The catwalk or ‘stage’ was set at London White Gallery with a sketched backdrop (designed by Ian Stuart himself) of a grand Parisian style ballroom recreating the atmosphere of the exclusive haute couture salon shows of the 1950s. Petals floating down brought a touch of magical romance as the model brides glided down the catwalk showcasing Ian Stuart’s 2014 ‘Frill Me!’ collection.
Epitomising this glamorous 50s haute couture style was the Dioresque Petal Privee gown with its full tulle New Look style skirt and cinched in waist worn with a wide brimmed saucer shaped hat positioned jauntily over one eye. Inspired by Dior’s famous Venus evening gown (1949), Stuart’s honey coloured Petal Privee is adorned with a peplum of petal shaped layers in taffeta, embellished with metallic beaded lace and which gradual cascades down the back into one large petal.
Headpieces feature in more of Stuart’s designs presenting the graceful aura of the Royal Ascot My Fair Lady style. The cotton lace Academy creates a cool slim line silhouette adorned with an asymmetrical garland strap of ‘English’ roses continuing across the front and down the back of the gown. Another Royal Ascot style is the Vivaldi. Wide sinuous folds in Mikado fabric are layered over the gown creating a dramatic explosion of architectural tiers in the palest of powder blue, whilst the heart shaped bodice is softened with romantic ivory floral lace.
The collection also includes shorter dresses with the multi layered Tippi dress very much in the style of the longer Vivaldi. The short version of the Mocaccino brings a playful and sunny cosmopolitan look with its handmade ruffled rosettes and A line skirt, and the short Cocorico creates a sexier silhouette. Its tightly ruched folds hugs the figure whilst the embellished hem of flowers, tulle and petals kicks up teasingly as the model walks.
Displaying an abundant of frothy frills is the voluminous tulle skirted Caracasa with its helter skelter layers edged in ribbon. All emphasised with a nipped in waist and fitted heart shaped bodice in dark ivory.
The finale gown takes on a gentile romantic nature with more of a ‘Swoon Me’ than the frivolous frill. Aptly named Gainsborough, the gown is a work of art richly embellished with cascading garlands of multi flowers, beaded metallic lace and lavish pickups with a scattering of floral corsages. All in a vintage shade of rose pink.
Stuart has dedicated the collection to his mother Everdina Sophia Carolina Van Eede 1932-2013
By Karen GracePersonal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky http://www.frumpytofunky.com