What top bridal gown trends will you see in 2017?
This past October, I had the privilege of attending New York international Bridal Week (NYIBW) held at Pier 94 in New York City. For those unfamiliar with this event, it’s a bi-annual industry marketplace showcasing top names in wedding gown and bridal fashion from all over the world. Similar to corporate trade shows you might be familiar with, this event allows designers to showcase their upcoming collections while giving buyers of retail stores the opportunity to touch, feel, become educated on the fabric and embellishments used, see what the different design options are for each gown (meaning can straps or sleeves be added to a gown, can different bodices be swapped with different skirts, etc.), and, most importantly, purchase gowns to sell in their stores.
Designers and their representatives are there to answer any questions buyers may have regarding the dresses, as well as give buyers the opportunity to see the gowns “in action” during fashion shows held throughout the day. These events are only open to industry insiders.
We spoke with representatives and designers of the industry’s hottest and most sought-after brands, and want to share the trends you can expect to see in your local bridal shops this year.
Versatility and Customization
Badgley Mischka and Enzoani will be bringing you something unique in that their lines will offer separate pieces you can mix and match to create your perfect look. Very similar to ready-to-wear, you can choose the bodice and gown to meet your exact vision. Kang Chun “KC” Lin, Creative Director for Enzoani Bridal Division, says, “The dresses are lighter; there are more color options like champagne and blush; and you can customize your look with pieces like bodysuits and removable skirts. It’s all about giving our brides everything they need to make their dreams come to life.”
Skirts are also going to play a different role. A brand representative for Badgley Mischka Bridal Division, said, “Going on the same page of separates is gowns that come with overskirts. The overskirts for this season are larger volume, usually with ruffles, and when taken off reveal a sexier beaded mermaid gown underneath.” In addition to skirts, other customizations include gowns that have removable capes and jackets.
Look from convertible looks from Candace Wu, designer of Candace Wu Couture, as well. Convertible looks are great for making it seem like you are getting two gowns in one.
Soft, Feminine and Comfortable
Girls, we’ve all done it before. How many of you suffer through wearing something uncomfortable because whatever you are wearing looks amazing? On your wedding day though, you really want to take comfort into consideration as it’s a long day full of photos and dancing. Saundra Farr, US National Director of Augusta Jones, said their line for this year expect to see lighter fabrics, alternatives to the traditional lace and structured looks. Think more bohemian style with 1970s inspiration. Farr says, “Brides are looking for lighter fabrics, they’re looking for alternatives to lace, so a lot of structured looks, definitely boho bohemian looks so some of the 70s flares. … They still do like lace, but little cap sleeves, straps, some sort of alternative to strapless as well has been very popular, too.”
From Casablanca Bridal, you’ll see comfort showing through in many different ways. Charlotte Pratt, Marketing & PR Associate for Casablanca Bridal, says, “One of the things we’re seeing a lot of, obviously with the rise of social media, brides want to capture their whole day on their cell phone. … So you’ll see this season and beyond, a lot of our gowns are starting to have pockets in them and the reason why you’re seeing that is because brides want to have pockets to keep their cell phone.” Their gowns for 2017 are also going to be very clean and modern. Pratt says, “Fall 2017 is clean modernism, so Casablanca has traditionally been very elaborate and beaded. That is still a huge signature and part of who we are; but we also are moving more toward designs that are a little more simple, like satin fabrics with maybe minimal beading at the waist or the neckline, but very clean, modern and fresh looking.”
“Brides are looking for comfort,” says Martin Thornburg, the head designer for David Tutera and Mon Cheri and head merchandiser for Mon Cheri Bridal. “They want to have a good time, so comfort is a really big fashion trend. Even though you might not think of it as such, it is.”
The Classics with a Twist
Let’s face it: Trends come and go, but some gown styles and fabrics always seem to withstand the test of time. If you are looking for lace or classic ballgowns, you might want to look at the Christina Wu brands. “Lace is still a very big trend, and I can also see brides wanting more glitz and bigger ballgowns, and that’s a little bit different than (what we’ve seen) the last few years,” says Wen Wu, CEO of House of Wu.
Sam Pappas, co-designer for Amaline Vitale Bridal, says the most important thing about trends and more classic gowns is that
that you need to feel like yourself in the gown and “you want to look back 20 years from now and still be in love with the dress.”
For a bit of a twist from the classic look, designer Tadashi Shoji says to be on the lookout for off-the-shoulder looks as a variation of the more traditional strapless gowns.
What about Bridesmaids?
If you are a bride who already has a dress and are in the market for gowns for your bridal party, Vivian Diamond, owner and designer with the Dessy Group, says brides should always keep the bridal party in mind. Bridesmaids want to “feel really pretty and special too,” Diamond says, “because she’s walking down an aisle and being viewed prior to the bride, so she’s really a precursor to the bride coming down the aisle…”. What she sees happening sometimes is brides fear taking over. “So many brides are a little fearful of bridal party looking too good.” However, she thinks quite the opposite. “I think it’s a statement, it makes you look better as the bride. It makes you look really good if your bridesmaids look beautiful because they’re smiling and happy”. She says it gives everyone a very good sense of the effort put into your wedding.
Following the trends of what you read earlier, Diamond says, “Chiffon I still a very, very strong trend”, as well as more romantic fabrics such as crepe and tulle. Additionally, you are going to see sleeker and sophisticated party looking dresses, as well as varying lengths. The trend of brides wanting longer dresses for their bridal party versus shorter dresses always flip-flops, but both styles are available.
Which of these gown trends excites you the most? What does your dress look like?
Make sure you check out part 2 of this series where we give you tips on how you can prepare for your first bridal gown appointment.