Naeem Khan Bridal Spring 2018

Collages1293Naeem Khan has set a name for himself as a designer that is extremely adept at bringing couture-like creations to the ready-to-wear market. For over three decades, Naeem Khan has brought his wealth of knowledge about design, construction and fabrication to his collections.  (Remember, Khan got his start in the US designing for Halston.) And season after season Naeem Khan’s collections reflect his treasure trove of fashion sensibility, sophistication and elegance. Khan’s cornucopia of talents also applies to his bridal collections.

Naeem Khan’s spring 2018 bridal collection is truly for the international bride. Khan does not buck American bridal trends, but from this spring 2018 collection Khan demonstrates that is audience goes beyond US bridal markets and that his appeal is global, more centered in bridal markets where there is more risks and consumers think more out of the box.

Collages1292Naeem Khan is appealing to that consumer who is more of a world traveler, and wants an unforgettable bridal garment that is reminiscent of want one would see in couture shows in international fashion markets. That said; there were some bridal garments that would appeal to an American consumer.

There was a lot of variety in Khan’s spring 2018 collection, from beaded jumpsuits to feathered mermaid silhouettes to more classic romantic gowns with statement sleeves. All these variations were embellished with lots pearl necklaces ingeniously wrapped around the garments. And that one embellishment alone helped elevate this spring 2018 bridal collection beyond just beautiful bridal garments that might be romantic or sexy.

Images courtesy of

Images courtesy of

Khan’s bridal garments reflected a sensibility that encompasses lots of points of view and lots of cultural references, from 70’s–inspired garments to classically romantic garments. And in that Naeem Khan displays his genius and in an odd way the cohesiveness of this collection.

—William S. Gooch

Ines Di Santo Bridal Spring 2018

Ines_Di_Santo_Bridal_Spring_2018If you are Ines di Santo, less is more. Particularly when comes to Di Santo’s spring 2018 bridal collection.

“This season became a dance with the artist and the editor in my mind. Not a stitch more than what was needed, yet full license to push a design that was simply more,” said di Santo in the collections program notes.

Collages1274Ines di Santo is known for her couture-like bridal gowns that employ exquisite embellishments and floral appliques and cutouts. That said; the bridal spring 2018 collection is a redirection of the brand to go for simplicity or the less is more design concept. However, when a designer has the craftsmanship that Ines di Santo possesses, changing brand direction does not diminish the beauty and sophistication of the collection, but only serves to prove the design dexterity of a true master.

And though the theatricality of Ines di Santo’s designs has been a mainstay of her collections, exciting bridal editors and consumers alike, the theatricality of her bridal garments did not distract from the attention to detail and di Santo’s mastery of technique. That mastery of technique is what stood out in this ‘less is more’ spring 2018 collection.

Collages1275Though this somewhat restrained collection did not contain some of the elements that has marked di Santo’s design aesthetic, there were new trends and continuing trends in place. Some of the bridal gowns gave a nod to the continuing ruffle trend. Add to that some very large bows in the front and back of the gowns, as well as lots of halter and spaghetti strap bodices that accentuated the sexiness of this fashion outing.

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Standout looks in this bridal spring 2018 collection were di Santo’s sleeveless plunging sweetheart illusion sheath gown with front slit accent and dramatic lace insert with detachable train, sleeveless wide square-neck dropped waist ball gown with contoured seaming, hidden pockets, embroidered lingerie bodice sheath with sweetheart neck, low V-back and signature side hidden zipper, floral embellished sleeveless sweetheart ball gown with inverted apron skirt, illusion back and dramatic cathedral train. Giving a nod to Asian weddings were brides wear red, the bridal showpiece of the collection was a halter neck sweetheart corset modified trumpet gown with asymmetrical pleated skirt and exaggerated dramatic bow back detail.

—William S. Gooch


Mira Zwillinger Bridal Spring 2018

Mira_Zwillinger_Bridal_Spring_2018“Some where over the rainbow, skies are blue. And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”—Yip Harburg

For spring 2018 the design duo of Mira and Lihi Zwillinger brought bridal fantasy back into the conversation. For the last couple of seasons some bridal designers, responding to a retracting market, have infused their collections with bridal wear that brides that are looking for utilitarian gowns that can have more than one purpose of gowns that don’t push the proverbial bridal envelope. Though these creations are still for that very special day in a bride’s life, unfortunately, the gowns for the last couple of seasons have not been that special.

