Saturday,22 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1210, (21 - 27 August 2014)
Saturday,22 September, 2018
Issue 1210, (21 - 27 August 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Here comes the bride

Confused about finding the perfect bridal gown? Ghada Abdel-Kader describes the latest trends

Al-Ahram Weekly

The day that a woman gets married is thought of as the most memorable day of her life. Every bride wants to look stunning in her dream bridal dress. Since childhood she has fan-tasised about her wedding dress. When she puts it on she wants to feel like a princess.

Her bridal gown should also tell a story of love, happiness and new beginnings. It needs to express the personality, beauty, charm and style of the bride.

Amany Al-Sherif is a fashion designer and owner of one of the most prestigious fashion houses in Egypt. She knows wedding dresses.

 “An off-white light creamy colour is more fashionable for wedding gowns this year,” says Al-Sherif. “A light-cream dress is elegant and stylish. White for wedding dresses has become rare but some brides still choose to wear white over any other colour.”

She graduated from Egypt’s Ain Shams University, then travelled to the United States to study at the Ducret School of Art in Plainfield, New Jersey. She opened her first atelier in New Jersey in 1996 before opening an Egyptian branch in 2011.

Al-Sherif notes that there are different types of fabrics used in wedding dresses. “In the past, the whole dress was made of one type of fabric, mostly satin covered with tulle or dantel. Now there is a mixing of different types of fabrics, using three or four materials in one gown, such as lace and dantel, with some handmade work or brocade,” she explained. Embroidery and beading are also sometimes used, she added.

The place and time of the wedding ceremony can also determine the style of the wedding dress. Al-Sherif prefers short dresses for beach, garden or open-air ceremonies. As for fabrics, chiffon or organza can be perfect. “A short dress is simple and elegant. A long train is no longer fashionable for open-air weddings.”

Brides are also becoming more practical, she adds. “It can be quite difficult for a bride to get around unless she has a detachable train fixed to her wedding dress with buttons, hooks, loops or snaps.”

A close-fitting upper dress is another new trend. “The use of draping is still fashionable, but there should not be too much draping on the waistline or bust line. The new thing is how to use drape to serve the dress design without being obvious,” Al-Sherif explained.

Veils, worn with long fitted sleeves, can also be elegant. “The sleeves are adorned with ornate dantel or organza, adding charm and elegance,” she adds. As for the veils themselves, the choice of length depends on the gown’s style and the bride’s height. A short veil can make a short bride look even shorter by cutting her in half, Al-Sherif warns. Hairstyle also plays an important role, as it can determine what sort of veil to use. Veils with detailed embroidery or embellishments are no longer fashionable, and plain veils often look more flattering.

For brides who want to wear a tiara, she suggests a simple forehead circlet rather than a big tiara laden with diamonds or crystals.

Al-Sherif also has some tips for successful wedding dress shopping. Brainstorm your ideas first, she says, in order to work out what styles best suit you. Ask an expert or fashion designer about what designs will best flatter your body shape. Give him or her details about the date and location of the wedding party and the place you are going to get dressed for the wedding.

Finally, make a budget. This will make your job much easier. Once you know your budget you will be able to eliminate choices that are too costly. Everybody’s shape has its own beauty. The key thing is to know how to show off yours.

Types of wedding dress

Short dress: This is not a traditional wedding dress. If you go for a shorter style, you might consider the following:

Mini-skirt: This is not good for plus-sizes.

Above the knee or just covering the knee: This can be an elegant length to consider for a summer wedding.

Below the knee, or between the ankle and the knee: This is elegant and gives more ease and flexibility in movement. It is also ideal for all body types.

Long dress: This is the traditional, floor-length wedding dress. If you opt for one consider the following:

Ball gown: This is appropriate for large and traditional weddings. It is ideal for most body types because it accentuates the waist and hides the lower body. However, it is not flattering for petites.

A-line: This has a fitted bodice through the waist and flows out to the ground, resembling the outline of an uppercase “A”. It is ideal for all body types.

Modified A-line: This dress is closely fitted to the body, flaring to the hem to form an “A” shape.

Mermaid: This is fitted from the chest to the knee, then flaring out close to the knee. It’s ideal for slender frames and hourglass body types who want to show off their curves. It is not so good for plus-size body types.

Trumpet: This is fitted through the body, flaring at mid-thigh, something like a modified A-line and Mermaid cut. It’s ideal for petites and women with hourglass figures. For others, it can accentuate the stomach and hip area.

Sheath: This is a narrow shape that flows straight down from the neckline to the hem. It’s ideal for lean frames, including petites, but it can also look good on hourglass figures.

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