The Gown Guide

The Gown Guide

There’ll always be a special place for traditional, classic gowns in the world of bridal fashion, but new silhouettes, colours and details make it far more exciting. Tijan Biner speaks to Charmaine from Raffinato Bridal and Cherie from Champagne Couture about the new styles you can expect to find in-store. From superhero capes and capelets to deep, plunging necklines, we bring you the latest bridal trends that graced the 2017 Bridal Fashion Week runway.

TAKE THE Plunge

Deep necklines were certainly the biggest (and sexiest) trend to emerge this season. These plunging V-necklines are dramatic, and have the ability to bring glamour and sexiness to a bride’s look.

“With deep plunging necklines coming into style, every bride now has the chance to feel sexy on her big day!” says consultant and manager of Raffinato Bridal Charmaine. “Whether it be a full or a tulle-covered plunge, this fabulous trend is dropping jaws.”

“At Raffinato Bridal, we have been fortunate enough to see some amazing gowns come in from designers around the world, which have the perfect plunge neckline. Our Azalea gown is a show-stopper. Not only being completely hand beaded, the plunging neckline on this gown is phenomenal!

“Innocentia has followed up this gorgeous collection with another; the Renascence collection. Deep, plunging necklines are, again, consistent throughout the collection, with gowns such as Maria Medici and Cassandra Fedele expected to receive a lot of attention.

“We are also proud to announce that we will be stocking the Canadian-designed Mikaella collection. These sleek and clean-cut gowns ooze sophistication with simple, sheath-fitted silhouettes [that are] finished with dramatic plunging necklines.”

The creative director of Champagne Couture, Cherie, says plunging necklines lend themselves best to certain wedding styles, and it’s the ideal trend for the bride who’s looking for an effortlessly stylish and sexy gown.

“[This trend is] perfect for the bride [who is] getting married on a beach or in a garden,” she says. “This is our most requested trend at the moment, but it’s not for everyone. Try on styles before committing, as girls who are over a C-cup may be showing too much cleavage to achieve an elegant look. You can always go [for a neckline that is] a little higher, and add some sheer mesh for extra support.”

3D EMBELLISHMENTS

Three-dimensional details have the power to transform a wedding gown into a truly unique work of art. Subtle hints of beading, appliques, feathers or floral lace add a beautiful, feminine touch to a simple, classic silhouette.

“Floral-detailed lace has always been a classic and sophisticated way to give a little ‘oomph’ to a gown, but the arrival of 3D embellishments is giving this classic trend a run for its money!” says Charmaine. “Large, 3D floral embellishments are often seen on gowns with delicate, Chantilly lace patterns. This creates a striking contrast between the two, which makes a real statement.

“We love the idea of having smaller, subtle lace peek through large statement pieces, [and]
seeing the comparison of the two on beautiful Perth brides is such a joy.

“Innocentia’s Fioretta Gorini gown is a beautiful example of this trend. Larger lace detailing is concentrated towards the bodice and through the train, [but we’re] still able to see delicate lace detailing pop through. We cannot get over how gorgeous this use of contrast [is], and [we’re] itching to get this gown in store to see it on brides!

“Additionally, the use of Chantilly lace detailing almost gives these gowns a vintage feel. This is not only perfect for couples leaning towards a vintage-themed wedding, but also ensures that [a] bride’s gown will remain timeless and stylish for decades to come.”

Although the delicate style that’s typically associated with floral fabric is still very much present in bridal wear, the motif is being dialled up to a new level. This year, designers are choosing to go bolder and create more striking designs, which are perfect for the feminine bride who’s still looking to make an impact.

“Elie Saab and Marchesa are the best at this trend,” says Cherie. “For those ladies [who] want something modern and glamorous, you can incorporate a deep, plunging neckline to make it feel more edgy.

“Pearl embellishment [also] looks amazing if you’re not into floral. We have a new fabric with 3D pearls [that are] embroidered into netting, [and finished off] with a slight [touch of] glitter.”

CAPES AND Cover-Ups

For the more audacious bride, capes or capelets can top off any bridal look. It was evident at 2017 Bridal Fashion Week that designers have jumped on the bandwagon with funky cropped capelets or full-length capes. When paired with a simple gown, these pieces come together to create a truly unique combination.