Collages1304Mira and Lihi Zwillinger have gone against this trend for spring 2018. The design duo pulled out all the stops with sequins, feathers, beading and Swarovski crystals in their “Over the Rainbow” collection. But this collection was so much than embellishments. What stood out most about this collection was the infusion of charm, fantasy and functional whimsy. And young brides will definitely feel special in this spring 2018 collection.

Like some other bridal brands this season, Mira and Lihi Zwillinger employed some variations on aqua blue. Pale or aqua blue has been used in bridal collections since the mid-1950s, and as a bridal color had its heyday in the 1960s. Zwillinger brought back this bridal color this season and this expansive bridal color palette fit in beautifully in this whimsical collection.

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Though this collection had a couture-like fairytale reference, many of the gowns will work best on a slimmer frame. There were a few bridal gowns in the collection that will appeal to the brand’s curvier demographic; however, in this outing, the more svelte bridal consumer was definitely front and center in the design duo’s thought process.

—William S. Gooch

Kelly Faetanini Bridal Spring 2018

Downloads378How do you keep bridal collections interesting and fresh each bridal season? In the past, bridal designers has tried a range of things, from non-traditional fabrics to bridal garments that can be re-purposed for other occasions to looks to go outside of the spectrum of what most editors or consumers would consider as bridal wear.

In a retracting market, established bridal designers are trying none-of-the-above gimmicks. Why primed the pump when the pump isn’t gushing?

 Kelly_Faetanini_Spring_2017What some bridal designers are attempting to inject subtle hints of color into their bridal collections. Now, I am not talking about pink blush or hints of rose gold. One of trends that could be seen prominently during New York International Bridal Week was a white or off-white gown with detachable and/or non-detachable colorful underlays. And no one did these underlays better than Kelly Faetanini.

Entitled ‘black romance,” Faetanini was inspired by Shakespeare and the innocent feelings of seduction of some very inexperienced young brides. Hmm, the bigger question to ask if in modern times are there any inexperienced young brides? Not many!!

Collages1278 That said; when you examine some of Shakespeare’s virginal heroines—Juliet, Portia, Ophelia, Hermia, and Miranda—innocent seduction does come to mind. The mixture of floral details and tulle paired with corsetry, black lace and feathers yields images of innocence and conquest. And Faetanini’s combination of these contrasting fabrications will aptly make brides feel both salacious and pristine. And both adjectives at the same time!!

Images courtesy of Kelly Faetanini

Images courtesy of Kelly Faetanini

Standout looks in the collection include Kelly Faetanini’s jersey slim gown with embroidered lace bodice, barely blush V-neck fit-to-flare with beaded embroidery, illusion beaded embroidered V-neck ball gown with Mikado skirt, and silk Mikado seamed bodice with black ostrich feather ball gown skirt.

—William S. Gooch



Francesca Miranda Bridal Spring 2018

Francesca_Miranda_Bridal_Spring_2017The awakening of spring and the abundance of pink foliage that for Francesca Miranda represents femininity, individuality, and romance inspired Colombian-based designer. This unapologetically “girly” bridal collection included 17 bridal styles in a wide range of silhouettes that featured handmade floral appliques, custom laces, Swarovski and Murano crystal embellishments, silk jacquard, and layers of tulle.

The “girly” and over-embellished design aesthetic in this collection in an organic response to bridal that many South American bridal designers easily employ. The “less is more” design aesthetic is a design motif that sits more comfortably with Northern European and some American bridal designers. Mediterranean and warmer climate designers tend to find their oeuvre in a bridal aesthetic that embraces more of an explosion of ideas.

Collages1308Interestingly, Miranda is kind of in the middle of the bridal design spectrum. Though there were the more classic, traditional silhouettes—trumpet, tea-length, mermaid, and empire—Miranda also pushed the bridal silhouette envelope to include a caftan silhouette, A-line silhouette, and a loose organza top with cropped pants.

Collages1309And these 17 bridal styles, though beautiful and are much needed, fashion-forward additions, for most bridal consumers will remain fantasy considerations, ending up mostly in bridal editorials. Still, the bridal market needs these bridal out-of-the-box inclusions in order to keep the bridal market from stagnating; something that unfortunately has happened in the ready-to-wear market.

