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Designers | Manolo for the Brides - Part 5
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LOVE/HATE: The ‘Sliced and Diced’ Edition

Here we have yet another bridal model staring us down, daring us to say something… anything… about her choice of wedding day frock. This time, it’s Ian Stuart’s Harlequin, one of the gowns from his 2011 collection. According to Ian Stuart’s web site, this is a wedding dress for a “diva bride” and it features “imposing loops.” Imposing indeed! So imposing that I kind of hate it. Is anyone else imagining stuff getting in the loops as the bride walks along – particularly during the reception when who knows what will end up on the floor?

Designed for Kate… What Does it Say for You?

(Vera Wang)
WWD ran an article this week in which they asked a wide variety of designers to sketch their dream wedding dress for Kate Middleton to wear when she marries Prince William in the spring. Twenty-nine designers leapt into the fray. They ranged from international superstars like Christian Lacoix to budget mavens like J. Crew to half the team that created William’s mother’s famous wedding gown, Elizabeth Emmanuel.

Of course Miss Middleton won’t actually be wearing any of these designs. Her choice of designer has not yet been made public, but dollars to donuts she will be patriotic and choose a British designer… one who hasn’t already made the design public.

But Twistie, you cry, what does all of this have to do with me, a simple commoner not marrying into royalty and without the budget to blow on Missoni originals?

Read on, my dears, read on.

Why Go Short When Choosing Your Wedding Dress?

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe you’re eloping. Maybe you’re buying a wedding dress for a destination wedding? Maybe your wedding locale is just too darn hot for some full-length, multi-layer frock that will have you sweating like a pig minutes into the ceremony. Even if it is just underpants sweat. Or could be you just plain like the way short wedding dresses look and feel on your body.

Whatever your reason for choosing a short wedding dress, you’ve got my support. While I wouldn’t wear one because a short wedding dress is going to make me look like a frosted mushroom with legs, I do think they’re super cute on the right brides. And I am really digging on these short wedding dresses from Jenny Yoo because they look like a lot of fun and just the thing for a smart warm weather wedding that’s not too formal.


Glamour Brides and All That Jazz

One of the best and worst things about shopping for a wedding dress is that you encounter so many gowns that are amazing on the hanger or would look beautiful on someone else. I know, I know. Twistie and I have both said many times that the bride-to-be should try on a variety of wedding dresses, including frocks that aren’t usually her style. Just to see because you never know. I’ve heard stories from more than one bride about finding that perfect wedding dress that was nothing like anything she would have ever imagined herself wearing.

Now of course, I get to experience this all the time. This or that wedding dress is amazing – wouldn’t wear it, couldn’t wear it, but still amazing. Which is how I’m feeling right now looking at all the brilliant 1920s inspired wedding dresses from Lindsay Fleming! Gowns like those? Not meant for busty, hippy ol’ me, but on the right bride? Magnificent! I’m not kidding when I say all her designs are delicious and made out of gorgeous stuff like sandwashed silk crepe, pure silk tulle, silk backed velvet, and other yummy stuff. Plus with all Lindsay Fleming designs, the bride can alter this or that detail to suit her own tastes. (There are more pics under the cut!)


Getaway In Style (or Rock the Bridal Suit All Day Long)

Opinions vary on the wedding suit (as an alternative to the wedding dress), but I think that most brides-to-be would rather opt for a more casual sheath or a short cocktail dress before heading into the realm of the suit. Suits, I think, are too often associated with older brides and second-time brides having tiny weddings away from prying eyes. And this chick, Bianca Jagger, and my Omi aside, maybe not every bride can pull off the wedding suit. Or any suit. And that’s okay.

But some can and some do, older or younger, big wedding or small, first- or second-time bride, for a variety of reasons. Some brides like suits! Suits can be worked into a retro theme without actually having to be vintage. And sometimes a wedding suit is just the right thing to wear. I found this in the Monique Lhuillier Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear collection, and I think it would make a lovely wedding suit or perhaps a getaway dress for the bride who wants to change into something more comfortable for the reception or honeymoon journey.

Would you say it’s a fine choice for the right bride or is it perhaps just not wedding-ish enough?

LOVE/HATE: The ‘Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That’ Edition

Ever look at a wedding dress and think that there’s just too much going on? I have to give all of the wedding dress designers props because every day I see so many gorgeous gowns that I can’t get enough of – but everyone has their off days. Now and then I encounter some weirdness like giant bows sewn onto bosoms, ripped hems, and my absolute favorite horrorfrock, the frankendress! I’d venture to suggest that this Vera Wang number falls into that category.


Accessorizing Fail

Every now and then I like to pop over to J. Crew to check out what’s new in their wedding department, and I’m usually not disappointed. Their wedding dresses are usually what I’d call accessible in terms of style, but also a little bit quirky (sunburst polka dots? femme ruffles?). But I have to say, the brand isn’t doing themselves any favors with this:

And by this I mean the way it’s presented, not the product being sold. What you’re looking at is not some hybrid formal-casual wedding dress, but rather a gorgeous $3,000 skirt made of layer upon layer of shimmering pleated Italian metallic foil-printed tulle, topped off with volumes of solid French gossamer tulle. We’re talking about the good stuff, crafted by master weaver Sophie Halette. And J. Crew, to advertise it, pairs it with a ratty-looking old t-shirt on a slouchtastic model, making an amazing skirt look like some crap from a teen shop. I hate that. Does that drive anyone else nuts?

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