Bridal has never been our favorite market to cover but because that’s the case, we view it as a “bring it on” type of challenge. It IS harder to write about something you’re not madly in love with, but here’s a market that continues to thrive despite the prolonged economic downturn. That in itself, sparked our interest and was responsible for our devoting our Sunday to covering the lastest NY Bridal Week.
Here is our Round-up of the fall 2012 Couture and bridal collections we saw on Sunday, October 16.
Text, Vivian Kelly & Laura Wood
9:00a.m. Ines di Santo
This one was a close call – a race-walk from the Cornell Club on East 44th Street to the Jeremiah Essex House, on West 59th Street, across Central Park.
I’d just plopped down on the gilt salon chair when the lights went down and smiling models hit the catwalk in white confections and a lot more beading and sequins than I remembered seeing two years ago [my most recent bridal show].
What seemed clear by the end of the show was that strapless is still the #1 neckline and that bodices are lean [almost tubular] and extend down to the hip. The effect is slimming and flattering – thumbs up on this one. It looked good, regardless if the skirt portion was a bias cut skirt, or of a pouffy ballgown one.
The show opened with a pale pink gown, which is a pretty alternative to the bright white gowns that start looking awfully similar after my 4th show that day.
Later in the lineup, there was a one shoulder gown with beautiful draping the Fashion List writers and I both liked because it was so minimalist. Its only ornamentation was the draping; not a bead or sequin in sight. Another interesting piece was a sheer tulle capelet which had a nostalgic Fifties’ feeling to it. Despite being liberally sprinkled with Swarovski crystals, it didn’t look overdone or weighed down.
The dress that most closely matched the RTW trends was “Lissome”, a retro Alencon lace dress which had Grace Kelly written all over it. The last few looks played with the concept of transparent bodices, which are probably too daring for the 1st time bride who tends to favor a more demure fairy tale princess look.
After lunch, Laura joined me and we met up with The Fashion List’s Scott French and PaulaRosine Long [a fellow Duke alumn!].
2:00p.m. Rita Vinieris, RIVINI Bridal Show
“Understated elegance” summarized the first segment of the show. True, there were sequins aplenty but these pastel colored evening gowns that opened the show had a very Thirties Hollywood glamour feeling about them.
The looks that followed were strictly bridal. We concluded that a big skirt and strapless bodice continue to be the most popular choice with brides to be, but there were also some options like a 3/4 off the shoulder sleeve and a tastefully executed 1 shoulder gown for variety.
In the accessory department, there were tiny diamond tiaras and colored waist sashes to give the bride a wasp waist. Our favorite design was the goddess gown in silk chiffon with a plunging neck line and tasteful beaded accents at the top of the straps.
Post show, we spoke backstage with Rita and she told us that the first “Hollywood Glamour” gowns we loved were actually the debut of her new eveningwear line. She confirmed that yes, she was indeed inspired by Thirties Hollywood Glamour.
We left the Alvin Ailey Dance Studio, happy to see sophisticated designs coming from a bridal designer.
3:00p.m. -Badgley Mischka, Pier 94
After the initial distraction of a tulle head piece which covered the models’ faces, we got down to examining the clothes. The big difference with what we’d seen so far was a very fitted silhouette especially through the bodice and hardly any strapless gowns in the collection.There was a drape front neckline, a sleeveless gown with a square neckline, and a gold v front evening gown with marabou at the shoulders and a fitted bondage ?! style gown. Both were shown in a pretty tea stain color, rather than the usual blinding white. There was also a v front flared gown with fawn flowers embroidered on the sheer outer layer. This design duo rose to fame in the nineties and are known for their skillful beading and embroidery which is always tasteful and never heavyhanded. This last gown was probably the most representative of their work in the RTW market.
4:00p.m. – Anne Bowen
We jumped into this show, not really thinking we’d make it to the Gansevoort ParkAvenue Penthouse Bar space, but we managed to catch the show midstream. We were SO glad we forged ahead, despite the lack of taxis, buses or subways.
Face it there’s no good way other than a private car to make it from the Piers to Park Ave. Once settled in though, we had an attitude adjustment, which began when Laura accepted the champagne flute served with 3 fresh blueberries and what appeared to be a mini orchid. We didn’t need the champagne incentive however, to be immediately impressed with what we saw. The Jean Harlow dress has become commonplace, but this is the best version we’ve seen yet. The Black model looked regal in “Amaryllis” a bias chiffon cut flutter sleeve gown. It’s not exactly Harlow, but it is Harlow inspired. The other big stunner was “Trinity”, hands-down the best use of beading we saw all day. Making with our “Queenly” theme, this one immediately made Laura think of Cleopatra. The next day, after reviewing all of the shots we got, thanks to excellent seats, we were in complete agreement that Anne Bowen was the best collection of the day, no question.
5:00p.m. – Anna Maier – Ulla Maija Bridal Show
Here was the Jean Harlow dress again, but it looked great here too, in shiny satin as opposed to chiffon at Anne Bowen. There was also a streamlined satin strap gown with a bias skirt and Swarovski crystal straps. It was our favorite, and it also happened to be one of the least expensive gowns on the line. Go figure.
6:00p.m. – Sarah Jassir
Hurrah! A pantsuit! The model who kicked off the show could have been YSL muse Betty Catroux, vogueing Yves’ slinky suits. As per Wikipedia, “Catroux is famed for her long white-blonde hair, lanky body, gaunt features, and androgynous appearance. Catroux and Saint Laurent met, according to her, in a “very, very gay” nightclub in Paris, Regine’s in the 1960s and have had a friendly relationship ever since.”
Okay, that’s one option. Taking it in an entirely different direction, if you’re more the Katherine Hepburn sort of woman who’s an equestrian, you’d probably prefer the palazzo pants which has us all nodding in approval.
If you’re bent on walking down the aisle in a gown, this designer offered a train, affixed with a low riding bow as well as dresses with some interesting gold handpainting. We only wish there had been more pant options as there are plenty of horsey women who just don’t wear skirts or big dresses, for that matter, ever.
7:00 p.m. - Simone Carvalli
This was our last collection of the evening and the Asia Society on Park and 70th was a beautiful spot to end it. After an elegant cocktail party downstairs, we were whooshed upstairs for the show. The highlight of the show was when “Trisha” came down the runway. It incorporated the RTW lace trend and a pleasing minimalism. It’s a practical gown as well, thanks to a sweetheart neckline and the black satin belt adorned with a big Swarovski brooch that gave the curvy model a wasp waist. Speaking of a slim waist, we noticed that the models were a bit more full figured than the ones we’d seen at Anne Bowen, Badgley Mischka, etc. After flipping through the program notes, we realized why.
The Company’s VP of Sales, Terry Brumley said, “Our unique construction and patent pending ‘Magic Fit’ that reduces between two to four inches off a bride’s waist, miraculously gives our brides a coveted hour-glass figure.”
The fit angle aside, the other notable detail was the designer’s liberal use of feathers, most notably on a silk taffeta strapless drop waist gown with a skirt embellished with Ostrich feathers.
Honorable Mention – St. Pucchi
Hair Trend Notes: a deep side part pulled into a loose chignon which looks natural and pretty. Last week, I saw a bride at my church in Greenwich, Christ Church, posing on the steps in exactly this same hair do. She looked beautiful and utterly unaffected. Genius!