Self-Portrait has launched a bridal collection that is beautiful AND affordable 

Calling all brides who don’t want to blow their entire wedding budget on the dress: the quirky, cool, ready-to-wear brand Self-Portrait is launching a bridal range, and the dresses are as glorious as you’d imagine, for a fraction of the price a designer dress would usually cost.

 


Founder Han Chong, who studied fashion design at Central Saint Martins started the business in 2013, said he was inspired by the style of the 1960s and 1970s, and in particular fashion rule-breakers like Bianca Jagger and Pattie Boyd.

 

Looking to appeal to the ‘untraditional bride’, the six dresses on offer fuse modern shapes with vintage details, and range from high-necked column gowns to off-the-shoulder, chiffon, ankle-skimming dresses.


Chong is also determined that the wearers of his designs won’t relegate his dresses to a box in the attic; the gowns have been made to be worn for years to come, wedding or not.

‘Women spend so much money on a dress they’ll wear once, I wanted to create a dress they can wear again and again and again,’ Chong told The Telegraph.

The brand, which are so popular Selfridges sells one of their dresses every six minutes, will be launching both in the Oxford Street department store, and also on Net A Porter and the Self-Portrait website, with the bridal collection launching in February and prices varying from £650 to £1000

The great thing about these timeless dresses, though, is that wedding or not, you really could wear them again and again.

@marieclaireuk.

 

 

Siobhán x

Focus on Fashion – The Voice Ireland

Ingrid Hoey did a great job styling the girls on The Voice. It’s so refreshing to see Irish Designers getting a chance to showcase their talent rather than using high street brands.

The lovely Kathryn is wearing a dress by Umit Kutluk, shoes are from Office and her jewellery is by the Bláithín Ennis.

Umit Kutluk was born in Turkey. He completed a degree in Textile Engineering and worked across many disciplines in the Turkish fashion industry – textiles, manufacturing, sales & distribution – before moving to Dublin in 2007. Following further study he graduated with honours in fashion design from the Grafton Academy, Dublin in 2011. In the same year he won the Alfa Romeo DIT Young Designer of the Year Award and the overall prize in the Gillette Venus Fashion Design Awards to name a few. Kutluk developed his brand Umit Kutluk in 2011. A year later he opened his salon in the relaxed grandeur of a magnificent Georgian building at 27 Merrion Square. Here, using distinctive cutting techniques and exquisite fabrics that are mixed and embellished with remarkable attention to detail, he produces stunning seasonal Ready To Wear, Haute Couture and Wedding Collections. His creativity and sense of elegance marks him out as one of Ireland’s leading fashion designers.

Bláithín prides herself on her ability to source, manipulate and combine unusual materials from around the world to produce wearable, special and striking pieces. The Bláithín Ennis label is affordable and beautifully designed, incorporating simple, craft driven techniques. She is based from her studio in the South east of Ireland where each piece is designed and made by hand.

Shop dress from Umit Kutluk here 

Shop shoes from Office here 

Shop jewellery from Blaithin Ennis here

Una is wearing a dress by Lya Solis, shoes are from Office and jewellery is from Loulerie.

Loulerie was opened in 2007 by Louise Stokes on her return from New York working in Fine Jewellery. Since then Loulerie has become a destination store for exclusive brands and a much admired edit of the key jewellery designers from around the world. Brand new collections are added each season from Louise’s travels to NY, London, Paris and Copenhagen.  Launched this season is Louise’s very own Loulerie collection and bespoke custom made service.

Shop Lya Solis here 

Shop shoes here 

Shop Jewellery here 

Rachel is wearing Umit Kutluk, shoes are from Buffalo and jewellery is from Loulerie.

Shop Umit Kutluk here for haute couture 

Shop Umit Kutluk  ready to wear from Arnotts

Shop shoes here 

Shop jewellery here 

Siobhán xx

Photos: Courtesy of © Ingrid Hoey

Focus on Fashion – A spring look with Isabel Marrant, Givenchy and Bionda Castanna

Isabel Marant’s fuzzy jacket is cut from sumptuous wool-blend bouclé that is woven with a touch of mohair for added softness. The frayed edges are in line with the label’s insouciant ethos. Wear it cinched at the waist with the accompanying black leather belt.

