Ines di Santo Bridal Fall 2018

For the fall 2018 bridal season Ines di Santo was inspired by New York City and the vibrant women that make New York City a global cultural and creative international capital. This was all set against the panoramic background of Central Park and Columbus Circle as seen through the windows of Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

And the chamber orchestra also added to the allure and grandeur of this fall 2018 outing. After all, what would a collection that used the Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center as a venue be without live music.Though this inspiration has used many times before by a huge coterie of designers from women’s ready-to-wear to menswear and bridal, Ines di Santo brought her own signature aesthetic of bridal couture with an injection of Ines di Santo’s special blend of sensuality and modern sensibility, setting her a part from other designers that have used New York City as a reference point.

What worked best in this fall 2018 collection was that di Santo maintained her signature design aesthetic of beaded elegance and uniquely embroidered fabrics on classic mermaid silhouettes and ball gowns—which always evoke sophistication and charm—while still demonstrated that she is not stuck in the past, understanding that modern brides want classic elegance with an infusion of modern glamour.Ines di Santo continues to expand her design aesthetic to include looks that a huge range of brides can embrace. From this fall 2018 collection’s one shoulder illusion back sheath with textured detachable embellished train to the ruched sweetheart trumpet gown with embellished long cape to the dramatic, encrusted long cape over halter jumpsuit, di Santo has stayed in step with where bridal couture is heading.

That said; this bridal collection is for brides that have deep pockets. When you have bridal gowns with organza capes, gowns with heavily embroidered trains, and pearl encrusted gowns with handkerchief skirt—which means layers and layers of very expensive fabrics—expect to break the bank.

                                                     Images courtesy of FIRSTVIEW

Standout looks in this collection include one-shoulder dramatic sheath with organza bow cape, sweetheart ruched trumpet gown with Swarovski crystal brooch, off-the-shoulder sweetheart sheath with detachable bow and streamers, and dramatic encrusted long cape over halter jumpsuit.

—William S. Gooch

Justin Alexander Bridal Fall 2018

Justin Alexander’s design team brings expertise and creativity to the brand’s fall 2018 collection, making the collection a great fit for any bride. While there was a particular dreaminess to the 2018 collection, there was also a remarkable simplicity to the clean and elegant silhouettes.

Last season, the brand injected some glam and flash; however, this season it was all about the classic silhouettes. That isn’t to say that this classic approach produced a mundane collection. “My inspiration for fall 2018 was drama by silhouette, simplicity and embellishment,” said Justin Warshaw, president of Justin Alexander. In that regard, they showed voluminous silhouettes, linear beadwork, 3-D floral embellishments, and floral lacework to compliment the collection’s modern, architectural projection.

For the fall 2018, Justin Alexander decided to give brides something new. The brand experimented with a new fabric called double crepe, which is very structural and stretchy, designed to beautifully layer on a wedding dress.         

In an era of athleisure and sportswear, in a surprising turn of events, classicism or preppy style is making a comeback. Like all things in fashion, the cycle was bound to come about again, and it is making its way through the bridal industry. Those types of young ladies who attended the Dwight School on the Upper West Side a decade ago are now mature young women, and have further cultivated their preppy tastes.          

Those same young ladies are also in their prime to marry the men of their dreams, and Justin Alexander is here to help make that dream come true. “Simplicity and sophistication with a modern edge is in high demand right now,” Warshaw said. “We’ve gone for a subtler look with embellishments this season. Customers don’t want that over-the-top look.”        

                                                    Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Where the nude look, tattoo sleeves, and illusion bodices were popular among the bridal sector for several seasons, today’s bride wants to look different. In Warshaw’s words, the quintessential Justin Alexander customer is “sophisticated, refined and glamorous.” Their customers might not be dreaming of the Princess Diana look, but they want sophisticated chicness, nonetheless

—Kristopher Fraser


BERTA Bridal Fall 2017

For several years BERTA has set itself apart from other luxury bridal brands by being the go-to brand for embellishment, sparkle and a whole lot of shine, using the finest fabrics. That point of view continues for fall 2018 with BERTA using new technologies combined with its fine fabrics.

