Wedding Dresses & Style

Bridal Market Fall 2013: Monte’s Fashion Report

posted: 10/15/13
by: TLC
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The finale gown at Lazaro. See more gowns in this gallery.
Photo courtesy Monte Durham

Bridal Market is our favorite holiday -- and it comes twice a year! (Read the fall report here.) At this industry insiders-only event, designers show off the latest wedding trends. From gowns and accessories to bags and jewelry, what's showcased at this Bridal Market finds its way to bridal salons around the country in time for spring weddings.

Our special look inside the trends comes once again from Monte Durham, Fashion Director at Bridals by Lori. The scene at Bridal Market was full of surprises this season, he explained. "Designers who usually give us lace gave us beads. Those who usually give us beads gave us lace. But overall, everything was pretty soft," he said. "Lace, beads and other details were used sparingly, concentrated at the neck or waist." He offers Lazaro's finale gown as just one example. This ball gown had painted gold leaf designs in big, bold patterns. Unexpected -- and not for just any bride to pull off. "It takes a strong personality for this gown," Monte remarked.

Details are what elevate any bridal gown from so-so to special, and Monte weighs in on the shape, color, embellishments and shockers that turned his head in the designers' showrooms.

The new collections coming for spring are for the figure-conscious. "I saw lots of column dresses and slip dresses," Monte said, "and gowns in crepe and other clingy, soft fabrics." The fit and fabric lend themselves for the warmer temperatures of spring and summer. "The fashion is very bohemian, very organic." You'll see sheer, body-skimming gowns, Monte said, as well as dresses that feel more ready-to-wear than runway.

Add an exposed zipper, take away the full skirts -- and what do you have left? Is it still a wedding dress? Sure, it's easy enough to wear, but for the bride who worries her dress is too simple, Monte offers this advice. "Once you put a veil on a girl, she'll feel like a bride, even if her gown isn't that bridal." Monte dispelled any concerns about skinny shapes by saying, "In addition to the columns and slips, there will be fluted and trumpet silhouettes. These hit at the natural waist and can fit any figure type."

When you've got a slinky, slim gown, the best way to achieve drama in this simple design is to lower the back or change up the front. "We don't get to see a lot of bateau necklines, but these gowns have them," Monte said. Bateau, V-neck, straps -- you'll find more variety in the designs because they have cut-out, plunging or scooped backs. "Structurally, when you have a low back, you have to balance it with a neckline that offers support and holds up the dress," Monte explained.

"Menswear!" Monte exclaimed. "We saw bridal menswear." The Rivini show opened with two models in white satin pantsuits, and Lazaro also featured pantsuits. "Very Bianca Jagger," Monte said, "sans hat." The models in menswear had zero accessories, and their hair and makeup were clean and minimal. "Trust me -- it still felt very feminine," he said. "Some pieces were lace-trimmed, almost with a luxe pajama vibe." For the edgy bride who really wants to surprise her guests, or for the bride seeking a comfortable reception outfit, a pantsuit might be the answer.

Call it gray, dove or platinum. There was plenty of it at Bridal Market. "We're talking gray accent belts, gray grosgrain at the waist, platinum underlays, lace edged with silver. Go gray, and you can't go wrong," Monte said.

To see the trends Monte saw, flip through photos he snapped at Bridal Market.

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