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Fashion & Beauty

Enduring designer style

Bridal boutiques unveil season’s dreamiest dresses

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Bridal boutiques unveil season’s dreamiest dresses

When a bride looks back on her wedding day, oftentimes, she wants her style to seem timeless. 

Today’s trends strive to achieve a look that can appear as lovely and fresh today as it would 10 or even 50 years later. Designers are trying to achieve this difficult task by taking inspiration from fashion icons, such as Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn.

To step out in style on your big day, local bridal boutiques – Magnolia Bridal, The Crystal Bride and Veiled in Elegance – have teamed up to share this season’s hottest trends.

Wedding gown glamour

Ashley Patyk – owner of Magnolia Bridal, which opened in 2015 – hand selects the dresses and accessories available at her downtown St. Charles store.

“I am a very traditional girl, so I kind of take the trends – and boil them down – and ask, ‘What am I going to love in 10 years?’ she says. “Some of them are beautiful now, but we want to avoid looking back at them and feeling regret.”

A dress may have a simple silhouette, but exquisite details, or subtle underlays of color that add drama. Some of the designs carried at The Crystal Bride in Geneva are incorporating pinks and gold into gowns. 

“When you put a light color behind lace then the lace really pops,” says Nancy McElvenny, owner of The Crystal Bride.

Some of McElvenny’s clients are attracted to dresses with vintage elements from “The Great Gatsby” era, which featured clean lines, she says.

“We’re seeing different fabrications with crepe fabrics – a beautiful matte finish that photographs lovely,” McElvenny says. “It has a little bit of stretch so that it hugs the curves of the bride beautifully.” 

The cut of a bridal gown also contributes to dress trends, says Veiled In Elegance owner Kathy Lager. For great lines and cuts, the downtown Geneva shop owner features Paloma Blanca designs in her store. 

“Low necklines are really popular right now,” says Lager. “What we love about Paloma Blanca is that they do it very tastefully. They make the classic necklines look modern. They fill it in with illusion lace that you can see through.”

Illusion necklines are just one of the structural elements that are trending in bridal gowns this year. All three bridal boutique owners expressed that brides are expressing renewed interest in straps and sleeves. 

 “We’re seeing a lot of sheer sleeves,” Patyk says of this season’s trends. “Really beautiful sheer sleeves – maybe lace – very delicate, such as [designers] Haley Paige and La Sposa. It really balances the dress.”

Having sleeves or straps as part of a dress’s design not only allows for more structure and visual interest, but both features can open up possibilities for back details, such as being completely open or having lace or beading.

Remember the accessories

Accessories also are important elements to consider when pulling together a look.

“White opal is really popular this year – the combination of the white opal with the clear crystal or with a champagne [colored] stone – it’s a very soft look, really nice,” says Lager.

White opal and rose-gold metals can be incorporated into anything, from the dress and shoes to jewelry and hairpieces. Tiaras may be out of style now but there many other options to consider, such as veils or hair clips. 

“Veils continue to be very big, especially cathedral veils,” McElvenny says. “As far as hair accessories, girls are leaning towards headbands, clips or combs … . Flowers are popular for softer, more bohemian looks.”

If the shoe fits

When it comes to shoes, brides are having a little more fun.

 “We only carry one [shoe] designer, Angela Nuran, and she was a dancer,” Lager says. “She was working with brides to help choreograph their dances.” 

A dance background gives the Angela Nuran shoes a great deal of customizable options. They can be dyed to match bridesmaid dresses, embellished with crystals or fitted to any length or width.

Blingy and boho bridesmaids

Bridesmaid dresses often are soft and flowy but, this year, the dresses are receiving a bit of bling. 

“Brides are liking a little bit of sparkle in the bridesmaid dresses,” Lager says. “They’re looking for tulle or chiffon dresses and sometimes with a little sparkle.”

It’s normal for a bride to try to choose a dress that her bridesmaids will likely be able to wear again for another occasion. 

Patyk often looks for bridesmaid dresses that can be worn on a nice date. 

“I’m a huge fan of floral prints,” Patyk says. “I have one dress by Theia – that’s my absolute favorite; it [has] a high neckline and a totally open back. Cuts have really changed in bridesmaid dresses. There are lots of sleeves and flowy and boho looks – I love those – lots of mixing of fabrics, such as a sequins tops and a chiffon skirt; [and] lots of slits this year. I think everyone loves a good slit. You can have that Angelina Jolie moment that everybody wants.”

Whether it’s for the bride or the bridesmaids, the fashion trends of 2017 implement new twists on classic styles. Hopefully, when you look back on your wedding day 10 years from now, you’ll love your dress just as much as when you first walked down that aisle.

If you go

The Crystal Bride
207 W. State St. | Geneva
630-397-5040
www.crystalbride.com

Magnolia Bridal
141 S. 1st St. | St. Charles
630-549-6726
magnoliabridal.com

Veiled In Elegance
21 S. 3rd St. | Geneva
630-208-7133
www.veiledinelegance.com