The bridal week runways often reflect the fashion weeks of seasons prior. (Celebrity-loved designers like Jenny Packham and Carolina Herrera even recreate famous red carpet gowns for their wedding collections.) And — also like the fashion world, especially these days — the bridal styles thankfully incorporate all trends (making them non-trends?); unadorned and unembellished classic gowns are just as prevalent as bedazzled, jewel-encrusted and sequined-out confections. The Fall 2018 bridal styles also loosen up with even more flexibility and creativity with sassy party dresses, cool, convertible separates, power pantsuits and even playful rompers, the latter of which are especially charming. In other words, designers are helping you do you on your wedding day.
Of course, some trends popped up more than others, and with such a wide variety of styles and details, there really is something for everyone. Here's a rundown to help you bring out your individuality on your big day for Fall 2018.
From blindingly opulent crystals to refined (and very piled on) pearls and runway-friendly sequins to intricate beading and fluttery feathers to swishy fringe — and sometimes all of the above — the Fall 2018 wedding dresses were all about the embellishments.
On the flip side, the classic bride can opt to go elegantly unembellished and understated, but still 100-percent statement-making, mind you, look with sultry, silky slips, body-hugging mermaid dresses and structured and voluminous silk crepe ball gowns.
Whether a sculptural, '80s-reminiscent detail at the shoulder, a cascade of tulle on a ballgown skirt or fluttery '70s waves, ruffles ran the gamut this season. The ruffle-detailed wedding dress makes for extra lively movement; whether you're gliding down the aisle or twirling for that boomerang, you're totally going to hashtag with your wedding portmanteau.
Ribbons and Bows
Bridal designers took the traditionally girlish adornment to dramatic — and, dare we say, grown up — levels this season, from Naeem Khan's millennial pink shoulder streamers to Justin Alexander's pussy bow blouse to Viktor & Rolf's series of signature bows on a sculptural work of art ballgown.
Designers found new and interesting ways to define the waist this season, from Carolina Herrera's pretty blue belt to Brooklyn-based Lakum's white studs to Inbal Dror's grommets. Of course, there were also delicate jewel-encrusted straps and ribbons, but most inventive — and functional — goes to Persy's safari-inspired double-holsters and fanny packs, which are very convenient to keep tissues (and an iPhone for important Instagram moments) close at hand.
'70s-Era Wrap Dresses
While the '70s Boho vibe remained strong from last season, an interesting development brought in the flattering and oh-so-easy wrap dress, from sultry, slinky and very leggy lace gowns (Galia Lahav, Marchesa and Inbal Dror) to a clean, almost preppy wrap-front sweater and ballgown skirt pairing by Ivy & Aster. Here's looking at you, Diane von Furstenberg.
Fall 2018 will be the season of blooms, with enchanted leaf motifs and so many dreamy florals, in the form of 3D appliqués, intricate embroidery, vivid colors and beaded, bejeweled and sequined embellishments. Designers even walked the talk, with Israeli designer Berta's "botany"-themed collection and Lela Rose's presentation in nature, literally, at the Elizabeth Street Garden, complete with a live jazz band.
Capes have become a bridal staple, whether for added coverage (for a church wedding or aggressive air-conditioning) or just an extra fashion-y element for your overall wedding look. Designers upped their game with the dramatic layer this season, including Ines di Santo's extravagantly bejeweled high-neck cape and Elie Saab's hooded cloak.
Separates and Layers
Bridal separates made a strong comeback for Fall 2018 — speaking to those looking for a cool, alterna-wedding dress option, the freedom to mix and match tops, bottoms and layers to create a wedding outfit that's all you and the opportunity (and desire) to actually wear your bridal look (or parts of it) again. It would be a shame to only wear Rime Arodaky's sassy illusion bodysuit tucked into a body-hugging maxi-skirt, Monique Lhuillier’s lace moto and dress set or Sachin and Babi’s sequined boxy crop top and tulle ball gown skirt only once.
The Second Dress (or After-Party Dress)
Less formal and traditional (read: mini or mini-er) wedding dresses proliferated this season, too, offering stellar options for a civil ceremony, a second dress for the reception or, better yet, the after-party, which Naeem Khan actually threw on the runway when he joined his models in shimmery beaded mini-dresses for a very unexpected, delightful finale dance party.
Fashion's power pantsuit (and power jumpsuit) trend has officially hit the bridal runways and wedding aisles, and the style options really speak to a multitude of sartorial preferences, including Monique Lhuillier's structured tuxedo, EF2 by Elizabeth Fillmore's jaunty puff-shoulder jacket-and-high-waisted matador pant combo or Viktor & Rolf Mariage's adorable romper, which I couldn't decide to put in the pants or the after-party section...
Homepage photo: Berta by Mike Colon