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Fashion Find. The Aisle, Ilkley

19th January 2021 | Alexis Forsyth

Unique, trend-led bridalwear and a personalised shopping service that’s exclusively yours on your visit – The Aisle in West Yorkshire, owned by self-confessed fashion lover Katie – is where bridalwear meets fashion.

Established in 2018, UNVEILED Network Member The Aisle was created by Katie with the trend-conscious bride in mind and stocks some of the prettiest and coolest collections we’ve ever seen.

Inspired by her own wedding dress search, she wanted to champion cutting edge styles and designers, and make them much more accessible to brides in the north. And she’s done exactly that! Spotting this niche was just what she needed to kick-start her now award-winning boutique’s stellar journey.

Loving nothing more than researching seasonal fashion-worthy trends and keeping her eye on up and coming designers – Katie uncovers the most coveted, iconic styles from across the globe that are unlike anything else you’ll find up north.

With images by UNVEILED Network Member, Freya Raby

VIBE

The boutique has been designed with a cool, relaxed vibe, and every appointment gets exclusive use of the boutique to browse and try on the collection, with one-to-one help from myself or our stylist Maya.

CHOICE

Our brides are a bit more daring and fashion forward, so we certainly don’t do traditional ballgowns or poufy princess dresses. We love a fitted dress, low backs and interesting fabrics, although we now have some amazing A-line gowns from Alena Leena that do a bigger dress in a cool editorial kind of way.

DESIGNERS

Made with Love: An Australian designer, Made With Love is for the modern, relaxed bride who wants a unique bridal gown. They have a relaxed, ‘girl next door’ vibe and these dresses are perfect for the modern bride who doesn’t take herself too seriously and loves to have fun.

Emmy Mae Bridal: This is the sister brand to Made with Love, with more of a boho relaxed feel, and perfect for the laid-back bride.

Alena Leena: Alena Leena Bridal marries two continents with a creative studio in multicultural Cape Town and a top-quality professional team in Ukraine. The Alena Leena bride is a modern romantic. Encapsulating a contemporary and fashion-forward side, every Alena Leena bride has an elegant and ethereal aesthetic.

Wendy Makin: The French collection by Wendy Makin is a fusion of vintage glamour and classic styling. Utilising exquisite laces and beautiful flowing fabrics, this collection is tailor-made for the bohemian and vintage bride, perfect for the modern wedding.

SIZE RANGE

Our samples range from an 8 to 14, although all our brands can be ordered from a size 0 to 26. We also have an exciting petite and curve trunk show event planned in 2021 with one of our designers.

PRICE RANGE

Prices range from £1800 to £2800, with the majority averaging around £2000. We also have a sample sale rail with dresses available off the peg, and prices start from just £600.

INSPIRATION

Social media is amazing for finding new designers, styles and shapes. Start creating a Pinterest board of things you like and hopefully a trend will start to appear. Then, start looking into which boutiques stock the brands you like!

Recommendations from friends are great, however we would definitely say do your research on each boutique first, before booking in with them, to check you like the style and brands they stock. For example, if you were looking for a traditional duchess satin ball-gown – we wouldn’t be the place for you!

SERVICE

Our appointments are really informal and relaxed. Before the bride arrives, we have already asked a few questions, so we have an idea about her wedding, brands she is interested in, and the style she’s looking for.

When she arrives, we invite her up into our seating area, and (pre-covid) offer prosecco to the bride and her guests. Whilst they are enjoying their drinks, we talk through the wedding plans and how far down the line they are, and also get a better idea of her style. We just really get to know the bride!

We then go through the dresses. It’s totally up to her what she would like to try on, but we will always offer a bit of direction too. We start with about 6 dresses to try on, and then as we work through them, we will suggest a couple of others to try depending on what the bride does and doesn’t like!

EXTRAS

We recommend The Bobbin, based in Ilkley to all our brides for their fittings and alterations. Helen and Louise have years of experience with altering wedding dresses, and it’s perfect as they are just down the road from the boutique too.

SHOP INDEPENDENT

It’s more important than ever before to shop independent. We really focus on getting to know every single bride who walks through our door, and we are with you on your journey from start to finish. We give you a full experience rather than just another sale.

ADVICE

Do your research beforehand, make sure you know the brands you want to try and the boutiques that stock them.

Once you feel amazing in a dress and feel like it’s the one then stop shopping! You will only confuse yourself and waste time going to more boutiques, probably searching for the dress you have already found!

Make sure YOU make the final decision – not your mum, not your bridesmaid, not the stylist. As long as you feel amazing, that’s all that matters.

Don’t take more than 2-3 people with you to your appointment. Too many opinions get so confusing and we all have different styles. There is nothing worse than ending up with a dress because your Mum cried and said it was the one.

Don’t visit more than 3-4 boutiques – as long as you have done your research you really shouldn’t have to. Trailing round the country trying on hundreds of dresses gets pretty tedious and takes the fun out of it all.

Don’t go to a boutique just because someone you work with recommended it. Always do your research. Make sure they stock brands you actually like, and styles that suit the vision you have for your wedding day.

TRENDS

Statement sleeves that are detachable, so you can create a couple of looks from one dress! We are also loving square necklines, and more unusual laces with added sparkle – think we all need some after 2020!

ACCESSORIES

We love Alabaster Dream, stocked in the boutique. Rachael creates exquisite handmade bridal accessories for modern brides that are bold and feminine. Alabaster is a beautiful white mineral used in sculpture, which Rachael feels is representative of her work. She uses cold porcelain clay as her main material and each component is hand sculpted in her Yorkshire studio. Combined with glass beading, Swarovski elements and metallic and gilt – the outcome is a modern twist on a timeless aesthetic.

EVENTS

We have a number of trunk shows coming up over the next few months featuring some of our favourite designers, including Anna Kara (26-28 February) Emmy Mae (17-28 March), Alena Leena (3-11 April), and Made with Love (14-25 April). Keep checking our website for details on how to book your place!

CRUSHES

Dress for 2021:

There are too many to choose from! I love all our designers, and have different favourites on different people. On myself, I love Mimosa by Alena Leena, it has an editorial high fashion feel to it – oh, and pockets.

Trend for 2021:

Statement detachable sleeves and interesting fabrics.

Iconic wedding dress of all time:

So many to pick! My top three, that have influenced all of the bridal industry, include Princess Diana in Elizabeth Emanuel, Kate Moss in John Galliano, and Hailey Bieber in Virgil Abloh.

CONTACT

Visit The Aisle’s website

Book your appointment

info@theaislebridal.com

01943 968 230

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