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4 Ways Bridal Designers are Redefining Sexy

(But grandma-approved.)

Courtesy of Pronovias

Seasons past, with the “sexy bride” as their muse, designers often turned to nude illusion, sheer panels, and lacey fabrics, blending drama and sex appeal. The results were shockingly risqué as the likes of Beyonce and Kim Kardashian’s “naked” dress were taken from the red carpet to the wedding aisle. Gorgeous? Yes. Jaw-dropping? Yes. Grandma approved? Probably not. We love every bit of these sultry looks and the confidence it takes for a bold, daring bride to flaunt what she’s got down the aisle, but for some, it’s too sexy.

Now, designers are calling upon cleaner lines, more romantic fabrics, and more traditional silhouettes — but that doesn’t mean the sexy bride is to be written off. Instead, sexy was redefintd on the Fall 2018 bridal runways as designers offered a more alluring, sophisticated take on sensuality that’s less “look at me” and more strength and confidence, trading in transparent details for more refined revealing elements, balancing the suggestive with the conservative — high slits instead of illusion lace skirts, plunging necklines with voluminous ball gowns.

And if you ask us, there’s nothing sexier than a shoulder-revealing gown or leg-baring split. Here, four ways they’re reinventing and redefining what it means to be a sexy bride.

Off-Shoulder Sleeves

Seriously, what’s more alluring than bare shoulders and delicate décolletage? The off-the-shoulder look has been in the limelight of fashion since the Paris shows in 2014, so it’s no surprise that it’s trickled down to the bridal world for the past few seasons. The Fall 2018 collections continued the evolution of such shoulder appeal, introducing a few new interpretations. Monique Lhuillier and Hayley Paige were two of several designers who played with the cleverness behind the detached sleeves, a convertible and flexible style that perfectly achieves the off-the-shoulder look without limiting movement. Elsewhere, necklines got a little bit straighter thanks to the likes of designers such as Victoria Kyriakides and Lela Rose, who opted for chic, refined, and sophisticated lines in their off-the-shoulder looks.

Courtesy of Lela Rose
Courtesy of Monique Lhuillier
Courtesy of Victoria Kyriakides

Plunging Necklines

These deep-V seducers are nothing new, but this season, instead of being paired with equally sultry sheer fabrics, they’re now finding balance with more traditional elements such as ball gowns and long sleeves. In our opinion, the plunging neckline has never looked so appealing due to this conservative meets sexy juxtaposition. Inbal Dror presented a number of chest-baring designs, coupled with floating tulle A-line and full gown silhouettes for a romantically regal feel, while Marchesa married her plunging necklines with sleeves, from sweet cap sleeves to billowy, gauzy long sleeves in whimsical, ethereal designs, and Reem Acra offset a deep V with modest, minimalist fabric.

Courtesy of Inbal Dror
Courtesy of Marchesa
Reem Acra, Bridal Fall 2018, New York City, October 2017
Courtesy of Reem Acra

Thigh-High Slits

Sexy in a subtle way, this peek-a-boo look was made to flaunt a little leg. There’s something classic about this tantalizing trend, whose timeless tease never ceases to give a good show. Whether they’re front and center or stalking the side, showstopping solo or double duty, we can’t help but love them. Designers are making slits higher and higher, opting for a thigh-high look in versatile ways. Just look at Pronovias, who brings some serious sexy to a soft A-line or Dennis Basso for Kleinfeld, who used a high side slit to complement a fitted silhouette. For full impact, Rime Arodaky, whose Fall 2018 collection features splits for days, paired twin front slits and gave them a twist with illusion lace.

Courtesy of Allison Webb
Courtesy of Sachin&Babi
Courtesy of Theia

See more: 8 Celestial Inspired Wedding Dresses

The Slip Dress

With the return of ‘90s minimalism also comes the return of the slip dress. Slinky and curve flattering, this lingerie-inspired look is sexy for obvious reasons, maintaining effortless fluidity and sophistication while merging hints of old Hollywood glamour with boudoir taste. Its streamline aesthetic and flirty appeal received several takes in its resurgence in the bridal world — classic and silky with loose movement at Theia; short, sparkling, and sassy with a double tier trumpet-hem at Sachin & Babi; and Allison Webb paired a clean silk chiffon bias-cut with a bishop sleeve jacket adorned with floral rhinestone embellishments, crystals, and sequins for a bit of glam.

Courtesy of Getty Images
Courtesy of Pronovias
Courtesy of Rime Arodaky
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