By Emily Kopec.
Calling all brides-to-be on the cutting edge of fashion! PULSE takes a look at this year’s most stunning gowns. Don’t be afraid to push the envelope and dazzle ‘em in one of these three unique and gorgeous styles you can make all your own.
The late Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy ~ a style icon with her effortless, chic look ~ caused a media sensation when she donned a simple sheath dress for her 1996 nuptials to John F. Kennedy, Jr. It may have been over a decade ago, but their famous wedding picture exudes a fresh and exciting quality to this day. Her memorable dress is proof you don’t need lots of frilly details to nail a beautiful high-end look. A sheath dress is rather simple in design, made of charmeuse or a similar lighter-weight, liquid-y material, and literally skims the body, accentuating every curve. (No, this style isn’t ideal for the fuller-figured bride). If you’ve racked up long hours at the gym and want to show off your hard work in a classy and elegant way, this is a fabulous choice. A sheath dress glides closely over the skin ~ especially around the hip area ~ and drapes the body ever-so-gracefully, falling to the ground in swishy, fuller volume. It should have little to no embellishments. The overall look? Both distinguished and hot. To take it over the top, choose one with a cowl neck and pull your hair back tight and low. You’ll look like you belong on the red carpet. Watch out, here comes the paparazzi ~ er, I mean your wedding photographer ~ again. Well, same thing, right?
White Silk Charmeuse sheath, empire crystal and pearl beaded bodice, matching straps, cascade back, sweep train from Jim Hjelm
Completing the Look
If your sheath dress has a cowl neck, choose a pair of luxurious earrings and skip the necklace. There’s something about a cowl neck ~ like a plunging v-neck ~ that just looks best bare. But if your dress has a different neckline that lends itself to a necklace, then rock that necklace, girlfriend. Beware of multiple, intricate pieces, though; your sheath dress is so darn sexy and sophisticated in that understated way, it doesn’t need to be pumped up with a bunch of bling. When considering a hairstyle, think polished and confident…Imagine your hair tied back in a mid-level knot, a la Angelina Jolie. Your husband-to-be can wear a classic tux ~ if black isn’t his thing, at least have him stick with a dark shade.
This style is making a huge splash right now because, well, who the hell doesn’t want to get married looking like a Greek goddess in a flowing, white silk chiffon number? Pin some flowers or a beaded, sparkling hair comb to one side of your loosely pulled-back waves and toast your love with a glass of ouzo, and you’re practically in Santorini. Grecian dresses were an insanely popular choice among celebrities at this year’s Golden Globes and SAG awards and it’s clear why. These dresses have that “I’m innocent-yet-sexy” look (ladies, you know what I’m talking about here) and ~ bonus! ~ they have a forgiving cut, whichever variation on the look you choose. Also, you look like you’re not trying too hard, yet you emit a sensual European aura. This very feminine style is perfect for outdoor weddings, including beach nuptials. The Grecian wedding dress will usually have spaghetti straps, a halter-top, or be strapless. High-necked ~ gasp ~ is also a pretty option (known as “bateau” in the world of bridal couture). Your Grecian dress shouldn’t have loads of embellishments. What it should have is an empire waist (hitting not far below the bust line) and an abundance of loose folds of silky fabric that drape over your legs. What it should do is flow gloriously with you as you walk ~ Think of creamy satin moving in fluid waves, like the Mediterranean sea lapping the shore. Yum. Apply pastel-hued make-up with a lighter touch ~ Maybe a sweet pink cheek with a raspberry lip ~ and your inner Greek goddess is unleashed. Now you’re ready to smash some wine glasses. Opa!
Completing the look
Try some delicate, dangling earrings with a necklace that doesn’t scream “bridal” (remember, you don’t have to get your wedding jewelry from the bridal shop ~ why not go someplace unexpected like a thrift store to find a crystal vintage piece?). Stay true to this highly feminine look and stay away from anything really bold ~ unless it’s in your hair. Greek goddesses loved decorating their hair, so go with your personal favorite, whether it’s a tiara or a nature-inspired hair accessory like fresh flowers. Stay away from the severe “classic up-dos” that are all over those bridal hair mags and choose a soft, relaxed style. If you feel most feminine with your hair down, wear it down. Your groom can pull off a lightweight tux in gray or even white. Think summery, carefree, and ~ most of all ~ romantic.
It all started when J-Lo wore that plunging-to-the-navel green dress to an awards show awhile back. (I don’t think anyone remembers exactly what awards show it was, but we all remember that dress). I’m not advising you to go that low, but a deep v-neck done tastefully can look quite striking on a bride. It commands attention and you appear 100% confident and sexy on your big day. However, beware if you have, ahem, extremely ample assets; this style may be too risqué to pull off (no pun intended!) for your wedding (it’s not a lingerie show, after all). If you do decide to go for broke, though, make sure to get the same double-sided tape that kept J-Lo’s girls covered that night: www.hollywoodfashiontape.com/products_wedding_apparel.cfm. Smaller-breasted brides can rock this look to the max, too, as long as they check their shyness at the rehearsal dinner. So if you do take the plunge, make sure you’re mentally prepared to show some skin … and look smoking hot.
Silk satin gown with wide V neckline and tufted skirt by Monique Lhuillier
Completing the look
Although some brides think they should wear a necklace to “fill up” the clavicle area since it’s so, um, bare, consider that the true beauty of a plunging v-neck comes through on its own and it doesn’t need any embellishments. Unlike with other necklines such as strapless, a necklace can clutter and break up this angular look. Instead, go for big chandelier drop earrings and you’ll pack a punch without detracting from your style. Consider pulling back the front section of your hair with a jeweled clip and letting it fall in deep waves in back. A very formal tux will compliment your plunging v-neck dress perfectly, so you’re allowed to pull a “Bennifer the First” and force your man to wear a high-end, expensive-looking tux even if he’s not a flashy kind of guy. Tell him it’s just for a day, for God’s sake.