Serge Jevaguine Bridal Spring 2020

Serge Jevaguine has always been inspired by early couturiers and their design aesthetic. As a youth in his native Russia, Jevaguine continued his fascination with great art and famous couturiers of past like Christian Dior, Jeanne Lanvin, Cristobal Balenciaga, Madeleine Vionnet, and others by studying at the Academy of Arts of Moscow.

Not until he moved to Toronto, Canada did Jevaguine get the opportunity to create bridal wear. With his spring 2020 bridal collection, Jevaguine debuts this collection in New York City.

For the spring 2020 bridal collection, Serge Jevaguine was mesmerized by the simple and chic style of French actresses Brigitte Bardot, Michele Mercier, and Juliette Binoche. The collection seeks to capture the elegance of French Glamour featuring shimmering sequin gowns, luxe brocades paired with cascading, tulle overskirts and silk crepes with clean, style lines.

Each design is handcrafted from the best European fabrics and gives close attention to details like bejeweled belts, sheer hemlines and thigh high slits. Every gown is designed to emphasize the soft and feminine nature of each bride.

In this collection, Jevaguine emphasized the old adage, “less is more.”  The less is classic, yet not fussy, bridal silhouettes that have stood the test of time, combined with high quality fabrics. The more comes from the distinction that many of the bridal gowns in this collection are accompanied by attachments that can either accentuate the gown or be taken off.

Photos courtesy of Serge Jevaguine

Case in point, the brand’s Sophia SK bridal gown with the detachable train. Additionally, several of the gowns in the spring 2020 collection come in alternative colors and are appropriate for red garments or special events.What sets this bridal collection apart from other collections of its ilk is the luxury fabric choices and the appeal of the collection for an ever-evolving bridal consumer. Bravo on your New York debut!!

William S. Gooch

Watters Bridal Fall 2019

Watters is always known for pushing the envelope, and this season was no exception. The company debuted all three of their lines including their namesake Watters, Willowby, and Wtoo. Building on their own ahead of the curve DNA, the company had something to offer every type of bride.

Watters Photos courtesy of Coded PR

The namesake Watters line was all about love and lace, with classic romantic details including gorgeous veils with appliqués. During Bridal Week, there is, of course, so much emphasis put on the gowns, often details like the veil are ignored, but Watters didn’t miss a beat. And like many brands this season Watters also included plus-size models, with 67 percent of women in the US being a size 12 and beyond, it is important that they court that customer.Willowby, on the other hand, continues to play the role of the much younger sister to Watters in design aesthetic and demographic. For its spring 2020 collection, a portion of the gowns were a bit outside the traditional realm of bridal in some ways, with sheer embroidered overlays that projected as subtle sensuality and the absence of princess gowns.

Willowby fall 2019 photos courtesy of Coded PR

That said; the Willowby customer is a different kind of bride; one who dances to the beat of her own drum. It isn’t too often that you see an A-line wedding dress with a halter neckline and a key-hole cutout bodice.Wtoo was less cohesive than it was in past seasons, with looks going from traditional princess gowns to crop-top wedding dresses. Nevertheless, the collection still played to the fantasy aspect of the wedding day with whimsical floral details and tiered tulle dresses. Classic details, like lace embroidery, contrasted with the more contemporary details of deep V-necklines. The Wtoo girl isn’t afraid to be a little sexier than your classic bride, and she loves a good revealing neckline.

WToo fall 2019 photos courtesy of Coded PR

Watters, as a bridal brand, is gathering steam and more market dominance in its appeal to a variety of bridal customers. One of the most difficult challenges for a bridal brand is the creation of garments that can have market appeal to wide range of bridal customers. In spite of this challenge, Watters continues to successfully pull this exacting feat off. That in itself continues to be their greatest strength.—Kristopher Fraser

Justin Alexander Signature Bridal Spring 2020

Last season, Justin Alexander’s bridal collection centered around fashion-forward bridal glam. His bride was sophisticated, but willing to take risks. And though there were lots of classic bridal silhouettes in that collection, many of the garments in the collection could work as red-carpet garments or evening wear.

