The Wedding Club’s Clare Guest – who travels the globe in search of wedding finery – highlights key trends in bridal fashion for 2016 and beyond
With boutiques in central London and Birmingham and over 20 bridal designers in the mix, The Wedding Club’s Clare Guest regularly travels to the major wedding shows to source new bridal designers and see the latest trends. Here she picks out six key trends in bridal fashion for the coming seasons.
Many wedding designers have adopted the evening gown look. Clare says: “There’s a high-glamour approach here – think late 1920s /early 1930s movie star. Clever cutting with no side seams makes many of these gowns very fluid and flattering”. Some have captured this Hollywood look with a sculptural bodice and clever draping to create a bustle effect, or mermaid or fishtail shaping to the base of the gown.
Quick change dress
A trend seen on the catwalk and in many designers’ new collections is the ‘quick change’ dress. Often this features an overskirt that you can slip off after the formal ceremony for a shorter or slimmer gown for evening. “We’ve also seen wedding trousers and shorts in the mix for evening or beach party weddings,” says Clare. Many designers are featuring detachable elements, such as shrugs, capes or a full-length train that attaches to the shoulder or skirt.
The ‘second skin’ or bare skin effect remains highly popular – using flesh-coloured mesh, lace or a combination of the two, to create a sheer and sexy neckline or back. Clare says: “The mesh is invisible and the effects can be stunning – low back or no back looks are a particularly strong theme with our designers such as Berta”.
While white and creams will always be the most popular choice, there are signs of more colour creeping into wedding gowns. Clare says: “Alongside the pale blue that we spotted on the catwalks last year, there are blush shades and even stronger hues such as a cyclamen pink”. Colour is also appearing in patterned fabrics – flowers are especially popular featuring either on the fabric design or on appliqué, belts or trims.
While the trend for bodycon gowns shows no signs of abating, a counter trend is the emergence of more demure styles. Feminine and fluid A-line shapes are reappearing, as are more formal ballgown styles – as seen in the work of designers such as Elizabeth Stuart and Provonias. Clare says: “As well as demure and romantic shapes, we’ve seen a fair few crinolines re-emerging – almost reminiscent of the debutante ballgown or Dior’s New Look”.
A major trend, seen on every catwalk is texture. Appliqué, lace and layered fabrics are popular – as are bead or crystal-encrusted gowns – popular with many of the designers stocked by The Wedding Club (including Christos Costarellos, Berta and Jenny Packham). Clare and her team are also seeing more unusual textured fabrics – some with an almost 3D effect – and predict that this trend will continue to grow throughout the coming seasons.
The Wedding Club is at 10 Yeomans Row, London SW3 and 15 Templefield Square, Birmingham B15 thewedding-club.co.uk
See Clare Guest’s expert advice for choosing a RTW wedding dress
Check out our runway pick of six key wedding trends for SS 2016