With six separate collections coming down the runway, it's difficult to make sweeping generalizations about the Priscilla of Boston group's show. It's like a mouthwatering buffet of wedding dresses—there truly is something for every type of bride: New England prepsters, Shakespearean maiden wannabes, ultraglam fashion slaves—the list goes on. Fittingly enough, the crowd at the show itself seemed to match the diversity of the gowns: fresh-faced twentysomethings teetering in heels, weary editors wielding iPhones, and old-guard bridal salon owners were all present and accounted for.
This season, the collections were relatively small—under 10 looks each—allowing the designers to really refine (and revel in) his or her unique perspective. The Jewel by Priscilla of Boston collection was the clear standout. Designer Kelly Faetanini, a rookie just four years out of design school, finally found her niche: fun, kicky, modern (and well-priced) twists on feminine silhouettes. The designer focused on one bold fashion-forward detail per gown (a ruffle here, a peplum there), which made for simple yet eye-catching results. Particularly exciting were the two gowns with "surprise" details: one ballgown had a removable skirt, and the finale look was a barely-there strapless lace romper worn underneath a detachable (and sheer) tulle skirt. The look could have been vulgar, but the white lace made it the perfect mix of sexy and adorable...
The other collections provided highlights, as well. The show began with their two bridesmaid lines, Melissa Sweet and Priscilla of Boston. Both collections featured barely-there colors like "Petit Four" (a blush hue), "Violetta" (the palest purple), and "Bisque" (ivory), along with asymmetrical necklines, and black detailing, which added a modern edge.
Melissa Sweet and Reverie by Melissa Sweet are created by the same design duo, Lia McNairy and Antonio Gual, but the lines maintain two different aesthetics. (Sort of like two sisters: there's a resemblance, but their personalities diverge.) Reverie is the rebel (think: a sheer lace blouse paired with an organza mini skirt), while Melissa Sweet is the girly-girl who isn't afraid to show it (lots of ruffles, 3-D flowers, and embroidery).
Priscilla of Boston, designed by Tracy Uomoleale, was all about the mix—there were some super-glam looks (like a gown featuring a bodice made entirely of crystals, pearls, and rhinestones) and some ultra-romantic styles (a flowy, cap-sleeved gown with blush velvet trim and a smattering of crystals was straight out of Romeo and Juliet).
At any fashion show, the finale is usually where you'll see the real jaw-droppers, so it's no surprise that the Platinum for Priscilla of Boston collection always closes any POB group presentation. This year, Platinum's final look—a silver bikini top and floor-length skirt paired with a brocade coat—certainly got the crowd murmuring. But given kid sister Jewel's charming-yet-daring turn in the spotlight, how could it compete? –Kim Forrest