NEW YORK — Amid the backstage frenzy after Saturday afternoon’s Oscar de la Renta bridal show, a lithesome model pointed her iPhone at the makeup mirror she was standing in front of not only for the requisite selfie, but also the group shot creative director Peter Copping was posing for with three other catwalkers.
While a few editors snapped close-ups of the flowers, jewelry and shoes from the show, the Lillian Bassman-inspired model appeared to have outdone them all with her behind-the-scenes view, while unintentionally illustrating the ever-Instagrammable bridal scene.
This story first appeared in the April 21, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
De la Renta certainly knows the reach of a social media moment, as proven last summer when the late designer dressed Amal Alamuddin for her wedding to George Clooney. A Google search of the bride’s and the designer’s names totalled 313,000 results as of Monday afternoon, which is about 9,000 shy of the number of Twitter followers OscarPRGirl had as of the same time. So Saturday’s post-show scene was more than fitting for bridal types, many of whom latched onto Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook long before designers realized the need for such speed. To that end, Vera Wang first revealed several images from her racy spring 2016 “Hotel Madrid” short film via Yahoo Style’s wedding writer Anne Chertoff. Almost all bridal companies are stepping up their social media efforts to woo more brides. And their efforts aren’t restricted to wedding gowns. Nicole Miller, Monique Lhuillier, Pamella Roland and Jim Hjelm are among the labels selling to the new online bridesmaid dress rental business Vow to Be Chic.
And when VH1 airs “Love & Hip Hop: The Wedding” next month, some of the show’s nearly 2.5 million viewers will help crowdsource the bride Yandy Smith’s wedding gown. With women flooding the Internet to check out Andy Murray’s marriage to Kim Sears earlier this month, many women may not have known her name off the top of their heads, but they knew she wore a Jenny Packham wedding gown. Carolina Herrera knows how a celebrity bride drives Web traffic, as was the case last June when the designer dressed Olivia Palermo for her nuptials. (Before Herrera’s Friday night show, while some guests greeted newly minted chief executive officer François Kress, others were Instagramming the jasmine wall backdrop with abandon.)
Mark Ingram explained how this instantaneous fashion cycle is affecting the way brides shop. “Our customer has so many avenues to shop. First of all, she comes in so loaded with information, almost too much information, because the information precedes the merchandise,” he said. “It’s a tricky timeline because you have to keep the stores looking fresh and new, yet we don’t get our merchandise until six months after we see it. But the bride is seeing it six hours after they present it.”
In what will be a first for the industry, Ingram will host a four-day Jenny Packham trunk show at his Mark Ingram Atelier starting Wednesday, showing about 120 brides the collection Packham presented Friday night. As for trends, Ingram said, “Bridal is in two camps — angels and devils. We have the sexy, vampy, sireny gowns coming out of Israel — like Mira Zwillinger — Turkey and Lebanon…bare, sexy mermaid dresses. And then you have beautifully conservative ones like Oscar [de la Renta], Carolina Herrera and others…pristine, ladylike and Park Avenue. Overall, the bigger trend is about sexy, low-back, sheer, nude, placed-lace, as Vera [Wang] did to the extreme.”
Wedding dress trends are among the topics covered by Twirl, a hyper local, tristate digital wedding magazine and site that has been launched independently by Chertoff and Ingram’s marketing and public relations director Lindsay Mann. The coverage is a combination of sponsored content and editorial including daily updates about an array of such as honeymoon planning, subway and other transportation options to get to stores and dining and drinking suggestions for shopping trips.
“If you see something, we’re going to tell you exactly where you can get it,” said Mann, adding the aim is to roll out the concept nationwide. “Our fashion guides don’t just go to Kleinfeld, go to Mark Ingram. It’s going to Le Pain [Quotidien] for breakfast; it’s right around the corner from Kleinfeld’s, hop in a cab or take the F to 63rd Street, walk over to Mark Ingram, once you find the dress, go to Bergdorf Goodman for a celebratory lunch. Buy your wedding dresses at The Wedding Library, go across the street to The Pierre for cocktails. It’s not just do-this; it’s supposed to have a fun atmosphere to it because it’s a fun process,” she said.
Designer Victoria KyriaKides is also trying to make a more personal connection with brides-to-be. She will be holding trunk shows at Ever After Miami, Marina Morrison in San Francisco and M Bride in La Jolla, Calif., to offer made-to-measure gowns to brides-to-be based on the season, time of day, formality and location of their respective weddings.
Angel Sanchez will relaunch his Web site in two months, and is crafting a new ad campaign. Anne Barge had celebratory news of a different kind to share with guests at her presentation at The Baccarat Hotel: The company’s longtime executive vice president Shawne Jacobs and her husband, Steven Jacobs, bought the $7 million brand from Barge, who remains as creative director.
“I want my brand to be able to grow beyond my personal vision and to sustain itself beyond my time,” Barge said. “I chose to sell the company to someone who shared not only my style philosophy, but my business philosophy as well.”