With more weddings now taking place since the start of the pandemic, designers were especially excited to debut their latest bridal collections at New York Bridal Fashion Week, held Oct. 6 to 8. The event included some in-person presentations, though most of their 2022 fall and spring ensembles were viewed virtually.
A range of styles were presented, from contemporary ball gowns with a traditional touch to sassy short dresses. “The bride today is looking for fresh ideas that she has never seen before, because she spent a lot of time during the pandemic looking at wedding dresses,” the designer Reem Acra said, “so she wants something new that she has not seen before.”
Here is a peek at the offerings from the latest bridal collections.
Wedding postponements and cancellations sparked many brides’ desire to do it up big when the time came for them to celebrate, regardless of the size of their wedding. And that meant a wedding dress that made a statement. “Now more than ever, brides are focused on creating a visual moment with their dress,” said Sarah Swann, the chief creative officer of Amsale. Designers presented gowns with lots of texture and personality, such as tulle gowns with yards and yards of exaggerated ruffles, as seen in collections by Amsale and Kaviar Gauche.
Necklines were more feminine and flattering and less risqué, as shown by many designers this season. “Square necklines look wonderful on almost everyone, and what bride didn’t love them in ‘Bridgerton,’” said Shawne Jacobs, the creative director of Anne Barge and president of its parent company, S. Jacobs. The regency era-influenced square necklines detailed silhouettes like a glamorous, beaded column dress by Dana Harel, and chic ball gowns with sexy side slits by Anne Barge and Kaviar Gauche.
Little Black Detail
Wedding dresses with a hint or wash of color are always popular. This season, designers took an edgy approach and added a touch of black for bold contrast and an elegant element. Designers like Galia Lahav and Scorcesa detailed ball gowns and sheaths with charming black ribbons and Vera Wang Bride accented an oversize neck corsage accessorizing a tulle ball gown with the dark shade.
Flowy fabrics with cascading ruffles and sexy side slits emphasized simple silhouettes and made them extra special. “I’m seeing a reoccurring theme of romance and drama trending for the current bride, whether it’s with a romantic, cascading ruffled silhouette or a high slit, and this look embodies both,” said Stephanie White, the founder and creative director of Odylyne the Ceremony, whose collection included a ruffled, off-the-shoulder A-line gown. Anne Barge’s rendition of this look was a curve-hugging, strapless gown with an asymmetric high-low hemline, and Vera Wang Bride presented a ruffled, halter neck A-line with detachable cape sleeves.
Another trend this season is the fluttery sleeve of different lengths, which add movement and gracefulness to the dress. Claire Pettibone’s high-neck, Guipure lace gown featured short, butterfly-like sleeves, while Ines Di Santo details an embroidered mermaid gown with long, illusion bell sleeves. And Reem Acra met somewhere in the middle with a lace A-line gown featuring a cape-like bodice that creates flowy, three-quarter sleeves.
Wedding gowns are getting the white-glove treatment. This retro-influenced accessory was seen in collections from Amsale to Vera Wang Bride. “Long or short, bridal gloves are making a comeback,” said Ms. White of Odylyne the Ceremony who showed sleeveless and puffy, short-sleeved gowns with delicate crocheted or satin gloves. Amsale and Hermione de Paula accessorized gowns with gloves in equally traditional fabrication like tulle and lace, while Vera Wang Bride took the edgy route and styled a tulle netting ball gown with opera-length leather gloves.