The Spring 2020 Couture shows just wrapped up in Paris. Peppered throughout many of the collections were some of the most daring bridal looks that we have ever seen. Keep in mind that when creating couture, most designers strive to translate their most lavish and avant-garde ideas into fashion. Thus, the couture bride ignores all sense of tradition and does not play by anyone’s rules but her own. Simply put, the aisle way is her runway.
We thought it would be fun to put expectations aside of what a lady should wear when she says “I Do.” Here, we’ve rounded up the must-see Spring 2020 Couture bridal looks from designers such as Chanel, Givenchy, and Elie Saab. So relax, and take a moment to forget about all the photos your mom keeps emailing of dresses she thinks will “look beautiful on you!”
For her collection, Chinese designer Guo Pei summoned the mystical beauty of the snowcapped mountains of the Himalayas – think high-fashion snow goddess. Pei’s fascination with ancient textiles translated into looks with gorgeous brocade, gold ornamentation, and three-dimensional structuring. For a sense of the ceremonial pageantry that underscores much of Pei’s work, check out her breathtaking dress in the first image. We especially loved the botanical motifs, which the designer modeled from rare Himalayan flowers and plants valued for their healing properties.
Looking at photographs of the lace-flower gowns that Hubert de Givenchy custom made for Audrey Hepburn as inspiration, Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller infused timeless floral patterns with a modern sensibility. Appliqué and three-dimensional blooms adorned sculptural, multi-layered looks that filled out much of the collection. For a final number, the designer went bridal bold with a cut-lace off-the-shoulder gown. Perfect blossoms adorn the flowing silhouette, giving the impression of a flower garden in peak season. And who needs an archway with that veil!
Aside from Dita Von Teese opening the show with a chic black sequin tuxedo, all the looks in Alexis Mabille’s collection were white. And when there’s such a commitment to white, bridal connotations inevitably follow. Mabille’s bride, however, knows the power of seduction and glamour, and isn’t afraid to use it on her wedding day. Contrasting with Givenchy’s more innocent version, the French designer’s off-the-shoulder dress pairs a skin-bearing top with full skirt. The modern buttoning up the front offers a striking contrast to the dazzling floral embellishment and delicate sheer sleeves. The feather headpiece has a fun, vintage air about it that we love. And it’s always a welcome surprise when your dress has pockets.
Australian design-duo Ralph & Russo put on a colorful show punctuated by a palette ranging in soft pastels to lime green and cobalt blue. There were feathers, sequins, ruffles, and flowers galore expressed in big voluminous blooms alongside petite florals. For the grande finale, the designers presented a head-turning wedding look that summed up their style aesthetic – feminine, sexy, pretty. Ralph & Russo’s blooming bride is anything but a wallflower.
After years of closing couture shows with fantasy wedding gowns, Chanel chose a prim and proper approach to bridal this season. Perhaps a French chateaux isn’t the best setting for this dress. If you ask us, this all white school-girl ensemble would be perfect for a courthouse wedding. We would keep everything as is – even the bobby socks and black flats – and add a petite white rose and baby’s breath bouquet to finish the modest look.
For his latest collection, Zuhair Murad unleashed a sumptuously powerful collection grand enough to satisfy the Gods of Ancient Egypt. In fact, the designer has a great affection for the country. From the hieroglyphs and symbolic imagery to the glistening jewels and ornate brocade, Egypt’s rich culture and history could be sensed in just about every detail. After seeing Murad’s final look, a wedding gown as commanding as it is glamorous, we can only assume Cleopatra was his muse.
No one does maximalist elegance like Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab. Whether a sheer chiffon dress embellished with head-to-toe crystal beading or an asymmetrical cut ball gown with sculptural shoulders, his designs tantalize the eye to no end. For his bridal turn this couture season, Saab presented a breathtaking ensemble evoking the romanticism and grandeur of the Old World. Alluring with opulent details, shimmering accents, and a statement headdress, this dress was made for the bride who wishes to leave gasps in her wake.
Haute Couture has its own set of standards – highest of quality, handmade from start to finish, extreme attention to detail, exclusive. It is meant to defy boundaries, be imaginative, and sit on a pedestal like a work of art. If anything, we hope these wedding dresses inspire you to dip a toe in the high-fashion waters on your wedding day.