There’s one detail of your big day that eclipses almost everything else: your wedding dress. All eyes are on the bride, from the show-stopping moment when you walk down the aisle to your first kiss, from your first dance to your big exit at the end of the day. It’s a detail many women dream of long before they’ve met someone they want to marry. Wedding dresses come in a huge range of styles, from giant princess ball gowns to sleek mermaid silhouettes, and trends are always changing.
If you’re looking for wedding dresses Melbourne is the dream: There are a tonne of stunning bridal shops Melbourne wide, from Sydney Road to Armadale and even out in the suburbs. From vintage wedding dresses Melbourne to the most sleek, contemporary designer dresses Melbourne, there’s something for every bride.
Bridalwear designers and wedding dress boutiques are at the forefront of wedding fashion, with their finger on the pulse creating and selling the dresses of our dreams. They know better than anyone what’s becoming more popular, and what will be happening at weddings in coming years.
We spoke to 7 of the best bridal designers and bridal stores Melbourne to find out what’s going to be big in the 2018 wedding season. Different bridal stores and designers cater to different parts of the market, so will see different trends among their clientele, but a number of things came up again and again as we chatted with these experts. Some of the things that came up repeatedly? Sleeves, sheer fabric, black, and comfort.
Whether you want to stay right on trend or you want to know what’s popular so you can do something that stands out from the crowd, read on to find out more.
Gwendolynne Burkin of Gwendolynne designs stunning dresses that bring timeless beauty to contemporary designs, and are all about your wedding dress allowing you to be “you” rather than “a bride”. Many of her pieces really do have the potential to be worn more than once. “I always say why invest in having something so beautiful crafted for you that you can’t wear more than once?” Gwendolynne has been in the industry since she was 14, and ‘Gwendolynne’ was launched in 1997, becoming one of Melbourne’s best-known couture gown labels.
Gwendolynne is unique because she has one to one contact with her clients: “When you come to Gwendolynne you aren’t meeting “bridal consultants”, you meet the people that make the pieces including myself. We are tucked away in the backstreets of Fitzroy doing our own thing rather than being part of Melbourne’s Sydney Road/ Armadale bridal circuit. That way in this location we can also manufacture on site, which is a real rarity. You can actually come upstairs and meet the person making your gown or see where it’s made!”
What does Gwendolynne see trending in 2018? It’s all about the sleeves: “Oh my if I had a dollar for the amount of sleeve requests!” however she warns that this can be a tricky look to pull off: “I find a lot of brides find it “too much” when they see this look on them…sleeves can actually make one’s silhouette look fuller in the light bridal shades people prefer for weddings.”
The mermaid silhouette is out: “Many years ago when I started my bridal range I resisted full skirts but as a designer I’m feeling there will be a return in a few years…Most of my clients tend to be amused by the mermaid look and realize how completely unflattering it is on most women.”
Sheer dresses with nude slips are increasingly popular. “It looks like the gown is effortlessly skimming a bare body. I love this look it often allows the true beauty of the lace or embellishment to pop aesthetically.”
Touches of blue are trending, people are using their dresses to celebrate their tattoos (instead of hiding them), and people are moving back to veils after years of flower crowns being in vogue.
Despite all this, Gwendolynne encourages women to do what feels truly ‘them’. “There are always people selling trends because offering new looks assists to sells magazines and advertising space. But generally I find trends aren’t what brides really want.There’s a LOT of influence & opinions thrown at brides from others, but generally I find girls really look for something that “feels” them and if you are an individual with a true sense of self being trendy might not be important to you. Feeling special and beautiful and comfortable is really the main goal.”
You can find Gwendolynne at 71 Kerr Street, Fitzroy.
Anna Campbell Boutique
Anna Campbell is Creative Director and Head Designer at Anna Campbell. The label is well known for stunning vintage-inspired hand beading and silk bows, with luxurious, feminine gowns that have a distinctive romantic feel. The business recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, so it’s one of the most recognisable names in bridal gowns Melbourne has to offer.
Anna says 2018 will be all about silk bows and lace detailing: “Definitely the theme of botanical-inspired laces, bows and flowing silk skirts embroidered with delicate lace details are trends that we continue to see from lots of different designers’ collections at the moment. Being a brand that has always made a feature of our own classic silk bows, we love the romance of these details!” Anna also calls attention to a trend in wedding bouquets: “Outside of bridal fashion, we are also seeing a lot of brides choosing to carry beautiful lush foliage and natives, instead of the traditional bridal bouquet too!”
But Anna is careful to remind us that there’s no need to chase trends, and that your big day should be all about you and your personal style. It’s always better to focus on quality than just what’s on trend, and Anna Campbell dresses are designed with that in mind: “Generally speaking, we have never been an ‘on trend’ label, and pay little attention to what is currently on trend and what isn’t! We will always be Australian made, hand finished in house, and we will always use luxury fabrics, including silks, stunning laces, and intricate breathtaking bead work. I think that is the perfect recipe for what a bride wants.”
