In a nutshell: Bridal fashion looks nothing like it did even five years ago.
As if the six (!!!) ready-to-wear and couture collections seasonally weren’t enough to keep up with, there’s also bridal to consider. Like couture, bridal is impossibly fun, romantic, and sure, a little impractical. We love it.
To distill the very best of the best, we turned to Lisa Gooder, the executive director of Brides, who attended a whopping 18 shows in just about five days and was somehow able to keep all the trends straight for us. Here’s what she loved.
It’s that time of year again! After a whirlwind Bridal Fashion Week (where I attended 18 shows, 15 presentations, and had countless appointments filled with gorgeous wedding looks), I am more excited than ever to see what the brides of 2018 will be wearing. They have some incredible options to choose from! Off-the-shoulder, deep Vs, illusion necklines and sleeves, lace, and long-sleeved dresses have all made the leap from just another wedding dress trend to bridal classics. This season’s brides should still be prepared to bare—shoulders and legs, that is. Off-the-shoulder necklines got an upgrade courtesy of detached sleeves, and minis, even shorts, ruled the runway. Here, my six favorite trends of the season.
This is the evolution of the off-the-shoulder neckline we’ve seen everywhere for the past few seasons. I love this new idea, because off-the-shoulder dresses are so flattering but can be less than comfortable. With a detached sleeve, brides can get the same look and still dance the night away and hug all their guests comfortably. This is also a convertible look, and I can imagine a bride wearing the sleeves for the ceremony and removing them for her reception. Two dresses in one!
Brides will definitely be wearing pants for fall 2018. We saw a pair of structured pants, jumpsuits, or even flowy palazzo pants at practically every show. A lot of them had a hint of retro-chic—like the sweet, matching off-the-shoulder set at Lela Rose—but there were also a lot of edgy alternatives in the form of lace jumpsuits at Naeem Kahn, pants topped with overskirts at Sachin & Babi, a tailored satin pantsuit at Monique Lhuillier, and even a disco wedding look with wide-leg pants and a crop top at Hayley Paige. This trend is a personal favorite—I think it’s so chic. If it’s too non-traditional for some brides for their wedding day, it’s also a great option for the rehearsal dinner or one of the many other wedding events.
Minis and Shorts
Designers are really thinking about the after-party for 2018. So many brides are changing into another dress at some point in the night, and this season’s styles ensure that the second dress can be just as special as the first one—and more daring brides can choose this as their main look. We saw loads of miniskirts pop up at Rime Arodaky and Marchesa and Hayley Paige. Naaem Kahn even showed a whole second set of dresses after his show ended, and models took to the dance floor in sparkly minis. One of my all-time favorite dresses this season at Marchesa was a mini only in the front—reminds me so much of Stephanie Seymore in the “November Rain” video! In keeping with this trend of showing some leg, this was the first season that I saw lots of shorts and rompers, which feel best suited for a destination wedding.
While we saw a lot of short capelets on the runway last season, this Bridal Fashion Week ushered in the very regal princess cape. Long, like a train, and fastening at the neck, these capes turn a wedding dress into a fairy tale almost immediately. This season, we didn’t see as many veils—but some of these capes done in tulle and sheer fabrics feel like a veil with a modern take. Elie Saab, Alison Webb, Naeem Khan, Ines di Santo, Alexandra Grecco, and Berta all made them look amazing. One of the things I like about this trend the most is that you can wear the cape for the ceremony and remove it for another look at the reception. Who doesn’t love an outfit change?
This trend definitely captured a sweet Audrey Hepburn-like feeling. A lot of designers showed tea-length dresses, with a Dior’s New Look feeling. I also loved the modern pencil-skirt take on this trend seen at Galia Lahav and Inbal Dror. Either way, this gave us the feeling that designers were looking to vintage styles for romantic inspiration.
Modern and Clean
This was my favorite trend of the season. Practically every collection had something for us minimalists—clean silhouettes with no muss and no fuss. We saw this trend everywhere, from those known for clean designs like Viktor&Rolf, Lela Rose, and Amsale, and even from those who love the ultra-embellished like Reem Acra and Mark Zunino. I think unembellished dresses are really the most fun to wear, as they allow you to choose an amazing shoe, bag, statement earring, or even a jacket. Plus, don’t forget, clean and modern never looks dated—these photos will be around forever!