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Peplums, One-Shoulders and Shrugs at New York Bridal Fashion Week

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During New York Bridal Fashion Week, held Oct. 10 through 12, designers not only presented their fall 2024 collections, but also showed their support for one another, with some even attending each other’s presentations.

To share a message of peace in the early days of the Israel-Hamas war, the designer Peter Langner ended his runway show with John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

Because of the ongoing conflict, several Israeli designers, including Arava Polak, Galia Lahav, Lihi Hod and Berta, decided to cancel their shows. Pnina Tornai postponed her event to Nov. 2, but Julie Vino chose to present her collection as a show of “unity, compassion, and the hope for a brighter future,” she said in a news release. (There were no Palestinian designers involved in the week’s events.)

Bridal Fashion Week also included a few debuts from up-and-coming designers, like Zoe Rowyn and Soucy. Several designers unveiled new boutiques and showrooms: Amsale and Rime Arodaky opened flagship stores in SoHo, and Julie Vino opened a flagship in Midtown. Nadia Manjarrez opened her first New York showroom in Chelsea, and Mark Ingram Atelier moved to a bigger space in Midtown to mark its 20th anniversary,

Many of next fall’s bridal designs drew inspiration from the 1990s and early 2000s. Here’s some of what we saw.

Slimmer wedding dress silhouettes, like the column and sheath, have been popular for the last several seasons. But with the popularity of second dresses for the reception, more brides are choosing to wear big, voluminous gowns again for their vows before changing into something more party worthy.

“It’s common for brides today to have a second, third and sometimes a fourth look,” said Mark Ingram, the owner of Mark Ingram Atelier and creative director of Mark Ingram Bride, which presented a strapless ball gown with cascading ruffles. The collection by Rivini by Rita Vinieris included a pleated ball gown with detachable bubble sleeves. Anne Barge showed a brocade A-line gown with architectural folds in the full skirt.

The high-low gown, popular in the early 2000s, has returned. “A high-low ball gown offers both the voluminous look and train a bride wants for the ceremony and the fun, shorter length at the front for a great statement shoe moment,” said Sarah Swann, Amsale’s chief creative officer.

Amsale showed a high-low ball gown with a ruffled bodice and a detachable underskirt that can be removed for the reception. Other highlights included Sareh Nouri’s pink floral appliqué high-low gown with a dramatic tulle underskirt and chapel train. And at Rime Arodaky’s stellar return to bridal week after a five-year hiatus, she debuted a pleated silk chiffon high-low dress with an off-the-shoulder V-neckline and balloon sleeves.

Michelle Obama’s white, one-shoulder Jason Wu gown, which she wore to President Obama’s 2009 inaugural ball, sparked a hot bridal fashion trend that has cooled in recent years. This season, however, designers revived the look in a fresh way. Peter Langner showed an A-line gown with an architecturally inspired one-shoulder neckline. Jenny by Jenny Yoo detailed a taffeta gown with a bow-embellished, one-shoulder strap. And Divine Atelier showed an asymmetric taffeta gown with a one-shoulder neckline that daintily draped over the shoulder.

The waist-defining peplum silhouette, popular in the ’90s, is another style that pops up in fashion every so often, and this season it’s back for bridal. “The peplum is a sophisticated way to add an interesting element to a bridal look while accentuating the waist,” said the designer Nadia Manjarrez. “It’s flattering on most body shapes and brides will find it retro, but modern and fun at the same time.”

Nadia Manjarrez Bridal showed a crepe peplum bustier with a straight tailored skirt, while Milla Nova’s collection featured an A-line gown with a peplum corset and pleated skirt. And Andrea Osei Bride’s collection included an A-line, peplum gown with a brocade bodice and chiffon skirt. “The juxtaposition of the structured peplum with flowing chiffon brings both modern boldness and bridal fantasy to a style that has historically been executed in a more traditional way,” Ms. Osei said.

This look is as much for the nontraditional bride as it is for the bride who needs a less expected second look or rehearsal dinner outfit. “The merging of masculine elements paired with ethereal femininity is irresistibly refreshing in bridal,” said Ms. Arodaky, whose collection included a crepe jumpsuit with a sweetheart neckline and a Chantilly lace peplum and train. “It’s a celebration of individuality and breaking the mold.”

Kaviar Gauche showed tailored trousers with a structured bustier and mini wrap skirt. Scorcesa’s collection included a bridal pantsuit with pleated trousers and a puffed-sleeve, peplum jacket.

These wraps differ from the cropped cover-ups of the late ’90s and early 2000s. The updated shrug is a more sleek or stylized detail that’s converted from a detachable train or a wearable oversize bow detail, or a bolero that can also be worn for the after-party with a pair of white trousers and camisole.

“Brides are currently asking for dresses that can be worn more than one way throughout the day, a simple switch that can completely change her look,” said Ines Di Santo, who showed a 3-D floral-embellished strapless gown with an oversize bow that can be styled as a shrug or left as a train.

Esé Azénabor’s collection featured a long-sleeve beaded gown with a detachable, oversize Mikado bow that trails into a train and can be worn as a shrug. Francesca Miranda paired a strapless gown with a billowy bolero.

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