Cherie says the seamstresses at Champagne Couture can create exquisite capes or cover ups that can transport your look to a different era, while still looking modern and elegant.

“We have currently created sheer, tulle capes with diamante detailing to complement our 1920s-style beaded gowns,” she says. “[These capes are] detachable and not only cover the arms but [also] add a dramatic effect, without adding a sleeve.”

REACHING NEW Heights

“We have seen an influx in the number of gowns arriving in store with both high halter necklines and high bateau necklines,” says Charmaine. “The detailing often seen on these necklines is amazing, and brides love [them]! These higher necklines are often created by embellished tulle rather than full, satin coverage.”

Perfect for the bride who’s after a timeless look, gowns with high necklines are ultra-elegant and regal. Although high-neck gowns are known for looking exquisite on taller women, they’re also extremely flattering for all body shapes.

“High necklines create a soft finish to a gown, while still providing coverage over the bust. We often find that bigger-busted girls [adore] these gowns, as they provide coverage but still show the body off.

“It is also commonly seen that gowns with higher necklines are paired with low backs so some skin is still shown. The thing brides love about this trend is that there is still support for the bust over the neck or through straps, but the back is totally open, which a lot of brides are wanting this year.”

THE PRINCESS Skirt Charmaine says the popular princess gown is one of her favourite looks, and it’s showing no signs of disappearing any time soon.

“Voluminous skirts, extravagant trains and layer upon layer of tulle are our favourite parts of the beautiful princess silhouette!” she says. “This magical shape gives every bride the feeling of being a princess on their big day. Princess gowns often have a fitted bust and waist that falls into a striking, full skirt. This silhouette is super flattering on all brides, and allows [them] to fulfil [the] dreams they’ve had all their lives.

“We have had brides fly from across the country, [and] even internationally, to try on the gorgeous Novella by Sophia Tolli. This princess gown entails layer upon layer of tulle, lace and clear sequins. The bodice is meticulously designed with beading and crystals to bring attention to the gorgeous sweetheart neckline. We really wish we would describe it in a way that explains its beauty, but there are simply no words. Novella is one of those once-in-a-lifetime gowns; something special that will be remembered for years to come.”

Cherie says the romantic, elegant style is ideal for brides who’d like to conceal certain parts of their body, while still looking chic in all the right areas.

“Usually requested by ladies wanting to hide their hips, brides of all sizes are realising that a full skirt is actually a really comfortable style for a full day of drinking and eating,” she says. “My tip is to add layers of different tones of tulle, with floral embellished detail [on the] skirt. It creates a 3D effect as you walk, [which] makes the full skirt more modern for the unique bride.”

LAYERS AND Layers

From exquisite ruffles that sit intricately on top of one another to full, scalloped skirts, this trend is truly making waves. Many of these designs will utilise thin fabrics such as tulle, organza, chiffon or sheer lace, which create volume and density.
Charmaine has seen an influx of brides wanting to recreate this trend purely because of its unbelievably romantic and feminine style.

“We are finding that many brides have seen couture-inspired, tiered and asymmetrical skirts on gowns, and want to recreate this breathtaking look,” she says. “This style achieves a romantic, gentle feel, while still having a big impact, and we love it!

“Our Valentina gown is a favourite, with layered tulle [that creates] a stunning princess silhouette. We are also seeing a number of Sophia Tolli gowns [that are] finished with layered organza skirts, which only excites brides more as this trend continues.

“Our Jillian gown gives the body length and shape through the use of a longer, asymmetrical bodice. Raffinato Bridal’s brides also adore our Quinn gown, which features a longer, beaded bodice that’s finished with a ruffled, layered skirt.

“[This style will] lengthen the torso and create height, [so] our shorter brides love this trend. We are hoping to see more and more of these gowns in the newer Spring/Summer 2017 collections.”

If the idea of an extravagant, multi-layered, ruffled gown is daunting, concentrate on just the skirt of your gown, while keeping the bodice fairly simple, to create balance.

Many brides will admit they’ve experienced a number of emotions throughout the dress-hunting process, from excitement to stress. However, whether you follow current trends or come up with your own design, it’s a piece that’s made for one of life’s biggest sartorial moments, and it should be everything you’ve ever imagined!

Images courtesy of Raffinato Bridal