Wedding gowns are a highly personal choice, but they’re just as subject to trends as the rest of fashion. (New York even hosts a twice-yearly fashion week just for bridal.) To get a read on what’s up-coming, we spoke with Andrea Anastasiou, a fashion stylist and the owner of White Toronto, at the Yorkville bridal boutique’s recent Carolina Herrera trunk show. Anastasiou filled us in on everything from the hottest gown silhouettes to bridal hair accessories, and how celeb brides like Reese Witherspoon and Kate Middleton are influencing what brides are wearing.
What can women look for who are getting married in the next year. What are some of the new silhouettes?
“Truthfully, there’s never been a time when there’s been such a varied amount of silhouettes. You know, we can go very fitted or we can go very full. I think the most prevalent silhouette has been the slightly fuller A-line that’s all light and airy, and tulle. So I think people have gravitated towards a return to volume.
“I think definitely the whole movement of the royal wedding is definitely going to influence skirts getting a little princess-y, but I think people are still going to keep the fabrications light. Even if you look at Carolina [Herrera’s gowns] you’ll see eyelet, you’ll see textured tulle, you’ll see organza being used in so many different ways, whether it’s in a cut-out burn-out pattern or whether it’s done just layer upon later. Very soft but still interesting.”
What about some of the other silhouettes you’re seeing?
“You know, if you’re not doing volume and doing it in a major way, you’re doing fitted with a bit of volume at the bottom. A lot of our clients, they’re working out, they feel great about themselves, they want to show off their body. And that doesn’t necessarily always mean the size zeros. And there’s a little bit of drama at the bottom, whether it’s a ruffle, whether it’s a flounce–but, again, still showcasing your body. This kind of silhouette always gives our girl the best of both worlds.
“And we still get a Jenny Packham customer who wants vintage, something soft and light, and the whole idea of vintage-influenced dressing too in the beading and embellishments, and definitely, in the laces. And Kate Middleton will inspire that too this whole season going forward.”
Speaking of Kate Middleton, do you think brides are going to start wearing long-sleeve gowns?
“For the whole day, I think that’s a very particular customer. [Kate Middleton] had to because she had no choice. She go married at the Abbey. You know, and even she changed afterwards into something more comfortable. I’m hoping the cardigan will be a mainstay. Because for us it’s always been a mainstay. Customers always ask us what to do for coverage. We say, ‘Just do a cute little cashmere cardigan,’ We do our own little private label on that, so we were so happy when she wore that little mohair sweater.
“Our customer has always said that they love the idea of a sleeve but they don’t necessarily want to wear it all night. So I think that there’s an ode to a bit of romance there, a slightly more demure look in the morning and something a little bit sexier at night.”
Looking at the gowns you have here, I notice a lot of texture and three-dimensional flowers. Is that something that will continue to be a trend?
“Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, all of them did these lovely textured skirts and free-hand, raw-edged, cut organza panels. It definitely is still a strong trend. Girls love the idea of something that feels embellished but not necessarily in a sparkly way. So they want something that feels special. All those types of details have a bit of a couture hand to them, and for them, you know, it’s their wedding day–that’s their one moment to have that kind of dress.”
What about colour? Reese Witherspoon wore that blush dress for her wedding. Are you seeing more women asking for colour?
“We saw a little bit. Very rarely have we ever done an all blush dress. But where we have seen it is, you know, a blush coloured veil. They’re asking us for blush coloured ribbons. You know, a little hint of colour to come through in terms of an embellishment of their dress. Black and white has always been a classic mainstay. A lot of our clients are opting to switch into a black sash in the evening for changing up their look.”
What about headpieces and veils. Is there anything new there?
“Totally, the whole fascinator inspiration. Especially with everything that went down the runway in that last two or three months. We picked up [hair accessories designer] Jennifer Behr for that reason. Girls have been gravitating towards, you know, a feather or a hair band with sparkle on it, or something that’s non-traditional. [Behr] does all of the hair pieces for Gossip Girl so her sensibility is very fashion oriented. The veil, hands down, is not going anywhere. Everyone is asking me what’s happened with the veil, and 75 to 85 per cent of our customers will order a veil. Even the girl who came in swearing up and down that she wasn’t going to do one, will do one. It’s her only moment.