Say ‘yes’ to the dress

Barbara Robertson

THE Eastern Cape’s super-luxe bridal showcase offered an exciting line-up of 114 wedding specialists and exhibitors – including the largest collection of wedding wear under one roof – at the weekend. The Herald Bridal Fair set a glamorous vintage tone in keeping with its new home: the colonial-style Boardwalk Convention Centre, the perfect foil for a procession of wedding wear from 22 leaders in Port Elizabeth’s design circles.

A glam group of Gatsby Girls from Sophisticate Models kicked off the twice daily shows. But the bespoke wedding gowns from some of the most respected names in Nelson Mandela Bay bridal wear were the star attraction.

Burhaan Ting Chong sent his model down the ramp in a dramatic ruby-red creation from Bridal Gallery, setting the tone for an opulent look by edgy designer Johan Wolmarans.

Wolmarans conjured up magic in his opera-inspired princess ball gown, embroidered with lace motifs and extravagantly sprinkled with Swarovski crystals.

Karen England, of House of Brides, is another designer who loves drama and used lavish beading and luxurious finishes to capture the opulent mood.

The polished model used by both of these designers was Bianca Gerber, a model agency owner. Gerber, who had reason to sparkle as she became engaged on Friday evening, accessorised her ramp wear with a shiny diamond in later shows.

Leandra Fourie was one of many designers to show different garments at the twice daily fashion shows. L Designs captured the flavour of the moment with a 1920s dropped-waist number in one show and a mermaid-fitted gown with ruched bodice and shoulder detailing for the second. Both are on-trend looks.

No wedding show could be complete without a creation from Port Elizabeth’s maestro of elegance, Jason Kieck, however, and he presented a modern take on vintage Sabrina-inspired style.

It sparkled with crystals, diamante and handmade rose embellishments to reflect a Camelot mood.

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