We've asked Rachel Leonard, the fashion director at Brides, to be our guest writer for today and weigh in on everything she saw during New York's Bridal Fashion Week. Keep reading to find out how Rachel breaks it all down for us.
Every season, New York's Bridal Fashion Week follows on the heels of the ready-to-wear collections, and uses a similar format—runway shows parading designers' takes on what women will want to wear. Only this version features looks exclusively for the Big Day. It can get a little repetitive, watching hundreds of gowns in shades usually varying from white to cream march down the catwalk, but this week has been absolutely thrilling.
There was a major movement to lighten things up. "Fluid" was a huge catch word for designers, who showed lots of airy, delicate gowns a girl could dance in; sleeves continued their domination (the Duchess Kate-effect lingers); and we saw tons of illusion looks with tattoo-style lace (think Beyoncé at the Grammy's, but less risqué).
A few standout trends:
The Amazing Lightness of Being: Vera Wang, Reem Acra, Monique Lhuillier, Inbal Dror and countless others sent gorgeous, easy-breezy gowns down the runway. Many featured illusion necklines, sleeves and backs, using new fabrics with a little stretch that makes the lace climb your body like a second skin. (We think this trend was made for bride-to-be Mila Kunis—this Reem Acra would perfectly flatter her petite, curvy frame.) For the color-loving bride, Monique sent out a lovely mint green tulle ball gown to oohs and ahhs from all in attendance.
The Ultra-Classics: Carolina Herrera never fails to amaze, and this year was no exception. The master of the elevated classic, her full gowns with layers of texture will be huge with brides looking to have their classic princess moment. Many of her gowns had simple fronts and gorgeous backs, including one that mimicked an oversize bow—beautiful. Peter Langner also caters to the classic bride, and there was one of his in particular—this beaded, body-conscious gown. We could totally see Scarlett Johansson wearing for her own wedding.
Boho is Here to Stay: Adorably beachy dresses perfect for a destination wedding were shown at Oscar de la Renta and Watters, complete with headbands and flower crowns. Shoes totally optional.
The Rise of '30s Glamour: The Great Gatsby brought back the '20s. Now the '30s are making their play as a decade of inspiration. I loved the fluid, glamorous gowns at Jenny Packham and Truly Zac Posen. Along with showing his signature corseted looks for David's Bridal, Zac also featured a slinky, bias-cut gown with a winged back. So elegant.
Sweet Separates: Two-piece dressing. Houghton, Pronovias and Hayley Paige (who isn't yet a household name, but it's just a matter of time), showed matching tops and bottoms, including Paige's removable long skirt over a short dress—lose the skirt and you're ready to hit the dance floor. Not the first time we've seen it, but now the tops and bottoms are lighter and more effortless than ever, so you can definitely wear them again. In the unlikely event that Kim Kardashian decides against wearing five-figure custom couture to her Parisian wedding this summer, we could totally see her in this two-piece look by Houghton. After all, it's the newly minted fashion maven's third wedding, so we wouldn't be surprised if she wears something a bit untraditional this time.
Minimalist '90s: Houghton referenced Kate Moss' simple style from the early '90s, and it certainly seemed like Vera Wang's chic slip dress was inspired by Carolyn Bessette Kennedy's stark, Narciso Rodriguez wedding dress from the '90s, too. With an easy dress, easy hair and natural makeup, at least you'll look the part of a fuss-free bride.
For Brides' complete Bridal Fashion Week report, visit here.