Bridal Fashion – Straps and Sleeves

Background,, embroidered lace. Delicate detail of a wedding dress close-up.

Haven’t found The Dress yet for your 2018 wedding? That’s just fine. The Bridal Fashion Week shows for spring and fall of ’18 reveal some alluring and exciting shifts from the  near-uniformly strapless gowns that have dominated the bridal fashion scene in recent years.

Yes, strapless gowns certainly have been a big trend for a long time, although they haven’t always flattered real women’s figures. Back in 2012, in an article for Slate magazine,   noted, “Strapless wedding gowns are by far the most common style. Kate Berry, the style director for Martha Stewart Weddings, estimates that while alternative necklines are starting to become more popular, about 75 percent of wedding dresses are strapless. Kim Forrest, the editor of WeddingWire, an online marketplace for engaged couples, says strapless “is the standard for wedding dresses and that won’t change anytime soon.”

Even in 2017, many local brides have donned strapless gowns for their wedding days — and looked lovely. If you’re broad shouldered though or narrow shouldered, or flat chested or ample chested, or slender or voluptuous with chubby arms, finding the right fit can be an issue. Especially if you want to be comfortable.

As Goldstein noted in Say Yes to a Different Dress, “I maintain that pulling off a strapless dress is no easy feat. Other common problems that the strapless dress presents? Visible tan lines. Spillover cleavage. Pouches of skin that bunch around the armpits. Stick-figure arms. Uniboobs. Generalized sagginess. And having a good figure alone doesn’t guarantee you’ll look great in a strapless style.” The last thing you want to worry about is your arms being “strapless ready” or your strapless dress slipping — and having to hike it up — mid-ceremony. How awkward would that be?

While the lovely princess-style silhouette of a strapless gown will remain a popular choice and a bridal classic, at the Bridal Fall 2018 shows, designers from Reem Acra and Vera Wang to Elie Saab, Carolina Herrera and Marchesa showcased plenty of sleeves, capes, caplets and straps. So for 2018, you’ve got plenty of choices!

And the Bride Wore … the Colour She Wanted




Do not feel obligated to wear a white wedding dress, if you don’t want to. It is not a wedding requirement and many modern brides are choosing wedding gowns in any colour from off white to royal purple and crimson red. It is true that for more than 100 years, brides have been wearing white flowing gowns on their wedding day, and it would seem that it is the traditional attire. After all, walk into any bridal boutique in North America, and you will immediately be inundated with wedding dress choices, all in white. However, take a moment to ask the bridal consultant and you may be surprised to learn that most dress styles can be special ordered in colors other than white.


Before 1840, most brides wore colored wedding dresses – practical garments that could be worn again after the wedding day. It was not until Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, and she walked down the aisle in a snow white wedding gown, that fancy white wedding dresses become en vogue. Once Queen Victoria wore white, it seemed like the whole world started wearing pure white wedding gowns; it was said to symbolize glamour and social status. Within just a few years, as mass production became more prevalent, average brides began to wear white wedding dresses and the tradition has stayed mainstream ever since.

White wedding dresses, long associated with virginal purity, are overrated and outdated! In fact, many couples live together long before they ever get married and there are a higher number of second marriages now than ever before. If you want to wear a wedding gown that is mint green, peachy orange, iced lilac, red velvet, or buttercup yellow, go for it! It is your special day, and you should feel comfortable wearing whatever wedding dress best suits your personality, and a gown you will look back on fondly.



Source: Tracey Smith is an expert article writer on the topic of weddings; Hopefully you found this article on wedding gowns useful.


Bridal Fashion Finds for the Season

Simply Stunning



by Lindsay Ruck

A variety of silhouettes and design trends graced the runways in anticipation for fall 2016, giving this season’s bride an abundance of choices when selecting the dress of her dreams. While there were many swoon- worthy over-the-top designs for those well-heeled weddings, we’ve opted to highlight the simpler of silhouettes that were taken to the next level with a little extra something special. From high slits and detachable skirts to off-the-shoulder and fluttery sleeves, this season, less is most definitely more.

Detachable skirts

Detachable skirts are designed from the school of thought that two is always better than one. If you’re a bride who would like two separate looks on her day, then the detachable skirt was designed for you. Instead of buying two gowns, a more demure look for the ceremony is dramatically taken up a notch for the reception once the top layer is released.

Detachable skirts come in a variety of styles and colours and brides can have fun customizing their ultimate look. J. Mendel presented a striking elongated detachable skirt this season which floated softly over an equally-long form-fitting beaded gown. More daring designs came from Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang, as both fashion moguls created full-length detachable skirts draped over a shorter, sexier under-skirt.

This two-in-one design trend takes a simple and classic style to the next level, allowing brides to showcase the best of both worlds on their special day. An extra benefit of the convertible gown: no need to bustle for the reception!


