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Between New York, London, Paris, and Milan, there’s a fashion week dedicated to serving hundreds of brands and designers around the world. These fashion week shows (both in-person and virtual) serve as the epicenter of trends and releases, highlighting the work of the most talented people in the fashion industry today. But for those who live and breathe bridal fashion, the highly anticipated events that happen each and every year are the New York Bridal Fashion Week shows. Twice a year, the latest collections, details, glamour, and styles get put front and center for brides and wedding lovers everywhere to watch and admire.
If you’ve ever wondered how you could watch and be a part of this experience, we're here to help! We spoke to a few industry experts to breakdown everything you need to know about this special bi-annual event.
What is New York Bridal Fashion Week?
New York Bridal Fashion Week is an industry event where designers and brands reveal their latest collections, twice a year in October and April, to brides, retail buyers, and the media. In years past, designers would showcase their new lines by hosting intimate events, presentations, and large-scale runway shows. However, given the virtual nature of today’s world, people everywhere now have front row access to each collection as they're released.
This year, New York Bridal Fashion Week will take place on April 6-8, 2021, and will highlight the Spring 2022 bridal collections. Legacy designers like Monique Lhullier, Marchesa, Amsale, and Maggie Sottero (to name a few) will all present—alongside smaller and newer brands—during a jam-packed three-day virtual affair. Coordinated by The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the sole owner and organizer of the Fashion Week schedule, along with The Bridal Council, the shows are set to begin each day at 8:00 am EST, and end each evening between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm EST.
How to Watch Virtually
Prior to the pandemic, each brand would send out invitations to a curated list of industry professionals and insiders, requesting them to view the newest collections as they were released. Once revealed, images of the collections would be circulated to media outlets to be viewed by the general public.
Thankfully, you no longer need an invite to currently experience the shows in all their glory. The CFDA, The Bridal Council, and individual bridal designers have collectively and creatively adapted to virtual procedures—and now offer virtual shows, recordings, panel discussions, and more for public consumption.
Michele Iacovelli, the executive director of The Bridal Council, advises that you can watch this year’s collections through The Bridal Council’s website—where the full schedule, designer videos, and look books will all be posted for public viewing. While this is great news for brides interested in getting an exclusive look into this coveted affair, we must note that not every designer will be live-streaming to the public. Nonetheless, everyone will have access to pre-recorded films and video lookbooks via RUNWAY360 on the CFDA’s website.
As for future Bridal Fashion Week events, Leigh King, CFDA's associate director of special projects and experiences, told Brides, "As for a return to in-person, we are optimistic for a mix of in-person and virtual presentations in the fall." This means now is the time for brides everywhere to take advantage of watching the live virtual shows.
How to Follow the Trends
As mentioned, this three-day occasion is the time when trends are set and put into motion for months to come—be it fashion, beauty, or accessory trends. It's also a great time for brides to start searching for the perfect gown, especially one that hasn't been worn yet.
First and foremost, when watching the collections, it's important to be aware of what you want, and what fashion choice you'd like to embrace on your big day. Dana Harel, founder of her eponymous luxury bridal label, told Brides, "[Brides] need to take their needs and wants into consideration when going to see a new collection. Before looking for a wedding dress, a bride should think first about who she is and what she wants. Every [bride] has their own personality and charm, and in order to find the right dress for their big day, they must think: How do I want to look and what will suit me best? Am I the romantic type? Do I want a fresh, light gown? Or, do I feel like wearing a very embroidered royal dress?"
Georgina Chapman, creative director and co-founder of Marchesa, also adds that "Brides should be looking for a dress that speaks to their personal style, but also with wearability in mind." It's important for brides to be aware of their personal style first, before jumping into Bridal Fashion Week. Otherwise, the endless options of dresses may become overwhelming, and some people can lose track of what they originally envisioned. Famed bridal designer, Ines di Santo, highlights, "[The bride's] style choices and memories will live on forever, so staying true to herself and her idea of her dream dress is most important.”
Post-Bridal Fashion Week Coverage
To view all the collections after New York Bridal Fashion Week, check out Brides’s Bridal Fashion Week page for the most up-to-date designer photos, trends, editor’s picks, and more. After all, you may find “the one” dress, and will need reference photos for when it’s time to go dress shopping.