Featured Editors

Exclusive Interview with Bridal Designer – Charlotte Balbier

November 17, 2014
Charlotte Balbier

Following the wonderful wedding dress advice that British designer, Charlotte Balbier, gave us for our wedding dress advice guide  We caught up with Charlotte to learn a little more about her, her new collection and her own personal style.

Charlott Balbier

Charlotte Balbier

 You come from a family of designers, with both your  grandparents and mother being designers, How do you think they have influenced your designs?

My grandparents were in the bridal industry and My Mum is award winning bridal designer Amanda Wyatt who is celebrating 20 years at the forefront of British bridal with her own brand Amanda Wyatt.  I was born into a bridal dynasty so to speak!  My grandparents had several bridal boutiques across the U.K and a manufacturing business that supplied independent boutiques both in the U.K and Internationally.  Bridal has been a family business and it still is, even my grandfather still works in the business.  I’d say that I’ve tried my best to have a different look from my mother and grandparents because I wanted to put my own stamp on things!  But what I have been influenced by is their tremendous dedication to their businesses and hard-work ethic.  We’re a family who work hard to achieve our goals.

Where do you start with a new design?

Every dress starts with an inspiration and I’ll explain further on this below!  I’ll always carry a notebook in my handbag to write down any ideas that come to me.  I will sit down and sketch dress ideas before a collection and source fabrics from trade shows.  I’ll then configure the best way to work with our crafted artisans to create our beautiful Charlotte Balbier gowns!

If you If you hadn’t become a bridal designer, what career do you think you would have liked?

I am an absolute dog lover.  My lovely dog Buster is a very loved and spoiled dog.  So it’s more than likely I’d have been involved with dogs somehow so perhaps a vet!

Who are your fashion heroes or inspirations?

I adore Elie Sabb, his Red carpet gowns are simply out of this world. Valentino is my all time favourite and I have huge respect and admiration for Jenny Packham and Vivien Westwood, very different designers but love them both.

How would you describe your own style?

I’m a smart dresser for sure and I love a bit of colour!  I like to invest in classic items and I’m a massive fan of Temperley and Jenny Packham.  I also love to add that little bit extra to an outfit so you’ll often find me wearing something sequin within an outfit or wearing a big statement piece of jewellery.

Do you have a favourite or special accessory?

I love my Chanel handbag I bought years ago.  It’s a classic leather padded black one.  It’s an absolute coveted item that lifts the aesthetic of any outfit your wearing!

What would be your perfect outgoing outfit?

I love a good pair of shoes.  If you follow the Balbier Brides Instagram you’ll often find me taking photographs of my footwear on a night out.  I love wearing smart jackets and tight jeans.  At the moment I am a big fan of everything in Ted Baker!  They’ve got some amazing things in at the moment!

You must attend a lot of weddings, do you have any advice for wedding guests to help make the day perfect?

After planning my last wedding.  My one piece of advice if you have the budget is to hire a wedding planner.  I hired Charley Beard from The London Bride who writes a big bridal blog!  She was super helpful and gave me a number of unheard tips to make it into a fabulous day!

What is the best aspect of a wedding for you?

It has to be the wedding vowels.  No matter how big, small or fancy your wedding is going to be!  It’s what you and your new husband to be have to say to each other that counts!  What myself and Teddy said to each other in front of the whole church was the most meaningful part of my wedding day!  I’m a true romantic!

What can you not leave the house without?

I’ve just treated myself to a lovely new Mercedes Black car.  So for the moment, I’d have to say I hate walking anywhere and leaving without it

A massive thanks to Charlotte for chatting with us and she has even shared some images of her lovely new collection with us:

 

Big Nights

Big nights: Best five bars for a couple’s night in London

November 12, 2014
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Whether it’s a hot first date, or an anniversary night with a loved one, a stylish bar in London is the perfect spot for clinking cocktail glasses, flirting, and enjoying sophisticated chatter. If you’re looking for a pre-dinner drink or a late nightcap, then you can’t beat these five chic London bars for ambience and style.

Kettner’s – Soho

With a decadent 1920s style, Kettner’s bar is bathed in the soft glow of Tiffany lamps and tall candlesticks at night, creating the perfect playful, flirty atmosphere. The cocktail menu is inspired by the bar’s scandalous past, with plenty of gin, and cocktails dedicated to its famous patrons.

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Bridal Style

Bridal Advice: How to choose a clutch bag to match your dress

November 10, 2014

A clutch bag is probably one of the last things a bride thinks about when shopping for the perfect bridal look. An accessory which you normally wouldn’t leave the house without, a bag can be so useful for the big day too, especially if you are not staying over at your venue. A bridal bag can hold your make up and all those little extras you might need on the day, from plasters to painkillers.

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Cocktail recipes

Recipes: Mai Tai Magic – A classic 1950s cocktail recipe

November 7, 2014
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Cocktails are all the rage, and Mai Tai’s are one of the most popular. The drink has even starred in a film – Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii. Mai Tai’s are the perfect accompaniment for a night where you’re going for a vintage and retro style from the 1950′s and 1960′s.

