It’s that time of year again! Time for us to go shopping and select the gowns that will be gracing our rails next year! I absolutely love the opportunity to see literally thousands of beautiful dresses, and I adore the challenge of picking out which ones we want to buy for our boutique.
As I mentioned in previous blogs, bridal gowns don’t go through massive transformations from season to season, the styles simply evolve. So from seeing the introduction of sleeves and necklines at the last collection launches, this time high necks and sleeves were everywhere!
Last time the ‘new thing’ was the peplum, and as expected a lot more designers had picked up on this trend, and to be honest while I really disliked them before, this time I was tempted. I’ve ordered a pretty satin number with a lace bodice and peplum, we shall see! I’m still not convinced that it’s a very bridal appropriate look, but I’m sure on the right girl it will look absolutely amazing.
I also predicted a proliferation of the ‘Gatsby’ look, and I’m delighted to say I was right! The 1920’s influence was everywhere! As a history of Art geek I am fascinated by the 1920’s and the Art Deco aesthetic, so I have to say I got very excited when I saw the variety of Deco inspired pieces by our accessory designer Richard Designs. I swear I could have bought everything!
On the Gatsby theme, my favourite dress of the show was a little number by Sottero & Midgley called ‘Lyla’. As the model sashayed down the catwalk towards me, I was open-mouthed! From the fully beaded column silhouette to the fluttery little sleeves this dress epitomised the new collections for me, and whilst the price point is a smidge higher than we usually go, I fell in love with this dress and absolutely had to have her!
But the ‘Roaring Twenties’ weren’t the only period of fashion history showing their influence, as is usually the case the 1950’s Dior silhouette was being reinvented by lots of bridal designers. Some of the most beautiful dresses we bought featured gorgeous tulle circle skirts, with nipped in waists and fabulous bodice detail. This is a silhouette that we love at Cathedral Gowns, and luckily so do our brides, and I hope they continue to love them since we somehow ordered five of this silhouette! But whereas the ones we currently have in stock are mostly strapless styles, these ones all feature either built up necklines, bateau necklines and even some with sleeves.
Following on from this look we’ve also ordered a few more short bridal gowns. This is a look we’ve only ever dabbled in, but our girls are loving them right now, so we had to buy more. My favourite is a cute little textured corded lace number with sweet little cap sleeves called ‘Kitty’ – I cannot wait to see what kind of bride finds her!
A lot of the newest looks feature a lot of sleeves and some of our designers are even making them detachable. So clever! I love that the designers are getting creative and flexible with their designs. I love the notion of having a sleeved more demure look for your ceremony and then removing them for the party.
In terms of silhouette I noticed that the designers were showing either very full or very fitted dresses with very little in between. I searched for a-lines and they were hard to find! But it was worth the search since I found some real gems, I even found some pretty lace a-line gowns too that I am majorly excited about.
There were still a lot of designers showing very fitted lace gowns, but their new take on this was an emphasis on texture instead of sparkle. The one I am most excited about is ‘Paula’ by Sottero & Midgley! This dress is lush and features a gorgeous scattering of textured flowers as well as a stunning veil to match.
If there was an overall theme to the new season dresses, it would be detail! I think out of more than thirty dresses we ordered, only three could be described as plain, and even then they did have unusual design features that made them stand out. So I hope the brides whose weddings are Autumn 2014 onwards are ready for detail!