Words by Wedding Industry News editor Rachel Southwood
Before I worked in the bridal industry, I had no concept of the work involved in and the design talent that exists in this world. Leading the way in many fashion fields, we are certain that many bridal trends we saw in Harrogate this week will appear on high-fashion catwalks in the seasons ahead.
Elegance and clean lines from Ellis Bridals
Now that we have returned to something of a ‘normal’ after the Covid years and post-Covid crazy, we experienced a whole new line in remarkable bridalwear – show-stopping gowns to turn heads and turn heads. Traditional trends that will be in bridal fashion forever have been given a zhoosh (I googled the spelling!) and we are seeing a surge of contemporary gowns – the mini being a prime example – colours, contemporary separates, and accessories in absolute abundance. Start with a straight-forward gown and work it until it’s full of interest and intrigue – re-invention to fit today's aesthetic… Dress up or take down according to the tempo of the day. Versatility is the key.
Ukrainian label Imolacy brought all the sparkle
From princess dresses with power ruffles to sleek and sexy sheer panelled mermaid gowns and pops of pretty with 3D floral embellishments and unfamiliar silhouettes created with detachable puff sleeves and the biggest of bows, 2024 is the year where designers have stopped playing it safe.
Harrogate presented a plethora of drama and intrigue, which filled us with joy. It’s great to work in such a progressive, creative industry where the fittest have survived the Covid years… For boutiques looking for the trends to come, we've rounded up the top trends spotted in the Spring/Summer 2024 collections.
Dimensionality took on new life in the form of fabulous florals, majestically on display on so many of the stands. Floral designs aren't new within bridalwear of course, but the Spring 2024 collections appeared to have scaled this classic embellishment up, by making the embroideries supersized and bigger than ever.
Contemporary classics at Justin Alexander's Lillian West
Down every aisle and at every turn, there were pearls. Used in the cleverest of ways – as buttons from top to heel at the back of the dress, on hair accessories, on shoes. There is no escape from the pearl trend that looks set to stay.
All the pearls with Catherine Deane
Big is Beautiful: Bows
Bows are back and bigger than ever! Forget the reigned-in dainty pretty numbers, scattered around… We are talking centre stage – back of the dress, sculptured bows and are twice as wide as the bride. Simple waist sashes are fine, but they absolutely must be super-sized.
Josephine Scott London brought off-the-scale magic and drama with her Robes de Reve Collection
The official sleeve of 2024 appears to be off-the-shoulder and sometimes even off the dress – detachable sleeves that are decorative only, and are notable in their absence when they are taken off when it’s time to party… Lace, tulle and simply satin, swag sleeves are often sparkly.
Ethereal gowns have been taken to new heights using sheer fabrics that have been peppered with pearls and crystals. Barely-there bridal designs incorporate nude linings, cut-out panels and see-through sleeves.
For confident, independent, creative and worthy women: DAMA Couture
Talking of detachables, we’ve noticed that everything is interchangeable and offering a choice is essential. This is where Gaia Bridal’s Box of Tricks (our name for it, not theirs!) is a stroke of genius – included in this box are a puff sleeve, a bow, off-the-shoulder straps, a collar and tulle polka dot sleeves.
So chic, so elegant, so refined – beautiful gowns at Dando London
This Chicago-the-musical-1920's-inspired silhouette not only serves as a form of internal support, which could negate the need for a bra, but also gives a bride a fashion-forward look. Wearing the inside out isn’t a new thing, but external boning has never been more ubiquitous than now.
Wearing the inside, out – structure and glamour at Tanya Grig
Designers have been treating us to multicolour floral prints on white backgrounds for years (think Alan Hannah’s Lilies dress, circa 2006), but what feels new and ‘trendy’ is using colour as the backdrop, specifically baby blue and pale pink.
Ruffles and a blush of pink for whimsical brides, from Kenneth Winston
With micro weddings on the rise and more and more brides wearing second dresses, eloping, hosting rehearsal dinners and choosing registry offices to make it official, these leg-baring beauties are stealing centre stage at weddings up and down the UK, and with celebrities like Sophie Habboo.
Mix and Match
Separates are becoming a bridalwear staple, a trend embraced by savvy designers long before now. Kate Beaumont has built her brand on the mix-and-match concept, with a collection that is packed with separates that work perfectly together. Combine trends by pairing an overskirt with a minidress for the two looks for one that we all love so much.
I'll wear that with that… Clever separates from Kelsey Rose
There’s something so cool yet sophisticated about a wedding dress where feathers dance around, waving gently as the bride walks on by. We loved the use of feathers in the Dando London collection ‘True Love’ but they’re absolutely everywhere!
Ricca Sposa brought all the trends with their wonderful 2024 collection featuring feathers and sparkle
Sparkle all Over
There has always been sparkle but this Bridal Week brought extra twinkle! Intricate beading - yes, sequins scattered over gowns - yes, pearls and crystals working together on a sheer overlay - YES! So much love for the season's sparkle.
A retro glam vibe for this elegant number from the Pollardi Fashion Group
A short veil paired with a short dress has always been a thing. But a short veil with a full-on ballgown would be a welcome, unexpected twist. One thing is for sure – veils are back in vogue for 2023.
Veils for days from EDit Veils (formerly Elizabeth Dickens)
In a professional capacity, nothing excites us more than seeing what the designers come up with for the next year. And with Harrogate firmly back on the map, we were so chuffed to see the top designers, old and new, bring their A-game for the new collections. Head to Bridal Buzz to see even more trends over the next few weeks as we roll out the amazing content that we compiled at Bridal Week…