Sunday, 3 July 2011

White Gallery London

White Gallery London is Firmly Positioned on the International Bridal Buying Calendar

White Gallery London held at Battersea Evolution 22-24 May played host to the most influential event in bridal design for 2011. Visitors travelled from around the globe to take a look at what 2012 sposa has to offer.

Showcasing 44 highly respected international bridal design houses this years roster included Alan Hannah, Anoushka G, Claire Pettibone, Cymbeline, Johanna Hehir, Nicki Macfarlane, MKarin, Matthew Williamson, Sassi Holford and Sharon Bowen to name a few. Buyers travelled from some of the worlds most elite bridal boutiques from as far a field as Asia, USA, Middle East and Europe.

Irish bridal boutique owner Ann Gilvary of Aibeil says “I came to White Gallery London with my colleague to look at all the designers in one place. It makes it very easy for us to visit a dedicated show for our buying, as it can be difficult to get to each individual designer and this way we really get a sense of what is out there today in premium bridalwear. Ian Stuart's catwalk show and Matthew Williamson’s show were divine. The layout is also fantastic and the fair really has a calm energy about it, making it easy to get around.” Martin Sherford of Sassi Holford, states “White Gallery London truly is a platform for designers in the bridal industry to have the spotlight put on them and is helping the bridal trade industry thrive on both a national and international scale. The layout and space is exclusive, and it is a premium exhibition that we are proud to be associated with. We will to continue to build on our presence at the show in the coming years. There were a significant number of international buyers from Italy, Holland and Norway, and some top end bridal boutiques which make this an incredibly worthwhile experience. Press interest has been brilliant, with Conde Nast publications from Paris and Milan, and of course the UK titles, making this event very well publicised on an international stage.”

Peta Hunt, Fashion Editor, of You and Your Wedding comments “I loved seeing all of the British designers here. The space is really nice and open with a light atmosphere. It is a joy to see the modern and bright collections and I especially loved the collective catwalk shows. Can’t wait for the next show!”

Exhibitors have commented on the high level of retailers at White Gallery London, taking orders from both UK and International bridal boutiques. Alison Meir, UK representative of Stephanie Browne Australia states “In terms of logistics, the show worked brilliantly. We saw new buyers from Sweden, Switzerland and returning client’s from Dubai and Israel. The presence of key bridal press including Brides, Wedding, Confeti, Martha Stewart, Collezioni Sposa and Bridal Buyer really helped in pushing White Gallery London out there as a destination premium bridal trade fair, which has emerged as the bridal fair in the UK.”

Leading UK bridal designers including Alan Hannah, Amanda Wakeley, David Fielden, Ian Stuart, Matthew Williamson, Stephanie Allin and Sassi Holford say that White Gallery London provides them with a platform to meet top end UK and International buyers and press to showcase their forthcoming collections in the perfect environment.

Jelena Govorusa of Amanda Wakeley states, “The show has been extremely busy! We have seen buyers from Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Singapore and the USA and have opened lovely new accounts. The new venue is fabulous, chic and stylish.”

Ian Stuart comments, “The White Gallery London venue is elegant, easy, cool and chic. We were able to offer our customers and elegant environment in which to buy their collections. White Gallery London is definitely a show to watch!”

Designers crossed the globe to exhibit their new collections at the exclusive show, proving the internationality that the event holds. Flying the flag for France were returning exhibitors Cymbeline and Ugo Zaldi. Laure Gabison, Director, Ugo Zaldi comments “The show has been great! We have opened new accounts and had lots of press interest. White Gallery is very important for building our relationship with UK and Irish customers”.

Travelling from Spain, Yolan Cris presented the ultimate bohemian chic collection, adding a whole new dimension to bridal. Other Spaniards on the list included second time exhibitors Pepe Botella and Jesus Peiro; Christine Marechint from Jesus Peiro commented “The show has been very busy and extremely productive. We have seen lots of serious international buyers and are thrilled with the results.”

From Canada, Michael Perry of Lea-Ann Belter comments “The aim for me is to be able to show my collection in the same room as all my peers, and White Gallery London gives me that opportunity. It is great to be a part of such a dedicated premium show, and buyers seem to come here knowing what they want and what to expect, which has a really positive effect for us as exhibitors.”

Designers from the Far East included Olivia Couture and Lusan Mandongus. Candy Kong, UK representative of hit label Lusan Mandongus said of the show “This year has been great. Buyers are taking the time to stop and look through collections and place orders in their own time. We have seen both international and UK buyers, along with new customers from France, Switzerland and Italy.”

