Category Archives: Sottero and Midgley

Dress of the Month ~ September 2014

My current favourite dress this month is a recent arrival – the incredible Francine by Sottero and Midgley.  This dress is ultra glam and totally glitzy.  Think old Hollywood glamour, the kind Greta Garbo exuded!

Sottero and Midgley, Bridal Gown, Francine

The gown actually comes in two parts, a slinky satin slip and a lace layer that goes over it. The slip has two options, one with a super low back and another with a higher version.  This is a fabulous idea, allowing those girls who want to show off their backs to do so but also letting girls with heavier busts, who need more support or coverage for their bra, to wear this style too.

Sottero and Midgley, Bridal Gown, Francine

Monroe slip dress with dramatic low back

Sottero and Midgley, bridal gown, Francine

Raised back satin slip dress

I absolutely adore the twinkle and gleam of this dress – unfortunately the designers photography shows only the light gold version where ours is the ivory, and I genuinely think the image doesn’t convey the intricacy of detail and sparkle.  This is one of those dresses that has to be seen to be truly appreciated.

Article by Catherine Massey

Catherine has been writing Bi-Weekly Article for us since the 8th May 2012 and is our very talented Bridal Specialist. Catherine is a Bridal Stylist for their family Bridal Boutique, Cathedral Gowns. Find them onlineat or on Facebook.

Any questions, email

Stocking Up on Sottero and Midgley

We are just back from our first buying trip of 2014 – and it was amazing! Usually we visit all of our designers in one location, a large exhibition centre, but this year some designers have decided to break away and do their own thing and I am all for it as it means we can focus on one collection at a time with no rushing around.  Plus their hospitality is fantastic.

This weekend we visited Sottero and Midgley, in their UK base of Chester. We were put up in a gorgeous hotel, taxied about at their expense, were treated to an amazing dinner with a free bar and live entertainment… did we mention the incredible catwalk show?!  Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves – we could get used to being wined and dined.  

Sottero and Midgley Wedding Dress Spring 14

The catwalk show itself was spectacular, the production was so slick and professional, and the dresses themselves were incredible. We saw 35 stunning gowns sashay down the catwalk, each one more stunning than the last. If we had had an unlimited budget, we would’ve ordered them all.

Sottero and Midgley Wedding Dress Spring 14

To be considered a stockist of a particular label we are expected to buy a ‘minimum’ number of dresses from each designer each season, with two seasons per year. This time we had to buy five dresses, but we genuinely struggled to narrow down our choices since they were all so beautiful – we ended up buying seven. At this point, I feel it’s important to tell you that yes bridal businesses buy every dress, and no we don’t get discounts. There are a considerable number of our customers who believe that we get our stock for free – I wish. So buying seven dresses is a considerable investment – thousands of pounds.

 Sottero and Midgley Spring 2014

We went in armed with a list of what we wanted – more back detail, straps, sparkly lace, and also what fabrics and sizes we felt we were missing in our collection. So we knew what we were looking for, but in all honesty that went out the window as soon as the catwalk show began.

We ended up picking a real mixture of dresses – the only theme that stands out is that we’ve chosen warmer tones (champagne, antique gold, blush etc) with lace, sparkle and back detail.  At the catwalk the dresses were not what we were expecting – they were even better and I just know our girls are going to love them!

Upcoming Bridal Trends for the New Season

It’s that time of year again! Time for us to go shopping and select the gowns that will be gracing our rails next year! I absolutely love the opportunity to see literally thousands of beautiful dresses, and I adore the challenge of picking out which ones we want to buy for our boutique.

high neck, wedding dress, bridal, trends, 2014, lace,

As I mentioned in previous blogs, bridal gowns don’t go through massive transformations from season to season, the styles simply evolve. So from seeing the introduction of sleeves and necklines at the last collection launches, this time high necks and sleeves were everywhere!

Last time the ‘new thing’ was the peplum, and as expected a lot more designers had picked up on this trend, and to be honest while I really disliked them before, this time I was tempted. I’ve ordered a pretty satin number with a lace bodice and peplum, we shall see! I’m still not convinced that it’s a very bridal appropriate look, but I’m sure on the right girl it will look absolutely amazing.

