We were certainly not disappointed as this season offered plenty of new collections, new directions and fresh new points of view. Designers reinvented the classic notions of romance and modernism with dynamic shapes and luscious fabrics.
You might come to the conclusion that every bridal designer suddenly became an expert in botany, because each collection was resplendent in blooms, blossoms and buds. Dresses with skirts engulfed in giant cabbage roses, delicate silk petals that fluttered up and down entire length of gowns, and even dresses that were actually constructed like a giant flower were popping up on the runways.
True girlie-girl designers, Monique Lhuillier and Claire Pettibone showed off their green thumb with pretty dresses laden with flowers of all varieties. Riviniʼs show was artistically set in the theatre space at New Yorkʼs Alvin Ailey Dance Studios with models streaming up and down aisles and finally disappearing behind a giant flower-strewn skrim giving the viewer a multidimensional experience.
THE NEW ROMANTICS
For those die-hard of romantics among us, this season will leave you with options, options and more options. There is an abundance of tulle, chiffon, organza, super-light taffeta and lace. Many dresses are mere layers upon layers of featherweight materials that will leave you feeling like you are floating down the aisle, with your feet never touching the ground. A good dress can do that to you. Just look at the dreamy gowns from Reem Acraʼs collection…a group of pretty tulle, lace and taffeta dresses that are wearable works of art with passionate touches of embroidery tucked here and there.
Watters & Watters turned out dress after dress that could make any non-believer weak in the knees and no one could deny that designer Elizabeth Fillmore is a true romantic at heart. Her tea-stained couture lace empire gown has a regal air of romance without the sugary aftertaste.
For the first time in many seasons, we witnessed a return to big ball gowns. The news is that they are light and airy and crafted from sheer, delicate fabrics like tulle, organza and point dʼesprit. The big skirts are balanced with tiny, form-fitting bodices that highlight the shoulders, the bust and a feminine defined waist. Platinumʼs dramatic ball gown has a skirt fashioned from rows and rows of loops and is all wrapped up with a pretty amethyst silk taffeta sash and oversized bow in back.
Pnina Tornai went all Marie Antoinette on us, with giant hoop-skirted gowns fit for any modern day princess and Ines di Santo also believes size matters with her major satin and organza statement ball gowns.
The big message also applies to hair and hats, which grew to massive heights and widths and wildness, witness these doʼs (and perhaps some donʼtʼs) from Claire Pettibone, Kenneth Pool and Ines di Santo.
If youʼve got lithe legs (whether long or vertically challenged) than youʼre in luck this season. There is no lack of knee-length, miniʼs and super-miniʼs to choose from. And in some cases, even shorts. Yes, thatʼs right…Jewel for Priscilla of Boston showed a sassy hot-pant romper under a sheer, floaty organza overskirt. For the Lady Gaga in us perhaps.
The short dress has become an important option for brides now, no longer just a last minute addition for destination ceremonies, these dresses are serious and well designed so you would never feel short-changed if you opted for less length. Case in point, the feather trimmed mini from Jenny Packham, high in style and high on the leg is still sophisticated and totally chic. Melissa Sweetʼs Reverie collection gives brides the easy option of separates with a delicate lace blouse paired with a millefeuillelayered organza mini-skirt. Sometimes ladies, Less is More.
The ʻmodernʼ dress got a makeover this season. No longer just a clean column with little or no embellishment, the new clean focuses on shape and beautiful quiet textures and refined details. So if over-the-top ball gowns with all the bells and whistles just arenʼt your thing, but you still want a little something-something, then this is the season for you.
Angel Sanchez, who is a master at simplicity, sculpted unique laces and silks into unlikely graphic shapes with sharp necklines and cut-outs.
Douglas Hannant offered up a perfectly tailored tuxedo for the androgynous-minded while Amsale delivered sixties-inspired gowns in neat, retro bell shapes, short and long that bring to mind the great glove-wearing Kennedy era of style.
(By Projectwedding, Images courtesy: Firstview)
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