‘Indian Summer’ is inspiration for latest bridal collection by London designer Shanna Melville
-Intricate ethnic hand beading, French lace and Italian printed silk organzas give this season’s dresses a delicately regal look –
Despite the season’s nip and chill, the warm temperate days of a long Indian summer have provided the inspiration for London designer Shanna Melville’s latest collection of bespoke handmade bridal dresses.
The dresses launch exclusively at her Wimbledon Village-based boutique (14 High Street, Wimbledon Village, London, SW19 5DX) this month.
The collection features intricate ethnic bead work painstakingly handcrafted over 60 hours by seasoned artisans; delicate French lace detail and swathes of opulent Italian printed silk organza – the latter of which has proven increasingly popular among brides-to-be looking to add a touch of regal elegance to their bridal couture.
Soft, floaty, romantic dresses with full chiffon skirts, muted tones of champagne and blush and daring low backs feature prominently in this collection, which gives a carefree, spirited ‘bo-ho’ chic to the final look.
Shanna Melville’s bridal couture is handmade in her workshop beneath the boutique by an expert and dedicated team of seamstresses. Due to the intricacy and complexity of some of the designs, it can take up to six months – from consultation right through to final fitting – for a wedding dress to be made.
Shanna Melville comments: “The warm hazy sun of an Indian summer might seem like a distant memory in the dead of winter but I wanted to capture the romance and playful, carefree spirit we feel when we bask in beautiful weather. There’s lots of movement in some of these designs, with luxuriously floaty fabrics giving a flattering, elegant silhouette that billows and swirls with just a sway of the hips; it’s as if the fabric takes on a life of its own.”
Shanna continues: “These dresses allow a versatile transition from day to evening, with light and incredibly feminine fabrics embellished with delicate beadwork and French lace that gives the dresses an accent of after-dark glamour – perfect for the ceremony and for partying the night through.”
Layers of beautiful light silk tulle gives this incredibly full and floaty Chloe bridal gown both movement and personality. Featuring a sweetheart neckline and a delicate French quarter lace v-neck embellished with Indian hand bead work, the overall look fuses lustrous, free-flowing fabric with intricate design that elevates ‘bo-ho chic’ to almost regal heights.
A pretty, feminine bridal gown featuring lashings of silk tulle and chiffon to give the dress lightness and movement, but with a structured hand-beaded bodice to provide comfort and support as well as cutting a trim and flattering shape.
This ‘sheath’ dress gives the wearer a tall, elegant silhouette and is designed to really celebrate the female shape. Silk crepe and layers of tulle again lends the dress a fluidity of movement. The most arresting feature of the Rose dress is its sweeping low back line framed by delicate French lace and a uniform row of silk buttons that run beyond the small of the back – all of which combine to accentuate yet flatter the curves.
A beautiful, free-flowing halter neck wedding dress made with swathes of luxurious Italian printed silk organza. Cut full circle, the Peony dress gives the wearer a tall, elegant shape. The dramatic low back line tapered off at the waist to the small of the back is finished off with a silky length of ribbon tied in a bow, to complete this simple yet stunning look.
This is an elegant, vintage-inspired art deco wedding dress cut slim to give the illusion of height. Made using soft silk satin, the Grace dress features ornate bead work around the torso, a low v-neck to flatter the décolletage, and further delicate bead work embellishments towards the hem and train.
Photography by Rohan Clinnick www.rohanclinnick.com
Styling by Bergdorf and Green www.bergdorfandgreen.com
Cakes by Cakes by Robin www.cakesbyrobin.co.uk
Flowers by Berdorfs of Copenhagen www.bergdorfs.co.uk
Make up Tiffany Cartwright www.tiffanycartwright.com
Hair by Transform Studios www.transformstudios.co.uk