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Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2007

New bridal gowns feature metallic trims, defined waists

April 29, 2007

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— The dresses are still white, feminine and romantic. But the details in the latest collections of bridal gowns look new.

Noticed: More ethereal Grecian silhouettes, slender waist lines, bubble hems, mermaid hems, metallics and Chantilly lace.

"Dresses used to be more similar from season to season, but now they're taking inspiration from ready-to-wear," said Theresa DiMasi, editor in chief of Brides.com, after attending a week of bridal collection shows here earlier this month.

The metallic accents, along with attention to the waistline, are straight from the high-fashion runways. It's worth noting that the line between fashion designer and bridal designer is blurring - Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and Badgley Mischka all present separate wedding collections, and Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier, who both have their roots in bridal, are full-fledged fashion players.

Brides who like these au courant looks will have to be patient and hope the fashion details have some staying power. The collections are aimed for release this fall, and most gowns purchased won't be worn until a wedding next spring.

In keeping with spring thinking, many of the dresses were floaty and dreamy, DiMasi said, but there also was an effort to make them body-conscious.

"Designers know that brides are in great shape, whether they're 20 or 40, so all the silhouettes aimed to show that off. Mermaid hems, trumpets, fluted gowns - they all have elongated waists and there were not nearly as many ballgowns," she said.

De la Renta said he tried to take into consideration that brides are getting married in a variety of places.

"For this collection, I designed something for every kind of bride. Flowing silk chiffon draped gowns for an island destination wedding, silk brocade cocktail dresses for the fashion-forward city bride, to romantic embroidered ball gowns for a classic countryside wedding," de la Renta said in an e-mail to the AP.

Overall, the gowns also weren't heavy on beading or embellishment.

Sequins were more popular for cocktail-length dresses, which DiMasi presumes to play into another trend - the trend of two wedding dresses. One is traditional for the ceremony, and the other is shorter for the reception.

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