Let’s face it, wedding gown shopping can be daunting at times. Especially if you’re looking for that one dress that you saw on the catwalk recently during Bridal Fashion Week. But we’re here to say that finding your dream dress doesn’t have to be an impossible task.

“One of the great things about Bridal is that the pieces featured at Bridal Fashion Week are made for commercial value,” says Micaela Erlanger, celebrity fashion and bridal stylist. “That means what you see will be available for consumer purchase.”

One of the great things about Bridal is that the pieces featured at Bridal Fashion Week are made for commercial value.

Runway looks are more approachable than you might think, and there are many ways you can get your hands on the perfect dress. For all of the inside secrets, we asked designers, buyers, and bridal industry experts to share everything you need to know about runway-to-shelf shopping.

What is Bridal Fashion Week and when?

New York Bridal Fashion Week is an industry event where designers and brands showcase their latest collections to brides, retail buyers and the media twice a year in October and April. It’s a time when trends emerge and wedding lovers everywhere can peek into the bridal fashion industry. Starting today, new wedding dresses will be released virtually through video lookbooks, editorial campaigns and recorded films.

How to buy the latest collections

If you’ve seen your dream dress walk down the runway, you might be wondering: How can I buy it? Thankfully, there are a surprising number of ways you can shop for a runway look before and after it’s release.

Trunk shows

Brands like BHLDN, ​​for example, offer pre-orders for their dresses, while other brands put on trunk shows. “The quickest way for brides to try on the latest collection is to go to a trunk show,” says designer Monique Lhuillier. “Immediately after the collection is exhibited, we hold trunk shows in our flagship boutiques. The collection then travels around the world to our authorized retailers. Purchasing a trunk show gives the bride exclusive access to the new collection before it hits stores later this year. ”

Christy Baird, Creative Director of Loho Bride, also advocates the benefits of shopping at a trunk show: “A lot of brides don’t always understand what trunk shows are, but they really are the best way to get a look that is right now was sent down the runway! She adds, “For a week or two, the stores will be selling the new full collections, and better yet, they’ll be offering a discount.”

Micaela Erlanger advises that brides should be open to working directly with the brand of their choice. “Contacting a showroom coordinator can often be of great help during the shopping process. Wedding dress shopping is a personal experience, and you will find out [that the brands] are there to help personally and virtually. “

Shopping online

Trunk shows aside, ecommerce platforms are the next best option for buying the latest bridal runway dresses. “There are great ecommerce platforms out there working with a wide variety of bridal designers. Moda Operandi and Net-a-Porter have some of the best and most curated choices. I also suggest, if a designer doesn’t have ecommerce skills, around check their dealer list and [see] where they sell, “notes Erlanger.

Lately, many brands have had to adapt to the pandemic and create new offers online. Sarah Swann, Amsale’s chief creative officer, told Brides, “Amsale.com is our beloved virtual showroom. A truly integrated e-commerce platform that not only offers an instant view from the runway, but also includes our virtual try-on service. via which future brides can upload a photo of themselves and see what a dress looks like on their bodies. ”

However, it’s important to note that the biggest exception here is couture pieces, which are only sold in-store.

How to get a runway look on a timeline

On average, it takes between three and six months to create new bridal looks. While this lead time is the industry standard, there are some brands that have gotten creative with their releases.

The bridal e-commerce platform Little L is home to bridal brands that usually offer virtual launches on Instagram. Once the collection is available, Little L will make the pieces ready to shop on their website or social pages. Co-Founder and Director Lily Dixey explains, “We wanted to make the approach to bridal shopping a lot more accessible, as we believe that today (in the age of social media) brides want the latest collections much sooner – especially when they I got a foretaste of the new collections from the runway. ”

Other brands like BHLDN, ​​David’s Bridal, and Marchesa are shortening the waiting time by starting production before Bridal Fashion Week. “By the time our dresses are presented at Bridal Fashion Week,” says a representative from Marchesa, “they are already in the early stages of production.” Kaity Gaskill, BHLDN’s Bride Buyer, added, “We set up our production process in advance of Bridal Fashion Week to ensure that every dress was ready to go. And to deliver to all brides as early as possible so they can meet their wedding date. ”

Nancy Viall, David’s Bridal Chief Merchandising Officer, said, “Our great retail teams work with designers to bring our exclusive bridal brands to market while running runway shows. This process ensures that we always and for are always up to date. ” modern and relevant for every dress in our range. ”

Finally, there are luxury resale websites like The RealReal that brides can shop instantly to shop instantly. “Luxury resale is a really attractive option for finding fashionable wedding looks, whether your style is a couture bridal gown, a less traditional runway piece, or a one-of-a-kind vintage gown. Reselling gives you instant satisfaction rather than the traditional six month wait for custom orders, “a brand representative told Brides. The only downside to reselling, however, is that this option only offers earlier runway collections, rather than the newest seasons .

The last snack

Create a game plan as you shop for the latest designer pieces and keep up to date with the latest trunk shows and delivery dates – for both online and in-store purchases. The better prepared you are, the easier it will be to find the dress you saw on the catwalk. Plus, Brides’ Brides Fashion Week coverage is a great place to start for all of your designer photos and bridal trends.

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