One very cold January evening, I set off for the bright lights of Oxford Street on my very first bridal mission for Juno & Joy – my destination was the flagship store of beloved High St brand Phase Eight where their new S/S 15 bridal collection was being ‘unveiled’ (get it?) to a group of very eager wedding press and bloggers.
Now I don’t know about you, but the high street wouldn’t be my first port of call when it comes to shopping for a wedding dress – I’ve had one too many bad experiences with fluorescent lighting, dusty fitting rooms and mirrors that cruelly lie to me about the size of my bum, to believe that I really could find my dream dress off the rack.
Well colour me embarrassed after walking into the bridal boudoir at Phase Eight! With its dusky pink hues, plush velvet curtains and VERY flattering lighting I felt like I’d stumbled into Marilyn Monroe’s dressing room on the set of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. There’s also a seating area big enough to accommodate the most ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ sized entourage so bringing along your mum/nan/sister/bridesmaids/second cousins to your appointment will be no problem at all!
But I hadn’t come here for the dressing room or the delicious canapés (ahem), I’d come to undertake some serious dress detective work and see if Phase Eight bridal could live up to my Jenny Packham, Reem Acra and Oscar de la Renta dress great expectations… and they didn’t disappoint!
Drawing inspiration from Valentino, Galliano and the halcyon days of old Hollywood – the S/S 15 8 Bridal collection is the epitome of feminine elegance and contemporary design. Seven new bridal styles join three signature best-selling gowns from last year to make up the 8 Bridal range; I was blown away by the intricate embellishments on the stunning Hope dress which features an achingly cool 1920’s silhouette, whilst the pretty lace and sheer detailing on the Josefina dress is perfect for a bride wanting a softer, romantic look.
But I really lost my heart to Elbertine, a confection of tulle, glittering sequins and opalescent beads so beautiful it could make a grown man cry and probably your mum and bridesmaids too.
But what about the quality I hear you ask? Well the Eight Bridal design team have used clever inner construction and luxurious fabrics to achieve the look and feel of a designer gown, but with prices starting at £250 for a 1950’s style tea dress to £750 for a full length gown with hand stitched detailing – you won’t have to sell your kidney/soul/fiancé in order to afford one.
They’ve also got your best girls covered with their lovely new season bridesmaid options that run the colour spectrum from softest ballet pink to an incredibly rich blackcurrant colour that has seriously made me re-think our summer wedding – there’s just something so opulent and alluring about an autumnal colour palette (see here & here for some inspiration c/o J&J). If you’re an accessories freak like me, then there’s some rather fabulous jewel embellished sandals, finger tip length veils and an incredible pearl capelet that I NEED to call my own.
The S/S 15 8 Bridal collection ‘promises to transform a bride into a world of romance and ethereal fantasy’, and I think it’s safe to say that it will do just that…
P.S. As if that wasn’t enough, just think of the shoes you’ll be able to afford now that you’ve not spent a fortune on your dress #IDoInChoos