To my sister, if you’re reading this: please watch seasons 1 and 2 of Downton Abbey as quickly as you can. Why? Because we need to discuss the first two episodes of the third season. I’m not spoiling it by saying that each of the episodes for the new season includes a wedding, but for the sake of those who haven’t seen them yet, I’ll say no more. What I’m focusing on for this blog post is the bridal fashion trends that I’m positive we will see more of this year and into early 2014 (or at least I’m hoping so). In addition to the wedding gowns of the ladies of Downton, Baz Luhrman’s vision of The Great Gatsby for the big screen is sure to reinforce many of the trends from the 1920s, but with a bit of an American twist.
If you want a Michael Bay over-the-top style movie without the Michael Bay explosions, Baz Luhrman is your man.
Here’s a close-up of some of those fashions…
In the first picture, she has a dress with an illusion neckline, a dropped waist, and one of the most-requested colors for bridesmaids dresses for this year. (My shop calls it “wisteria,” but I’m sure we’ll be seeing this light purple color popping up in other places.) In the top right, you can see some of the opulent accessories that are becoming more popular, including heavily embellished headpieces/hair clips and bold bracelets. I like that this one features layers of pearls, another staple of 1920s flapper fashions. For a great example of bridesmaids’ dress similar to the picture on the left, look no further than this dress from David’s Bridal:
Bridal gown designers are taking good notes on these trends, too. These are a few of my favorites with vintage inspiration.
I could easily see Lady Mary in this dress, especially if her American grandmother, Martha Levinson (portrayed by Shirley MacClaine), had any say in the matter.
I love the pearls with this dress. There’s something so elegant about pearls and antique lace. To switch it up a bit for the reception, throw on several other strands in different lengths.
This style is much more suited to Daisy Buchanan (played by Mulligan in the film), especially with the dazzling sequins, plunging neckline, and soft, sheer material. Because BHLDN is the site I immediately thought of when considering where to find vintage-inspired dresses, I must also recommend that you check out the Omelia gown, the Lace Inlay dress, and the Lita gown. Of all the dresses featured, the Lita gown reminds me most of Downton everyday style… just in ivory.
To top off these looks from a bygone era, I scoured the internet to find the right accessories. Add any of these to your look for a little vintage sophistication.
1. Demeter Halo from BHLDN, $180
2. Tulip Damask Chandelier Earrings from Forever 21, $6.80
3. Bold Crystal and Diamond Bracelet from David’s Bridal, $30
4. Pearls from anywhere. Really, just check yard sales or antique stores. You might find them at Charming Charlie’s, too.
Last but certainly not least, perhaps my favorite Downton-inspired piece is the Athena, a Grecian leaf headpiece by Etsy artist PompAndPlumage. I’m crazy in love with this antique brass headpiece and it reminds me so much of the Grantham “family heirloom” both Lady Mary and Lady Edith wore for their back-to-back weddings.
So that’s it. I predict we’ll see many more slim, drop-waist silhouettes, lace, ivory, soft and sheer fabrics, intricate beading, pearls, and art deco headbands. Several of the brides I’ve worked with are straying away from the poofy princess gowns and wondering what dresses might look like without the crinoline (which helps the dress hold its fullness in the bottom) underneath. If you’d like to see more examples of this style and other items, including invitations, centerpieces, and cakes, check out the Downton Abbey Wedding and the Great Gatsby Inspired Weddings Pinterest boards.