...and where has 2011 gone?!! As we go into what is traditionally our quietest time of year, with brides taking a break from planning their weddings to plan Christmas instead, we have a chance to take stock, and prepare for the busy year that’s coming up around the corner. So let’s look at some of the trends we’ve seen this year, and what our predictions are for 2012.
2011 has been a year in which….
• Lace has been creeping up in popularity, with bridal gowns featuring a little lace appliqué being the most popular
• Purple has been a big trend for bridesmaid dresses this year, along with blue, and bright/hot pinks have made a comeback. But ivory and neutral palettes have been really popular too.
• The asymmetric headband is the absolute must-have accessory
• Despite a general feeling from lots of designers that we retailers would be inundated with girls asking for a dress just like Kate Middleton’s, we didn’t believe the hype. We loved her dress but we didn’t buy one of the many copies on offer, and guess what? We haven’t had a single girl tell us she wants a dress just like Kate’s. Proof that Aliya Rose knows its market? Well I like to think so.
• Traditional busy seasons in bridal retail have gone out the window, but for us this has meant being steadily busy throughout the year instead of having bedlam for a couple of months followed by a period of tumbleweed blowing through the shop. We and our customers are happier for it!
• A sense of calm has been restored after the unprecedented number of last minute orders we saw in 2010. It was a nationwide trend (kicked off, we think, by the recession) which saw many designers having to suspend their rush service as they were so heavily laden with short timescale orders. We are now, thankfully, back to the vast majority of orders being placed well in advance of the wedding date!
And here’s what we think will happen in 2012…
• Lace is going to get even more popular, with lots of delicate full lace bridal gowns in many different shapes
• The fishtail silhouette is going to be huge, with superb figure hugging designs, and if you don’t think you have the figure, you might be pleasantly surprised – some of these gowns have incredible corsetry and it’s simply about finding one that gives you all the right proportions
• If lace isn’t for you, then you might want to look at the other end of the scale, with a really clean, simple look, and a statement embellishment. Or go down the route of the dress you can customise to REALLY make it your own. We have lots of ideas of how to change your dress to make it unique.
• For bridesmaids, chiffon is definitely going to be big. Colour-wise, we are expecting some requests for some ultra-hot tropical colours: watermelon, yellow, hot pink… along with some beautiful new purples and blues
• Statement accessories are on their way. The asymmetric vintage style headband is here to stay, but it’s being joined by super-full or super-long veils, chandelier earrings, and chunky cuff bracelets. Don’t wear them all at once though, or you’ll look like an overdressed Christmas tree. Be sure to visit our new Accessories Zone which is due to open in the New Year… stay tuned for more info!