These masterpieces of fabrications are all played against a background of vintage silhouettes that the bridal customer is very familiar with. And though the classic silhouettes are front and center in the collection, seen through of lens of late 1970s sensuality, the collection does not seem staid and a reflection on the past.One of the unique qualities of the this fall 2018 collection is BERTA’s approach to the raw materials used in the collection’s fabrications and taking that raw material to the maximal level of artisanship and beauty. This combination of vintage bridal styles with new exciting fabrications elevates this fall 2018 outing into the realm now and next fashion, which is the trajectory of a lot of bridal collection this season.Understanding that the modern bridal consumer has access to fashion shows during real time and the lots of social media content, many bridal brands must keep their collections fresh and fashion forward for the very well informed consumer. Without this constant re-evaluation of their design aesthetic as it appeals to the modern bridal consumer, many bridal brands will lose market traction very quickly. BERTA with this fall 2018 is primed and prepped to stay ahead of the bridal curve, so to speak.

                                         Images courtesy of Coded PR/Mike Colon

Standout looks in this fall 2018 collection include the point d’esprit tulle-handcrafted dress with payettes, feathers and appliques, fully embellished lace on netting dress plunging neckline with strap sleeves and open back, handcrafted lace dress with distinct flower appliques with thin strap sleeves and plunging neckline, and handcrafted embellished dress with waistline and bottom illusion bodice and skirt in geometric patterns.

—William S. Gooch

Reem Acra Bridal Fall 2018

There are many global traditions that extol the importance of having good or saintly spirits and energy forces bless the union of two people. In the Catholic tradition, Saint Joseph and Saint Priscilla are the patron saints of good marriages, as Saint Adelaide is the patron saint of second marriages. In the Hindu religion, the Lord Ganesha, who removes all obstacles, blesses important religious events. And in the Judaism, the archangel Raphael is the protector of marriage.

For her fall 2018 bridal collection, Reem Acra was inspired by all the spirits and the saints who bless and protect marriage. From that reference point, Reem Acra evolved a bridal collection that evokes feelings and moods of chastity, linear clarity, and otherworldly charm. This was particular true as some of the specter-like models slowly paraded down the runway with faces covered in long veils accompanied by very long bridal trains.This confluence of chastity, clarity and spectral glamour conjured up images of the Wilis from the ballet masterpiece Giselle. (In the ballet Giselle, the Wilis emerge from the graves in white bridal gowns floral headpieces of baby breath with long veils covering their ghostly faces.) Though this was a theatrical presentation of what Reem Acra does best—classic bridal silhouettes seen through a lens of beautiful embellishments, fine fabrics with a nod toward couture and fashion-forward sensibility—the brand’s signature aesthetic was not lost. And as always with Reem Acra the production was of the highest quality with top models, and top production value.Three things stood out most in this fall 2018 outing; Reem Acra’s continued love affair with quality fabrics and craftsmanship, and her understanding that bridal shows should take the consumer and fashion industry professional to a beautiful, exquisite place. In this collection, Reem Acra successfully toyed with the idea that a bridal show can be cerebral exercise. Fashion pundits can banter whether the modern bride is stimulated by bridal collections that evoke purity and chastity or whether Reem Acra’s inspiration is lost on modern consumers who only cares about bridal gowns that appeals to their penchant for beauty and youthful whimsy. (Something to debate!!) 

                                                       Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Standout looks in this collection include Reem Acra’s Guipure embroidered lace gown, plunging v-neck embroidered lace gown with Gazar skirt, lace embroidered bodice gown with organza skirt, lace embroidered gown with embroidered cape, and gold and silver metallic embroidered lace gown.

—William S. Gooch

THEIA Bridal Fall 2018

For the fall 2018 bridal season, THEIA brought sexy back!! All this sexy is set against the backdrop of the modern bride in Florence, Italy. In this evolution of the brand, THEIA embraces the curves of women of all shapes and sizes.

