Charleston, the most popular wedding destination in the US, is also home to a magnificent fashion week, produced by Charleston Magazine. Each fashion week features a Bridal Fashion Show presented by Charleston Weddings Magazine, which features gorgeous current wedding fashion trends as showcased by Charleston bridal boutiques, and a handful of leading designers who are based in the area.
Cara Galati of f8 Photo Studios and I made the road trip down to SC this spring, and met up with travel writer, Glenna Musante, who authored the recap piece we posted last Monday. Cara grew up in Charleston so acted as my tour guide of sorts, and also spent her time in the photo pit during the fashion show, capturing amazing images of the runway presentation and all the gorgeous styles that we got to preview!
Glenna’s Charleston Fashion Week Bridal Show recap on Monday took us on a tour of some of the top trends we’re seeing this year. We saw SO much gorgeousness that I wanted to follow up with a selection of my favorite wedding gowns from 2015 Charleston Fashion Week Spring Bridal Show. I’d like to give a huge thanks to f8 Photo Studios for these captures.
Enjoy, Southern fashionistas!
Southern Bride & Groom Editor Picks – Favorite Wedding Fashion Styles from 2015 Charleston Fashion Week
Amsale was the featured designer at Charleston Fashion Week’s Spring Bridal Show this year. This was a perfect choice for a fashion show in Charleston – a city that is a leader in the fashion world, but tends to gravitate to a classic Southern style. Amsale is a great choice for the elegant Southern bride, and can be found locally in NC at Nitsa’s in Winston-Salem and Charlotte. These looks cater to brides who embrace a modern look, but sticks to a feminine, clean look that emulates her core principle of “timeless beauty.” See, for example, the Kylie gown (pictured below) – a strapless, hand-beaded natural waist ball gown with a crystal belt.
The Nicole gown (below) is also a perfect example of classic meets modern – her slim, corded lace gown is complemented with a daring twist – a stunning plunging back lace appliqué. Amsale’s fine craftsmanship and use of feminine textures and the finest netting ensures that the low back remains beautifully sophisticated.
Other gowns are more subtle, mixing classic shapes with interesting textures. The Jules gown (below left) is hand-beaded bodice gown with silk textured organza and a soft tulle layers skirt. Or the Ryan (below right) a silk taffeta natural waist ball gown with a corded lace bodice. Both have classic, ball gown look and A-line, but with the added element of netting over the décolletage.The Aileen (below left) gown is a strapless metallic Chantilly lace ball gown layered with blush tule and textured silk organza. The Aida gown (below right) has a notch neck corset bodice on a fit to flare gown in floral jacquard.
Just because a gown is classic doesn’t mean it can’t have bold, rich color. This tulle bridesmaid gown (below) has a touched halter bodice is a show-stopper in luscious Crimson. Mention that Amsale bridesmaids are carried by Bella Bridesmaids, Raleigh and Nitsa’s in Winston-Salem.
Sheer fabrics are a trend, as seen in the Lilly gown from the Christos line, which is a strapless corded lace gown layered with mint tulle and decorated with lace appliqué (below right). A touch of color is also trending, such as the tulle gown with a lace bodice (below left) in Fawn.
You may be familiar with LulaKate as these vibrant and preppy dresses are carried by Bella Bridesmaids here in the Triangle Area. This fashion show was our first time seeing their sister bridal gown line on the runway, and we loved the charming and feminine style of their collection. Below is the Alston gown with a floral embroidered bodice over a Spanish Silk tulle ball gown skirt.
The painted floral dress above is truly a work of art! This McLeod gown by Kate McDonald has an absolutely gorgeous and hand-painted organza ball gown skirt in romantic pink hues.Kate McDonald’s collection played with many different lace patterns. Anna Little White Dress (above left) is an adorable Italian Guipure mini-dress and the Rhett gown (above right) is a gorgeous long-sleeved lace gown with a trumpet skirt – it’s amazing the myriad that is offered and the different moods they can evoke. The Waring gown (below) is a beautiful corded lace ensemble with cutaway skirt and tulle under-layers.
Gown Boutique of Charleston
The Gown Boutique of Charleston presented a collection of fashion-forward modern bridal gown looks.
The Audrey gown by Isabelle Armstrong, pictured above, showcases a bold pattern in subtle silver-blue tones on a classic mermaid ivory shape helps pull off this edgy look. Below, a pant bridal suit pleases us so! The Merlina silk chiffon pant suit by Pronovias has a belt detail and a bow at the neck. What a fabulous option for a casual destination wedding or the bride who doesn’t want a dress!Full gowns with amazing texture are perfect for whimsical brides. The Lazaro gown (below left) in baby blue tulle with a hi-lo skirt and lace bodice is fit for Cinderella. The captivating gown (below right) by Jim Hjelm stands out with its rose embroidered nude tulle ball gown shirt and long sleeves.
