NYBFW : Bridal Trends for 2018
One of my favorite parts of attending NY Bridal Fashion Week each spring is seeing the new bridal trends that designers are putting together for the next year! This year, we noticed some definite ideas for the upcoming wedding season, and we’re excited to share them!
In the first of my three-part blog series on the Spring/Summer 2018 NYBFW, I’m going to be strictly talking about the trends we saw from the designers we visited. I only had the opportunity to attend a few appointments for photos, so you’ll see pieces from Ines di Santo, Oscar de la Renta, Rivini, Reem Acra, Galia Lahav and Lela Rose.
So a little bit about how the whole thing works first.
Solutions Bridal House in Orlando invited us to attend market with them several years ago. Whenever it works out that I don’t have a wedding, I’m there! There is one in the spring (usually around late-April), and another in early-October (which is super hard for me to attend because I almost always have weddings booked over that weekend). Designers flock to NYC to hold beautiful runway shows, which is the first time they’re presenting their latest bridal collections. Following the shows, buyers from all over the world set up appointments to see the designs in person.
At the Appointments
When we attend the buying appointments, we’re given a private showcase of each gown so the buyers (bridal stores, generally) can select their favorites to bring to their salon. Some stores will even make buying appointments with designers they don’t carry to see if their gowns will be a good fit for their brides. So although we get to see some of our long-time favorite designers while we’re there, we also get to meet new designers every year – as Solutions constantly likes to see if there are collections their brides will love.
At the appointment, fit-models will change in to each gown for us to see. Honestly, my biggest “omg” moment of market is imagining these models – usually only 2-3 per designer – changing in and out of EVERY gown each hour, for about 8 hours a day. It’s exhausting just SITTING in appointments all day – I seriously can’t imagine how tiring it is for them! Not that you’d ever know – these girls are pros and look amazing. Their goal is a bit different from runway shows and photo shoots. They usually have on no makeup, hair pulled back. It’s all about showing the gowns.
During the appointment, reps for the designer (sometimes the designer themselves) will talk about each gown as it comes out – including alterations that can be made, colors it comes in, complimentary pieces (like veils), etc. Buyers can ask specific questions – usually questions that brides will ask them when they’re trying things on! Like, can the neckline be raised, or can the train be detachable or come shorter.
A bridal salon will generally carry several designers and they’ll choose some of their favorite gowns to purchase at market. However, once a salon carries a specific designer, they’re also able to have trunk shows, as well as sell any of their gowns from past and future seasons!
Do all the gowns “make it”?
Many of my followers who kept up with my Instagram stories while we were at market asked questions about more of the “editorial” pieces that we saw. Truth is, not every gown is meant for every bride. Some designers will put “showstopper” pieces on the runway to show off their creativity and ideas. At the buying appointments, the designers look for feedback from the buyers – both good and bad. Gowns can then be re-designed with their brides in mind.
Some gowns may never even make it to be produced if not met with positive reviews (yes, it happens! It’s all part of the process developing new collections). Some will simply exist as editorial samples and are used for magazines, ads and photo shoots only. Other gowns, while maybe not appealing to the mass market in the US, may be huge hits in Asian and European markets – so that’s something to keep in mind too!
First on our list of trends are bows! From simple and sweet, to large accent pieces, nearly every designer had elements of this feminine staple in at least one of their gowns. We’ll start with Rivini, who used bow accents on the waistlines of some of their gowns.
Ines di Santo went for fuller “fluffier” bows. Most were removable accent pieces.
The gown in the middle of my Oscar de la Renta collage was a personal favorite.
It could easily cover 3 of the trends I’m listing here today, but since the bodice had a “bow” feel, I’m including it here first!
Reem Acra actually used black bows on all of their gowns for their runway show, but only left it on the final gown below.
The sweet crystal “butterfly bow” on the second gown was a tiny accent with big impact.
Finally, we noticed these sweet bow details on this velvet gown from Galia Lahav!