This season has turned out to be very different. Justin Alexander aimed for the more traditional bride for his spring 2020 collection which was inspired by the transformative nature of spring.

Justin Alexander reflected this point of view for spring 2020 in modern, clean styling with a romantic patchwork of florals that extended to a large floral motif. Continuing on his floral theme, Justin Alexander culminated this collection with embroidered florals expressed in appliques and large floral patterns.

And though Alexander aimed for a fresh, youthful appeal in this collection—sometimes he was successful—for the most part this collection would attract a more seasoned and mature bridal audience. And the addition of petal jackets, beaded cap sleeves, and the floral patchwork cape only helped place this collection in the vein of a more mature customer. Perhaps, even the customer getting married for the second time.

Photos courtesy of Atelier PR

Still, Justin Alexander should be given credit for injecting his own particular take on modern bridal wear. Thankfully, his design aesthetic is not staid, always projecting what is new and innovative.

Standouts in this collection include the strapless sequin flower lace gown with skirt detail, petal skirt silk Mikado cocktail dress, satin slim gown with beaded jacket, and floral patchwork V-neck jumpsuit.

—William S. Gooch

Amsale Bridal Spring 2020

Amsale Aberra left behind a legacy of elevating the bridal gowns beyond overly embellished princess gowns. Until Amsale Aberra established her eponymous brand, Amsale, bridal gowns, for the most part, reflected the aesthetic that one would expect when one witnessed a wealthy woman getting married in a big cathedral.

The designer, who passed away in April of 2018, was renowned for her stunning, approachable gowns that were suited for the modern woman. At New York Bridal Fashion Week, the designer’s legacy continued with a collection that was about how the modern bride envisions her very special day.

This season, the brand debuted Nouvelle Amsale, Little White Dress, Amsale, and Amsale x You. These four collections all spoke to different types of Amsale customers, from the younger bride to the more mature bride, and those who wanted something that was customizable. There is power and truth to the variations of the white dress walking down the aisle, something the brand has proven their design team easily recognizes.

Nouvelle Amsale explored femininity with bold necklines and floral details. This line was heavily focused on construction with architectural lines and illusion detailing. The crepe and satin materials were structured in a way fitting for younger brides who want that full-length gown effect, but don’t want a maximalist-type of gown with heavy embroidery and embellishments.

Little White Dress was a true exercise in minimalism. These dresses are for the brides who are not the ball gown types. Silhouettes included trapeze in faille and off-the-shoulder tulle midi-dresses. This collection was proof that not every bridal dress necessarily needs to make a bold statement, and that less can be more.

The mainline Amsale collection was an exploration of classic elegance. Voluminous gowns and lace details spoke to the traditional brides who dream of that perfect princess gown. The statement skirts were anchored by tailored bodices for a sensibly contrasting shape to the statement making garments.

Photos courtesy of Lividini PR

The runway show ended with a series of “real women” debuting the Amsale x You collection, their custom line. The women were a variety of different heights and body shapes, letting brides know that there is something at Amsale that can be designed to fit every woman. The brand’s strength continues to lie in their versatility, because after all, variety is the spice of life.—Kristopher Fraser

BERTA Bridal Spring 2020

For its spring 2020 bridal collection, the brand BERTA was inspired by Milan, one of the fashion capitals of the world. As one of the fashion capitals of the world, Milan, as a city, is known for its picturesque landscapes, strong architecture, and style that is unsurpassed. And as fashion capital, Milan has produced such fashion greats as Armani, Valentino, Cavalli, and Prada.

BERTA has set a standard for its penchant for a modern distillation of bridal couture. This season was no exception. And as has been commented on by many bridal and fashion editors, BERTA employs some of the best models in the industry to showcase their alluring and fashion-forward bridal garments.

That said; for spring 2020 BERTA successfully attempted some different, but key elements to the collection. This collection featured never-before seen fabrics and silhouettes and a re-introduction of silk, as well as a mix of handmade embellishments and embroideries.

