Saturday, 4 February 2012

Spotlight On...Lottie Emile

This weekend we're shedding light on another hidden gem, bridal designer Lottie Emile...

A graduate of the Wimbledon School of Art, Charlotte has worked with some of the most prominent names in the bridal industry, including Jenny Packham, Marchesa (the holy grail!) and Terry Fox as well as the vintage lovelies Belle & Bunty...

"I studied Costume and History of Fashion at University, so I have quite a knowledge of historical cuts, and can achieve something quite realistically vintage. It’s a great challenge to modernise vintage styles, and making them suit the modern bride, while also reflecting a golden age. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with mixing vintage eras within one look, changing silhouettes and decorative techniques. If it looks great, then that should be all that matters!"

A lot of your bespoke designs are vintage inspired, was this a conscious direction for you?

"It was never my intention to specifically make ‘vintage’ wedding gowns, it’s simply the design movement of the moment. Brides are continuously pushing the boundaries of vintage, coming up with new ideas, and there are so many vintage avenues to explore. The 1920’s are currently having their renaissance, so I’ve got some exciting designs planned for this year involving lots of sequins and roses! I think that vintage weddings is a big trend that is set to continue for a long time to come!"

Talk us through your design process...

"Once an idea has been spun in my mind, I get tangled in a web of research and inspirations. It is very likely that I will get more excited about a dress than a bride, so I have to work extra hard, to make that her excitement levels are high too!
Brides often nervously show me ideas they’ve seen which look amazingly complicated and difficult, but I really love a challenge, and a smile will spread across my face when I am faced with a decorative project! Getting to push my limits and discover new things along the way is what draws me to bridal! It’s often the one chance a woman will get to go ‘all out’, and I love that my job is to create her dress!"

And on to the dresses! 

Linnea's Dress

I just LOVE this dress. Very 60s chic! 

"As a creative set and prop designer, Linnea was never going to want a traditional wedding gown for her winter wedding in Sweeden! Instead she came to me with a very vivid design idea for me to make for her!
Linnea wanted the miniest of mini dresses I have ever seen! Not only that, but it needed to contain 100 layers of tulle to create it’s flair, all hand cut, and sewn at intervals onto a lycra body suit! And finished with a delicately pleated grosgrain ribbon trim.
Though it looks a very simple dress, it took a little bit of master-minding!!"

Laura's Dress

"Laura runs a vintage shop in beautiful Suffolk, so the vintage style stakes were high! Laura had one main inspiration - Elizabeth Taylor - but had lots of other elements that she wanted to include too. ‘Swish’ was very important, as well as a giant bow!
I made Laura an historically accurate 1950’s corset, to give her an amazingly cinched waist, and all the little violets were hand cut in two sections, and placed individually, securing each one with a little cluster of silver glass beads."

And finally, an little exclusive of a yet unseen design...

Amber's Dress

Photos by Jessica

"Amber's dress is a relatively modern style, with a star-burst pattern design on the bodice.
Her vintage story is all in the waistband. Amber really loved the idea of using a vintage lace, and then her mum stepped in with her veil from her own wedding, which was a piece of delicately embroidered tulle. The tulle had six large flowers chain-stitched, along with lots of vines and tiny daisies too. I cut out each individual flower, and positioned to create the waistband decoration of the dress, and embroidered the centres with sparkling clear and silver Swarovski crystals. The background of the lace had a polka dot, which we managed to utilise too! Amber was keen to have a token swallow on the dress too, so I searched for the perfect little brooch, and pinned it to her shoulder as her little mascot on the day."

Photos by Jessica

Using elements of your mother or grandmother's wedding dress is a meaningful way to honour them on your wedding day. The embellishment on Amber's dress is absolutely beautiful!

If you'd like to collaborate with Charlotte on your very own gown, her fees start from £1,000.00. She'd love to hear from you!

Grant-Riley Weddings


  1. stunning dresses from a wonderful up and coming designer, amazing x

  2. Stunning designs! x