Looking for inspiration for your wedding dress? Of course you are! The Paris Haute Couture collections presented this week were nothing short of spectacular, and full of bridal-inspired looks — and we've chosen our 5 favorites. The beauty of the art of haute couture is that the gowns are entirely made-to-measure for an individual woman. The collections presented in Paris are a starting point for a woman to dream about how she can make the look her own, so imagine these shapes as longer or shorter; lighter or darker; as pale gold, blush, or bright white. The sky is the limit when creating couture, and these five gowns have left us dreaming.
Chanel Haute Couture
Karl Lagerfeld's masterful couture collection was inspired by Le Corbusier, and included some truly revolutionary couture fabrics and details (tiny concrete tiles as beading!) and the end of the show brought a procession of the most exciting options for brides in futuristic silhouettes in white neoprene with exquisite embroidery. We love the romantic flat sandals too, tied at the ankle with bows! The column dress, shown above, with vertical side panel embroidery has a universally flattering neckline, and the beaded Baroque décolletage just below functions like a necklace.
Photo: Courtesy of Valentino
Valentino Haute Couture
Valentino's designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli presented a collection inspired by the pre-Raphaelites and Roman goddesses — a show focused on ease and romance. This dress, one of the non-embroidered gowns in the collection, would stand beautifully as a bridal gown for a crisp November wedding. Imagine it in white, with the cape-sleeves falling gently toward a bride's bouquet.
Photo: Courtesy of Christian Dior
Christian Dior Haute Couture
Raf Simons' collection for Dior referenced aesthetics from several centuries at once. The early looks in the show were inspired by Marie Antionette, and this non-embellished gown is a beautifully modern take on Rococo fashion. The sleeveless bodice and round, high neckline is the perfect canvas to show off an incredible pair of cluster earrings for a walk down the aisle.
Photo: Courtesy of Giambattista Valli
Giambattista Valli Haute Couture
Giambattista Valli's cinematic collection left fashion lovers wide-eyed. The collection recalled Hollywood's Golden Age, a parade of Lauren Bacalls through the Alhambra Gardens. The grand skirts of the four finale gowns were incredible confections of ombre layered tulle, and entirely intended for bridal. Each one designed in Valli signature; for a couture customer, the large skirts could be removed after the ceremony to reveal a more fitted Valli gown underneath, as he has designed before for several brides.
Photo: Courtesy of Elie Saab
Elie Saab Haute Couture
Elie Saab is a master of illusion tulle and highly-detailed embroidery work. This collection was heavy on the pearls, and included some gorgeous floral embroidery incredible for bridal gowns. Among the many options for brides, this short embroidered lace tulle dress stands out, both for the neckline and for the romantic, generously proportioned lace sleeves. Imagine this in two versions — one long for the ceremony, and this short style for your late-night Parisian after party.