Charlotte Balbier is a leading British designer who recently celebrated her 10th anniversary. Her collections embody style, grace and femininity. Intricate embroidery, beadwork and flowing impeccable cuts offer the brides glamour and escapism or as Charlotte describes “A real dream of a dress”. What I love about Charlotte is how in touch she is with all her brides. She listens to them and their stories and it’s so refreshing to see her designs evolve from this.
Charlotte also happened to have got married herself recently and I was thrilled to be involved in her incredibly glamorous wedding day as her wedding co-ordinator. It was wow, and then some! She’s a lady with style, personality and for me a real inspiration as a business woman. I’m so thrilled to share with you her ‘Designer Style’ where she’s picked two dresses from her collection and how she’d choose to style them. So if there are any potential ‘Balbier Brides’ out there I hope this helps!
‘NORA’ THE DRESS…
The gorgeous ‘Nora’ gown is short and sweet in name and nature. Nora is the perfect mix of paired down vintage with it’s simple yet stunning French lace and minimal beading that creates a clean and stylish look. Combined with this is a nod to the 1950’s with it’s design, shape and cut that is glamorous and fun. The ¾ sleeve and skirt keeps this gown young, fresh and playful.
What I love about ‘Nora’ and all short gowns is you can wear amazing shoes and really show them off and as a self confessed shoe addict every collection I do I always have some cute shorties so I can have fun styling them with divine shoes.
A fun idea for your wedding with this gown is to have a day to night style, this can be done simply by a change of accessories and make up. For the day with this gown I would go all Ivory with just a little accent of colour. I adore Freya Rose shoes (I even had a pair for my own wedding!) the ‘Jane’ with the bow toe clip would look so adorable with the Nora. Team these with a short 50’s style veil - Rainbow do a fabulous and large selection and can also make bespoke, this is a popular choice for many of my brides. Keep your accessories to a minimum but a clutch bag is essential, my top pick is this lovely vintage inspired pearl clutch from Vintage Styler.
Add a pop of colour with Ruby Red such as Rouge Rubis (677) for your nails and Passion for the lips – definitely beauty essentials. A dash of your favourite scent, my choice would be the ultimate classic as worn my the original 1950’s Hollywood siren Marilyn Monroe Chanel No 5.
Satin Trim Veil via David’s Bridal / Chanel No 5 Perfume by Annabella Charles Photography via Style Me Pretty / The Nora Dress by Charlotte Balbier / Red Lips via Charlotte Balbier / Vintage Inspired Pearl Clutch from Vintage Styler / Red Nails by Janel KG Photography via Bridal Musings / Pearl Heel ‘Jane’ Shoes by Freya Rose
‘MARY’ THE DRESS…
A soft flowing chiffon gown that is feminine and glamorous with a 1930’s influence drawing on the Great Gatsby and a bygone era. The cap sleeve detail is so soft and perfect for any bride who wants to add a cap sleeve to her bridal style. The art deco inspired brooch detail ad’s just a little sparkle and hint of Hollywood glamour and grace.
My love for art deco and the 1930’s is always evident in my designs and the ‘Mary’ captures this perfectly. The simply sublime collection from Debbie Carlisle’s ‘Deco’ collection has several pieces I adore, my favourite being the ‘Lottie’ style this with the ever so gorgeous Rachel Simpson ‘Mimosa’ shoes to complete your old 1930’s styled bridal outfit.
A little touch of sparkle with some original vintage earrings, I am lusting after these stunning earrings from Dando and Bennett and of course complete your look with a clutch, this one is the perfect art deco touch. My fragrance of choice for a vintage loving bride is the classic and heavenly Miss Dior add a deep pink plum shade to lips and nails with a berry hued bouquet!
The Mary Dress by Charlotte Balbier / YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Prune in Fire / ‘Lottie’ Deco Hairband by Debbie Carlisle / Rachel Simpson ‘Mimosa’ Shoes image by Emma Case via Brides up North / Berry Pink Bouquet image by Imaginale Design via Burnetts Boards
London Bride Q&A with bridal designer Charlotte Balbier…
Q: What do you love about working with brides? Every bride is so different and I love getting to know them and hearing all about their exciting wedding plans. Being part of one of the most important and special days of a persons life is a privilege and an absolute pleasure. I love how brides bring out their style and personality with the styling of both their gown and wedding, I have such stylish and creative brides.
Q: You run the business with your Mother, Amanda Wyatt who also has a bridal line, how has she influenced you? My Mum has been a huge inspiration to me not to mention an amazing mentor. When I started just over 10 years ago although I had been brought up in the bridal trade I still had allot to learn and especially when you have your own brand. My Mum gave me guidance, support and shared her wealth of knowledge and experience with me…. not to mention been a great shoulder to lean on when I have needed some help or just a hug.
Q: If you could design a Charlotte Balbier design for anyone, who would it be? I adore Zooey Deschanel she’s so gorgeous and I love her style. Zooey has her own style and is so feminine and girly just like a Charlotte Balbier bride. I love the way she rocks bows, floral accents, cool funky tights and feminine little dresses with cute shoes and makes it all look so effortless and stylish. Zooey would be the perfect Charlotte Balbier celeb bride.
Q: What’s your creative process, how do you find inspiration? Inspiration really comes from everywhere and anywhere as I am always feeling and finding inspiration. My biggest inspiration is my brides as they mean everything to me and each and every one of them is so unique and their wedding and style provide me with the love and inspiration to keep evolving and growing the brand year on year. I also keep a very close (maybe too close as I spend a fortune) on high fashion and what is on the catwalk, I love so many top end designers and love to see their shows and also celebs wearing their designs of the Red carpet.
Q: Who are your personal style icons? Love Kate Moss, she just gets it right every time and she’s sexy, confident and super stylish with her fashion and look. Adore Zooey Deschanel and seriously want to have her entire wardrobe! For Red carpet style it has to be Michelle Williams, Michelle’s Red carpet look is always to die for. Another lady who always get’s it so right is Florence Welch, she push’s the boundaries with her fashion choices and always stay true to her style, she’s an inspiration. I also love style icons from a bygone era, Marilyn Monroe is my all time favourite Hollywood starlet, she was the ultimate pin up. I also love Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O as they were always so polished and stylish.
Q: When you’re not busy with the business, how do you enjoy spending your time? My ‘me’ time is regular spa treatments at my local Clarins spa where I have a massage and facial, this is utter bliss and time for me to zone out and un-wind. I also make sure I get out in the fresh air and into the lovely Cheshire countryside where I live and take in the rural surroundings with my beautiful chocolate Labrador, Buster Bear. For fun and to let my hair down it’s got to be going out with friends and my husband Teddy for a few drinks and a lovely dinner somewhere fabulous. I also love to travel and when possible jet off to Ibiza for some sunshine or NYC for a city break and of course some shopping!
Bows, NYC, Zooey Deschanel? Charlotte is a girl after my own heart, and you can see more of her beautiful designs over on her website and for stockists visit here [for those in London you can try Angelica Bridal.