Jimmy Choo Atelier Couture Bridal Spring 2022

Once upon a time, Jimmy Choo was a little-known bespoke cobbler working in obscurity in London. “Jimmies” were the well-guarded secret of the women who worked at British Vogue —and then, Princess Diana became a client, and the fairytale really began. The Princess’s patronage made Jimmy Choo a household name. Tamara Mellon stepped-in as co-founder in 1996, and strategically grew the house into a mega brand before exiting in 2015. Choo in turn joined Atelier and turned his attention to designing romantic wedding gowns.

The designer is giving his post-Pandemic brides-to-be ample choices for their 2022 walk down the aisle. Unlike many bridal couturiers who elected to show micro-collections of less than ten looks, Choo went big and showed 34 gowns, more in line with a ready-to-wear collection presentation. To appreciate the scope of the collection, one must take the time to watch the video presentation as well as peruse the individual show thumbnail photographs. The video showcases the first eight looks that have a strong “Princess Aurora” feeling. Perhaps Choo and his team were inspired by Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” and Disney’s spin on the romantic French fairy tale. There were lovely Art Nouveau details in the form of delicate beading and embroideries evocative of the flowers and branches of a beautiful wild garden.  The video presentation showed a lovely grouping of eight gowns, that were right on point.

The surprise started with (look 9, when Choo took a hard-right turn.  The red-carpet style dress in vermillion red was devoid of embellishment other than a sky-high slit and pussycat bow on the back that gave it a distinctly 80s’ twist. In fact, this shade of red figured prominently in the collection. There was a total of six red gowns, ranging from the former to frothy dresses with plenty of tulle layers (looks 10, 24). Red was not the only color he used liberally. Navy and baby blue made a showing in six looks as well (looks 17,20, 22,28, 30, 31). Choo went back to the fairy tale with (looks 18 and 33), both white strapless gowns with enormous Cinderellastyle ballgown skirts, featuring layer upon layer of tulle and organza.

images courtesy of Jimmy Choo

Overall, the collection could be viewed as a bridal and black-tie collection rolled into one. Alternatively, 2022 brides may decide that they don’t want to walk down the aisle in white and would prefer to embrace color for their big day.

 

—Vivian Kelly

Anne Barge Bridal Spring 2022

There is a plethora of bridal brands on the market that can appeal to a range of different kinds of consumers. If a bridal consumer is in the market for out-of-the-box bridal gowns there are brands—THEIA, PatBO, Rita Visneris, Nordeen, Carol Hannah, and others—that can satisfy that audience. If the bridal consumer is looking for a more traditional fare, there are brands that aptly meet that standard. Anne Barge is one such brand.

For spring 2022, Anne Barge looked to vintage French aesthetic of romance for inspiration for this collection. Though this was quite a small collection—nine looks to be exact—compared to previous outings, this collection contained a variety of clean, architectural silhouettes that fits perfectly into what the modern bride is looking for. And true to form, many of the looks in this almost capsule collection were timeless.

There were a couple of voluminous Cinderella-type ball gowns, as well as a few very simple silhouettes in this collection. What stands out most in this outing was the details in structure and embellishment.  Oversized floral prints bloom on jacquard fabrics, ethereal laces, and satin organza, while minimalistic gowns are draped in stretch crepe, faille, and silk Mikado. 

Standout looks in this collection was Anne Barge’s version of the little white wedding dress. Other standouts for the brand’s micro-pleated velvet-fleeted ballgown with strapless flounced neckline, and beaded Chantilly lace trumpet gown deep V-notched neckline.

Images courtesy of Anne Barge

Since 1999, Anne Barge has always instilled a classic sophistication and elegance to every bridal collection. And though, at times, the brand has slightly veered away from its design aesthetic of classic elegance, Anne Barge has set a standard for sophisticated elegance seen through the lens of modern beauty.

William S. Gooch

Gracy Accad Bridal Spring 2022

Romantic, minimal, bohemian glamour is what comes to mind when one thinks of the spring 2022 bridal collection from Gracy Accad. Known for the embroidered and lace details of her bridal gowns, Gracy hones her talents to portray feminine elegance with a modern, youthful sensibility. A recent bride herself, as of 2020, and having a family that works in the textile and manufacturing business, Gracy has first-hand knowledge of what is needed and wanted in a beautiful wedding gown.

For spring 2022, the Gracy Accad bridal couture collection sticks to the classic color palette of white, off-white, and ivory. The silhouettes range from traditional and modest to Old Hollywood.

