It’s 2019 and anything goes, as Jacinta Walsh discovers in conversation with Jean Bristow, the director of Always and Forever Bridal International Melbourne – London. Read ahead as she reveals why more Melbourne brides are opting for unconventional bridal wear than ever before.
Image Credit: White Shutter Photography
Fashion is our fickle friend – what’s in one minute is out the next – and when a style-conscious bride chooses her gown, this can weigh on her mind. While fashion is oft dictated by its past, it’s forever engaging with new ideas to remain of the moment; and in this very moment, it’s as liberal as ever.
As customs change and traditions fall by the wayside, bridal fashion evolves to suit the new zeitgeist. Brides are opting for form-fitting gowns over modest silhouettes, slacks in lieu of skirts, and colourful creations in replacement of traditional white. “Over the years, we have seen an enormous shift [in the choices brides make].” Bristow says. “Twenty years ago, you would find that one style or shape would be on trend at any one time. Now, almost anything goes!”
Bridal boutiques like Always and Forever Bridal International Melbourne – London are constantly looking to update their stock in order to keep up with the growing fare that brides are now in search of. “We offer everything from suits to shorts, coloured gowns to sheer [silhouettes], as well as vintage and modern classics,” Bristow says. But with so much on offer, it can be a challenge for brides to wrap their heads around what they’re really after. Here, Melbourne Wedding & Bride uncovers the best alternate options for your wedding attire to ensure you walk down the aisle in style.
While said to fly by, your wedding day is often a lengthy process. From getting ready to saying tearful goodbyes as your guests leave, you’re sure to be exhausted by the end of the night. Why not lessen that pain by opting for attire that is both stylish and comfortable, particularly something that won’t weigh you down as you dance the night away? “For the bride who prefers comfort and practicality, jumpsuits are easy to move around and dance in,” Bristow says. Whether you opt for a tailored, wide-legged, or long-sleeved option, a jumpsuit is a sleek departure from the typical bridal silhouette and will offer you a certain freedom that a dress cannot.
More brides are also opting to change into a secondary outfit for their reception, either for comfort or to incorporate a different look. If you’re not sold on wearing a jumpsuit to your ceremony, they also make for a great additional ensemble. “While one gown still tends to be the norm, we have seen an increase in brides who will purchase more than one [outfit],” Bristow says. A jumpsuit offers relaxed appeal once the formalities are out of the way, and can be paired with more outlandish accessories that better represent your style such as bold statement jewellery or a plush fur bolero.
Take Control, Alt And Delete!
As off-the-rack bridal wear is so readily available, wearing the same dress as the bride in the change room beside you can sometimes detract from the experience. However, many bridal boutiques will offer you the chance to make alterations to your attire. “Almost 70 per cent of our brides have something altered, such as [the addition of] detachable sleeves, straps or skirts,” Bristow says. “We love this, as we can say that almost every one of our bridal gowns is one of a kind!”
It’s your wedding, so don’t be afraid to tailor your day – and your outfit – to suit your personality. “Brides today have more options and more access to fashion-forward thinking than ever before,” Bristow says. “Instagram, Pinterest and the internet at large assist brides in thinking outside the box.” In other words, with a few slight changes, the perfect dress may be just a ruffle away! Many bridal boutiques will also offer inhouse alteration services, although it’s best to check beforehand if you will need to outsource this service.
Show Your True Colours
Choosing wedding attire isn’t as black and white as it may seem. While the traditional and obvious choice for a bridal gown is white, modern designers now offer their brides a smorgasbord of coloured fabrics to choose from, introducing a new palette for the bride wanting more than just a white wedding.
Bristow says that she has noticed more brides going against the norm. “The fact that traditions are often more relaxed gives brides more freedom in their choices,” she says. As such, colourful gowns are often a hot ticket item. “Champagne, mocha, and blush [have been popular colours] over the last few years,” she shares. “However, now we are seeing stronger looks – especially blue – in favour, as we have a considerable number of brides who want something that little bit different.” Compared to stark white, blush tones can be more flattering to certain skin tones and will soften facial features.
For inspiration, brides need only look at Vera Wang’s romantic 2019 spring collection, which featured layers of soft-coloured tulle in hues of yellow, pink, purple and burgundy, while Jenny Packham’s collection dabbled in mauve, billowy silhouettes. Naeem Khan continued to include stronger metallics like gold and silver in his collection, which is perfect for the bride looking for something edgier. For those loving the trend and wishing to subtly incorporate it into their outfit, look to Carolina Herrara’s collection, which employs the use of coloured sashes, bows and embroidery.
Confidence Is Key
When it comes to dressing for your wedding, it should all come down to wearing whatever makes you feel most confident. “Consider your [sense of] self and personality,” Bristow says. “There is nothing worse than second-guessing your decision or worrying whether others like your gown.”
Every bride is different, so don’t be afraid to reflect that in your choice of apparel. Bristow believes that walking away happy in your decision should always be the main objective. “If you find something that suits your personality, there shouldn’t be a person in the world who could make you waiver on that decision,” she says. “My advice is to follow your heart. It’s what got you here in the first place and it will take you the rest of the way – I guarantee it!”