Each bridal season, we ask some of our favorite designers to sketch one gown that best represents the feel, fit, and forward-thinking aesthetic of the rest of the collection.
Then, after the actual gowns have walked the runway, we compare those sketched designs with their bridal realities. Designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka successfully channeled the work of Italian futurist sculptor Umberto Boccioni with this strapless taffeta gown, for example, saying, “We love the gown’s unique silhouette and volume. The beading at the neckline is super chic and adds a vintage touch to a modern gown.”
Fall 2012 Badgley Mischka Bridal Gown
“We love this strapless taffeta gown because of its unique silhouette and volume,” designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka say of this gown from their Fall 2012 collection. “The beading at the neckline is super chic and adds a vintage touch to a modern gown.” The pair wanted to create a new sense of shape and volume with this collection, exploring the work of Italian futurist sculptor Umberto Boccioni for ideas on the organic movement of the body through space. Other designs from the collection were cut from silk taffeta, lace, chiffon, and organza, all featuring Badgley Mischka’s signature vintage-inspired beading and embroideries.
Christos Wedding Dress Sketch
Channeling the muse for this collection—a hopelessly romantic young bride with a fresh-faced look—creative director Amsale Aberra designed delicate, hyper-feminine gowns featuring lots of lace and draped swag beading. The dress shown here incorporates handmade flowers and petals with accents of Swarvoski crystals.
Fall 2012 Douglas Hannant Bridal Dress
Two seasons ago, Douglas Hannant showed a collection cast in winter white and set amongst a snowy backdrop. This season, Hannant revisited the cold-weather months, but this time in a palette of frosty silvers and understated textures. This gown, for example, combines the two inspiration points with a silver Chantilly lace tiered halter design. The rest of the collection features vintage distressed embellishments, slinky bias-cut crepe satin, sequins, and layered, languid tulle.
Jenny Packham Fall 2012 Wedding Gown Sketch
British designer Jenny Packham says she drew inspiration for her Fall 2012 collection from the glamorous serenity of nocturnal butterflies, balletic silhouettes, and sculptured corsetry. Most of the looks in the collection feature French lace, cascading silk chiffons, and gleaming satins. But the designer says the gown shown here, called Aspen, is set apart from the rest of the season: “The Aspen dress is my favorite. It combines the sculptured beauty of the 1930s silhouette with the delicacy of ivory French lace dipped in sparkling dew like crystals.”
Kenneth Pool Fall 2012 Wedding Dress
Ever one for drama and opulence, this season’s Kenneth Pool bride donned layers of tulle, taffeta, and organza, with pops of texture and ostrich feather accents. This gown in particular required 130 yards of tulle to create, and before it was completed, designer Amsale Aberra added six more inches of horsehair to the skirt to create even more movement.
Maggie Sottero Fall 2012 Bridal Dress Sketch
For her new collection, Maggie Sottero returned to traditional ideas of femininity—namely the art of the corset—and contrasted them with fashion-forward elements, like feathers, raw-edge fabrics, and abundant layering.
Nicole Miller 2012 Wedding Gown
This Nicole Miller gown—a tulle design embroidered with ribbons of crinkled georgette—evokes the modern, figure-flattering aesthetic the designer has made her signature. Other gowns in the new collection are cut from shimmery stretch metal, crepe de chine, tulle, organza, and faille throughout the rest of Miller’s collection.
Pronovias Fall 2012 Bridal Gown Sketch
If Edgar Degas and Edgar Allan Poe had ever gotten together to design a bridal line (imagine that!), the dresses would likely resemble the latest looks from Pronovias. For Fall 2012, the label debuted gowns inspired by Parisian glamour and the spirit of classical ballet in the vein of Black Swan. References to the world en pointe include fluffy feathers and tutus cut from soft, unreinforced tulle. The jeweled neckline on the gown featured above, for example, evokes cosmopolitan sophistication while the silk chiffon keeps the design feeling fluid.
Rivini Wedding Dress Sketch
To evoke the painting “Scena Galante” by Giovanni Boldini—a fashionable portraitist in late-19th-century Paris—Rita Vinieris designed her latest Rivini collection with diaphanous silks and laces draped to create motion, pleating and feather accents, and textured layering. This ball gown pairs a structured bodice of draped bands with a silk organza and pleated tulle skirt edged in horse hair. The waist is accented by an elderberry grosgrain belt tied in a bow and finished with a brooch of black diamond crystals. Oooh la la, indeed.
Simone Carvalli Fall 2012 Bridal Dress
Floral themes of the 1950s inspired Simone Carvalli’s Fall 2012 collection, worked into skirts with floral swirl details and draped petals. This halter-style mermaid gown features a ruched bodice and handmade silk roses scattered throughout the skirt. Other fabrics in the collection include a range of silk satins, taffetas, organzas, and chiffons, as well as sashes with an oversize horsehair corsage.
St. Pucchi Fall 2012 Wedding Gown
St. Pucchi’s collection reaches waaaaay back to the 13th century, when the poet Rumi mused on the spirit’s evolutionary process to become closer to the divine. “I wanted the line to reflect an evolutionary process,” says the designer. “Each gown has a traditional basis but reflects movement in time and a modernized feel for today’s bride.” This silk organza fit-and-flare dress features a halter neckline and a crystal-embellished bodice. The low open back has a softly flowing detachable beaded panel and a skirt of layered organza with tiered panels at the seam.
Theia Bridal Gown Sketch
Like many of us this year, Theia creative director Don O’Neill looked to Kate Middleton’s custom Alexander McQueen gown as the new standard in bridal design. “I wanted to bring that regal, majestic feel to the collection and create dresses that would produce that same ‘magic’ for the Theia bride.” The embroidery on this design mimics the effervescence of Champagne bubbles (something Kate, no doubt, enjoyed at her reception), which are rendered in circles of tulle and silk organza that bubble up from the hem.
Watters Fall 2012 Wedding Dress
This year marks the line’s 25th anniversary and, in celebration, the team presented a collection inspired by the cornerstones of the Watters design philosophy: unique detailing, beautiful fabrics, and timeless silhouettes. The gown shown here, called Elizabeth, uses strategically placed, re-embroidered lace along the bodice and skirt to contour the body and create the illusion of a smaller waist. The rest of the collection features hammered charmeuse, silk mousseline, and unusual combinations of fabrics, like tulle and washed organza. Other details in the collection include mother-of-pearl beads and antique lace patterns interpreted into intricate beading.
Wtoo Fall 2012 Bridal Dress Sketch
The team at Wtoo Brides wanted the Fall 2012 collection to have a luxurious, sexy, and feminine feel. To create that effect, they used a new soft lace that’s similar to the lace used in lingerie, in addition to a silky satin and taffeta that both have a subtle sheen for added opulence. This gown features a dramatic trumpet skirt with pleated tulle ruffles and delicate hand-beading. “We were inspired by the way lingerie conforms to the female body and makes her feel alluring,” the team says. “And while we emphasized sensuous fabrics and silhouettes this season, color was also a huge inspiration point for us.” So you can expect to see several new hues from Wtoo for fall, including blush, champagne, and dove gray.