List of Gowns
One of the strongest silhouettes to emerge at New York’s Bridal Fashion week was the dramatic trumpet, mermaid and fishtail shapes.
Bridal Icons and their influence on Modern Bridal Gowns
Queen Victoria does not seem an obvious fashion icon yet she single handedly revolutionized bridal gowns in the 19th century by opting for a simple white wedding dress instead of choosing one of the many colors that were fashionable at that time. Her heavy white satin bridal gown, trimmed with Honiton lace made a bold statement that was quickly embraced by Victorian brides and has influenced the colour of western bridal gowns ever since. She matched her wedding dress with a Honiton lace veil that covered her head but not her face again creating a new option for how to wear wedding accessories. Today, western bridal gowns are mostly ordered in white, ivory or cream fabrics.
Grace Kelly brought our love affair with lace back into focus with her wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco. Helen Rose, the wardrobe designer at MGM designed her lace and taffeta wedding dress, a gift from MGM. Her bridal gown was made from antique Valenciennes rose point lace and used 8 meters of silk taffeta and 30 meters of tulle. She wore a cathedral length veil with appliquéd lace lovebirds and thousands of seed pearls. Bridal gowns today have seen a revival in the employment of lace. Designer wedding dresses made in a variety of beautiful lace has been one of the strongest trends in bridal gowns in recent years.
Audrey Hepburn’s ivory satin wedding dress sold for nearly $23,000 at auction in London in 2009.
The wedding dress, designed in 1952 by the Fontana sisters, was made for Hepburn’s wedding to the British industrialist James Hanson. Developing cold feet, the actress called off the wedding and asked that the wedding dress be given, “to someone who could never afford a dress like mine, the most beautiful, poor Italian girl you can find.” The ivory satin bridal gown was given to Amabile Altobella, a girl from Latina, 40 miles southeast of Rome. She remembers the wedding dress fondly. “I have had a happy marriage, so the dress brought me luck,” she said. Designer wedding dresses today, borrow heavily from the 1950’s era. Audrey Hepburn's sense of style is often looked upon for inspiration. Flat bows and pleating details adorn bridal gowns worn by contemporary brides today.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy’s wedding dress was an off the shoulder ball gown of ivory silk taffeta. The bridal gown made by Ann Lowe used 15 meters of ivory silk taffeta and took 2 months to make. The bride wore her grandmother’s lace veil held in place with orange blossoms. The neckline was highlighted by a simple and effective single strand of family pearls. Designer wedding dresses today are still influenced by this iconic wedding dress.
Princess Diana’s wedding dress, designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel for her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, brought Victorian inspired romantic bridal gowns firmly back onto the bridal fashion stage in the 80’s. The ivory silk taffeta bridal gown had a tight fitting corset with hand sewn antique lace and a full skirt. The gown was hand embroidered with over 10,000 pearls and sequins. The wedding dress showcased a 7 meter long train matched with an 8 meter veil. Marked by long, fuller sleeves and an opulent full skirt, this bridal gown set the trend for designer wedding dresses in the 80’s. We are seeing a return to fuller fairytale bridal gowns with romantic silhouettes. Even sleeves, though much smaller, are making an appearance once again.