By Rev. Desiréee D. N. Eli
New Year, new brides, new fashion trends. I’ve looked to the future for what are the fashionable features for the new crop of bridal gowns in 2015. My work as a wedding officiant inspires me to keep in touch for what’s current in all things wedding.
Here’s what I’ve seen for fashion for 2015:
- Sleeves & Straps are back! Hoorah! After a decade or so of strapless, strapless, strapless, we are starting to see some sort of sleeve or strap on many of the new gowns. Elbow-sleeves, short sleeves, ¾ sleeves, flutter, or cap sleeves are various designers’ interpretation of the sleeve sensation. This will please many brides who aren't comfortable showing bare arms or who need a more modest style for religious reasons.
Lace or sheer fabric is most often the fabric of choice for the sleeves I've seen for 2015 (which no doubt has roots stemming from the Duchess of Cambridge’s famous ¾ length lace-sleeved gown in 2011). The “Alvarez” by Maggie Sotero is modest in the neck and shoulders with its illusion flutter sleeves but ramps it up with a deep V back.
Skinny spaghetti straps or sleeveless/tank straps in the new gowns are helping hold up the dresses—no more seeing brides constantly tugging up the front of their strapless dresses. Most designers have at least one dress with a strappy neckline/top this year.
- Off the Shoulder. Show your collar bone in an off-the-shoulder gown. This hot silhouette allows for support and structure in the bodice but can also be flirty. Carolina Herrera offers a gown that has a lace off-the-shoulder, half-sleeved design that is both modest and sexy. Other designers, like Jenny Packman and Ramona Kervesa’s gowns have chiffon off-the-shoulder sleeves that drapes softly over the bride’s shoulders. Iconic designer Pronovias’ “Bernice” dress has a tulle off-shoulder detail and sweetheart neckline. A cold-shoulder style sleeve is another variation of this theme. Never under estimate the power of a sexy clavicle or shoulder.
- Over the shoulder, covered cleavage. Caplets, shrugs, capes, keyhole coverlets, jackets, and styles in-between are now covering brides’ decolletage and/or shoulders in a big about-face from the strapless style of years gone by. The 2015 gowns may have caplets over the shoulder which can add a bohemian vibe with fabric draped off the shoulders as by Jenny Packman, a beaded lace caplet in the romantic “Juniper” dress by Maggie Sotero, or may be of tulle. Designer Pronovias showed a flowy, tank strapped, empire waist dress with a cape that went down the back to the floor. Maggie Sotero’s sophisticated “Chesney” has a dazzling Swarovski crystal jacket over a strapless lace gown. Ideal for fall and winter weddings, a light lace cape with delicate beading is the perfect accessory to make your look one of a kind. Very suitable for temple or a church wedding.
- For other necklines seen, fashion-forward designer Theia's 2015 fall line features a sleeveless, crystal-encrusted turtleneck/halter as well as a gown with an over-sized, cowl neck.
- It’s an Illusion! My favorite trend. The peek-a-boo nature of illusion fabric covers the bride’s neckline, back, or sleeve but gives off the sense of bareness. Sweet & sexy-it’s a win-win! Newer higher neck or bateau necklines may be illusion fabric and with or without beading. Ines DiSanto’s 2015 collection includes a stunning gown that is both sheer and lacy and the bare illusion effect is stunning. Kenneth Poole’s gown has lace appliques on sheer illusion fabric which shows off the back without being scandalous. Amsale’s interpretation for their gown incorporates a sheer netting upper back with a simple row of satin buttons down the middle--it’s modern and vintage and minimalistic and pretty.
Maggie Sotero’s collection has a long illusion sleeved gown with lace appliques down the arm (and a dramatic V-back, see trend below). Pronovias’ “Brandir” gown has a transparent sleeveless bodice with beading around the crew neckline and the short sleeved edges. Their “Mandala” gown has a V neck with sheer lace tank straps and a stunning sheer back with lace appliques; a bride in this piece will be full of illusion both coming and going. One ultra-daring gown from designer Pnina Tornei featured a sheer illusion inset with a deep plunging halter neck and sheer panels along the outer sides of skirt portion of the dress. Crazy!
- Crop or cut out tops. This trend is definitely for the younger bride. It is my least favorite style of 2015, as I believe only a narrow margin of body types can wear this look and look good in it. A crop top gown with a hint of exposed midriff is for skinny girls, in my opinion. Designers Reem Acra and Monique Lhuillier have both shown their versions of two-piece wedding dresses on the runway. Very 80s looking, which coincidentally was the last time I myself could be seen sporting a crop top.
- Take the Plunge! Low cut down-to-there dresses are for girls that dare to bare their cleavage. Reem Acra’s deep V gown has a vintage flavor for a variation on those thinking it’s for modern styles only. Pronovias’ “Mariana” gown is a bejewlled strap, deep V front, low back, and, mermaid skirt and is beautiful. Low backs, which may be V’ed or scooped down the lowest regions, are also seen in the new trends in gowns. Israeli bridal sex goddess Pnina Tornei’s collection included a wedding gown with a heart-shaped keyhole low back. Both styles are geared for a slim, trim bride more than for a curvaceous gal. A bride might want to get her back toned with exercise if she wants guests to admire her rear view as she walks down the aisle in a low-backed or fairly bare-backed gown.
- Thigh time. Serve a little cheesecake with your wedding cake! For the daring lady, thigh high slits (a la Angelina Jolie) are making a show of it. A slit may be used to bare some leg in a simple or flowy gown like Reem Acra’s design. For a more modest peek of the pins, Bagley Micshka’s front slit goes only to the knee. Other gowns with thigh slits are very Red Carpet worthy and glamorous, such as the thigh-high front slit as seen from Lazaro (a personal favorite designer).
- Big bows. To me, the fact that some big, over-sized bows are creeping onto wedding gowns brings me back to my 1989 wedding dress. Ack! Designer maven Carolina Herrara designed a gown that sports a jumbo, off-set bow at the back hip. Ines DiSanto featured a gown with a giant bow just below the booty of a dropped waist dress. Monique Lhuillier showed a modestly sized bow at the waist on her retro feeling gown.
- True Colors. Colored gowns are still trending in 2015, such as the blush color seen in 2014 and again this year. Expanding from that, in 2015, a bride’s “something blue” may very well be her wedding dress, such as the hot, dusty blue or glacier blue shades seen in a few designer’s collections. Theia’s Fall 2015 collection offers a sleeveless, glacier blue A-line wedding dress with a jewel neck and jeweled back. Another alternative for brides who want something other than white--the Hailey Page collection offered a sherbet-colored number with skinny straps (another new trend). Romona Kervesa’s line included a blush gown with a sheer illusion, one-shouldered neckline. Baby ballet pink adds an ultra-romantic and feminine twist to the gown by Veronica Sheaffer and pink was seen from Pronovias as well. Maggie Sotero incorporated color with a light gold accent lace on several of her pieces. Pale, dove gray gowns were part of Monique Lhuillier's line (hers also had a lace caplet of the same color) as well as other designers’ runway look. Pastel and dusty tones are the hued gowns of this year.
So, dear brides, I’m happy to report that whatever your style or shape is, the fashion of 2015 offers many exciting and lovely looks for the gown of your dreams.