The Fashion Statement: Brides, 2010!
In India, the color is red. In the West, the hue is white (off-white back in the day, if you were considered less than virginal). Even black is making a comeback. When it comes to bridal gowns these days, anything goes.
Historically, designers have created wedding gowns -- usually making their debut in the finale of their shows -- that are reflective of the cultural norms and political messages of the day. Coco Chanel caused a stir in the roaring '20s when she introduced a knee-length dress with a long veil, a look vastly different from the house's current collection (pictured above).
In 1968, Yves Saint Lauren sent brides down the catwalk in bikinis made of actual flowers to celebrate the sexual revolution (the look resurfaced again in the '90s as a nod to history). Remember Sharon Tate's mini dress that same year in the much published photo with Roman Polanski? In 1969, Yoko Ono sported the same short hemline as she walked down the aisle with John Lennon. In the '70s, pantsuits had a moment, no doubt because it represented the day's feminist ideal.
So what's the message in 2010? It seems everything old is new again. Vivienne Westwood has picked up where YSL left off with a two-piece, toga-like number. Azzaro gives us plenty of short minis à la Tate and Ono. And Tuleh makes the statement that shorts are perfectly okay on the aisle as are corsets. Reem Acra and Donna Karan are all about elegance, draping and Greek goddesses while Charles Anastase has raised the empire waist to a new level, sitting just above the breast line.
Gallery: The Fashion Statement: Bridal Wars
If the dress -- in truth, the physical manifestation of who you are, the love you feel for your mate and your optimism about starting a new life -- is supposed to capture your essence, well then, choose carefully. The dress will live forever in film, video and in the minds of your family and friends. Given the stats, it could even outlast Mr. Right.