And the bride wore… black! Could sombre wedding dresses from Vera Wang mark a turning tide for bridal trends?
For the mother-of-the-groom to wear black at a wedding is perhaps the most taboo of all fashion statements. It is to say, tradition states, that the wearer deeply opposes the union they are present to witness. So just what does it say when a bride herself chooses the colour of mourning for her nuptials?If grande dame of wedding dress design Vera Wang has her way, we will soon find out.
For with her latest bridal collection this most celebrated of wedding gown designers has torn up the rule book for modern bridal style by showing an array of dramatic black wedding gowns at New York’s bridal fashion week.
Widely considered to be one of the world’s most influential bridal designers, Wang is certainly no stranger to subverting current tradition, regularly designing wedding gowns that run the gamut of the colour chart in dove greys, pale mint or indeed black.
This year though, the collection of pitch black lace was more notable than ever, with pale hues notable in their absence.
Vera Wang, who debuted 15 wedding gowns during her bridal show last week, nine of which were black — causing quite a stir — suggested that after a year of major white weddings, she was ready for something new.
“I found black to be fresh and tongue in cheek,” Wang said. “With all the big weddings that happened this year, it was fun to step out of the box.”
Wang has experimented with purple, pale green, and neutrals in past bridal collections, but wanted to explore ways for black to read “wedding day”: “I did take it to a witchy kind of place. For me, it helped build a sense of mystery that I was hungry for. And it added this sensuality and sexuality, and a little bit of severity, too.”
Wearing black: the long standing tradition of ladies not wearing black to a wedding has been overturned. Today, even the bridesmaids might be outfitted in black. Just make sure you don’t look like you’re attending a funeral. Consider accessorizing that little black dress with a brightly colored scarf or blazer.
Wearing white: since the popularization of the white wedding dress in the mid-19th century, women have avoided wearing white to a wedding, so that the bride might uniquely shine in her white wedding gown. While this rule, like the “no black dresses” rule, has since been rejected, a female guest should select carefully if she opts to wear white. Be careful to not select anything that might cause anyone to mistake you for the bride. Since current bridal fashions are sleeker than ever, and many older and second time brides dress in wedding suits, you might embarrass yourself (and the bride) in a white outfit. If you plan to wear white, choose carefully, and accessorize with color.
“There’s a huge misconception that wearing black to a wedding is still a faux pas, but that’s not the case. Black is perfectly appropriate for a wedding guest.”
—Sam Saboura, celebrity stylist
Even if you don’t consider me a weddings expert—and I’m certainly no fashion expert!—I think the final verdict is clear. Of course black won’t work for every occasion: I don’t think I’d wear black to a Sunday morning garden wedding in July. But nine times out of 10, it’s the color I’m reaching for.
Do you guys wear black as a wedding guest? Or do you still think it’s a no-no? What’s worse as a wedding guest: wearing black or wearing white?