Traditional, classic moments at Bridal Fashion Week

  • Tue Apr 25th, 2017 12:30am
  • Life

NEW YORK — For some designers, Bridal Fashion Week meant a turn to modern yet classic dresses with plenty of options in sleeves, necklines and silhouettes.

Some highlights:

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MONIQUE LHUILLIER

She had it all in stretch satin that hugged the body and full tulle skirts with ruffles and folds that fluttered down her runway in a rehearsal room at Carnegie Hall.

Some of Lhuillier’s brides wore lacy tulle gloves with rings on top and others walked in webs of pearls that cascaded over their shoulders and halfway down their backs.

There was romantic drama, but enough to please just about every bride in whites with a touch of latte and cappuccino shades done in organza and floral embroidery, Chantilly lace and illusion effects.

Lhuillier showed little bolero jackets and a variety of necklines, from plunging to sweetheart. Some sleeves were caps, other lacy and long. She dropped some waists and offered plenty of long trains both embellished and left alone.

One sleeveless tulle A-line gown was embellished with flower petals. Another of her creations came in white silk adorned with Chantilly lace, with a sweetheart neck and a natural waist that led to a full ball gown.

“For spring ‘18, you’re going to see tradition, coming back to classic elegant designs,” Lhuillier said in a backstage interview. “I really wanted to embrace a tradition of a wedding.”

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INES DI SANTO

Never shy about going her own way, Di Santo went for simplicity this time around.

Ever influenced by her Italian and Latin roots, she showed classic looks paired with high, braided hair sculpture. She, too, stuck to the whites with a single, elegant pop of bright red that fell to a perfect squared off train.

She finished some backs with covered buttons and box-pleat trains. Floral embellishment was hand-painted on a lingerie-strap gown with a sweetheart neck and an A-line skirt. A halter ball gown with an illusion neck had intricate tiers of ruffles on the skirt and a cathedral-style train. Another halter came in the cut of a trumpet gown with a corseted bodice and an asymmetrical pleated skirt and an exaggerated bow at the back.

Plunging necklines were abundant, including one on a long-sleeve coat with bows worn with a slip dress that had a front slit.

“We started very clean, then we go a little bit more with details but only where you need it. I wanted to be traditional in a modern way,” she said backstage. “The most important thing to remember is the elegance of a woman.”

Her red look evoked a flamenco dancer, from her model’s dark braided hair sculpted into a basket shape, accompanied by red flowers, to the sexy neckline that hugged the body before it erupted into dramatic pleats at the thigh, with a flourish of pleats at the back.

“I went with red on the lips, I went with red on the dress. I love red,” Di Santo said.

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MARCHESA

Think of Castle Howard, a prominent brick-walled English garden, and you’ve got a sense of the Marchesa bride for spring.

Ruffle bows and flower detailing was shown on open-back gowns and dropped-waist bodices. Silver beaded threadwork and pearl embroidery were layered over Chantilly lace underlays and delicate illusion tulle.

Designers Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman relied on the English rose garden at Mottisfont for their lower-price Notte collection with floor-sweeping gowns in creamy ivory. Beading and threadwork atop tulle was reminiscent of blooming florals wrapped around the garden’s wooden posts and vine-covered pergolas, according to the show’s notes.

The two have loads of red carpet moments on the backs of celebrities, but brides are different.

“People are, like, how is it when someone wears your gown at the Oscars,” Craig said in an interview. “What’s really incredible to me is when someone shows me a picture of a bride who has chosen to wear Marchesa for their wedding day, who has entrusted us with that moment. It really makes us proud. We get sent photos on Instagram and I really treasure those.”

The two also stuck mostly to white, with little black touches in belts and elsewhere.

“We did feel that things are going a little more white, a little more ivory” Chapman said. ” Still sheer and light feeling but less of the nude. We’ve seen that nudeness for a long time.”

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REEM ACRA

She celebrated her 20th year in business in style with a collection inspired by Tiffany jewels.

Acra showed her gowns at Tiffany & Co.’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue. Some models sauntered out of elevators to walk a winding path among the store’s shelves in looks inspired by Tiffany’s signature blue jewelry box. Acra spent time in the jewelry company’s studio to sketch her dresses inspired by the Tiffany diamond and other gemstones and signature Tiffany designs.

Her finale look was strapless and white in satin with a full skirt. Attached were actual Tiffany pieces, from diamond drop earrings to dragonfly brooches. The jewels, she said, were returned to Tiffany.

Another nod to the iconic company came in a ball gown styled in Tiffany blue, embellished with glittery yellow gold, worn with a full veil with the same shade in accents. Acra incorporated the classic Tiffany bow design in encrusted jewels on a sleek, black sleeveless gown worn with long black gloves. It was one of several gowns in black for her Tiffany brides.

Flirty black bows adorned the fronts and waists of white looks. Strings of diamonds fell from the shoulder of one black gown that fell just below the knee.

Acra sculpted bodices to reflect intricate platinum metalwork in Tiffany jewelry and showed touches of the blush tones found in the gemstones morganite and kunzite for a touch of colour among the traditional whites and blacks.

“Tiffany is a luxury stamp of quality, of fashion, of being on top of the game,” Acra said of her moment with the company. “We understand each other. For brides, their moment is something that lasts forever, just like a Tiffany diamond.”

Leanne Italie, The Associated Press


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