As bridal buyers flock to New York and Barcelona for the spring fashion shows, Clare Thompson of The Wedding Club reviews key bridal trends she spotted at last Fall’s New York Bridal Week. From dramatic sleeves to 3D texture, these trends are already influencing what brides will wear in 2017 and beyond
New York is undoubtedly the place to spot upcoming global bridal trends. With a huge home market to satisfy, its spring and fall showcases are where the world’s bridal buyers take their pick of homegrown and international gowns. Clare Thompson of The Wedding Club selects key trends for 2017 and beyond, as seen on last October’s designer catwalks.
Off-the-shoulder gowns were big news in New York fall collections and appeared across virtually all lines. Clare says: “This is a flattering and versatile neckline that can either be the focal point of a tailored or ballroom-style gown or – with the addition of lace – channel a more 1970s boho look”. With another nod to the 1970s, halternecks were also much in evidence adding length and a streamlined silhouette –showcased particularly effectively in the fall collection by Naeem Khan.
The creative use of textures – especially 3D embellishment – is coming through even more strongly than last season. Polka dots are favoured designs, says Clare, along with big and bold blooms and intricate leaf or graphic details. Bridal trends also point to plenty of glitz, with adornments such as crystals and pearls on bodices, shoulders and belt details. Metallics are also big news – used to great effect by New York talent Isabelle Armstrong, who also included exquisite lace detailing in some of her gowns. The bare-skin effect shows no sign of abating. Clare says: “Sheers are still everywhere, and particularly strong in combination with sophisticated textured and layered fabrics. Some create an almost découpage effect – brilliant for adding points of focus to a slimline gown”.
The strong silhouette is much in evidence, with neat fitted and A-line shapes is in all collections. More curvaceous fishtail skirts are still popular – strong stories in both the Berta and Legends by Romona Keveza collections. Clare spotted a clear 1950s theme, with lush fabrics and full ballroom-style skirts, often in textured silk with wide waistbands. Hi-lo hemlines are one way to work this silhouette, as they are particularly effective with a hint of 1950s styling. Overskirts are even more versatile giving the option to transform from showstopping full skirt to slinky cocktail number. Zuhair Murad showed fabulous overskirts over embellished slimline gowns.
The ‘other than white’ trend is still one of the most interesting developments in bridal gowns – reflecting both changing wedding styles and brides’ desire to do something different on their wedding day. Alongside the glitzy metallics and silvery grey shown by designers such as Isabelle Armstrong, we have delicate blush-pink from Romona Keveza, while lilac and soft mauves are making an appearance in other collections. The master of drama Naeem Khan took things one stage further with a bold cornflower blue and dazzling sunshine yellow at his runway show.
Trends to watch
Longer sleeves were already in evidence in many of the New York collections and Clare believes that the more covered look is set to become a much stronger theme in seasons to come. Look out in particular for bell and balloon sleeves – adding a dramatic accent point to a simple silhouette.