Our feet have barely touched the ground since our visit to London and The White Gallery event last week. Running over 3 days, it’s described as an ‘exclusive showroom for the finest in Bridal design’ and they weren’t kidding!
This occasion brought together the exceptional talents of some of the biggest names in bridal couture and accessory design including our fabulous designers Sassi Holford and Halo & Co, to name but a few.
The premium trade event was held in Battersea Evolution, a vast space in the heart of London’s Battersea Park and included catwalk shows from top international designers, previewing their 2018 collections. This is where we have to pinch ourselves about the job we do; with front row seats, we’re not just gawping at these beautiful gowns and accessories, we’re actually looking to buy! I feel like Cara Delevingne or Alexa Chung during fashion week! (or that’s how I’m pitching it, actually, I look more like a kid in a sweet shop!)
The high-end line-up of inspiring talents exhibiting this year was incredible. First up for us was Sassi Holford, a huge name in wedding dress design for many years. All her stunning gowns are handmade in England by a super talented team of cutters, seamstresses and hand beaders. Sassi is all about the female form, creating designs that enhance the bride’s unique shape and individual personality.
Her latest collection is typically Sassi, using classic styles and stunning silhouettes with sexy, high fashion twists. One of the few designers to have her own exclusive catwalk (with champagne reception no less), we feasted on an abundance of rich fabrics and textures, such as soft silks, voluminous organza and delicate lace, some of which is sourced from the only lace producer left in the UK. Statement sleeves and layering (jackets, belts, capes etc…) were key fashion notes, as well as floral and geometric patterns. We simply had to have her ‘Amelia’ gown, wowed by the floral organza skirt and complimentary veil. The whole collection is totally LOVE and more than we could have hoped for!
We then stopped by the Halo & Co stand where we delighted to see a huge selection of jewelled delights and, after a long time deliberating, we carefully selected an array of headpieces, vines and combs with beautiful detail in a mix of gold and silver.
Next for us, outside of the White Gallery event, was to choose even more accessories and it was great to be able to visit accessory designer, Hermione Harbutt’s boutique in South Kensington during our stay, where she has collaborated with shoe designer, Harriet Wilde, to present their brand new collections – the most stunning bridal finishing touches you’ll ever see!
Harriet Wilde’s divine shoes are synonymous with luxurious embellishments, unrivalled craftsmanship and surprising comfort. Her latest shoes designs are pure elegance and joy. Hermione Harbutt’s absolutely exquisite hair adornments and jewellery are created by hand in her UK design studio using the finest pearls, Swarovski crystals, gemstones and diamonds. It was her stunning statement headpieces that had us in raptures.
The White Gallery event is structured around pre-booked appointments with designers, scheduled catwalk shows and training seminars, in between which you’re free to wander the exhibition and browse the different collections. We attended a fascinating seminar by Wendy Rivera looking at ways to improve and evolve our service offering to brides, so it was interesting to hear Wendy’s perspective. Of course we had our brides in mind too, when chatting with our wonderful LOVE designers and selecting new dresses for the boutique.
But by far the most exciting outcome was having our heads turned by a new designer for LOVE. Savannah Miller has become a significant player in the world of bridal couture in recent years and her latest collection can be described as nothing less than jaw-dropping. All detail to be revealed in an upcoming blog, but think bohemian style, figure-hugging gowns in the dreamiest fabrics with stunning, but subtle, detail. We only ever take on a new designer when we really feel it’s right for the boutique, so this is a significant development for LOVE, especially since we’ll be the only stockist in the North West of England. Definitely a *squeal* moment.
As was Jonny’s excitement when we went to his all-time favourite musical, Les Miserables on the Saturday night before White Gallery began. When we make these trips, we always take the opportunity to spend time catching up with friends and each other! It was fab to see Julia and Rachel from Brides Up North as well as Annabel from Love My Dress, and lovely to be able to put faces to social media account names from other boutiques!! Highlights also included dinner with our close friends, Diana and Brett, from Little Pearl Bridal Boutique in the brand-new Isabel restaurant in Mayfair as well as supping cocktails with Styal Lodge’s Georgie and Poppy at Soho House’s newest addition The Ned in City of London. See? I told you I was living the fashion pack lifestyle!! ;o)
But most importantly, we bought lots of new, stunning gowns for our beautiful brides to choose from. Arriving in store early Autumn, with Savannah Miller revealed in store over the summer, we promise you’ll squeal just like I did! Keep your eyes peeled on Instagram for sneaky peeks!
Lots of love, Emma x x x