Another new attraction to the BERTA for spring 2020 was the addition of long bridal trains. Where in other collections, trains represent sophistication and regal purity. With BERTA, the extravagant trains supplement and add to the sensuality of the garments, infusing a bit of whimsy and fantasy into the collection.

BERTA’s new direction does not supplant the brand’s oeuvre for sensual elegance with a daring fashion-forward sentimentality. And as always, BERTA gives its customers a variety of bridal silhouettes to choose from.

Photos courtesy of BERTA/Dan Lecca

Standout looks include, but are not limited to, the long sleeve fit and flare gown featuring a sparkle bodysuit underneath, long sleeve blazer dress with pants and corset bodice adorned in crystals, sheer floral fabric layer over sequin bodysuit, silk ball gown style strapless dress with feather sequin detail, long sleeve sleek silhouette with beading detail and train, and crystal beaded wrap front dress with sequin detailing along neckline and straps.—William S. Gooch

Reem Acra Bridal Spring 2020

Though it is unfortunate that Reem Acra no longer shows during New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS)—and she is well missed—it is a comfort to know that Reem Acra presents her bridal collections twice a year in New York City during New York International Bridal Week.

And the brilliance and glorious beauty that Reem Acra once brought to her runway shows during NYFWS is front and center at her bridal shows. Additionally, Reem Acra choses great locations to present her bridal shows, from the New York Public Library to her recent present location of Saint Bartholomew’s Church—a New York City landmark.

This bridal collection was not only beautiful and very well produced, but, perhaps, the bridal runway show of the season. The cavernous Saint Bartholomew’s Church, in its grandeur, served Reem Acra’s bridal collection very well. And where some bridal designers would have played off of the church’s iconic history and somewhat gothic architecture, Reem Acra modernized her production by playing classic Madonna songs—Like A Prayer, Celebrate, Lucky Star, Papa Don’t Preach—throughout the entire show.

The spring 2020 collection began with diminutive flower girls all in a rosy pink tulle. What followed was a bridal collection of the highest order, supplemented by jewel-embellished bridal menswear, made in collaboration with Joseph Abboud. And though the groom’s collection was at times over-embellished and a bit campy, for the setting and direction of the collection, the addition of groom’s garments added the extra special touch that elevated Reem Acra’s spring 2020 collection into bridal stratosphere.

True to form, there were many classic bridal silhouettes in the collection—something that Reem Acra always inserts into her collections. However, this season Reem went against the grain and had something for everyone. There short bridal cocktail dresses—for the bridal rehearsal party—as well as a bridal jumpsuit and white silk hot pants. And there were several nods to Reem Acra’s Middle Eastern heritage with heavily embellished bridal gowns with ornate veils. In fact, the variety of veils used in the collection was one of the highlights of the show.

Images courtesy of Reem Acra

What was most noticeable about Reem Acra’s spring 2020 bridal collection was the joy, splendor, and exuberance of the show. And isn’t that what fashion, particularly a bridal show should be about. Happy times are here again!!—William S. Gooch

Morilee by Madeline Gardner Bridal Spring 2020

 

For spring 2020 Morilee by Madeline Gardner found inspiration from where blue skies meet desert dreams. In this place sky meets the natural beauty of the desert when what was once an arid place flowers due to the onset of spring, Morilee has ingeniously found a way to resurrect the beauty of a desert in bloom seen through the lens of bridal beauty.

For 25 years Madeline Gardner has set her brand apart in a heavily saturated bridal market by created bridal garments that emphasize the elaborate beaded details and her use of rich and sumptuous fabrics. Gardner recognizes the importance of making sure her dresses are timeless while staying up with the most contemporary trends and styles.

Morilee by Madeline Gardner’s bridal spring 2020 collection puts an emphasis on floral and geometric lace details draped sumptuously over contoured shapes, highlighting every bit of their gorgeous natural form. Textured, dimensional beading reflects the golden hour’s light, as layers of tulle and organza reveal decadent depth and dimension. Through the wind and sand, the silhouette of simple structured shapes will capture the natural spirit of the bohemian bride.