Modern Trousseau Charleston
We have visited Modern Trousseau’s location in New York during bridal market the past couple of years with our local NC carrier of this line, Tre Bella Bridal (located in Durham NC). Modern Trousseau is one of Tre Bella’s most popular designers due to their clean, classic style, versatility in designs and allowance for mix and matching of features and patterns. We were excited to visit the second Modern Trousseau flagship location in downtown Charleston while we were in town for Fashion Week, and to see their lovely gowns on the runway!
The Mina gown (above) shows off a Thai silk wrapped bodice with a full skirt that opens to reveal layers of tulle.
Look closely above at this taffeta, V-neck short mini dress (called Dixie) and you’ll see it isn’t just adorable because of its shape – it has a preppy pinstriped pattern!
And more twists on classic shapes and fun textures for added interest – Above left, the Honor gown with a French lace bodice has a dramatic pleased skirt with a hi-lo hemline. Above right, Rain has a sequined lace bodice with layers of blush tulle. Below at left, the Raven gown has tiered layers of soft tulle edged in French chantilly lace. The Kasey gown (below right) is textured with floral patterned Italian Guipure lace with French tulle and lace detail.
Southern Protocol’s presentation was fit for their name – they showed a range of wedding gown styles that encapsulated what is chic in today’s Southern bridal fashion. The two beautiful dresses below, both by designer Heidi Elnora, demonstrate the trend of sleeves which is so en vogue right now. On the bottom left is the Coco Marie gown – a silk fit and flare piece with a flattering sweetheart neckline and off-the-shoulder lace sleeves. The gown to its right is a an attractive conservative look. This Lala Phillips A-line silk gown has a scoop neckline under a detachable pretty lace top, perfect for a church ceremony. Both dresses have a chapel-length train.The first dress below, by designer Heidi Elnora, is a fit-to-flare gown with a scoop neck, low back, adorable bow, and chapel-length train. The second dress below is by designer Carol Hannah. The lace bustier is draped with a Kensington linen ball gown skirt in blush and champagne. Aren’t these gowns just perfect for a Southern Belle?Tea-length dresses are back, in a nod to the Audrey Hepburn era. Below left is the Ollie gown by Heidi Elnora – made of silk with a sweetheart neckline and a full gathered skirt with pockets. The Nadia gown by Nicole Miller, below to the right, is a nod to Charleston with its beads and tassels – a crystal and ostrich feather embellished sheath.The metallic gold look is still in high style, and we cannot get enough of it! The A-line Pyrite gown by Carol Hannah (below left) shimmers with gold foiled silk organza and metallic lace. It also has illusion straps and beading at the waist. Next to it (at right), is the Candace gown by Lea-Ann Belter, a classic mermaid gown with a bit of blush color and an add-on mini-sleeve jacket.
WHITE ON DANIEL ISLAND
The bridal boutique White brought us some edgier wedding fashion looks. We love the look of the Anne Barge dress below – a silk shantung two-piece ensemble.Jenny Packham is adored by fashionistas in the ready-to-wear and bridal worlds alike. Our local Durham salon Tre Bella Bridal is the sole NC carrier of these lines. Check out the unique shape of the sheer sleeves on the Bardot gown (above left) with all its beautiful beading. The Kelly gown (above right) is another lovely shape with unique ruffled shoulder detail made from silk crepe.
Other romantic shapes were seen in the Alencon lace and blush ball gown by Alvina Valenta (above left) and the Londyn gown by Hayley Paige, a silk tulle strapless ball gown (above right). Flowing sheath styles are in for the relaxed bridal look, and are perfected by Jenny Packham: The silk chiffon and beaded Billie gown (below left) has a Grecian vibe, while the beaded tank Kathleen dress is a more glamorous feel (below right).The Kennedy gown (below) by Hayley Paige has shows off shimmery embellishments in a textile pattern halter top with a bridal skirt that moves beautifully.
One Love by Rachel Gordon & Birdsong
Rachel Love with One Love Design is an emerging Charleston designer. We loved her organic boho style and the pairings with local jewelry designer Birdsong. Sweet Siren (below) is an open-back gown made with vintage lace and lightly draped with silk over the skirt to create a flowing ethereal train.The Venus gown (below) showcases a beautiful vintage wedding shawl bodice with lace detail at the center and a scalloped lace skirt. The back is embellished with wire-wrapped pearls.The delicate Flora gown (below left) was crafted with pale lavender silk and vintage lace. It also features a stunning open keyhole back (seen in the second photo). The Tallulah gown (below right) features a full four-ply silk skirt with draping sleeves and gorgeous lace detail around the neckline.The Grace gown (below left) was made with a large print vintage lace. It has a modest train and boat neckline, while the Eden gown (below right) offers a stunning dusty rose draped bodice paired with a high-waisted silk and tulle skirt with vintage lace along the waistline.Photos by f8 Photo Studios