By Patricia Campbell
It’s traditional for the bi-annual haute couture collections to include a bridal gown – and the evening-wear heavy looks elsewhere on the catwalk also provide rich inspiration for brides-to-be.
From the exquisite fabrics used, to the laborious craftsmanship employed, these gowns have been lavished with the upmost attention to detail. Whilst some of the dresses are a shade avant-garde, break the looks down to their finer components – the neckline, the style of embellishment, the silhouette – and you may discover a key feature that inspires your own wedding dress...
Chanel Couture spring/summer 2013
Karl’s hand-holding brides wore fairytale feathered gowns that were rich in texture. Layers of tulle were lavished in delicate flowers and shimmering embellishment, while veils were dramatically stitched into the back of the neckline, rather than clipped into the hair. Raw edges and transparent panels balanced the heavy workmanship with a modern touch.
Elie Saab’s closing gown was fit for a royal bride of the Elizabethan era. Layers of ivory crinoline – made from sheer, baroque floral lace – jutted dramatically from the hip, while a matching embroidered tulle veil iced the cake. Other wedding-worthy creations included nipped-in, beaded confections and sculptural caped creations with an ornate feel.
Georges Hobeika Couture spring/summer 2013
There were many bridal-esque gowns in this collection, of varying silhouettes. Alongside a simple beaded dress, were billowing ballgowns with transparent, beaded bodices, offering an interesting interplay between volume and texture. The bride pictured above played an interesting visual trick – at first the silhouette seemed streamlined, but look again and you will see the meringue following close behind.
Georges Chakra Couture spring/summer 2013
The ever-popular princess line wedding gown got an update at Georges Chakra, with a sheer cloak of printed tulle swathed accross the shoulders before it cascaded down the back. The floral motif was echoed on the skirt of the dress.
Not all brides fantasise about a long white gown. Over at Valentino, amidst a flurry of ivory floor sweepers, came a succession of pretty, shorter styles that finished just below the knee. Sleeves were long, billowing and transparent, while skirts were intricately embroidered with delicate flowers.
Christophe Jose’s high-necked and backless lace dress may have been the most wedding-appropriate gown in his collection, but I was more taken with this diaphanous silk gown. Fluid, cut on the bias and utterly Art Deco, it came in a beautiful rose hue that would really flatter a pale complexion.
Explore ELLE’s gallery of Couture spring/ summer 2013 wedding dresses