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Style Secrets

tiara | feature

What’s hot and happening in the world of wedding dresses today? Here’s the inside scoop from four of our favourite bridalwear experts…

Huw Rees, Huw Rees Brides Huw has previously designed for Harvey Nichols and Warehouse, dressed celebrities and worked as a fashion editor for S4C. Does your background in fashion help you find gowns to really suit brides? Yes, studying fashion design in London for 6 years followed by many years working and designing for various companies, has given me a very critical and honed sense of what looks good on different shapes and sizes. I draw on all my experience to create truly unique styles for brides. What’s your favourite part of creating a bespoke bridal gown? It’s a real collaboration between the bride, myself and other members of the team. I love discussing all the details, looking at the research, sketching suggestions, using books for historical influences, and sourcing the beautiful fabrics and embellishments. Are you noticing any trends among Long layered your recent bespoke creations? dress by Ugo Hand worked details and embellishments Zaldi are very popular. We spend many hours hand pleating silks and lace, and adding Swarovski crystals and fresh water pearls. Softer colours are also popular such as candlelight, almond, and warm white rather than ivory. My own tastes will be reflected in the Huw Rees collection available this autumn. www.huwreesbrides.com Tel: 01558 823458

Sally White, White Bride Sally was previously a fashion buyer for Oasis and River Island, before opening her own two boutiques. What gown trends are you tipping to be popular in 2010? One-shoulder details are set to be big like Sassi Holford’s Chloe gown, as well as the fishtail shape, where a gown is very fitted over the hips then kicks out from the knee - great for girls with boyish or hourglass shapes. Bows are also key for 2010/11, along with the use of chiffon and organza. Chloe by Does your background as a fashion Sassi Holford buyer help you spot great styles? I do think my fashion background helps to give me a different view of the bridal industry, and because I have a fashion boutique too, it keeps me in tune with the latest trends. Bridalwear tends to move at a slower pace compared to mainstream fashion, but I can often spot new trends and styles that brides are going to find wearable and exciting. What’s your favourite dress at the moment? I have a few favourites in-store at the moment – Amethyst by Kate Sherford, Beatrice by Sassi Holford, and the classic Papillon by Jenny Packham. www.whitebride.net Tel: 01834 869341

Awen Evans, High Society Awen runs two bridal style and accessories blogs, alongside her bridalwear boutique. What’s your best memory of helping a bride find her dress? We once had a bride who discovered that she and her fiancé were being posted to Iraq during the war in 2003, with two weeks notice. They brought the wedding forward by 6 months, so they could get married before they went. Thanks to Sassi Holford we got her dress ready for her in 10 days! What problems do most brides face when choosing their dress? Often, brides have so much choice that it can get very confusing - particularly if their family and friends have different opinions. My advice would be to go for what you love, don't get too bogged down in the details, and enjoy the experience. What accessory trends are you Acacia II by tipping for 2010? Jenny The most beautiful headdress at the Packham moment is the Jenny Packham Acacia II - worn by many celebrities lately. Birdcage veils and embellished headbands will also be popular, as many brides want something different and unique this year. www.highsocietybridal.co.uk Tel: 01446 771775

Patricia Lester, Charles and Patricia Lester Patricia’s designs have been worn by Barbara Streisand, Helena BonhamCarter, and Elizabeth Taylor. What do you love about creating couture bridal gowns? I love that it’s a time when a girl will be extravagantly feminine. It’s all about Josephine by Charles that old fashioned femininity and the & Patricia Lester romance of marriage, especially if the bride is caught up in the magic of it. What goes into creating one of your gowns? We start with the plain fabric, and do all the printing, dyeing, hand pleating - everything is done as an individual piece so it’s like nobody else’s. An important part is combining what’s going to look brilliant on the bride’s body shape, with the vision she has of how she wants to look. Do you give your brides any golden advice? The one thing I do say to brides is that you have to be comfortable, and you must have fun - that applies to first or second time brides, mothers of the bride, everyone. www.designer-collection.co.uk Tel: 01873 853559

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Acacia II by Jenny Packham Long layered dress by Ugo Zaldi tiara |feature Chloe by Sassi Holford 00 Josephine by Charles & Patricia Lest...

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