As much as I love featuring international wedding dress trends and designers, it’s always a happy day for me when I get to showcase some homegrown talent, especially when it’s a designer like Elbeth Gillis, who inspires complete devotion in her brides. If I had money for every time one of them told me what an amazing experience they had working with her! In the years since I started SBB I’ve featured many of Elbeth’s brides and worked with her in person, and at the same time I’ve watched as Elbeth’s star rises internationally. She’s especially making a big name for herself in the UK at the moment, and with dresses as absolutely drop-dead-gorgeous as the new Opulent collection, it’s no wonder. The gowns are a mix of sophisticated and whimsical, romantic and modern, with luxurious fabrics and dreamy details galore. Whether the silhouette you’re craving is slinky or fairytale, you’ll find something to adore here – in fact, I especially love that some of the dresses have a completely different look with the addition of a frothy overlay. Picking my favourite images was hard, you guys, so ENJOY.Read More
I’m always super excited to bring you news of beautiful bridal fashion – even more so when I get to show off local designers – but I’m especially thrilled to bring you Elbeth Gillis‘ latest collection because I know how many of you LOVE her designs. Elbeth’s dresses have graced our pages many times over the years, and lots of our real brides have even told me they first heard of her right here. Her studios are like a little haven of refinement in the busy centre of Cape Town, the kind of place where you step in nervous and walk out bursting with excitement to wear the dress of your dreams. It’s a kind of magic, so it seems completely appropriate that Elbeth’s latest collection happens to be called ‘Enchanting’. And is it ever. Lace tattoos, delicate beadwork and hidden detailing characterise the collection, and I was so smitten I just had to know more. I’m so thrilled that Elbeth found time to give us this exclusive interview and share her latest lookbook with us today!Read More
Well, folks, I promised you some wedding dress loveliness to slide into the weekend with, and I shall not disappoint you! As you know by now, SBB loves our local designers (as well as the international ones, of course) and one of our all time FAVE labels (and industry people) is Elbeth Gillis. I never hear a bride say a bad word about their experience with Elbeth, and it’s no wonder, when her dresses just keep getting lovelier and lovelier every year. The 2014 collection is my favourite yet, and it’s such a perfect combination of romantic, old world fabrics and flattering, modern cuts. Looking through all ten creations, I was also struck by how perfect each dress’s name is for it – how it seems to describe an individual personality, from the 1920s Paris glamour of the Zelda, to the Armani-esque simplicity of the Jennifer. For those of you who loved Princess Catherine’s dress (um, all of us?) there’s even a Catherine, which is a romantic lace-sleeved tribute rather than a tacky knock-off. They’re all so lovely that it’s almost impossible to choose, but I think Edith, with its chantilly lace overlay, delicate cap sleeves and deep V back is my personal favourite. Head over to see the full collection on the Elbeth Gillis website.Read More
I always know it’s going to be a good day when a submission lands in my inbox that features some of SBB’s favourite suppliers, from the heartfelt photographic stylings of Love Made Visible to a stunning Elbeth Gillis gown, to stationery by Mocho Loco and a cake by Edible Art (not to mention a guest appearance as a bridesmaid by one of my favourite bloggers). But Samantha and Paul’s wedding isn’t just a collection of talent and prettiness – it’s unique, because it tells their story (and you know how much I love personalisation!). To compliment the fresh spring green and pink palette of their wedding, they added a bunny motif, which has very special meaning on both sides, and then brought it in through some super cute (and not at all cheesy) ideas, like little rabbit topiaries on the tables and bunny brooches for the groomsmen. It’s this kind of detail that makes a wedding really unique, and adds just the right amount of whimsy to your celebration. Plus, it’s bound to put a big ol’ smile on your face – so enjoy!Read More
