• Immediate post-war period: French designers spearheaded a movement back to bridal frippery. They were making bigger gowns with more confections.
• 1947: According to Dincuff, Dior’s “New Look” collection didn’t include a bride.
• Late 1940s and 1950s: Couture designers in Paris started showing a bridal look as the last look of every show. Dincuff found a Vogue article from 1957 which stated Lanvin-Castillo, Fath, Griffe, and Balmain “each traditionally closed with a presentation of a bride’s dress.” So by the late 1950s it was already considered a tradition.
• 1965: Yves Saint Laurent took bridal over the top with his now-iconic cocoon bridal dress (at left), which was inspired by Russian nesting dolls.
• Post 1980s: Spinelli points out that once Galliano and McQueen (who was the couturier at Givenchy) hit the scene, the couture bridal lines started to blur a bit. Designers started to present really extravagant gowns; in the past couture had been about smart daywear, elegant suits and supreme quality, Spinelli told us. The bridal look was the one traditionally reserved for the fantasy. But then designers started making every couture look a statement piece.
So where is the couture bride going now?