The top Bridal Dresses Of 2012
Top Wedding Dress: Beachy Lace from Christos
No one wants to mess with a taffeta ball gown on the beach—so, naturally, seaside brides tend to gravitate toward less cumbersome shapes and materials that feel more at home with bare feet and lapping waves. If you’re infusing your coastal celebration with rustic elements, achieve that effortlessly beachy look with a corded French lace, which on this Christos Fall 2012 gown combines with a rouched organza bodice for a fit-to-flare silhouette. The look offers more old-world appeal than a slip style while still feeling fresh and s.exy.
Lyla, $4,900, Christos
Top Wedding Dress: Cowgirl Cool from Monique Lhuillier
Many brides—and particularly those with a flair for all things Texan—love to sport cowboy boots with their wedding dresses. From all-white takes on classic shapes to hot pink, studded styles, we’ve seen all kinds of boots two-step down the aisle. The trick is in finding the right dress to pair with your rancher footwear. A sure-shot option no matter your palette or theme is this short dress from Monique Lhuillier’s Fall 2012 collection, which would even look chic with a hat if you’re a cowgirl to the core.
Top Wedding Dress: White by Vera Wang Lace Gown
The black sash on this White by Vera Wang ball gown proves that color adds instant drama when paired with white. The crisp color palette was a key trend for during the Fall 2012 pret-a-porter shows and, unlike some trends, will stand the test of time—which is important for your wedding day. This A-line strapless gown features hand-appliqued lace and is layered with a long-sleeve lace blouse and black horsehair sash. Tres chic!
White by Vera Wang strapless gown with lace blouse ($1,348) and black horsehair sash ($58), available at David’s Bridal
Top Wedding Dress: Ann Taylor Silk Flutter Gown
An understated gown, like this one by Ann Taylor, is key for a rustic wedding. Think streamlined silhouettes (no ballgowns, please) and simple ornamentation (hold the bling). The raw-edged tulle on this flutter skirt gives the dress personality and dimension while still feeling causal enough for a countryside wedding, like Alison and Matthew’s wedding on a family farm in Scottsville, Virginia. For your bouquet, pick wildflowers that complement the colors in your natural surroundings—think blush tones in a garden or jewel tones in a vineyard.
And if you are reading this today, you might want to take advantage of Ann Taylor’s one-day-only 30% online discount. TGIF!
Silk Georgette strapless flutter gown, $550, Ann Taylor
Top Wedding Dress: Christos One Shoulder Lace Gown
Two tiers, one shoulder, lace overlay, bejeweled waist, illusion neckline—yes, that sounds like a lot to cram into one gown, but this look from the Christos Fall 2012 collection shows us that it can be done, and done well. Fit for an afternoon garden wedding (or an upscale rustic reception if you’re not a garden gal), the dress combines some of the season’s top trends to offer brides a look that’s both timeless and of the moment. Because you don’t want to look back on your wedding gown the same way you reminisce about mall bangs and stirrup pants. (Shiver.)
Top Wedding Dress: Manuel Mota for Pronovias
Ruffles are often cast as frilly and infantile, but for Fall 2012 bridal designers embraced the more astute side of the decorum. This gown in particular, by Manuel Mota for Pronoivas, shows it through a sophisticated lens: The flouncy neckline sweetens (and softens) the otherwise sexy silhouette, while the repeat effect on the train gives the silk sheath movement and ease. Like a bow on a present, the ever-so-slight crystal and feather embellishments are the perfect final touch. —Stephanie Davila
Top Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier Romantic Dress
This dress, entitled Moment, sort of speaks for itself. Designed by Monique Lhuillier, the gown features three-quart illusion sleeves with a pick-up skirt that is effortlessly draped to add a sprinkle of drama. Always a romantic, Lhuillier calls this collection her “floral fantasy” and used adjectives like “ethereal, dreamy, and frothy” to describe her new batch of work. We’d like to add one more word: “masterpiece.” —Stephanie Davila
Top Wedding Dress: Amsale Ball Gown
I must admit, I’m a tough sell when it comes to ball gowns. I often find them too precious or cutesy and end up gravitating to something more streamlined and sophisticated. But when done right, a designer is able to capture the best of both worlds—and that’s exactly what Amsale did with this dreamy confection. The gown’s structured bodice balances out the soft tulled skirt, while the jeweled neckline adds just the right amount of bling to keep things interesting. This gown has black-tie wedding written all over it.
Top Wedding Dress: Carolina Herrera Color-block Gown
“It’s like a dream, it’s a fantasy,” Carolina Herrera said of this color-block gown when I spoke with her during Spring 2012 Bridal Fashion Week. “I think that girl is going to be very happy, whoever wears it.” Forget happy, Mrs. Herrera, that girl is gonna be blessed to wear that dress. Cut from one piece of white, beige, and slate-striped fabric, the design wraps around the back and gathers into a bustle without even a single seam. But, as if this artful feat weren’t evidence of Herrera’s aesthetic, she topped the gown off with a small white fabric butterfly that rests (daintily seems an appropriate word) on the edge of the bustle.
Top Wedding Dress: Christos Lace Dress
It’s sad but true: Summer is coming to an end, so as we begrudgingly pack up the beach chairs it’s time once again for those transitional summer-to-fall wedding gowns. As a middle point between the airiness of summer-weight dresses and the crispness of autumn designs, we like this nature-inspired gown from the Christos Spring 2012 collection. The dusty white palette and the leafy lace of the overlay skirt feel destined for a rustic outdoor wedding while still evoking the diaphanous ease of a beachfront ceremony.
Top Wedding Dress: Oscar de la Renta
Some days just demand a little extra sparkle—and today is one of those days. Oscar de la Renta’s liquid-silver stunner from the Spring 2012 collection combines a fitted sweetheart bodice and a tiered mermaid skirt (an eye-catching combo already) with a high-shine metallic fabric. The result, as if I even need to tell you, is the kind of gown worthy of the Academy Awards red carpet, let alone your wedding day. One could do worse than walking down the aisle feeling like Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, or Marion Cotillard glamorously accepting an Oscar… in Oscar.
Top Wedding Dress: Anna Maier Ulla-Maija
Confidence is a key accessory to any successful wedding-day look, no matter how demure or over-the-top a bride’s gown choice may be. If you love it, we’ll love it. But, of course, there are also those dresses that bring an extra punch to the party all by themselves—like this Anna Maier Ulla-Maija gown with its exaggerated, asymmetrical ruffle and peek of lace. Whomever dons this dramatic dress is clearly looking for an extra nod of attention.
Top Wedding Dress: Reem Acra Illusion-neckline Gown
Simply put, we loved this illusion-neckline gown from the Spring 2012 Reem Acra runway, and we still do. The crystal-embellished column would make a gorgeous wedding dress on its own, but with the addition of an airy overlay skirt, the silhouette fuses tradition with forward-thinking design.
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