It's usually at the end of each Bridal Fashion Week that we take a moment to look back, assess the season's offerings and see the year ahead in wedding dresses. We can't deny that the last six months have made us hesitant to look ahead, but there's something about Bridal Fashion Week that can make the outlook seem quite rosy—even virtually. Surrounded by beauty in the form of gorgeous confections, dreamt up with the utmost creativity, we're inclined to see a brighter future—at least one filled with special moments in the form of wedding dresses that feel like works of art.
As is usually the case, this season brought with it a bevy of new trends. Ten to be exact. While some of them were new takes on classic silhouettes, others felt unexpected and new. From oversized bows, to modest dresses with bare backs, and shoulders adorned with ribbons that created a train-like effect, this season's crop of wedding dress trends captured the current climate (the simplicity associated with micro weddings and the flexibility brides are craving with their wedding attire) while offering us a truly stylish experience.
Here, the 10 wedding dress trends fall 2021 brides need to know about.
If you're anxiously awaiting a look at Princess Diana's wedding dress in the next season of The Crown, consider this trend for you. Call it a shoulder duster, ribbon train, or even a new take on a cape, wedding gowns came adorned with long strands of fabric attached at the shoulders in several collections, giving brides a regal option that's lighter on drama than the usual train. Seen at Vivienne Westwood, above.
Ti Adoro by Allison Webb
Bare backs have been on display for a few seasons but this array of gowns made it even more clear. Otherwise classic long sleeve gowns at Steven Birnbaum, Hayley Paige, and Justin Alexander (above), gave an unexpected flash of skin when photographed from a different angle, for a take on sultry dressing that felt both modern, and modest. Seen at Justin Alexander, above.
Now more than ever, designers are looking to offer brides versatility. Dresses that can be reworn in different styles were big this season—offering something for today's micro-wedding that can be worn again, and made to feel new, for a second wedding next year. Mini dresses and rompers were topped with removable overskirts, offering two-in-one options that make this investment piece feel sensible. Seen at Kaviar Gauche, above.
The Statement Bolero
More proof that brides will want versatility in the coming seasons came in the form of removable statement boleros. Over the top toppers were seen in ruched puff sleeves at Vivienne Westwood, cropped ruffles at Anne Barge, and feathers at Ines Di Santo. Seen at Vivienne Westwood, above.
Ines Di Santo
Simplicity and minimalism may have been on everyone's mind but grand gowns ruled our imaginations and dreams. Exaggerated ruffles were on full display at Viktor & Rolf, Leanne Marshall, Kaviar Gauche, Marchesa, and Justin Alexander. Proving that creativity and beauty were just what we needed to see right now. Seen at Kaviar Gauche, above.
Viktor & Rolf Mariage
Another version of maximalism came in the form of larger than life bows. Adorning backs, shoulders, and waist lines regal bows made their way into the collections of Anne Barge, Elie Saab, and Ines Di Santo. Seen at Kaviar Gauche, above.
Ines Di Santo
Nodding to a simpler time, 90s nostalgia came in the form of a return to the square neckline this season. While we've seen designers bet on minimalism for several seasons, this trend was clear present across various collections—from Jenny Yoo to Justin Alexander and Leanne Marshall. Seen at Jenny Yoo, above.
Jenny by Jenny Yoo
Off-the-shoulder Balloon Sleeves
Off-the-shoulder wedding dresses have made their way from trend to classic over the last few seasons. This time they fused with balloon sleeves to create a romantic and desirable new take on a tried-and-true silhouette—whether in long poet sleeve form, or in pleated almost quarter length. Seen at Eisen-Stein, above.
Microweddings have definitely given mini wedding dresses a place in the spotlight this year, but next year is all about mixing modern and classic. The high-low wedding dress gives the best of both worlds—a truly fashionable statement, with a risky take on bridal dressing, and a dress that feels like two weddings in one. See at Oscar de la Renta, above.
Viktor & Rolf Mariage
Paired back weddings were on everyone's minds for the coming season, evident in the choice of hemline favored by many designers—the tea-length dress. Seen in a simple silhouette at Viktor & Rolf Mariage, all-over lace at Eisen-Stein, and a more trend driven look at Ines by Ines Di Santo, brides looking to channel Audrey Hepburn are in luck. Seen at Viktor & Rolf Mariage, above.