You always know a Douglas Hannantbride when you seen her. She projects a sophisticated alternative to the ball-gown-wearing, tiara-toting princess brides of popularity, choosing instead to don forward-thinking shapes and eclectic details. For Spring 2013, she will take her cues from floral inspirations interpreted—the designer is careful to point out—"with a light hand."
Hannant's handiwork in this gown recalls the beginnings of a blue trend from last season, when Claire Pettibone and Romona Keveza sent cool-toned gowns down the runway. Will Hannant's blue floral lace creation usher in a bigger, bolder demand for bridal blue? If the old adage is being invoked, that certainly would be "something new."
Elizabeth Fillmore turned to spring's new blooms for inspiration this season, poring over hundreds of images of flowers to find the shapes and colors that would bring her latest collection to life. The resulting "romantic, soft, and modern" dresses—as Fillmore describes them—interpret the floral motifs into couture fabrics, like the bias-cut, four-ply silk crepe used to create this slinky sheath gown. The design also features a delicately beaded illusion back, adding a dose of sparkle to Fillmore's more typically textural aesthetic.
Attention Lela Rose fans: The designer is looking for "a girl who loves the illusion of lace but wants that feel in handcrafted embroidery" for her Spring 2013 season. Displaying a deft hand at creating understated gowns, the designer began with tulle as the base for this dress, layering in embroidered filigree silk and shaped godets to form the fit-and-flare silhouette, resulting in what Rose calls "organic couture." (For the non-couturiers, a godet is a circular piece of fabric set into a garment for added volume.)
A little daring, a little fashion forward, but somehow always classic, the Ivy & Aster bride is headed to France for the season. "We translated a very chic French girl into our dresses," the design team says. "We imagined how she would shop for her dress and what she would look for."
The result is this pale silver chiffon gown with a high neckline, a plunging back, and a flowing skirt. The design's billowing sheer sleeves are accented by silver and crystal beading for a touch of Parisienne glamour. In true French form, the gown is "effortlessly chic," says the team.
Lean in... just a little closer, because Maggie Sottero has something she wants to whisper. "You're beautiful, you're deserving, you're special," says the designer. "I was inspired this season by a desire to whisper affirmation to brides." Sottero's sentiments translate into a collection full of lace and body-hugging silhouettes—like this Alençon and Point d'Esprit lace hourglass gown, which dramatically forms to the body before bursting into a voluminous mermaid skirt. The design, seen here with a jeweled belt, is available in white and ivory.
Venezuelan designer Angel Sanchezdefines his upcoming Spring 2013 collection in three words: Delicate, light, and romantic. "The inspiration comes from the materials and the intricate yet romantic embroideries," he says. "They allowed me to create different effects—from simple and linear to elaborate and impacting."
The design shown here in particular draws on both streamlined and ornate shapes with a bateau neckline and a formfitting bodice that flows into a frenzy of embroidered fabric. "My bride is a balance between the modern and the classic," Sanchez explains. "On her wedding day she wants timeless elegance with a unique, modern twist."
Inspired not by mother-of-pearl itself, but by delicate, pearlescent paillettes, TheiaCreative Director Don O'Neill conjured modern elegance for his latest collection. Essentially oversize, glorified sequins, the paillettes (pronounced pie-yets) form flowers along the necklines and waistbands of O'Neill's designs. "They inspired me to use shimmering silk crepe-back satin, which beautifully complements the Alençon laces and silk organzas," he says. "I designed this collection for a radiant, modern bride who wants a simple, elegant, and sophisticated gown." If you're in the market for pearlescent shimmer, that's exactly what you'll get.
Calling an Ines Di Santo collection a "glamorous fantasy" almost seems an understatement. But the glitz-loving Italian designer will deliver just that for the Spring 2013 season. Inspired by royalty, Di Santo created opulent looks adorned in antique lace, offering silhouettes with both romantic femininity and structured movement. This extravagant strapless gown appears to suggest both, with a tiered A-line skirt of silk organza and Chantilly lace layers. And what kind of woman can pull off so exorbitant a style? Di Santo knows: "She is coquettish, sophisticated, fashion savvy, and always original."
