The White Gallery is like a bridal Mecca for everything style, design and couture. Held annually in Battersea in London, it is all about the bride, the style, the dress and overall bridal fabulousness which is blended wonderfully with a champagne bar and lots of huge bridal designers just wandering about and chatting to everyone. This is also where we go to buy for the boutique and feedback all to the designers about what works for our brides and what they want… (no pressure there then!)
The 1st time I went to London for the gallery I was a nervous wreck as I was buying before we’d even opened and I wanted to ensure I bought well, stayed true to the brand I was creating and also trying not to look like a fish out of bridal water! However, this time (12 months has gone where?!), I felt confident. I knew what works for The White Room (don’t do safe), what our brides want (nothing ‘traditional’) and what shapes and fabrics are going to be big in 2013 (lace, floral and colour). So, in I went with my graphs of all the brides requests, loves and wants since we opened (you can never take the Psychologist away from the stats….) and bought loads of amazing styles, designs, shapes and personalities to add to The White Room ladies who we’re keeping for the new season! So without further ado…
My 1st stop was Cymbeline whose 2013 is all inspired by The Parisian lady who is known worldwide for her “unconventional chic”. The Parisian woman highlights the basics and makes her daring a major asset. With this in mind Cymbeline presented a 2013 collection that combines all these looks as a wink to all times.
Everything is about attitude, being in tune with oneself combined with a little bit of irreverence. With lace being such a huge trend for 2012 we know it’ll continue to grow for 2013, so with that in mind we bought lace ‘white room style’ which included this amazing gown which is 3 gowns in 1…
You’ll have to wait till September to see how! We also added lots of capes, shrugs and belts to our collection so you really can make your gown your own and be very much part of your wedding day style. The Saint Germain des Pres element of the collection was by far my personal favourite. This group of dresses was so romantic, combining softness with bohemian chic, reminiscence of the 1970s. Loads of soft silk organza adorned the gowns with eyelet embroidery and of course masses of French lace with detailing including flowers on silk. Just lovely!
2nd up was my amazing British designer, Stephanie Allin. Known for her fantastic corsetry, Stephanie produces a range of gowns that truly cater to the bride and her dress requirements on the day. Using only the finest fabrics, Stephanie draws on the past to create fabulous gowns which reflect the glamour of by-gone eras alongside timeless, softly romantic styles. 2013 for Stephanie and her team in Mumbles, Wales was all about ‘Night & Day’, how the colours change and how the feel of softness and darkness can translate in to a gown. Their recent shoot was in Morocco and the imagery encapsulates the theme to her 2013 collection, opulent, colourful and amazingly striking.
Her catwalk show was also amazing, seeing a guest appearance from Natalie Lowe from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing who added great movement to the collection. The reviews were so positive too, showing that deceptively simple beaded lace and fluid, bias-cut satin cut just right create the perfect elegant columns punctuated with details highlighting the shoulders and waist.
Stephanie also used a clever blend of gloss and matt which created such a play of textures adding further interest and subtle contrast whilst bolero style lace jackets and hints of delicate pastel colours in lilac, oyster, peach and old rose brought an extra contemporary dimension to the designs. Devine, so much so we bought 5 plus a few beautiful favourites from the continuing collections… Did anyone say “Kelly”?
We then went to the fabulous Jenny Packham and WOW, was I blown away! After seeing the images from New York a few weeks ago, I was aware she was using a flower theme to the entire Bridal collection, which is translated in to the names of the gowns like Ivy (to DIE for – below). I am a huge fan of Jenny, I love how she translates all her looks to work for such a versatile group of women, always taking into account proportion and cut of fabric which flatters so many figures. This collection is classic Jenny, you will all love them!
Aside from the obvious flower accents, Jenny has done a collection full of beading, chiffon and silks, fabric patterns, belts and some fuller skirts than her previous designs. I could have bought the lot, but budget is always a factor for any business, so we stuck to the 8 (!) which I am counting down the days until they arrive in September!
Claire Pettibone was our 4th stop and new ‘Windsor Rose China’ collection was just out of this world, incorporating classic Claire features like silks, detailed and cut out backs and embroidered patterns in to truly beautiful gowns. Here is just one of our new gowns which we will see in September. To see our most recent feature on Claire and her new collection, click here: https://whiteroombridal.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/windsor-rose-china/
Finally, we saw our new (to be announced designer) who was wonderful, so creative, inspirational as a business woman (to give a clue!) and also a strong British designer (another clue!), someone who uses only UK manufacturing and designs in the UK too. We bought well from her new and continuing collection so we can tell the whole story of the designer and of course offer textures, fabrics, shapes and designs to all of our brides. We will be announcing who this huge name is within the next few months, however we are showcasing a sample of their gowns at The White Room in June 2012, so should you be lucky enough to come and see these, you may be one of the 1st brides to buy!
So, there we have it! Lots of new, shiny, fresh and inspiring gowns for all of our brides which are all as unique and individual as you are. It was hard work, it was exciting yet I made some great new people in the industry too and 100% believe this will be a great White Room year! We will all of our favourites and I can’t wait to share them all with the new White Room brides. We will of course be styling these with the new collections from Rachel Simpson shoes & our amazing accessory designers, Debbie Carlisle, HM Veils, House of Istria and Silver Sixpence in her shoe. Like what you see? Book in to be one of the 1st to grace the 2013 bridal scene with gloriousness and book in to The White Room today (www.whiteroombridal.co.uk) – 0114 2722336