Award winning designer Ian Stuart reveals his best Mother of the Bride fashion advice to Wedding Journal.
One name reigns supreme in the world of special occasion wear and that’s Ian Stuart. The talented designer, famed for creating exquisite wedding dresses and occasion wear outfits, recently opened a flagship boutique, Ian Stuart Blewcoat in London.
Why do you think women find it hard to dress for a special occasion such as a wedding? What are the obstacles they face?
One of the biggest obstacles women face when shopping for special occasion wear is their own perception of their bodies. I have found that women can be uncomfortable showing off their figure, either because they are not confident with it, or it’s not practical to do so. Built in corsetry, as I put in my gowns, can have a dramatic impact on a woman’s shape, creating a flattering silhouette for all shapes and sizes. I often see women who are convinced they won’t look good in an occasion wear dress, in tears because they feel like a million dollars.
What style tips do you recommend for more mature women who want to look really glamorous but dress age appropriately?
For me, personality is much more important than ‘age appropriate’. No matter what age group a lady is, clothing should reflect her spirit, not the year she was born. For example, I’ll design a magnificent gown, that is sexy and dramatic, but I will add sheer sleeves to cover arms and elbows – you don’t have to compromise on style to cover up.
Do you have any tips for stylishly taking your outfit from day to night?
As well as thinking about style, you do need to consider the functionality of your outfit. So perhaps find a matching jacket and wrap which is great for changing weather. I keep this in mind when I design gowns – I often add sleeves and a jacket which can be taken off later in the evening.
Do you have any tips for which dresses/styles suit different body shapes?
Ruching and pleating are great for any woman who feels she wants to disguise any lumps or bumps, the extra fabric gives support and again, inbuilt corsetry in a gown gives every woman a nipped in waist, which I think is essential in enhancing any woman’s body shape. 50s inspired shapes are a good look to go for if you are worried about slinkier styles. The fuller skirt looks amazing on all shapes, as it gives the illusion of an hour class figure.
What tips do you have for successfully accessorising that perfect gown once you have found it?
If, in your day-to-day fashion, you accessorise well, you should carry this on into your eveningwear look, but if you don’t, keep it simple. Stay true to your own style. Do you think Isabella Blow and Audrey Hepburn would have accessorised their LBD in the same way?
What is THE colour to wear to a wedding this winter?
Wear a metallic colour like a silver, gold, steel or platinum, which ooze luxury. Beautifully beaded lace and crystal embellishments on these colours will create a glamourous couture finish.
In terms of shoes, would you advise to prioritise style over comfort, or vice versa?
I think the cardinal sin of dressing is when a women looks like a goddess, and walks like Bambi. There’s only a certain amount of pain one can put up with before it starts affecting your stride, so if you know you’re not going to last through your event in your heels, find a different pair.
Details on Ian Stuart’s new flagship store can be found here
For local stockists of Ian Stuart’s occasion wear collection visit www.Ianstuart-london.com