Like many bridal brands for fall/winter collections, the garments are embroidered with strategic glass and crystals that evoke ice cycles and snowy motifs. And unlike some bridal seasons past, THEIA has transitioned the brand to a bridal market that is more retail friendly. Still, those seasons were creative director Don O’Neill drew inspiration from such disparate influences as Irish sea nymphs, Asian opium dens, and David Bowie is much missed.Though O’Neill has transitioned THEIA into a more market friendly bridal brand does not mean that the brand has lost its creative oeuvre. This fall 2018 bridal collection contained illusion bodices with plunging necklines and open backs. There were also whimsical 3-D floral appliques and embroideries combined with soft Chantilly lace bodices and Spanish tulle skirts. And like some other bridal brands this season, O’Neill included quite a few garments that will look great on both curvy and plus-size brides.Understanding that the modern bride is looking for a bit of color, O’Neill injected a hint of color into the collection evidenced in cloud blues and blush pinks which appeared through the fall 2018 collection. And true to its design aesthetic of always adding that unique item in his bridal collection, O’Neill include a satin sexy jumpsuit for that bridal consumer who wants something goes beyond traditional bridal fare.

                                                           Images courtesy of THEIA

Standout looks in the collection were the ivory Chantilly cutaway halter mermaid gown with hand-appliqued Chantilly lace flowers, porcelain white crystal and glass “Florentine Trellis” embroidered cap sleeve gown, ivory hand-embroidered Italian glass and crystal beaded bodice over a tiered Spanish tulle skirt, ivory satin kimono-sleeved jumpsuit, and ivory plunge front-corded lace and sequin-embroidered gown with Spanish tulle overlay.

—William S. Gooch

Gracy Accad Bridal Fall 2018

It takes a lot of courage to launch a new bridal brand in a depressed retail market. And what’s even more difficult is to debut a collection that stands out from what is already in the market.

Gracy Accad has done all that with her debut fall 2018 bridal collection. “My main inspiration for this collection was Grace Kelly. Not her style alone, but the embodiment of her rare beauty, and the ‘fairytale magic’ that surrounded her,” explained Gracy Accad. “In our fast-paced world, I wanted to find a place for that old Hollywood glamour we rarely see anymore; regality, femininity, and chicness, all coming together to give us a little modern romance.”

True to her words, this debut bridal collection was about more than iconic Grace Kelly beauty. This collection was a dissertation on youthful charm, effervescence and nascent insouciance, all seen through the lens of nuptial beauty.

Understanding that young brides want something beyond just a beautiful gown on that very special day, Gracy Accad has incorporated looks and silhouettes one would normally see in a ready-to-wear collection. From her white bridal moto jacket with full skirt to casual, open neck white shirt with floral skirt and ruffled top with statement sleeves paired with shorts, all these looks are designed to appeal to a younger consumer. And the order of her show also reflected her different approach to bridal. “ I want to do something different, something that hadn’t been seen before. We wanted to start with something that is trendy, and something blue,” detailed Accad. “We understood that are show would be early in the morning and that this was our debut collection and we wanted to stand apart.”

Gracy Accad took a huge risk by leading off her fall 2018 bridal collection with garments a bride would were to her bridal dinner reception, a day or two before the bridal ceremony. “The modern bride is not traditional anymore, so I started off my collection with non-traditional garments. If a bride wanted to get married at City Hall some of the first pieces in my collection would be ideal for that,” explained Accad. “ We also wanted to add a little pop of color to the collection, so you have some pastel blues and pinks starting off the collection.”

                                          Images courtesy of Atelier PR/Dan Lecca

Standout looks in the collection include the ivory silk and wool coat high low with flounced edge and shorts, cream silk organza blouse with dropped balloon sleeves and full floral skirt, and beaded lace and net ball gown with silk and wool moto jacket.—William S. Gooch

Mark Zunino Bridal Fall 2018

Mark Zunino comes from the world of Hollywood glamour. As the fashion design assistant of Nolan Miller—eventually taking over Nolan Miller’s company and his jewelry collection for QVC, for over three decades Zuninio’s name has been associated with Hollywood red-carpet glamour. So, it is no surprise that Zunino would branch into elegant bridal wear.“The Mark Zunino bride is forward-thinking and independent. She embodies femininity by being bold and outspoken but combines it with a touch of delicacy,” explains Mark Zunino. “From country to country the message seemed clear. The modern bride dreams for unique fabrications that form well on every silhouette and marries a timeless tradition with progressive sensuality.”For fall 2018 Mark Zunino is inspired by bringing all the things that brides want from his many travels and unifying those things into a singular expression of bridal beauty. “This collection is really about global unity. I work with a lot of brides from all over the world and they are always looking for things that they can’t easily find. Because of the power of the internet, every girl knows everything that is going on in fashion and I have found that the common thread of brides from over the world is that they want unique fabrics, form-fitting silhouettes, they want bridal gowns that are a little sexier, and a little bit of tradition. Hopefully, we embodied all of that is this collection.”This fall 2018 collection also stood out because of the many unique fabrications used throughout the collection. “From my atelier collection I replicated a very expensive hand-crocheted silk at a less expensive cost. A gown that would normally cost $30,000 because of the fabrication in this fall 2018 collection is now an affordable price point. The price points of the bridal gowns in this collection range from $1600 to $5000.”

