Wedding Dress Designers' Iconic Styles
We reached out to some of our favorite wedding-dress designers and asked them to share the dress that they felt best embodied their work. The result? An assortment of gowns that range from simply stunning to over-the-top dramatic.
"This dress epitomizes the glamour of the 1930s and Hollywood's silver-screen starlets," says the designer of this silk chiffon gown with luxurious French lace embellishments.
"We have always used French corded lace in our collections," says designer David Fielden. He chose to use this fabric to create a bridal bodysuit because he wanted to give a "tongue-in-cheek" look to this classic material.
The final look at the designer's last presentation glittered on the runway. "The gown represents pure, unfettered glamour," says the designer.
For the fashion-forward bride, this short, sweet, Italian guipure lace is a stunning option. "This gown makes a statement while still embodying the classic elegance and luxury that Modern Trousseau is known for," says designer Callie Tein.
Tulle overlay adds texture to this elegant silhouette, making it "modern with an edge," according to designer Saukok Chu Tiampo.
With more than 70 yards of circle-cut pieces of silk chiffon, silk organza, and illusion tulle, this gown, which is named for designer Annette Thurmon's sister-in-law, embodies romance, whimsy, and an element of surprise. "This dress flows with every turn and surprises by converting effortlessly from long to short -- perfect for the bride who wants to be unforgettable on her wedding day," says the designer.
Britteny Leigh, chavianocouture.com
About six years ago, designer Dolly Thicke was looking for a vintage-style wedding dress, similar to the style her mother wore at her 1961 nuptials. "I wanted something cocktail-length with lots of fluffy petticoats," she said. "I couldn't find a dress that I could dance and have fun in -- something that represented me." This style was her first design; she keeps an iteration of it in her line every season. "I think it's so neat that more than 50 years after my parents were married, brides are wearing a gown that is a nod to my mom."
This georgette hand-beaded backless gown with a soft ruffle skirt is perfect for a beach wedding. "It's elegantly whimsical," says the designer. "The layers of silk echo rippling waves; plus, it has a relaxed glamour to it that could even work with bare feet!"
"This dress is all about expressing your individuality," says the designer about this blush-hued style. "It's rooted in the tradition of couture but makes a bold, modern statement."
This Grecian-style gown not only became Theia's signature style, it also helped inspire the name of the company. "Theia is named for the Greek goddess with divine power of heavenly light," says designer Don O'Neill. "Her powerful mythology inspires the brand, making the women who wear Theia feel luminous, filling them with confidence, and allowing their beauty to shine."
Anaiss On Weddings
This tissue organza gown features a semitranslucent asymmetrically-pleated tulle corset and a crystal-beaded peony at the waist. "Like a young love that blossoms in spring, this dress is pure and romantically enchanting," says designer Anca C.
Cascading Alencon lace accents the back of this tulle gown with a sweep train. "We are all about combining sophisticated contemporary shapes with a vintage feel for our 21st-century brides," says the designer. "Diana is a signature gown that represents glamour."
"We adore this style because it is simple, chic, and unfussy, but possesses all the grandeur a bride could want on her big day," says the designer of this style that features a floor-length skirt that removes to reveal a minidress.
The Steven Birnbaum Collection
"With its clean architectural shape and feminine traditional touches, this style exudes happiness and is a fresh, modern take on bridal wear," says designer Steven Birnbaum.
Robert Bullock Bride
"I chose this dress as my most iconic style because I am all about texture and dimension," says designer Robert Bullock. "By using a lace border rather than a solid lace, I can create strong dimension and a featherlike texture."
"The theme of my most recent collection was 'modern classics,'" says the designer of this gown that features a shirred tulle skirt and cathedral-length train. "To me, this style embodies that idea perfectly."
Style STT99411, douglashannant.com
"I draw my inspiration from Old World glamour and elegance to create designs that truly represent me," says the designer. "We describe our pieces as a timeless statement in fashion elegance. This gown is romantic, elegant, grand, and truly a timeless piece."
Rose Odette, randirahm.com
Karen Hendrix Couture
"Vivienne is the past meeting the present in a twisted vintage elegance where the fullness of imagination is achieved through luxurious fabrics and the disciplines of couture," says the designer.
"This gown has the quintessential Sue Wong look -- feminine, glamorous, romantic," says the designer. "The vintage-inspired beadwork and rich embroidery will work to make a woman shine on her most glorious day."
Style N1386, suewong.com
"My signature style is a fusion of graceful subtleness with unique dramatic design," says the designer. "This dress is characterized by a modern silhouette and unexpected details in a soft blush color. Leaf embroidery over the bodice and a one-shoulder neckline adds a soft touch and vintage romantic feel to couture elements including swirling satin and a horsehair skirt."
"I love this gown's ultrafeminine silk-chiffon neckline, which is a new alternative to the strapless silhouette," says the designer. "The skirt is yards of tulle that cascade to a field of silk peony appliques at the hem, creating an iconic modern-romantic look."
"This dress captures our customer perfectly -- she's confident and proud of her individuality," says the designer. "She's graceful, elegant, and classic in her taste but adores incorporating fun, whimsy, and fashion-forward elements into her outfits."
