New York Fashion Week Bridal returned for its annual slate of white dresses and bridesmaids’ gowns. This season, which officially kicked off on October 11 and runs until October 14, will see collections from top designers including Vivienne Westwood, Monique Lhuillier, Amsale, Reem Acra, Badgley Mischka, Viktor & Rolf, and Ines di Santo.
By the first day of New York Fashion Week Bridal, there were already signs of what to expect from this year’s bridal market in terms of business and trends. Katherine Tash, a Los Angeles-based bridal designer, has seen an impressive rebound since the COVID-19 lockdowns. Her eponymous label is now celebrating its fifth anniversary, and her business is stronger than ever.
New York Bridal Fashion Week sees a step back from maximalism
When the world first shut down in 2020, Tash was nervous about her business’s survival. She had sixty dresses ordered that customers couldn’t even pick up with lockdown orders. Thankfully, as soon as retailers reopened again, all orders were retrieved, and her business lived to see October bridal week 2022.
Now, she’s working on taking her modern aesthetic and infusing it with current trends and meeting customer demands. “Demand for draping is high,” Tash said to FashionUnited. “Brides are also in the market for the minimalist aesthetic again, but they want details. Detail-driven design is most in-demand right now, and I’ve seen brides asking for more buttons and beading. That trend of overwhelming lace and embroidery is over, and brides want more understated designs with strong attention to details.”
Other designers, like Andrew Kwon, embraced romanticism and ball gowns. Kwon’s latest bridal collection built off the brand’s recent evening wear collection that showed at New York Fashion Week in September. The designer’s inspiration was the red carpet, as he imagined each bride's walk down the aisle as their red carpet moment.
Kwon also said his biggest inspiration was the Chanel No. 5 perfume ads starring Nicole Kidman from the ‘00s. Unlike Tash, Kwon embraced lace, using Guipure lace dusted with crystals to create the illusion of twinkling stars. He also wove metallic lurex threads into gowns to create the illusion of a flashing light. Kwon also introduced his signature 3D-floral in an ombre palette mirroring the natural progression of the sky. Although Kwon was on the more maximalist end of the spectrum, he didn’t go over the top, again showcasing how brides now want modern gowns with technical attention to detail.
Claire Pettibone’s latest bridal collection was also an homage to brides’ current demand for intricate detailing. The theme of her collection this season was adornment, as she thought about how we adorn ourselves. Her latest collection featured elements inspired by fine jewelry, ribbons, and lace. While Pettibone’s collection was heavy on lace and embroidery, she was determined not to just have one static type of look, as she realized today’s modern bride doesn’t believe in just one ideal of beauty. There are still those customers who want the dramatic lace, and there are those customers who want more minimalism with attention to detail, like adding ribbon.
Intricate details will be the ruling trend for the bridal market in 2023. There’s more to a good bridal gown than just a white dress.