The story of the Mai Tai

However, the origins of the Mai Tai go back even further. The most popular tale is that it was invented at Trade Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. The year was 1944 and the bar’s owner, Victor J Bergeron, had some friends over from Tahiti.

He made a drink for them based on rum, curacao, orange syrup and lime juice. When his friend Carrie Guild tasted it, she said “Maita’i roa ae!’ (The best!). Convinced by this, Trader Vic began selling Mai Tai’s with his special recipe.

His claim to creating Mai Tai’s did not go unrecognised. A rival bar – Don the Beachcomber – claimed it had developed Mai Tai’s in 1933.

Take your pick as to which you prefer, as the two recipes have different tastes, and Trader Vic’s recipe is much simpler. Over the years, many variations on the Mai Tai cocktail have been created but the most popular is still very similar to that of Trader Vic.

So how do you make a Mai Tai?

For a start, take a tumbler and have plenty of ice at hand.

The most popular version of the Mai Tai cocktail recipe involves:

  • 4 cl white rum
  • 2 cl dark rum
  • 1.5 cl orange curacao
  • 1.5 cl Orgeat syrup
  • 1 cl fresh lime juice

Put everything except the dark rum into a mixer with some ice. Shake together. Then strain the cocktail into a glass and add the dark rum so that it floats on top. Garnish the cocktail with lime halves, edible flowers or paper umbrellas. Serve with a straw.

Give it a fun appearance; after all this is relaxing Hawaiian drink.

When to enjoy the Mai Tai

This is a great drink to enjoy when dressed up vintage style and wanting to create the fun atmosphere of the 1950′s or early 1960′s. If you fancy hosting a cocktail party of your own, now you can impress your friends with your background knowledge.

Big Nights

Big nights: the top 10 bars for couples in Liverpool

November 5, 2014
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Liverpool’s nightlife has transformed since the city’s hosting of European Capital of Culture in 2008, with more exclusive places to eat and drink than ever before. We take a look at the ten best bars in Liverpool where couples can enjoy a quiet evening in a trendy setting.

Alma de Cuba, St Peter’s Church, Seel Street

Award-winning restaurant and bar set inside a converted church. An eclectic mix of Cuban and Hispanic and provide a vibrant Latin American atmosphere and you can sample a range of delightful South American and Caribbean inspired cocktails.

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Bridal Style

Bridal Advice: How to wear a side tiara with style

November 3, 2014
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Side tiaras are one of the most stunning hair adornments you can wear on your wedding day. Classy, elegant and glamorous, side tiaras suit every style of dress. Whether you want a fairytale wedding with sweeping skirts or prefer a more sleek style; side tiaras add that extra touch. Even the range of styles is outstanding – brides are spoilt for choice with beads, lacework, sparkling crystals, pearls and vintage style designs available. It is no surprise that side tiaras have become a favourite accessory of many wedding dress designers.

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Cocktail recipes

The tale of the classic White Russian

November 1, 2014
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It’s not just a staple from Dude in The Big Lebowski; the White Russian, with its silky taste of coffee liqueur, can be the perfect after-dinner tipple or an indulgent aperitif. It made its debut as the chilled-out sibling of the Black Russian in the late 1940s, a clear vodka mixed with coffee liqueur in a 3:1 ratio. The Black Russian quickly rose in popularity due to its strength, taste and ease to make.

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Infographics, Vintage Fashion

Witch Era Would Be You?

October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

The Witching Hour is upon us, and to celebrate we’ve given these little witches a Vintage Styler makeover! Inspired by era’s gone-by, our Halloween witches have been transformed from roaring twenties, through wartime to modern day. Witch one are you?!

witchareyou2

 

Thank you to the talented Ste Illustrates for creating our VS witches! Share this using the links below!

Big Nights

Big Nights: the top 10 bars for couples in Manchester

October 31, 2014

In recent years, Manchester’s bar scene has undergone something of a renaissance and is now second to none. If you’re planning a night out for just the two of you, here are ten of the best.

Alchemist

Spinningfields is home to Alchemist, for many, Manchester’s finest cocktail bar. The bar’s chic interior is offset with a décor featuring skulls and the kind of quirky accoutrements that you might expect to find in the laboratory of, well, an alchemist. Part of the enjoyment of a cocktail here is the theatre of watching it being made; molecular mixologists use lab equipment such as flasks and Bunsen burners.

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Bridal Style

Bridal advice: Wedding food choices – top 15 venues ranked by food rating

October 30, 2014
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Here is a list of 15 of the best wedding venues that we have found ranked by their food rating. These classy wedding locations ensure that on your big day you are guaranteed a delicious meal that everyone will enjoy.

1. The Green House 

Described by visitors as a ‘stunning eco-chic building’, this is the ideal venue for couples who believe in keeping it green.

Location: 4 Grove Road, Bournemouth, BH1 3AX (01202 498900)

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