WRITTEN BY CARINA ELLE
May 7, 2020
Bridal Look Inspiration 2021
Did the coronavirus pandemic affect bridal fashion?
Let’s take a close look into the hottest trendy bridal look 2021 to ensure the brides are on track and well prepared to pick the one and only right dress despite the cancellation of the spring 2021 bridal season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As you might have heard, the Bridal Council suggested designers switch to video presentations or livestreams, and the CFDA urged designers to “reformat live shows and scheduled presentations to show their newest collections digitally.” The designers were only given a month to wrap up their collections and develop new strategies, so it didn’t come as a surprise that many of them couldn’t pull it off and had to skip the spring bridal season.
The biggest hurdle for most designers was simply completing the gowns in time. Instead of presenting a smaller collection online many designers, such as Lela Rose, Vera Wang, Carly Cushnie, Temperley London and Anne Barge, are waiting until the fall 2021 bridal market in October.
Are seasonal collections necessary for impressive bridal look?
Let’s face it, although it does feel bizarre to not be seeing new gowns, we still have existing collections of so many gorgeous dresses presented in the fall 2020 season. Some designers are offering new customization options for the gowns in their current offering, so that the brides shopping later this year won’t even notice there aren’t “new” dresses to choose from. That begs the question of whether or not seasonal collections are even necessary for bridal.
Taking into account that wedding dresses are already quite seasonless by nature, as a stylist I recommend focusing on the latest trends shown in the fall 2020. First, for the reason that many of them would have inevitably continued though the spring 2021 season, had it taken place. Second, the wedding dress is rather a timeless piece than a fashion craze, hence there is always a made-to-measure aspect meaning brides have the opportunity to cherry-pick gowns from “past seasons” if they choose.
So, let’s get started with the top Bridal Trends for 2020-2021 Weddings !
If we were to generalize the idea of what a modern bride would wear for her wedding in 2020-2021, there are three key bridal looks to take away from the runways this season:
- Look 1. A feminine, soft, romantic, Renaissance inspired look (often from tulle or chiffon, featuring bell sleeves, off-shoulder and/or sweat-heart neckline, draping, rushing and other feminine elements).
- Look 2. An evolved boho-bride:
- Less romantic than in previous seasons, a rather statement or producing the “Duchess Effect” bohemian look (featuring mock-necklines, long sleeves, cuffs, and tons of texture)
- Look 3. Minimalistic, elegant and understated looks.
A-line has seen its peak as probably the most popular silhouette this season
Trendy Wedding Dress Necklines
Accentuated decolte line
- Plunging V-neck and V-back
- Square neckline and backline
- Sweetheart neckline
- Off-shoulder instead of strapless.
While strapless has always been and remains one of the most classic, timeless and coveted necklines, it has given the reins to a an even more romantic and probably more sensual alternative this season
- Spaghetti straps instead of strapless
Another 90s sexiest attribute has joined the bridal scene
- Mock-necklines (Full coverage effect)
Since last year’s royal weddings, we’ve continued to see the ‘Duchess Effect’ in full force, particularly as it relates to modesty and coverage. This look turns up the volume on keeping things concealed; rather than feeling matronly, it feels undeniably fashion-forward.
Advice: team mock necklines with long sleeves, cuffs, and tons of texture. This conservative-with-a-twist style proves that regal has many forms, and that ballgowns aren’t a pre-requisite for getting the look.
