With 2022 just around the corner, the uncertainty faced by couples planning a wedding in 2021 is being replaced by fresh optimism and excitement as brides sense and see a welcome return to normality appearing on the horizon. This sentiment is being echoed on Australia and the world's runways and is mirrored by designers whose 2022 wedding dress trends speak of aspirations for timelessness, fused with contemporary bridal touches and daring new interpretations.
From ethereal bridal bodiced gowns made of French lace and silks to innovative necklines crafted with meticulous attention to detail for the woman looking for something unforgettable and unique, this season's offering touches on our love of freedom and desire for authentic self-expression. Colour, femininity and daring necklines are juxtaposed with tradition-bending jumpsuits and separates, with the common thread (pardon the pun) revolving around creating pieces that capture the essence and sense of what it is to feel powerfully beautiful on your wedding day.
More than ever, last spring and this falls designers are looking to escape the confines of past creative expression and delve into new territory. And while this doesn't mean totally ignoring treasured wedding trends of the past, it does mean that much-loved trends and looks have been given a new lease on life and have been bravely reimagined for the post-pandemic bride.
Paired with a voluminous skirt, the corset bodice provides a contemporary interpretation for the bride who still wants to look and feel like a princess on her wedding day. Combining luxe sensibility (corseted bodices give the structure and support needed for all-day wearability) with ethereal whimsy, 2022 fashion weeks gowns featured boudoir-inspired bodices and exposed boning, paired with billowy, feminine sleeves. Divinely flattering on every body shape, this modern approach to corsetry and dresses, as showcased by fashion houses Berta, Gahlia Lahav and Ines Di Sano, proved that the looks can be just as diverse as they are dreamy. Offering breathtaking options ranging from pearl embellished and metallic sequin encrusted bodices to minimalist architectural versions with defined boning and lines, this breathtaking trend beautifully combines timeless elegance with a modern edge.
'Here, sculptural silhouettes featuring structured shoulders, sleeves, and corsets are softened by ethereal shades of ash-pink, silver, and white. Throughout the collection, tailored opaque bases are contrasted by romantic tulle, organza, and French guipure lace; fitted bodices are paired with voluminous skirts; and sheer side panels and low illusion backs mark the Galia Lahav signature. And to complete the story of each dress, three-dimensional elements like large embroidered flowers, detachable bustled tulle trains, and cascading satin overskirts add depth and drama. For this couture line, we envisioned the bride taking centre stage on their wedding day and making their dream a reality. This collection is for the bride who isn't afraid to make a scene."
How to wear: Remember, gowns or dresses that pleats or gathers around a waist can magnify it. A well-fitted, loose and flowing skirt combined with your bodice will combat this.
Fashion week was all about saying 'step aside sweetheart', and 'hello to square necklines'. The perfect accompaniment to a minimalist gown, this elegant neckline adds just the right amount of smoulder to any look while still giving support and coverage. Savannah Miller's latest collection featured Italian matte crepe structured gowns with square-cut necklines, and detachable plisse chiffon sleeves finished with delicate bead embellishments. While fashion house Dana Harel's pearl, sequin and crystal embroidered gowns focussed on plunging backlines combined with a square neckline for the ultimate in glamour. Last spring season saw designers combine this neckline with princess cut skirts and thigh-high splits, but this fall season the feel is all about A-line gowns and effortlessly elegant silhouettes.
How to wear: Chosen by brides wanting to accentuate their bust while drawing the gaze to the neck and slimming down the shoulders. To keep with contemporary trends, opt for a neckline that is wider and lower.
Jump on in
2021 saw the emergence of bridal suits and jumpsuits as a serious wedding day choice contender in Australia with the landscape changing to accommodate more civil ceremonies and elopements. As we move into 2022 with weddings back in full swing, brides will be pleased to know that these trends will be here for a little longer. With a focus on flexibility and throwing the rulebook out the window, non-traditional bridal wear such as jumpsuits means that you are not limited to the confines of a dress on one of the most important days of your life. Viktor Rolf's runway offerings, at the cutting edge of fashion, included statement wide-leg jumpsuits crafted in lightweight crepes with their signature bow tied at the waistband alongside strapless fitted jumpsuits with a detachable embroidered crystal waistband. Scorcesa and Naeem Khan's fall collection combined jumpsuits with bold cutouts and plunging necklines for those wanting to combine multiple looks.
