If you came over to these pages on Sunday you would have seen that it is officially Fashion week on RMW, meaning that for the next five days we will be concentrating on sharing with you gorgeous lot a plethora of pretty dresses and awesome accessories.

And we won’t be held responsible for any detrimental effect this may have on your bank balance – no pain no gain people.

We mentioned the meaning of “Cariad” in a post briefly last week – it’s Welsh for love, which is fitting because I love everything about Sarah Joseph’s recent House Of Secrets gown collection, from the delicious designs themselves to the styling of every single image. And she hails from…. yes you guessed it….Wales.

Land of sheep, red dragons and as it turns out – fashion forward thinking.

A huge thanks to Martin from My Big Day Photo’s for submitting such a delectable Monday treat.

I want hair like this please. And I want that forehead band item – immense, where would I wear it to? who cares. Sarah chose another welsh lady to provide all of the head gear, Gill Clement.

And not only do we have your more traditional “bridal” gowns but Sarah also creates some real evening red-carpet worthy numbers too.

There is something extraordinarily sexy about a full sleeve lace gown with a high collar that then does the whole maximum back flash thing. And no, I’m not suggesting anyone should wear a lace eye patch for W-day…. but the ruffled piece in the hair looks beautiful – especially to enhance a shorter hair style such as this one.

As you know I love feathers. And I have never thought of pairing a black birdcage veil with an ivory/white gown before seeing this shoot….but my doesn’t it look all sultry and sophisticated, especially when enhanced by a smoky eye and a pale pout.

Sarah Joseph: The collection is based on dark and mysterious inspiration. I haven’t concentrated on one theme for this collection, it is more of a palette of inspirational thoughts from day to day life. I have travelled the world several times over and have collected fabrics from the hills of Bali to the chic streets of Italy, years of being a collector turned itself in to a collection.

I had no boundaries with this collection however to naturally maintain a sense of calm. The vintage fabrics, intricate hand beading coupled with bespoke couture tailoring produced my favourite collection to date.

I am a South Wales based designer who knows no limits with my efforts and I thrive on perfection and attention to detail. A ten year couture experience from designers all over the world has created an unusual and intriguing personal style, that coupled with a London degree in fashion design has made me very fashion forward with a sense of couture tradition.

Prices are available upon request, prices start from £800. You can have a butchers at the rest of Sarah Joseph’s collection via her website.

Make-Up – Farhana

Hair – Richard Kerr

Photography – My Big Day Photos

Jewellery Designer – Gill Clement

Gowns – Sarah Joseph

Venue – Stradey Castle

The frock above? I need it like I need air. It’s like the ultimate hot mermaid isn’t it?

Are any of you lovelies going couture/completely bespoke one-of-a-kind?

Thinking of doing something crazy with your barnet? a heavy smoky eye perhaps?

And how about feathers or sequins? or maybe changing into the darker side for the reception…..

Oh and here is a cool video to keep you entertained for the remainder of the afternoon:

Big Welsh Love

Charlotte xxx

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

33 thoughts on “Cariad.

  1. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve had this thing that I do when I’m really excited, where I S-q-u-e-e-z-e the top of the arm of the person next to me with both hands, grit my teeth and make a kind of eeeeeeeeeeee sound.

    I’ve just got up, run across the office to do this to my best work pal. Who also handily doubles up as one of my best mates in general.

    The first picture – well, she’s just like a bridal version of Rita Ora isn’t she. I don’t really know what else to say other than I want to kiss her.


    @Charlotte – I am totally up for wearing a lace eye patch. It would go down a storm in Garlands, and I am sure real bride, Karen, will be able to back me up on that, being scouse and all. In fact, i reckon all the Garlettes will already have lace eyepatches.

    On the Black Swan style picture (eighth from bottom) – apart from loving the dress, I am now wondering whether I am going to have to stand like that all wedding day. Had a fitting at the weekend and despite the fact I have always been rather proud of my arms, I have now discovered folds of skin that I have termed ‘armpit sausages’. At the moment, I feel like throwing the towel in and getting a totally different dress.

