Bridal. A genre of fashion we don’t often explore – given that most of my close friends have tie the knot and the thought of doing so myself hasn’t really come to mind. But all that aside, we know a terrible wedding gown when we see one, especially as we drive through certain suburbs where meringue-style creations are on display for all to see in shop windows. So when heard that L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival was putting on a bridal show as their show piece Red Carpet Runway, we knew to expect something spectacular – why wouldn’t it be with the likes of Akira Isogawa, Collette Dinnigan, Aurelio Costarella, Gwendolynne, Rachel Gilbert and Toni Maticevski on the designer list?
And the result? It was an absolute show stopper.
Collette Dinnigan opened the show with beautiful princess gowns that featured embellished waistlines, dipping backs, embellished bodices with full tulle skirts and her classic halter neck style.
We had our breathe taken away by Akira Isogawa’s dreamy creations that took inspiration from his quirky ready-to-wear collection but gave the bridal wear a more classic and timeless twist with embroidery and lace applique.
Aurelio Costarella embraced his love of applique, embellishment and feather to create luxurious and regal gowns that we would take with us to a medieval castle wedding.
Taking a more subtle turn, Rachel Gilbert’s wedding gowns featured a little less “bling” than we expected, making gowns fit for a (real) royal princess. Sequins and other sparkly embellishments were used with subtly, using to enhance her elegant shapes and show off the body’s shapely form.
We had expected exquisite creations from Gwendolynne Burkin, the Melbourne designer known for her love of the more romantic eras of fashion. Bridal wear was right up her all with beautiful art dceo inspired gowns paired with beautiful headwear by her regular collaborator, milliner Richard Nylon.
To close the show was Toni Maticevski, who gave us a modern avant guard pieces that turned fashion into wearable art. His bridal wear never fails to take my breathe away with the magical way he can combine fabrics and styles into one effortless dress.
The final touches of glowing makeup, sleek hair and oversized but elegant floral bouquets were perfection. Oh and the male models dressed up as grooms in slick Harrolds suits also were not a bad thing – does a groom like that come with a dress purchase?
All photos by Lucas Dawson Photography