The draped bustier and beaded floral appliques of the Greenwich gown conjure up images of a woodland fairy. This sleeveless floor-length gown speaks of youthful innocence. The V-neck Madison gown is adorned with pearls and crystals, giving it a quiet air of sophistication.  The Margherita is a ball gown incorporating hand-embroidery atop the bodice and waistline with the lightest touches of embroidery along the hem.

For the bride who wants something that is more fun and flirty, there is the Soho. With an all-over lace design, full sleeves, and scalloped edges, this dress sounds … mature. But with the plunging V-neckline and thigh-high hemline, this dress is not made for the shy bride. Alternatively, if it’s too daring for the nuptial ceremony, it can be worn as her dress for the post-wedding reception. But for the bride who adores Hollywood glamour, there are the Plaza and Chrysler dresses. The Plaza is a floor-length gown with a hand-embroidered band top, akin to a loose bandeau, accented by sheer cutouts along the side and back.

The Chrysler, which could be another celebrity favorite, is made to stun! This simple shape is draped in a plunging V-neckline with cap sleeves and a slit that comes to mid-thigh.

To accompany the couture collection, Gracy Accad also offers a ready-to-wear (RTW) bridal collection. In contrast to the white aesthetic of the couture arm of the brand, the RTW collection has three gowns in gold brocade, midnight blue, and sky blue. The Colette is a belted full-length, off the shoulder gold brocade gown with a secret element- pockets! The Celeste is a dark blue formal ball gown with asymmetrical beading making it resplendent for a wedding or a night at the opera. True to the inspiration of the collection, the Belle is sky blue belted, long-sleeve, embroidered Bohemian dream.

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

What began eight years ago as creating bespoke pieces for clients in New York, France, Korea, and Japan has morphed into a blossoming brand, helping brides look their most beautiful self on their most special day. From old chic to modern glam, traditional imagery to Bohemian inspiration, you cannot go wrong with a Gracy Accad wedding gown.

—Carl Ayers

Marchesa Bridal Couture Spring 2022

Images courtesy of Marchesa

In a pre-presentation interview with Rachel Leonard, editorial director of The Bridal Council, Georgina Chapman described the collection as “achingly romantic,” which is completely on-brand with her label. This micro-couture collection is her first collaboration with Pronovias Bridal, the leading global luxury bridal brand with subsidiaries in New York, Italy, and Shanghai.

 It’s hard to get more romantic than the breathtaking “White Gardens” at the Elizabethan Sissinghurst Castle located in Kent, England that Chapman and her team drew inspiration from this season. The gardens were a special project of writer, Vita Sackville-West’s, who worked on achieving her vision for her garden over the course of three years spanning from 1950-1953.

Images courtesy of Marchesa

This season, Georgina Chapman also worked with an extremely limited color palette, relying on cut, textural contrasts, and detail work to make this latest collection a stand-out. Chapman showed only seven looks, but here is a case in point where less really is more; each look had a unique personality. (Look 1) was an interesting contrast of a snug ballerina neck lace top paired with an organza bell skirt that resembled whipped meringue. The high slit gave it a saucy spin. (Look 2) has a distinctly ready-to-wear flavor. It’s easy to imagine a colored version of this long sleeve form-fitting lace gown on the red carpet come the next round of award ceremonies. A fairylike V-neck gown with lace overlay and elbow length sleeves pooled beautifully around the ankles (look 4). All of the above were on-brand Marchesa Bridal.

The surprise came in form of (look 7), where Chapman and her team took a departure from their usual figure-hugging silhouettes and created the “Versailles Gown.” The strapless creation had a plunging bodice and massive ball gown skirt, evoking the sumptuous gowns courtesans and royals wore in the 17th and 18th century French courts.  Another nod to the White Gardens came in the form of silk petals meticulously sewn from the bodice all the way to the hemline. A flower head piece completed the reference. Marie Antoinette would have approved!

—Vivian Kelly

 

 

PatBO Spring Bridal 2022

The sand basks in the glow of the sun as bright blue waves rush to shore to greet the lady in white. Her skirt mimics the seashells on the sandy floor, and it moves gracefully as the wind gently breezes by. The lady in white is adored by the sun, and it kisses her skin while she walks down the beach. The sun sets when she leaves and waits in anticipation for her to arrive again the next day. The colorful fish of the sea swim with vigor to be caught in the netted beach skirt that drapes elegantly from her hips, but the current keeps them back. It laps at her feet, beckoning her into the water. She shrugs off her crochet cover up and dives in, the embroidered pink and purple flowers mingling with the white sand. She wades into the refreshing water in her lace up one piece, and the sea sings.

