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The Maverick Bride

New York Times

Brides will be brides, or so convention has it, cherishing gauzy fantasies of alabaster princess gowns trailing regal yards of tulle.

Or not. These days the more indie-minded bride tends to take a maverick stance, as apt to imagine herself strolling the red carpet, swathed, accordingly, in the look of the hour.

Elevating the dictates of fashion over those of tradition, she is often inclined to shed the sweetheart necklines, mermaid silhouettes and strapless looks that have long dominated the marketplace, and in some instances, even the veil.

She may turn instead to one in a raft of breezily irreverent styles: thigh-high or knee-grazing skirts; trousers in place of a dress; exaggerated sleeves and sassy off-the-shoulder necklines. And she may abandon virginal white in favor of a flattering tone of peach or blush.

The bridal market, which once moved at a stately, not to say glacial pace, has been quick to respond, briskly stepping up efforts to reflect the shifting tastes of a millennial generation. Last week, working a full year in advance of the season, designers introduced 2017 collections built on ethereal layers of sheer tulle and georgette. Some continued an emphasis on boudoir inspirations; others took a bolder stance, showing abbreviated skirts, crop tops and high-waist trousers, and necklines contoured to slide off the shoulders provocatively.

In a field once governed by caution, audacity rules, insolent touches cropping up everywhere, from the stiffly beribboned fascinators at Lela Rose to the medieval-style sleeves veiling the models’ fingertips at Vera Wang; and from caped looks at Badgley Mischka to the briefest of skirts at Naeem Khan, accented, improbably, with thigh-high satin boots.

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