Like many bridal designers this season, Zunino employs trends from ready-to-wear collections. There was an explosion of a wide range of statement sleeves, from elongated, trumpeted renaissance sleeves to laced embellished sleeves with cape attachments. There were also some off-the-shoulder looks, as well as a few halter gowns, which seems to be a big bridal trend for fall 2018.

                                                       Images courtesy of Coded PR

In this collection, Zunino also mixed sequins and floral appliques which a carryover from his atelier collection. “When I look all my luxury textiles, Spain is always doing silk floral appliques and embroidery regardless of the season so I carried that aesthetic over to this collection. We are also getting new laser-cut appliques out of Italy that are very polished. I am taking the best from every country and embedded it in this collection.”

Standout looks for Zunino’s bridal fall 2018 collection include the georgette halter sheath with removable cape overlay, three-dimensional laser-cut applique on strapless crepe sheath with Chantilly lace opera coat with floral appliques, floral laser-cut romper with layered organza tiered detachable overskirt, and reverse chevron ruched soft illusion net mermaid gown with arm drape.

—William S. Gooch


The Blonds Spring 2018

Chanel, Thierry Mugler, Oscar de la Renta, Zandra Rhodes, Calvin Klein, and many other designers established their brand with a signature design aesthetic. And though most iconic brands have evolved their signature look by incorporating a wide array of influences, there are always a few garments in their collections that reflect the signature design aesthetic.

Now, one would not place The Blonds in the same constellation of Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel or Mugler; however, there is no doubt that the design duo David and Phillipe have established their signature look with their heavily embellished bustier/bodices.True to form the bedazzled bustier/bodices are back for The Blonds spring 2018 collection. And their fans love it, which was obvious from all the celebrity fans in the front row—Cardi B, Patricia Fields, Deandra Forrest, and others.

Still, this season The Blonds aspired to take their spring 2018 collection beyond bedazzled bustiers and bodysuits. Taking inspiration from Samuel Coleridge’s epic work,”Kublai Khan,” The Blonds attempted to elevate their “Platinum Paradise” collection beyond blinged-out stage costumes. And they almost accomplished their goal, but not entirely. Like “Kublai Khan” this collection could be opium-induced, but hardly sublime and ominous at the same time.There were sequin-embellished torn jeans, a head-to-toe, gold bedazzled moto jacket with gold jeans, as well as the multi-colored, rainbow fluorescent jacket that Teyana Taylor opened the show in. (Unfortunately Teyana Taylor’s boob-bouncing, turquoise body suit under fluorescent rainbow jacket ensemble did not enhance the show; in fact, it brought a classless patina to a collection that was already heavy on glitzy call girl.)

Add to that thigh-high boots, Miss Kitty saloon-inspired garments, as well as a few curvy models, and you have an entertaining show. Not as eye catching as last season, but entertaining nonetheless.

                                                    Images courtesy of EB Consults

Still, does all this bling add up to a fashion collection, or is it just another media-grabbing, spectacle moment? Fashion Reverie thinks it is a bit of both. And the both fits right into what New York Fashion Week: The Shows has become, a six-day diatribe on spectacle with a little fashion thrown in for good measure.—William S. Gooch




Zero + Maria Cornejo Spring 2018

You can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been. Maria Cornejo of Zero + Maria Cornejo remembered her roots for her spring 2018 collection. The impetus for Cornejo’s burgeoning fashion line was a striped triangle top created in a small studio and store on Mott Street in New York City’s NoLita neighborhood in the summer of 1998. It was this single piece that launched Cornejo’s line, a line that’s still successful

This season’s collection was a throwback to the first days of Zero + Maria Cornejo, albeit with contemporary twists mixed in. Cornejo and her design team delved through the brand’s archives to create a continued signature vision that could appeal to today’s contemporary woman. Sculptural draped dresses have long been a part of the brand’s DNA, and in this spring 2018 outing Cornejo demonstrated that these draped garments still work for female consumers.