Just as the sea meets the shore, fashion meets comfort in exquisite harmony in PatBO’s spring 2022 Bridal capsule collection. Pat Bonaldi, designer and creator of PatBO, hails from Brazil and her love of vibrant color along with rich embroidery is the signature DNA of her brand. This collection shows her skill for catching our attention and keeping it, even when using a stunning all white palette. Her fine stitching, hand embroidery, cutouts, and intricate details in a form-flattering fit are showcased in this fresh and airy, yet elegant collection.

PatBO brings a light, vibrant touch to an occasion as formal as a wedding and breathes new life into a time-honored tradition, seamlessly blending formal with casual and luxury. Bonaldi aims to “dress the PatBO customer for all of her life moments.” These visions in white can be donned for a playful honeymoon at the beach, then adorned with a crocheted puff sleeve dress for an evening dinner poolside.

This collection is resplendent with options to make the looks versatile, such as seashell hardware at the waist allowing for the attachment of a flowing skirt, and billowy capped sleeves with ties at the elbow to add a touch of romance. One pearl of the collection is a cotton fringed dress with diamond shaped cutouts to emphasize the waist. Crochet embroidery and delicate mesh sleeves counterbalance these cutouts to create a piece dedicated to perfect proportions and true craftsmanship.

Images courtesy of Savannah Engel PR

The cherry on this Caipirinha of a collection is the accent of intricate statement earrings by Ranjana Khan. Sunburst shaped earrings reflect dazzling light from the sunburst on the horizon. All seems right in this world. The capsule collection embodies a spirit of joy, elegance, and freedom.

—Tessa Swantek

Nordeen Bridal Spring 2022

So much has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Music concerts are on hold, Broadway theatres are still empty, many hotels are at only 25% reservations and large gatherings are taboo. Still, there are some things that the pandemic cannot stop or eliminate. And one of those things is weddings.

Though big wedding gatherings inside indoor venues are not encouraged, nuptials outside can be a solution to social distancing. And since couples are going to get married despite the pandemic, why not incorporate an outdoor wedding as a viable option.

That said, for the spring 2022 bridal season, Nordeen re-imagines classic weddings attire for outdoor venues. With a commitment to nature and a desire to preserve its beauty, the brand seeks to develop a range of effortlessly luxurious pieces, distinguished by natural materials and subtle yet unexpected details.

This spring 2022 bridal collection is for the bridal consumer that is looking for classic style with a modern twist. And there is something for every type of bridal for every jointure of her bridal journey.

And though Nodeen is less than two years old, launched by Brenna Simmons in 2020, Simmons has a finger on the pulse of what modern brides would want to wear. Particularly, those brides that are projecting toward bridal wear that is appropriate for an outdoor nuptial.

Because of her love of nature and sustainability, Brenna Simmons has created a spring bridal collection that develops and aptly develops those two themes.  Simmons committed to nature and a desire to preserve its beauty. The brand seeks to develop a range of effortlessly luxurious pieces, distinguished by natural materials and subtle yet unexpected details.

Images courtesy of Nordeen

Standout looks in the collection are the brand’s BRYONY gown which was an A-line white with cowl neck shrug; the ARWYN, a short, white off-shoulder cocktail dress, perfect for bridal brunch, and the FAVEN, a long white skirt with white tube top and statement sleeve embellishments.

William S. Gooch

 

Kosibah Bridal Spring 2022

I wanted to create a collection that elicited an emotion. A pulling sensation of hope with faint echoes of sorrow but leading to a triumphant crescendo. Basically, music that would move people, but leave them hopeful, happy, and optimistic. —Yemi Osunkoya

Around the globe, from his homeland of Ibadan, Nigeria, to his Paris atelier, to his current design headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, Yemi Osunkoya is a designer to be admired. Osunkoya relocated his bridal salon to New York City in 2016, from where he created his spring 2022 bridal collection, Asheyori Eji. “Asheyori” is a Yoruba (Nigerian) name meaning “success through adversity.” “Eji” means “second” or “twice,” and represents the second Kosibah collection that has been presented during the COVID-19 pandemic. The dresses all have variations of Yoruba ‘Cherish’ names which have ‘ké’, which means love/care for/adore, within them as well as other names for joy, precious and gold.

