There was something missing at New York's Bridal Market last week as my colleague Xochitl Gonzales so brilliantly pointed out. But there was also something there in relative abundance, something important and exciting for brides everywhere...
Yes, pant suits...but why are pant suits so exciting to see at Bridal Market?
Just think about all the brides who don't want to wear a wedding dress! For example "encore brides" - that is, second, third and fourth time brides -- are a huge and growing market. These are often women who don't want to walk the aisle in a traditional dress. These encore brides can feel elegant, look sexy and still be fashionable -- in pant suits. I know, I know it sounds like an oxymoron but you have to see these suits!
And then there are the lesbian brides, 58 percent of whom have at least one partner in a suit or tux. In the hundreds of same-sex weddings I've planned, one of the biggest challenges my lesbian clients have faced is what to wear -- especially since many don't feel comfortable wearing a wedding dress.
I've heard horror stories from my lesbian clients who've asked about white wedding suits at one of the major national bridal retailers, only to receive blank stares and awkward silences.
And most ready-to-wear suits look like you could go to your wedding on Saturday and a board meeting on Monday. Many times the fabric isn't wedding-elegant. But most frequently, there are just slim pickings out there on the shelves of even the finest department stores, and the shopping process alone is depressing.
My clients frequently end up going the custom suit route -- which always looks fantastic but is simply not an affordable option for many brides.
But hooray for Bridal Market! At least three different designers featured tasteful and stylish white suit designs. Sarah Jassir showed us beautiful fitted suits and tuxes, while Fancy New York offered designs with move movement and flow. Theia offered an adorable bridal jumpsuit for the sportier bride.
Sarah Jassir's show was even dedicated to marriage equality and concluded with one bride in a white suit and one in a white dress holding hands down the runway. That's pretty impressive progress and very notable in a traditional industry.
You may have noticed that legendary designer Vera Wang's collection this year featured many dresses in black. I'd love to see that become a trend. Next year, bring on the black pant suits. My butch brides will be thrilled!
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