You know Fashion Week, right? It’s an opportunity for editors, writers, boutique owners, and buyers to view upcoming ready-to-wear and couture collections so they can get a sneak peek at the up-and-coming fashion trends. Bridal Market is the same, except the focus is wedding and bridesmaid dresses, along with shoes, veils, jewelry, and other accessories. While Bridal Market is the industry term for the weeklong series of shows and presentations, it’s also known as Bridal Fashion Week.
Designers present their collections at shows, presentations, or one-on-one appointments, which take place all around New York City from hotel rooms to convention spaces, personal studios to ballrooms.
OK—Why should I care?
Collections hit the stores roughly six months after they hit the runways. So if you’re not quite ready to go wedding dress shopping, but are ready to start brainstorming, viewing the collections will give you an idea of what will actually be available come shopping time.
If you’ve already purchased your gown, you can get inspired by how looks are accessorized on the runway. WeddingWire Editors attend every Market, and we post our favorite details with the hashtag #WWxBFW on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. Be it a blinged out sash or an unexpected neckline, you can incorporate these trends into your own wedding day look!
You know, that actually sounds kind of fun. How long does a show last?
The formal presentation is actually very short—usually no longer than 10 or 15 minutes. Which makes sense, when you think about it—it only takes a few seconds for a model to sashay up and down a runway.
And what’s the difference between a runway show and a presentation?
Both have their merits! A runway show is what you think of when you typically think of Fashion Week. Attendees sit on opposite sides of a long runway, and models wearing gowns walk up and down a few times. Runway shows are great because they allow us to see how gowns move, which is pretty important considering the real brides who wear them will be walking down their own sort of runway at their ceremony.
A presentation, on the other hand, is a more intimate event. Fewer people usually attend, and dresses are either presented on models or mannequins. These appointments allow industry insiders to get up close and personal with the gowns. We have the opportunity to feel the fabric, admire beautiful beadwork, and better understand each dress individually.
Overall, both help us editors discern what the best dresses are to present to you, the future bride, at the end of Market.
Got it. Editors go to Bridal Market to report on new styles. What do boutique owners and buyers do?
Their purpose is even more important—they attend Market to stock their stores! When a boutique owner/buyer makes an appointment to view a collection, they also place orders for the gowns they’ll carry in their stores. An important detail to note: not all dresses are ordered as is. Boutique owners know their audience better than anyone, and will sometimes work with designers to tweak gown styles to better suit brides in their area of the country. This can be anything from changing the color of the skirt underlay to adding cap sleeves to a strapless style.
Alright, I’m officially pumped for Bridal Market. What’s the best way for me to follow along?
Starting April 13th we’ll be posting on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook—find us on any one of these platforms and look for the hashtag #WWxBFW for even more of-the-moment coverage. If you want to get in on the exclusive behind-the-scenes action, add “weddingwire” on Snapchat!
Just looking to browse neatly organized photos of the newest collections? Not a problem—we’ll have that, too! Check back in with us after the end of Market on April 19th to see photos of the full collections in our Fashion Ideas section!
Got more dress questions? WeddingWire’s Sarah Title, Elizabeth Stiles, Jacqueline Tynes and Halie Greening will be at New York Bridal Market from Wednesday April 13th through Tuesday April 19th—tweet @WeddingWire to get in touch!
Gown in photo by Amsale, Photo by Dan Lecca
Original article by Sarah Zlotnick