Our beloved New York Bridal Fashion Week (NYBFW) has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic along with essentially any event of any size. While we all hunker down, work from home, and cheer on the essential workers at 7pm I can't help to reflect that maybe this could pressure the industry to change a bit.
We prepare for this event twice a year. Designers and their workroom teams spend countless hours designing and re-designing dresses for the bride no matter if she (or he) is getting married in the Winter or Summer. Different from RTW, our "seasons" don't reflect the actual climate but more so a reason to give you more options in one year. But is it necessary? Are they trying to reinvent the wheel twice?
(Reem Acra "Breath of Life" from The Prophet Collection and "Bouquet" from the United Collection)
This has been a debate for the last couple of years among buyers and designers. If you think about it, when you are shopping for a gown you find your dream dress, close the book, and move on. The dress you bought very well could have come out a year or two prior but would you know? Trends don't change too often in bridal and when they do, chances are you've already gotten married from the time you made your purchase and there are so many options from multipledesigners that your friend is more than likely not going to be buying the same dress you did.
We are so caught up on what is put out on social media that we are forgetting what we have right in front of us that we can actually touch and feel. When designers put their newest collections out on the runways, the season prior is just landing in stores (Spring collection that show in April are in stores around October, Fall collection goes on the runway in October). This puts pressure on the stores to navigate their brides away from what they are seeing on social media to have a dress from the "newest" collection. But can they? We just want to make the brides happy.
But in turn, we want to support our designers, so they can stay in business and continue to make beautiful things; however, the only way is to shop the designs that your local store has invested samples in. The store buyers are curating the most beautiful selections - and that is why their stores are what they are, and why you went there in the first place. Jenny Packham is ahead of the curve and changed her method a couple of years ago. She puts out a new bridal collection once a year and it seems to be working. Perhaps this method may transfer here to the US designers. I read a great article from Vogue and designer, Lela Rose, stated her thoughts:
“I don’t know that gowns need to be shown twice a year, and I would prefer to show once a year. This glut of product feels overwhelming, and I want to focus on what we already have. There are ways to make it better—not just newer.”
I can't say that I disagree. While I love seeing all of us in the industry come together twice a year, this may be a turning point for the future in the best way.
Have thoughts? Leave your comments below, I'd love to hear another perspective.