Bridal Fashion Week Full of Surprises

All summer long style mags, bloggers and fashonistas everywhere have been speculating how Kate Middleton’s Alexander McQueen wedding gown would influence bridal fashion for 2012. Now that we are half way through Bridal Fashion Week the consensus within the fashion industry is that the Sarah Burton designed gown didn’t have the revolutionizing effect that so many predicted. However we must say, just because it hasn’t been imitated or updated by every designer and their mother doesn’t mean that Kate’s gown failed to have an impact on the bridal industry.

First it must be noted that there has already been a fair share of knock-offs, rip-offs or homages, whatever you want to call them based around Ms. Burton’s design. It would also be hard to argue that a large increase in gowns with partial or full sleeves didn’t have something to do with the sleeves on the McQueen piece that Kate wore on her walk down the aisle at Westminster which was viewed by millions around the globe. Yet what is most interesting is that the now infamous McQueen dress seems to have influenced many designers to go to great lengths just to avoid being compared to it.

First was Vera Wang with her witchcraft themed show that featured not one, but seven black wedding gowns. While the pieces were exquisitely crafted, which is what we all expect from Vera Wang, (or at least what we expect when she isn’t knocking herself off at David’s Bridal) it remains to been seen whether they will pass the test as wedding gowns or if they will be passed over by brides and instead just be remembered for what many already see them as: elegant black ball gowns. Say what you will about them, you can’t say that Kate’s gown had much of an influence there.

Next up was Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig who presented gowns full of underwater imagery like sea-shell cups and thick wavy trains which seemed intended to counter-act the desire to compare to McQueen that would have otherwise been raised by some of the embroidered sections and sleeves that were also present. Love them or hate them there is no denying that this is yet another collection that has taken a marked departure from the bridal norm.

So perhaps all these odd and experimental approaches we are seeing are in fact the influence that many had predicted the McQueen gown would wield. Rather than trying to improve upon the traditional bridal design which many would say Sarah Burton brought close to perfection, it seems as if most designers have taken this as their cue to reach for new heights of innovation and daring in their bridal designs. Call us crazy, but if that doesn’t sound like a revolution, then we don’t know what does.

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