For the traditional bride, there is the Ronke, an off-white ballroom skirt below a sleeveless V-neck bodice adorned with beaded appliques. The Ajoke is a tulle and lace trumpet gown with an integral corset that provides a fitted bodice with shoulder strap sleeves. The Båanke is an off-white ballroom skirt below a sleeveless V-neck bodice adorned with beaded appliques and a keyhole opening on the back.

Not everyone is a traditionalist, and for that consumer, there is the Wura, a light honey-colored tea length dress with ivory lace appliques. The corseted semi-sweetheart neckline bodice is accompanied by off-the-shoulder lace strap sleeves. The Ayo is another tea length skirt, this time in zibeline, with a deep plunging neckline and open back leading to a cinched wide waistband. And for the pant lover, there is the Kemi pantsuit. This two-piece ensemble consists of a wrap peplum jacket and loose fitting, flared pants. The jacket has a built-up collar and false camisole lace insert, accented by slightly flared cuffs, long waist ties, and a scallop lace trim visible beneath the peplum.

This collection is not without its showstoppers. The Ife is an antique white tulle bodice and mermaid skirt, with lace appliques across the bust, shoulder, and upper sleeve. The Akoke is another two-piece ensemble. This time, the outfit is made of a crepe strapless sheath gown with a sweetheart bralette neckline. It is worn under an asymmetrical jacket with one long sleeve and beaded lace appliques matching those on the gown. The crown jewel of the collection is the Ashake, a beaded cape-sleeved gown with a diamante-studded overlay and embellished waistband and appliques.

Images courtesy of Kosibah

With the collection, Yemi Osunkoya demonstrates that he is a thoughtful designer. Ever conscious of the needs of his customers, and keeping the global crisis in mind, the Kosibah brand has created a ready-to-wear collection that adapts its bespoke gown aesthetics and applies them to gowns at a more affordable price point and wider accessibility via bridal salons and online sales.

—Carl Ayers

Naeem Khan Fall 2021

As an art form, fashion tends to have one foot in the past and one in the future. There is the adage that fashion is cyclical, and there is nothing truly new, but simply a new spin on an old trope. Naeem Khan’s fall 2021 collection confirms yet combats this sentiment. While many brands have pivoted to focus on creating collections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—relaxed aesthetics and athleisure—Khan is looking to the future world where we have moved on from COVID-19.

As you view Khan’s latest 33-piece collection, you will see gowns evoking various periods of high fashion. There are fringed-beaded dresses reminiscent of the 1920’s flapper and art deco era. There were also nods to the Flower Power movement of the late ‘60s, and the feathered Dynasty era of the 80’s. And one cannot overlook the heavy baroque and rococo looks of the 1700’s.

The baroque ensembles employed the eye-catching color palette of black, gold, and silver to harken old world aristocratic glam. The intricate beading takes form in a design of gilded leaves and feathers against a black backdrop creating an illusion of metallic brocade armor. The image, fit for a Maharani, is reminiscent of traditional fashion reminiscent of Khan’s South Asian homeland.

Equally as glamourous are the looks of the American flapper and art deco period. Not as intricately designed, but just as heavily encrusted, Khan’s flapper dresses in silver, blue, and green come in full, knee, and thigh lengths. The art deco gowns are in silver or gold for a classic looks, but there’s also a gold jumpsuit for extra festive occasions.

Moving forward in the timeline of fashion, Khan offers traditional and modern reflections of the hippie era. With orange and red beaded flowers atop a pale blue background, you are thrust back in time, but this is not some ‘Marcia Brady’ ensemble. With high hem lines and plunging neck lines, these looks are bold and daring, not for the faint of heart. Still, there are more modest flower-adorned dresses, gowns, and jumpsuits in black, and even ethereal creations in a sandy nude tone.

If you are one to be more covered up, you would appreciate the monochromatic gowns in purple and pink. They include floor-length capes and feathered jackets that will have you channeling Diahann Carroll and Joan Collins.

Images courtesy of Naeem Khan

Nothing in this collection is for the homebound consumer. This line was created for the woman who has incorporated dressing up as part of her lifestyle.  Khan says “There are women who love glamour, who cannot live without glamour and they socialize, even though it might be restricted. They want to look fabulous because dressing like this makes you happy and it gives a certain feeling to life.”

—Carl Ayers

Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2021

Did Bibhu Mohapatra get the memo that we are in the throws of a health pandemic, and that restaurants are operating a limited capacity and no theatres, social events and galas are open to the public? And don’t mention that red-carpet events, concerts, and nights out on the town are currently off-limits.

