It was Bridal Market in New York recently, a fun time when the bridal designers debuted their Spring 2013 collections of wedding gowns. It is a great place to see what the trends will be in the coming seasons for wedding fashion, and one trend was very striking: more and more designers are showing wedding dresses in colors other than white. Since Queen Victoria’s wedding in the 1800s, white has been the color for brides, but do the latest trends mean that the era of the white wedding dress is coming to an end?
You would have been hard pressed even to find a white wedding gown in Vera Wang’s Spring 2013 collection. Last season, she shocked everyone by showing a collection of dresses that were mostly black, and this season, she followed that up with a siren red bridal collection. Looking back, it seems that Vera Wang has been moving away from white for a long time – in previous years she showed gowns in colors like lettuce and caramel – but her most recent gowns have completely abandoned the notion that brides should wear light hues. Given that Vera Wang is an often-imitated trendsetter in the world of bridal, one has to wonder if more American bridal designers will start using bolder colors.
Actually, you wouldn’t have to look far to see another designer who dabbled in dramatic hues this season; the Spring 2013 collection from Romona Keveza also featured several scarlet dresses. Two of them were so simple that when done in red they really did not even look like wedding gowns. A third dress, however, was a classic bridal style, just shown in a color other than white. One could imagine a bride wearing a veil and pearl bridal jewelry with that particular dress to create a very traditional bridal look with a colorful twist.
Building on what Vera Wang showed for Fall 2012, black is still being shown in the newest bridal runway shows. Isaac Mizrahi debuted a new collection for Kleinfeld that had quite a few dresses with black. There were gowns with big black and white gingham sashes (so cute!), one with a chic little black band around the waist, another with black embroidery, and one with white lace layered over a black underskirt. Mizrahi also showed some pink wedding dresses, which these days feel almost as traditional as white!
Oscar de la Renta had plenty of white bridal gowns in his latest runway show, but again, there were also gowns in non-traditional colors. He had a burgundy dress and another in red, as well as an ice blue dress that was lovely, but to my eyes looked more like an especially beautiful bridesmaid dress. Designer Ines di Santo showed a shiny black mermaid dress that was slinky and sexy, as well as a full skirted strapless black gown dusted in sparkly accents. The second gown was extremely glamorous, and I could picture it worn with a wide crystal choker and sparkly bridal jewelry to pick up on the embellishments on the dress.
Many other bridal designers had at least one or two non-white gowns in their most recent collections, from a fabulous pink strapless number at Maggie Sottero to a unique floral gown shown by Douglas Hannant. While the majority of brides still opt for the traditional white or ivory wedding dress, it is clear that it is no longer the only option. Time will tell if this colorful bridal gowns are a temporary trend, or a new wedding tradition that is here to stay.