Travel, fashion, and cuisine are synonymous words in my life. Every city I explore, I’m completely enraptured by the looks women choose to don. Often, there is nothing more enjoyable to me than going to a cafe, ordering a glass of wine, savouring a tasty nibble, and observing the myriad of fashion choices that walk by. I just love to take it all in. Yes, I’m one of those ones! However, bridal fashion is a bit different. It must be carefully sought out, since it’s rare to see people wearing a Jenny Peckham wedding dress for everyday wear. Hmmm, can you imagine what life would be like if our business casualwear, and activewear were replaced with tulle, satin, French lace, and bunches of peonies instead of handbags? Ostentatiously over the top right?
However entertaining the thought, the best bridal fashions in the world are often seen on the catwalks of Milan, Paris, New York, and in my case, Barcelona Bridal Week (BBW2015). Each year, BBW is attended by bridal wear connoisseurs, buyers, and critics from all over the world. This year, it was held in Barcelona’s Fira, at the Gran Via venue. Barcelona holds a high position on my list of favourite European cities. Each time I visit, I make sure to partake in my fair dose of sangria, tapas, and walks around the city to view Guadi’s lovely work (I never tire of it)! Although this trip wasn’t a proper holiday, it still felt like a nice break away from the hustle and grey skies of London.
I invited my colleague Cherelle from Perfectly Planned 4 You (a London based destination wedding company) as my plus one. I received an invitation to BBW 2015 from a potential collaborator who works for Inmaculada Garcia in Barcelona. Cherelle and I were delighted at the prospect of experiencing Inmaculada Garcia’s work in her highly sought after catwalk show, and a private reception at her boutique off Gran de Gracia. We had our daily dose of Sangria and tapas prior to the show, and headed to Fira.
The catwalk shows for the entire day featured the collections of Anna Torres, Carla Ruiz, Fuentecapala, Houghton, Jesus Peiro, Inmaculada Garcia, and many others. After the catwalk shows all end on 7 May, the exhibit hall plays host to over 200 various wedding industry vendors. A high majority of the vendors are wedding dress boutiques. If you don’t mind the crowds, Bridal Fashion Week is a great place to view and try on a vast array of designs and styles, under one roof. However, if you’re looking for a luxury experience with champagne, personal service, and all the bells and whistles, you will not find that here. However, I might be swayed to forego the luxury experience for the exposure to such a range of styles.
A very important topic to bring up, is if catwalk designs can be tailored to the real bride, and if I saw that in Inmaculada’s collection? Let’s be real here. Although the fashion industry has seen various campaigns for average and plus sized models, the catwalks still overflow with very tall and thin women. In the UK, the average bride size is a 16 (US 14, EU 44). Obviously, this is not the size of dresses we see modeled on catwalks. However, in Inmaculada’s collection I did see a lovely range of designs that brides of any shape and size could wear. Also, it’s important to note that pieces modelled on the catwalk are often going for that “wow” factor, so you’ll see more sheer areas than the actual bespoke wedding commission might have. So brides, if you see something on the catwalk that really suits you, more chances than none, it can be completely customised to your body. Have a talk with your designer, express your wishes, and trust them.