From Mohapatra’s fall 2021 collection, it obvious he didn’t get the memo. And that is a good thing. Why abandon your penchant for luxury fashion when it has worked so well you? So, COVID-19 aside, Mohapatra knows what works for his brand, and he is doing just that!!

Inspired by Langston Hughes’ relationship with A’Leila Walker, daughter of the famed CJ Walker, America’s first black millionaire, and Gustav Klimt and Emilie Flöge in late 1900s Vienna, this fall 2021 collection was Mohapatra’s reflection on romance from days gone by seen through a modern lens. (Albeit, the aforementioned relationships were not the most traditional relationships in their time periods.)

Interestingly, Mohapatra pulled back on his usual injection of glorious embellishments, which pays homage to his South Asian background. Maybe this retraction is due the more relaxed mood found throughout the fashion industry, resulting from COVID-19 lockdowns and a move away from over embellishments. Whatever the reason, Mohapatra’s pullback from in-your-face glitz and glam serves this collection well.

Keeping with the sustainable ‘going green’ motif that was front and center for many New York Fashion Week (NYFW) collections, Mohapatra employed vegan leather for several of his daywear garments which makes those garments more affordable to the average consumer. And though this collection projected a modern perspective on glam and luxury, Mohapatra still was able to brilliantly reference old world fabrics and design techniques evidenced in his use of lace, velvet, and lacey shrugs with a non to 1920s design aesthetics, and long flowing trains that evoked moods of elegance and sophistication.

Images courtesy of Bibhu Mohapatra

Is Bibhu Mohapatra in this outing predicting that good times are a head, post-pandemic? Of course, he is. Hopes springs eternal and Mohapatra is a master at inspiring beauty, hope, and modern glamour!! Now all consumers need is somewhere to wear these fabulous clothes. The party is just around the corner!!

—William S. Gooch

 

Christian Siriano Fall 2021

Christian Siriano gets it right this time!! And during this era of digital fashion weeks, I wish other designers could get it right. Maybe, they should follow Siriano’s lead.

That said, what did Siriano get right? There are many things, almost too many to name. Let’s start with his show. Siriano opted for a real runway show at Gotham Hall with guests safely distanced. Siriano also incorporated a lot of diversity in his fall 2021 collection—lots of models of color, and a range of plus-size models. Lastly, Siriano understood that this time of retraction and lockdown it is so important to give consumers something to aspire to. This collection was not designed to make consumers comfortable or reflect the perilous times we are living in. This collection projected toward the future and a return to glamour and style.

Siriano was inspired by a recent trip to Aspen, Colorado and what a fashionable woman would wear to glamorous events there. Obviously, Siriano’s woman would wear all the sexy, glamorous looks in this collection, with some looks bordering on adventurous and mildly avant garde. This is the woman that we had come to love in Siriano’s collection, a woman that has been almost absent from his collections over the past two years.

The consumer who would like, perhaps, the first 10 looks in this collection is the woman that Siriano has been appealing two in his most recent collections. She is stylish, youthful, and sophisticated, but not risk-taking or adventurous. In other word, this consumer who you will make your bread and butter from.

However, the garments in the latter part of this fall 2021 collection is for the woman who pushes the proverbial fashion envelope. She is in the words of Diana Vreeland, “now and next.” And Siriano really understands how to be display her tastes and dress her whimsical nature.

Perhaps, because this show was one of the few live runway shows of the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) season, Siriano felt he had the opportunity to dramatically explore this daring consumer. And, also the absence of live runway shows may have opened the door and prompted Siriano to turn up the volume and wow audience and consumers with his wealth of talent. And wow he did!

The first eleven or so looks fit appropriately with Siriano’s stated inspiration theme—dressing up of an Aspen event. The looks were a modern, woodsy Americana interpretation of glam in the Rockies. Though some of the garments were slightly tongue-in-check, for the most part, Siriano did his job of sticking to the theme.

That said, looks 12 to 49 were all out, hit-you-over-the-head, Siriano luxury glam. From the garments with cutouts to garments with revealing sneak peeks to ruffled garments, all displayed Siriano’s many talents and gave NYFW a much-needed fashion boost.

Images courtesy of Christian Siriano/vogue.com

Christian Siriano’s fall 2021 collection is what NYFW used to be and what it should return to in a new and expansive way. Health pandemic aside, perhaps, NYFW will get rid of the street circus that had plagued this hallowed event for too many years and bring back what NYFW is supposed to be about, wonderful, glorious fashion!!

William S. Gooch

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