October was quite a month for wedding watchers. At New York’s Bridal Fashion Week (Oct. 5-10), we saw a record number of designer collections, followed closely on their satin heels by Princess Eugenie’s lavish nuptials in London (Oct. 12). Fun fact: Wedding authority The Knot reports that October has surpassed June as the most popular month for marriages. If you’re shopping for your wedding gown for next year (or know someone who is), here are five big trends from 2019 Bridal Fashion Week. Congrats!
Regal Ball Gowns
While it’s too soon to judge the influence of Princess Eugenie’s gown, the Meghan Markle effect was in full force at Bridal Fashion Week. Many designers showed regal, somewhat tailored gowns for the ceremony, and sleek, figure-hugging after-party looks. Suddenly, totally bare shoulders seem a bit predictable when compared with Meghan’s signature bateau neckline or Eugenie’s draped portrait collar. Both royals chose long, demure sleeves (see below), and gem-studded tiaras (who can blame them?); in Eugenie’s case, in lieu of a veil. Bridal wear designer Inbal Dror was on top of the no-veil trend with his directional pearl headpieces for 2019.
Bows, Ribbons & Pearls
Understatement notwithstanding, luxe embellishments thrived during Bridal Week, including 3-dimensional bows, cascading ribbons, feathers, sequins, crystals and pearls—sometimes all together. Monique Lhuillier and Lela Rose made dangling satin ribbons look fresh and modern, while Reem Acra’s pearl-embellished back bow had the fashion press reeling.
Pops of Color
Reem Acra led the colorway this season with ankle-length confections in beautiful pastels. Monique Lhuillier went brighter with red and blue wildflowers embroidered on tulle. Vera Wang accessorized with bejeweled headbands for the Boho bride. Look for these colorful trends to gain traction next year.
Circling back to the royals’ influence, it’s clear that 2019 brides will be wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Designers showed tight satin sleeves, big puff sleeves, leg-o’-muttons, and more. Reem Acra made sleeves entirely of feathers (are you sensing a Reem theme here?), while Naeem Khan designed a lace caftan with giant kimono sleeves. Stylists skipped necklaces to let the sleeves do all the talking, and many finished their looks with cultured pearl drop earrings.
Power Suits & Capes
Some of the boldest new bridal collections reflect the women’s empowerment movement, featuring pantsuits and jumpsuits—many with capes. Perfect for rehearsal dinners and wedding after-parties, these iconoclastic pieces are finding their way to the alter as well. Cushnie’s first solo collection (sans Ochs) was particularly outstanding, especially her superhero jumpsuit with matching capelet. Elie Saab teamed a petite birdcage veil with a cheeky short dress. Caution: Remove your cape before dancing…and enjoy!