White Gallery London also showcased a selection of bridal accessories including both UK and International companies including Babe, Halo & Co, Ivory & Co, Stephanie Browne Australia, Polly Edwards, Harriet Wilde and Vivien Sheriff to name a few. Vivien Sheriff talks of her success at the show, “This year has been fantastic for us, even better than last year. The quality of buyers has been excellent and we have opened a number of new international accounts including Russia, Norway, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Canada.”

The main attraction of White Gallery London 2011 were the spectacular Fashion Shows sponsored by Condé Nast Brides. The acclaimed Michel Van Clarke team provided stunning catwalk hair styling and beautiful make-up came from the renowned team at Benefit.

Bryony Toogood, Fashion Editor of Conde Nast Brides, “White Gallery is a very professional. Slick, classy, high end with a real sense of energy, a great buzz and atmosphere – it’s what London has been waiting for.”

Across the first two days of the show Alan Hannah, Ian Stuart, Matthew Williamson, Stephanie Allin and Stewart Parvin held own name catwalk shows.

Couturier to the Queen, Stewart Parvin, previewed a wide selection of highly covetable gowns, and was the first of 19 designers to grace the catwalk. Stewart Parvin notes “The catwalk show gave a spectacular impact on a world class stage. The exhibition space is light and airy with a really positive buzz and it is fantastic to be surrounded by international brands and to welcome international buyers.”

Blue Bridalwear, Hollywood Dreams, Johanna Hehir, Lea-Ann Belter, Lusan Mandongus, MKarin, Sharon Bowen, Yolan Cris made up the Designers Preview catwalk. Leading names on the New Talents catwalk included Elizabeth Stuart, Sarah Janks, Sanyukta Shrestha, Terry Fox, The Vintage Wedding Dressing Company and Tobi Hannah.

Taking place at Battersea Evolution, the third edition of White Gallery London will open its doors next year 20-22 May 2012 at Battersea Evolution.

Matthew Williamson
Matthew Williamson’s highly anticipated bridal collection made an elegant arrival on the catwalk at White Gallery London before an eager audience of leading press and buyers. Signature styles from the designer’s ready-to-wear collection are a distinct influence and have been reworked and translated into stunning bridal gowns. Long short corset column gowns give a lean yet structured silhouette, softened with an artfully overlay of soft ivory tulle. Hand sewn ivory feathers across the tulle created an enhancing ethereal effect. Buttermilk silk satin printed with a burn out technique of a hand painted abstract winter wonderland design provides a modern, softly textured fabric draped into a classical strapless gown. Jewel embedded mink and rabbit fur cropped shrugs completes the luxurious look. The collection captures the essence of the brand and all its signature elements demonstrating a feeling of luxury and opulence. 

Yolan Cris

Hot Spanish designer Yolan Cris presented an array of stunning bridal gowns and accessories at White Gallery London 22-24 May 2011. This season’s collection is inspired by the hippie-bohemian movement that emerged in New York in the early 1970’s. The post Woodstock years were highly influential to fashion, and the 70’s became a decade that coined timeless style and consequently enthusing Yolan Cris to create the latest collection in homage to this era. Audiences saw luxe materials including macramé crochet, crochet and organza pleats creating a fresh and innovative approach. Tribal and ethnic accents add a unique dimension to this collection. Accessorize dresses with hippy-esque headwear including ivory and white coloured headbands along with a selection of beautiful hats. Tassel and net detailing featured heavily and looks were completed with crochet bags.

Ian Stuart
Ian Stuart’s show-stopping 2012 ‘Killer Queen’ collection hit the runway in full drama at White Gallery London. His signature full skirted dresses with sculpted bodices made a strong appearance through to more figure hugging fishtail designs with larger-than-life embellishments, adding to the theatrical feel. A sense of rock chic rebellion came through Ian Stuart’s aptly named ‘Rockstar’ and ‘Rockafella’ designs, juxtaposing the elegant, romantic dresses with their cascades of pleated taffeta and classic French lace detailing.

Stewart Parvin
Royal couturier Stewart Parvin opened the White Gallery London catwalk with a breathtakingly beautiful show set to the sweet sounds of Sade. The collection encapsulated elegant femininity through a selection of covetable dresses buttoned to the seam, accentuating the silhouettes. Shift suit combinations gave structure producing a look that was both chic and sleek. Pretty diamante embellishments added subtle touches of glamour to each garment. Exquisite corsages adorned wrists as elegant statement pieces, creating a perfectly romantic look in rose, pink and dark chocolate brown with emerald green silk ribbon trimming.

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