I also predicted a proliferation of the ‘Gatsby’ look, and I’m delighted to say I was right! The 1920’s influence was everywhere! As a history of Art geek I am fascinated by the 1920’s and the Art Deco aesthetic, so I have to say I got very excited when I saw the variety of Deco inspired pieces by our accessory designer Richard Designs.  I swear I could have bought everything!

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On the Gatsby theme, my favourite dress of the show was a little number by Sottero & Midgley called ‘Lyla’. As the model sashayed down the catwalk towards me, I was open-mouthed!  From the fully beaded column silhouette to the fluttery little sleeves this dress epitomised the new collections for me, and whilst the price point is a smidge higher than we usually go, I fell in love with this dress and absolutely had to have her!

wedding, bridal, dress, sleeves, beaded, sottero & midgley, 2014, trends

But the ‘Roaring Twenties’ weren’t the only period of fashion history showing their influence, as is usually the case the 1950’s Dior silhouette was being reinvented by lots of bridal designers. Some of the most beautiful dresses we bought featured gorgeous tulle circle skirts, with nipped in waists and fabulous bodice detail. This is a silhouette that we love at Cathedral Gowns, and luckily so do our brides, and I hope they continue to love them since we somehow ordered five of this silhouette! But whereas the ones we currently have in stock are mostly strapless styles, these ones all feature either built up necklines, bateau necklines and even some with sleeves.

Following on from this look we’ve also ordered a few more short bridal gowns. This is a look we’ve only ever dabbled in, but our girls are loving them right now, so we had to buy more. My favourite is a cute little textured corded lace number with sweet little cap sleeves called ‘Kitty’ – I cannot wait to see what kind of bride finds her!

A lot of the newest looks feature a lot of sleeves and some of our designers are even making them detachable. So clever! I love that the designers are getting creative and flexible with their designs. I love the notion of having a sleeved more demure look for your ceremony and then removing them for the party.

wedding, bridal, dress, gown,  lace, 2014, trends, headpiece

In terms of silhouette I noticed that the designers were showing either very full or very fitted dresses with very little in between. I searched for a-lines and they were hard to find! But it was worth the search since I found some real gems, I even found some pretty lace a-line gowns too that I am majorly excited about.

There were still a lot of designers showing very fitted lace gowns, but their new take on this was an emphasis on texture instead of sparkle. The one I am most excited about is ‘Paula’ by Sottero & Midgley! This dress is lush and features a gorgeous scattering of textured flowers as well as a stunning veil to match.

If there was an overall theme to the new season dresses, it would be detail! I think out of more than thirty dresses we ordered, only three could be described as plain, and even then they did have unusual design features that made them stand out. So I hope the brides whose weddings are Autumn 2014 onwards are ready for detail!

Dress of the Month ~ June

My favourite dress this month is a perfect little summertime wedding dress! The lovely ‘Amber’ by Sottero & Midgley, is a fab little chiffon number that is a million times more flattering than most other chiffon bridal gowns.

Sottero and Midgley Amber Dress Gown

Sottero and Midgley, Amber Gown (Front)

This gorgeous gown features the famed Sottero corsetry which really pulls in your waist and creates the perfect hourglass shape. Far too often bridal gowns made in chiffon feature a more empire line silhouette which unfortunately doesn’t flatter many girls. Whilst it is said that empire lines are perfect for pear shapes, I actually find that unless you add long bodied and tall into that equation, empire lines can actually exaggerate a big bum and hips. Thankfully though, this beauty has a long bodied corset which creates fantastic curves and really showcases your waist.

This gown features a small a-line skirt and a small puddle train. The slim fit and light weight of the skirt makes this gown ideal for wearing in the summertime. I can totally picture this dress being worn on a beach somewhere! And since it is so lightweight without much of a train, it is perfect for a beach wedding as you won’t end up trawling half the beach with you! It is also perfectly compact and would fold up nicely into your hand luggage.

Sottero and Midgley Amber Dress Gown

Sottero and Midgley, Amber Gown (Back)

The detail on this gown is sparkly but subtle. Lace appliqués with pretty beading adorn the bodice but elsewhere the detail is limited to the pleating and movement of the chiffon. It really is so pretty!