Ten years before losing her crown, Marie Antoinette commissioned a hamlet to be built at Versailles where she and her friends could live an idyllic, pastoral fantasy—one that's finding new life on the spring runway. "We were inspired by the hamlet's beguiling rustic charm juxtaposed with all the refinement of an Empress," says the design team at Watters. The breezy elegance Marie Antoinette enjoyed at her private escape are translated into this gown, called "Odette," which features a strapless lace bodice, a banded waistline, and a cascading skirt. "The bride that would wear this dress is someone with a confident sense of self," the team says. "The torchon lace, free-floating hem, and detailed bodice give the dress a pastoral feel while the silhouette makes it appropriate for any occasion."
"Like ripples of water when you toss in a stone, this collection is based on layering, draping, and soft, sophisticated elegance," says Japanese-born, New York City-based designer Junko Yoshioka. Using off-white duchesse taffeta as the pool for her "ripples"—Yoshioka is known for her deft hand with asymmetry—she created this fit-to-flare strapless gown called "Cascade." As with the rest of her upcoming Spring 2013 collection, the designer evoked her couture-minded client by focusing on key details, like the wrap bow seen at the waist of this gown.
Nicole Miller created her new collection with multiple muses in mind. "This collection isn't for just one type of bride," Miller says. "I designed gowns to fit a variety of different aesthetics and personal styles, whether the bride is looking for a bohemian look for her destination wedding, or a more extravagant look for her big day." This dress is the designer's modern answer to a vintage aesthetic, expressed as a silk halter gown with a sheer back and artfully placed embellishments. While Miller has expanded her collection to include a variety of sensibilities this season, she's mindful that the woman slipping into this style doesn't harbor princess fantasies. "This dress is for a chic bride who wants to look sophisticated on her wedding day and who doesn't want the usual pouf dress."
Longing for the days when Erté—the Russian-born, French designer and painter—lavished Paris with his theatrical Art Deco fashions, designer Anne Barge dreamed up a modern take on '20s style for the Spring 2013 season. The gown seen here, called "Lismore," in particular recalls Erté's taste for romantic glamour. "It features an Art Deco beaded pattern with a sweetheart, on-the-shoulder neckline, a dropped torso, and a pleated, chevron-layered organza skirt," Barge explains. With such a dramatic combination of traditional textures, Erté himself would no doubt agree with Barge that the design befits, "a sophisticated, elegant bride who is also a modern traditionalist."
Having cut his teeth in fashion dressing Tinsel-Town royalty under famed Dynastycostumer Nolan Miller, designer Mark Zuninocreated his debut bridal collection with the ultimate stars in mind. "I was inspired by Hollywood's legendary fashion icons, such as a young Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Sophia Loren," Zunino says. It's a savvy place to begin, too, since those names resonate so strongly with bridal clientele. Zunino, a native of Northern California, will offer his distinct take on red carpet glamour this season, first with this voluminous ball gown, which features a strapless embellished bodice with a lace-up back. "A bride wearing this gown is sexy yet elegant, glamorous yet understated, and totally confident when all eyes are on her," the designer adds.
Alfred Angelo's Michael Shettel looked to "Art Deco-style beading, the glittering sophistication of old black and white films, and the delicate movement of fabric gliding across the dance floor" to create this Spring 2013 floral lace, fit-and-flare gown. "I wanted to blend all of these ideas, feelings, and movements into one collection," the designer says. This gown in particular channels the easy elegance of the Alfred Angelo bride with its softly gathered skirt and chapel train—sophisticated elements that are punched up by the design's jewel-encrusted illusion neckline.
Who better to watch over a bridal collection as it comes to life than Hera, the ancient Greek goddess of marriage? Wtoowill channel that muse this season with an abundance of gold details—also drawing on the gilded era of the Byzantine empire—for a modern take on Mediterranean glamour. High slits and sexy backs will return to the bridal runway in Wtoo's collection, as "they were seen on the red carpet this year and will be more prevalent as consumers look to sexier silhouettes," the design team explains. But don't expect this golden collection to sacrifice on sweeter, softer wedding looks. "Like the Greek Goddess, Hera, this bride is bold, confident, and feminine, yet she also exemplifies kindness and compassion."
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