In recent weeks, it seems like it’s been a sort of fashion wedding marathon or sorts, compounded by the fact that many younger, downtown it-girl brands are getting into the bridal scene for the very first time. Take, for instance, the fact that both Sandy Liang and Susan Alexandra recently launched capsule bridal collections laden with personality-fueled accessories (and a few dresses!) for the big day. Then there’s Ssense’s new bridal collection which tapped Sophie Buhai, The Row, and Jacquemus among others, to create exclusive wedding rarities that are a far cry from your traditional wedding gown and veil situation.
Along with that, more and more brides have been opting to wear their favorite everyday brands for their debut at the altar instead of shopping from the ever-typical bridal ateliers that popularized big box wedding gown brands. Even if it’s not marketed as a so-called wedding dress, why not wear a Molly Goddard tulle frock or a Simone Rocha sheer skirt covered in pearls and bows if you love it?
Here, a guide to shopping for unexpected cool girl-approved brands for your big day.
The girlish nature of Simone Rocha’s designs has meant that the brand has easily fallen into the category of unofficial fashion girl bridal brands. What with all the tulle, beading, embroidery, and bows–the ultra-feminine, celebratory aspect is intrinsic. Top it all off with one of her runway veils, or the many iconic pearl bags.
Little slip dresses bedecked in bows, veil headbands, and satin bags galore! Downtown cool designer Sandy Liang recently launched her bridal collection and it’s full of youthful white dresses and the coquettish accessories the brand has become so well-known for lately. Think: ribbon headbands, crystal hair clips, and satin floral chokers.
Much like Simone Rocha, Molly Goddard has become a sort of unofficial bridal brand in fashion circles. Sure, Goddard has formally launched her own made-to-order bridal pieces, but her ruffly, fluffy tulle skirts and dresses (in shades of frothy mint, punchy lilac, or pastel yellow) are prime for an unconventional wedding look, especially if you’re a fan of all things dramatic and editorially-leaning.
If it seems like all of New York’s Lower East Side cool girl designers are launching bridal collections, it might just be because they are. Susan Alexandra’s collection culminates in a collection full of beaded confections and adorable jewelry that’s full of her signature witty, cheeky aesthetic. Flowering necklaces and ballerina bow earrings are a very easy way to add a little lift to any bridal look.
For years, Vivienne Westwood has been closing its runway shows with decadent wedding gowns–and the brand has long served as an unconventional choice for plenty of people who want something a little bit edgier and structured, but with no less glamor. Westwood is expanding its bridal offering with more ready-to-wear wedding dresses, and the label also just opened a dedicated Espace Collection Mariage Paris at 175 Rue Saint-Honoré, with sustainable fabric options like upcycled tulle and taffeta–it’s Westwood’s biggest bridal space yet. Topping off your look with one of Westwood’s pearl necklaces beats wearing a veil.
Perhaps Comme des Garcons is as far removed from bridalwear as you may think possible. But allow yourself to reconsider. Rei Kawakubo has often presented odes and cliches to the world of weddings and bridalwear, most notably in her Comme des Garçons Fall 2005 Ready-to-Wear Broken Brides collection. Then again, it was hard not to make comparisons to sumptuous veils and conceptual bridal cream puffs with the Spring Summer 2012 collection. In case you were wondering, Comme des Garçons cuts gorgeous white gowns of all shapes and structures, pretty much every season–and you’re bound not to find someone else in the same dress as you.
If gem-covered, flower-embroidered little works of art are what you seek for your wedding day, then look no further than Roger Vivier, which. Crystal cascaded mary jane pumps and embellished slingbacks feel like the secret ingredient to any fashion wedding. Creative director Gherardo Felloni previously spent years designing the accessories and shoes at Miu Miu and brings the same kind of subversively whimsical taste to his work at Vivier. Also, if seeking an extra special wedding bag, the brand recently launched haute couture bags, dubbed Viv’ choc Pièce unique, each of which is one-of-a-kind, available upon request only, and covered in real gemstones, pearls, and exotic materials.
Christopher John Rogers, the designer doyen of graphic line and bold color, has a penchant for ballroom pants and skirts that pair perfectly with structured matching corsets: the ultimate statement for an unconventional wedding day outfit. Also: embellished off-the-shoulder gowns (and for the more traditional), sweeping voluminous gowns of cotton eyelet.
For the fashion minimalist who loves meticulous hand-finished details like embroidery, crochet and little rosettes, Magda Butrym is an excellent option. Choose from floor-skimming silk dresses with touches of signature rosette appliqués and crochet cotton sandals or silk ballet flats covered in crystals, both of which scream “wedding day ready”. The magic of Warsaw-based designer Butrym is her feminine touch–as well as her approach to floral prints, for the more daring bride.
Lean into the effervescent cool irreverence of Y2K culture with a Blumarine bridal look. From skinny little vests with rosettes to tailored trousers, it’s a great alternative to not wearing a dress but also not wearing a more traditional suit. For those looking for a mini dress, there’s also no shortage of Blumarine options, and plenty of pastel-hued ruffle-y dresses in shades of baby pink and banana yellow for your consideration.
For the past few years, the designer duo has lit up the street style scene with their belted carabiner skirts, but by now, most fashion fans also recognize their eccentric printed (often belted) dresses and chunky necklaces. Chopova Lowena also recently created a bridal capsule collection for Ssense, with many of their recognizable pieces now translated into luscious shades of white and cream. Still, there’s nothing stopping you from sporting one of the label’s signature colorful get-ups to your own wedding.
For the kind of easy, fluid unconventional wedding gown that moves with you, Christopher Esber has everything. And while there are many options in white and off-white, why not indulge in a pale blue number, or even frothy mint green or blush silk georgette dress with a little bit of draping? We call this exactly the kind of wedding dress you don’t have to think about.
A quick-hit industry favorite, Nensi Dojaka explores the space between strength and fragility by creating bodycon pieces that emphasize cut-outs, sheer paneling, and plenty of draping. Not for the shy, they are the va va voom answer to any wedding dress woes. By using organza, tulle, and jersey all together at once, her gowns often have a very distinctive look.
So recognizable have Cecilie Bahnsen’s dresses become, that you can spot them in all their poofy, ultra-feminine doll-like glory from a mile away. At this point, white baby doll dresses have become an essential icon of the Cecilie Bahnsen brand, but the Copenhagen-based designer also has a knack for nailing a particularly beautiful shade of baby blue (maybe it could be your “something blue”).
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