From oversized bows to thigh-high slits, the top trends from Bridal Fashion Week Fall 2023 bring on the drama.
To some extent, purchasing a wedding dress is an intuitive process. You try on a few gowns and you buy the one that “feels” the best. Still, you may have a few other boxes that need to be checked, like “must look flattering when sitting and standing” or “must suit the garden theme.” Whatever your checklist looks like, it’s nice to know what to expect before pulling dresses off the racks — like what wedding dress styles are especially on trend for the season. For Fall 2023, several bridal trends emerged from the swathes of tulle, and we’ve selected our favourites. Deciding which one works best for your unique day is up to you.
Over-skirting the issue
Seen at Houghton, Amsale and Halfpenny for Fall 2023, overskirts provide the ultimate two-in-one look. From the back, they give your wedding dress a ballgown silhouette. From the front, they typically circle a column or other fitted style, adding volume to the sides. In many cases, overskirts are detachable, so you can enjoy the drama of a full skirt for your walk down the aisle, then have a bit more freedom for dinner and dancing.
Less is more
A full-length gown is the classic bridal choice, but a short party dress somehow manages to be just as exciting — perhaps because it’s so unexpected. A dress of this style, which cropped up at Monique Lhuillier, Andrew Kwon and Theia, is a playful pick for the rebel bride and makes sense for unconventional venues, less-formal gatherings and exclusive (read: small) guest lists.
There’s something sweet and girlish about a bow — but make it the centrepiece of a wedding dress design and it feels sculptural and modern. Whether you opt for puffy bow sleeves as seen at Nadia Manjarrez, a bow-tied neckline as shown at Amsale or a big bow on the back of your frock (which was all over the Fall 2023 lookbooks, including at Legends Romona Keveza), a big and beautiful bow is a feminine detail that makes a wedding dress feel unique.
Drop it like it’s hot
Often associated with the flapper dresses of the 1920s, the dropped waist is making its return in bridal wear. The style flares out at the hips instead of the natural waist, making the torso appear longer and accentuating curves. Though technically a vintage design, the dropped-waist gown — seen at Rami Al Ali, Nadia Manjarrez and Madeline Gardner — manages to walk the line between classic and modern.
Skinny is in
Itty-bitty straps are the dainty detail that’s appeared all over the Fall 2023 bridal collections, from Theia to Amsale. A classic ’90s look popular in shows like Sex and the City and Friends, the spaghetti strap has made a streetwear comeback over the past couple years. Now, you can give the decade a nod with your wedding-day ensemble.
The great divide
The slit has long been a red carpet staple, but it’s only more recently become a covetable wedding dress feature. At Katherine Tash, Alexandra Grecco and Reem Acra, a clean slice along the side or centre of a gown takes the look from virginal to sexy in a flash. If your personal style is more bombshell than princess, this bridal trend is likely a welcome change.
If your dream wedding dress isn’t actually a dress at all, or if style and comfort hold equal importance in your mind, then a white suit could be your perfect wedding look. This season’s styles are relaxed, with oversized blazers and wide-legged trousers. They also include fun details, like feathers at LaPointe or a plunging neckline at Houghton. A suit-inspired dress, as seen at Amsale, is another way to go. But whatever you choose, it need never be boring.