Something old, something new, something borrowed, something…red? Yep, red bridal gowns are a thing for the spring 2013 season, if the latest shows are any indication. It’s bridal fashion week, and while the traditional white dress is still by far the most popular color, red has come out as a surprising trend for spring 2013. Vera Wang’s collection was entirely red with not a speck of white or ivory, running the gamut from scarlet to deep magenta. Oscar de la Renta, whose refreshing collection featured a lot of color (by bridal standards), also showed two red dresses.
What’s turning these designers onto a color that in Western countries generally screams “sex!” and not “bride”? It might just have something to do with China’s ever-increasing influence in the fashion world.
Vera Wang’s collection was titled “Mei Meng” (with accompanying Chinese characters) which means, “Dream.” Per the notes in Wang’s spring 2013 lookbook:
Beautiful dream. The symbolism of Red. Boldly romantic, charming, protective, grand, seductive, sexy. From dahlia to scarlet, crimson and vermilion. A celebration of love.
Vera Wang’s company is expanding in a big way into Asia–the company’s expansion plans were just the subject of a lengthy piece in WWD earlier this month. Wang, who’s Chinese, plans to introduce bridal into the Asian market first, because that’s what she’s best known for. A Vera Wang rep told WWD, “The emphasis on weddings is so strong here. So we feel really good about it.”
We spoke to Huang Hung, who writes the ChinaFile column in WWD, for some more insight into how Chinese brides dress and how western designers are navigating the culture.