Mikado Silk and clean lines
With an Audrey Hepburn feel, we love that clean lines are making a comeback in the bridal market in a classy and fashionable way! Crisp fabrics with a nice weight to them and body-skimming silhouettes were definitely showcased this season. Mikado Silk seemed to be a staple in many designer’s gowns, which has a very slight sheen, heavy weight and smooth, classic lines. We started with Lela Rose, who showcased several gowns with effortless shapes and clean lines.
Ines di Santo had a mixture of fabrics and colors to showcase the perfect fit of her gowns.
I am always so impressed with the way she designs to fit a woman’s body!
Rivini used a dusty lavender rose shade to highlight the simplicity of some of their designs
Reem Acra shared body conscious designs in simple white with embellishments
Color and 3D textures
Ok, so maybe colorful wedding dresses aren’t a *new* trend, but I’m glad to see it’s a continuing trend! A few seasons ago, blue-toned colors were very in. This season, we’re seeing more blush-toned lavenders and champagne, and bold reds and blacks! We’re also seeing a lot more detail work and 3-D textures. Although lace has been a wedding-day staple, designers are taking it to a new level with the most exquisite hand-made details. I HAVE to start with the finale dress for Ines di Santo – which retails somewhere in the ballpark of $30,000 thanks to the insane amount of design-work!
Lela Rose shows off some 3-D appliques and a stunning pearl embellished off-the-shoulder draping and choker.
The “Love is Love” coat is a piece of artwork itself, with amazing hand-details and crystal accents.
Galia Lahav showcased an exquisite attention to detail in the design of her gowns.
This Israeli designer has the most editorial pieces I’ve ever seen!
Reem Acra shared the beautiful handiwork the brand has been known for in their gown details – including crystals, lacework, embroidery and pearls.
One of my favorite Rivini gowns is featured here with a removable skirt.
Ines di Santo combined beautiful embellishments to clean lines to create beautiful gowns with a little bit of an edge
Tali and I named this Oscar de la Renta gown “The Love Fern”.
This was one of my favorite gowns at market for the unique design and applique!
Rivni added a new signature to their collection, Dusty Lavender.
Showcased on a handful of their gowns, this new color is feminine and flattering
Ines di Santo stunned with 2 amazing crimson gowns. This one was our favorite – with a flounce and tuxedo back!
Galia Lahav showcased gowns in a nude champagne and fairy-tale blue
This showstopping Rivini blue-crystal embellished gown with nude underlay and veil was definitely a talking point at market this year!
Backs and Necklines
As necklines are becoming more conservative, I love the surprise of a fun or sexy back! This art-deco inspired champagne gown from Rivini has a removable skirt train and a matching veil (more of that in the next section!)
Ballerina backs are a nostalgic favorite for me. Any girl who dreamed of dancing as a child will love this sexy and sweet trend, shown here at Lela Rose.
Galia Lahav threw down the gauntlet with the back of this gown. Such amazing attention to detail!
The necklines at Reem Acra were new and on-trend! Giving a fresh take on a traditional neckline, this scalloped scoop was understated and beautiful!
Ines di Santo created beautiful backs to some of our favorite gowns.
But one thing that I love the most is the illusion fabric that blends so flawlessly with skin!
Veils and Complimenting Pieces
I honestly have NO idea what to label this – but basically, designers have been working to create multiple looks for single gowns. What this means is 2 things. First, you won’t have the same gown as everyone else, and second, you can have two looks to the same dress! We saw everything from custom veils to removable skirts, Watteu trains, capelets and gloves! Rivini designed several of my favorite veils at market this year!
Lela Rose included the Love is Love coat, embellished veils and pearl encrusted gloves with illusion mesh
Reem Acra showcased these beautiful capelet “wings”
Galia Lahav created many custom veils, belts, wing/sleeves and beautiful additions to their pieces
Is this a “butt flounce”? Someone give me a real name for it.
I made this one separate, even though it’s from Reem Acra to show how unique you can be with your gown!
This dress has a long train, and they simply flipped the top layer over her head to create a veil/blusher!
Ines di Santo showcased boleros, Watteau trains and detachable skirts in her newest collection
So there you go! Our favorite trends straight off the runway from Bridal Fashion Week! Did you have any favorites?