While the clothes may be different, designers seemed to be sending a shared message in their fall 2021 couture collections. After a year of Covid-19 impacting production and in some ways, creative enterprise, fashion is back in full force. For us, this revitalization couldn’t be felt more than within the bridal looks being sent down the runway. Top designers Chanel, Elie Saab, Balenciaga, and Zuhair Murad closed out their shows with jaw-dropping wedding dresses. What is so amazing about these designs is that they flirt on the farthest edge of imagination, inspiring us to dream without limitation. From voluminous layered tulle ensembles that seem to carry their own universe to glittering frocks to chic gowns, here are 12 stunning bridal looks from the fall 2021 couture collections.
This season’s Chanel bride was played by actress and muse Margaret Qualley who for the show’s grand finale, wore an exquisite gown made of soft pink satin. Paying homage to the French fashion house’s heritage, the design featured a simple, yet defined silhouette with long sleeves and slight puffing at the shoulders. The look was topped with a black pillbox hat, similar to the one worn by Gabrielle Chanel in a sketch from the 1930s, complemented by a veil speckled with multi-colored sequins.
With his gasp-inducing final look, creative director Denma Gvasalia honored Christóbal Balenciaga’s legacy while staying true to his own contemporary vision. Minimalist yet grand, the bridal ensemble took shape in a pristinely executed voluminous A-line gown with capped sleeves and sheer cloak-like veil. There’s something so mysteriously beautiful about this design that we picture the bride who wears it to appear as if she is ‘floating’ down the aisle.
With her latest collection, Italian designer Luisa Beccaria set out to capture the magic and romance she felt as a child on summer holiday in Capri. Using mostly recycled fabrics, this ethereal wedding look features a flowing A-line silhouette embellished with delicate floral embroidery complemented by cascading chiffon accents at the shoulder. It’s perfect for a secret garden wedding in spring.
Thinking beyond traditional white, Christian Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chuiri presented us with a diaphanous, sage-colored bridal ensemble embroidered with a flutter of flower petals and greenery. We can picture this wedding dress being worn at two drastically different types of setting – a colorful, mid-summer woodland soirée or an elegant, all-white affair set against a chiffon tent backdrop.
This breathtaking gown by Elie Saab has all the right elements to make your fairy tale wedding dreams come true. Crafted from layer upon layer of tulle, the ice-blue ballgown silhouette features a floral decorated bodice that gives way to a voluminous skirt with sparkling detail. This is one of those rare fashion moments when looking like a Disney princess is actually a good thing.
Sensual and modern, this white look from Azzaro is perfect for the bride who wants to turn heads while keeping her cool. The silhouette hugs the body, but does so with comfort and ease – you’ll have no trouble dancing the night away in this dress. The glittering neckline doubles as jewelry, adding just the right dose of glamour.
Gray is the new bridal white at Fendi. For its walk down the wedding aisle, the Italian luxury fashion house played with volume and texture to jaw-dropping effect. Harmonizing a commanding silhouette with allover flou (the French word for ‘fuzzy’), this gown is a daring reimagining of how wedding attire should look, and more importantly, make a woman feel.
Ronald Van Der Kamp
It goes without saying that as wedding florists, we were obsessed with this gown by Dutch designer Ronald Van Der Kamp featuring laser-cut florals upon first glance. The hint of skin is sexy, yet the blooming detail adds a touch of playfulness. We can see this dress being the second number a bride puts on to sip champagne all evening at a lavish cocktail reception.
Italian fashion designer Giambattista Valli is known for his frothy tulle gowns that seem to give off their own atmosphere. With his latest collection, Valli wanted to express the energy and excitement that Paris is emitting presently as the world starts to open up after a year of lockdown. He captures this sentiment in a magnificent bridal look featuring a cloud-of-ruffles bodice that descends into a dramatic train. It’s young, fresh, inspiring, everything we want to feel at this very moment in time.
Because who doesn’t want to look like a rare and gorgeous bird on her wedding day? This gown by Italian designer Antonio Grimaldi ticks all the boxes for a real show-stopper, but it was the stunning headpiece that made us gasp aloud. While it may be hard to pull off in a ‘real wedding,’ there’s a high-fashion fantasy element being expressed in this look that we can all appreciate.
If there is a moment in life when you should feel like ‘queen for a day,’ it is on your wedding. With this in mind, Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad closed out his collection with a regal ballgown in an unexpected hue of stone grey. Glistening crystals drip down the bodice and arms, falling in a cascade on the skirt. There is an opulence and beauty being portrayed here that defies time and place. Simply put, this dress is what wedding dreams are made of.
Schiaparelli is a favorite among fashion-forward celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Cate Blanchett, and Zendaya. Daniel Roseberry, the French couture house’s artistic director, opened his collection with a striking wedding dress made from 70 meters of white cartridge pleated taffeta. The luxurious silhouette is counterbalanced by a silver mesh breast plate – bridal armor if you will.
Considered as a whole, the bridal looks from the fall 2021 collections give us hope for the future. Exhibited here is a craftsmanship, beauty, and innovation that proves fashion and art are not dead. If anything, being made to ‘stay home’ and reflect for a year has ignited designers with a mindful creativity that extends beyond making a pretty dress. Much thought has been given to how the world got to this state, and where to we go from here. It should be noted that to make their fall 2021 collections, many designers recycled fabrics and materials that had been lying around their ateliers for years, even decades in some cases.