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Beyond White Dresses: The Anti-Bride Trend Takes Over Weddings

What differentiates the brides from back then, to now is the individuality, freedom and unconventional ways to celebrate their D-day, and that is where the anti-bride comes in.

In the sphere of bridal outfits, post-pandemic brides understand that princess ball gowns with long trains and lacy veils might not necessarily make them feel like they own their big day. Contemporary brides wish to tell a story of their individuality by incorporating fashionable anti-bride accessories and styles creating one-of-a-kind bridal outfits. 

Contemporary bridal fashion is defined by two words: customised and couture. High-end fashion labels like Chantel Lauren, Zuhair Murad and Allure Bride are revamping the bridal aesthetic with compositions such as ombre hues, and cut-out silhouettes. The Paris fashion couture show spotted some of the top names such as Elie Saab, Valentino, and Fendi uplifting the anti-bride in the most aesthetic and surprising silhouettes to date. Think oversized coats, 3-dimensional floral applique and more. Even celebrities are embracing the non-traditional designer couture. For instance, Christine Quinn created a buzz around town flaunting the gothic Barbie ensemble for her wedding. Zoe Kravitz’s pearl crochet dress that she wore to her rehearsal dinner, also deserves a mention.

Left: Zoe Kravitz’s; Right: Christine Quinn's gothic Barbie wedding dress

Moving away from traditional bridal lehengas that weigh half of your weight, or modest dresses that feel dull and impersonal, brides are opting for a refreshed outlook.  This season, we have stepped into the dimension of naked wedding dresses, pantsuits and sensual pastel dresses that can easily be worn for occasions other than just your nuptial ceremony. A task which was once thought of to be tedious and stressful is now creative, fun and joyous for both the parties in attendance. 

Indian fashion designers like Ridhi Mehra and Aisha Rao, express that anything can be a part of your bridal journey. The modern bride should focus on her form of self-expression - whether it’s in the form of a pantsuit, or the most gorgeous lehenga that defies all tradition. Shanaya Kapoor is seen donning Ridhi Mehra’s Milan Pant Suit Set, Meetha Lehenga Set, and Mehfil Jacket Set on their website, which gives anti-bride in some different moods. Tara Sutaria also embraced the Muntaner during Lakme Fashion Week which had all eyes on print and bold colours such as black.

Shanaya Kapoor in Ridhi Mehra

Tara Sutaria also embraced the Muntaner by Aisha Rao

The anti-bride today is all about story, character and authenticity which is effortlessly provided by these brands today. One brand which stands out from the crowd is Papa Don’t Preach by Shubhika. The quirky and nonconformist brand has garnered a lot of eyeballs and applause for its stunning designs and change of tonality as carried on by generations. When it comes to addressing the anti-bride, Shubhika Sharma, CEO of Papa Don’t Preach says “It is definitely a growing trend where brides want their wedding day to be a true reflection of their personality and unique style, rather than conforming to conventional expectations.” Further, she told The Style List,“ Brides value personal touches like customised sneakers or jumpsuits over conventional lehengas, favouring bold colours, eclectic designs, and ethical fashion choices that align with their values.”

Papa Don’t Preach by Shubhika

The modern bride today has her own individualistic approach to her special day. The anti-bride opens up even more possibilities when it comes to various segments. The most crucial aspect is fashion, Shubhika adds “Our designs feature glass-cut beads, sequins, gold-plated acrylics, and innovative silhouettes, from babydoll dresses with metallic embroideries, blouses with cut-out backs and layered appliqué to pre-draped easy to wear skirt sarees.” Making it one of those brands to add to your bridal carts, if you wish to jump on the bandwagon on the anti-bride trend.

Masaba Gupta, a pioneer in creating bridal pieces that scream creativity and sleekness, is a crucial name that follows anti-bridal designs and silhouettes. From a blazer set to a gown saree, and even an off-shoulder blouse, the brand is a reflection of how the Gen-Z brides would dress up on her D-day. 

House of Masaba

While this trend is highly sought after internationally, with destination weddings and small soirees, it's the intention and meaning behind each detail. Sophie Et Voila has successfully captured the essence of the anti-bride with sensuality, lightness and designs that can go as chic as short dresses, to exposed romantic corsets layered with luminous fabrics and exclusivity to those who owe it. The brand ideology follows that every dress is meant to fit the curves and perfect imperfections of the body, elevating every occasion through fashion-forward styling and versatility. The Sherri Hill collection spans out into various dress categories, which I feel fit the Anti-Bride trend quite perfectly. A black gown but let it scream bride, or a chic pulled-together bridal suit that flaunts your neck, giving it royalty.  

Sustainability is a huge core practice for brands like these that make the most visually aesthetic and yet trophy-like outfits. Vivienne Westwood and Reformation are two such names that use the most unconventional designs such as crystal and pearl embroidery, with ostrich feathers, whilst the other is completely the opposite, being minimalist and yet sexy. 

The Anti-Bride trend ensures a keen focus on sustainability. Shubhika says, “We are exploring new collaborations and innovative designs while maintaining our commitment to sustainability and ethical fashion. Our goal is to create a diverse and inclusive fashion landscape, empowering every bride to celebrate her unique journey.” The same goes for Sophie Et Voila, Reformation and many other well-known bridal names in the industry today.

The anti-bride isn’t just a trend but a way of self-expression for every bride-to-be. This movement ditches the years followed by traditions and history, paving the way for bolder and more sustainable choices to be made when it comes to the season of weddings - making smarter choices, silhouettes like these aren’t designed to be worn on just one day but it’s meant to be a repetition of what’s to come. 


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