Images courtesy of Dan Lecca

Images courtesy of Dan Lecca

Of the 17 bridal styles in Miranda’s spring 2018 bridal collection there were some standouts. These standouts included Miranda’s long sleeve A-line gown with lace bodice and silk organza skirt featuring hand-embroidered floral appliques, long sleeve Guipure lace V-neck caftan embellished with Murano crystals, pleated blush organza midi dress with illusion neckline and hand-embroidered organza flowers, tulle trumpet gown featuring hand-embroidered lace appliques and Swarovski crystals and organza cape, and strapless tea-length ball gown in unique silk jacquard win a Lurex metallic finish.

—William S. Gooch

THEIA Bridal Spring 2018

Theia_Spring_2018For THEIA Bridal’s spring 2018 collection, pearls were the focal point for creative director Don O’Neill.  “We are mixing cotton Guipures over nude silk charmeuse linings and adding in hints of color, a whisper of blush and breath of blue,” says Theia’s creative director Don O’Neill. “Our elegant beaded gowns continue to be a focus, featuring lots of pearl details.”

Pearls have a unique property, symbolizing strength of spirit, integrity and purity, along with the calming effect of balancing karma. This very sublime and spiritually focused inspiration very much correlates the design DNA of THEIA. THEIA in Greek mythology was the goddess of light and pearls reflect light in a unique way. With the variety of pearls that are found on the planet, from white sea pearls to grey, black, grey blue to blush pink pearls, this treasured gem has its own candescence that separates it from other gems.

Collages1258For the last couple of seasons, THEIA has moved away from the out-of-the box, avant-garde bridal designs that set the brand apart from other brands on the market. THEIA, in an attempt, to have more market viability in a very crowded market has gone back to its core DNA, creating bridal garments that are light, accessible and luminous. Some may not think this is a good thing; however, market dictates are forcing more bridal brands to readjust their creative projects to reflect a stagnating market.

 Collages1260Giving a nod to brides that want more options, for spring 2018 Don O’Neill is giving his bridal customer more options. Several of the gowns in this collection had interchangeable slip linings, allowing his customer to choose ivory, blush, cloud blue, or nude.


Standout looks in the collection included the alabaster crepe gown with cold shoulder sleeves, white Alencon lace off-the-shoulder gown with bell sleeves, ivory slip gown hand-embroidered with pearls and Swarovski crystals, and smoke crystal and pearl hand-embroidered V-neck gown.

—William S. Gooch

Uniqlo Fall 2017: Celebrating Everyday Life

Collages1245No longer brand that is solidly in the category of affordable wardrobe staples that can be mixed and matched with what is already in consumer’s wardrobe, for the past few seasons Uniqlo has put a strong emphasis on updated classics that employs new technology and has a fashion-forward sensibility. And this season, Uniqlo pushes it revamped aesthetic even further by expanding into territory, lifewear.

That’s right, you were correct the first time, lifewear. Understanding that the modern consumer has an extremely busy lifestyle, juggling several things at one day with very little downtime throughout their day, Uniqlo for fall 2017 in incorporating clothing that casual and employ effortless ease of movement combined with sharp silhouettes and a fashion sensibility.

You may ask how these two polar opposites compliment each other? In the Uniqlo world, they do. From the brand’s downtown aesthetic to urban casual to updated classics to its sportswear aesthetic, Uniqlo is poised to reinvent the fashion industry’s take on modern dressing.

Uniqlo_Fall_2017Uniqlo’s downtown aesthetic is a mix of gritty sophistication with an updated monochrome palette of black, white and dark olive. These are pieces that break out of the niche and offer loose proportions with slim, sharp silhouettes. It’s a deeply considered, polished approach without being too stuffy. Here, size and scale is cropped or oversized—an unexpected sense of artistic playfulness. Utilizing advanced “3-D U Knit” technologies take on a sculptural quality that is comfortable. The assortment’s mix of synthetic and natural fabrics—faux leather and wool, nylon mixed with cottons and velvet—ormulate textures that feel classic, but look totally anew.

