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Beyond the pale

Color, texture popping up as 2014 wedding gown trends

Suburban Life Magazine

Designer Carolina Herrera knows a thing or two about wedding fashion. When asked about one of her gowns, she remarked, “A wedding gown should make a woman feel feminine, elegant and alluring and allow the bride to express her individuality.”

No matter what her personal style is, a bride wants to stand out on her wedding day in a dress that’s suited to her personality, makes her feel comfortable yet beautiful, and makes her not only look great but feel terrific, too.

“Today’s brides run the gamut from those looking for traditional, timeless style to those who are more fashion-forward and want a more cutting-edge look,” said Michele Von Plato, David’s Bridal’s senior vice president of product development and design.

While traditional is always in, this year’s brides are also taking more risks and stepping out in color, Von Plato said. White and its variations are top sellers, but sales of colored wedding dresses are at about 5 percent, said Von Plato.

“Sales have doubled every year since 2010,” she said.

Brides are walking down the aisle in gowns in pinks from blush to shocking, smoke and silver, lilac, buttercup yellow, mint or seafoam green, baby blue and jewel tones.

Not willing to go all the way with color, other brides accent their look with a sash in a hue that coordinates with the bridesmaids’ dresses. One of the newest looks is a “multi-colored embroidery on organza with two-layers of embroidery on the skirt that adds a depth of color,” Von Plato said.

A huge trend for 2014, lace offers surprising diversity.

“There’s a lace for every customer - from modern to vintage to traditional to color,” Von Plato said. Bringing lace up to the minute are designers who use metallic finishes for an opulent, luxe look, Von Plato said.

Strapless, sweetheart necklines - “the meat and potatoes of necklines,” according to Von Plato -- are a conventional choice for a wedding gown, but the trend toward illusion necklines is surging.

Sophisticated yet sexy, illusion necklines can be subtle or eye-catching statements with intricate lace, crystal and other embellishments.

Covering up has caught on since Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walked down the aisle at Westminster Abbey in long sleeves with intricate lace appliques in 2011. The look “works for many brides of different religions and also those who want to cover up a little bit,” Von Plato said.

Designers have responded with sleeves in all lengths, from teeny caps to fitted points that brush the wrist or top of hand. Bodices with lovely, covered-up backs are also popular with many brides who chose decorative elements such as lace-ups and alluring lines of buttons to add visual interest.

Covering up
Wearable, flattering and en vogue on bridal and fashion runways, peplums provide a little extra tummy coverage for some and add curves for others, Von Plato said. Peplum done in a high-low that is shorter in front then gradually longer in the back is a fun, up-to-date look.

Jackets, which used to be for covering up and keeping warm, are often now wore as accessories, Von Plato said. Boleros, shrugs and wraps can be simple or ornate with beading, fur, sequins and floral embellishments. “It’s another way to make the dress unique,” she said.

No matter what a bride chooses, don’t forget the veil, Von Plato said. “It’s what makes you a bride.”

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