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The Incredible Lightness of Being (a Bride!)


By Juli Alvarez for Project Wedding

The new bridal collections left us breathless and wanting more...designers stopped at nothing to give brides incredible choices for their wedding gowns. Here are our top picks and top contenders for the key looks of the season.

Keep it Light:


The groom might have swept you off your feet, but this seasonʼs dresses will make you feel as if you are walking on air. Super weightless fabrics like chiffon, tulle and airy organza are the stuff that dreams are made of. Monique Lhuillierʼs collection is light and ethereal, her dresses float like clouds in layered yards of frothy silk tulle, chantilly lace and featherweight organza. Transparent corset bodices and sheer peek-a-boo panels are essential at Reem Acra, where layer upon layer of sheer mismatched fabrics co-exist to create a surprise at every turn.

Mother Nature:

Flowers were positively blooming in every collection with tiny buds, cabbage roses, sweet daisies and perfect peonies that adorned necklines, skirts, shoulders, trains and even entire gowns. Clearly the decoration of choice, designer Carolina Herrera went for drama in the garden with her pastel silk floral jacquard finale gown topped off with a straw boater trimmed in flowers and feathers. Christos appliqued and embroidered thousands of delicate flowers on dreamy romantic tulle gowns, making this youthful collection one of the best this season.

Return to Structure:

Itʼs time to hit the gym again as designers declare a focus on the female form. Boned lingerie-esque bodices and slim, sexy columns appeared in many collections. Vera Wang has made lean, architectural shapes and tailored mermaids in silk faille and mikado a key look in her line, while Reem Acra draws attention to the bust and embraces the waist with her sexy satin and lace corsets. Designers as diverse as Elizabeth Fillmore, Mark Brower for Vineyard and Badgley Mischka are also cutting closer to the body while keeping the look refined and ultra-feminine.

Texture is the New Bling:

Forget about overly beaded dresses. Interesting textures and fabric mixes will make your gown special this season. The freshest looking dresses are draped, pleated, tucked and layered with a mix of soft and crisp fabrics. Rich, luxurious materials that are crinkled, folded and artfully draped are the staples of Vera Wangʼs collection which pushes wedding fashion into the future. Marchesaʼs Georgina Chapman adorned gowns with organic-shaped fabrics, like this simple crepe column with strategically placed pleated organic swirls.

Crystal Clear:

If beading is an absolute MUST for you, then look for those gowns that tread lightly with clear and iridescent paillettes. We adore the clear, crusty jeweled necklines and shoulders that give a subtle hint of sparkle like the refined, quieter beaded gowns from Jenny Packham, who usually goes for an all-out rhinestone riot . Try a shiny fabric like charmeuse dotted with light touches of Swarovski crystal, itʼs more sophisticated and gives just the right amount of glow, or add a sparkling belt that will give important definition to your waist while going for a touch of glam.

Color Wheel:

If white and ivory leave you feeling pale, designers have got an exciting new color palette for you this season. Black is back, but so is grey and navy is new too. These shades donʼt feel somber, they feel sophisticated and quietly chic. Need a brighter hue? Then look for warm shades of peach, blush, lavender and lighter blues. Lazaroʼs leafprint gown in bold dramatic shades of burgandy, plum and green would brighten up the darkest room while Oscar de la Renta gets highest marks for his extraordinary use of color. His painterly grass green peasant skirts, pink sheaths and navy tulle finale ball gown brought tears to our eyes.

Short, Shorter, Shortest:

Whether you are long and leggy or just scraping by at 5ʼ 2," a short dress could be the perfect wedding day look. Designers like Amsale and Melissa Sweet proposed sixties style short sheaths and dresses with flirty skirts that are fun and dance-worthy. Marchesa gave us the shortest wedding dress ever and the newest of all short looks are the dresses that go from short to long. Our favorites are from Ines di Santo and Reem Acra. A short dress can also serve as the perfect second dress for your reception if one dress just isnʼt enough.

All good things must come to an end...

When the shows finally came to a close and all the dresses were packed up and shipped out, we took a moment to reflect on a stellar season of wedding fashion. Clearly, this is an exciting moment to be a bride. Enjoy every minute, soak up the attention, and add a little bit of fantasy to your look. Maybe itʼs a bohemian feathered vest over your dress, or perhaps itʼs a pale lilac sandal that stays hidden from view under your gown. Whatever you decide, there are so many wonderful choices this season that youʼll want to say I DO again and again and again.

Last Updated: August 3, 2013 at 11:37 pm
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