Straight off the catwalk, founder of award-winning bridal boutique Minster Designs, Oxana gives the lowdown on the hottest trends for brides in 2018
If 2018 is the year you are planning your wedding, then top of the to-do list should be finding the perfect dress. The latest fashions and trends for 2018 are now emerging and whether brides-to-be are going for boho-chic, romantic, or full-on glamour, Oxana of Minster Designs in Wimborne, Dorset, has the top trends to keep in mind when planning a 2018 wedding look.
“Bridal separates are super-in for 2018 weddings,” says Oxana. “This fashion gives brides the chance to customise their wedding dress by choosing the top and skirt separately so that they can create a dress that is unique to them. It makes it even more special and personal. But looking beautiful is only part of finding the right dress; it’s so important that the bride feels really comfortable in what she’s wearing too so that she can relax and enjoy the day.” Bridal separates first hit the catwalk in 2014 and the trend has grown and grown. Contemporary brides are attracted by the versatility and choice offered by mixing and matching tops and skirts.
Brides can also blend fabrics and textures – silk, satin, chiffon, lace – in a way that reflects their personality and individual style. There is now such a wide selection to choose from: silk is never just silk. As Oxana explains: “It can be a light and diaphanous deluxe dupiano silk, a rustling silk taffeta or a much heavier Mikado silk which is ideal for more structured dresses and great for cool weather weddings; similarly, lace is a perennial favourite both as the main fabric and as decoration. Soft French lace with its traditional patterns is as bewitching as ever and graphic lace with its bold, modern shapes gives the fabric an edgier up-to-the-minute look.” The word ‘lace’ derives from the latin ‘laceum’ meaning ‘enticing’ – a word which explains its enduring appeal. It’s used to great effect for the tops in the separates collections. These range from intricate, bead-embellished lace corsets with alluring sweetheart necklines to delicate translucent tops with demure high necks. They can be teamed with fairytale swathes of delicate silk tulle, sophisticated and sleek Bellagio crepe or body-hugging Hollywood-style satin glamour. What’s more, brides can continue to ring the changes throughout their special day: swapping a long, romantic skirt for a fun and flirty fifties-inspired retro look for the evening’s celebrations.
Another equally successful and dramatic way of transforming your look from daytime ceremony to evening celebration is to choose a dress with a detachable train. Oxana says; “A wonderful example of this is a dress by internationally acclaimed designer Martina Liana: a swirling train gives an enchanting, picture-book princess look, perfect for a romantic day; remove it to create a sophisticated satin sheath dress which will wow your party guests. Intricate lace cap sleeves and a glamorous cut-out back mean this dress is on-trend in every way.”
Popular for 2018, especially in the separates range, is the use of hardly-there ‘illusion fabrics’ – finely woven, very sheer, gossamer-light net giving the illusion of bare skin – hence their name. These gorgeous fabrics are used as a base for highly decorative and embellished sleeves, necklines and backs: designs can combine an illusion high neck with a dramatic plunging v-neck, or a romantic off-the-shoulder look with ornate long sleeves. As the bride will have her back to her guests for a large part of the wedding ceremony (and later on the dance floor), a beautiful back is as essential as a beautiful front. Illusion racer backs and intricately detailed cameo backs look stunning from any angle.
Oxana continues: “A newer trend is colour. Of course, white, ivory and cream remain favourites but there is definitely a move towards colour – lovely, subtle, pastel and blush shades are increasingly popular. And bolder colours like red, charcoal and even black are becoming more usual – this is particular so with the separates. It also means that these beautiful items can have a life beyond that one special day – and can be worn separately or as an ensemble on other occasions.”