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Curves to Couture: Wedding dress shopping in London
Credit: Tala Daniel Bridal CoutureHere at Your London Wedding magazine HQ we believe that searching for your wedding dress (or separates combo) has to be one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process.
We get the lowdown from three London-based designers and boutiques about shopping for your dream dress and what to look out for in 2022 when it comes to trends and shopping for your bodyshape.
Rim A L Ahmadieh of Tala Daniel Bridal Couture says...
Tell us about your boutique: Tala Daniel Bridal Couture is a unique independent bridal stockist, featuring luxury designers from across the globe. We are a family run business with the store being named after my two beautiful children. Our collection stands out amongst the market as we typically tend to go against the grain stocking dresses that are not as traditional but instead are full of sparkle, detail and above all, have great craftsmanship. We offer an intimate bridal service in our boutique located in Richmond by which our brides have the entire boutique to themselves and their bridal party where they can enjoy a glass of bubbles, have some treats and find THE dream dress.
What key piece of advice would you give to brides when dress shopping? Step outside your comfort zone! Don't be afraid to try on things you wouldn't usually pick because you just never know how a dress may make you feel. Should you be afraid of what opinions may arise from family or friends, try going shopping alone first so you can truly hear your own thoughts. Remember what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen...
What's your favourite dress in the boutique? This is a super difficult one because we truly only pick gowns we LOVE to be featured in our boutique but we have a special place in our hearts for our Oksana Mukha dress called 'Kylie'. This gown is a classic Mikado satin ballgown with box pleats for extra structure, a high collar with an open V-neck neckline, sheer keyhole button back fastening and just a hint of sparkle with the addition of a diamante belt, did we mention it has pockets!
What are your top trend tips for 2022? Trends we are noticing that are increasingly growing in popularity are 3D lace appliqués and hand beaded embroidery. They add simply yet another level of intricacy and detail that truly makes the gown special. In light of this, we would say for brides not to be afraid of a little sparkle it might just be what you was missing.
Tell us about your boutique: The house of Benveniste offers a warm, luxurious environment that serves as a home away from home for our clients. Whether you choose to browse the collections with your favourite tea in hand or book a private appointment where your dream piece is designed in front of you, we offer a truly individual experience catered to you.
What key piece of advice would you give to brides when dress shopping? This will sound harsh but do not let a sales lady tell you what you want. They should simply guide you through the offering. (No bride is happy with a piece they were pressured into).
If you are stuck and are not sure what you want, start with what you do not want and choose the opposite. It's sounds obvious, but bridal shopping can be truly over whelming. Most importantly- be happy and feel good.If you are looking for a stress free luxury service, literally made for you, visit the house of Benveniste. Working with you we can design a piece that reflects your individuality. That is our speciality. Every Benveniste Couture piece is made from scratch and with that, you have the security of knowing it is sculpted around your form and carefully made to your taste.
What's your favourite dress in the boutique? I wish I could answer that, but I cannot...Each piece has been made individually with an exceptional amount of love and attention. What I can say is this; when a piece is done and the client tries it on completed for the first time- that is the magic for me.
What are your top trend tips for 2022? Luxury and comfort whilst being ethically made and sustainably minded. Real couture naturally lends itself to these principals. However, that does not mean you need to only buy couture of course - it could be spectacular vintage, a rented designer piece or sample shopping. For example, you may find a beautiful vintage wedding gown that either needs little alteration or offers a bodice or skirt you can fuse with bespoke. We have created incredible pieces from grandmothers' wedding dresses...there is something uniquely romantic about it as the bride walks down the aisle dressed in generations of love.
Whatever you decide you wish to wear, wherever you choose to buy it, make sure it feels right and you look in the mirror and feel like you. After all, that is the person your spouse has chosen.
