Designer’s Sketch to Wedding Dress

Sketch to Dress: Autumn/Fall 2012

See how some of our favorite designers turned their ideas into bridal realities.

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1. Jenny Packham

British designer Jenny Packham says she drew inspiration for her Fall 2012 collection from the glamorous serenity of nocturnal butterflies, balletic silhouettes, and sculptured corsetry. Most of the looks in the collection feature French lace, cascading silk chiffons, and gleaming satins. But the designer says the gown shown here, called Aspen, is set apart from the rest of the season: “The Aspen dress is my favorite. It combines the sculptured beauty of the 1930s silhouette with the delicacy of ivory French lace dipped in sparkling dew like crystals.”

2. Pronovias

If Edgar Degas and Edgar Allan Poe had ever gotten together to design a bridal line (imagine that!), the dresses would likely resemble the latest looks from Pronovias. For Fall 2012, the label debuted gowns inspired by Parisian glamour and the spirit of classical ballet in the vein of Black Swan. References to the world en pointe include fluffy feathers and tutus cut from soft, unreinforced tulle. The jeweled neckline on the gown featured above, for example, evokes cosmopolitan sophistication while the silk chiffon keeps the design feeling fluid.

3. Rivini

To evoke the painting “Scena Galante” by Giovanni Boldini—a fashionable portraitist in late-19th-century Paris—Rita Vinieris designed her latest Rivini collection with diaphanous silks and laces draped to create motion, pleating and feather accents, and textured layering. This ball gown pairs a structured bodice of draped bands with a silk organza and pleated tulle skirt edged in horse hair. The waist is accented by an elderberry grosgrain belt tied in a bow and finished with a brooch of black diamond crystals. Oooh la la, indeed.

4. Maggie Sottero

For her new collection, Maggie Sottero returned to traditional ideas of femininity—namely the art of the corset—and contrasted them with fashion-forward elements, like feathers, raw-edge fabrics, and abundant layering.

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5. Kenneth Pool

Ever one for drama and opulence, this season’s Kenneth Pool bride donned layers of tulle, taffeta, and organza, with pops of texture and ostrich feather accents. This gown in particular required 130 yards of tulle to create, and before it was completed, designer Amsale Aberra added six more inches of horsehair to the skirt to create even more movement.

6. Christos

Channeling the muse for this collection—a hopelessly romantic young bride with a fresh-faced look—creative director Amsale Aberra designed delicate, hyper-feminine gowns featuring lots of lace and draped swag beading. The dress shown here incorporates handmade flowers and petals with accents of Swarvoski crystals.

7. Nicole Miller

This Nicole Miller gown—a tulle design embroidered with ribbons of crinkled georgette—evokes the modern, figure-flattering aesthetic the designer has made her signature. Other gowns in the new collection are cut from shimmery stretch metal, crepe de chine, tulle, organza, and faille throughout the rest of Miller’s collection.

8. Watters

This year marks the line’s 25th anniversary and, in celebration, the team presented a collection inspired by the cornerstones of the Watters design philosophy: unique detailing, beautiful fabrics, and timeless silhouettes. The gown shown here, called Elizabeth, uses strategically placed, re-embroidered lace along the bodice and skirt to contour the body and create the illusion of a smaller waist. The rest of the collection features hammered charmeuse, silk mousseline, and unusual combinations of fabrics, like tulle and washed organza. Other details in the collection include mother-of-pearl beads and antique lace patterns interpreted into intricate beading.

Photos: Courtesy of the designers

6 thoughts on “Designer’s Sketch to Wedding Dress

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