feature story

BRIDAL
gown
 
LOWDOWN

Here are our picks of the trends you’ll be seeing most this year.

by Chris Gigley


You can learn a lot from a wedding dress. The color, style and shape of a gown provide a good measure of the bride’s style—and maybe even her budget. Knowing what’s hot in bridal gowns can help you create modern bouquets for today’s fashion-conscious brides.

Editors from WeddingChannel.com; TheKnot.com; and The Knot, Brides, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride magazines as well as other media outlets observed the latest fashions at New York Bridal Market Week last October. What they saw showed an appreciation for simple, subtle designs and colors.

Below, we break down bridal gown design trends by style, color and form, to help you stay one step ahead of this year’s
crop of brides.

 

  Bridal Fashion Trends at a glance

 
 
• Floral patterns, Floral accents
• Sparkling accents
• Steel gray accents
• Jewel-tone accents
• Various shades of yellow
• Antique influences
• Dresses made of organic silks
  and cottons
 

• Flowing, sheer fabrics
• Layered skirts
• Flared skirts
• Short skirts
• Asymmetrical necklines
• Wraps and shawls


 


style
Flowers still have power. (main, right) Designers continue to embellish wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses with floral accents, and these accents were everywhere at Bridal Market Week. For 2008, however, design interpretations range from intricate floral patterns and sophisticated accents to huge fabric blooms at the waist, the shoulder and the small of the back. Brides wearing these dresses likely will be more hands-on and particular with their floral choices.






The past is present. (right) One overarching trend in bridal design is the antique influence. For wedding gowns, that means delicate fabrics such as tulle and accents such as beaded straps and lace sleeves. You can easily infuse a vintage vibe into bouquets with accents similar to those that give the gowns an antique aesthetic.














Bling is the thing.
(right) Another way designers are adding some oomph to gowns this year is with sparkling accents. They’re putting beading, crystals and other touches on the waist, the entire bodice or even the whole dress. Brides love it. You can add bling to your bridal bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres and more with the jeweled pins, metallic wires, metallic paints, glitter sprays and other accents offered by floral industry suppliers.




Green is good.
(right) Environmentally friendly isn’t a huge trend in wedding gowns, but it’s gaining some momentum. More brides are donning eco-friendly wedding dresses made of organic silks and cottons. And the green movement is showing up in virtually every other bridal category: Couples are serving free-range chicken and buying conflict-free diamond rings. For these brides, consider mentioning your access to flowers produced in accordance with environmental and social responsibility standards. (To learn more about “green labels” for flowers, see our June 2007 issue, Page 51, or click on www.floristsreview.com/main/june/featurestory.html.)





 

  beyond the dress

 
 
Brides are expressing themselves via accessories and hair styles, which gives you an even better read on the kinds of products and services they’ll want.

Accessory Trends Wraps and shawls were big at last October’s Bridal Market Week in New York City. Lightweight fabrics such as organza and chiffon are used for spring and summer while winter interpretations come in faux fur, velvet, heavy satin or pashmina. For necklaces and earrings, brides still want pearls, rhinestones and crystals.

Hair Trends Hairstyles vary greatly from bride to bride, but hair ornaments such as hairpins and hair vines made with crystals, pearls, rhinestones and/or fabric flowers are popular. Also, more brides are placing their veils directly on their hair or using a single fabric flower for a simple look.
 


 


color
These trends in color are being seen this wedding season both as accents on bridal gowns and as the main colors in bridesmaids apparel.

Gray is the new brown. (right) According to editors at The Knot, steel gray is the new accent color of choice among bridal fashion designers. The appeal is the greater versatility of gray, which looks good with everything from pale pink to bright aqua. This provides brides with more freedom to play with color in their bouquets.












Jewel tones. (below) Bright pinks, clarets, purples, blues, blue-greens and greens are still showing up, but this year, the trend for these hues is as accents to grays, whites and other muted hues. Bouquets comprising blossoms in jewel tones are the best accents of all, and they can coordinate with the colorful accents on the dresses.


Hello to yellow.
(right) Various chromas and values of yellow are all over new wedding fashions. Designers love the freshness and energy it adds to dresses without being overpowering. Yellow is also versatile, the top buzzword in bridal for the past few years. Soft yellows and bright yellows go well with almost everything. Get out your color wheel, and review all the exciting color harmonies you can create with florals to coordinate with yellow gowns (complementary, split complementary, analogous, monochromatic, triadic and so on).












form

Sweeping lines. (right) Flowing fabrics were a big hit at Bridal Market Week. More gown designers are using chiffon, tulle and other light fabrics to create the illusion of movement in their dresses and add softness to the gowns. Designers and brides alike enjoy the graceful ethereal effect of the flowing skirts as brides walk down the aisle.








Layer upon layer. Gowns with layered skirts create a textured, sophisticated look that implies quality and craftsmanship.


















Flared skirts. (right) Many gowns this year feature modified A-lines (slim through the waist with dramatic structured skirts), trumpets and mermaids, and dropped waists. These forms not only give the dresses a sense of drama but also showcase toned brides’ bodies.









Short skirts. (right) It was bound to happen. Hemlines are on the rise. Many designers at Bridal Market Week featured at least one short wedding dress in their new collections, from dare-to-bare micro minis to longer tea lengths.













Asymmetrical necklines. (right) This is another example of designers adding drama and sophistication to their gowns. Taking their cues from the Grecian look, one-shoulder dresses were all over the runways in New York City.

















Photos courtesy of the following companies:

Alfred Angelo, Inc.
www.alfredangelo.com / (877) 7-ANGELO (726-4356)

David’s Bridal
www.davidsbridal.com / (877) 923-BRIDE (923-2743)

Watters and Watters
Watters Brides

www.watters.com / (972) 960-9884
 

You may contact Kelsey Smith by e-mail at ksmith@floristsreview.com or by phone at (800) 367-4708.
 


Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.
PO Box 4368
Topeka, KS   66604

Phone: 800-367-4708
Local: 785-266-0888
Fax: 785-266-0333


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