Shop Jacket here

Pleated skirt in blush silk-chiffon by Givenchy.

Shop Skirt here

Bionda Castana’s ‘Albina’ pumps will add a feminine, modern touch to your office repertoire. This leather pair has intricate laser cutouts lined with sheer mesh and softly scalloped edges. The mid-heel is ideal for around-the-clock wear. Team it with a classic blouse and cropped pants.

Shop shoes here

Siobhan xxi

Focus on Fashion – a bold statement for a 70’s inspired look

Monochrome stripes give Riccardo Tisci’s Spring ’15 collection for Givenchy a graphic feel. This gauzy silk-chiffon blouse is lightly crinkled for a tactile finish. Internal grosgrain trims ensure the cuffs have a fluid drape, and the extra-long pussy-bow ties can be tied or left loose.
Givenchy’s black cotton-blend skinny pants are precision cut to sit high on your waist. Made in France, this pair is blended with stretch for a sleek yet flexible feel. Echo the Spring ’15 runway styling and wear yours with monochrome separates.

Givenchy  Blouse shop here 
Givenchy skinny pants shop here 

Shop shoes here 

Siobhán xx

Focus on Fashion – Beyoncé in Saint Laurent @ Coachella

Coachella is key barometer of the trends for the festival season ahead and Beyonce didn’t let us down as she stepped out in style in Saint Laurent. Think suede, fringing, fluid silhouettes and bohemian print florals.

The dress Beyonce wore is no longer available but a shorter version is still on sale.

click on photo to shop dress
Saint Laurent’s SS15 show paid tribute to the evocative folk-rock spirit of the 1970s. This lightweight silk-crepe dress is a feminine way into the trend, with a multicoloured floral print and tasselled self-tie neckline. Stay true to the era with a tan shoulder bag and suede boots.
The secret to this season’s 1970s revival? Artful layering. Master it with Saint Laurent’s luxurious fringed gilet. Made from butter-soft tan suede, this vintage-inspired piece is the perfect topper to gauzy peasant dresses and gladiator flats.

Shop gilet here

Shop dress here

Hope you enjoy the season ahead.

Siobhán x

Focus on Fashion – The voice Ireland

Ingrid Hoey again did a great job on the styling on The Voice.

Una’s stunning dress is by Irish Couture designer Umit Kutluk. Shoes are from Loubutin and jewellery is from Loulerie

Shop Umit Kutiuk here and from Arnotts here

Shop Shoes here

Shop jewellery here

Rachel is wearing: dress from Self- Portrait from BT2 Inspired to create collections that are special yet accessible, Malaysian-born designer – and alumnus of Central Saint Martins – Han Chong founded Self-Portrait. We think the brand’s fresh, feminine dresses and jumpsuits are perfect for wedding receptions, parties and events. shoes Buffalo Jewellery Loulerie

 Pre order  dress here from Self -Portrait

Shop shoes here

Shop jewellery here

House of Dagmar is a Swedish fashion company. Since the label Dagmar was launched in the Spring of 2005, it’s unconventional and sophisticated style has been widely recognised by the fashion industry as well as the press throughout Europe, United States and Asia and have received several prestigious awards. The company is ran jointly by the three sisters Karin Söderlind, Kristina Tjäder and Sofia Wallenstam – all with notable backgrounds within Swedish and international fashion industry.

Shop dress from Arnotts here 

Shop office shoes here

Shop jewellery – Stella & Dot here , Loulerie here

Siobhán xx

Photos: Courtesy of © Ingrid Hoey

Focus on Fashion – The perfect accessory for S/S15 the camera bag!

A key print for Resort ’15, Valentino’s psychedelic stripes are inspired by the house’s 1973 runway collection. This ‘Rockstud’ shoulder bag boasts the label’s signature hand-applied pale-gold pyramid studs and is ideal for carrying your camera, or just the essentials.

Shop Valentino Rockstud bag here

Updated in red for spring, Gucci’s ‘Soho’ shoulder bag will make a bold yet timeless addition to your wardrobe. Crafted in Italy, this soft textured-leather style is lined in canvas. We love the heritage details, including the gold chain strap, embossed interlocking logo and chunky tassel.

