Words By Suzie Bakos
‘I think the modern bride is all about dressing in a way that’s true to yourself,’ says Tish Weinstock. ‘It’s less about conforming to trends or sticking to tradition and more about expressing yourself in an authentic way.’ It’s a mantra the ‘British Vogue’ beauty editor embraced on her own wedding day last year — a truly unique celebration that was an Instagram frenzy — which the publication described as a ‘high-drama Halloween wedding.’ ‘I wanted to look part Miss Havisham, part Morticia Addams,’ she explains. ‘Quite goth, quite ghostly, but then also quite romantic and mermaid-like. I knew it had to be vintage, I wanted something with a story behind it. I looked to vintage John Galliano dresses for the ultimate in ethereal decadence.’
Who better, in this case, to shine a light on the summer’s most noteworthy designers turning tradition on its head with their contemporary takes on bridalwear. Here, Weinstock highlights the brands doing things differently this wedding season. It's time to rip up the rulebook with modern, artful looks from Jacquemus, Cecilie Bahnsen and more.
High glamour: Taller Marmo
Known for reinventing eveningwear, Taller Marmo beautifully bridges the gap between maximalism and modesty. The brand’s one-shoulder dresses and draped kaftans have elevated the house to cult status. So, when it comes to bridalwear, why have so many women opted for a Taller Marmo gown?
‘The Taller Marmo Ubud Extravaganza gown oozes Old Hollywood glamour,’ says Weinstock. ‘It’s giving Joan Didion meets Mary-Kate Olsen. She’s grown-up, has her life all figured out. There’s something very flirty about a cold shoulder, while the decadent feather trim makes this the ultimate bombshell bride moment. The beautiful ivory color and mid-weight fabric allows the drapery to waft around elegantly. I’d pair this dress with Jil Sander's pearl drop earrings because they whisper elegance. Pearls are obviously very traditional and yet these earrings feel incredibly modern. They’re delicate but unfussy, with a strong sense of design which lends itself to the overall look.’
Artful details: Jacquemus
When Simon Porte Jacquemus tied the knot with his long-term partner Marco Maestri in August 2022, many of his wedding guests — including Dua Lipa and Amina Muaddi — wore white Jacquemus pieces. This move away from the traditional idea of wedding guests never wearing white was an ode to the progressive wedding itself, where the designer wore his own white wedding dress in the evening. Personal celebrations aside, the French designer creates looks fit for the new era of brides who favor an artistic, less-is-more approach that’s perfect pairing for an European high-summer wedding.
Weinstock says: ‘The La Robe Maille Alca is really chic. Slinky and sexy, it accentuates the curves for a feminine feel without being too girly. And the Jacquemus La Robe Abanada is a lesson in minimalist elegance. It’s form-fitting to accentuate curves — there’s a cute little cutout detail at the side and it has adjustable lingerie straps so you can perfect the fit. This is your Monica Bellucci moment. I’d style this dress with Magda Butrym floral satin heels. These are really delicate shoes which give a frisson to an otherwise understated look.’
Modern silhouettes: Khaite
When polished wardrobe staples are in your brand’s DNA, it’s natural that fans look to you for more than the everyday pieces. A New York favorite, Khaite’s refined minimalism and interesting, elegant proportions serve as memorable aisle moments. ‘The Punzel dress is the ultimate fairy-tale moment,’ notes Weinstock. ‘The hint is in the name: Punzel, as in Rapunzel, she of the long hair. It’s got a really gorgeous dropped waist and softly pleated skirt which feels very elegant and grown-up. The bare shoulders are very alluring and feminine without being too girly — it’s very classic. It would be quite fun to start out in the Punzel dress and then slip into the Carina sequined silk dress after dinner for your party-girl moment.’
‘Both looks would work really well with Proenza Schouler's square-toe mules, which give the look a sense of 1990s cool,’ adds Weinstock. ‘They’re also super comfortable which is key for weddings, as aisles can be long and treacherous.’
New romanticism: Cecilie Bahnsen
It would be impossible to speak to the modern bride without mentioning Cecilie Bahnsen. Romantic, experimental, showstopping — the brand’s couture-like craftsmanship creates dresses fit for an expressionist bride. ‘Cecilie Bahnsen’s Beth plissé empire-line dress is so pared-back and chic,’ advises Weinstock. ‘The voluminous shape is offset by the thin, delicate straps. It’s fun, flirty and feminine, but the architectural shape gives it a sense of gravitas and an overall edge. Elsewhere, the brand’s Snow dress is a real Courtney Love moment.’
‘I would pair both of these looks with Sophie Bille Brahe’s pearl bow earrings. Bows can sometimes feel quite frivolous, but this particular pair is made with freshwater pearls and 14-karat gold which keeps them elevated. They're really delicate and beautiful, the perfect added detail.’
Vintage touches: Jenny Packham
Embracing a more-is-more aesthetic, Jenny Packham's evening gowns walk the line between impactful and sophisticated. ‘The label's embellished Zooey dress embodies Hollywood glamour,’ says Weinstock, ‘like Marilyn Monroe or Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala. The plunging V-shaped neckline and halter silhouette are incredibly sexy, while the silver crystals ensure all eyes are on you. [Another option fit for the modern bride], the Kenzy gown has a really beautiful, very flattering silhouette with intricate rhinestone detailing. It's semi-sheer so it has that diaphanous, ethereal feel. It’s got a 1930s essence to it which I love. Personally, I would probably remove the lining as I love a naked dress.’
‘In terms of styling, I would wear both of these Jenny Packham dresses with Jennifer Behr’s Staci earrings. Their chandelier shape gives them that extra touch of glamour, and their very delicate nature means they won’t overpower the dress.’