Meghan Markle may have moved onto her next life stage (Royal Baby!), but the bridal world is still basking in the highly lucrative Royal Wedding afterglow. While the Spring 2020 runways presented less obviously inspired versions of the now-Duchess of Sussex's long sleeve column gown by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, the overall minimalist, clean and streamlined aesthetic still reigns supreme for next season.
Designers seem to have the British monarchy on the brain, as refined lace sleeves reminiscent of Kate Middleton's Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding gown — with a touch of Gwyneth Paltrow's recent cap-sleeve Valentino (representing Hollywood aristocracy) — also remain strong trends. But, an overwhelming number of bridal collections paid homage to royal influence from decades past, beyond "The Crown" —specifically, the Victorian Era.
Meghan Markle and Chiara Ferragni Inspired Fall 2019's Biggest Bridal Trends
The 11 Best Bridal Looks From the Fall 2019 Collections
The Bridal Industry is Slowly Making Strides in Size Inclusivity
For Spring 2020, brides-to-be can express their own personal style and enjoy a wealth of wardrobe options for not just their wedding day, but also the entire celebratory weekend (or week or month or year) through a spectrum of silhouettes, interchangeable separates, romantic suiting and innovative, ethereal layers. Plus, kudos to Theia, Watters, David's Bridal, Morilee by Madeline Gardner and the newly launched, customizable Amsale x You for celebrating size-inclusivity on the bridal runways. Designers, let's see more of that next season.
Without further ado, here are the top 11 bridal trends for Spring 2020.
The Markle Sparkle Shines On (Sorry, Couldn't Help It)
Bridal designers continued the majestically minimalist aesthetic with chic, but still clean updates, including, Justin Alexander Signature's petal-shaped flutter sleeves, Amsale Little White Dress's, well, LWD version and one-shoulder cape draping by Romona Keveža. Of course, the very Megs elegant long sleeve column is still around, too — that's why it's called a classic.
The Residual Kate Middleton (With a Touch of Goop) Effect
Speaking of, the rarefied lace sleeve, whether long, short or with a dainty cap, endures — see: British national treasure Temperley, of course — but variations abound, including off-the-shoulder by Monique Lhuillier and Anne Barge. Athens-based Costarellos went a step further with modern cut-outs in romantic Chantilly lace.
Spring 2020 updated Victoriana by pairing ruffly high necks with sweet, but sultry ethereal layers of tulle, romantic lace and sculptural puff sleeves. See: pretty much everyone, including Eisen-Stein making its U.S. debut. Designers also flipped the script on the constricting corsets of the era by showcasing the foundation top with intricate embellishments, texture, sparkle and draping.
Two Looks in One
Some designers took their layering techniques to the next level this season with dreamily innovative two-in-one techniques. Savannah Miller's cold-shoulder ruffled tulle cape over a slip dress effortlessly transitions from ceremony to reception and Sahroo's feathered and crystal-embellished caftan reveals a silk bandeau top and tapered trousers underneath. Party!
Separates, But Together Forever
Mix-and-match bridal separates make so much sense, be it for a civil ceremony, an additional rehearsal dinner, reception or after-party look or, honestly, I'd wear Viktor & Rolf Mariage's crystal and stud embellished ruffle top and black trousers down the aisle if I could travel back in time and take it with me. (And if only they'd do one of these, but make it bridal.) Plus, interchangeable separates let you create a wedding look that's all your own (and, yes, you can actually wear the pieces again).
Comfort and ease also dominated the bridal runways in variations on the A-line silhouette, from soft, ethereal tulle and organza layers to structured silk crepe to even billowy, wide-leg jumpsuits by Cushnie. A-plus.
Running of the Brides
Halter and racerback silhouettes also proliferated for spring 2020, which we could attribute to popular interest in (and the freedom through) sportier silhouettes — or inspiration from Ms. Markle's post-ceremony halter gown by Stella McCartney (didn't forget about that). But bridal designers of course made the athletic, bicep-baring cut bridal-y with elaborate lace, thoughtful draping and intricate embroidery.
In Full Bloom
Flowers are, of course, essential to any wedding mix — whether via embroidery, embellishments or décor. But this season, designers supersized their blooms with oversize, dramatic and color-saturated florals, from Vera Wang's distressed rosettes to Elizabeth Fillmore's pastel peonies.
Music and dance proved to also be common influences for bridal designers this season: Theia's homage to Studio 54, Galia Lahav House of Couture's inspiration from the musical "Dreamgirls," Victoria KyriaKides's glam rock celebration and Reem Acra's Madonna retrospective runway (in a church), to name a few. Of course, heavy beading and embellishments are par for the course in bridal, but designers this season found ways to creatively incorporate retro lurex, glimmering gossamer-like embroidery and subtle iridescence into their fabrics. Fine, so Temperley went full-on gold and metallic sequins, but that's just show business.
Bridal designers infused even more color into their collections, ranging from ombré pastels to richer pinks to garden party embroidery to robin's egg blues. If anything, Spring 2020 is the time to buck tradition and experiment with color.
Next Level Suiting
Designers outdid themselves in the bridal suiting realm for Spring 2020 with sublime embellishments and exciting new silhouettes, including, Lela Rose's broach-embellished, belted vest suit, Gracy Accad's bedazzled matador look and Halfpenny London's elegantly relaxed pajama-inspired set.
Top and homepage photo: Taylor Jewell/Courtesy of Lela Rose