For brides-to-be who are lace-o-philes, let them rejoice. While lace has made bold statements in sleeves on bridal gowns following to Kate Middleton’s Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress for 2011’s royal wedding, the lace affair shows no signs of abating.
During the spring 2014 bridal market in New York, gowns showcased lace corsets, lace backs, lace cover-ups, dramatic lace fabric-blocking and even lace shoes.
What added interest to the lace trend were the varieties used and modern designs implemented. The looks weren’t reminiscent of 16th century lace ruffs worn by royalty. Designers experimented with a little or a lot when it came to Chantilly, Venise, Guipure or Schiffli laces. Carolina Herrera offered a short organza dress blocked with a lace neck and Alencon sleeves. Monique Lhuillier’s designs included a silk white Chantilly lace sheath under a Chantilly lace cape along with ivory lace cage-toed sandals and ivory lace cutout booties.
Lace gowns account for 95 percent of dresses sold at Ivory & White in Birmingham, Ala., according to the bridal boutique’s manager Molly Sartwell.
“Lace gowns are our No. 1 selling gown,” Sartwell says. “Designers are turning out new patterns, but lace still remains timeless, which is why our girls love it.”
Sartwell said the store picked up the airy designs of Romona Keveza, who used point d’esprit lace in her recent collection on fluted columns and circle-skirted looks, and Vera Wang’s edgier styles using oversized lace rosettes.
Along with the romance it imbues, brides also appreciate the versatility of lace. That’s a selling point for brides in Colorado, says Joy Koziol, store manager of Anna Be bridal shop in Denver, many of whom are in the area for destination weddings or are planning beach weddings.
“Lace dresses are easy to fly with and they don’t wrinkle,” Koziol says. “Brides may be stepping in mud here in the mountains and lace dresses can hold up. They’re durable and they hold their shape.”
For brides on the fence about wearing lace, experts offer tips on how to keep the look fresh. If brides select a gown with all-over lace or heavier lace designs using Alencon or Guipure, mute the effect with a sash. Lace gowns by Modern Trousseau featured silk ribbon sashes to break up the rose-patterned bodice of lace. Glittering belts were visible on the lace creations by Liancarlo’s collection, on gowns in both strapless and cap-sleeve styles.
When it comes to veils, tulle doesn’t have to steal the show. Veils with lace edging add drama and freshness to a typically conservative look.
“The lace in veils shouldn’t start at the head but at the elbow or finger trips and run past the train of the dress for a look that’s updated and has a less churchy feel of the past,” Koziol says.
If brides only want a hint of lace, they can opt for a separate piece of lace like lace-cap sleeves that can be removed for the reception.
“Lace options are available for brides who don’t want to commit to wearing lace beyond the ceremony,” Koziol says. “They have the versatility with lace to wear it as they like.”
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