Afternoon lovelies! Very excited to share this styled shoot with you today, which comes from a very talented team of suppliers, including photographers Heathyr Huss and Nicole Rich, as well as event designer Nicola Jane Wedding & Event Specialist. The theme of the shoot was Nutopia, a romantic infusion of citrus and slate. I am always a huge fan of modern wedding styling, especially when it uses innovative colours or textures and this shoot is chock full of lovely ideas to inspire you. First of all, it is sunshine yellow, which has to be the most cheerful colour ever. With a healthy dose of citrus detailing and gorgeous flowers (including pincushion proteas, my best), parts of the look are really organic and certainly very summery. And did I mention the romance of the dresses? Wow, Elbeth Gillis gets me every time! These soft aspects contrast with some industrial elements – not scary industrial though, pretty modern industrial. As in, hanging bulbs, concrete planters (LOVE this idea), and slate grey which really makes the lemon yellow pop. The whole look is fresh and elegant and gorgeous!Read More
Good morning friends! It’s time to share some dress inspiration, and today it’s from one of South Africa’s top wedding dress designers, Elbeth Gillis. I’m a huge fan of Elbeth’s work – not just because I’ve seen it sitting pretty on so many SBB brides, but because I was lucky enough to work with some of her dresses on a shoot last year. Our model that day remarked that they were so comfortable, especially considering how detailed and beautiful they were, which is kind of the holy grail of what you want to wear on your wedding day, right? So when Elbeth sent over her new collection, I couldn’t wait to share it with you all. I love love love all the illusion lace that’s going on – so pretty! I also loved that the pictures for the collection were taken at a mansion that’s undergoing renovation – something a bit Great Expectations about the combination of rubble and lace. Elbeth works personally with each of her brides, and her team handcrafts each piece to make sure it fits to perfection!Read More
K-Patz in happier days. Tut tut, Kristin. No more sparkly boyfriend for you.
Blame it on Kristin Stewart. (I mean, she’s getting blamed for everything else right now, why not.) I thought the biggest style statement of that there Twilight wedding would be the hanging blooms, but it turns out that Bella’s gorgeous illusion back gown was the big winner. With lace being huge right now, I am seeing beautiful lace backs popping up everywhere, and goodness if they don’t always catch my breath. Now I’ll admit, there’s a bit of envy here because no way no how am I ever going to be wearing one of these in any form (let’s just say the look gets a little ruined by a bra strap, and I get a little ruined without a bra), but for you ladies who can pull this look off, they make an incredibly stylish and romantic statement. (For the rest of us, of course, there are still illusion necklines which are also a big trend, but that’s another post). There’s something about the mixture of covered and sheer, of lace and skin, that makes them simultaneously demure and sexy. Just one note of caution – if you have your heart set on wearing your hair down (or even half down, or in a ponytail), give this dress style a miss. No point in covering up Mona Lisa’s smile!
To get you inspired, I thought I would introduce you to some of the key designers who have been working this look recently, and then show you my local favourite.Read More
I’m super excited about today’s Q&A, as it features a designer I have admired for a long time, Elbeth Gillis. You’ve seen many of her dresses on real brides here on SBB, and every time I do I’m struck by how beautiful they look. Elbeth also has a reputation for being amazing to work with, which really makes the whole process of creating your dress such a special experience. I’m thrilled to be working on a little something behind the scenes with Elbeth too – watch this space! For now, let’s meet the lovely lady, and find out a bit more about what drives and inspires her. (All images are from Elbeth’s 2012 collection.)
How did you get started in the business?
I studied Fashion Design at CPUT and then worked as a designer for some of the big chain stores before starting my own business designing what I love most, wedding gowns.
Do you have a design philosophy?
Less is more and always use the best quality fabrics and trims available.
Where do you find inspiration?
I look at trends from the Haute Couture collections. Beautiful fabrics always inspire me and sometimes the smallest things like a new sleeve detail or beaded flower can lead me to create a new design for a gown.
What’s a typical day in the studio like?
I usually start the morning by checking on the gowns that my staff are busy with, seeing how far they are and if things are being done the way I envisioned. Then I check the dresses that brides will be fitting that day. I usually have a few fittings and consultations with new clients every day. I will also check that we have all the fabrics and trims we need for the gowns we are working on and either my assistant or I will pace orders or run around to source the fabrics. I will also respond to queries and do quotes on email and update our facebook and twitter accounts.Read More