New York Luxury Bridal Fashion Week, held virtually April 6-8, proved that weddings, no matter how small or nontraditional, will still go on and brides want their dresses. “With more intimate gatherings trending, bridal fashion has to become not only beautiful, but wearable,” said Georgina Chapman, creative director and a founder of Marchesa. Whether classic ball gowns with side slits or short, lacy dresses, designers showed styles that resonate with today’s brides. Here’s a look at some of the looks that stood out.
Side-Slit Ball Gowns
This season, designers updated the traditional princess bride ball gown and made it fit for a modern monarch with an alluring side slit that adds movement and edginess.
“This look is sexy and confident, while at the same time it’s classic and modest,” said the designer, Lihi Hod. “The slit in the skirt creates lightness in the dress and effortless drama as the bride walks down the aisle.” Ms. Hod presented a chic, strapless ball gown with a side-slit skirt and a draped corseted bodice.
Sareh Nouri’s rendition of the style features cool-girl side pockets on a regal ball gown. And Marchesa went the way of full-on romance showing a bustled, high-low gown with a cap-sleeved lace bodice.
Designers also showed Greek deity-inspired wedding dresses. “I view the brides I dress as modern-day goddesses in their own right,” said the designer Ines Di Santo. “My goal was to create silhouettes and shapes in which brides can see themselves and their style,” Ms. Di Santo added in reference to her collection, which includes a satin, asymmetrically draped strapless gown with a one-shoulder cape that is structured to flatter various body shapes.
Marchesa Notte seemed to have channeled Antheia, the goddess of gardens, with a tulle, sleeveless sheath featuring a plunging V-neckline that’s gathered at the shoulders with floral appliqués. And Ines by Ines Di Santo’s new collection features a ruched, one-shoulder trumpet gown that’s glamorously understated.
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A favorite silhouette of the minimalist bride, the sleek slip dress was far from plain and simple this season.
“We took great care in perfecting a slip dress that has actual structure and support while still offering that effortless look,” said the designer Sarah Seven of the sultry slip dress with double lingerie straps in her new collection. “It doesn’t disappoint when you put it on.”
Ines by Ines Di Santo enhanced the silhouette with luxe floral satin jacquard. And Viktor&Rolf Mariage’s refined gown molds to the body and flares into a mermaid silhouette and is finished with embellished shoulder straps.
Because many brides are eagerly awaiting their wedding day so that they can get out of their loungewear and into their show-stopping dress, designers unapologetically presented gowns with tiers of ruffles and texture.
“Since Covid, we’re seeing more brides asking for statement-worthy gowns,” said Shawne Jacobs, creative director of Anne Barge and president of its parent company, S. Jacobs. “Brides have definitely not veered away from wanting to celebrate their special day wearing their dream dress.”
Anne Barge’s new collection featured a flouncy ball gown crafted out of micro-pleated Swiss-dotted tulle. Yolancris showed a ball gown featuring a voluminous skirt of organza pleated ruffles paired with an 80s-inspired corset bodice, which also stood out in the virtual bridal runway. And Viktor&Rolf Mariage’s smocked tulle A-line gown boasts a soft cascade of ruffles.
Little Lace Dress
Combine a bride’s fondness for traditional lace and the sassy attitude of the short wedding dress and you have a perfect combination. Gracy Accad presented a flirty, flared minidress with a scalloped, deep V-neckline. Markarian showed a mini sheath with long, off-the-shoulder sleeves.
And Oscar de la Renta stole the show with an Audrey Hepburn-inspired cocktail dress featuring a hem-length Watteau train that converts into a veil.
“It felt very fresh and modern right now to create something really delicate with embroidery comprised of floral cutout faille on dainty Chantilly lace,” said Fernando Garcia, a creative director at Oscar de la Renta. “We can see this being worn by a bride on a beautiful beach.”
After a few years of many modern brides rejecting the veil, its popularity came back strong seasons ago. This bridal market, designers showed how versatile and of the moment this bridal accessory is.
“Not only does it complete your look and create an air of mystery, but brides are also favoring the veil as a sense of a layer of protection,” said Sharon Sever, the head designer at Galia Lahav. Cathedral-length veils detailed with blushers were seen with looks by Galia Lahav.
Anne Barge embellished a floor-length veil with a charming, oversize net bow. And Yolancris showed how a simple tulle veil can turn into a dreamy headpiece.