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Cool Weather, Hot Trends

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sweet stuff debuting on a wintry night at Maddison Row. Photographs by The Connellys  for The Wedding Row

December 12, 2011

Cool Weather, Hot Trends

Reporting from the runway show at Maddison Row

Written by Jessica Maggart & Melissa Bigner

The weather is just about as hard to keep up with these days as trends! Last Wednesday, we were in short sleeves heading to Maddison Row for their now-annual Spring fashion report and show with Bella Bridesmaid. By the time we got to the Spring Street shop, it was blustering, cold, and wet, sort of like today. Whew. Thank goodness there were women on the scene to greet folks with cupcakes, champagne, and sparking water to take the edge off our wacky winter, and trend reports to keep us on top of things.

As far as what we saw and heard? Allison Long of Bella Bridesmaid (BB) has rallied in a big way since Priscilla of Boston closed shop and she lost about 100 gowns from her offerings. The silver lining has been Allison's made room for a huge host of great new looks and at least six new names. We're especially fired up over Joanna August and Dolly Pearl, whose sassy and classy frocks really, really deliver on the promise of being able to wear that dress again. Heck, the gowns are so great—backless silhouettes, frilly details, and more—that brides should take a look for send-off gowns, rehearsal dinner duds, and more.

In other bridesmaid news, longtime favorite designers have added new fabrics and colors, and charcoals, stone, and metallic seem to be giving navy—a perennial Charleston favorite—a run for its money. Be on the lookout for the charmeuse Amsale gowns designed exclusively for BB; for wild new fabrics from LulaKate (embossed alligator! diamond jacquard!); and anything and everything from Monique Lhuillier.

As for wedding gowns? Goodness! Where to start?! Maddison Row’s Lindsey Nowak had so much to share, bullets might be the best way to get you up to speed:

• Sleeves! Whether capped or draped, demure sleeves are the way to accent arms gracefully.

• Bye, bye bling. At least for Vera, that is. She’s gone from beaded belts to more and more deconstructed fabric embellishments. We loved the gown with 1,800—yes, 1,800—hand-cut flower petals that made up a cascading train. Nummers.

• Get shorty. There are loads of short options these days for the bride who wants to change into a second gown for the reception, or is ready for beach proper. Our fave? The petaled frock from Hayley Paige, the former lead designer for Melissa Sweet who is now designing for Jim Hjelm.

• Sweet as honey! Monique Lhuillier’s princepessa satin is a great weight for Charleston—lighter—and just divine in a warm honey color. We also dig she’s blushing more and more, in gowns, at least. Look for her new Bliss line at MR, too.

Carol Hannah rocked draping and layers, and we’re fired up about the vintage gowns she’ll be making over and selling in the coming months.

For a great look at the gowns, click here to see what The Connellys for Wedding Row captured. And follow us on Twitter to hear when our style director Ayoka Lucas has posted her vlog from the night.