Meghan Markle’s gorgeous reception dress by Stella McCartney by has clearly triggered the trend for understated high-neck gowns in general and halter-necks in general
Wedding Dress Sleeves
- Balloon and Juliet Sleeve
Having conquered the bridal runways a few seasons back, voluminous, Renaissance inspired balloon sleeves have reached its full bloom and joined by Victorian style puff sleeves and Juliete sleeves (sometimes teamed up with empire waistline) as seen in fall 2020 collections
- Flared sleeves
In addition to a recently popular bridal fashion feature, such as a slim fitting long sleeve, we are seeing elongated flared sleeves, most often they are textured, 3D-lace sleeves
- Sleeves separated (or as if separated) from bodice – often partnering with sweetheart neckline or obtuse angle V-neck off-shoulder
Trendy Wedding Dress Cut
Definitely a statement look with a character, giving you a chance to play “dress up”, even for moments as epic as your ceremony
- Suite it up
A structured refined pantsuite idea is becoming increasingly popular wedding dress substitute, precisely for civil ceremonies and formal city parties. A perfect idea for a statement trendy bridal look 2021
- Dramatic Watteau
Lace adorned, chiffon, tulle, mock-necked or open-necked – capes have become by far the most dramatic and chicest substitute for a cliche puffed-skirted ballgown. Brides aiming for a striking, regal and dramatic look will nail it wearing this subtle layer of more coverage emphasizing the gown underneath and making the silhouette even more striking
Other Wedding Dress Styles & Features 2021
- Almost nacked
Sheer yet fully-covered gowns still leave little to the imagination, but manage to feel sophisticated when applied to floor-length, long-sleeve, ruffle- , lace- or embroidery-adorned silhouettes. When it comes to corsetry, boning and mash become exposed, which is often seen in basque corsets with sweetheart neckline, bringing sexiness and sophistication together
- New take on Lace
This season lace is more popular than ever with an incline to softer, 3D textures contributing for a boho, western spirited trendy bridal look 2021. Trending lace is characterized by bigger elements with larger spaces in between them (in contrast to previously popular lace prints busy with smaller but more frequent elements). You now have a few lace options to consider in terms of how they’ll best suit your wedding’s setting: go for Macrame and floral laces for effortless outdoor events. Or on the contrary, choose more graphic options to balance traditional wedding dressing with a modern take.
- Feather whimsy
From fully-feathered ballgowns to chic little minis, luxurious yet lightweight feathers add a glamorous and feminine touch to any look for the ceremony, rehearsal dinner, or after-party
This season white has left the list of compulsory bridal dress code criteria. It probably goes without saying that we are talking about all things nude, blush and ivory (first introduced by Vera Wang years ago), yet without stopping there. Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier and Oscar de la Renta were leading the charge showcasing a range of soft colors for Spring 2020, highlighting a pistachio green amongst the other macaron shades of pink, purple, nude, soft grey and blue.
- We’ve also seen soft color “degrade” effects
- As well as colorful florals applique and subtle floral prints
- All things frothy
The froth effect is created by draped tulle and organza (flowers applique) as seen in latest collections by Vera Wang, or by flaring tiers of draped tulle as in Oscar de la Renta Bridal, Valentino, Carolina Herrera Bridal and Zuhair Murad Bridal. We also saw fluffy tulle puffs, ruffles, ripples, and pleats contributing for a opulent, grand look.
- Legs envy
Two ways to show off your legs this season: a micro mini and a super-high classic split
- Minimalism at Max
Megan Markle undoubtedly took this trend to the next level with her completely unadorned Givenchy gown, followed by the sleek Stella Mccartney dress
This trendy bridal look 2021 is for brides who prefer clean lines, sleek shapes, and architectural elements. It is all about the cut, and when it comes to fit, this look requires impeccable tailoring.
- Satin gloss
Satin has been taming the latest bridal runways to embody all possible trends, shapes and silhouettes in a sensual, iridescent, ultra-feminine bridal look. Be it a minimal narrow A-line dress, a voluptuous sweetheart neckline full-skirted ballgown, or a sexy sleep dress with a split and spaghetti straps – satin is one of the most luxurious and sensual fabrics offered by the bridal runways.
Trendy Wedding Accessories
- Gloves comeback
This regal timeless accessory has seen a grand come back this season in a variety of versions.
- “Kokoshnik” style
Headbands remain an essential in the styling kits of fashion fans everywhere, including bridal fashion. Both Meghan Markle’s wedding diamond center-stone adorned tiara and Princess Eugenie’s emerald “kokoshnik” style tiara are in the bandeau style, that inspired PRADA to come up with their oversized padded headband. Having deserved official fashion thumbs-up once from Hillary Clinton and recently from the Duchess of Cambridge, the accessory has not spared the bridal runways.