Glitzy costume changes a wedding-day must for many brides

Gone are the days when one statement gown stole the show at a wedding

27 July 2017 - 15:24 By Caroline Leaper
Michale Cinco designed three dresses for Victoria Swarovski's wedding celebrations.
Michale Cinco designed three dresses for Victoria Swarovski's wedding celebrations.
Image: Supplied

More is more in the world of weddings this year, as brides have stopped searching for "the one" in favour of "curating" entire wedding wardrobes.

Where once a woman bought a single statement gown for the ceremony, possibly slipping into something slinkier for the reception, weddings now encompass all manner of new sub-events - rehearsal dinners, after-after-parties, international blessings and post-wedding brunches - each requiring a bridal look to match.

When singer and gemstone heiress Victoria Swarovski married property investor Werner Mürz in Italy last month, she wore different dresses to get married, to cut the cake, to perform and to host a unique red colour-themed dinner for her guests. They were all designed by Dubai couturier Michael Cinco and featured a blitz of her family's crystals, but she ultimately used the big day to test every bridal silhouette on the block.

The trend for extreme dress-shopping matches up with a rise in couples booking destination weddings and the desire to extend the party for as long as possible.

"Wedding season can get quite repetitive so some people want to give their guests a different experience," says Nausheen Shah, a New York-based stylist.

Shah advises clients who are planning a multi-dress wedding to make a storyboard of the key events, times, weather and locations that will make up their celebrations, before finding an outfit for each phase.

While most things about this new movement buck tradition, the main ''wow" moment, Shah says, is still the exchanging of vows. "Most women still like to make the main ceremony their grandest [dress], and most women still like to wear white for that. But the rest of the events are a chance to show yourself in as many lights as possible."

If you think all the costume changes sound excessive, bridal designer Charlie Brear sees them as a sign of these Instagram-focused times. "It's all about the pictures," Brear says, adding that the label she founded in 2010 has been booming as clients now request second, third, or fourth ensembles from her.

"The market has exploded since Instagram launched," she says. "For a lot of people it's their red-carpet moment, their chance to be at the centre of their world - and enjoy planning every detail."

The market [for multi-dress weddings] has exploded since Instagram launched

Alexandra Edwards, public relations manager for shoe brand Jimmy Choo, says that she found planning her destination wedding to be "the most fun" and felt it was only fair to match her schedule of events with suitably exciting dresses.

She kicked off her wedding to club owner Carlo Carello with a 1950s-style Esme Vie dress for her London civil service, then wore gowns by Valentino, Naeem Khan and Georges Hobeika for her ceremony and post-wedding garden party in Italy - all paired with custom Choos.

When asked if having several gowns dilutes their sentiment in any way, she says: "I would like to think that I will keep all of my dresses because I put so much effort into choosing them. I want them for the memories." And for the gorgeous photographs, naturally. - The Daily Telegraph

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