Due to the reduced nature of weddings, one trend that designers and retailers have repeatedly told me about is the shift to more pared-back looks. Marisa Rooney, who owns Beautiful Brides Liverpool, a curvy bridal boutique, said she pivoted her business when the pandemic hit: “I was receiving enquiries from brides looking for a more casual approach to their day and created my own small in-house collection of dresses with modern and simplistic designs. These styles have been appealing to those who are having micro weddings.”
Designer Kate Halfpenny has said similar: “We have seen an interesting thing. What’s happened is brides have held their hero dress for their big party but then bought more pared-back looks for smaller ceremonies.”
Senior fashion market editor for Net-a-porter Libby Page also confirmed a shift toward simpler styles: “Over the last year, we have started to notice a shift in our Net-a-Porter brides looking for more modern and effortless pieces, such as suiting, slip dresses and interesting co-ordinates that can be worn on their wedding day—as well as beyond.”
Matchesfashion’s global fashion officer, Natalie Kingham, added to this, saying that “suits and separates have been popular (jackets are up 15% and trousers are up 25% versus last year). Styles including Gabriela Hearst’s three-piece suit, Alessandra Rich’s sweetheart jacket and pencil skirt set and Blaze Milano’s matching jacket and tailored shorts have been highlights.”
However, on the flip side to the simpler looks, Halfpenny reckons there’s going to be a lot of brides embracing more out-there looks. In her recent collection, details such as oversize bows take centre stage, and looking ahead to bridal trends in 2022, designers such as Prabal Gurung showed off more over-the-top stylings with accentuated accessories.
Lyst reports that there’s also a growing interest in feathered gowns, with searches increasing by 128% since January, and there’s a year-on-year increase of 134% of searches for tulle dresses and skirts. Lockdown bride Harriet Hall opted for a bright-pink Molly Goddard dress for her big day, telling me, „A bright-pink tulle gown was the perfect item to get married in that was both wildly over the top and special but also a little bit rebellious. Plus, it was the most fun dress to wear, and it not being white means I can wear it again and again—an added sustainable bonus.”