Here comes Bridal Fash­ion Week

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Leanne Italie

NEW YORK » Here comes the ... march of the wed­ding gowns for Bridal Fash­ion Week.

From boho chic to tra­di­tional ball gowns, mod­els dressed as smil­ing brides took Man­hat­tan this month for a trade show of their very own fol­low­ing the fall cy­cle of wom­enswear run­way around the globe.

Some high­lights:

MARCH­ESA

“Bridal week is def­i­nitely happy,” said Keren Craig, who com­prises half the brand’s de­sign duo with Ge­orgina Chap­man. “It’s all about love.”

The two put their brides on a white plat­form, let­ting nat­u­ral light from huge win­dows drench their ro­man­tic off-the-shoul­der gowns in fit-and-flare sil­hou­ettes, among other shapes adorned with flo­ral em­broi­dery, and Chan­tilly lace un­der­lays in sub­tle blush and nude tones.

They drew in­spi­ra­tion from Eos, the Greek god­dess of the dawn. Her gown, wo­ven with flow­ers, played out in long strands of pe­tals, flo­ral thread­work and cas­cad­ing draped bus­tles.

There was a lin­gerie feel in sheer and trans­par­ent el­e­ments com­bined with con­structed corsets and lace bustiers.

“What we do see now is the bride is go­ing more in the di­rec­tion of want­ing plung­ing necks, a lit­tle more sheer­ness, an eas­ier dress,” added Chap­man in a joint in­ter­view with Craig. “Not just nec­es­sar­ily the tra­di­tional big ball gown.”

Nowa­days, Craig added, a bride of­ten searches out more flex­i­bil­ity for her big day, such as a de­tach­able cape they put on a high-low skirt that lent a mod­ern touch.

“They want to trans­form their dress eas­ily with­out ac­tu­ally hav­ing to change,” she said.

As for color, some de­sign­ers are go­ing bold. Not these two. They stuck to muted, tra­di­tional tones.

“We haven’t done any black yet,” Craig smiled, “but never say never.”

YOLANCRIS

The de­sign­ers be­hind this Euro­cen­tric brand are sis­ters from Barcelona, Yolanda and Cristina Perez. And this time around, they had their brides draped in gold, with a mo­tif of spikes of wheat wend­ing through the de­tails.

It was their haute cou­ture Stu­dio Col­lec­tion in­spired by the Vic­to­rian Age and the work of 19th cen­tury masters: Van Dyck, Rubens, El Greco. The de­sign­ers car­ried the artists’ hero­ines and dream­ers into rich laces, or­ganza, em­broi­dered tulle and hand bead­ing done in flo­rals.

Many of the gowns were show pieces with huge bulges in places few brides would care to em­pha­size, but oth­ers were beau­ti­fully crafted in lushly laced wear­able col­umn sil­hou­ettes.

Two had un­usual bro­cade and beaded backs. A third in gold had heavy Vic­to­rian shoul­ders atop long sleeves.

“The pres­ence of the wheat is so im­por­tant. It’s the line that con­nects the col­lec­tion,” Yolanda ex­plained in a joint in­ter­view. “The gold is a new color for a bride.”

Wheat, they said, sym­bol­izes growth and fer­til­ity.

Can the gold be worn in church?

“Yes, ab­so­lutely,” said Cristina.

The sis­ters dressed Kim Kar­dashian’s sis­ters as brides­maids for her 2014 wed­ding to Kanye West and Bey­once wore one of their del­i­cate white bridal dresses when she col­lected one of sev­eral stat­ues at the MTV Video Mu­sic Awards last Au­gust.

MONIQUE LHUILLIER

It’s a big year for Lhuillier: Her 20th year in the fash­ion in­dus­try, in fact, and for bridal she took a look back through her ar­chives in search of where she’s been and where she wants to go.

And her lat­est bride? Well, she’s a breath­less, ex­cited in­genue with tou­sled hair who could prac­ti­cally wear her wed­ding gown to bed.

Lhuillier de­con­structed gowns into sheer, em­bel­lished neg­ligee styles with lay­ers of tulle and del­i­cate lace in come-hither shades of white, cream and blush. Some of her gowns came in deeper shades of cof­fee, gold and fawn.

“This year, I was so nos­tal­gic look­ing back,” Lhuillier said in an in­ter­view. “I was re­ally en­joy­ing look­ing through the years. There’s a lit­tle sen­ti­ment but also a move for­ward in a lit­tle color, some neck­lines that are a lit­tle more ex­ag­ger­ated. I was think­ing how to make bridal new and ex­cit­ing again.”

Among the more in­ter­est­ing de­tails were some stand­out backs. One crossed like a sports bra but came in lace with sil­very sparkles on a sleeve­less drop­waist gown that hugged the body un­til it gave way to a full tulle skirt. Another had sheer sleeves with flo­ral de­tails with a round, open back in the color of a latte.

There were other sleeve mo­ments. One flo­ral-ap­plique, lin­gerie-in­spired gown plunged into a sexy V at the front and in­cluded sheer asym­met­ri­cal sleeves open at the shoul­der.

Evok­ing her past, Lhuillier in­cluded dainty lit­tle rib­bon belts.

“I did a lot of soft lace dresses from the very be­gin­ning and newer ver­sion of that for to­day,” she said. “It’s all about so­phis­ti­ca­tion and real ro­mance.”

BADGLEY MISCHKA

Caf­tans for your wed­ding? Badgley Mischka asks, why not?

They cre­ated three in their lat­est bridal col­lec­tion and in­sist they’re just as good for walk­ing down the aisle as they are for the re­cep­tion or other wed­ding week­end events.

All three are shades of white with em­bel­lished V-necks. They’re clearly not for ev­ery­one but would fit into just the right desti­na­tion or beachy wed­ding. And they could also be eas­ily reused.

Caf­tans are a big part of the cou­ture busi­ness for Mark Badgley and James Mischka.

The two of­fer bridal looks at a range of prices, from cus­tom and cou­ture to highly af­ford­able. Care with cut and ex­tra touches are ev­i­dent through­out. Royal white and blush were the main palettes.

In the lower priced line, the Belle line, the com­pany has in­tro­duced more bridal sep­a­rates that — like the caf­tans — could be in­cor­po­rated into a reg­u­lar wardrobe, in­clud­ing an ele­gant pair of pleated palazzo pants paired in the show­room with a sleeve­less beaded top that had a touch of flut­tery feath­ers at the bot­tom.

The top would be per­fect with a pair of jeans after the wed­ding.

MARY ALTAFFER — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Another ex­am­ple of the Monique Lhuillier bridal col­lec­tion is mod­eled dur­ing bridal fash­ion week in New York.

MARY ALTAFFER — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mod­els show­case dresses from the Monique Lhuillier bridal col­lec­tion dur­ing bridal fash­ion week in New York.

BEBETO MATTHEWS — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

This dress is part of the Badgley Mischka bridal col­lec­tion. From boho chic to tra­di­tional ball gowns, mod­els took Man­hat­tan this month for a trade show of their very own fol­low­ing the fall cy­cle of wom­enswear run­way around the globe.

Another cre­ation part of the Badgley Mischka bridal col­lec­tion is seen in New York.

MARY ALTAFFER — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Monique Lhuillier bridal col­lec­tion is mod­eled dur­ing bridal fash­ion week in New York.

BEBETO MATTHEWS — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A dress part of the Badgley Mischka bridal col­lec­tion.

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