High slits

Ever since Angelina Jolie popped her right leg out of her black velvet Atelier Versace gown at the 2012 Academy Awards, designers have included the high slit into several of their most coveted creations, and this season, bridal is no exception.

Similar to the detachable skirt, a gown featuring a high slit can look quite simple and demure upon first glance, but a little movement will reveal a sexier side to your bridal style. Slits on the side or the centre are apparent not only for the bride, but also the bridesmaid.

Ines di Santo and Inbal Dror both featured the thigh-high slits in their collections, turning what would be simple bridal gowns into sexy haute couture styles.

While the high slit adds extra movement to what would otherwise be a structured dress, keep in mind it could also showcase a little more than perhaps desired. If you’re tying the knot in a generally windy climate and plan on having the ceremony or photos taken outdoors, then the high slit may not be for you. No bride wants to have to keep her hands by her sides the entire day to avoid an embarrassing flash following an unexpected gust of wind.



Flutter sleeves

This design trend harks back to the retro days of all things flowing and free. Flutter sleeves are a whimsical bridal element which fits in nicely with a simple silhouette.

Lightweight fabrics, including lace and gossamer, are key to creating this flirty flutter. Intricate details in the sleeves kick the look up a notch and create a Secret Garden vibe to an otherwise dull detail.

US-based designer, Sarah Seven, and North American bridal retailer, David’s Bridal, featured flutter sleeves in their designs. The fairy-like gowns attract the casual yet contemporary bride who desire a simple yet stylish and romantic alternative to the traditional plain gown.

Several designers, including Claire Pettibone and Alon Livne, pair the flutter sleeve with a deep-V neckline to include a sensual element to what would otherwise be a more covered-up bridal look.



Off-the-shoulder gowns are once again sweeping the bridal fashion world and we are big fans of this sexy yet sophisticated style. This trend dates back to the Victorian era when bridal royalty would enter the large cathedral hallows donning a shoulder- bearing, elegant, one-of-a-kind gown.

Fast-forward to modern day as top designers of 2016, including Anne Barge, Monique Lhuillier and Lela Rose, all wowed the runways in off-the- shoulder styles. From the classic princess ball gown to a simple A-line style, off-the-shoulder works on a number of silhouettes and adds an element of timeless elegance.

Necklines also vary with off-the- shoulder gowns, and this season we’re loving the plunging-V and the contrasting straight-across structured styles.

Simple is no longer boring and there’s something for everyone in this season’s most swoon-worthy designs. Daring yet demure top our bridal charts and we’re loving the added elements to once simple silhouettes. Explore your options to find the gown that is simply sexy, simply sophisticated, and, most importantly, simply “you.” W

Top Wedding Dress Designers: Monique Lhuillier

Monique Lhuillier


A grand entrance into a grand wedding deserves a grand dress; and when Amanda Abdulla married her high school sweetheart, Anthony Tomacic, on October 11, 2014, her Monique Lhuillier ball gown did not disappoint. The bride entered the dramatic hallows of the Notre Dame Cathedral donning a lace corset top and multiple-layered tulle bottom, perfect to cascade across the dance floor with her groom.

A shot of sparkle came from Amanda’s Swarovski crystal beaded belt, which complemented the rich metallic hues found throughout the wedding decor. To find the ball gown of your dreams, check out With Love Bridal Boutique at

Annually, as lists of top wedding dress designs and designers are published, you can count on seeing the Monique Lhuillier Bridal brand over and over again.


Monique Lhuillier

Details about Monique Lhuillier Bridal Bridal

  • Monique Lhuillier bridal and ready-to-wear gowns are internationally recognized as one of North America’s top brands.
  • Designer Monique Lhuillier was born in the Philippines and studied fashion design in her native country, at finishing school in Switzerland, and at the Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing (FIDM) in Los Angeles.
  • While at FIDM, she met Tom Bugbee, the man who was to become her husband and the CEO of her fashion brand.
  • In 1996, she launched her first bridal gown collection.In 1997, she set up her own couture design house in L.A. It now has a second location in New York.

    Her collections now include evening wear, ready-to-wear fashions and numerous other product categories, such as china, stemware, flatware, giftware, paper products and home fragrances. Most recently, she added jewellery and footwear to her brand.

    Known for her celebrity wedding and red carpet gowns, Monique Lhuillier’s clients include Drew Barrymore, Halle Berry, Allison Janney, Jennifer Lopez, Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Reese Witherspoon.

  • Monique Lhuillier 
  • Images by Miv Photography
    Text from a compilation by Lindsay Ruck.

    First appeared in the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of Ottawa Wedding Magazine.

We Love Peonies! Do you?

