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I remember all too well the frustration I felt when I was a bride, recognising how absolutely removed the bridal world was from fashion. Never had it been more clear that bridal had manifested into a fast-food type of commercial industry, where the 'choices' you had were exclusively limited to what shape you wanted, the neckline and finally, fabric: would that be silk, fake silk or lace? Oh, and did you want any fries (I mean a veil) with that?
It all felt a little too familar... I spent way too many years a regular in the drive through's of Mc Donald's and it all just felt so wrong. The one time in your life where your outfit should be most representative of you and your inidvidual style, it was lacking and big time! Not only was it non-existent, but nobody seemed to care. They were pumping these dresses out. Everybody was getting married, and if this was all the industry had to offer, then nobody had a right to complain- choose your silhouette, neckline and fabric... Any complaints? no soup for you, Next!
I do apologise for all the quirky, sub-cultural references but I feel for any bride still undergoing the same treatment today, because there is a shift; a small but important movement looking to create some kind of diversity in an otherwise white-washed industry.
Today, there are so many designers offering a more fashion-centred, individual and niche style of bridal. It is changing and evolving and finally it's getting somewhere. Not that there is anything at all wrong with a traditional bridal gown, but at the heart of it, the main issue here is choice. Fashion is the most diverse industry- with brands dedicating themselves to specific design aesthetic and style trends. No one just grabs a pair of jeans; they are dissected into the most smallest of style-fragments - yet your wedding dress comes in approximately 10 different shapes and sizes?
At the risk of sounding way too negative here, the bridal industry has long had a bad attitude. Brides-to-be needed to lose weight, get their best skin/ teeth/hair/self ready to fit themselves into the very small and specific 'bridal types' available. You were going to become a Princess! And by golly, there are only 5 silhouette styles a Princess can wear!
Let's tone this back up shall we? Bowie Rae wants to join a whole host of incredible designers who took the power back and asked the question, what is bridal?
Essentially isn't it just, the bride?
It's always easier to feed the masses; fast food chains will never really go bust, but let's create some options here and marry the bridal industry a little more closely with the fashion industry. It shouldn't be a brave thing you're doing, when you say no to someone else's idea of who you should be. It should be the accepted and expected behaviour; particularly for a bride- Let's remind ourselves what this outfit actually is; you are pausing this moment in time, inviting family and friends to do the same, spending good bloody money on photographers and videographers to capture this day where you pledge your love and life to your life partner... and you don't even get to really choose what to wear when you do this?
Un-bridal it up I say. Just like when it comes to fashion, we all have our preferences. Personal style and aesthetics are always being satisfied in the fashion industry, I think it's fair call to expect the same from the bridal industry too. What you wear on that day should be more YOU then any other outfit, any other day. My feeling is if people are talking about you, you've done it right!
I hope you are all having the time of your lives setting up this Hallmark day of yours and when it all starts to get a bit much and feel like a full time second job... Step back, have a wine (maybe a cocktail) and take a breather, because it should all just be in the name of good, old-fashioned fun ;)
Bowie Rae xx