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Wedding Dress Trends from Charleston Fashion Week 2016

Spun Gold and See-Through Lace Take the Runway

Individuality, figure-revealing clothing and departure from tradition are growing norms in today’s culture, and this is starting to show up in the luxurious world of bridal fashion too.

Where once upon a time, formal white ball gowns ruled wedding day fashion, today’s bridal gowns are moving in other directions. This, if anything, was the theme of the 2016 Charleston Spring Bridal Show.

You never know what kind of surprises you’ll come across both with the fashion and the attendees, like a surprise engagement on the runway! SB&G photographer Cara Galati of f8 Photo Studios was front and center to capture all the best looks and moments during the show (even a live proposal – shown below).
Charleston Fashion WeekSurprise proposalBridal Fashion ShowsThere were lots of eye-opening trends featured on the runway this season. To be clear, white – or at least ivory – are still present on bridal runways, but golds as well as other metallics and blushes are being used more often. All these tones were on display during Fashion Week, where strapless gowns, back and side cutouts, bare midriffs, and sheer lace also appeared in most of the collections.
Short style bridal dressesBridal gowns with cut outs2016 wedding dress fashion trendsFeatured Designer Kelly Faetanini, whose gowns range in price from $2,500 to $5,000 retail, literally set the tone for the show. The first designer to take the runway, several of her gowns were made from metallic gold fabric. Others featured gold embellishments.
Gold wedding dressesMany were figure-skimming and the trends captured in Faetanini’s collection – like many others on display that day – exposed bare midriffs, or were fully backless or backless covered by a layer of sheer fabrics. Others featured side cutouts, back cutouts or had bodices made from lace without much else underneath. In other words, modesty was not an issue.
Kelly Faetanini wedding dressesHer collection, and others, also included several dresses that harkened back a century to Jean Harlow’s Hollywood as well as modified mermaids.

The collection from White on Daniel Island, which featured Designer Jessica Williams of Alvina Valenta also included gowns with gold embellishments, as well as lace cut-outs, see-through sides, and lace see-through bodices as well as plunging necklines. In this assortment of gowns, however, cutouts and sheer lace were found on formal ball gowns with wide sweeping skirts.
Wedding dress with gold embellishmentsSheer lace wedding dressSheer back wedding dressesA few of these trends – particularly, gold-toned wedding dresses, sheer bodices, bare midriffs and cutouts – began to appear last year at the 2015 Charleston Fashion Week fashion show. This year, however, these bolder styles began to take on a stronger presence.
Gold and champagne wedding gownsTop wedding gown designersRevealing wedding dress trendsIn fact, you could say that at this year’s Charleston Fashion Week, less truly was more.  Is this a growing trend or will the pendulum swing back or even move in an altogether different direction next year?

Given this year’s show, it will be interesting to see where Charleston Fashion Week 2017 takes us, style-wise. So, stay tuned because we’ll be returning to find out.

Glenna Musante is an award-winning writer who specializes in bridal, fashion, travel and the textile industry. She is a former writer for the Raleigh News & Observer.

Photos by Cara Galati, owner and lead photographer at f8 Photo Studios

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