By Dominique Levesque, The Dress Expert

Summer flowers gardens are in full bloom. What’s your favourite flower? Do you get inspired by nature? I sure do. This week on The Dress Expert it’s all about the peony, one very popular wedding flower.


The peony is a very beautiful and delicate flower that comes in a variety of color from soft pastels to bright and vivid tones. Perfect for spring and early summer weddings. Many bridal designers get inspired from the luxurious delicate layered petals to create breathtaking gowns.


Peonies are also great as a theme for the wedding. It’s easy to add peonies as an accent on your cake, centerpieces, invitations, etc. And because so many colours are available you still have a lot of flexibility with your color scheme.


For more inspiration, check out our “Love Peonies” board on Pinterest.

Behind the Dress – Macy

Content derived from the Vera Wang Blog, Vera Unveiled.

Ivory and nude V-neck sleeveless lace mermaid gown with hand appliquéd Chantilly lace accents and guipure lace back.

Macy is a very soft, really sensual, feminine Luxe dress. It really highlights all the different ways I played with texture in this collection through a collage of so many gorgeous varieties of lace.

I used the mermaid silhouette as a way to combine the laces in an organic way. The body of the gown is made up of two types of laces: fern-patterned guipure lace on the back of the bodice, then pieced together with abstract corded rose lace the entire length of the front.

I placed the corded lace very precisely so that the curves of the exaggerated roses hit the body in all the right places—as a delicate modesty piece at the neckline, and then as a subtle waist-defining element. As that rose lace floats down the top layer of the skirt, suddenly there’s a rich explosion of Chantilly lace accents, all hand-appliquéd onto tulle on top of a nude under layer. It’s a very multidimensional way of collaging the lace. With all the different ways for light to pass through these layers of the skirt, you have such an incredible depth of color tones. And all from such a simple palette of nude and ivory.

This season many of my gowns feature a plunging V in the front and in the back. I really wanted to explore a new way of augmenting the shoulders, different from how a strapless gown would do it. I think having the lace-covered straps here is a wonderful way to accent the shoulders and back—the linear corded lace becomes a drawing against the skin.

Everything about Macy is so soft, from the construction, to the ethereal quality of the lace patterns—geometrically precise, yet still a totally romantic expression of lace.


Brides say “I do” to wedding gowns in colour

(NC) Whoever says that a bride must wear white isn’t aware that the most popular trend in wedding gowns this year is anything but traditional. While white, ivory and champagne gowns will always be a classic and popular choice among brides, coloured dresses are starting to take centre stage, as more celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Biel recently chose pink as their signature wedding colour.

Canadian brides who want to look equally pretty in pink have their share of options, such as bright splashes of hot pink found in sashes, soft and barely-there blush dresses, and stunning ball gowns that are drenched in rosy hues.

“As weddings continue to be a creative, personal expression of a bride’s special day, the desire to make her dress as unique as she is has never been more important. We are seeing more brides coming into our stores embracing stand-out gowns in subtle shades of beige and petal pink,” says Victoria Rucks at David’s Bridal Canada, a leading special occasion and wedding retailer.  “Personally, I love the idea of adding touches of pink, inspired by the tradition of a blushing bride.  It’s a colour that flatters a lot of skin tones as well.”

Another subtle shade that makes a daring statement is sterling grey, an emerging colour that lends itself particularly well to ‘winter wonderland’ themed ceremonies and receptions. In fact, says Rucks, the White by Vera Wang collection introduced a new sterling ball gown in the Fall 2013 collection that is sure to turn heads. Pair a coloured wedding gown with a neutral bridal party, and it will be an event to remember.

Canadian brides looking to add splashes of colour to their wedding days can visit for inspiration.

Wedding Dress Styles

Contributed by: Kennedy Event Planning

The most exciting part about a wedding for most brides starts with picking out their wedding dress. For those of you who don’t know what you’re looking for, here are some tips and finding your dream dress. Dresses, just like all types of clothes, are suited to your shape and size; by knowing your body type finding a dress style or shape will be easy. Don’t worry if you’re looking at yourself right now and can’t decide what type of dress would best suit your body and highlight your assets, there are many professional bridal boutiques who can help you, don’t be afraid to seek a professional opinion if you need it.

Let’s start with the basics, there are five main dress styles or shapes: mermaid, a-line, sheath, ball gown, and empire.

The Mermaid or Trumpet: The mermaid dress, the sexiest style there is because it tends  to show off all your curves in a style that is fitted all the way down to your knee and then flares out at the bottom. Due to its body hugging style, this dress is recommended to those who are confident in their skin. Curvy, or skinny, either body type can pull off this style.

The A-Line or Princess: For those brides who love the princess look, this is the way to go because it flatters any shape and size as it is fitted at the top and flows down to the ground. It covers the lower section of the body and can balance out those who are a little heavier on the top. The full skirt creates the illusion of curves for those of us who don’t have any and it can.

