There's no denying that Bridal Week is an absolute hoot for bridal shops. A great opportunity to network, to catch up with suppliers, see the newest collections on the catwalks, and maybe sup a glass of Prosecco or two. But this is also where the real "business" for the season takes place.
With my girl boss hat on, I scanned the rails for the newest trends for the next season, and to spot the best gowns for my beautiful brides coming in. So here's my round-up from September 2023 and what I learnt at Bridal Week.
Curvy Ranges are Defying the Norms - And For the Better!
Historically curvy ranges have, dare I say it, been looking a little dated and boring. Designers have been sticking to what they know, the "safe option", but this year has definitely seen a huge swing! Island Bridal are definitely leading the way with their new collection this season - it really is incredible. Whilst still honouring the structure and support, Island Bridal are changing the feel for curvy brides, with their new, contemporary designs that are so aligned now with the catwalk and the latest trends. I am such a huge fan of this designer and what they are doing for the curvy bridal range.
Lace - The Comeback King
Last year, the plain, simple dresses were everywhere and are definitely still a big thing, but this year, the romantic lace look returns. From full lace, traditional lace, 3D lace, partial lace with sequins or beading, it was clear that the lace was making a swift comeback. The Romantica of Devon catwalk was rich with lace ensembles (which I am personally delighted about!), and with a much more modern feel adding colour lining to make the lace pop.
British Bridal Designers are Having Their Moment
The catwalk was thriving with some beautiful new creations from some of the best in the UK biz this year, and boy are they making their mark! I caught up with Richard Designs (literally based an hour from our door - talk about local!) and watched their catwalk. Richard Designs have definitely identified their market in the last few years, and are really honing in creating the right gowns using such an array of different fabrics. They have also added a few wildcards into the mix too for those brides who are looking for something a little different.
Brides Have Choices with Interchangeable Options
It has been really noticeable this year how designers are creating so many options and choices for brides. Whether it's being able to customise one dress for the wedding day, or being able to create multiple choices for changes throughout the day. This year saw lots of interchangeable strap options, sleeve options and overskirts to switch things up. One our most popular designers, Phoenix Gowns, are now offering matching sleeves for all their dresses! This is a huge move, but one I know will be so popular with lots of brides wanting sleeves, so any of their gorgeous gowns can now have a matching sleeve made.
Colour, Colour, Everywhere
Colour adorned the rails this year, and it's appearing everywhere. From scatterings to full coverage, with patterns and block colours. On dresses, shoes and accessories. Colour is no longer just for the bridesmaids to embrace. One of my favourite spots this year are definitely the colourful, embroidered veils from The Perfect Bridal Company. You may have spotted on my socials that I asked for help deciding which one to order because I just couldn't choose!
The dates for Bridal Week 2024 have already been announced, and I can't wait for March to see what the new season brings. But maybe with less Prosecco....
**26th-28th January - Designer Weekend
We have the fabulous curvy range from Island Bridal in the boutique, including the dress shown about!
Head over to the website now to book in - www.lilyfrancisbridal.co.uk/book-now