Calling all couture-inclined brides.
With all this talk of fashion-forward, or even “alternative” bridal looks one might think that we were championing abandoning the wedding dress altogether in favor of something, anything, else. Which, in reality, could not be farther from the truth. More than anything, we value personal style above all else, and the most important element of personal style is the fact that it’s personal. In other words, you do you.
And what if you fall somewhere in between the two camps of wanting something beautiful and traditional, that also happens to be high-fashion, and highly original? Enter couture designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, who have just released their first full bridal collection. “We’ve always incorporated wedding dresses into our previous collections, so there were always wedding dresses around,” said Snoreren when we met the pair at The Whitney Museum last week, just before their bridal presentation. “We’ve always been intrigued by the fact that a wedding dress is such an iconic garment. You get married once in your life, and it’s a symbol of that moment,” he added. “And in that sense it’s also close to couture—with couture it’s always a one-off.”
While the designers stopped showing a ready-to-wear collection in 2015 to focus on haute couture, their runway designs are notoriously experimental. Think: dresses inspired by picture frames that question the distinction between art and fashion, or a collection of polo shirts turned cubist collages with masks and ruffles so huge they completely hide their models’ faces. “Of course, with couture, we experiment—couture is a laboratory. A collection of wedding dresses is a different animal, but we do take a bit of the experimentation into weddings,” said Snoreren. “For instance, by focusing on the sculptural aspect of the dresses, it’s really a study in volume. They may have a slight surreal twist now and then, but of course it’s toned down, because it’s meant to be worn. It’s more restrained.”
The collection of twenty looks, which showed this past weekend, featured sculptural bows, stiff ruffles, and two tailored jumpsuits. “Sculptural fabrics [are a design signature], we don’t use any fluid fabrics,” added Horsting. The jumpsuits and trousers were really an experiment for us, but the shops really love them. We like that attitude of a woman in pants.”
But beyond that, and despite the architectural edge of their pieces, the designers don’t have a specific woman in mind when they’re working. “We don’t think [of a certain woman when we design], the dress is always the end goal,” notes Snoreren. And when the dress in question is arguably the most important one a woman will ever wear, shouldn’t that be the point?