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Wedding Essentials

From aisle to party

Modern brides are big on practicality, going for evening gowns and short dresses that can be worn after the wedding
The Straits Times - April 29, 2011
By: Rohaizatul Azhar
| More
From aisle to party

So, you've agreed to spend a lifetime with the man you love. Once the excitement settles, you get down to planning the wedding.

Then comes the dilemma of choosing the wedding gown. If you don't want a white princess-cut puff ball of a gown to walk down the aisle in, you are not alone.

In the much-awaited wedding of the century, which will take place at 6pm today Singapore time, Kate Middleton will wed her Prince Charming in an ivory satin and lace number she designed herself, with pearl button details and a 3m-long train.

Britain's Daily Mail reported that her wedding gown will tip 'a nod to the iconic Emanuel wedding dress worn by Lady Diana Spencer, but has avoided including any of its flounce'.

Indeed, frou-frou princess bride fashion is a thing of the past. In its place, frocks in blush tones and off-whites, as well as evening gowns and short festive dresses, have become the couture du jour.

At the Spring 2011 Bridal Fashion season held at various fashion capitals last year, fashion houses such as Marchesa, Amsale and Oscar de la Renta presented wedding dresses with leaner silhouettes and shorter hemlines.

This trend, American news network MSNBC's online portal reports, mirrors red-carpet dressing in Hollywood.

In Singapore, five boutiques Urban spoke to, including The Link Wedding and Frederick Lee Bridal, also report seeing more brides opting for unconventional wedding dresses.

Says Ms Renee Leung, owner of bridal boutique Renee L. Collection: 'Today's brides want their dresses to be either short and with a long train or classic romantic dresses. They prefer a more contemporary and sleek look.'

Eight out of every 10 brides she sees ask for dresses with a twist, she adds, such as origami folds or pointed pockets at the hips.

White is also no longer the hue of choice.

Ms Sharon Tan, head of operations for the Pois group, which runs three multi-label boutiques, says the popular colours today include blush tones, creamy ivory and gold.

'There are some who are more adventurous and go for touches of red or even animal prints on the gown. But it's only minimal. Mostly, it's a solid colour,' she says.

Home-grown model Serena Adsit is one bride who wore a short empire-cut gold dress made from Indian silk brocade and chantilly lace at her wedding lunch reception earlier this month.

'I didn't want the dress to be a conventional white one that would be stuck in the closet once the wedding was over,' says the 32-year-old, who now runs modelling agency, Mint Models.

Another departure from tradition is to buy a gown that is not necessarily a wedding gown.

At EnVie de Pois, more brides-to-be are buying column dresses and versatile gowns that they can re-use as evening wear, says Ms Tan.

'They are practical and want to see how the design fits them and their lifestyles.'

In the last year, the boutique has seen a 10 per cent jump in the number of brides-to-be who buy its off-the-rack gowns.

'Most of it is crisis management, where the women come in because they were not happy with the gowns they had custom-made,' she says.

Practical brides who want gowns that pull double duty can check out these boutiques:

EnVie de Pois

03-07 Ion Orchard

This multi-label boutique offers a wide range of labels such as Giambatista Valli, Zac Posen and Zuhair Murad. It is under the Pois group, which has two other boutiques, Pois and Petite Pois, in Paragon. It customers include socialites as well as members of royal families from the Middle East and regional countries.

Prices for its evening gowns range from $5,000 to over $30,000.

The Link Wedding

03-03 Palais Renaissance

This home- grown multi-label boutique offers a wide selection of couture and evening dresses from well-known bridal label Vera Wang Collection.

Prices range from $6,000 to over $20,000.

Renee L. Collections

01-04 Delfi Orchard

This home-grown bridal boutique offers not only off-the-rack wedding dresses from its eponymous label, but also bespoke designs from a higher-end line called Renee L. Prive. While gowns from the main line are priced from $2,000 for short dresses to $6,000 for full-length gowns, Prive's prices start from $10,000.


03-13 Paragon

The British high-street label that specialises in occasion wear launched its debut bridal collection in February. While it is not yet available here, the Paragon store stocks an array of evening gowns in blush tones and pale pink made from fabrics such as silk, satin, tulle and organza. They are for the discerning bride who does not want to shell out thousands of dollars. Prices range from $300 for short dresses to $800 for floor-length gowns. Prices for the bridal collection, which is available online at, start from $500.


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