Bridal fashion considers white wedding dresses as traditional ones. This color of perfection symbolizes light, innocence, and goodness, and it has remained the top choice over centuries. Modern design and traditional color can be an amazing combination. Until the mid 19th Century, the color of the wedding dress wasn’t specified. Brides wore the best they had, sometimes as a reflection of their social status. Queen Victoria was the first to be married in the white, lace-decorated dress. Although gowns in a lot of shades of white are still most popular, ivory gains nowadays in popularity for the simple reason of being a better match to bride’s skin. As colors reflect feelings, emotions and states of mind, changing the color of the wedding gown is stepping away from common choices and tradition.
The famous Hollywood actress Lauren Bacall was the first to ignore conventions. To her wedding to Humphrey Bogart in 1945 she chose a beige skirt-suit. Another Hollywood diva Elizabeth Taylor is well known for many marriages, but for her second wedding, she wore a modest suit that by no means diminished her elegance. Later on, she will surprise with more extravagant choices. These two ladies were not alone in giving the advantage to suits. Marilyn Monroe joined the crew in 1954. Not only that she didn’t wear white, but she chose a chocolate brown color for her dress and a matching jacket.
Only a few years later, Elizabeth Taylor played a central role in one of the biggest Hollywood scandals. Her hunter green dress on the wedding to Eddie Fisher was a daring choice having in mind that he was a husband of Taylor’s close friend Debbie Reynolds at the time the two started dating.
However, it was a canary yellow chiffon dress for her fifth wedding that is rated as her brightest choice. Mia Farrow and Liza Minnelli were on top of being the trendsetters with their iconic haircuts. It doesn’t surprise that they threw the tradition out of the window at their weddings as well. Farrow chose a white short skirt suit while Minnelli’s white dress ensemble consisted of the lace blouse and a cream skirt. Ruffled sleeves and a turtleneck are the details ahead of their time.
European actresses followed the path of their American colleagues, and where could we expect some unusual choice if not in France. Brigitte Bardot chose a pink gingham shirtwaist dress by fashion designer Jacques Esterel. Some celebrities ignored conventions simply by choosing common outfit instead of glamorous while the others designed wedding dresses on their own. That was the case with Priscilla Beaulieu. She designed a luxurious gown with beads and veil which was a popular detail of the wedding gown during the sixties. It was in the 1960s that renowned fashion designers accessed the industry.
A pale pink Givenchy mini-dress was a perfect choice for iconic Audrey Hepburn. The dress which was a surprise at the time featured long sleeves and a headscarf. We agree it is a perfect match for the stunning lady. Prior to 1960s, mini-skirts were worn as dance and sports clothing, but at the end of the decade, they became very popular, especially among younger women. Even nowadays, it is unconventional to wear mini-skirt on the wedding, but for Yoko Ono, it doesn’t surprise. She combined it with knee-highs and a felt hat. Cilla Black, English singer, and TV star engaged a popular fashion designer John Bates to create her a red velvet mini wedding dress. Maybe for the symbolism of red color, but Black and her husband were happily married for three decades.
According to French designer Christian Lacroix, a wedding dress is supposed to be exceptional, and the repertoire of ideas is inexhaustible. Such a dress can have several lives at once. Classy grandeur for the church ceremony but without its train for the celebration with family and friends. Wedding-dress trends change from season to season. Sometimes they follow the trends in the fashion industry in general, and sometimes they are under the influence of the movies. The famous sweetheart cut in the 1950s was inspired by the iconic wedding dress Elizabeth Taylor wore in the movie Father of the Bride.
Wedding gowns with exposed arms and shoulders and mini wedding dresses from the next decade were unconventional, stylish, and sexy which was a completely new feature. Hats and chokers were popular and attractive additions to wedding dresses over the 1970s. Hats were mostly white, but in the next decade, Madonna was the one to wear the black bowler hat with a veil attached which was quite something to talk about. Her wedding dress was sold at the charity auction for an amazing $81.250.
The last two decades of the 20th Century were very eclectic in terms of fashion, and so were the wedding dresses with headpieces or extremely long trains. However, the important thing is that these are the decades when wedding dresses have gone couture. In practice, a piece of special cloth gets more extravagant. What was often to be seen on runaways was hardly what one would love to wear on their wedding, but the wedding dress Brigitte Nielsen designed for herself was a perfect reflection of the eighties glam, especially the beaded headdress. Emma Thomson on the other side responded to time in a multicolored wedding dress and matching shoes while Mariah Carey wore Vera Wang wedding dress with not less than a 27-foot-long train. A couple of years later, Celine Dion made an impression with Mirella and Steve Gentile gown featuring long, transparent sleeves. A seven-pound headpiece has crowned Celine for her wedding.
Celebrities are often extravagant, but to get wild and remain truly beautiful does take an effort. The rock star Gwen Stefani made a perfect balance when she chose a dress designed by John Galliano for the house of Christian Dior. Many shades from white to pink in a long train look great. In 2011, John Galliano was inspired with the fashion of the 1930s, and he adapted a chiffon dress which was popular almost a century ago for the fashion model Kate Moss. The result was amazing although a little criticized for transparency.
On the other side, Pamela Anderson organized her wedding to Kid Rock on a yacht in St. Tropez. She wanted to be married in traditional white, but a teensy bikini. Sometimes being extravagant doesn’t consider only a wedding outfit. Solange Knowles rode a bike in her wedding dress which was comfortable, modern, and she came on time to marry music video director Alan Ferguson. A light blue Vivienne Westwood dress was a perfect choice for Jerry Hall. Without additional pearls and lace, the only decoration makes the material itself with its rich plications.
Here is certainly not the end of the list of exceptional wedding dresses which can be considered ahead of their time. There will be always exceptions, at least as long as three main factors remain influential – bridal fashion, personal preferences, or simply a wish to stand out from the crowd.