The Sheath or Column: Just like it’s name, this dress is shaped to flow straight down and not flow out. Recommended for lean brides with a balanced figure as it does tend to hug the body and show off your curves. It is a timeless style and helps elongate the body for those who are quite petite. Keep in mind ladies, this dress is quite tight and might restrict any vigorous.

The Ball Gown: Right out of a fairytale, The ‘Cinderella’ dress. Your guests will actually see you ‘floating on a cloud’ even though you already are on the inside. The dress is made up of a bodice and very full skirt that can flow into a train. It helps accentuate or create a waist line and hides the lower body. However, a large skirt can overpower a slender, petite frame.

The Empire: The most flattering of all dresses with a seam right under the bust and the rest flowing down to the floor. This dress suits any shape and size, it helps those with a small or large bust because it helps accentuate or helps support; those who are pregnant because it is comfortable and flattering; finally, if you’re self conscious about your hips and legs this dress flows down to the ground smoothly.

Necklines can change for nearly every style dress, so don’t worry if you want to have a sweet heart neckline and add or take away straps; speak with a professional tailor, they will be able to direct you in the proper changes to make without losing the integrity of the design. The right dress is out there, we promise, once it is “the one” – you will know!

*photos courtesy of Vera Wang, Bridal Collections (spring & fall 2012-2014).

Avoid a Disaster with Your Wedding Dress Train

Wedding dress trains have been around for a long time. However, people today are not used to a woman wearing a dress with a train. The result of stepping on a wedding dress train can be disastrous.

Photo by Alan Viau

Wedding dresses have come with trains since the 1500’s. A train is the long back portion of a skirt or dress that trails on the ground behind the wearer. Weddings during the Renaissance were often a union between two families, two businesses or two countries. Being a matter of politics rather than love, brides were expected to dress in a way that cast their families in the most favorable light and befitted their social status. Brides from wealthy families often wore rich colors and exclusive fabrics including bold colors and layers of furs, velvet and silk. As part of this display of wealth, the wedding dress train reflected the bride’s social standing and indicated the extent of the family’s wealth to wedding guests.

Today a wedding dress train is a matter of style. A bride considers having a wedding dress train as part of her vision for herself. However, a bride needs to practice walking around with a train to avoid having disasters happen.

As compared to the Renaissance period, we are not used to the large amount of fabric that hangs around a floor. We are not watching for it and it gets stepped on. Often, actors rehearse with practice dresses to get a feel for the space needed by the costume. Even so, as a seasoned performer, I continually tramp on a fellow actors dress trains as we exit the stage.

One bridesmaid put her spiked heel through the bride’s dress train. As we were moving around to sign the register, I heard a rip, a screech from the bride and saw a piece of fabric being carried away by the wind. You can see  in the picture that the train was not that huge but enough to cause a disaster.

Only by practicing walking around with a train, especially during the wedding rehearsal, can you avoid a nasty accident. Obviously, a bride won’t want to reveal her wedding dress at the rehearsal. As a replacement, she can use the crinoline if the dress has one. A bed sheet that is pinned in the size and shape of the wedding dress train and tied around the bride’s waist is an excellent alternative.

A bride should practice walking around using the bed sheet train in her shoes as much as possible before her wedding day.  It helps her become aware of the amount of space she will need to move around. She will become confident in walking up and down stairs and negotiating around people and objects… and avoiding a disaster with her dress.

The Story of Cymbeline – Three Sisters – Evelyne, Chantal and Monique

Who better than a woman to understand another woman’s dream? The success of Cymbeline begins with this premise and with the story of three sisters who decided to revolutionize wedding gown fashions.

That was a little more than thirty years ago,in Nemours in the heart of Seine et Marne. Most wedding attire at the time was formal and lacking any originality. In order to update the concept of the Big Day, the three sisters combined their dressmaking skills, suffusing them with childhood memories and they set up their own manufacturing workshop in an old 17th mill. They designed their very first gowns, full of freshness and fantasy, created for a modern and romantic bride.

But it was not just a question of designing fancy costumes; Evelyne, Chantal and Monique insisted on quality and concocted a happy blend of craftsmanship and little girl’s dream. For every new gown, they adopted the most elaborate Haute Couture manufacturing methods.

In the tradition of haute couture, these modern women, in tune with young women’s needs, were able to fashion forms and master the art of cutting, which led then to invent even more graceful silhouettes and to build a whole new world in the name of love and beauty.

For this miniature, family-run multinational, the challenge pays off. By surrounding themselves with young talents with an ability to capture the house style again and again, they make their romantic, contemporary mark on the world market. Present throughout the world, the three Cymbeline sisters have given thousands of brides-to-be the chance to share their dreams by combining quality, grace and originality.