For more information about this dress or to try it for yourself, please contact Catherine at Cathedral Gowns (Tel: 028 4461 2532)

Dress of the Month ~ March

My favourite dress this month is actually three dresses! All are versions of the same dress – Adorae by Sottero & Midgley, and the reason I love each of them are that no matter your shape or size this dress will look fantastic! Adorae is the strapless sweetheart neck, Adorae Louise is a v-neck and Adorae Rose has one shoulder strap, but from the ribcage down these gowns are exactly the same.

Adorae Louise by Sottero & Midgley

Adorae Louise by Sottero & Midgley

It is the silhouette of the Adoraes’ that make them so flattering – a very figure hugging fit and flare gown that curves over the hips and through the thighs to really exaggerate your silhouette and make you look mega curvy. Its not too fitted though, there is still plenty of circumference on the inside around your knees and thighs, so walking, kneeling and sitting down won’t be a problem. It flares out gently from just above the knee to create a gorgeous fishtail shape and an amazingly full train. The gown is made from a really soft and silky pleated stretch demir satin that means it holds firm where it needs to but is also flexible and will move with you. The fabric gives the gown a really luxurious feel and a beautiful sheen, which photographs beautifully. For a slim girl this gown can really exaggerate and even add curves, whilst a fuller figured girl can be confident that the corset fit of this gown will do wonders for her figure, it can hold in a tummy like magic!

Adorae by Sottero & Midgley

Adorae by Sottero & Midgley

I’m so glad that Sottero & Midgley have three versions of this gown since it works so well for such a variety of sizes and body types! We have Adorae Rose in a size 8, the Adorae Louise in a 14 and Adorae in an 18, which just demonstrates how flattering this dress is! It is also a very versatile style and can be styled in a variety of ways. The Adorae Louise for example feels very classic to me and looks amazing with a full length ribbon edged veil, whereas the Adorae Rose can be more funky and looks brilliant with a millinery net face veil.

Adorae Rose by Sottero & Midgley

Adorae Rose by Sottero & Midgley

One of the most wonderful things about this dress right now though is that the designer have made two of the versions (the Adorae and the Adorae Louise) ‘Priority Gowns’ which means that we can get them much quicker than usual. This is an absolute blessing for us since so many girls are leaving it very late to order their gowns and don’t realise how long it can take for dresses to be made. So if your wedding is early next summer and you haven’t ordered your wedding dress yet then this dress could easily be the one for you! 

Dress of the Month ~ January 2013

My current favourite dress is a sweet little number called Freya!

Freya is one of our gorgeous ‘Sottero and Midgley‘ gowns and features their signature corset back which allows for an incredible fit and a very flattered silhouette.

'Freya' by Sottero and Midgley (Front)

‘Freya’ by Sottero and Midgley (Front)

Right now I adore Freya because of all the texture – the bust-line is a gorgeously sheen pleated Valencia organza, and the rest of the gown is a beautifully soft un-beaded lace.

The soft sweetheart neckline is a great shape for many girls. I love it, especially on fuller figured girls as the slight dip isn’t deep enough to expose much cleavage but it can add length to your neck and décolletage. The chest area features organza asymmetrically pleated into a super flattering crossover effect which can add extra curve to a small bust but also offers support to a fuller chest. The pleats curve low into the waist and really exaggerates your shape.

'Freya' by Sottero and Midgley (Back)

‘Freya’ by Sottero and Midgley (Back)

Then there is the lace! A luscious corded lace over point d’esprit, the texture is deep and interesting and looks far more expensive than it is. I love the fact that there is absolutely no twinkle on this gown – there isn’t a bead or a sequin anywhere! It really is all about the texture!

The silhouette is best described as fit & flare, similar to a fishtail in its curvy shape, but much less severe and a much better option if you aren’t model height. As when a gown kicks out from mid thigh rather than knee you will look more balanced and taller. It also has the added benefit of being much easier to walk in. And sit, and kneel down, and get on the floor for ‘rock the boat’ should you feel inclined!

'Freya' with Caplet by Sottero and Midgley

‘Freya’ with Caplet by Sottero and Midgley

This gown comes with a fab wee accessory – a capelet! There is definitely a slightly Victorian nod to this accessory with its high neckline, but the capelet shape feels a little bit 70’s too. The accessory is an optional extra that very few of my customers have opted for, it is a definite style statement that I cannot wait to see worn at a real wedding!