Editor Beth and online editor Sarah headed down south last weekend to visit White Gallery London and pop-up launch events by leading British designers
Every spring, all the big names in bridal fashion preview the following year’s styles so boutique owners and buyers can place orders ahead of the dresses arriving in store late autumn. We got invited along to trade show White Gallery London and an array of designer-led events for a sneak peek, and can reveal there’s plenty to get excited about across the 2018 collections. Here’s eight trends we jotted down during our jam-packed trip:
1. Feeling blue
It seems like every year we check out the upcoming collections a stand-out hue features across the board. When online editor Sarah made her first trip to White Gallery London back in 2014, she returned to Scotland full of excitement over pink (yes, pink!) wedding dresses and before we knew it, rails were heaving with blush gowns across the country’s boutiques. This year, blush will take a backseat as designers offer brides the chance to tick off their something blue. Alan Hannah’s signature hand-painted gown featured delicate hydrangea, but floral appliqué and powder blue also proved a popular combo.
2. Signature styles translating to bridal
More and more ready-to-wear designers are having massive success with a bridal line. It makes sense when they’ve carved out a loyal following who’d be looking to replicate their style when it comes to walking down the aisle. We swung by Temperley London’s Mayfair flagship to have a swatch at the new bridal styles, but couldn’t resist a quick covet at the rainbow-tinged occasionwear floor. Luckily, the wedding range doesn’t stray too far from the brand’s aesthetic, with floaty shapes and eye-catching embroidery taking centre stage.
3. Going OTT with statement headwear
Accessorising your wedding dress is often an afterthought once you’ve found ‘the one’. You’ve spent so much time finding the frock that makes your heart race and mum cry that it’s often tempting to let it steal the limelight. A simple browband and discreet necklace ought to do it, right? Wrong! Tiaras are making a reappearance, and we noted a ‘more is more’ approach to topping off your outfit on the catwalk with unusual veils, feather headdresses and even showgirl-inspired headpieces.
4. Technology influencing design
The phrase ‘living in the social media age’ is so over-used that we become a real-life *rolls eyes* meme every time we hear it, but it has brought a new set of considerations when it comes to design. Case in point: this Halfpenny London dress was made for a bridal Boomerang.
5. Breaking new ground with daring details
Don’t get us wrong, you’ll never catch us slating floral lace – and just as well, because it’s going nowhere – but nothing will ever excite us like spotting something we’ve never seen before (no mean feat when the magazine has featured thousands of dresses over the past sixteen years). Our heads were turned by butterfly appliqué, bold watercolour prints, quirky graphic embellishments and star-embroidered tulle.
6. Covering all bases
A few years back, your options for a bridal jacket were limited. Ivory faux fur boleros dominated and playing it safe was much more prevalent. Now the desire to stand out has lead to an influx of coverups in womenswear shapes but bridal fabrics and shades. At Amanda Wakeley, an ivory overcoat and disco-fabulous suit jacket tapped into the trend. Amanda’s top tip? Pop the collar up for a touch of attitude and high-fashion edge. At Savin London, we also eyeballed an illusion lace sleeve biker jacket and an ivory cropped bomber.
7. Sleeve it out
Filtering down from women’s fashion, bell sleeves were everywhere. Covering your arms has remained steadily popular since the Duchess of Cambridge kick-started the trend with her Alexander McQueen wedding dress back in 2011, but it was long overdue an upgrade. Voluminous sleeves add a touch of seventies insouciance to your look – and we don’t have to champion their cause when it comes to extra coverage when getting hitched in breezy barns or waterside venues.
8. Having fun!
We’re not suggesting walking down the aisle to ‘It’s Raining Men’ – as seen on the Sassi Holford catwalk – but this carefree display had the assembled crowd shimmying in their seats. Aim for the same at your ceremony and kick the party off as soon as you strut up the aisle. Sassi’s new collection featured the classic ballgowns and timeless A-lines that are synonymous with the brand, but new for 2018 are a spattering of fluid, wearable styles that offer a more luxe take on boho.