    I was also planning on donning a rather heavy smokey, glamorous eye…and I loved my make up trial…but am wondering, will this be too too much for a 1pm wedding in August?! I don’t want to look like I’ve been punched in the toilets for trying to rob someone’s lace eye patch do I?!


  2. hahahahaha – I’m sure there were a few lace eye patches being rocked on Eberle St at the weekend.


    Oh I need to have a lie down now. This was all a bit much. xxx

  3. I also love how the models are so wispy and delicate they practically disappear in front of the bright window! what I wouldnt give to be wispy and delicate!! Oh and I’d also like to have a back that looks carved out of stone please x

  4. (okay also – theyre not even feathers, just little pieces of joyful fabric that look like feathers)

    I’ll go now… x

  5. @Pamela and @Karen – you guys make me crease….

    I think I need to come to Garlands, I will officially wear a lace eye patch, a mermaid dress and hair like Rita Ora. I will also incorporate some kind of feather (Karen I said feathers too above!) crown and ridiculously high platform shoe – maybe with sequins.

    Charlotte xxx

  6. @Charlotte and @Karen – I am WELL up for a Garlands night out.

    I may even get my pins out for such an event. So yes, Charlotte, wear a ridiculously high platform shoe, as I shall be wearing higher ones to distract from the Coleen’s…

    You can also get hair like Rita Ora at Herbert’s in Liverpool. They can do whatever you want and regularly give me a beehive to rival Wilma out of The Flintstones.

  7. Sarah has a thing for intricate lazer cut fabrics. The detail is amazing, just wait for her own wedding dress next month. Soooo excited.
    I just realised the video has my commercial name Grafic House instead of my Wedding photography name on the end credits, still me, and still an amazing shoot. I love the comments above, especially running across a room to squeeze someone’s arm :o)

  8. Ohhhh! breathtaking! I am also in love with the black mermaid/evil Ariel look – although the amount of boob tape/scaffolding that would be required would be interesting….actually you wouldn’t really be able to walk, just sit and look smouldering and wait for people to bring you drinks……done!

  9. ha ha! @Karen & @Pamela – you two crack me up!
    Can I come too!!! 😉

    These dresses are just stunning, especially the high neck lace dress – that back!!!!
    And am loving the black birdcage veil with wedding dress, not sure the future MiL would approve for the church ceremony though!!! Maybe I’ll sneak one on for the cocktail reception… 😉

    @Miss VIx – agreed that black mermaid dress is simply amazing & yes don’t think my puppies would ever stay in it! ha ha

  10. @Rebecca, the more the merrier love. We would need some kind of bus to get people there, with a RMW bumper sticker. It could collect the most Southern bride first and work it’s way northwards towards the ‘pool. On arrival, me and Karen will greet you all dressed as the Liverbirds in some kind of immense feathered finery.

    I feel, at this point, I just need to clarify that I am not actually a scouser. Life has just thrown me in that direction.

  11. Ps. @Charlotte, who needs a particular place to where the forehead headband……I’d want to wear it everywhere! x

  12. @Miss Vix – That sounds perfect! I would also love to just sit around looking all sexy and mermaid like and await people to bring me drinks!!

    @Rebecca -Actually quite jealous that you and Miss Vix need scaffolding/boob tape, I wouldn’t need any ;-(

    But yes I hear you ref the forehead band- although I may get some funny looks at the gym!

    @Pamela – You are not a scouser? Do you or do you not have a Liverpudlian accent?!

  13. @Charlotte – noooooooooo, la, although after a night out with my Ibiza friends (who all are) I can do a mean impression, although I haven’t quite got the throaty sound down without sounding like a drag queen.

    I have a friend who likes girls with a northern accent and he very kindly refers to me as the ultimate hybrid bird…he says I have a mixed up Leeds/Manchester accent with the hair of a Scouse girl…I think he’s basically saying I’m a bit common…

  14. @Sarah – I can tell pet, it is so unbelievably beautiful. And um…you are really hot, that’s you in the video with the amazing boots and long blonde thick hair right?! You should have modelled for the collection!

