Spring ’17 Brides: Name Your Obsession

What to wear when you love Johann Strauss, Pilates or Etsy

Christos Costarellos photo of Courtesy of Costarellos

From Christos Costarellos, modern poet sleeves and intricate embellishments meet a figure-grazing silhouette in a gown as stunning as the setting. Christos Costarellos

Over the last few seasons, bridal designers largely abandoned the notion of femininity and romance in favor of eyebrow-raising edginess. Those days appear to be over. The Spring 2017 bridal collections were beautiful and refreshing, with a strong showing of modern ball gowns and extraordinary lace, with hints of Victoriana at every turn. And yet there wasn’t a cookie-cutter dress to be found. Instead, designers created wedding wear with miles of personality, as if each ensemble was meant for a specific client. Shoppers in search of the ultimate “me” gown need only think about what they love most in life.

You love: “Mr. Robot” and Pop Art  

Yolan Cris photo courtesy of

Yolan Cris. Dan Lecca

One of the most intriguing looks in Yolan Cris’ first U.S. runway show, this mash-up of textures and lengths strides into new bridal territory. There’s a digital edge to the burnt-organza top with its snug three-quarter length sleeve, while the high-low skirt combines three-dimensional texture with the new-again A-line silhouette. Forget the whole notion of ritual garb; these separates speak to personal style.

You love: Santorini and sunrise  

Carolina Herrera photo courtesy of

Carolina Herrera. Carolina Herrera

Even when plunging a neckline to the waist, Carolina Herrera couldn’t do vulgar if her life depended on it. Her opulent blush gown shows a good amount of skin, but the overall impression is a sensual ode to classic Greece. A trio of slim beaded bands circle the masterfully shirred bodice, exploding into an full-blown ocean of chiffon tiers. Whether in a villa beside the Aegean or a garden in the Hamptons, it’s how the romantic goddess marries.

You love: Issamu Noguchi and moonlight

Austin Scarlett.

Austin Scarlett. Austin Scarlett

A study in romantic restraint, Austin Scarlett’s minimalist frock combines simple lines with sublime structure. The strong off-the-shoulder neckline, with a single origami-like fold, offsets a slender column that puddles at the hem, for a gown that’s the definition of understatement. Without a single distracting accessory, it’s a sculptural gown perfect for an art gallery or a modern glass chapel.

You love: Johann Strauss and winter’s first snow

Vera Wang.

Vera Wang. Vera Wang

The woman who invented the modern wedding gown returns to her roots with the year’s most glorious ball gown. Vera Wang employs a mixture of laces from whisper-light to graphic macramé in a confection that demands a storybook setting and an evening of waltzes. Sheer French tulle embraces the upper arms in a sly nod to the season’s focus on sleeves.

You love: Daisy Buchanan and Etsy

Francesca Miranda.

Francesca Miranda. Dan Lecca

Beach-bound bohemian brides have made the slip dress an integral part of the wedding lexicon. Francesca Miranda explores the trend’s softer side, embellishing her slim chiffon silhouette with hand-sewn details—relaxed ruffles and scores of pearls—for a gown that would be at home in “Gatsby.” A sheer-as-air cape is draped over the shoulders and flutters into a floor-grazing train.

You love: Marilyn Monroe and Pilates

Reem Acra.

Reem Acra. Dan Lecca

For the super-fit bride who’d feel comfortable gliding down the aisle in the altogether, Reem Acra presents a socially acceptable alternative. The Victorian-mannered neckline and wrist-grazing sleeves work in exquisite contrast with the gown’s blatant sheerness; a pair of embroidered panties provides a bit of modesty. For more conventional brides, a nude liner makes this thoroughly church-worthy.

You love: San Tropez and Holly Golightly

Viktor & Rolf

Viktor & Rolf. Viktor & Rolf

Nowadays there’s always one jumpsuit that stands out in the wedding arena, and this year’s prize goes to bridal newbies Viktor & Rolf. With a dash of Riviera glamour—worn with a pair of espadrilles, this would be right at home on a Mediterranean boulevard—the smart ensemble sports tuxedo-like tailoring and a bride’s best friend: pockets. The “Breakfast-at-Tiffany” lampshade veil is guaranteed to knock the stuffing out of even the most rigid mother-in-law.

Rachel Leonard was the fashion director of Brides Magazine for 18 years and is currently the Editorial Director for The Bridal Council. Rachel can be followed on Instagram @_rachelleonard

A marketing executive currently living in Arizona, Sally Kilbridge spent 20+ years as an editor at Brides Magazine. She indulges her love of travel and romance on her website, a definitive guide to destination weddings.

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