How to wear: Finding a bridal jumpsuit that fits your body ideally is the key to pulling off this look. If not done correctly, they can look informal or make you look wider or shorter than you are. Choose a jumpsuit that defines your waist to highlight, not lose your figure in layers of fabric. If wearing a jumpsuit, always opt for heels to create the illusion of length and avoid the material at the bottom of the jumpsuit bunching up. Avoid wedges or thick heels that look heavy or chunky, especially if the fabric is light or flowing.
Bridgerton and balloon puff sleeves
We have Bridgerton and the rise of period dramas to thank for this delicate fashion trend which can add some much-needed scale to more uncomplicated silhouettes. The regency era design featured prominently in fashion weeks collections due to its versatility, with designers like Elie Saab, Nadia Manjarezz and Viktor Rolf offering detachable options that can be shed for the weddings evening's celebrations. Reimagining and adding a modern twist to this treasured trend of the past, designers have opted for gently draped puff sleeves experimenting with transparent fabrics to add the right amount of whimsy. This subtle touch can add volume, structure, and romance to even the most uncomplicated silhouettes, either as a long sleeve or a simpler short sleeve.
How to wear: This looks compliments all body shapes and sizes, just adjust the length and style of the fabric to suit your gown and to draw the focus on the areas you want to highlight.
A daring aesthetic - plunging necklines
Gracing and appearing in almost every fashion week collection this fall, deep v-necklines are the daring aesthetic brides in 2022 are looking for. Creating a captivating focal point and providing endless opportunities to punctuate the design with subtle variations to suit your own style, brides can choose from sweetheart neckline bodices overlayed with plunging tulle V-necks to ultra-feminine, long-sleeved dresses embroidered with sequins or crystals. Enticing brides with a flair for the dramatic fall designers Wona Concept, Dana Harel, and Galvan featured this style heavily in their recent collections. Pushing the boundaries of traditional bridal wear, their gowns incorporated plunging necklines with double slits, sheer ruffled skirts and silhouettes with illusion tulle details, hidden mini skirts, and laser-cut embroideries.
"We all dream of having that Cinderella moment when we grow up. A moment that will transcend time. Whether you want a boho wedding, a bold ball gown, or a fitted figure-hugging dress, the new FW22 Berta collection is the embodiment of that dream. This season, we've experimented with new and unique fabrics, rarely seen in bridal fashion, while keeping in mind the modern bride who wants a touch of vintage glam, allure, and a bold statement moment. The new fall Berta collection is a celebration of the feminine silhouette."
Berta Balilti, founder and designer of Berta
How to wear: Suited to brides who are looking to accentuate their decolletage, elongate their torso and step out into the spotlight. As a rule, the more daring the look, the deeper the plunging neckline. For an in-between medium, opt for a plunge that comes with an illusion panel, or to add some extra cover, choose to pair with long bell-shaped sleeves or festoon with organza-tie bows.
Feminine silhouettes and captivating cutouts
Sexy silhouettes, form-fitting dresses, sheer illusion, midriff-baring, open backs and skin-baring designs took the stage for the week for Eva Lendel and Pronovias. With trends focussing on celebrating the feminine form and providing a pathway for brides who want to depart from conventional looks and silhouettes, these gowns are for brides who are happy to show a little more skin. For those who want to tap into the trend but want a more muted version, opt for cutouts that include sheer panels or illusion panels. Perfect for the Australian spring or Australian summer, these gowns provide structure in all the right places while providing the opportunity to showcase your favourite features.
"Since I founded GRACE ten years ago, I've spent years watching women in their dress appointments being torn between the classic sophisticated gown and the fun sexy gown. I thought to myself, what if the dress could represent all sides of our personality? The fun and the serious, the sexy and the conservative, the adventurous and the classic, the soft and the bold, the calm and the crazy.
Megan Ziems, founder and creative director of Grace Loves Lace
How to wear: Ensuring the cutouts are in flattering positions will be essential for this style of bridal gown. Take the time to try standing and sitting in different positions when trying on your gown to make sure, on the most photographed day of your life, you’ll always be captured from your best angle. When choosing a makeup artist ensure they include tanning in their service and include a tan alongside your makeup trial to ensure an even skin tone for your big day.
