The cornerstone of every little girl’s bridal fantasy…. is the wedding dress. Even the most dubious of tomboys may find herself uncharacteristically giddy over white satin and chiffon once she steps into a bridal shop. While today’s wedding dresses reflect a different sort of femininity than the virginal innocence and modesty once required of generations past, there remains a timeless air of magic and romance surrounding the archetypal white gown. Over the years, bridal trends have represented the austere to over-the-top and everything in between. Kathy Belmont, owner of Town Shop Bridal in Poughkeepsie, and Rita Alaimo, owner of Reginella Bridal in Montgomery, weigh in on what’s hot (and what’s not) with Hudson Valley brides. Of course, by definition trends are passing fads that you can take or leave. But some criteria remain constant. Notes Belmont: “Brides are always looking for a dress that complements their figure.”
What’s great in 2008?
Last year’s runway shows showcased a few hot styles for the coming year. Among the most notable: the mermaid, which creates a truly stunning silhouette; the mini dress; and the sheath, for the more bohemian bride.
Lace high-neck mini dress by Watters Brides
Form-fitting sheath dress by Watters Brides
Ivory Alençon lace halter dress with trumpet skirt by Watters Brides
While satin is still a common fabric for wedding gowns, Alaimo and Belmont say that lace and taffeta have become increasingly popular. Sheath and mermaid gowns work particularly well in these fabrics.
A modified mermaid, called a trumpet style, is Reginella Bridal’s best-seller. While more fitted through the bodice and hips than an A-line — and with a stylish flare at the bottom — the dress isn’t quite as tight as the mermaid, making it a more practical choice for your average bride. “It’s a bit looser around the hips, so it’s more comfortable for sitting and dancing,” Alaimo says. Also popular in her store is the pick-up, which has a bubble skirt that is pinned and bustled all around, giving the dress a meringue-like look.
Sheath Piccione in pink champagne by Alfred Angelo
Drop-back floral print dress by Paloma Blanca
According to Belmont, “the corset back is still strong.” Whether a mermaid, A-line or ball-gown style dress, the tightly laced bodice is a popular, flattering detail. Why? “You can cinch the waist until they’re blue in the face!” Belmont jokes.
No Snow Whites Here
“White is trending out,” says Belmont. “We’re seeing more colored ball-gown looks in gold, pink, and ivories.” And Belmont confirms that complementing is now in. An accent color, often matching the bridesmaid dresses, is incorporated into the bride’s ensemble by way of a sash around the waist or embroidery in the train. She sees a lot of café and soft blues, while Alaimo sees brighter colors on ivory or champagne.