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23 Must-See Couture Wedding Dresses

Posted: 07/19/2012 11:52 am

By Phillip B. Crook, Brides

Many of the looks from the Fall 2012 couture runway shows earlier this month provided inspiration -- albeit in the form of fantasy -- for fashion-forward brides who have a flair for drama. Here, a look at our favorite wedding-worthy gowns from the likes of Chanel, Elie Saab and Christian Dior.

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  • CHANEL

    With his "New Vintage" couture collection, Karl Lagerfeld proved that Chanel's iconic tweeds and utterly romantic evening gowns are neither a thing of the past nor a musing on the future. They are perfectly "what Chanel should be 100 years after the house opened," Lagerfeld noted at his Fall 2012 show, which concluded with this grand feather coat over a tulle ball gown skirt. Feathers, you can be sure, will be flying into bridal collections for the coming season. <em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?silhouette=ball-gown?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more ball gown wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • CHANEL

    Gown by Chanel, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?style=vintage?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more vintage-inspired wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • CHANEL

    Gown by Chanel, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?silhouette=sheath?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more sheath wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • CHANEL

    Gown by Chanel, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?neckline=high-neck?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more high-neck wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Zuhair Murad

    Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad is a red-carpet favorite with stars like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Blake Lively, and Jennifer Lopez (for whom he created elaborate tour costumes). And it's easy to see why Murad's aesthetic draws such star power. This plunging V-neck wedding gown from his latest collection mingles elements that are often popular with celebrity brides: Delicate lace, sheer details, floral embroideries, and plenty of sex appeal. <em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?fabric=lace?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more lace wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Zuhair Murad

    Gown by Chanel, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?color=red?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more red wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Zuhair Murad

    Gown by Zuhair Murad, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?fabric=lace?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more lace wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Zuhair Murad

    Gown by Zuhair Murad, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?hemline=short_mini?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more short wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Elie Saab

    For Elie Saab, couture's finale bridal gown offered an opportunity to dream beyond his wedding collections for Spanish label Pronovias. This gilded confection turns up the volume on Saab's already ornate sensibility, with a wide-sweeping skirt, a lace-embellished cathedral veil, a barely there illusion neckline, and a flurry of painstakingly placed gold embroidery inspired by the rich designs of the Ottoman Empire. <em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?silhouette=ball-gown?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more ball gown wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Elie Saab

    Gown by Elie Saab, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?sleeve-length=120_long?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more long-sleeve wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Elie Saab

    Gown by Elie Saab, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?hemline=short_mini?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more short wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Elie Saab

    Gown by Elie Saab, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?sleeve-length=sleeveless?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more sleeveless wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Stephane Rolland

    French designer Stephane Rolland isn't shy about making an eccentric statement. Indeed, neither is oft-couture-clad Chinese actress and paparazzi staple Fan Bingbing. So how appropriate, then, that she should suddenly show up on the designer's runway modeling a bridal gown, which dramatically pairs a crisp white column with an oversize cape festooned with feathers. (Granted, with a much different result than Lagerfeld's feathered gown.) <em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?silhouette=sheath?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more sheath wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Stephane Rolland

    Gown by Stephane Rolland, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?silhouette=trumpetmermaid?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more mermaid wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Stephane Rolland

    Gown by Stephane Rolland, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?sleeve-length=long?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more long-sleeve wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Christian Dior

    This was a make-or-break moment at Dior, and for the house's new designer, Raf Simons. On the heels of John Galliano's infamous departure, Simons debuted with an updated take on Christian Dior's nip-waisted, full-skirted style by slimming the silhouette and focusing on colorful, futuristic details. This cropped ball gown, for example, features countless tiny ribbons embroidered over white organza, to the effect of evoking George Seurat's groundbreaking Pointillist paintings. A hint at Simons' plans to revolutionize high fashion? Only the next couture canvas will tell. <em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?hemline=tea-length?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more tea-length wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Christian Dior

    Gown by Christian Dior, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?neckline=v-neck?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more V-neck wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Christian Dior

    Gown by Christian Dior, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?color=red?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more red wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Versace

    If Versace's latest (and boldest) couture collection doesn't read as instantly sexy, something's wrong. Designer Donatella Versace's sleek gowns mingled fitted corsets -- here, in a pale, shimmering gold -- with airy, flowing skirts in glossy fabrics. Her penchant for high-octane glamour is only matched by fellow Italian designer and queen of sexy brides, Ines Di Santo. <em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?silhouette=ball-gown?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more strapless wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Versace

    Gown by Versace, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?neckline=halter?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more haltar wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Giorgio Armani

    In the contrast between soft pastels and shades of midnight, Giorgio Armani found the inspiration for his Privé couture collection -- a moody, romantic landscape of plush fabric and glittering embroidery. While luxurious velvet pants seemed to be the designer's signature this season, his strapless evening gowns offered a modern alternative to brides who crave the Milanese master's effortlessly cool creations. <em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?color=pink?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more pink wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Giorgio Armani

    Gown by Giorgio Armani, Fall 2012.<br><br><em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?style=modern?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more modern wedding dresses</a></em>.

  • Giambattista Valli

    Ruffles! That was the key takeaway from designer Giambattista Valli's third couture collection, which showed voluminous variations on frenzied, swirling layers of raw-edged organza. Ruffles at the shoulder. Ruffles along the hem. Ruffles as skirts. Ruffles as tops. Ruffles -- if this one-shouldered, heavenly pink gown is any indication -- on wedding dresses may not be far behind. <em><a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/wedding-dresses/gallery/dresses/runway/results?neckline=one-shoulder?mbid=synd_huffpo" target="blank">See more one-shoulder wedding dresses</a></em>.

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