Last weekend Battersea Evolution in London played host to the second ‘White Gallery’ designer bridal trade exhibition where over 40 top end international wedding dress designers exhibited over three days including Ian Stuart, Stephanie Allin, Ritva Westenius, Lusan Mandongus, Sassi Holford, Alan Hannah, Ugo Zaldi and Jesus Peiro.
Designers proudly paraded their newest and finest during private invitation only catwalk shows and Sunday was a chance for ‘New talents’ to showcase their designs and make their first mark on the designer bridalwear scene. Names for Retailers to watch out for include The Vintage Wedding Dress Company; beautiful vintage gowns based on silhouettes of the past and a contemporary yet vintage collection from new kid on the block Sanyukta Shrestha.
Matthew Williamson also launched a bridal collection. A household name some will associate with Debenhams, his debut collection featured short hand beaded shifts with fluted sleeves and long silk tulle gowns embellished with feathers. There was some disappointment that he wasn’t there in person. His bridal designs were fashion forward and edgy with Grecian and Bo-ho flavours.
The vibe at The White Gallery bridal trade expo was most definitely ‘Designer’ with champagne and cupcakes to entice potential UK and International stockists onto stands and the general feeling amongst exhibitors was that the show was a big success and a better choice than last year’s Saatchi Gallery location. The champagne bar buzzed with upmarket retailers and proved to be a hit for those wanting to network, compare notes on the latest trends or simply people watch – champagne flute in hand.
Overall, designer bridal trends continue with a strong vintage flavour. Dresses featured lashings of lace in an abundance of fitted styles. Delicate embroidery and opulent embellishment featured throughout the slinkies and there were plenty of fifties inspired short n’ stylish dresses with generous puff petticoats and Audrey necklines. Straps are definitely in and those who chose to show off statement pieces did so with generously gathered dupion silk, elaborate waterfall ruffles and slashed layers of organza and tulle.
One or two bridal designers maximised on retailers visiting London for White Gallery including Suzanne Neville who launched her stunning 2012 collection at the Tower of London. There was also the first ‘Venue Bridal‘ – another mini bridal exhibition. A collaborative effort by a group of mainstream designers at the Pestana Hotel located in close proximity to the White Gallery. A complimentary horse & carriage and mini bus service ran for retailers wishing to visit Sincerity, Justin Alexander, Mark Lesley, Romantica of Devon, Jasmine and Demetrios at the Pestana. The hosts generously provided complimentary canapés and refreshments whilst retailers browsed and yet another lace ‘Kate’ replica was launched, much like the Alfred Angelo version but this time by Justin Alexander.
So London was the place to be for industry bridal professionals to see the latest in bridal ….. Well done and thanks White Gallery, we’ll see you there next year!