Tell us about your boutique: Paper to Lace create dresses and separates for the cool modern bride. Our style is a bridge between romantic bohemian charm and slinky vintage glamour, brought up to date with clean lines and contemporary touches.We love sourcing beautiful fabrics. Our work features a luxurious mix of silk, chiffon, crepe and lace, as well as exciting new eco fabrics like bamboo and recycled polyester.
What key piece of advice would you give to brides when dress shopping? Our key piece of advice would be to look outside of the usual resources for inspiration. Look at your favourite dresses in movies or the red carpet. What about them are you drawn to? Then look at your own wardrobe and pick out what your favourite outfits to wear are, and why they make you feel so great when you wear them. This will help to influence what you then go and try on in boutiques so that you really feel like your best self.
What's your favourite dress in the boutique? Our favourite dress in the boutique isn't actually a dress...it's a jumpsuit! The Faye Jumpsuit, made from recycled polyester, is clean and modern, looks elegant and simple on its own but can then be paired with the Devore Kimono or Chiffon Cape to create a whole other cool and dramatic look.
What are your top trend tips for 2022? Our top trend tips for 2022 would be metallics. Using metallics are a great way of adding sparkle but in a very cool and contemporary way. Our I Feel Love Skirt and Studio 54 dress are both made from an incredible silk chiffon which has a fine metallic thread running though, in either gold or silver options. They catch the light and shimmer so beautifully, it's ethereal without being twee. Mixed metallics are also going to be huge. We collaborated with Bee Davies Illustration who painted two of our pieces using both gold and silver paint which gave such a fresh and contemporary feel to the piece, and its a really great way of showing your own style and personality with feeling like you need to stick to a "theme".
With a such a wide range of London bridal boutiques on your doorstep, don't forget to check out Eliza Jane Howell in West London, Jenny Packham in Mayfair and Angelica Bridal in Camden.
Knowing me, knowing you
Now, here at County Wedding Magazines HQ we know the fashionistas of London know what they like and don't like when it comes to the latest trends in wedding gowns – but knowing your body shape is a great place to start when thinking about your perfect dress for your wedding day.
Your everyday wardrobe might already be screaming clues at you as it’ll be full of styles and shapes that you naturally gravitate towards. Have a look at other dresses you’ve worn to formal occasions or even to the office and see if they follow a general shape. If they do, this is a great guide to what silhouette of wedding dress to try on first. But the golden rules really are to keep an open mind and trust your bridal consultant.
Pear shape You're likely to be boasting a pear or triangle body shape if you'd consider your hips and bottom to be wider than your shoulders and bust. V and U-shaped necklines are great for the pear-shaped bride as they bring the angles away from the hips. Styles with sleeves also work wonders to broaden the shoulders and bring balance.
Hourglass shape If you'd describe your body as "curvy" and your bust and hip measurements are roughly equal, you most likely have a hourglass figure. Look for a corset back to really show of those curves, along with a beautiful sweetheart neckline to enhance the balance between bust and hips. If you're not sure about a bold mermaid silhouette, a trumpet gown is a more subtle version and will look incredible on you!
Apple shape Your body shape is likely to be described as apple if your shoulders, bust, waist and hips are fairly similar in measurement, with slightly narrower shoulders and hips. Avoid strapless gowns. Instead look out for modern styles with wider straps, which flatter the shoulders and offer plenty of support. Choose a neckline that will show off your bustline and draw attention upward.
Rectangle shape You're most likely sporting a rectangle figure if you have straight hips and a straight body line. Don't be deceived, you can still have a rectangle shape whether you're size 8 or size 28.Think about adding some angles with a pretty belt or sash, a V-neck, or a bolero. Alternatively, if you're looking for something completely different why not try a bridal two piece or suit, great for an ultra-stylish city wedding.
Inverted triangle shape If you deem your shoulders to be the widest part of your body and you find your measurements narrow as you move down to your hips and waist, you can call your body shape an inverted triangle. A stunning dress with plenty of lace or detail will draw the eye away from any one area in particular. Opt for sleeves or wide straps to play down the shoulder area or give a daring sheath a try for a super-sleek look
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