"This style encompasses our aesthetic -- simple yet intricate, rugged yet elegant, edgy yet classic," says the designer of this silk gown.
Carol Hannah Whitfield
"I love to mix interesting textures and textiles to create a fresh take on silhouettes," says the designer. "My bride is whimsical, a little bohemian, and always open to something new and fun."
"I love working with and molding soft fabrics such as organza, tulle, and chiffon to create perfectly fitting silhouettes and romantic styles," says the designer of this dress of soft Chantilly lace and organza.
Style 7705, alitagraham.com
"I am always looking to challenge myself and create the next best and biggest skirt," says the designer. "This was the most complicated gown in the collection because of the hand-draping and pleating on the bodice, plus the molding and tucking of the silk organza into three-dimensional roses on the skirt. It is made entirely by hand so each bride that orders it gets a unique version."
Style 7318, pninatornai.com
"At Val Stefani we always look for ways to offer gowns that fit perfectly to show off your curves," says the designer of this Italian silk-taffeta gown with a Swarovski crystal-accented neckline and detachable bow.
Style D8015, valstefani.com
"This style is sexy, glamorous, fresh, and nontraditional, but yet still very bridal-sensible," says the designer of this Italian gold scalloped-lace gown lined with buttery silk charmeuse and finished with a chapel-length train.
"This dress has been in our line since the beginning," says the designer. "It is a classic with its demure sleeves, neckline, and empire waist, yet I feel like it can be very beautiful and sexy in a Jacqueline Onassis sort of way."
"The styling and fabrication of this dress is classic, but we put a modern spin on it as well," says the designer of this re-embroidered lace gown. "Underneath the sheer lace you see the corset seaming in the underbodice which lends a sexy, modern edge."
Ines Di Santo
"This style speaks to a bride who is discerning, not afraid to take fashion risks, and wants a gown that shows her form and figure," says designer Veronica Di Santo. "We design gowns that are fashion forward and are trendsetting. This gown is for a daring bride with a true sense of style and fashion."
"This classic, refined style is reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn's early 1950s timeless elegance -- with a modern twist," says the designer. "That is what the Anne Barge line is all about!"
Style 612, annebarge.com
"My design point of view can best be described as modern romanticism -- the marriage of vintage and modern," says the designer. "I love the presence of color in a wedding dress, and I also am a believer in the craft of dressmaking and how that craft is translated into an ethereal visual statement. The Angela embodies both of these key elements."
"I love the classic beauty of this gown," says the designer. "A bride could wear this and look back years later, and it would still be fresh. It has a lasting timelessness that I incorporate into all of my designs."
Style 3E216L, tadashishoji.com
"This gown blends my style with soft feminine fabrics to give the fashion-forward bride a dress that brings out her individual identity on her wedding day," says the designer.
Style #1209, jennyleebridal.com
Romona Keveza Couture
"This gown, which features my signature 'Romona petals,' epitomizes what my couture collection is all about -- refined luxury," says the designer.
RK 200, romonakeveza.com
Legends by Romona Keveza
"The Legends by Romona Keveza collection has always been inspired by royal elegance, as portrayed by this gown, which was featured on the New York runway months before the royal wedding of Monaco," says the designer of this style that strongly resembles the bridal gown worn by Charlene Wittstock when she married Prince Albert of Monaco. "This collection is about timeless elegance that never goes out of style."
Style L242, legendsbyromonakeveza.com
This crystal- and ribbon-embroidered fit and flare gown has a V-neckline and moire ribbon with crystal floral detail at waist. "I feel this gown best embodies the Jim Hjelm line with the sexy and modern twist on its classic, demure presence," says designer Francesca Pitera.
Style 8169, jlmcouture.com
"This gown and lace bolero combine classic, elegant styling with romance and attention to detail," says designer Jessica Williams of the silk satin-faced organza, silk chiffon, and alencon lace dress. "It offers the brides the opportunity to truly shine as herself on her wedding day."
Style 9153, alvinavalenta.com
"This style represents Christos' feminine aesthetic through its intricate, vintage-inspired look," says designer Amsale Aberra. "Primrose is adorned with hand-embroidered organza flowers and petals that are scattered throughout. Its ball gown silhouette reinforces the timeless style of Christos."
"This gown epitomizes the bride who loves Kenneth Pool," says designer Amsale Aberra. "It's as chic as it is dramatic, with an intricate crystal-beaded bodice and dramatically draped taffeta skirt. This gown, like the Kenneth Pool bride, is sure to make a statement."
"This dress exemplifies an iconic, vintage-inspired traditional ball gown with a modern twist," says the designer. Souffle pickups engulfed with feathers make up the full skirt. The waist is finished with a silk-dupioni beaded belt.
Style 8612, justinalexander.com
"What I love most about this style is that it is refreshing and modern, yet exudes the romance and glamour of Old Hollywood," says the designer. "This mood and feel is what I try to create when designing for the signature Victoria Nicole bride. There are many delicate details combined on this gown, yet they work together to complement each other and, most importantly, flatter the bride wearing it."
Style 700, victorianicole.com