A more casual take on city-life dressing rooted in the benchmark of modern style: denim. Variations on classic denim jeans and relaxed denim button-down shirts are paired with other iconic wardrobe staples, including iconic khaki pants and cool hooded sweatshirts. Easy parka down jackets are meant to be slung over reimagined fleece zip-ups and buttery flannels. In keeping with the infectious energy of the city, this assortment includes recurring collaborations with Keith Haring and Mickey Mouse.

Collages1244Uniqlo’s updated classis is a worldly blend of luxury and function. Think an earth-based palette of camels, whites and rich creams paired with high-end fabrics like faux sheepskin, corduroy, and a darker more-structured unwashed denim. Wardrobe classics with bold risks: elegant trenches, blended wool chester overcoats, and structured denim pants are given a fresh spin without losing their timeless appeal.

Uniqlo’s sportswear this season is a seamless blend of advanced technical capabilities and sleek sports styles. A mix-and-match multi-functional sense of dressing that is effortless and practical. Go on an evening run or to the office in the new ultra light-down seamless jacket paired with new warm easy skirts or block tech warm-lined pants.

Images courtesy of Uniqlo

Images courtesy of Uniqlo

For those consumers who have loved Ines de la Fressange’s collaboration with Uniqlo, Fressange is back with an expanded collaboration with the brand that includes menswear. “Fressange’s aesthetic downtown chic meets Parisian sophistication works well for the direction that Uniqlo is heading. Her fabric choices also work well for the brand, and now her branch off into creating menswear and other androgynous points of view fits into the model of Uniqlo’s take on life wear collections, explained Natalie Harewood, Market Manager, Uniqlo USA. “Uniqlo has a strong menswear base and for Ines a lot of her looks are quite androgynous in a positive way, so why not expand that into menswear.”

For more information, go to


Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2017

Bibhu_Mohapatra_Fall_2017The character Vanda from the David Ives’ play “Venus in Fur” was inspiration for Bibhu Mohapatra’s fall 2017 collection. In the play, Vanda, an actress, gains dominance of the director of the play she is starring in. Though she seemed wrong in the part initially, after much introspection and rehearsal not only triumphs in the role, she also triumphs over her critics and the play’s director.

“The play was written in a time where there was vast inequality between men and women. I am celebrating the power of women and their individuality, and a woman’s power of not being defined by men,” explains Bibhu Mohapatra.  “This collection is also dedicated to all the women who have shaped me in my life. These women come from all parts of the world in different shapes and sizes. Each look in the collection represents all the women who have had an influence on my life.”

Collages1161This very empowered woman is a central character in many of Bibhu Mohapatra’s collections. For over a decade Mohapatra has created collections that appeal to self-assured women, and in this outing Mohapatra reflects that empowered woman, even reaching back to India and the powerful women who fought side by side with Indian men for India’s independence from the British Empire.

This very empowered woman is reflected in own choice of style and taste. Mohapatra’s woman is not dressing for a man, but is dressing for herself. Based on that premise there are very few form-fitting silhouettes in this collection. Still, the Mohapatra women is sensual and eye-catching, (Remember, nothing is sexier than self confidence.)

Collages1162This season Mohapatra chose to take the length of his skirts and cocktail dresses, for the most part, right below the knee. Shoulders are very defined with restrained volume and padding, and the silhouettes, though essentially feminine, denote power and authority. And Mohapatra’s one-shoulder reveal in several of the looks is absolutely ingenious and divine, revealing just enough to keep onlookers intrigued.

The surge of Indian nationalism at that historic moment is reflected in the color palette in this collection. “The colors of green and burnt orang which is used in this collection have a huge meaning for me. Orange, green and white were the colors of the India flag when India got its independence from Great Britain. I remember as a kid going on the August 15 Independence Day March, so those colors really spoke to me,” detailed Mohapatra.

Collages1164Believing that fashion is a microcosm of everyday life, Mohapatra in this collection is creating garments that go beyond fantasy, giving a nod to how the elegant, assured woman lives and wants to dress. “Artists have always been known to be on the cutting edge of a revolution with their artistry and craft. Sometimes, they get reprimanded for their artistic rebellion; however, artists always raise their voices. That is what I am trying to do with my fashion art. Many are taking to the streets in revolt and I am doing the same thing through my craft.”

