Updated Oct. 27
Wedding-day fashion is steeped in tradition, but as New York’s Luxury Bridal Fashion Week revealed, today’s bride is just as free to assert her individual style on her big day as in daily life. The collections yielded a breadth of styles to meet the demands of an array of bridal personalities — whether she wants to keep it low-key with a bias-cut slip for an intimate backyard ceremony, or max out on glamour for a large-scale formal event with a fairy-tale ballgown.
As WWD previously reported, the arm emerged as a key focal point for the fall wedding season with Elizabethean sleeves and unconventional glove styles from bridal favorites like Christie Nicole and Houghton giving those on the spring ready-to-wear runways a run for their money.
Keeping the party going, other major trends included volume, bow embellishments, sweeping trains, shimmer and shine and transparent details. An undercurrent of ’90s-tinged minimalism also arose to counteract all the princess pizazz and round out the assortment. Here, WWD breaks down the top bridal trends to keep an eye out for fall 2023.
1. Voluminous Ballgowns
The timeless ballgown marks its return in a big way for fall with larger-than-life skirts, made modern in a range of fabrications. For instance cupcake-like tulle and 3D floral renditions from the likes of Reem Acra, Monique Lhuillier, Amsale Marchesa Couture, and the debut label Madeline by Madeline Gardner. Elsewhere, brands such as Houghton, Ines di Santo Couture, Francesca Miranda, Sareh Nouri and Peter Langner also offered creative spins on the traditional pouf style.
2. Minimalist Mindset
While ready-to-wear designers tapped into minimalism on their spring runways with tailoring and boxy proportions, those in bridal proposed the idea è la sophisticated and pared-down wedding styles that ranged from two-piece sets, as seen at Scorcesa; slips from Savannah Miller and Jenny Yoo; skin-baring frocks with angular cutouts from Katherine Tash, and unadorned dresses from Sebastien Luke, Kyha Bridal, Besa and Elie Saab.
3. All About Bows
Across the fall 2023 bridal collections, bows were a go-to embellishment for bridal designers. Whether looking to go big, with oversize constructions from Amsale, Eisen-Stein and Nadia Manjarrez, or add a playful touch with dandier decorations — as seen from Viktor & Rolf Mariage and Honor — the trend sends a message of playful glamour for a bride’s special day.
While most brides tend to pull focus toward the front of their gowns with plunging necklines or thigh-grazing slits, there’s no doubt the back is what that draws the most eyeballs at the altar. This season, wedding guests will have a lot to ogle from their pews with the “mullet dress,” a business-in-front-party-in-back hybrid, emerging as the standout option in many collections. From Monique Lhuillier to Francesca Miranda and Halfpenny, overskirts with high-impact cathedral trains mopped up the competition.
5. High Shine
All that glitters is wedding-day gold this season with designers offering megawatt surface embellishment to entice the bride looking for a dress to outshine the rock on her finger. Rather than ornate swirls or dainty florals, which have become synonymous with bridal couture, crystals in geometric alignments gave graphic punch to the dresses at Rebecca Vallance and Dana Harrel, while Katherine Tash and LaPointe offered fish-scale sequins in line with the mermaid trend bubbling to the surface in ready-to-wear.
The bride unwilling to sacrifice raw sex-appeal on her big day will be pleased to discover the sheer array of transparent dresses that emerged this season. Cut from fabrics like lace and tulle and worn with nary a negligee in sight, peek-a-boo details expose more than just flesh, they are a clever way to highlight craftsmanship as well, showing off Galia Lahav’s corsetry know-how or the three-dimensional rosettes from Christie Nicole.