In case you didn’t hear, there was a celebrity wedding last weekend. Not just any celebrity but, a celebrity (?) who has 5 million twitter followers and has the rare opportunity to change fashion. My hope was to steer bridal fashion away from the bare shoulders which have completely dominated the first decade of the 21st century, sliding into the second decade still in first place. The Kardashian wedding had more security than a NATO conference and most of it was to ensure that no one took pictures and leaked anything in fear Mom Kardashian (Jenner) could not collect her 10% from the reported $18 million profit so, the only photo currently available shows nothing but bare shoulders and a diamond (not swarovski) headband and veil. We’ll get back to the headband in a moment.
Maybe I missed something but, the one Vera Wang gown I saw (and the grainy photo of the bridesmaids) looked completely strapless. Wedding gown? Strapless. Bridesmaids? Strapless. Mermaid, ball gown, pencil skirt, satin, tulle or beaded – it doesn’t really matter since what I was looking for was something with a little more style and coverage. Let me clear this up once and for all: I am not a prude. I don’t have any religious convictions that prohibit me or anyone from exposing their shoulders in church or during a religious ceremony. I don’t particularly care if someone wants to go topless, strapless or completely see-through. My (strong) opinions on this subject are strictly from a design standpoint. Strapless has been done to death and it has quite frankly become boring. Show me something with some style and class and couture detail, show me something other than your boobs! Don’t even get me started on how few women really look good in strapless, especially larger busted or heavier women. Two words that should never enter your mind at a wedding: Backfat and Sideboob.
Last spring we witnessed Katherine Middleton become the Duchess of Cambridge in a Long sleeved lace gown. Her gown, no matter how beautiful, did not seem to make a bit of difference to designers. Last weekend Kim Kardashian had the opportunity to leave an indelible mark on fashion history, to send designers rushing back to the proverbial drawing board in a mad dash before next month’s Spring bridal market. If the small photo I saw is any indication, I doubt if anyone is scrambling. Maybe one of the other two gowns has some standout quality that I haven’t seen yet and I am completely wrong about the whole thing. I guess we will see when the pictures come out in People magazine.
Back to theheadband: just like the strapless gown, the tiara seems to have run its course so it was nice to see somthing unique. The headband was unusual because it didn’t exactly frame the face – it was sitting in the middle of it. Unusual? Yes, and no. I’ve seen this before, many times but not for some time. This style was quite popular in the 1980’s and was often accented by a large teardrop shaped stone ( pearl or crystal) in the center. Of course back then it was flanked by dozens of yards of veiling with huge poufs of veiling in varying sizes scattered with sequins, crystals, pearls and everything but the kitchen sink. This was a version of that and perhaps could inspire brides to revert back to this style. Of course most brides can’t afford $10 million dollars worth of bling. I wouldn’t place any bets on this since sometimes styles find their place in history and stay there, like the fluorescent, bubble, lame bridesmaid gowns. They made sense in the ’80’s but not so much now and anyone who would dare to bring them back would be banished into bridesmaid hell…. for all eternity. My opinion? The headband was okay but looked costume-y and would have made perfect sense with Grecain style gown or a vintage 1920’s look. With the strapless gown (from the limited amount I saw) it looked like a wedding scene from the early days of Dynasty. Actually Dynasty seems tame compared to the Kardashian /Jenner production.
So what does all this mean? Actually nothing. Not one thing has changed since Kate or Kim got married and even though a few designers are challenging the strapless trend (Kudos) it will take the consumers to force the trend to change. I am excited to see what the designers have in store for the upcoming market since I have inside information that there are a few designers offering non-strapless choices. Hopefully instead of cleavage, we can talk about sleeve-age.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago