Maybe it’s from watching too many movies, but when I think about wedding dress shopping, I picture a charming little shop full of soft light and plush chairs and flowers and champagne – a place where dreams are made, and where somewhere in amongst the silk, tulle and lace, that perfect wedding dress is just waiting for you to try it on and fall crazy in love, and share that amazing moment with your mum or best friend. Sadly, reality sometimes falls short of the fantasy. So you can imagine how thrilled I was last year to discover the most wonderful little boutique right here in Durban, tucked in amongst the leafy streets of Westville that I know so well. Toujours Wedding House is an absolute gem – a light, bright studio nestled off a sunny courtyard, with just the right amount of chic understated detail to let the gowns, veils and accessories take centre stage. Guiding her brides through their experience is owner Tracey Laubscher, who you immediately warm to like she’s an extra bridesmaid, and who knows and cherishes each dress in her collection like a favourite song. I couldn’t wait to go back to the boutique to do a special little tour, together with the talented Eileen Laubscher of Bright Girl Photography. We spent our morning drinking tea, shooting these beautiful images, and chatting to Tracey about what makes Toujours such a special place…
I have SUCH a beautiful wedding collection to share with you lovelies today! I honestly struggled to narrow down the images for this one, because each and every dress in the collection is totally pin-worthy! Last year I shared Daalarna, the Hungarian couture bridal label, with you all for the first time, and now I’m delighted to spotlight the label’s new Ballet-inspired collection. I feel like ballet is having a real moment with bridal inspiration this year, probably because of the sleek silhouettes, ethereal fabrics and two-piece elements in the recent collections. I love it, because for me, a ballerina also epitomises so many of the qualities that brides wish to embody on their big day, like grace, passion, and elegance. You’ll find all of that in this collection, which took its cue from the beautiful Sleeping Beauty. In fact, the campaign photos below were shot on the set of the Hungarian National Ballet with the Ballet’s exceptional ballerina, Lili Felmery, bringing the collection to life. Let’s take a peek, shall we?
It’s always a good day when we get to share the latest from one of our favourite South African wedding designers, Elbeth Gillis! Having dressed South African brides to perfection for years, Elbeth is now making waves overseas as well, and we couldn’t be happier to see foreign editors and brides-to-be discovering her collections. This year, there are two capsule collections, and today we’re highlighting the first. Called ‘Luxury’, it’s a line-up of eight sophisticated gowns, with an emphasis on backs and shoulders and the exquisite details that are Elbeth’s trademark. There are a variety of necklines and silhouettes, all made up from the most gorgeous fabrics: stretch satins, silk chiffons, lace overlays and tattoos. The only question? How to pick a favourite.
Get ready for some serious dress love, my darlings! A while back, I rounded up some of the absolute DREAMIEST pastel gowns on SBB, and I haven’t stopped dreaming about them since. So when the theme for May was settled on as ‘Something Blue’, I couldn’t wait to go out and source some spectacular blue (and blue-grey) gowns from our favourite online inspirational marketplace, Etsy. And my word, but did I ever find some beauties. Every single one of them has something that makes it extra special beyond just the colour (which let’s be honest, is pretty awesome on its own) – a lace detail here, a sparkle there, and a whole lot of cloud-soft tulle. If you weren’t thinking of a ‘something blue’ wedding gown before? Well, you will be now!
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Holiday! Celebrate! (You’ll be singing that all day now, sorrynotsorry.) Since today actually is a holiday, I thought it would be fun if you and I went on a holiday together – albeit a virtual one. I’ve picked one of my favourite destinations too, the glorious isle of Santorini in Greece, which is the inspiration and setting for Julie Vino‘s current collection. Sugarcube houses and sapphire seas, plus beautiful gowns, is a winning combination. It’s been a couple of years since we discovered Israeli designer Julie Vino, and her collections never fail to impress with their combination of sensual and feminine. This one is fit for a Grecian goddess – or just the luckiest of brides.
