November 23, 2011
I have always thought sleeves on a wedding dress give a blushing bride a demure air of elegance, creating a sleek silhouette and immediately evoking reflections of a more graceful and refined time. After so many years of strapless bodiced bridal gowns, I do believe it is time for a sleeve revival!
The beautiful Toile Francais from Claire Pettibone‘s magical 2012 Beau Monde collection recalls the Art Nouveau movement with its Edwardian elegance and French flamboyance, the opulence of an era never again recaptured after the devastating World Wars.
(Claire Pettibone to be stocked in Australia shortly)
This pretty French corded lace wedding dress by Collette Dinnigan is more whimsical but equally as romantic.
Collette Dinnigan stocked across Australia)(
Elizabeth Filmore creates a more sophististcated silhouette with lace over a satin sheath dress.
Jenny Packham cleverly created 3 distinct long sleeved bridal designs in her 2011 collection – Antonella a glamorous gown inspired by the sultry 1940s stars of the silver screen; the cute and chic Dido with its feather fringing and slinky Yevonde, so reminiscent of the 1930s.
For a more bohemian bride, the one sleeved Florence by Johanna Johnson is relaxed but effortlessly elegant.
Of course I couldn’t write a post on long sleeved wedding dresses without a reference to the most looked at wedding dress this century! You can always trust a royal wedding to start a trend:
First Queen Victoria with her white wedding dress……
Then Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in her drop waisted (short sleeved!) dress and cap veil……
(Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth in her highly embellished wedding dress, in 1947……
And in the 1980s it was Princess Diana with her meringue of a bridal gown……
This year it was Catherine Middleton’s turn!……
And what a dress it was, a deep v lace neckline over a beautiful sweetheart bodice with a lace adorned satin skirt and the most elegant long, lace sleeves. Created by designer Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, it was both traditional and timelessly chic, absolutely fit for a Princess! It is little wonder that the most anticipated bridal dress of the decade has influenced so many bridal designers and inspired so many beautiful dresses……
Kate by Aire Barcelona captures perfectly each and every detail of the Duchess of Cambridge’s celebrated dress.
Catherine by Monique Lhuillier was actually conceived of long before the Royal Wedding, although clearly there are similarities.
A design less overtly inspired by the royal bride is this stunning Pronovias lace dress with three quarter length lace sleeved bolero and a more traditional skirt topped by a beautifully modern bodice.
Pronovias widely stocked in Australia and New Zealand)(
Of course, it is not just the British Royal family that sets trends – some 55 years after Grace Kelly’s wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, her Helen Rose (MGM’s Academy Award winning costume designer) dress is still inspiring brides and designers alike.
This long sleeved bridal gown by Rosa Clara is an almost exact replica of the wedding dress that is still considered by many as the most chic wedding dress of all time.
They even do a Grace Kelly inspired cap veil – beautiful!
(Rosa Clara available from Peter Trends Bridal)
It seems long sleeved wedding dresses are no longer destined to be the reluctant choice of a winter bride, but a happy alternative for a bold bride wishing to evoke eras past or create a contemporary look, unique to them!