It's been an amazing few days, but our packed schedule of shows and presentations is finally drawing to a close, so here are the final few details of our fabulous finds.
We don't expect anything less than cool elegance from Amanda Wakeley's Sposa collection so with her influence coming through heavily from her SS16 RTW collection, we weren't disappointed.
Always very destination driven, the collection is all about modern luxury, with several pieces given a sporty element in the cut or detail. With separates a key element for this season, I loved the 'Orla' embellished harness top with cutout sides and totally bare back worn with a statement paneled Mikado silk skirt, or for a lighter option, a softer silk chiffon skirt.
Naomi Neoh is known for soft romantic full skirted gowns, with her rose trimmed blush pink chiffon possibly the ultimate in country wedding chic. For her 2017 collection the designer has streamlined her look keeping all the inner structure and support but with less underskirts for more subtle volume such as the Isobel in ivory silk chiffon and French lace or the strapless Gwen in silk satin chiffon: the perfect dancing dress.
The layers collection is separates but with a difference. Starting with the perfect fit of either an A-line or soft trumpet gown in fluid Italian crepe its all about adding a soft embroidered tulle skirt (Poppy) with matching top, or a viscos tulle slip over dress with lace bodice (Amber) or Erin, a more bohemian looking lace over dress with delicate cap sleeves. Perfect for the bride who wants versatility and the option of a day to evening look.
In the wedding cake-like wonder that is the Marie Antoinette suite at The Ritz, we sat drinking tea and eating macarons for Kate Halfpenny's presentation. This season Kate has concentrated on her signature embroidery and beading and has included some seriously slinky pieces (the backless silk tie neck dress with puddle train, I'm talking about you). Always romantic but with a fashion edge, the attention to detail is on point.
From a duchess satin bow on a capped sleeved wool mix bolero (Leah) to an embroidered feather detail on the cowl back of a silk crepe bias cut dress (Vera), each piece is effortlessly cool. Her coats, jackets and capes in wool and crepe back satin, whilst perfect for a winter wedding would work equally well with jeans. This is investment dressing at its best.
The SS17 collection from Temperley embodied all that is synonymous with the brand and was heavily influenced not only by the SS16 ready to wear, but also the cool glamour of old Hollywood in the 20s. Intricate embroidery, floral and leaf motifs and attention to the finest details, such as liberal sprinklings of miniaturised flowers and tiny crystals, were a prominent part of the collection. Standout gowns included Evie, a flirty silk organza and tulle mini, with long sleeves and mini ruffles perfect for a party loving bride, and Rowena, a high necked silk chiffon gown with pearl beading, elbow length cape-like sleeves and a heavily embellished bodice.
At Blackburn Bridal's presentation, we fell in love with Clinton Lotter's La Vie en Rosecollection - the designer had romantically personalized his more embellished dresses with individually embroidered words 'love', 'forever' and 'always' scattered amongst the delicate embroidered tulle and lace and with gorgeous matching full length veils.
My personal favourite was Yolanda in an ivory silk bias cut crepe, with v-front and back and Spanish influenced side flounces. This new collection was a romantic, a little bit sexy and a lot feminine.
The new Flora collection was young, fresh and oh-so pretty, with intricate fabrics and embroidery an integral part of each piece, while the delicate details such as trailing leaf embroidery, spotted point d'esprit tulle and soft, fine lace trims every dress made us smile and sigh. From the pearl beading, spaghetti straps and lingerie like bodice of lovely Lolita to the festival like handkerchief hem of a beaded cami and chiffon skirt (Aline) it was hard to choose my favourites from a collection with so many perfect pieces.
Day two began in the fabulously grand surroundings of the Tower of London for Suzanne Neville's 25th anniversary Portrait collection catwalk show. Known for her superbly structured gowns and with a dedicated red carpet and celeb bride following, the 2017 collection didn't disappoint.
From a gold beaded silk fishtail to a slick bateau necked zibeline ballgown, the collection showed Suzanne's skill as a designer who really knows how to make everything fit like a glove.
Standout gowns for me in the collection were the super smart crepe tux-like sheath with satin ribbon detail and matching cropped jacket and the gorgeous finale ballgown in Wedgwood blue foiled jacquard. A grand statement utterly befitting of a 25th anniversary collection.
Sassi Holford gave a slick runway presentation with a collection that would appeal to all brides. With soft nudes and touches of blush, pocketed floor sweeping ballgown skirts and versatile separates, standout looks included a bell sleeved lace dress with strict neckline and a strapless fishtail in textured silk with roll neck trapeze top. My personal favourite was the jacquard feather trimmed shell top and high-low hem skirt.
We raced across London to the calm oasis of sustainable designer Sanyuktha Shrestha. Her collection for 2017 collection is inspired by the natural delicacy, colours and shapes of rare flowers and features eco friendly fabrics like bamboo, hemp and organic silk.
A beautifully cut peplum jacket in hand spun silk with carved buttons and wide leg Ivory silk palazzo pants were perfect for a city hall wedding, while a fully beaded gown with thigh split over tulle and lace leggings was fresh and fashion forward. Soft raspberry, aqua, golden yellow and scarlet silk pieces were stunning pops of colour through the classic ivory, champagne and cream pieces with oversized bows, detachable trains and flutter sleeves adding a soft whimsical touch to an ethereal collection.
