On Monday I attended The White Gallery in London’s Battersea Evolution which is essentially the London Fashion Week of the bridal industry. It’s a trade event for UK and international bridal designers to showcase their 2017 collections to press and buyers, and it feels like stepping through a vortex into the bridal apparel future.
The show took place in the heart of a blossom-filled Battersea Park inside a pavilion that was transformed into an elegant showroom, complete with catwalks and press lounges. The event ran over three days and offered press and buyers access to a diverse range of designers, runways, and of course industry lovelies!
You may have already seen a few sneak peeks of my photos on Instagram, and live commentary and video on Snapchat (and if you’re not yet on Snapchat, you’re missing out on ALL the fun and behind-the-scenes footage!). This post takes it up a notch with my favourite wedding dress and wedding shoe designers, and my six key bridal trends for 2017 as spotted at White Gallery.
If you’re currently on the hunt for your wedding dress or shoes, I do hope that this post will inspire you. All the gorgeous images (unless otherwise stated) are by the super talented Kate Nielen who accompanied me to the show. Feel free to pin and share them to your heart’s content!
Below: clockwise from top: Sassi Holford catwalk show / Emmy London / YolanCris
Stephanie Allin Couture
Stephanie Allin designed my wedding dress and is genuinely one of the loveliest people in the business. What appeals to me about Stephanie, besides her wonderful service and giving nature, is her contemporary take on classic couture and her desire to create wedding dresses for the ‘real bride’ as opposed to what looks best on a model. Her latest collection is inspired by the Italian lifestyle and artistic flair, and incorporates compelling fabrics including metallic jacquard prints on silk organza, and concepts like bridal separates of bra-lets teamed with dramatic skirts.
One a side note, Stephanie definitely gets the award for the most inspired creative campaign (shot by Matt Bird). How uh-mazing is the shot below taken from Stephanie’s new Bellisima collection?!
Kevin Muscat is a charismatic former dancer with a passion for shape and form, and has created a stunning new collection, for his label Muscat Bridal, filled with versatility and feminine lines. His 2017 collection is inspired by the ranunculus flower and its meaning – radiant charm, attractiveness, amazement, which he believes sums up his brides!
Every one of his pieces is exquisitely feminine but also screams (politely) ‘statement’! Definitely one of my favourite collections from the show.
It’s always a delight to hang out with the supremely talented Emmy Scarterfield, the Creative Director behind the iconic bridal shoe brand, Emmy London, and her husband Dickie, who is heavily involved with the business too. Emmy London is all about craftsmanship and detail and the collection focuses on wedding shoes, bags, belts and hair decorations. Each and every piece is not only exquisite but comfortable to wear too (a detail that is often over-looked, but oh so important to bear in mind on your big day).
Emmy’s stand was just gorgeous – definitely my favourite stand of the show. Such attention to detail. I loved all her sketchbooks and moodboards on display, as well as the beautifully styled prosecco and sweet treats on offer!
Another of my fave designers, for both personality and talent, is Sassi Holford who launched her dazzling ‘Twenty 17’ Collection with a powerful catwalk show which genuinely blew my mind for its creativity, structure, playfulness and wearability for every kind of bride. I LOVED it!
The show was an extra special affair for Sassi Holford as it marked 35 years of design and was dedicated to her mother,who passed away in January, and loved everything different and unusual.
Standout Sassi Holford creations for me were a jacquard feather trimmed shell top and high-low hem skirt, and a floral ‘blossom’ dress and matching veil that genuinely makes me want to get married all over again!
Poppy Dover is a one of the new ‘kids on the block’, and my goodness, did I fall in love with her collection. It caught my eye as I loved the ‘personalised’ element to it. Her bespoke handcrafted embroidery can incorporate messages of love, initials of your choice, or doodle-y iconography like cupids arrows, love hearts, and interlocking roses. It’s up to you!
Her collection is so cleverly versatile too: Poppy has created 17 pieces that actually combine, mix, and match to create over 50 looks. For me it truly bridges the gap between fashion and bridal.
It was lovely to finally meet Sarah from Little Bevan and admire her adorable collection of bridesmaid, flower girl and page boy outfits.
Emerging wedding trends for 2017
1. Shorter styles
Shorter styles are very apparent with brides opting for quirkier shorter lengths to show off their shoes , like Sassi Holford‘s fabulous high-low hem skirt below.
2. Floral prints
Floral prints are everywhere! They were all over White Gallery, as illustrated by Charlotte Balbier‘s showstoppers (below top), and Sassi Holford’s breathtaking dress and veil (below middle).
The trend for separates isn’t going anywhere! As mentioned above, Stephanie Allin and Poppy Dover are adding new layers of interest (literally!) to the concept, as are Sassi Holford (below left) and Charlotte Balbier (below right) who mixed in feathers and florals to reach new bridal heights.
4. spots and stripes
It was such a delight to meet Lauren Deitrich from BLISS Monique Lhuillier. She showed me the most beautiful gowns in a colour she described as ‘latte” (below top) but could also be described as ‘blush’ or ‘tea’ colour! There were so many fantastic shades on display throughout White Gallery like this Eliza Jane Howell sequinned gown (below bottom).
6. Gold beading and embroidery
Not my cup of tea, but gold beading and embroidery made an appearance all over the show. This Ruth Milliam number below illustrates my point perfectly.
I absolutely loved my experience at White Gallery London and look forward to bringing you all the news from the show once again next year.