Shop Gucci bag here

Marc by Marc Jacobs’ compact ‘Sally’ shoulder bag is patterned with a vibrant floral print. This faux textured-leather design has a secure zip fastening and a handy front pocket for storing your cell. Adjust the strap to carry yours cross-body. £175

Shop Marc by Marc Jacobs bag here

Detailed with Saint Laurent’s iconic gold lettering, this ‘Monogramme’ shoulder bag will hold your cell, keys and lipstick. Though petite in size, this style has integrated card slots, meaning you don’t have to carry a wallet. Wear it over the shoulder or cross-body.

Shop YSL bag here

Siobhán xx

Focus on Fashion – black & white with Victoria Beckham

“I wanted it to be neat, long, and lean,” said Victoria Beckham of her Spring ’15 collection.

Worn on the runway, this striped midi skirt is expertly crafted in Italy from a weighty stretch-knit and has a fluted hem that flatters and balances your frame. Wear it with a sweater and sandals, as styled for the show.

Buy Victoria Beckham skirt here

Victoria Beckham’s midi dress is made from a stretchy ribbed knitted fabric that sits close to the body without clinging. The flattering fluted hem is emphasized with a white stripe. Recreate the runway styling with the brand’s point-toe flats.

Shop  dress here

Beyoncé looking beautiful in VBBe

Victoria Beckham’s stretch cotton-blend dress is the most elegant way to work this season’s pristine white trend. The cowl neck and half sleeves are flattering no matter what your figure, and the detachable nude leather belt creates definition at your waist. We think this piece looks chicest with minimal accessories.

Shop White dress here

Victoria Beckham is known for her use of quality fabrics and impeccable tailoring. Crafted from stretch-jersey, this black V-neck dress has a draped front and detachable leather belt to cinch the waist. Wear yours with a clutch and pumps for evening plans.

Siobhán xx

Focus on Fashion – a white bag perfect for Summer – spree or steal Primark Vs. Florian London

Handbag & glasses from Primark

Florian London is a lifestyle brand defined by British sophistication class and elegance.

Their  collection combines understated palettes and strong feminine silhouettes, elegantly infusing luxury into everyday functionality.

In 2014 they won the Independent Handbag Designer Award Winner in the category ‘Best in Overall Style and Design’.

Their handbags are made from the finest leathers whilst combining great craftsmanship with a focus on our design philosophy which is timeless elegance, sophistication with a mix of British Heritage.

Ladylike elegance is easy to master with the award Winning Vienna Tote. Crafted in luxurious calfskin, the Vienna is sleek, streamlined and perfectly structured. This minimized take on a style marvel is sure to infuse a parade of poise on your everyday ensembles. Carry it by the top handle for an elegant take, adding the shoulder strap when travelling through the city.

For the ladies that like their bags personalised you can add you initials etc to the bag! How perfect is that.

Shop the bag here

Focus on Fashion – black & white 

Drawing on her menswear design background, London-based Nick Wakeman’s Studio Nicholson collection is defined by clean lines and a pared-back aesthetic. Cut to flatter the female silhouette, the label’s key pieces include elegant silk blouses, crisp pleated skirts and expertly tailored culottes.

Studio Nicholson’s white ‘Toshima’ top is perfect for staying comfortable yet chic in the summer heat. Crafted from crisp cotton-poplin, it has a tie-fastening sash to cinch your waist. Wear yours with cropped pants and sandals.

Shop top here 

Australian stylist Ryan Lobo and former Design Director at Derek Lam Ramon Martin were friends for 15 years before deciding to launch Tome for Fall ’13. The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund-nominated duo’s feminine yet powerful collections mix soft pastels with strong shapes and intriguing texture combinations – the result is pieces every woman wants to wear.

Crafted from crisp cotton-sateen, TOME’s culottes are pleated to create the illusion of a narrower waist – the high-rise shape emphasizes the effect. Wear yours with elegant sandals to offset the ankle-skimming length.

Shop culottes here

Comme des Garçons’ black leather pouch is sleek and compact. Crafted in Spain, it’s the perfect size to store your keys, cards and cell – slip it into your favourite tote or carry as a clutch for evening.

Shop bag here

Balenciaga’s black and dove-gray leather mules have been crafted in Italy. This pair has a slim ankle strap that is both supportive and flattering. Wear them with everything from an LBD to tailored pants.

Shop shoes here

Siobhán xx