Little White Dress Bridal Shop's team has just returned to Denver from an incredible Bridal Fashion Week in New York, where we saw thousands of wedding gowns by dozens of designers over the course of five full days. Our style report covers not only the top trends of Bridal Fashion Week, but also the bigger picture of bridal fashion and where wedding style is headed. The bottom line: we know our brides are going to love what we saw - and what is coming to Little White Dress!
We noticed - and heard similar thoughts from many others - the overall movement toward distinctive and thoughtful collections from the biggest names and most talented designers in bridal fashion. Designers are staying true to who they are with their new collections, without letting other designers influence what they do. (So refreshing to see!) We heard it best when when one designer told us, "I know who I am - and who I'm not." This sentiment translated into some of the best, most interesting, and most beautiful creations we've ever seen in bridal collections.
One of the results of this movement is an ease, effortlessness, and elegance in nearly every trend we noticed, influencing everything from fabrics to shapes, details, and accessories. Take a look at what we mean, with the 10 styles we saw most at Bridal Fashion Week:
We were pleased to see the return of fuller, more romantic silhouettes than in seasons past. Form-fitted, fit-and-flare, and mermaid silhouettes are certainly still around, but we are loving the new version of A-lines and ball gowns. It's not the ball gown we're all too familiar with: it's easier, more comfortable, lighter, and unfussy. We're calling it "Updated Romantic" since the days of stiff, poufy styles are (thankfully!) long gone.
Easy, Breezy Chiffon
Chiffon is back. Keeping with the flowy and light theme, chiffon creates movement that is so easy to wear. We saw chiffon in a variety of ways, including layered over silk charmeuse and silk crepe, and in full skirts as a contrast to an ornate bodice.
The use of color in wedding gowns has been around for the past couple of seasons, and we can now say that it is a trend with staying power. Almost every designer showed at least one gown in color. But before you think about going out and buying a hot pink wedding dress, consider the use of subtle color. It's so much more wearable than a shock of color (like we saw with bright-colored sashes a few years ago or with some of the all-over red or pink - or black! - gowns we've seen recently), yet it's a way to bring uniqueness to your wedding gown. Our favorite looks were shades of champagne, blush, and the lightest blues - with dreamy names like "coral mist" and "candlelight."
The newer illusion trend is also continuing. This time we're not seeing it only on necklines: it's everywhere, from sleeves, to backs and décolletage. In the sheerest of nude and ivory materials, with many of the illusion details you really can't tell the fabric is even there unless you're within touching-distance. We think this is the most elegant way to bring in the illusion trend. And illusion long-sleeves are by far our favorite way to have a full sleeve that will never be associated with the word "matronly."
Tasteful Low Backs
Designers showed the low, low back look this season with styles that are well-made and tasteful. Brides want to be alluring yet appropriate, which is why we were thrilled to see the super-low look in ways that are surprisingly easy to wear and without veering anywhere close to trashy territory. We think showing off a toned back is the most elegant way to show some skin on your wedding day.
One of the biggest trends we saw this season was metallics. From rich and royal golds to shimmering silvers, we loved seeing metallics on laces and embroidery as opposed to an all-over metallic look. Again, it's about being unique while maintaining wearability. This look is eye-catching yet soft, edgy yet feminine. And imagine how gorgeous this would look for a fall or winter wedding!
We loved seeing what's called horsehair hems (which is a bit misleading, as this type of hem is now made from nylon instead of actual horsehair). These hems are a type of crinoline netting that creates volume without being bulky. They look like ribbons, but they hold their shape while being incredibly light and translucent. We saw horsehair hems this season in airy, romantic gowns - as an ultra flattering take on a peplum, and as the most modern, wispy ruffles.
The off-the-shoulder look is another great way to bring romance into your wedding gown, while highlighting the collarbone. Our favorite off-the-shoulder looks are structured without being too restricting. (We asked the models to show us how high they could raise their arms. The best answer we heard - with a demonstration - was, "I can't do the YMCA, but I can raise the roof!") You don't want your arm to look or feel glued to your body, but going for this ultra flattering style does work best with a bit of structure so the fabric doesn't just hang loose.
Long, Coordinating Veils
Along with designers embracing the romantic, flowing style of gowns is the reemergence of cathedral-length, coordinated veils. The details of these veils are just as well-crafted as the gowns, but - again - they aren't heavy. They compliment the gowns without overtaking them, and they look and feel like a cloud. Because they are so light and unstuffy, these stunning veils would look just as good at a rustic outdoor wedding as they would at a traditional church.
Fashion Forward Coverage
Jackets, capes, and ponchos were all over the runways this Bridal Fashion Week - in ways that aren't just for show, but that are actually easy to pull off for your wedding day. Our favorite versions are perfect to add for the ceremony or for photos, and they don't cover your whole dress. Perfect for the fashion forward bride who wants a timeless gown.
Which look is your favorite? Tell us what you would wear and what you would leave behind. And stay tuned in the coming days for the full collections of our incredible designers, behind-the-scenes at the fashion shows, and the details about all the new gowns we're bringing to Colorado!