Just back from the famed Harrogate Bridal Show 2014. This was the first, but it won't be my last, trip to the United Kingdom's highly- anticipated annual event in the rolling Yorkshire countryside outside of London. Everyone in the special occasion dress industry raves about the show held annually in September. Now I understand why!
European designers tend to set the fashion curve with trends there months or even a year before they hit the U.S. market. We couldn't help but spot these trend-setting details for wedding gowns at the Harrogate Bridal Show 2014:
- floral print organza wedding gowns in pinks and blues. Very feminine and refreshing!
- sparkling net fabrics for a fairy-tale look that even Prince Charming can't resist
- flowing short sleeves embellished with beads and even bows
- slinky satin wedding gowns reminiscent of the evening gowns worn in Hollywood's heyday
- wedding shoes covered in beads for a very glam head- to- toe look
Aisle after aisle featured everything for the bride from the proper foundation garments to beautiful boxes to preserve her cherished wedding gown. Of course, the show centered on the wedding gown with thousands of styles to see.
Several designers featured collection of plus size wedding gowns in various styles and colors. My favorite hue: a soft oyster and shell color that was neither brown nor ivory.
On the Runway
Leave it to the British, with their impeccable taste and timeless elegance, to stage a breath taking fashion show featuring the best of bridal. The setting, the historic Royal Hall was built in 1903 and meticulously restored. The rich red and gold tones provided a dramatic backdrop to see the best in bridal fashions from top designers.
Bravo to the Brits for putting drop-dead gorgeous models in breath-taking plus size wedding dresses.
And having them escorted on the runway by male models with movie star looks.
The designs represented a wide range of bridal gowns from collections that infused the 1950s classic styles with a subtle twist of modern glamour to fairy-tale ball gowns with full skirts perfect for the bride who dreams of marrying her Prince charming.,
Prom Frocks that Rock
Prom. the great American rite of passage has crossed the Atlantic to arrive in England. Alth0ugh a bridal show, several dozen designers featured Prom frocks that looked amazingly like what teen-age girls where in the U.S.A.
So many body-conscious fit and flare designs that hug curves. Tons of chiffon A-line Prom dresses with beaded bodices and flowing skirts. A smattering of ball gowns. But we didn't see any short Prom dresses. Apparently, British teens stick with long formal dresses for Prom.
And we didn't see anyone dedicated exclusively to plus size Prom dresses
Details that Dazzle
Aisle after aisle featured bridal accessories that would dazzle any bridal gown from an informal destination wedding dress to a formal design with a cathedral train. Here's several we spotted that popped out:
- gorgeous faux fur wraps for a touch of elegance and warmth on a wintry day - or night
- romantic lace jackets in longer lengths
- lace applique bracelets
- satin pumps in floral designs
All that fashion works up an appetite. Harrogate may be a small village but it's cuisine rivals that of any major city. We feasted on:
- Chinese cuisine in a restaurant that once housed the Royal Baths of Harrogate
- Fish and chips in a traditional British pub where dogs are welcome
- Mussels in white wine sauce served on the terrace of an Italian cafe
We can't wait to return next year to Harrogate and explore the quaint village. Maybe on that visit we will find time for a visit to the spa to try the famed baths. Hope so!