The Bridal Catwalk
Your Guide to Wedding Fashion, Fall 2007
By: Maven Gowens
Are you a fashion-forward bride? Will your wedding be the designer event of the fall?
Innovative style and creative design are making their mark on the modern wedding, and every year the latest trends become that much more elegant and original. If you're searching for the perfect way to inject a little ultra-modern cool into your bridal gown – or if you want to treat your guests to the best in couture events, check out our fashion tips for Fall 2007 below.
When it comes to bridal gown fashion, 2007 looks a lot like 1957, with a delicate emphasis on the ethereally beautiful and the lightly sophisticated. Some couture designers are taking their cues from the subtle sophistication of the "Good Old Days" of the 1950s; others are taking a more elaborate route, imbuing gowns with the ultra-soft femininity of taffeta and tulle, bubble hems, and circle skirts.
While an age known for straight-ahead lines and no-nonsense Modernist styling might seem an odd choice of inspiration, one expert says the meaning behind all the new austerity is clear. " There's a definite desire to make the wedding gown as romantic as possible right now," says Atlanta-based wedding expert Sandy Medina. "People are feeling old-fashioned and traditional. You're seeing that idea of celebrating the classic reflected in all kinds of formalwear."
Medina says designers" emphasis on structured shapes such as trumpet skirts and column sheaths is a direct result of the everything-old-is-new-again atmosphere on the runway. Such shapes also complement the bride herself.
"Brides are really becoming the centerpiece of the modern wedding, in ways they never were before," she adds. "It's only fitting that the wedding gown itself highlights and calls attention to the feminine form."
That's why some designers are accentuating a "goddess" look of flowing fabrics, dewy makeup schemes and billowy trains. Some gowns also feature a "Belle Époque" look cultivated from 19th Century Parisian styling. Full-length sleeves, bustles, and elaborately crafted backs evoke late-Victorian elegance but make a simple statement of delicate style at the same time. Cultural historian Jennifer Conner says modern audiences can't help but feel a connection to that moment in time when it comes to wedding romance.
"Modern consumers are hardwired to think 'one hundred years ago' when we hear the words 'classical' or 'traditional',” Conner says. "The late Victorian period was as good as it gets for that entire period. It was the high water mark before all the changes that came with the 20th Century."
Much like the retro-hip austerity of the Modernist bride, the latest in bridesmaids dresses involves simple lines, columnar sheaths, and off the shoulder bodices. The twist for fall, however, involves vividly living color.
"It's not the cut of the dresses this year so much as their shade," Medina explains. "Brides are going with hues that would've been outrageous just ten years ago. We're seeing a lot of oranges, a lot of aquamarines, and even some deep purple."
Turning up the volume on the bridesmaids dresses lets brides add some pop to even the most traditional weddings.
"Orange is probably the hottest color right now. It's a marked contrast to the white of the wedding gown, and when paired with a darker brown or kiwi makes a really sumptuous statement when the wedding party assembles for the ceremony."
Fashionable young couples are taking a cue from movie stars for their hottest honeymoon destination, saying "Benvenuto" to scenic Italy. "The Tom Cruise – Katie Holmes wedding near Rome really put Italy on the map as a destination," says one Atlanta-area travel agent. "We're seeing couples heading not just there but for Tuscany, Sicily, and Venice too."
Of course, the different parts of Italy appeal to different tastes. Rome is a jet-setting capital of the world, while Tuscany's quiet wine country with its exotic arts and architecture appeal to those wanting a quiet getaway, where a bride and groom can focus on each other.
Another popular form of honeymoon is the so-called "epic adventure." Such trips might include driving across America in a convertible, exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu, or hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains. These adventure trips, experts say, probably appeal most to the "overachieving" couple who want their honeymoon to be not just a grand vacation but also the experience of a lifetime.
Receptions and Parties
One word comes to mind when summing up the hot receptions of 2007: "Cheers!" Rather than the elaborate banquet of times past, many couples are choosing to host their reception as a swank, informal cocktail party where guests can mingle and relax. The reception might have a theme, such as a Napa Valley wine tasting, or simply be a martini party a la The Rat Pack (making a great complement to those 1950s wedding gowns.)
Serving small appetizers formed of the latest fusion cuisine is another popular choice, as is presenting guests with an elaborate dessert buffet after the drinks or the conventional meal is served. The dessert buffet, a sleek contrast to the regular "all you can eat" style buffet of years past, is a simple way to serve guests a variety of gourmet foods without spending a fortune. Some designer cuisine includes treats as diverse as gourmet cheesecake, special mousse, and handmade sherbet or ice cream.
Desserts can also be the "finishing touch" on a wedding motif or "Couples use the dessert buffet to tie their wedding theme together," Medina says. "They'll serve key lime pie fresh from Key West if they’re having a beach-themed wedding. One couple was honeymooning in New Orleans, so they served their guests chocolate doberge cake and café au lait after their meal." As when serving any dessert, make sure any pastries or daisy-based items can be refrigerated and arrive at your guests table as fresh as possible.
My Wedding Favors wants you to look your best on your wedding day, whether your style is fashion-savvy or simply the best of your own creativity. We carry a complete selection of elegant wedding favors, groomsmen gifts and bridesmaids gifts, inexpensive wedding favors, wedding party favors, and bridal shower favors to fit any style and taste. For a complete look at our selection, visit us online at www.myweddingfavors.com.