We knew from the collection name Unforgettably Me that we were in for a show to remember at Ian Stuart. With Ian's unique recognisable style firmly stamped on each dress and accessory, it was a magical fairytale show from the start. Delicate watercolor pastels were mixed through the golds and ivories whilst beading went from the subtle (teeny pearls at the waist of a Thai silk gown) to the pure Hollywood bling (sparkling crystals on the bust and skirt of a porcelain slipper satin ballgown).
To the strains of 'Tale As Old As Time' from Beauty and the Beast, the finale shimmering metallic Venice lace and taffeta dress with a wave like train and matching full-length veil was a true princess dream of a dress.
With a new design team in place overseeing all the collections, Ellis Bridal showed a more relaxed direction for the heritage brand. Starting with the mainline - separates are a key factor with lace, beaded and tulle bolero jackets and cover ups adding a new dimension to classic designs. Understated shimmery beading and nude tones gave a modern twist with details such as a detachable Watteau train, pockets on a zibeline ballgown and keyhole backs.
Kelsey Rose Bridal offered a capsule collection of modern white gowns - favourites were a 60s style floral cut out lace shift and a sporty racer neck lace sheath. The ever-popular bridesmaids collection featured rich jewel toned lace alongside iridescent pastel pink taffeta all with a 'wear me again' wow factor.
Last stop of the day was Charlie Brear's Fitzrovia warehouse space for music, fizz and a first look at a Latin inspired collection. The designer describes it as a happy blend of strong, feminine and sexy, romantic bridal pieces. With details such as soft ruffles, cutout lace, tiers and drop shoulders giving a subtle Spanish feel, standouts included Raina, a French lace sharp racer neck dress with soft skirt and split back and Lianca, a v-neck a line dress in graphic modern geolace over rose gold shimmer lining and accented with a rose gold leather belt. Blurring the lines effortlessly between ready to wear and bridal is what the designer does best, and this collection is the perfect blend for the Charlie Brear bride.
It's the start of the most exciting week in the London bridal calendar and time for our top bridal designers to unveil their new collections for 2017 both at White Gallery in blossom-filled Battersea Park, and at shows and presentations all over the capital.
The first stop was David Fielden for a sneak preview of his new collection a week before the official show in Milan.
In one of his most romantic collections yet, David showed his maverick design skills with eclectic fabrics and clever cutting. Soft washes of colour, intricate floral embellishments and bow details were peppered through the huge collection, which went effortlessly from a tux-influenced strapless mini with exposed tufted tulle underskirts, to a strictly tailored tiered mikado strapless gown with crochet-like cotton lace feathered bolero.
My favourite was a show stopping drop shoulder ballgown with mink coloured tulle layers and intricate embroidery.
Alan Hannah's catwalk show kicks off proceedings at White Gallery and the designers love of original fabrics was clear throughout with metallics, soft floral print chiffon, structured silk mikado and fluid silk crepe. Cool accessories added drama to timeless classics such as a cute cutout daisy lace bubble shaped bolero over a strapless a-line and a mini embroidered capelet over a subtle trumpet gown.
My standout gown was a 3D floral embroidered mini over a full length sheer organza layer (pictured) which was perfect for a more fashion forward bride.
Annasul Y showed a delicate, soft collection with models wearing butterfly trimmed veils and headbands. Embellishment played a key part throughout, featuring heavily on most silhouettes. A simple princess line tulle gown with Watteau train, a high necked capelet and sweetheart neckline a-line were all intricately beaded, while more delicate sparkles on a series of plisse pleated tulle gowns gave the collection a fresh and feminine finale.
At the International Designers show standout gowns included soft macaron pastels and floral prints with lavish beadwork at Anny Lin and a bright floral printed flowing silk low v-neck dress with metallic beaded open weave t-shirt at Inmaculada Garcia. I also liked a two tiered tulle gown in palest gold with beaded lace bodice, and an apricot embellished tulle dress with waterfall skirt at Savin London.
The British Designers catwalk show featured standouts including a burgundy floral kimono-like coat and beaded slip dress and an ivory fully beaded long sleeved dress with sheer star pattern from Eliza Jane Howell, an iridescent beaded mini and chiffon cape with angel wing embroidery at Zaeem Jamal, a lace drop shouldered dress with beaded ribbon belt at Katya Katya Shehurina and a crystal embellished tabard top backless dress with multi ruffle tulle skirt from Ruth Milliam.
Trends emerging from the day included bows everywhere and anywhere at Jesus Piero and Gemy Maalouf, bright Floral Prints from Charlotte Balbier and Tarik Ediz, bold colour, seen at Sharon Bowen and Savin London, spots and stripes from Katya Katya Shehurina and Jesus Piero and gold beading and embroidery from Ruth Milliam and Ivory and Co.
Poppy Dover's Love Stories collection caught my eye, themed around the iconographies of love such as cupids arrows, love hearts, interlacing initials and curling roses. Her collection perfectly illustrates how bridal fashion has moved on from just 'the dress', with 17 pieces that combine to create over 50 looks.
Soft easy elegant silk and tulle dresses with contemporary silhouettes are transformed with tops in different styles and fabrics and personalised messages for each bride. Like the prettiest tattoos, these are sure to be a hit with #instabrides everywhere.