Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Evolution of Mermaid Wedding Dresses

Not long ago a fashion design student specializing in bridal design in London asked me my opinion on the latest trends in bridal fashion. Besides it being nice to be asked, I realized something: I have a pretty unique perspective on what's cutting edge right now. Why? Brides come to me to have a dress custom made when they can't find it anywhere else.

Why do these "gaps" exist between what's coming off the bridal runway and what brides are really looking for? It's due to the timing of the launches. As an example, The Spring 2010 gowns coming out now were actually designed about six months ago, maybe more. The process is time consuming for many reasons: in fact I see another post coming on this topic!

Back to what's hot right now! Brides are getting more daring and want to show off their figures like never before. At the same time, they imagine their wedding dress to have a full or somewhat full skirt. This probably goes back to the iconic "shape" of a wedding dress that we have all had imprinted in our minds since childhood! Enter the redesigned "Mermaid" wedding dress. (Also called "Fit and Flare" and Trumpet.) The Mermaid wedding dress of years past was similar to its namesake in that it was figure-hugging all the way down to the knee, with a sudden "flare" of fabric. The Mermaid of the moment is hip-hugging as well, but the skirt flares at the upper or mid thigh instead. In fact, the line is being blurred between traditional A-line wedding dresses and the "New" mermaid style. This is happening for two reasons: 1) the skirt "flare" can be a more subtle draping of fabric 2) the "flare" can be quite high up on the hip.

Is this the cut for you? The traditional Mermaid cut is quite unforgiving and tends to make brides' rear ends look bigger than they are... Most of us don't need that, so the good news is that the newer styles are much more universally flattering. Moving the "flare" higher up on the hip is especially helpful. This draws less attention to the buttocks and balances out the silhouette in a much more pleasing way. Great news for you fashionista brides out there!

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