Over the years here on SBB, we’ve featured a lot of real weddings and gorgeous wedding dresses, but the days that there’s a Robyn Roberts gown on the books, are always special. One of SA’s top bridalwear talents, Robyn’s gowns walk that perfect line between modern and romantic, contemporary and whimsical, and make brides feel both like supermodels and princesses on their big day. Honestly, I’ve never met a Robyn Roberts dress I didn’t love, and so I’m absolutely delighted to be sharing the brand new collection exclusively on SBB today. These gowns are ah-mazing – bang on trend, but oh so wearable! According to Robyn, the idea was to create a range of dreamy dresses with a modern edge. Textured effects were created by layering multiple ethereal, whisper-soft fabrics, and focusing on back details and soft, comfortable skirts. The colours vary from crisp white to creamy ivories and rich blush undertones – swoon! And not only do we get to bask in all the fashion glory, but we also get to enjoy some drop dead gorgeous florals from our faves at Green Goddess flower studio as well. Told you it was a special day!
If you follow us on Instagram (and if you don’t, you totally should!), you may have seen that some exciting mail arrived at SBB HQ the other day, specifically the brand new lookbook from Hanrie Lues Bridal. Durban-based designer Hanrie is part of our sponsor family, and while we’ve always loved her beautiful bespoke gowns, she’s just launched a demi-couture collection which will be available both from her studio and from Calegra Bridal House in Cape Town and Joburg, and I couldn’t wait to see it! Called ‘Fleur de Ballet’, it was inspired by the ballet, which I absolutely love, and it has the same combination of structure and sheer femininity that makes ballerinas’ gowns the stuff that dreams are made of. With the most gorgeous fabrics and an inspiration straight from the ballet, these dresses are perfect for the modern South African bride, employing breathtaking illusion elements and elegant shapes and details that make each gown special and unique, and will make each woman who wears them feel like a prima ballerina on her own opening night.
All of this month we’ve been talking tropical weddings, and a tropical (or any beachy) wedding deserves a beautiful gown that’s perfect for sand and sunshine. And, while a girl can pretty much rock whatever she wants as far as I’m concerned, the practical aspects of a beach wedding (sand, heat, humidity) definitely lend themselves to a gown that’s lighter as well as less formal. I love the way that soft textures (which happen to be light and perfect to wear) look in photographs, especially in beautiful beach portraits with the setting sun or the wind ruffling out layers of sheer fabric, so that’s what I’d personally opt for, and while simple shapes work well, there’s no lack of creativity you can apply when adding touches like portrait backs or lace or beading. I’ve rounded up 20 shut-the-front-door-that’s-amazing wedding gowns from beach editorials and real weddings, each dreamier than the last, to inspire.
Happy Monday, lovelies! I have an INSANE week ahead (but oh, what a week to follow – more on that soon!) and I can’t think of a better way to start than with some calmingly beautiful fashion. That’s what you can always rely on Sareh Nouri to deliver, both when it comes to dresses and lookbooks, and the new Fall 2016 Collection is certainly no exception. These dresses are fit for a queen, and so is the gorgeous estate the team used as a backdrop. I’m especially loving the soft layering and texturing in the skirts of these gowns, not to mention that one of them comes in the dreamiest, most sophisticate shade of icy grey-blue – the perfect subtle take on the pastel wedding gown trend. Brides will also find much to inspire in the hair and makeup, and especially in the fantastic headpieces by Jennifer Behr. So let’s get this pretty party started, shall we?
It’s going to be a fashionable Friday, if today’s bridal feature is anything to go by! BHLDN have just released their Spring 2016 collection and lookbook, and my goodness, it is full of couture detailing and dreamy fabrics and sequinned lace. This is the largest collection launched by the brand to date, and the first in which they’ve collaborated with high profile label Marchesa, who have contributed five incredible gowns to the line-up. My absolute favourite is Estella, with her lace illusion boatneck, flouncy sleeves, and cowl back – easily the most beautiful boho-ey dress I’ve seen yet. Whether it’s more classic pieces like long lace or illusion neckline dresses, or fresh innovations like a jumpsuit or embroidered sequin crop top and tulle skirt combo, there’s something in this collection for every stylish bride to fall in love with. Even the lookbook has that wonderful couture feeling, and no wonder, since it was shot in none other than Delphine Manivet’s Paris showroom. Le sigh.