A woman’s wedding gown will be the most iconic dress she will ever wear. For one night only this gown will set the tone for the entire wedding; it is photographed, touched, and treasured. As children we look at the pictures of our mother and grandmothers on their wedding day, imagining when it will be our turn to step into that crisp white dress knowing it will be one of the last steps we’ll ever have to take alone.
Over the decades what is considered fashionable has evolved. From the suits worn during World War II to the puffy shoulders and crinolines of the 1980s, the trends seen in wedding fashion are constantly changing. However, over the last two runway seasons each designer seems to be taking a cue from the past in order to design for the future. Lace, sleeves, and back detailing are beginning to rule the runway.
In 1840, Queen Victoria first donned the white wedding gown we emulate today.She had her dress designed around her most prized possession – lace! While it has fallen in and out of fashion, lace is again taking center stage. Whether a gown is head-to-toe lace or just a touch at the hem of the skirt nearly every designer has chosen to feature this versatile fabric.
Not only has lace leapt into the spotlight again, but sleeves are back in fashion and better than ever! Designers seem to be creating for a more modest and romantic era. They are showing us that a hint of coverage can be even more alluring than a plunging neckline. Monique Lhuillier’s lace and beaded sleeves provide both coverage and style, while Marchesa’s use of sheer organza necklines and sleeves adds the fresh and daring touch they are known for.
No one combined these trends better this year than the beloved Kate Middleton. We were all transfixed by what the brunette beauty would wear on her wedding day, much like our mothers watched in awe of Princess Diana. When Kate stepped out in her lace-sleeved gown, designed flawlessly by Sara Burton for Alexander McQueen, we were reminded of another who came before her: Grace Kelly. Her homage to the elegant gowns of the past showed us that to be timeless is to be modern.
Carolina Herrera took these design elements one step further and put an emphasis on the back of the gown, most notably worn by Kristen Stewart in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. The long-sleeved silk gown surprised us with a lace scalloped sheer back, keeping our eyes transfixed on every step down the aisle. Designers recognized the importance of the image captured at the front of the altar when all eyes are on the back of the gown. Details ranging from the above to asymmetrical bows have popped up on dresses, creating a stunning visual from any angle.
The most important thing to remember is to only follow trends that make you comfortable. The best thing about the designs of this year is that classic is the new contemporary, traditional the new modern. Your gown will remain fashionable for decades to come, as long as it’s worn with the perfect accessory: a smile.
Blog post written by Hannah Kohler
(DFW Events team member and our style guru!)