Do your research. When you go to try on wedding gowns for the first time, present your bridal consultant with images so he or she can an idea of what you envision. Then have an open mind because sometimes the perfect gown isn’t what you expected.
Bridal Fashion: Designers You Should Get to Know
We teamed up with Stylist Beth Chapman of The White Dress by the Shore to compile a list of eight wedding gown designers, both new and old, doing amazing things in the world of bridal fashion.
A household name in the world of fashion, designer Georgina Chapman just brought her beloved couture to bridal this past year. Known for her meticulously crafted gowns boasting intricate details, Chapman’s new line has all of that and more. She embraces floral appliqués, flirty ruffles, soft feathers, and long, flowing chiffon fit for a goddess. Every gown screams high fashion while remaining wearable.
Ivy & Aster
Ivy & Aster’s refreshing, quirky personality and soft, ethereal designs have landed them a spot among the elite in the world of couture bridal fashion. This designing duo has shared a lifelong friendship and brings a personal touch to the design and distribution of their gowns by cultivating strong connections with its brides, fans, and shops through social media, sharing with them a line that gives a down-to-earth personality to tiered tulle skirts, simple silk chiffon, and ruched sweetheart bodices.
This iconic designer exemplifies the preppy lifestyle and has taken that landmark look to bridal. You’ll notice classic Lily P prints in white on white or characteristic colors, like pink, hiding under an ivory lace overlay. The line offers a variety of styles that suit many types of weddings, from casual to elegant, while also offering options for showers, luncheons, and rehearsal dinners. You can expect to see short, lace dresses with capped sleeves, gowns sporting big satin bows, and a sheer boatneck or two.
Whimsical fairy princess fashion is one way to describe the designs of Portland, Oregon–based, Sarah Seven. Delicate fabrics like Swiss dot tulle, blossoming ruffles, and gently pleated waistlines characterize her 2011 spring collection. With a focus on the feminine, Sarah Seven finds inspiration in vintage designs but gives everything a modern look. She uses all-natural fabrics, like silk, wool, and cotton voile. To top off her seemingly flawless profile, five percent of all sales go to charity.
Each season, Claire Pettibone delivers a collection comprised of couture gowns that push the bridal fashion boundaries. Her continuing collection features styles like Chantilly, Cherry Blossom, and Kristene, which can be seen on the pages – and often covers – of major wedding publications. The newest collection, Spirit of the Night, is wildly ethereal and opulent with sparkling, floral embellishments, illusion necklines, romantic sheaths, and blouson sleeves.
This red-carpet regular is known for much more than dressing the stars. Her bridal line is one of the most unique and exciting, yet it consistently provides very wearable designs, from short and playful dresses to full-skirted ball gowns and the sheaths in between. Her embellishments are often lavish, but many of her designs let the fabric speak for itself. This season, crystal-embellished keyhole necklines, tufted skirts, and elegant corsets grace the Lhuillier runway.
Stylists say that almost every bride could find a gown to love in the Modern Trousseau collection. Manufactured in Connecticut, this line has made a name for itself all over the world. Each design, though remaining fresh, seems to invoke the inner-child who dreamed of looking like a princess on her wedding day. Classic silhouettes incorporate textured lace, full tulle skirts, and satin belts or bows. Don’t overlook Modern Trousseau accessories. Their belts, boleros, and veils make for stylish additions to almost any gown.
Anne Barge has been designing wedding gowns for years, but her most recent collection is making a splash with sophisticated, vintage designs for the modern bride. The collection includes a 1950s-style ball gown inspired by the dress originally worn by Jacqueline Onassis on her wedding day. It features smooth silk taffeta, a natural waist accented by a ruched belt, and a ball gown skirt of light-catching pleats embellished with large taffeta flowers. The chapel train that follows this gown down the aisle is truly fit for royalty.