The bi-annual shows and private viewings of the big apple have spoken. And behold, a new raft of ideas, embellishments, colour stories and what’s more – a new wind breezing through bridal. It often takes me some time to digest the shows themselves. To identify with the right blend of scrupulousness and early-adopting the stylish details that actually translate into beautiful bridal wear, rather than the statement fads that are more about the drama and media coverage for the designer in question. That’s no excuse for the long hiatus in blogging (sorry), but I would like to hope that it will mean that the result is a deeper and more considered round-up of the wedding trends to know – but with all the heady excitement preserved…
GO YOUR OWN WAY
In short, brides to be in 2015, your luck is in: if there is one watchword that describes the new mood of bridal next year, it is freedom. Because as the old adage goes, and perhaps never rung more true – you should always give the wildcard a whirl. The designers did it this season, and it really paid off. Almost all of the discernible trends had a purity and emboldened romance to them; less about the cliches and sartorial bon mots of bridal gowns than the choices of the bride wearing them. Every exquisite gown seemed closer to reflecting the bride’s style and aspirations for her dress than they have been for some seasons past. These dresses weren’t frivolous confections filled with fussy detail or oddball colours just because the designer’s ego wanted it that way: it looked like they may finally have listened to and figured the modern bride out. See Vera Wang‘s decidedly un-Vera Wang yet spectacular Spring 2015 collection, which minus the signature horsehair stiffening and visible boned bodices had a refreshing softness to it. Or the range of silk slip dresses that punctuate Net-a-Porter’s newly enriched wedding dress collection – I’m thinking in particular of the Band of Outsiders washed silk gown; £780 from Net-a-Porter.com and Maiyet’s linen blend number. Amsale got in on the statement simplicity act too, with gowns across the bridal spectrum tracing the thread that brings to mind Carolyn Bisset by way of LA’s breezy cool.
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
And hydrangea blue, quartz, gilt metallics (of which more later) for that matter. Doing something of a u-turn, many of the more romantically inclined designers left pure white and ivory behind in favour of subtle shades across the grey trajectory. A little like looking at the clouds, what initially looks like puffs of white revealed pearlescent cadences of smoky lilacs and dove greys. The result was embraced to stylish effect in Monique Lhuillier’s dreamy collection, Roberto Cavalli’s evening gown sold as bridal on Net-a-Porter, Lanvin’s Duchesse Satin gown that harkened back to the iconic Charles James debutante gowns that inspired this years MET ball, and Vera Wang’s gauntlet gloves.
FOLK & FAIRYTALE
In a nod to a wider fashion zeitgeist inspired by the ethereal beauty of Game of Thrones, Maleficent and a re-awakening love of priceless embellishment, gilt embroidery, crystal-strewn detailing – and cloaks no less at Valentino and McQueen – featured heavily. From Marchesa’s dress with a golden yoke to Jenny Packham’s iridescent lace, gossamer chain mail at Naeem Khan and silk studded with pearls and gems at Vera Wang and of course, as seen recently on the Lesage lace of Poppy Delevingne’s radiant Chanel couture gown (for the traditional London affair of her two-stage wedding) bridal is in thrall to enchanting shimmer.
CUT OUT AND KEEP
If you were fond of the backless look that bubbled up last season, and moreover Kim Kardashian’s ‘Puritan from the front, naughty from the rear’ Givenchy gown you’ll be elated to see that cut-away detail and illusion panelling are not going anywhere soon. Temperley Bridal’s Angeli gown with its modest high neckline revealed a sheer back and sleeves dotted with dainty beadwork, whilst Monique Lhuillier’s silk tulle shoulders had an illusory quality with appliqué lace embroidery floating on the surface.
Reminiscent of the the era many of today’s brides grew up in, all Clueless, Pretty Woman and Sweet Valley High VHS videoathons, there was a distinct 1990s vibe (1990 something probably being the last time you heard that word, too) to some designs. Notably the off-the-shoulder necklines at Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa and Carolina Herrera, statement short dresses seemingly everywhere with skater skirts but some more audacious designers even took the plunge with gorgeous midriff baring cropped tops at Vera Wang, Elizabeth Stuart and cult New York brand Houghton. Brutally hot.
Perhaps immodest to think it has anything to do with the damp, blustery and downright grotty weather that seems to beset Britain at the moment, I still remain grateful to the host of designers who seem to be addressing stylish weather-appropriate accessories with the same elegant touch as the gowns themselves. Booties at Monique Lhuillier and the aforementioned cloaks on the A/W 2014 catwalks all make for lovely additions to a bridal look, socks made an appearance in tulle form at Marchesa and for those of a sometime disco glam mindset like myself, Saint Laurent’s pret a porter gold glittery go-go boots would be precisely the thing to reveal when lifting up your wedding dress skirts to dodge a puddle.