Dress test

This Tara Keely gown features an off-the-shoulder neckline.

This Tara Keely gown features an off-the-shoulder neckline.

Local wedding gown trends reflect national styles

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

Tattoo lace, which features lace over illusion netting as seen in this Tara Keely gown, is expected to be popular in 2016.

Tattoo lace, which features lace over illusion netting as seen in this Tara Keely gown, is expected to be popular in 2016.

Many women dream about the moment they will try on a wedding dress and know it’s the one they want to wear when they meet their groom at the altar.

But not all brides-to-be know exactly what style of dress they want without researching current trends and knowing what types of gowns and style options are available.

Colleen Hopwood, owner of Bella Couture in Mt Laurel, sees thousands of wedding gowns and keeps track of the trends that dominate the bridal market each year.

Hopwood examined several local and national trends for the 2016 season.

One of the ongoing trends in the Birmingham area is the bohemian, or “boho,” chic look, Hopwood said.

“It’s been around for a while,” Hopwood said.

The boho chic style features flowing gowns with minimal or no beading, floral or organic lace and short trains (or no trains), perfect for barn weddings and paired with flower wreaths for the hair and asymmetrical bouquets.

Hopwood said most brides want strapless, V-neck or sweetheart necklines.

Gowns with low or plunging backs are popular, Hopwood said, and lace fit-and-flare gowns are an “across the board” trend.

Designer Justin Alexander’s 2016 collection includes lace fit-and-flare gowns and gowns with beading, she said.

Regarding color, national trends show blush pinks, nude and sand colors topping the list, along with ivory and off-white shades.

Local trends are following suit, according to Hopwood.

“We don’t sell any truly white dresses any more,” Hopwood said.

The No. 1 national trend this season was bateau necklines, which are similar to boat necks, creating a “simple and elegant, Audrey Hepburn look,” Hopwood said.

Another national trend Hopwood saw at Fashion Week in New York City this year was floral prints.

Lazaro, one of the designers Hopwood carries at her shop, finished his collection with a floral-print gown.

“You kind of have to have a bold personality to wear a print,” Hopwood said. “It’s very non-traditional.”

Prints and heavy brocades were common wedding attire in the Middle Ages and 1900s, she said, noting brides didn’t wear white.

“It’s almost like the industry is stepping back in time (with) heavy vintage and Victorian inspiration,” she said.

Bell sleeves and high necklines with Mandarin or choker-style collars have entered the market.

Another trend among brides, nationally and locally, is a gown that can be transformed into two looks: One for the ceremony and one for the reception.

Overskirts can be layered over short or slim gowns to create a ball gown or A-line gown, and then removed for a lighter, more stylish look.

Jackets are another trendy way to have two wedding looks without buying two dresses, Hopwood said.

Although Hopwood hasn’t added any to her inventory yet, pantsuits for brides entered the national market a couple of years ago.

“That’s a trend I’m not so sure is going to trickle down,” she said.

Fabrics and materials play a significant role in wedding gowns.

Organza is making a comeback, while tulle is waning a bit, according to Hopwood.

“A lot of designers are doing English net, also known as “feaux silk,” which is a finer weave than tulle,” she said.

Tattoo lace and lace-layering to give a dress dimension are popular.

“The layering has been around for a few years,” Hopwood said. “Enzoani started doing lace layers a few years ago.”

A local trend Hopwood still sees brides gravitate toward is a layered, “fun” hemline with ruffles, tiers or other features of interest.

Feathers can also be found on some of today’s gowns.

“Most designers use ostrich or swan feathers,” Hopwood said. “They are definitely a one-time wear kind of thing. Feathers really do get into the couture realm.

Regardless of national and local trends, Hopwood emphasized the importance of brides choosing gowns that fit their individual preferences.

“It really boils down to what the bride wants and what makes her feel comfortable and what makes her feel beautiful on the day of her wedding,” Hopwood said.

Strapless gowns, like this Lazaro dress, remain popular options for local brides, according to Bella Couture owner Colleen Hopwood.

Strapless gowns, like this Lazaro dress, remain popular options for local brides, according to Bella Couture owner Colleen Hopwood.

SportsPlus

Columbiana

Columbiana United Methodist Church treats kids to VBS weekend

Alabaster Main Story

Children enjoy activities, helping others during VBS at Kingwood Church

280 Main Story

North Shelby’s Nick Dunlap wins Barracuda Championship, first to win as amateur and pro in same year

280 Main Story

Victim transported to hospital after domestic shooting

280 Main Story

Earning their rings: Oak Mountain alumni Toni and Nicole Payne’s journey to playing for Nigeria in Olympics

280 Main Story

Chelsea’s Lauren Buchanan wins North MVP honors, Spain Park, Pelham players also feature in North-South Game

Lifestyles

Salsa in the Park sequel set for September

Lifestyles

Post 555 sponsors students at 87th annual Alabama American Legion Boys State

280 Main Story

Spain Park, Oak Mountain State Park host Hartford Nationals for athletes with disabilities

280 Main Story

Spain Park players lead area kids in football camp

280 Main Story

Thompson, Chelsea, Spain Park softball stars play key roles in North-South All-Star Game

280 Main Story

Briarwood’s Sawyer Felton earns assist, Oak Mountain, Westminster OM players feature in big North All-Stars victory

280 Main Story

Spain Park’s Addy Soehn scores twice, Briarwood’s Taylor Leib wins MVP in North All-Stars blowout win

Alabaster Main Story

Alabaster juvenile identified as Helena Publix arsonist

Alabaster Main Story

From food service to food ministry: Paul Curcio to begin Brother Paul’s BBQ in Alabaster

Alabaster Main Story

Construction progresses on Alabaster’s new amphitheater

News

Pelham High School announces school registration days

Helena

New Vision Christian Church plans three-day event for August

Alabaster Main Story

Thompson’s annual football camp provides fun memories for Alabaster community

Columbiana

Columbiana achieves Tree City USA designation

Alabaster Main Story

Shelby Baptist receives national recognition for commitment to stroke care

280 Main Story

Grandview recognized for commitment to stroke care

280 Main Story

Chelsea’s Haley Trotter scores double figures in North All-Stars win over South

280 Main Story

Chelsea approves change to form of government, increase to future council pay