From bejewelled capelets to floor-sweeping capes, this pretty garment has become a must-have bridal fashion trend. Some can be super warm and can save you on a cold evening, while others are thin and ethereal, creating a beautiful extra layer that shines and dazzles as you walk down the aisle.
From Marchesa and Jenny Packham to Berta and Viktor&Rolf, many labels showcased short wedding dresses. A cropped gown is not exactly new, but this season it is shorter than ever and well above the knee. Some of the looks are quite casual, while others are very elaborate, beautifully adorned with tassels, feathers, ruffles, fabric flowers, bling or bigger-than-ever pearls.
This trend started evolving a few seasons ago, and it is now huge. Big bows appear at the front, at the back, on-the-shoulder or around the arms. One big bow is often the only adornment on a streamlined satin or georgette dress. A statement bow also appeared a mere accessory, often casually tied around the neck like a choker or featured on a bridal veil.
We have seen three-dimensional blooms and all types or sparkly embellishments dominating the bridal catwalks for years, but it seems that pearls will have a big come-back in 2018. They have been used excessively by many designers including Naeem Khan, Monique Lhuillier and Theia, and they were featured on wedding dresses, gloves, capes and strings of pearls which were layered on the wedding gowns.
Each season, new colours are entering the bridal colour palette, and this time the rainbow of pastels and earthy shades was interrupted by dramatic outbursts of black, vibrant red and even blue. Reem Acra offers an entire range of black gowns encrusted with sparkly diamonds, Jenny Packham presented three intricately embellished lipstick red wedding gowns, while Ines Di Santo closed his show with a breath-taking burgundy dress that featured a trumpet-shaped skirt made from super shiny satin.
Accents of black is a trend we haven't seen in a while but a surprisingly big number of designers including Marchesa, Carolina Herrera, Justin Alexander, Romona Keveza, Vera Wang and Elizabeth Fillmore included black into their collections. Reem Acra used a combination of black and white as she went from black evening gowns to the of white wedding gowns but also added black elements to her white gowns like gloves and sashes.
Off-the-shoulder wedding dresses have carried over from last season and were seen in nearly every collection for Spring 2018. Bare shoulders immediately add a modern feel to any gown, and a special bonus is that this silhouette suits most body shapes. We also saw the cold shoulder (cut-outs on the shoulders) trend this season.
You don’t want to wear anything traditional or formal? Embrace the new trend: casual bride! A frothy tulle skirt topped with a sequinned jumper or a denim jacket is feminine but informal and a bit edgy, a simple white shirt dress is elegant but also quite rebellious, and if you feel comfortable in trousers, feel free to wear them instead of a gown. The trend varies from effortless chic that dominates the Houghton collection to the elevated street glamour beautifully interpreted by leading couture brands like Oscar de la Renta and Naeem Khan.
Sheer fabrics are becoming more and more popular in bridal fashion. And we aren't just talking about illusion detailing or decorative overlays. The translucent, corset-style bodice paired with an oversized skirt is the new twist on a classic ball gown, but some designers such as Zuhair Murad also offered a few head-to-toe transparent looks including a sheer lace jumpsuit and a see-through A-line dress.
There were a lot of big, cascading ruffles in the collections. Ruffled tulles and organzas added volume to ball gowns, but sometimes they appeared on much less dramatic vintage-style lace dresses and mini bridal gowns. Some of the most striking pieces include ball gowns by Viktor&Rolf, Christian Siriano and Ines Di Santo.
Simple, embellishment-free wedding dresses made of luscious silks and satins will also be popular in 2018. Sometimes the charm is in simple designs and the perfection of cut and tailoring. A silk wedding dress should fit like a glove and if you don’t like the bling or 3D blooms or anything that is too much, then the new streamlined look is ideal for you! From Monique Lhuillier’s silk ball gown to Temperley London’s bohemian dress inspired by the 1970s, there are so many different looks to choose from.
Bridal couturiers often search for inspiration in bygone eras and journey through the history of fashion to find some really interesting wedding gown shapes. If you love the antique appeal, then look for wedding dresses with high collars, voluminous sleeves, crinoline skirts and peplum waists.
Bridal gloves are another detail that will remind you of bygone eras. Once upon a time, women wore gloves to protect their delicate hands and to prove their status, but today they are purely a fashion statement. While satin and lace are fabrics traditionally used to make gloves, we saw barely-there tulle embellished gloves with crystals or pearls. We love this trendy, new addition to bridal attire!
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