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The case for colourful wedding dresses

Love the idea of wearing something bright or bold on your wedding day? Our style expert, Mette has some great advice for anyone looking to inject a bit of colour into their day…

“What colour should my wedding dress be? Well, this used to be the easiest question, as it used to just be white. Well only for the last 90 years or so, before that it was all colours, at least if you were not part of the aristocracy. It was simply too expense to get a special, beautiful dress for just that day. Other cultures have been using different colours for their weddings for many years.

“I think you should consider carefully what colour your dress should be. White only suits a few people of the general “Scottish” colouring, and pure white can be really hard to wear. But if you suit it, it looks amazing. So the best thing is to try it.

“Most brides here in Scotland these days go for ivory, and yet in ivory you get a few different shades. You have all kinds of creams and blush nude and oyster colours, a whole palette of pale pretty shades. You will also find that different materials carry the colour differently. I always think natural materials like cotton, wool and silk are more easy to wear, they are usually dyed in natural dyes, and they are just… more natural looking. If you go for man-made fibres like most often polyesters, they are not so kind to wear, the polyester white is almost fluorescent. Often the ivories are more yellow based. If the material is a sheer fabric, the colour will also look softer.

Photos by Geebz Photography (top) and Radosław Kościelniak Fotografia

“You may already have a good idea of what colours suit you, but here is a little help if you would like to work out what shade will look best on you. A good starting point would be to assess if you have a cool or warm skin tone. You may have looked in to this before. People with cool colours tend to suit soft whites, and ivory if it is not yellow based, then blues and greens and pinks, silvers and greys and some golds but only if they are kind of sandy golds, taupes and beige. People with warm skin tones tend to suit creams, ivory and golds, and any shade of peach or salmon pinks.

“Being a dressmaker, we often get people in who want a coloured wedding dress, as they are usually not available from the shops. Sometimes brides come in and declare: “I want a red/purple/floral”… and so on… “wedding dress”. I always say to them – “That is exciting and I would love to make it for you, but please go away and think it over and make sure that it is really what you want to do.” We love making them, but always encourage brides to really think it through first, and be sure that is what they want, as it can be a real statement.

Photos by Loraine Ross Photography

“A much more subtle way of adding colour is to have a colour backing a lace, often ivory lace – this can be soft and beautiful, and almost makes the lace stand out more, as if it were three dimensional. It’s very much in fashion and a few designers do it well. Another way of adding colour to a pale dress is to use a coloured lace on top, this could be silver, gold or blush pink or pale blue, or sometimes it’s an ivory lace, just with a little cord of metallic. That is so on trend and beautiful and subtle, but interesting.

“If you decide to go for all one colour, you can also use different textures. By using different materials, you get almost a colour difference and a slight softening of the colour, as the different textures catch the light in different ways. I LOVE a mix of textures. So don’t be afraid of mixing a light and flowing fabric, like a chiffon with something structured and patterned, like a brocade. A wispy organza or Gazar (a stiff gauzy kind of silk) with a crisp taffeta or Dupioni (a crisp silk). Devoré has been out of fashion for a while, mix faux fur and velvets with Mikado (a blend of silks) and grosgrains (a ribbed fabric) for a heavy wintry look, this could be another way of adding colour, in a very subtle way.

Photo by Duke Photography

Love the idea of rocking a non-white dress? Here’s some more inspiration, courtesy of Vogue. Don’t the black and grey gowns look amazing too! Christina x

Originally hailing from Denmark but having now made Edinburgh her home (it was love at first sight!), multi award-winning designer dressmaker Mette Baillie is the incredible talent behind Freja Designer Dressmaking.

Top image copyright of Geebz Photography, for others see captions. All dresses shown are by Freja Designer Dressmaking.