Fashion might be all about “Quiet Luxury” right now, but when it comes to bridal subtlety is not on the forefront of most designers minds. Bridalwear is more varied and some might say more ostentatious than ever before. “It’s becoming clear that women today want to stay true to their own individual style even – or especially – during the big day,” explained Patricia Maeda, director of womenswear at Fashion Snoops. The spring 2024 season saw the return of dramatic silhouettes, bold separates and colour, all neatly wrapped up in big bows that were prominently featured on many dresses catering to a diverse spectrum of brides.
Florals for spring
Florals for spring might not be deemed groundbreaking, however on a wedding dress they are a breath of fresh air. While most designers opted for pastel coloured flowers that blend into the ivory of the dresses, others dared to choose bolder hues and large-scale prints that are sure to stand out.
Josephine Scott and Madeline Gardner displayed flowers in soft pastel colours blossoming across ivory and white dresses respectively, while Randy Fenoli Bridal chose a bolder sea of pink, blue and rose coloured petals on top of a lavender-hued dress with a daring thigh-high leg slit. Bohemian wedding dress brand Calla Blanche embroidered an array of colourful, summery flowers on a full-skirted wedding dress, complimented by transparent off-shoulder sleeves.
This season designers have taken "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” to heart and given brides one of the hallmarks of wedding traditions with blue-hued wedding dresses.
While designers like Madeline Gardner embraced two trends in one – adding a faint blue flower print on an otherwise ivory coloured dress – Luxury Bridal Experience chose to forgo tradition and sent a wedding gown with a full light blue skirt over the runway.
Others, like Sarah Nouri chose small blue accents rather than full statements, adding blue-hued bows of various sizes to classic bridal dresses.
Traditionally many brides might dream of an engagement ring delivered in a famous Tiffany blue box, and for spring/summer 2024 the colour – or at least very similar hues – have also been spotted as eye-catching accents. Designer Reem Acra chose to use the distinct shade for a dramatic long veil, while Lorena Panea added a big bow to one of her extravagant bridal creations.
Put a bow on it
“Over-the-top silhouettes also include larger-than-life bows,” declared Fashion Snoops trend expert Maeda and the detail indeed could not have been more prominent on the runways.
Most bows, while varying in shape and size, adorned the backside of dresses. At Pronovias an oversized bow separated a high-necked lace bodice from a full a-line skirt, while a bow morphed into a small train at Randy Fenoli Bridal.
However, bows did not just decorate the backsides of brides but also the front of their dresses. From modern, minimalistic gowns with cut-out details at Azenabor Bridal to classic lace gowns at My Secret Sposa, bows took centre stage.
While bows classically are considered playful and whimsical, some designers have made a case for a minimalist take on the trend. Both Bridal Brands Sophie Et Voila and Azenabor Bridal sent their versions of a bridal suit adorned with a big bow down the runway.
Paint it black
“Unapologetic brides can go bold and experiment with black,” said Fashion Snoops’ Maeda. The dark-hued wedding dresses came in all different styles, giving the brides-to-be almost as many choices as those who chose their “pure” counterpart.
For brides who want to channel their inner Morticia Addams, designers such as Demetrios and Modeca presented dramatic lace gowns with equally eye-catching silhouettes on the runways for spring/summer 2024. While Demetrios chose a full skirt with a white underlay beneath black lace, Modeca embraced the darkness with figure hugging black lace dress.
Designers who voted for black this season also embraced other bridal trends, such as flowers at Marco Maria or a neat bow placed on the neckline of a dress at Bentley Weaver.
Bare it all
The naked dress trend has made its way from the red carpets of the world to in front of the altar. The brides that dare to bare have a vast array of gowns to choose from, both classical in cut as well as modern silhouettes.
Perhaps one of the most demure yet glamorous takes on the naked bridal dress was seen at Liz Martinez. The designer showed a beaded off-the-shoulder dress with a mermaid skirt that brought some coverage to the bride’s legs, while the bodice of the gown gave the illusion of naked skin. Designer Galia Lahav on the other hand leaned into the sexiness of the trend with a thigh-high slit and a corset top.
Elsewhere, more minimalist silhouettes proved that they can make just as much of a statement, with shimmering see-through fabric unveiling the bodies of those brides daring enough to wear them.
While marriage typically is all about commitment, layered, transformative pieces made waves this bridal season – especially off the runway and as part of designer collections. In February, Albanian-born designer Nensi Dojaka launched a bridal collection with Mytheresa that is sure to catch the eye not only at the altar but also at any party. 16 Arlington, who recently won the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, has also been on the bridal fashion scene since 2021 and impresses with pieces brides can dance with not only at every wedding, but also at any festivity. Recently, the brand's edgy pieces have gained popularity, especially among social media-savvy brides.
“These removable layers speak to the growing trend for heightened functionality and versatility in bridalwear which is ultimately influencing how brides shop today,” Maeda explained. “They are shopping for an entire bridal wardrobe, including looks for the bachelorette party to the next-day brunch, as well as pieces that can be worn after the big day.”