BY CHRIS BAMBALIS, CO-OWNER OF NITSA’S APPAREL
It is a wonderful time to be a bride! The current offerings of exquisite fabrics and beautiful silhouettes are amazing. From the designers’ creative energies to the fashion runways, it is always exciting to see which dresses will make their way into the bridal boutiques. In other words, which “trends” will have the staying power to become the new classics.
Initially, some may have thought that strapless gowns and fit to flair or modified trumpet silhouettes were a passing trend. Interestingly, though, as some brides moved away from the traditional church weddings in the late 1900s, more women chose the strapless gown, and this trend has been going 20 years strong. In the 2010s, brides began choosing the fitted mermaid silhouettes which accented their curves. These body-hugging gowns were offered in every material imaginable, from French laces to silk satin and silk organza, and some were embellished with beading and embroidery. This trend also reigns supreme today.
In fashion, how does a look go from an emerging trend to an enduring classic style? Perhaps, someone of notoriety makes a fashion statement by choosing something that is out of the mainstream. In 1840, Queen Victoria donned a white wedding gown during her wedding to Prince Albert. Before this, brides wore dresses of color. The affluent took notice and this transformed into the new fashion bridal color of choice.
More recently, the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and the revealing of her bridal gown on April 29th, 2011 created great anticipation. The bodice of her dress detailed a low V (plunging by royal standards) neckline and long lace sleeves. Designers took note and sleeves appeared all over the runways during Spring 2012 Bridal Fashion Week. The designers also took her V plunge neckline to new depths in recent bridal shows as Kate’s fashion statement continues to influence the bridal industry today.
Bridal designers draw their inspiration from a plethora of avenues. Many of them deliver on the promise of the unexpected. Some combine femininity and romance with an elegant edge. Whether they are capturing that girly fun spirit or that sophisticated aesthetic, it is always nice to see emerging and established designers evolve and grow each season.
SEVERAL CURRENT TRENDS TO NOTE FOR 2017:
LOW BACKS…whether the dress is strapless, donning a sleeve or straps, the designers have created a look of a traditional wedding gown from the front while showing some skin in the back for that walk down the aisle.
LOW V FRONTS…just how low will they go?! These plunging necklines seem to be taking center stage. Some bodices are a tad more conservative with subtle illusion gracing the front of the neckline.
BIG CASCADING BOWS…again, the focus is on the back. The designers are rolling out their version of the beautiful artistic bridal bow detail that sets the stage for a magnificent back.
SLEEVES ANYONE…the long sleeve trend continues (as ushered in by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, a.k.a. Kate), but now it is billowy and airy. Let’s keep an eye out for the bell sleeve gracing the bridal runways which is now showing in the ready-to-wear market.
PRINCESS FOR A DAY…the resurgence of the ball gown is evident at the shows. Tiered and flowy skirts trimmed with cascading horsehair in varying widths and soft floral details graced the runways. Cascading ruffles were also making a showing.
SHEER FABRICS…where did the lining go, you might ask?! Varying degrees of sheerness (practically see-through) on the bodices and skirts did not leave much to the imagination. Flower petals and other organic embellishments were used to mask the delicate areas.
SHOWCASING THE SHOULDER…exposing lots of shoulder with the portrait-like neckline and the cold shoulder (sleeves with cut outs at the shoulder) drew a lot of attention. This statement follows a trend from the ready-to-wear runways. It is the nice midpoint between strapless and a fully covered bodice.
THE CINCHED WAIST…corseted bodices were paired with ball gowns as well as fitted and flowy skirts. The corsets were detailed with lace, embroidery and elaborate beading while the structure and boning of this fashion wonder showed off the waist.
SHOW THOSE CURVES…many designers love the draping effect of the beautiful crepe fabrics and other soft fabrics to show off their slip dress designs. Many detail a bateau neckline and are accented with lace or beading.
IT IS TIME TO SPARKLE…gowns featuring varying silhouettes are emerging with shiny metallic embroidered threading and embellishment covering the dress. Some glistened as though they were sprinkled with stardust throughout the fabric. As for accessories, bold shiny chokers and large statement earrings add that pop of bling to add sparkle to your day.
THE BLUSHING BRIDE…it seems that the non-white bridal color of choice for the runway is various shades of pink and one of the Pantone approved colors for this year. The designers created layers of texture and fabric to bring out the softness of this hue.
MORE COVERAGE ANYONE…capes in all lengths and shapes were paired with the gowns. The cropped versions were accented with whimsical trims and feathers.
THE FAIRY TALE ENDING…long veils with beautiful laces and soft floral details extended well beyond the dress to create a soft and romantic finish.
Time will tell which runway trends will make the walk down the aisle. It is a wonderful time to be a bride!