Images courtesy of IndigitalTV/

Images courtesy of IndigitalTV/

Standout looks in the collection, and there are many, include the brand’s mosaic jacquard top with peak sleeves under asymmetrical satin and silk velvet dress, mosaic jacquard and crepe dress with exposed shoulders, smoke pink gold flake embroidery top with mosaic pleated skirt and black mink, and pale gold cosmic embroidered ivory tulle gown.

—William S. Gooch

Vivienne Tam Fall 2017

Vivienne_Tam_Fall_2017Vivienne Tam’s fall 2017 collection was off the beaten path for Tam’s penchant for layering unisex looks with mild colors. Though Tam’s oeuvre for layering and mixing and matching was still in place, Tam employed more sophistication and panache this season.

This season Vivienne’s imagination took her to Hong Kong nightlife. Hong Kong has a very active nightlife, a nightlife that for three decades has been a go-to destination for night revelers. With its many bright lights and Western influences, Hong Kong  has long been a melting pot of the confluences of Far East and Western cultures. With that in mind, Tam’s fall 2017 collection aptly expressed that East meets West blend of cultures seen through the lens of Hong Kong’s nightlife.

Collages1169Tam’s line consisted of fashion forward, disco-inspired clothes with amazing embellishments of sequins and metallic fabrics. Unfortunately, Tam’s mixture of bright color combinations and with sequin overlays, almost like a 3D moving part didn’t always work; however, for a night out on the town Tam’s sequined silver bomber jacket with a sheer elongated top and jeans—Tam loves a bomber jacket—can offer a modern, fresh look compared to the usual skintight, form-hugging dresses normally seen at nightclubs.

Collages1170Tam should be credited for risk taking, always combining sheers with heavy textures and somehow it usually works. Even Tam’s mixture of colored sequins on one dress seemed to present a more contemporary look than 1970s looks from those who were habitués at discos every weekend. Additionally, Tam’s use of ruching and draping, ever present in this collections pants, skirts and dresses, was a gentle nod to Madame Gres. Instead of giving the collection a vintage look, Tam ingeniously found a modern take of draping and ruching that would appeal to a younger audience.

Images courtesy of Umberto Fratini/

Images courtesy of Umberto Fratini/

With Tam’s ‘Hong Kong City of Lights’ design motif Tam transformed simple designs into special pieces that can be worn over street clothes. This dissimilar combination was a new way of presenting the current trend of shimmery, shiny metallics that was prevalent in other collections all season. And by mix and matching metallic with everyday staples, Tam continues to forge a fashion path in the ever-present, all consuming youth demographic.

—Rosemary Ponzo


The Blonds Fall 2017

The_Blonds_Fall_2017This season The Blonds moved beyond garments that primarily function as performance or stage garments for some of the decade’s most popular and stage artists. (Think Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Madonna, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, and Katy Perry.) Though the design duo has attempted to create collections that could be more red carpet or appeal to that fashionista party girl, they duo has never quite achieved this particular projection until the fall 2017collection. And The Blonds achieved their goal in a big way.

Inspired by Universal Pictures’ remake of “The Mummy,” The Blonds created a fashion narrative of a princess whose destiny is aborted by her untimely death and is brought back to life in modern times. We see this princess evolved from a fantasy figure into a real-time powerful woman. The Blonds also play special attention to the dual nature of the protagonist evidenced in diaphanous sheer fabrics embellished with crystals and sequins juxtaposed against The Blonds signature look of architectural, structured corsets.

Collages1131The Blonds’ re-imagined princess has both hard and soft aspects to her personality. She is powerful and fragile; sexy and sophisticated; bold and demure, all the qualities that the modern woman has successfully melded into her own persona.

Though this fall 2017 collection is still very MTV Awards and stage wardrobe–focused, there are several looks that could work on the red carpet or other special events. And the return of supermodel Stacey Mckenzie to the New York Fashion Week runway was an unexpected and welcome addition to the show. (If only some of younger models had her sass and pizazz on the runway!!)

Images courtesy of Lecca/EB Consults

Images courtesy of Lecca/EB Consults

Standout looks in the collection include, but are not limited to the brand’s cobalt corset with ombré ostrich feathers, distressed denim, and pearl detail, Dunes distressed denim jeans with ombré ostrich feather and pearl detail paired with crystal and pearl neck piece, blond flare crystal mesh with burnout lace and crystal detail with black velvet bomber with black ostrich feather hood, and black mesh bodysuit with crystal detail.

—William S. Gooch

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