We’re just back from New York Bridal Fashion Week Spring 2012 where we had lots of fun and also saw some amazing catwalk shows and met up with some of the stars of the market, including the growing number of Brits who exhibit. Here are our personal highlights…
TRENDS – The Return of Traditional Ivory and White
All white now – 2012 is going to see the back of blush hues, creams, golds and pinks, in favour of a return to traditional ivory and white. There was a distinct lack of colour at the shows, but believe us, it wasn’t a wash-out. We welcome the return to basics.
Heads down – Strapless dresses have dominated the bridal scene for as long as we remember, but we’re thrilled to see that 2012 is the return of the neck. Sweetheart, V-necked, off the shoulder, lace jackets and coats. It’s a cover-up job, with detachable lace boleros being a big feature from designers like Sassi Holford.
A-line, princess, layers, frills and ruffles are big and back! Skimming along the floor, we saw dress after dress on the Maggie Sottero catwalk looking big and beautiful. This is good news for another big British name – Ian Stuart, whose new Killer Queen collection boasts all of the best and biggest features.
Grace Kelly Style Still Iconic
The Royal Standard – Although Kate Middleton inspired many designers to create their own version of Sarah Burton’s iconic dress, Grace Kelly remains the wedding style icon of many designers, many of whom had already predicted exactly what the Duchess of Cambridge would wear on her big day. We’ll have to admit to getting that one spot on ourselves… If anything, Pippa Middleton seems to have inspired more brides to wear something cowl-necked and slinky, which accentuates, ahem, their very best assets. Check out another British exhibitor Matthew Williamson for more feminine, floaty silhouettes, with exceptional detailing.
Pure gold – The likes of Royal Wedding bridesmaid dress designer Nicki Macfarlane showed us her gorgeous collection of traditional layered tulle flowergirl and bridesmaids smocks and dresses with their characteristic sashes. The yellow gold dresses from the Watters catwalk show caught our eye, and as always, the Dessy Group wowed us with a dress for every colour theme (check out Pantone Wedding for more), and every style, shape and size.
Time for Tea Lengths
Tea-length dresses are bigger than they have been since the 1920s, and shorties enjoying the biggest resurgence since the 60s. We loved the bubble hems and Mary Quant-style ruffles and flowers, the Chanel-inspired shaped waists, pleats and coats, and the trumpet skirts at Amanda Wakeley where ‘wow’ is standard. So good to see her collection at the show. Stephanie Allin and Johanna Hehir also waved the British flag, with their classic styles, beautiful lace detail and embellishments for which the Brits are well known.
Aruna Seth and Paradox London were at the show in force, bringing us new heel heights, gorgeous detail, versatility, individual style and colour. Another royal connection – Pippa Middleton wore Aruna’s shoes for the reception of Kate and William, and it’s easy to see why. A huge thing for 2012 will be tea length or short dress teamed with killer heels. If you’re going to pay big bucks for your shoes, you’ll want to show them off…
Finally Caroline Castigliano showed off her exquisitely cut gowns, which look every inch at home in one of the world’s fashion capitals. Similarly David Fielden couture style and use of detail and embellishments make him stand out among the wash of white and tulle that is New York Bridal Fashion Week.
Of course New York Bridal Week isn’t all about the shows for us, it’s also about having fun. Here’s a low-down of what we got up to.
We flew British Airways to JFK, where we cabbed it into Manhattan.
We stayed at the new, modern concept Andaz Hotel, located on Fifth Avenue opposite the Library. A prime location for this stunning hotel, which is one of the best that we have ever stayed at.
We ate at The Atlantic Bar and Grill with its incredible seafood towers, John’s Pizza on Bleecker Street for a traditional, down to earth, fun evening and Tao for great Asian cuisine. As usual, we took brunch at jazz café The Garage in Greenwich Village – book early to get a table, and we had lunch at a brilliant deli close to the Couture Show at the Intercontinental Barclay. We walked for miles up Broadway to Union Square, where we soaked up the atmosphere, then we hopped on the subway to The Rockerfeller Centre, where we jaw-dropped as the sun set over Manhattan from Top of the Rock. Finally, we partied hard in the meat-packing district, including a visit to notorious hotspot Hogs and Heifers. Also well worth a visit are the market at Grand Central Station and the High Line Park.
Now … back to the office.