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When it comes to wedding dresses, classic white gowns—and often strapless—have stood the test of time and aren’t going the way of puffy sleeves anytime soon. But in the same vein, we’ve seen plenty of bridal inspiration in unlikely places in recent years, including ready-to-wear collections at Fashion Week and even the red carpet, making it hard to figure out exactly what kind of dress to say yes to.
In terms of what’s hot for bridal fashion in 2016, sheer dresses are having a major moment, Elle Strauss, the fashion director at Brides, tells us.
Also big? Boudoir and lingerie-inspired looks, 3-D appliques, and heavy beading that harkens back to the opulence of Downton Abbey, and the beautiful Spanish-inspired looks at design houses like Naeem Khan, which Strauss says are “very on-par with the trend in Spring 2016 RTW.”
And good news for brides hoping to pull off any of these looks: ‘The market’s trends are actually very wearable,” she says. “There’s really something for everyone.”
So even if you want to rock a “naked” dress, you can do so without scandalizing Grandma. “Many of the retail versions of these dresses are lined, so you can get the illusion of nude without actually being nude,” she says.
The key is finding the right sheer dress “that tastefully accentuates your best assets.”
In terms of colors, the arena is wide open, too. While blush pink and mint are still having a moment, 2016 will be a year of darker colors.
Brides hoping for a darker dress should look to designers like Romona Keveza, who showed a line of deep reds, or Inbal Dror and Vera Wang for modern gothic looks that are equal parts moody and romantic.
And Hayley Paige showed gowns in “a myriad of colors,” Strauss says.
“Anything and everything is fair game this year, designers are having fun with their gowns and brides should too!”
Strauss adds her personal favorites include Angel Sanchez’s 3-D floral applique dresses for feeling “super modern but very feminine.”
And other industry stalwarts such as Oscar de la Renta topped the list for a “sweet but modern take” on classic silhouettes.
She also loves the Cool Girl vibes from Savannah Miller’s collection for Stone Fox Bride, which she dubs “undeniably chic and demure.”
At the end of the day, Strauss says it’s as easy as two things: “As long as it’s figure flattering and you feel great in it, then you’ve accomplished the look.”