Standout looks in this collection include the brand’s tulle ball gown with embroidered lace appliques and crystal beaded neckline, fit and flare gown with pearl and crystal beading and Venice lace appliques on allover Chantilly lace, full ball gown with cathedral-length train and soft flutter sleeves, and fit and flare gown with sheer train and detachable overskirt.

—William S. Gooch

 

THEIA Bridal Spring 2020

THEIA has set a standard of classic elegance with its aesthetic of clean lines, signatures crepes, and sometimes, minimalist aesthetic. That said; for spring 2020 Creative Director Don O’Neill decided to push the bridal and ready-to-wear brand in a direction that goes beyond very consumer-friendly bridal gowns that will have a wide appeal.

O’Neill has tried this before, pulling inspiration from such disparate influences as David Bowie and opium dens. Creatively, these sources of inspiration were brilliant, really pushing the proverbial bridal design aesthetic in a fashion-forward direction. Unfortunately, some of these unconventional reference points may not have translated into strong sales for the brand.

This time around O’Neill may have accomplished both goals of expanding THEIA’s bridal design aesthetic without abandoning the brand’s signature aesthetic, as well as increasing retail value. And for good measure, O’Neill included some THEIA favorites, soft ball gowns and hand-beaded gowns for those young brides that embrace romanticism and whimsy.

For spring 2020, O’Neill looked to the 1970s, and in particular those glamorous party girls and beauty icons that swirled and sashayed under disco balls or graced pinup posters. Think Bianca Jagger, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, Jerry Hall, Margaux Hemingway, and Jacqueline Bisset. 

Piggybacking on the glam rock trend that was seen in so many fall 2019 ready-to-wear collections, Don O’Neill’s choice of inspiration was key to the success of this spring 2020 bridal collection. O’Neill ingeniously incorporated glitzy glamour into the collection without this injection overwhelming the brand. This was a bridal collection that speaks that bride that wants to be sexy and glamorous on her very special day, even if that means conjuring up images of disco balls and New York City nightlife.

Photos courtesy of THEIA

Though this collection was characterized by plunging necklines, thigh-high slits, gleaming lames, and sexy sequined, halter jumpsuits, O’Neill found a way to elevate this collection out of the disco era, making the bridal garments palatable to the modern bridal consumer.  Standout looks in the collection was the hand-embroidered polychrome sequin duster coat over the Louisa crepe slip gown, platinum lame halter shirt gown, plunge front crepe jump suit with ruched waistband, boat neck crepe mermaid gown with open back with Rhea pearl-embroidered veil, and V-neck gown hand-embroidered with Grecian-inspired bugle beads and polychrome sequined gown. 

—William S. Gooch

Eisen Stein Bridal Spring 2020

Since 2011, Eisen Stein has set a standard with their innovative take on luxury bridal gowns. The design team of Yael Eisenberg and Hali Kalkstein have devised a bridal brand that expands bridal beyond traditional fare, incorporating silhouettes and a perspective that one would expect at celebrity red-carpet events.

For their spring 2020 collection, the design duo of Eisen Stein was inspired by the romantic spirt of Paris and the old-world streets of Paris that evoke images of great artists and elegant beauty. Entitled “LOVE,” this seven-piece capsule collection embodies whimsical beauty in a dreamy spring color palette.

Fairytale worthy gowns combine intricate hand-made beading, lacework and crystal embellishments with modern silhouettes. Princess dresses with custom designed tulle and silk organza guarantee brides their special moment, while details like pant suits, plunging necklines, bustiers, and sheer elements provide a sensual and dramatic touch.

Images courtesy of Dan Lecca

The feminine, fanciful gowns from this spring 2020 convey a magical collection fit for the bride who wants the ultimate fairytale wedding. And all this was against the beautiful New York City skyline.Though this collection is very similar to Inbal Dror’s aesthetic—another Israeli designer that presents regularly in New York City—Yael Eisenberg and Hali Kalkstein have set their brand apart by creating bridal gowns that could easily work on red carpet and bridal gowns that are solidly placed in a more youthful, fashion-forward market.

—William S. Gooch

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