The woman of today doesn’t want to be too confined or boxed-in with her varied and busy life. And Cornejo’s silhouettes are perfect for that woman who wants to give the illusion she is wearing something somewhat form- fitting, and yet, still giving her freedom of movement.

While the designer is also known for minimalism in structure, she doesn’t shy away from bright colors or luxurious materials. The opening look of a pod dress in silk charmeuse was on trend for spring/summer 2018, with pink popping up in multiple collections in all shades from pastel pink to blush pink.

As part of this whole “Back to the Future” approach to clothing—not referencing the 1980s cult classic—Cornejo featured new garments that were paired with looks from previous collections. For example,one model walked the runway in Cornejo’s Orion Dress from fall 2017, paired with a new cropped fin pant in bi-color satin.

Cornejo demonstrates in this collection that timeless garments can continue to have consumer appeal, and even though some garments go off trend, they will eventually come back into fashion. After all, fashion may have a time limit, but style does not.

                                                   Images courtesy of PR Consulting

Cornejo has always had a singular vision, a vision that she has never compromised as evidenced by the mix of the old and the new. Shapes and silhouettes seen in past collections were transformed in this collection into new incarnations. The essence of her brand’s DNA, as evidenced in this collection, included matte, shine, black, white, feminine, masculine, straight lines, circles, fluid drape, sculptural volume, stripes, ruching, fluo color, color block, and double face textiles.

To sum up the spring 2018 collection, the collection was simply Maria.

—Kristopher Fraser

Bibhu Mohapatra Spring 2018

Bibhu Mohapatra continues to push the proverbial fashion envelope. Bibhu Mohapatra has demonstrated for several seasons that he possesses a unique understanding of how the modern, sophisticated woman expresses her elegance, sexiness, and femininity. Her sexiness doesn’t have to be in your face, but it could be; her elegance is understated, or it could be front and center; and the modern woman’s femininity could be kittenish and saucy, or it could be an androgynous mélange of masculine silhouettes mixed with architectural construction.

In other words, the contemporary woman is hard to define and her tastes are varied. And that explains why so many designers have a hard time appealing to the modern woman and holding her interests. Bibhu Mohapatra doesn’t have that dilemma.Mohapatra, in his spring 2018 collection, created a collection that hits all the right notes. Inspired by that somewhat indefinable modern woman who is accomplished in her right, but hasn’t received just recognition, Bibhu Mohapatra’ spring 2018 collection pulled from all the definable and indefinable elements that causes that sophisticated, contemporary woman to shine and sparkle. All these seemingly disparate elements were mixed in Mohapatra’s petri dish of creativity to produce a collection that was relatable, but fashion forward, steeped in in familiar design elements but reconfigured for contemporary consumers.True to Mohapatra’s design aesthetic there was some layering of silhouettes and fabrications, and Mohapatra brought back the striped motif seen in his “Belle Epoque” spring 2017 collection. There were also the structured corset-like bodices, and the tea-length gowns, as well as Mohapatra’s three-quarter length skirts. However, what set this collection apart from previous outings was the adventurous nature evidenced in Mohapatra’s mix of rich embellishments, unusual fabrication layerings, and redefinition of modern sensuality.That said; Bibhu did include some recognizable trends; off-the-shoulder treatments; statement sleeves, and cross-dressing elements. But he incorporated these elements with his own particular design aesthetic. Additionally, Mohapatra mixed in some East meets West elements. There were Nishiki Kabuki tops combined with crepe trousers and pencil skirts, as well as other Asian silhouettes—obi belts, kimono tops, and silk Mikado dresses—made even more relevant by all the innovative textile techniques that were employed in this collection.

                                                         Images courtesy of Think PR

Standout looks in this collection were Bibhu Mohapatra’s silk Matsuri print and lace dress with Shibari under bodice, Okobo lace and crepe dress, silk Ramie stripe Nishiki gypsy dress with lace insets, silk Mikado Matsuri embroidered courtesan dress with origami petal sleeves, and tulle and lace nomad widows gown.

—William S. Gooch

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