    @Pamela – Oh My! there I have been reading your emails in a liverpudlian accent this whole time!! Mr O’Shea has a Manchester accent with a bit of posh thrown in occasionally – he went to Warwick University so he does sway towards “proper” at work (i.e. he has a “phone” voice)…then full on Liam Gallagher after a few pints of Peroni.

    Charlotte xxx

  15. @Sarah I second third and fourths that – its a stunning collection and I keep coming back to look again!

    Apparently I must have a London/work/double barrel voice because when on the phone with my mum my inner brummie resurfaces!

  16. and yes yes yes with bells and feathers on to an epic RMW road trip to the ‘pool, although not if i have to drive the bus if it has to start in London! 🙂 xx

  17. @Karen – YES! a RMW tour bus, let’s do it!! ha ha
    (just want to see you two dressed up as the Liverbirds!)

  18. Obviously I mainly need to head t’north as no one has called me PET or DUCK in ages and all the comments on these pretty pages always make me go awww

  19. @Charlotte – ooooo my accent is fairly horrendous….my mother (who is from a rather posh village in the pennine hills) winces on a regular basis. She blames my dad. He was her bit of rough. She tries not to associate with us too much when we’re out together and I was the one sent to get dad out of a police cell…which is now an in joke, but wasn’t funny at the time.

  20. ha ha yes that was me in the shoot with the long blonde hair, thank you for your kind words! Thank you for posting this, it looks awesome on here. If any one would like to follow me on facebook its sarahjosephcouture X

  21. @everyone – FUN BUS… get on it!!

    @pamela @charlotte – I’m more of a gBar girl I have to say (over the road). Gay indie disco wins hands down, and my adored male of honour also guest DJ’s there!

    I always read ‘Pamela’ in scouse too! haha We need to video conference at some point I think.

    Oh and @sarah – we all want to be you!

    I love this thread, im going to read it again while im stuck in traffic in a minute xxx

  22. Sarah always jokes about how she’s three inches too short to model her own dresses, but as you can see in the video she would rock them anyway (get those eight inch heels out love) xx

  23. Gorgeous! Love it all, especially the first black dress. Imagine changing into that for the evening reception, oooh.

    On a more personal note my name derives from the word ‘Cariad’ 😀

  24. @Carys *waves* – I was very nearly Rhiannon…a lovely welsh name. Then my Mum read this story whilst in hospital about a very large baby called Charlotte (I was almost 11lb) and so she changed it….


    If only there was an endless budget, you could do a whole load of changing, at least three dresses!

    Charlotte xx

  25. @Charlotte – my Mum was going to call me Llinos. Pronounce it properly and it sounds a bit like Kleenex. Thank goodness she changed her mind!

  26. Loving the comments. 🙂
    This was an amazing shoot, Sarah got to give it to you, your collection is always amazing, everytime something new and unique but has your stamp all over it.
    Guys I would recommend Sarah anyday for your wedding or evening dresses, I’m so honoured to have one made by Sarah just for me. …. Lucky me 🙂
    @ Hols – the lip colour was actually created by using 3 different shades, I wanted to create a 3D effect on the lips, to give it a wow factor and make the lips pop. Worked great against the models skintone and with the bridal outfit too.
    For more makeup ideas or styles please feel free to checkout my website. / facebook : Farhana Henna Mua

  27. I’m not sure which I liked most – the dresses or all the comments! Originally clicked through to say I’m going bespoke (couldn’t find what I wanted) but now I’m just laughing at the idea of a road trip to the ‘pool! Don’t leave the bus unattended! (I’m allowed to say that as my family are all scousers!)

  28. @Farhana. Thanks for the tip on the lippy. Very Marilyn Monroe using three colours but Lordy it makes it harder for us mere mortals to recreate :). Hot footing it to your site now


  29. Farhana is very highly skilled and creative, i’ve worked with her on fashion shoots where she’s come up with something random out of the blue that has worked amazingly well. I also work with her on weddings and highly recommend her to my brides.

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