Berta. Photo by by Collin Pierson
Having a front row seat at New York Bridal Fashion Week fills you with that familiar bridal dread.
Hundreds of stunning gowns fresh from the couture houses float past you in a sea of tulle and lace and the sheer choice on offer becomes overwhelming. The gowns, while all so different, begin to blend into one.
Today’s bride is busy. She is a career woman. She is older. Perhaps she has already started a family. She doesn’t want to look like her mother and wants to feel sexy as well as feminine on her wedding day.
At New York Bridal Fashion Week, designers are addressing this change. On day one, Theia creative director Don O’Neill said his collection was designed to honour women’s fragility but also their strength.
“The Fall 2019 collection seeks to dress many different women and to allow them to be true to themselves,” he said before sending a model down the runway in a tracksuit emblazoned with the word “Love”.
British Australian designer Moira Hughes, showing her collection “LoveStruck” inspired by old Hollywood icons with a modern twist, agreed with O’Neill.
“My bride is a career woman. She doesn’t have time to go to 50 different sittings. She wants to go to a designer she can trust, where she knows she will be taken care of and is willing to pay more for that quality”.
While tulle ball gown silhouettes and sweetheart necklines still dominated the runway, the gowns from most designers were also noticeably sexier and romantic.
The Capri 2019 collection from Israeli designer Inbal Dror pushed the boundaries of bridal fashion with figure-hugging gowns featuring sheer panelling, high slits and short hemlines inspired by the lightness and freedom of the Mediterranean.
Inbal Dror, Justin Alexander
Romantic and modern pantsuits also showed the creative prowess of top designers such as Galia Lahav and Justin Alexander, who said he was inspired by “modern women living in diverse and exciting cities across the globe”.
At Australian brand Chosen, founder and creative director Kyha Simpson proudly unveiled her latest Curve collection which was created after a long consultation process with curvier brides.
Kyha said she believed there had been one American wedding dress for a long time. Her carefully created collection featured custom-made fabric — “like Spanx on steroids” — as well as added bust support and is being well-received in the United States.
Galia Lahav Photo by Mike Colon
Galia Lahav’s GALA collection, while lush was lavish trains, rich embroidery and giant red carpet silhouettes, was also a celebration of the “free spirit who paves her own path and embraces the creativity of her imagination”.
Melbourne-based designer Anna Campbell agreed, telling Polka Dot Bride that while last year’s bridal looks were incredibly minimal, this year designers were adding special flourishes such as buttons, statement bows and embroidery for the modern bride who still wanted to feel special on her wedding day but had no interest in looking like her mother.