Let’s face it, wedding dress shopping can be intimidating sometimes. Especially if you are looking for this a dress that you recently saw on the catwalk during Bridal Fashion Week. But we’re here to say that finding the dress of your dreams doesn’t have to be an impossible task.
“One of the great advantages of the bride is that the pieces shown at Bridal Fashion Week are produced for commercial value,” says Micaela Erlanger, fashion and bridal stylist. “Which means that what you see presented will be available for purchase by the consumer. ”
Runway looks are more accessible than you might think, and there are plenty of ways for you to get your hands on the perfect dress. For all the inside secrets, we’ve asked designers, buyers, and wedding industry experts to share everything you need to know about shopping, from the runway to the rack.
What is Bridal Fashion Week and when does it take place?
New York Bridal Fashion Week is an industry event where designers and brands unveil their latest collections, twice a year in October and April, to brides, retail buyers and the media. It’s a time when trends are set, and wedding lovers around the world can get a glimpse of the bridal fashion industry. As of today, new wedding dresses are coming out virtually, via video lookbooks, editorial campaigns and pre-recorded films.
How to buy the latest collections
If you’ve seen the dress of your dreams walk the runway, you might be wondering: How can I buy it? Fortunately, there are a surprising amount of ways you can shop for a runway look before and after its release.
Brands like BHLDN, for example, offer pre-orders for their dresses, while other brands host fashion shows. “The fastest way for brides to try out the new collection is to go to a trunk show,” says designer Monique Lhuillier. “We organize trunk shows in our flagship stores immediately after the collection show, and then the collection travels around the world to our authorized retailers. By purchasing a show trunk, the bride gets exclusive access to the new collection before it hits stores later in the year.
Christy Baird, Creative Director of Loho Bride, also promotes the benefits of shopping a catwalk: “A lot of brides don’t always understand what catwalks are, but it’s really the best way to shop for a look that’s coming. to be sent to the track. ! ”She adds,“ For one to two weeks, stores welcome full new collections, and best of all, a discount is offered. ”
Micaela Erlanger advises brides to be open to working directly with the brand of their choice. “Contacting a showroom coordinator can often be of great support during the buying process. Buying a wedding dress is a personal experience, and you will find [that the brands] are here to help, both in person and virtually.
Aside from fashion shows, ecommerce platforms are the next best options for shopping for the latest bridal runway dresses. “There are some great ecommerce platforms that work with a wide range of wedding designers. Moda Operandi and Net-a-Porter have some of the highest and most organized selections. I also suggest that if a designer doesn’t. has no e-commerce capabilities, check their reseller list and [see] where they sell, ”notes Erlanger.
And lately, many brands have had to adapt to the present times and create new online offerings. Sarah Swann, Creative Director at Amsale, said Brides, “Amsale.com is our beloved virtual showroom. A truly integrated e-commerce platform, which not only delivers looks immediately off the runway, but includes our virtual fitting service; through which future brides can upload a photo of themselves and see what a dress looks like on their body.
It’s important to note, however, that the biggest exception here is for sewing pieces, which are only sold in stores.
How to get a runway look on a timeline
On average, new bridal looks take three to six months to produce. While this timeframe is pretty standard in the industry, some brands have gotten creative with their releases.
The wedding e-commerce platform, Little L, hosts wedding brands that typically offer virtual launches on Instagram. Once the collection is available, Little L will prepare the pieces ready for purchase on their website or social pages. Co-Founder and Director Lily Dixey says, “We wanted to make the approach to bridal shopping much more accessible, because we believe that today (in the age of social media) brides want the latest. collections much earlier, especially when I got a taste of the new catwalk collections.
Other brands, like BHLDN, David’s Bridal and Marchesa, have cut wait times by starting production ahead of Bridal Fashion Week. “By the time our dresses are previewed at Bridal Fashion Week,” explains a representative from Marchesa, “they are already in the early stages of production.” Kaity Gaskill, BHLDN Bridal Buyer, adds, “We set up our production process ahead of Bridal Fashion Week, to make sure every dress is ready for production immediately. And deliver to all the brides as soon as possible to meet their wedding date.
Nancy Viall, Director of Merchandising at David’s Bridal, further emphasizes: “Our teams of exceptional merchants work with designers to market our exclusive bridal brands alongside the runway shows. This process ensures that we are always and forever up to date, modern and relevant with every dress in our assortment. ”
Finally, there are luxury resale sites like The RealReal, where brides can immediately go for instant purchases. “Luxury resale is a really attractive option for finding edgy wedding looks, whether your style is a couture wedding dress, a less traditional runway piece, or a one-of-a-kind vintage dress. With resale, you get instant gratification rather than the traditional six-month wait time for made-to-order parts, ”said a representative for the brand. Married. However, the only downside to reselling is that this option only offers collections from past catwalks, rather than the most recent seasons.
The last takeaway
When shopping for the latest designer pieces, make a game plan and make sure you stay on top of the latest shows and delivery dates, for both online and in-store purchases. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to find the dress you saw on the catwalk. Plus, Brides’ Bridal Fashion Week cover is a great jumping off point for all designer photos and bridal fashion trends.