With non-essential businesses temporarily closing around the world in March due to Covid-19, photographing — or even completing — next year's spring collections proved unfeasible for many designers, some of whom plan to present double in the fall.
Perhaps giving a peek into how October's Fall 2021 bridal runways and presentations may play out, Justin Alexander Signature held a Facebook Watch Party to present its '30s-inspired line. (Thinking ahead, the brand shot the Spring 2021 collection in February at the historic Gilded Age hotel, The Beekman, in New York.)
"When all of the markets and bridal fashion weeks were cancelled, we decided to rethink what we could present to press and how," explained Justin Alexander Warshaw, the brand's president and designer, via email. "We are so grateful that the reactions have been so positive to this material that we essentially repurposed."
Amsale scheduled one-on-one Zoom appointments with design director Margo LaFontaine (who multitasked as her toddler napped, as many working-from-home parents can relate). The Nouvelle Amsale and Little White Dress collections were beautifully — and resourcefully — shot by creative couples self-isolating amid the pandemic: Broadway triple-threat and Tony nominee Laura Osnes, photographed by spouse Nathan Johnson, and model Angela Highsmith, photographed by husband Asio.(The main Amsale line, which is manufactured in New York City remained on pause, with the rest of the state.)
"My motivation for presenting the collections wasn't for sales purposes, but to share something authentic and beautiful with brides that is hopefully inspiring," said LaFontaine of unveiling the concept, titled "Real Couples."
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A common theme of nostalgia connects the handful of designers who were able to shoot their Spring 2021 collections ahead of social distancing: Savannah Miller's Hollywood homage and Justin Alexander Signature's Jazz Age vision pay homage to the 1930's, for instance. Meanwhile, Viktor & Rolf Mariage incorporates signature florals and broderie anglaise to commemorate "opulent classical gardens." Ines by Ines di Santo celebrates "global love," with an ode to sweeping city skylines and destination beaches that we loved visiting and hope to do again soon. (While on hold from producing its main line, Ines di Santo has converted its Toronto workroom from making gowns to manufacturing PPE for local hospitals.)
I will say, too, that scrolling through all these bridal looks — sculptural silhouettes, thoughtful details and exuberant flourishes, all from a range of perspectives — made me happy and hopeful. (What is that feeling?) Maybe because, no matter the style, a wedding gown represents a celebration of not just a bright future with a life partner, but also cherished relationships with family and friends, whom we all can't wait to see (in person) again soon. Hope the wedding looks from Spring 2021 in the gallery below will put a smile on your face, too.