Wedding dress trends may not be nearly as extensive or short-lived as ready-to-wear, but they do still exist. After the most recent New York Bridal Fashion Week, we waded through all the clouds of tulle, dissected each collection, and pinpointed the top bridal trends.
Now that there's more flexibility in terms of what constitutes a "wedding dress," bridal designers these days have the freedom to experiment with new silhouettes, colorways, and materials to reinvent the look every season. Just take a look at the most recent spring 2017 bridal collections as evidence. Of course, there were the usual suspects, like corseted bodices and mermaid silhouettes, but then there were menswear separates imbued with a flirty twist, unconventionally bold hues, off-the-shoulder silhouettes (a look that's so in right now), and tattooed-on lace.
For all the brides-to-be who are readying themselves for the arduous process of hunting down the perfect dress (or anyone who can appreciate the art of nuptial style, or if you're just looking for something to pin), we give you next year's top seven wedding dress trends.
1. Tattooed-On Lace
It was only a matter of time before the sheer trend on the red carpet made its way into the bridal sphere. Designers used a light hand and whipped up slinky gowns cut from the airiest, most delicate lace that felt like it was tattooed on. The effect? Ethereal (if not a little scandalous).
Pictured, from left: Monique Lhuillier, Mira Zwillinger, Theia
2. Menswear Elements with a Twist
Bridal pants and jumpsuits aren't a novel concept, but the ones for spring 2017 are tailored, fitted (versus wide, loose, and skirt-like), and come with a sleek, girly counterpart. Christian Siriano launched his first-ever bridal collection with Kleinfeld with a pantsuit that featured a ruffled peplum detail (left), while Carolina Herrera completed her sleek ivory pant (that boasted a tiny scalloped notch—so subtle, so chic) with a crisp white shirt, a pretty veil, and embellished pumps (center). And at Lela Rose, the designer paired the pant with a pretty strapless tunic—a look that she personally would wear if she could get married again (right).
The cold shoulder is a trend so hot, it's taken over the spring 2016 fashion collections and next year's bridal collections. But for some, the silhouette has always been a part of their brand's DNA. "Oh it is?" feigned Keren Craig, one-half of the design duo at Marchesa when we asked about the off-the-shoulder trend. "It's a very beautiful, very romantic silhouette, so we love it at Marchesa."
Pictured, from left: Marchesa, Houghton, Oscar de la Renta
4. Silver Lining
Whether it was giant sequin paillettes at Theia or outlined beadwork at Jenny Packham or silvery fringe at Naeem Khan, all achieved the same goal—for the bride to shine on.
5. Detachable Skirts
Any practically minded bride can recognize the beauty in a wedding dress that's essentially two looks for the price of one. You'll be able to hit the dance floor without the weight of layers of tulle or a mile-long train. For Reem Acra, she took it a step further with detachable skirts, shoulder wraps, and double-duty trains that can be converted into veils.
Pictured, from left: Marchesa, Carolina Herrera, Reem Acra
6. Bridal Capes
Well, what do you know, capes came out on top as one of the hero trends of bridal (pun intended). They showed up in every shape and form imaginable, from the romantic floral lace at Marchesa (left), as a wispy ethereal veil at Reem Acra (center), and with a cute crisp collar at Lela Rose (right).
7. Unconventional Colors
When it comes to non-white wedding dresses, we've come to expect a palette of pastels, like seafoam green, baby blue, and blush. But for spring 2017, we were met with bold unconventional hues, like fuchsia, black, and violet, that packed a visual punch.
Pictured, from left: Christian Siriano, Houghton, Naeem Khan