Scottish bespoke designers reveal their favourite gowns from the past year

We’ve collated the dressmakers you need to know about and they’ve shared some of their highlights

Flossy & Dossy

Photo: Blush

Wendy Harman founded her company in 2009 and works from her Glasgow studio.

“My favourite dress from last year has to be the one I made for Zoë Yoffe. She works in the industry as a photographer, so she wanted something quite different. After a bit of trial and error with lace and colours, we settled on amazing ombré, blue silk chiffon, ivory hand-placed appliqué and a chiffon cape. I loved making it.”

Joyce Young Design Studios

Photo: Ryan White Photography

With outposts in Glasgow and London, Joyce is a powerhouse, producing pieces for both brides and their mothers for the last 25 years.

“Rosa is my gown of the moment. It makes a strong statement, with its A-line silhouette and dramatic, cathedral-length train. Bride Helen Perry looks stunning in it, as the skirt is blown by the breeze on the dunes near St Andrews.”

Rowanjoy Bridal (below left); Gemma Sargent (below right)

Photos from left: Mirrorbox Photography; Photos by Zoe

Left: The bridal wing of Rowan McIntosh’s business kicked off in 2009, when enquiries flooded in for alternative gowns.

“Natasha’s dress encapsulates everything I’m passionate about. She knew she wanted a cape, so the gown was designed with this in mind – a simple silhouette, allowing the fabrics and textural lace elements to stand out. She looked like an ethereal woodland fairy come to life.”

Right: Gemma Sargent launched her Edinburgh studio in 2008 and has been producing bridal couture ever since.

“I created this bespoke design for Hollie McKay for her wedding last July. It’s made from blush satin with a champagne tulle overlay and has an intricate bodice made up of three specially sourced laces.”

AJR Designs

Photo: PJ Phillips Photography

Ailsa Rendell originally specialised in costume design before turning her hand to bridalwear.

“I’m so proud of this pink and gold rose-print satin top and full tulle skirt with a short train. The fact that it is a two-piece is very unusual for a wedding, and the top is extraordinary. It’s a romantic, bohemian dream of a dress.”

Isabelle Randall

Photo: Nikki Leadbetter

Isabelle trained at Leeds University and the Royal College of Art before setting up her atelier in Aberdeen.

“What I relished so much about making Ciara’s gown was the vision behind it. She wanted a feminine silhouette, and for the tulle skirt to fall to the ground in a gentle way. This, paired with the French corded lace bodice appliquéd into a boat neckline and plunging back, fully realised her dream.”

Pamela Fraser Designs (below left); Glitterati (below right)

Photo on left: Barry Robb Photography

Left: From her studio in Angus, Pamela crafts utterly unique, made-to-measure dresses.

“Millie is a fitted lace dress with a low back and a soft chiffon skirt. I like its relaxed feel and the mix of delicate paisley lace with 3D detailing.”

Right: Moira Withers is the resident designer at this long-established Glasgow boutique.

“I adore the Gaia gown for its simplicity, cut and versatility. It has a timeless elegance and suits all shapes and sizes. It can also translate into many materials, making it appropriate for a variety of venues: this purple, hand-twisted velvet, for example, is ideal for a woodland wedding.”

Freja Designer Dressmaking

Photo: Napier Wedding Photography

Based in Edinburgh’s New Town, Mette Baillie has been producing bridal creations since 1998.

“This bride, Kirsty Haig, had visions of a fitted fishtail and a low back, but I found her something she had not even considered – heavily beaded lace with a hint of gold. It suited her complexion perfectly. The final gown had the deep back she was craving but still gave her the support of a structured dress.”