Striking a balance
One trend that continued to show legs at Bridal Week Spring 2012 was the dropped waist silhouette, gowns with elongated bodices that flare out or feature an elaborate skirt. The daring look heightens the va-va-voom factor for brides, given that it hugs curves in all the right places and can add dimension to less-endowed girls.
Kenneth Pool’s collection highlighted the style with gowns showcasing waists that ended at the hipbone or mid-hip. He gave it newness by accenting the natural waistline with satin sashes, rhinestone belts and beaded corsets, drawing the eye to the narrow part of the body. Spanish designer Rosa Clara had fun with the look incorporating detailed lace in the bodice of a silky tulle ballgown along with seamed cotton sateen in a gown ending in a high-low skirt cascading silk organza ribbons.
About 30 percent of wedding gowns sold at Mimi’s Bridal Boutique in Ann Arbor, Mich., are dropped waist styles, according to Rasha Mikho, manager of the boutique.
“Girls are wanting fitted dresses,” says Mikho, noting that the Lucy dress in silk taffeta with a ruched waist by the Vineyard Collection is a top seller. “It strikes a nice balance between an A-line dress and a mermaid cut.”
Even girls who are a little heavier set are gravitating to the style, a shift from years past.
“It used to be if she were bigger, she’d want A-line skirts to hide everything and now if she’s well-proportioned, we push her forward to go with it,” Mikho says. “Bigger girls have gotten quite fashion-forward.”
The dropped waist style has evolved this season to include more ornate skirts. Liancarlo showed an Italian tulle and silk organza gown with a feathered tulle skirt. Melissa Sweet dazzled an elongated bodice with georgette flowers, crystals and pearls that flows into an ostrich plumed skirt. And, Monique Lhuillier’s lingerie corset bodice style with a tulle flounce short skirt offered up a youthful interpretation of the look.
The popularity of the style has lent itself to its own category on websites, such as at Kleinfeld Bridal boutique in New York and the website of New York-based line James Clifford. There’s a sense that the style will continue, even if Kate Middleton’s gown wasn’t as showy.
“Most brides don’t want to be as covered as the royal wedding gown,” says Amanda Caraker, owner of Something Blue Bridal in Orlando, Fla.
[Credit: Monique Lhuillier]