Kate Middleton certainly epitomized the princess bride, but her look isn’t for every woman headed down the aisle. In fact, many brides are abandoning any trace of a fairy-tale motif in order to maintain their everyday sense of style.
Designers, of course, many of whom have ready-to-wear collections, are more than happy to oblige. At the recent bridal shows, Vera Wang, for one, went so far as to offer 15 gowns in black and nude. Nicole Miller took more of an eveningwear route, serving up such understated styles as a strapless allover sequin gown. “My brides aren’t about froufrou, they aren’t about fitting the bridal mold,” said Miller. “They want their personality and personal style to shine through on their big day.”
Lela Rose president Karen Scheck couldn’t agree more. “A bride wants to look like herself on her wedding day, and not step too far out of the box of what she normally wears,” she said, adding that the firm is about to shoot its first bridal ad campaign, to be styled by Tina Chai and shot by Steven Pan.
Rose’s wedding gown line, along with that of Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Jenny Packham, Reem Acra and Marchesa, drew upon fabrics and motifs from their signature collections. “We want to bring the same things to our bridal customer that we bring to our ready-to-wear customers,” said de la Renta, whose latest bridal line includes 13 shoe styles. “The two collections are made in exactly the same way. We use the same fabrics, the same embroiderers, the same sample-makers, and the same techniques.”
Marchesa co-designer Georgina Chapman said her wedding gowns are always a continuation of the label’s eveningwear, and this collection, she notes, “stays true to the ethereal, feminine mood we have been feeling this season.”
Marchesa’s fitted lace mermaidlike gown was one of the all-time standouts for Mark Ingram, whose New York atelier specializes in designer labels. “All of the designers really took a step back and looked at where the market is now. They got artful,” he said.
Even the more extended color palette, like blush at Monique Lhuillier or blues at Romona Keveza, seemed to be derivative of nonbridal clothes. “It’s not as though they just translated a dress from their collection for bridal,” said Kleinfeld owner Mara Urshel. “And blush works, so does apricot. We sell it when it’s done well.”
While black isn’t known as a go-to hue for brides, Wang said her undergarment-inspired “Witchcraft” themed presentation struck a chord with stores. With loads of natural light streaming into her new Madison Square Park showroom Sunday, guests at her runway show could zero in on the dégradé laddering detail, asymmetric sheared flange, hand-pieced Chantilly lace appliqué and other intricate touches. Editorially minded as the colors might have been, they appealed to buyers and indicated just how progressive some brides have become. “Many stores are writing order for the gowns in black and nude, even though all the styles will be issued in ivory as well,” Wang noted. “To me it was about a design concept and it turned out to be one that resonated with the stores.”
As for Herrera, she said her collection is “dedicated to all of the women who want to be unique on the day of their wedding.” She pointed to her Helena dress, a crinkle chiffon number with flutter sleeves and a crystal embroidered belt, as a look “for the bride who seeks a distinctive yet effortless gown with impeccable movement and style.”
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion