By: Cynthia Zatkin Blase
When it comes down to it, what is the absolute best part about getting married (besides the hottie who gave you the ring)? The dress! What other occasion do most women get to lay down a chunk of change on one gorgeous item? Your wedding gown my be the most expensive and beautiful garment you will purchase in your life. So don’t hold back, your gown and accessories should be worthy of the red carpet.
Finding the perfect dress is one of the most fun things about being a bride. And that perfect dress is ever changing. Gown designs, embellishments and inspirations constantly metamorphose and often follow the trends of the greater fashion industry. So what is hot now? We checked in with a few fantastic bridal boutique owners to get their take on current bridal fashion trends. Just like a recent silver screen blockbuster, the hot new dress is a dress that transforms. Jamie Elyse of elyseREUBEN says that “many of our brides are looking for two looks for their special day, long for the ceremony and short for the reception. We are seeing more removable trains and full ball gown skirts over the short dress.” What is better than one amazing dress? How about two! A more demure or conservative look is appropriate for the ceremony but when it comes to party time, voila! A new (and significantly more sexy) dress!
Elyse has also noticed that many brides are accenting their dresses with pops of color. “Colored accents, such as shoes,” she says, “allow the bride to show her individual personality while still wearing white.” A shoe in one of the wedding colors looks fantastic peeking out from under a beautiful white dress—but it has to be bright! A soft pink or silver won’t cut it. You need patent leather bright yellow or blue to pull off this trend. And the bridesmaids are often stepping out in brightly colored shoes as well. Long gone are the days of the dyed to match look (now that’s an 80’s trend that we don’t want to bring back!). While we do see 80’s brights right now, it’s more of a mismatched look, like a bright yellow dress with a purple shoes or a red dress with a sapphire blue shoe.
The cuts of dresses are following runway and red carpet trends as well. Cher Roesch, owner of chez bride moderne, says that in current trends “we see volume and lots of asymmetry,” in bridal gowns, “both in the form of one shoulder gowns and strapless dresses with asymmetrical draping on the bodice.” Roesch has also noticed that “dramatic low waistlines continue to be hot with ruched, gathered or draped bodices that hug the figure.” Alison Pasiut, owner of The Bustle, agrees that she has also seen a lot of “one shoulder asymmetrical satin gowns” as well as “trumpets styles with beautiful English lace.” Asymmetrical and trumpet looks with ruching were definitely at the Oscars this past year. Ann Davis, owner of bliss bride, adds that she has seen a lot of lace on the runway as well. “Light, breezy and romantic seemed to be a major look at the last bridal fashion week,” she says. “Lace is making a resurgence in the latest collections and [is] breaking away from the traditional connotations of being ‘old fashioned’ or ‘grandma-like.’
Lace on bare skin or laser cut patterns give brides the option of being romantic and modern at the same time.” In addition to seeing lace embellishments in bridal fashions, we are also seeing things in big proportions. Oversized embellishments in general are hot right now. Pasiut noted that oversized “floral appliqués were a big trend on the runways recently,” helping to give “gowns texture and whimsical, romantic touches.” Elyse agrees and notes that “over sized flowers and bows are taking over to create the ‘WOW’ factor.” Roesch similarly notes that “oversized clusters of flower ‘corsages’ are a big trend, and they are primarily being used as accents on waistlines or shoulders. Texture, in general, seems to be a significant trend. “We’re seeing the most amazing texture through ruffles or hundreds of tiny three dimensional flowers hand stitched all over bodices and skirts,” says Roesch. She adds that “soft petals continue to be a favorite decoration for romantic gowns” and that “larger crystals continue to embellish gowns, from neck to hem, as well.” The look of crystals has changed, though, and Roesch comments that “these sparkly details are being used more organically and in clear crystal, rather than the icy silver of mirror backed crystals or rhinestones that used to be used to create a defined pattern.” This is the look of whimsy: oversized, extra fabrics, lots of texture and different cuts. Tulles and organzas with raw edges complement the look. All of these combined together create a modern, yet whimsical effect.
And what is inspiring current bridal runway trends? We asked our boutique owners this question as well. And the answer came as expected: red carpet glamour. “We have seen many brides looking for both fairytale inspiration as well as iconic inspirations such as Jackie O,” says Elyse. Elyse makes custom gowns and she feels that the looks that have been most requested lately offer a combination of the magical with elegance. Pasiut also sees iconic inspirations in current bridal trends. She says that “many styles are reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour. It’s a timeless style seen on the red carpet over and over again.” Davis agrees. “We still think red carpet fashion is influencing bridal [fashion],” she says. “You are hearing more and more bridal designer names from stars when asked ‘who are you wearing?’ like Jenny Packham (who designed Miley Cyrus’ latest red carpet dress), Vera Wang, Reem Acra and Monique Lhullier. Trends like one-shoulder or off-the-shoulder are directly influenced by red carpet gowns.”
So ladies, what have we learned when it comes to picking that perfect dress? Simply: make it your red carpet moment! Whatever dress you would want to wear to the Oscars if you were among the movie star elite (or simply a seat filler—which is no less cool), paint it white, and call it a wedding gown! Don’t be afraid to add oversized whimsical embellishments or 80’s inspired I-need-to-wear-shades-colored shoes and you will be hot! But how could you not be hot? It’s your day, your moment—your red carpet!