wedding dress
LEFT: Stephanie and I at one of my fittings. RIGHT: My dream dress in all it’s glory on my wedding day


So Stephanie, what’s the ‘Stephanie Allin’ story? How did you start your company and what’s happened between then and now?

I’m fashion-trained and worked in London for 10 years before I got married. Once I got married, I wanted to immediately start a family, and as many working mothers know, sadly combining a young family with a full time job is really quite challenging.

So I thought about starting my own line of bridal dresses and called a contact I had at Liberty’s to ask for some advice. I was really lucky as she helped me to gat an appointment with the buyers of Harrods’ bridal department. I made six wedding dresses, showed them to Harrods, and they ended up buying two of them and they did really well with one of them. They received lots and lots of repeat orders and that was how I got my foot in the door. Then I was able to start showing at the wholesale shows, and slowly and surely I started building the business.

Now more than ever, standing out and having something unique or different to offer is really important in this industry. How you do feel you’ve done this, and do you have any advice for people who want to do the same?

Being original is the hardest thing – when a girl gets married she wants to be different, but she also wants to be traditional, and there’s always that warring between the needs and the desires.

Additionally, with the rise of Chinese manufacturing it’s been very difficult for people like myself who only manufacture in the UK because of course in China they can do things a lot less expensively. These days there’s just a few of us who are really fighting to keep our manufacturing in the UK and I think that that makes me fairly unique because that’s something truly important to me.

We have the flagship store in Marylebone and the original boutique in Mumbles on the Gower in South Wales. Having my workrooms in Mumbles too enables me to offer a highly flexible service and I prides myself on knowing the name of every bride. Each dress is made from start to finish by one of my expect dressmakers, trained by myself.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?

Well I’ve made every mistake in the book (!) but the best piece of advice is something my husband said to me at the beginning when I was first setting up the business. He said, “don’t buy things if you can’t afford them, and never put the house up as a guarantee for anything”, and throughout my career I’ve stuck to both of those things – I’ve never borrowed a penny and never had an overdraft.

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Karen & Jeremy | London Jewish Wedding at the Wallace Collection Art Gallery, London, UK

Wallace Collection Wedding
As the founder of Smashing The Glass it’s only right that I share my own wedding day, and all the creative ideas that were behind it, with you.

I love so many of the centuries-old Jewish traditions such as the hora, the beautiful songs, the chuppah, the smashing of the glass etc. but what my now-husband and I very much didn’t want was a party that followed the typical London Jewish-wedding-by-numbers formula… ie. fancy hotel, too many guests, the same kosher caterer that everyone uses, the same band etc…..

Wallace Collection Wedding London Wallace Collection Wedding London

I had always dreamt of an outdoor summer wedding and that’s one of the reasons why I love Israeli weddings – the chuppah under the stars, the all-night party vibe, the abundance of food and having the ceremony and party all in one venue. But when it came to organising our wedding it meant the world to us to have Jeremy’s 97 year old grandmother there and as she is unable to travel, a wedding abroad with guaranteed summer weather was out of the question.

London, our home city, was our next choice and the criteria for a venue was to have a feel of being in the outdoors without worrying about the unpredictable British weather spoiling the party, and a stylish, intimate venue, preferably with an arty slant to reflect our creative sides. Wallace Collection Wedding London
The Wallace Collection, once a family home, and now a stunning art collection, in the heart of the West End was our perfect choice. The stunning Courtyard flooded with natural light and dotted with trees and sculptures felt utterly al fresco, yet protected us from the elements with a phenomenal glass roof. Breathtaking and intimate at the same time, it ticked all the right boxes.

We wanted to have both the chuppah ceremony and the dinner dancing in the Courtyard to really feel as if the majority of the wedding was outdoors. We also loved the idea of the changing daylight from the hopefully sunny (and it was!) afternoon to the starry night sky. In between the ceremony and dinner our guests were able to look around all the artwork on the first floor of the house where all the galleries were open to our guests to meander round as they chatted, imbibed and grazed on Zafferano‘s (our chosen caterers) delicious canapés.

In terms of getting ready and spending our first night as a married couple, we stayed at the gorgeous Home House in Portman Square just a few minutes walk from the Wallace Collection.

Wallace_Collection_wedding1 Wallace Collection Wedding London Wallace Collection Wedding London 0188

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Net-A-Porter Launch an Exclusive Bridal Collection With Dresses From Issa and More

A selection from Net-a-Porter's exclusive bridal collection

A selection from Net-a-Porter’s exclusive bridal collection [image: Grazia Daily]

Net-A-Porter has launched an exclusive capsule collection of bridalwear teaming up with eight of their favourite designers to create a wedding dress selection on the website starting at £1,295. The edit will feature designs from Antonio Berardi, Lover, Jay Ahr, Chalayan, Rochas, Issa, Nina Ricci and Jessica Biel’s wedding dress designer, Giambatista Valli. See the gallery below to see some of the dresses on offer and shop the full collection on Net-A-Porter.

Shop Net-A-Porter’s full bridal one-stop-shop

Rochas' taffeta-twill gown with skinny belt £5,517

Rochas’ taffeta-twill gown with skinny belt £5,517 [image: Grazia Daily]

Nina Ricci's lace trim crinkled silk-chiffon gown with floral lace appliqués £3372

Nina Ricci’s lace trim crinkled silk-chiffon gown with floral lace appliqués £3372 [image: Grazia Daily]

Giambattista Valli's tiered organze and macramé v-neck dress £6,600

Giambattista Valli’s tiered organze and macramé v-neck dress £6,600 [image: Grazia Daily]

Issa has created a flattering short-sleeve full length dress made with French lace, and sheer neckline and shoulders £2,700

Issa has created a flattering short-sleeve full length dress made with French lace, and sheer neckline and shoulders £2,700 [image: Grazia Daily]

Antonio Berardi's caped back silk crepe long-sleeve gown is £9,039

Antonio Berardi’s caped back silk crepe long-sleeve gown is £9,039 [image: Grazia Daily]

Chalayan's simple crepe column dress with silk crepe overlay £1295

Chalayan’s simple crepe column dress with silk crepe overlay £1295 [image: Grazia Daily]

Lover ivory lace dress with traditional covered buttons shows a little extra leg but the modest neckline and sleeves balance it out £2495

Lover ivory lace dress with traditional covered buttons shows a little extra leg but the modest neckline and sleeves balance it out £2495 [image: Grazia Daily]

A crystal embellished silk-chiffon gown by Jay Ahr £5000

A crystal embellished silk-chiffon gown by Jay Ahr £5000 [image: Grazia Daily]