Mock necks and high collars....a celebration of timeless elegance
Offering coverage in the bodice of your bridal gown and oozing modern regal elegance, high collars and high necklines are making a resurgence on the runway. Like so many of this season's looks, they have been reimagined with a fresh and innovative feel to leave behind the threat of feeling outdated. Design houses like Yolancris of Barcelona are urging brides to put their best foot forward in bridal gowns featuring high necklines with bold cutouts, perfectly engineered panelling, and a fusion of floral and geometric patterns crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Puff sleeves garnished with tulle or beaded tassels combined with a high collar offer elegant options for brides wanting a softer touch alongside fitted gowns combining long sleeves with a princess cut skirt.
How to wear: Offering the most coverage of any bridal look, the high neckline extends to the base or the top of the neck. Choose illusion panels, soft organza, or cutout elements to soften or add a little flair to the look. Put your best foot forward by combining a high neck gown with a daring thigh-high split or by shortening the hemline.
After weeks and months of uncertainty, lockdowns and postponements, designers this season looked to push the restraints of the modern wedding day colour palette and experiment with new shades and tones. While whites, creams and ivories will always remain, the bold emergence of blushes, ballerina pinks, champagne and even pistachio, lavender, and sky blues shows that brides are looking to break the confines of conventional. Designer Andrew Kwon released his boundary-pushing collection featuring colours inspired by the natural landscapes we have all been so drawn to when trapped in our city confines. Brides will have the option of soft hues through to bold, dramatic statement colours in various styles and looks. When choosing a coloured dress, be sure to pair it with the other elements and tones of your day. Look to pick bridesmaid dresses, florals, and styling elements that complement, not compete, with your daring choice!
“For fashion week Collection 2, I looked back at moments over the past year and how dreams are still possible. How the fantasy becomes a reality. And that women still seek beauty. The pieces are filled with touches of the constant, yet continually changing. Mimicking the effect of clouds floating in the sky, structured silhouettes are softened through contrasting textures. There are allusions to the glistening waterfronts of Marseille with juxtapositions of glittering, gossamer-like lace with sensual silks. Our woman seeks a new idea of celebration rooted in refinement. Gliding effortlessly with grace. And joy. There’s a presence of emotion. Of purpose. Of occasion. Throughout, the collection connects to the idea of place—the rolling hills of Provençe, the green mountains of Monaco, the skyline of Manhattan. Demure pastels—tart chartreuse, muted aquamarine, and easy buttercup—enliven with civility and connect back to nature. Together, it’s a portrait of memories—past, present, and future—meant for today and tomorrow."
How to wear: When choosing a coloured dress, be sure to pair it with the other elements and tones of your weddings theme. Look to pick bridesmaid dresses, florals and styling elements that complement, not compete, with your bold choice! If choosing a multicoloured gown create a stunning contrast by having your bridal party members wear simple solid-coloured gowns in your favourite complimenting shade.
Florals...reimagining a firm favourite
This season was again all about florals, with designers showcasing everything from exaggerated sculptural blooms to intricately handcrafted satin and organza wildflowers, such as those cascading down the back of the gowns designed by Viktor Rolf. Bringing an elevated sense of romance and innovation, dresses featured impressive 3-D floral laces, appliques, sequins and beadings. In addition, wow-worthy spring details such as ruffled collars and luminous bell sleeves were featured heavily by designers, including in the Marchesa Bridal Couture Collection. From the minimalists who appreciate the simplicity of clean lines to those who want a voluminous floral embellished ballgown that feels light and ethereal, designers like Eisen Stein have provided the perfect balance for brides that are trend-conscious but not trend-driven.
"The F/week22 Marchesa Bridal Couture collection is inspired by the John Singer Sargent painting "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose", 1986-5. It's a beautiful late summer portrait of children playing amongst flowers and glowing paper lanterns in an enchanted English garden. Gorgeous blooms in fading sunlight evoke a warm atmosphere, embracing the coming of autumn and the changing of colours in the twilight."
Georgina Chapman, creative director and co-founder of Marchesa
How to wear: With no right or wrong way to wear florals the question becomes what sort of florals do you wish to wear? Floral gowns suit brides who have a penchant for whimsy, and less is not always more!! Choose from a bold single statement bloom, sequined floral appliques, floral embroidered tulle or 3d florals.