With New York Bridal Fashion Week only days away, today marks the last "Dress of the Week" in which we'll highlight a gown from the Spring 2012 collections before the fall lines sweep in and garble up our attention. As a simultaneous moment of looking back and looking ahead, this final pick from the spring offerings—a Vera Wang grey ball gown—in many ways captures my hopes for the forthcoming collections.
Principal among them is that more gowns will present color options beyond white, like last season's blush trend, which permeated the market both on the runway (from notable labels like Rivini and Oscar de la Renta) and in celebrity weddings (like Reese Witherspoon's pink Monique Lhuillier gown). Be bold with your palettes for Fall 2012, designers. Give brides who want to break with tradition more gowns cast in a wider spectrum of hues—there's an entire rainbow out there! And what's more, I think women are eager to give anything-but-white a try.
Secondly, Vera Wang's ball gown silhouette delivers both a timeless shape adored by the masses and an avant-garde restraint (see it there in the skirt?) that challenges expectations. Here is a ball gown that defies the word "poofy" to instead offer contemporary women a sleeker take on the style. The farther we venture from "I want to look like a princess" stereotypes, the more alternatives we afford women in dictating their bridal style. I'm not suggesting all-out industry anarchy, but it is my humble hope that the Fall 2012 runways put a kink in classic—for the sake of "Dress of the Week" if nothing else. —Phillip B. Crook