New season ballgown bonanza

New season ballgown bonanza
Ballgowns are big, bold, even a little OTT. Gown by Julia Kontogruni shown at Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week

Ballgowns are big and bold for 2020, even a little OTT. So if you’ve decided it’s time to channel your inner diva and make a splash as you sashay up that aisle, here are 12 gowns that are guaranteed to make your guests and your beloved go wow!

Images: Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week
London Bridal Fashion Week

Ballgowns are perennials when it comes to bridal fashion, but for the new season the theme is big, lavish – even a little OTT. Skirts range from full to spectacularly so, and with sumptuous details such as tiers, feathers, ruffles and tulle panels. If you’ve always dreamed of going full-on princess down the aisle, 2020 is your time to shine.

1. Marchesa – New romantic

Marchesa’s romantic ruffled ballgown and bold flower earrings are perfect for taking centre stage

Marchesa is renowned for red-carpet gowns and its wonderful 2020 bridal collection is packed with treasures. This gown stands out as the perfect way for a bride to make an entrance. With ruffles and a lavish train, it also has a light and ethereal quality that is perfect for modern romantics. UK bridal stockist is Browns.

2. Simone Marulli – Pink perfection

Simone Marulli’s soft pink gown has a dramatic ruffled skirt

An alumnus of Kingston University’s revered fashion course, Simone Marulli caught our eye among the emerging talents at last year’s Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week for his distinctive take on bridal and this year’s collection is just as interesting. He describes his style as both retro chic and contemporary and this dramatic ballgown fits that profile perfectly. Playing with the classic lines, it features a dramatic ruffled skirt and metallic layer at neckline and sleeves. We also love the bold peachy hue.

3. Randy Fenoli – Crystal bride

Randy Fenoli’s crystal trimmed plunge ballgown is a showstopper

Randy Fenoli has a way with dramatic ballgowns, and his 2020 collection is true to form. This design has a lavish embellishment of crystal and features a flattering plunge neckline with wide shoulders to balance the full skirt. We also love the subtle cutaway detail – defining the waist for an hourglass profile.

4. Morilee – Fairy story

Morilee’s fairytale gown has a jewel bodice and tiered and layered tulle skirt

Morilee designer Madeline Gardner has combined her love of elaborate embellishment and fine fabrics for this glorious fairytale number, shown at London Bridal Fashion Week. It’s a look with proper ballgown impact, but with a softer and lighter profile that suits destination or high-summer celebrations.

5. Julia Kontogruni – Silver belle

Julia Kontogruni’s dramatic ballgown has silvered detailing and on-trend dropped shoulders

Julia Kontogruni specialises in spectacularly lavish ballgowns with fine Austrian crystals, hand embroidery and integral corsetry – and the 2020 couture collection shown at Valmont Barcelona Bridal Week was true to form. This ballgown has on-trend dropped shoulders and extraordinary metallic detailing, focused around the bodice and then cascading down the skirt to create an almost ombre effect.

6. Demetrios – Ice queen

Demetrios gave us this almost regal ballgown with dramatic frosted detailing on shoulders and sleeves

Demetrios was in fine form at Barcelona, showing a collection full of gowns to grace the smartest ballroom. This design stood out for its regal formality, with tailored bodice and full skirt. Beautiful frosted detailing defines shoulders and arms, continuing down the skirt for added drama.

7. The Atelier – Star quality

Designer in chief at The Atelier Jimmy Choo showed his mastery of star quality with this romantic ballgown

The Atelier is presided over by Jimmy Choo OBE, who has turned his prodigious talent for creating dreamy bridal must-haves to wedding gowns. The collection shown at Valmont Barcelona Bridal Week is rich in luxurious detail. We love this gown for its fantasy quality, but also the clever illusion panelling that is used to create soft sash draping at the bodice. The starry crystal details on the gown are pure magic.

8. Pronovias – Ruffle up

Pronovias gave us this amazing ruffled gown – perfect for bridal divas

Pronovias is always a good marker for bridal trends and this year’s show at Barcelona was all about drama and diva elements – from big shoulders to fabulous full skirts. This gown is a headliner, with its flounced skirt and shoulders.

9. Yolancris – Boho take

Modern boho specialist Yolancris gaves us ballgown gold with a series of full tiered gowns, including this fabulous number

Barcelona label Yolancris is not normally associated with classic ballgowns, but this year it showed some lovely tiered full numbers that would be perfect for a grand ball. As ever, there’s a delightful boho twist – we love this design for its flattering plunge front and gorgeous flower-trimmed skirt falling in luscious tiers.

10. Mireia Balaguer – Full froth

A ballgown among ballgowns, Mireia Balaguer showed how you make a wedding day splash

Barcelona designer Mireia Balageur loves taking a few risks and this Sefora ballgown from her Anastasia collection goes for broke. The hugely voluminous skirt is topped with a bold flower-decorated bodice, with illusion panelling to leave the back open save for covered buttons. While this fantasy gown is not every bride’s dream, it does show off Mireia’s artisanship and her collections are well worth exploring for their range and fine detailing.

11. Pronovias – High line

Pronovias’ goes for high style with exaggerated shoulders, plunge front and wide buckle belt

Pronovas aces it in the retro glamour stakes with this fabulous ballgown with a twist. Featuring exaggerated shoulders (a key trend in many 2020 collections), a sexy plunge front and wide belt, it has more than a hint of 1980s power dressing for the dancefloor.

12. Jesús Peiró – Debs’ delight

Jesús Peiró goes for a 1950s ballgown with a twist with this lovely dress and matching wrap

The 1950s was era of debutante balls and Grace Kelly glamour, and we couldn’t help thinking of both when we saw this Jesús Peiró gown and matching wrap from the new Cala collection. Fine textured silk, a full circular skirt and strapless bodice add up to a lovely formal ballgown style.


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