You can find the flagship Anna Campbell Boutique at 1143 High Street, Armadale.
*Photos provided by Anna Campbell.
Belle et Blanc
Belle et Blanc is a bridal boutique in Brunswick that stocks a huge range of bridal dresses in all different styles, from princess gowns to mermaid dresses to sheath dresses, and everything in between. Their focus is on providing premium dresses at an affordable price, with attention to detail and providing an amazing one-on-one consultation experience.
What trends in bridal dresses Melbourne are Belle et Blanc seeing for 2018? Volume is going to be king, with “cascading ruffles creating effortless volume with horsehair and soft tulle” (for the wedding dress newbies among us, horsehair doesn’t mean literal hair from horses! It’s a type of material that is quite stiff which can be used to create shapes and volume). Elizabethan style bodices with exposed boning will also be popular, elongating the narrowest part of the body for a sophisticated look. “We absolutely love the subtle sheerness, creating a glamorous sex appeal without actually exposing any skin”. Finally, beading and an all-over ‘bejewelled’ look will be sought after. This look has already proven to be very popular in Belle et Blanc’s 2018 SS collection. Fit and Flare gowns with crystal beading all over even on to the train will be popular, with over the top glamour, dazzling from head to toe.
You can find Belle et Blanc Bridal Boutique at 480 Sydney Road, Brunswick.
Fiona Claire specialises in wedding dresses for the understated, refined and effortlessly sophisticated modern bride. Admired for their beautiful fit and refined, understated aesthetic, Fiona Claire dresses are curated with a focus on helping brides to feel confident and empowered. Designer Fiona Green has over 25 years experience in the bridal industry, and her work speaks for itself, with stunning silhouettes and luxury materials.
Fiona tells us that comfortable, non-traditional wedding dresses are gaining popularity and will be huge in 2018: “With weddings having a more relaxed approach, there is a push towards ‘un-bridal’ looks for gowns. More brides are moving away from the traditional wedding gowns, and are wanting to look and feel like themselves on their big day. Comfort is also important, as well as natural fabrics such as silks.”
You can find Fiona Claire in Richmond, by appointment only.
Silvana Tedesco is the head designer and Creative Director of Silvana Tedesco. She has had her own label for 6 years and has been in the wedding industry for even longer: since she got her start working part time for a major Australian bridal house when she was just 16 years old. The rest, as they say, is history. Silvana Tedesco specialises in couture gowns, all designed by Silvana herself and made by her talented team in Hawthorn, Melbourne.
Silvana loves to take risks when creating new styles, blending tradition with the catwalk to create very fashion forward styles. She loves creating different things which you can’t find everywhere. “I love it when a client gives me an awesome “freedom to design” brief! My number one thing is making sure my client loves who she is in her gown – it’s super rewarding when she sees herself for the first time in her finished gown. It’s absolutely heart warming.”
So what does Silvana see trending in 2018? “I think sheer and 3D floral work will still be strong! It hasn’t seemed to have died off yet ! A lot of modern cuts as well are coming through with little embellishment (which I love)”. Sleeves get another mention as a big 2018 trend: “Sleeves are huge and I think they will continue to be seen – in all different shapes and sizes too!” Silvana also agrees that black is a growing trend: “Black wedding dresses will definitely be strong (more and more brides are requesting black) You can notice in the market designers are branching out and really breaking the rules when it comes to black.”
You can find Silvana Tedesco at 142 Auburn Road, Hawthorn.
Designer Bridal House
Designer Bridal House is a bridal boutique that stocks local and international wedding dresses. Their focus is on classic but modern dresses, with unique and contemporary gowns in stock. They have a huge focus on customer service and luxurious one-on-one consultations for brides of all shapes and sizes to find the perfect wedding dress.
What do they see trending in 2018 and beyond? They agree that sleeves are going to be big (literally and figuratively!): “It’s still all about the sleeves in 2018! Especially the off the shoulder sleeves, and bell sleeves are still very much the sought after look. Trendy and daring brides will also be rocking the exaggerated, oversized flowy sleeves as it will be one of 2018’s biggest bridal trends.” They also foresee a lot of black: “Black accents are back. You will see lots of black belts, black florals and even black wedding dresses on the runway!”
You can find Designer Bridal House at 602 Sydney Road, Brunswick.
So there we have it. 2018 promises to be a stellar year in weddings, and we can’t wait to see all the stunning dresses and other wedding details brides are choosing! Thanks so much to all the Melbourne wedding dresses stores and designers for being so willing to chat with us about this, and for allowing us to take photos in your boutiques. We really believe that wedding dress shops Melbourne wide are some of the best in the world, and we’re excited to share your work!
Oh, and if you’ve already got your wedding dress sorted, these stores and designers may also be able to help you find bridesmaid dresses Melbourne, flower girl dresses Melbourne and other event dresses. Any excuse to wear one of these lovely pieces is a good one!