Vintage look a big hit

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 July, 2011, 12:00am


One of hardest decisions in planning a wedding is choosing the dress. And, with a dizzying array of beautiful gowns in boutiques, magazines and online, where do brides-to-be start?

Wedding dress specialists Elmis Chiu and Keren Yeung share this year's bridal trends that are sure to turn heads.

'This year we believe a lace gown with a vintage look will be a big hit,' says Chiu, of White Bridal Couture (, which stocks designers such as Amanda Wakeley and Melissa Sweet. 'Lace has always been a key player when it comes to wedding gowns, as it is elegant and timeless. But after the [British] royal wedding, we think even more brides will go for a full-lace vintage gown.'

For brides who want to be a little different, white is no longer the only option.

'I have spotted gowns in subtle shades of blush, pale pink and peach. They are all over the runway from the latest bridal markets,' she explains. Celebrities are also dipping into colour: Reese Witherspoon wore a light pink gown when she tied the knot with Jim Toth in March.

Another trend, Chiu says, is that brides are veering away from the staple of strapless dresses. She says: 'It's still the dominant neckline on the runway but, having said that, we have noticed an increasing demand from brides requesting non-strapless styles such as a V-neck and off-shoulder.'

According to Chiu, in the past two years more brides are opting for a smaller silhouette, such as mermaid and trumpet gown shapes.

'With the influence of the royal wedding, it is not surprising to see a comeback demand for ball gowns and full skirts,' she says. 'We have received 10 inquiries since April - to see if our store has a similar ball-gown skirt to Kate Middleton's gown.'

If you want to make a dramatic fashion statement on your big day, hats are back in vogue.

'Hats, fascinators and headpieces have finally captured the attention of brides, and headpieces can definitely complement the look of the bride,' Chiu says.

Yeung, brand director at Lusan Mandongus (, agrees that lace, along with silk tulle, is the material of choice.

'They are always very popular with brides and have a soft feel.'

Yeung also believes the mermaid and ball-gown shapes are taking centre stage.

'Since the wedding dress is the most important dress in your life, you always want something exaggerated,' she adds. And more brides are looking for added embellishments, Yeung reveals.

'Some brides want a sexy dress with Swarovski crystals, but we have also used a lot of belts and sashes to highlight the upper hip and make the body's curves more outstanding.'

For more versatility, Yeung says some brides are choosing two-piece wedding gowns, with skirts available in an A-line shape or ball-gown style. 'Brides can mix-and-match, and then wear a different skirt to another occasion.'