We Fell In Love – Scotland's Wedding Blog » Scotland's Wedding Blog

Masthead header

Wedding dress trends

at the white gallery

bridal exhibition

Ever wondered how bridal boutiques choose the wedding dresses they will stock? Rachel Sneddon of Edinburgh-based Rachel Scott Bridal Couture takes us behind the scenes to the White Gallery London, where UK and international designers recently showcased their 2014 collections to retailers.

The White Gallery exhibition was started by high end designers who wanted to have a trade event that fitted in with the luxury styling of their collections. (White Gallery London)
For those who have never been, can you describe the event?
Once per year, every bridal wear designer will produce a new collection from which retailers can select a number of pieces to show at their shop. To keep things simple for designers and retailers, trade fairs are set up in order that lots of collections can be shown in one place within just a few days.

The White Gallery provides the perfect platform for them to showcase their latest collections to retailers that are focusing on the highest level of designer. It also allows the retailers to see the collections in the most spectacular fashion shows, giving us a real sense of what’s going to be the looks for next season.

The exhibition is set up over three days and it can be intense, I usually have a tight schedule of appointments booked with each of the designers I’ve chosen to see. It’s of such importance that I make the right decisions on buying the right styles for my clients so I always start my White Gallery trip with forward planning – What styles do I think I need for my clients? What new trends do I see going forward? What new, undiscovered designers are out there?

I think it’s important to do thorough research so that when I get to the exhibition, I’m focused and know exactly who I’m there to see and if I’m taking on new designers, then I’ve already spoken to them and know if we will work well together.

It’s an intense few days of decision making but I was always try to follow my gut instinct and choose styles that I love and that I think my clients will be passionate about too. I’m not going to deny for a second that I don’t love every second of it though!

Designers put a huge amount of effort into creating the perfect silhouettes and fabric combinations. (Stewart Parvin at White Gallery London)
What were the highlights of this year’s White Gallery for you?
Every year I look forward to catching up with my designers. It’s important to me to have a close relationship with each of the designers and I am very aware of how much work they put into creating the perfect silhouettes and fabric combinations for the coming season, so it’s great to be able to see them showing their latest work.

I would have to say that Stewart Parvin’s fashion show this year had to be one of my highlights. It always provides the dramatic opening to the White Gallery event and I was just beside myself with excitement at what I saw this year in particular. He is truly a master of tailoring and line – he is the ultimate in sophisticated chic and the attention to detail was exquisite. The models had very little makeup on, other than the uber long dark flick eyeliner to give a hint of drama. The short veils that barely came to the shoulder were such a great look and the precision fit of sleeves and high necklines were incredible. I did give a few squeals of excitement during the show but I’m hoping the fashion show music of a fantastically clever choice of 80’s classic tunes may have drowned me out a bit!

Tobi Hannah’s retro dresses have received critical acclaim. (Tobi Hannah – Spring 2014 The Wall Collection)
Which emerging designers will we all be watching?
Sarah Barrett at Lyn Ashworth produced a great collection this year. Although the Lyn Ashworth brand has been around for sometime, Sarah is now heading up the brand after Lyn’s retirement and I’m loving where she’s going with it. Gorgeous lace, almost crocheted in appearance with subtle colours of silk lining to make the texture stand out. The pinched waists and full but elegantly simple skirts made for a stunning and very British combination. I think the brand has exciting times ahead!

Tobi Hannah is another interesting one to watch – launched at White Gallery last year, she produced a range of short retro dresses to critical acclaim and has been getting substantial coverage in bridal press thanks to the unique concept that she has. This year she’s also entering the world of elegant, sleek full length dresses with her new Lara Hannah range. This collection shows flowing, form skimming dresses with details such as pinched capped sleeves, low cowl backs and textured fabrics that she’s designed and made herself. It’s a collection inspired by her favourite William Waterhouse paintings and shows great skill with a focus on fit and a contemporary slant on vintage style silhouettes.

Golden tones could sit well with Scottish brides, along with styles that cover the shoulders without restricting movement. (Alan Hannah at White Gallery London)
And which new trends do you think will go down well with Scottish brides?
I love the golden toned colours that I saw from my designers this season – something that’s sure to sit well with our Scottish complexion! The silks have to be rich and luxurious for this colour to work at it’s best though – I thought Alan Hannah showed it particularly well with a slash neck, full skirted dress with light golden duchess satin and darker toned lace covering the bodice. The sheen from the silk gives this colour a real depth and works so well in an evening light.

The trend for covering shoulders continued and I think the look has really got into its stride this season. Although lace is a traditional bridal fabric and using lace in bolero tops and straps is a trend that I think, quite rightly, will be with us for years to come, I did see a lot of other fabrics being used this season too – sequined beaded cowl necklines with low backs or draped silk georgette, lots of styles that conceal shoulders or the tops of arms with little capped sleeves, but nothing overly formal or stiff so as not to infringe on movement and softness. I’m sure I don’t need to point out the importance of freedom of movement in a Scottish ceilidh!

We are so looking forward to seeing these gorgeous gowns on Scottish brides. Do you have a favourite from the 2014 collections? If so, we’d love to hear from you.