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Pearls of wisdom

Caroline Weisters of Bridal Fabrics explains why the world's your oyster when it comes to giving your customers access to wedding dresses featuring embellishments with the softest of sheens

Pearls of wisdom: Image 1 Credit: Grace Loves LaceThough the mention of pearls might initially conjure images of either Grandma in her twinset or Johnny Depp's swashbuckling antics in Pirates of the Caribbean, in the world of bridal they've been a highly sought accessory for 2019. But that's not the end of the story and, as 2020 sees a profusion of pearls set to hit catwalks the world over, we look at how this treasure-chest embellishment sizes up for the modern bride.

Cool and contemporary
A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls. Coco Chanel certainly recognised their appeal but modern adaptations for 2020 have gone beyond a simple string. Complementing the sharp, tailored look, we've seen pearl embellished detachable bridal belts from the likes of Savannah Miller, bold headbands from the likes of Lili Hod and striking hoop earrings from Berta. Indeed, the look has moved beyond accessories with the dress itself now featuring sumptuous pearl embellishments. When it comes to choices, well, the world is your oyster!

Lace and favour
Pearl embellished lace is hot news. The modern form is often a synthesis of different textures and weaves with pearlescent beading intermingling across an intense design. We adore Raine and Bea's creation for Fleur East's evening reception a pearl-encrusted lace bodice that was just exquisite. Charlotte Balbier's fusion of on-trend crepe fabric and a pearl-beaded bodice is also highly covetable.As an adaptable embellishment for any look, pearls can be used in whimsical, romantic andbohemian gowns. Look for smaller beads lightly embellished across either a silk georgette or light tulle Halfpenny London does a delightful gown using these fabrics called 'Pearl'. This delicate embellishment works particularly well on bridal capes, veils and for oaty bohemian looks. Seen in the new collection by Temperley London, mother-of-pearl adorns dresses as the centre of owers, as organic tubular vines over the tulle and scalloped rows of pearls mimicking multi- string necklaces. Often combined with dotty tulle and soft lines for an aura of romance, pearls are a big feature of the new collection.

Making history
Tubular beading accentuates bold non- oral vintage designs of the 1930s an en-vogue look for both Lela Rose and Jenny Packham. These striking, Art Deco designs are Gatsby-esqueand what better way to embellish than with pearlescent accents? Combined with a hint of colour, champagne beading or ligree thread, the pearls elevate the design and embody elegance. For inspiration, check out Eliza Jane Howell's most recent collection too.An alternative composition of pearls is in organic stems or vines climbing across the fabric. A botanical look mimics the move towardsthe natural world. Eschewing diamantés and glitter-adorned fabrics, pearl beading is a subtle embellishment, effortlessly highlighting the bling without compromising on composition. Hermione de Paula is the go-to designer for this auspicious combination.For a bold modern look, big is best. Cluster large pearls with small ones to create an eye- catching feature of the high neck, waist band or shoulder pieces. Striking appliquéd designs at the hip also offer an opportunity to promote pearls. Look for large-scale trims and appliqués and don't shy away from scaling up.