Photo by Mike Colon for Galia Lahav

This New York Bridal Fashion Week was a reflection of the modern bride, with denim jackets, pink hues and feathers dominating the catwalk as much as traditional tulle ball gowns.

Inspired by brides the world over, designers celebrated today’s bride who is a free spirit seeking a wedding day look that is a reflection of her true self.

Several key trends stood out from the dozens of collections that Polka Dot Bride previewed in New York, including statement sleeves, floral embroidery, detachable skirts and pantsuits.

Statement sleeves

From striking balloon sleeves at Galia Lahav to glittering drop sleeves at Lee Grebenau and dramatic floor-sweeping sleeves at Inbal Dror and Theia, the strapless gowns which have dominated bridal fashion seem long gone.

Inspired by the trend-setting traditional bridal looks of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, nearly every designer featured gowns with embroidered sleeves in intricate lace and beading to accompany both plunging and boat necklines

Galia Lahav (1 & 2) , Theia (3 & 4), Inbal Dror (5 & 6)


Pantsuits were also one of the biggest stand-out trends on the catwalk, with designers adding their own flourishes.

Inspired by old Hollywood, the collection from British Australian designer Moira Hughes featured a pantsuit with an embroidered batwing top, while Justin Alexander’s jumpsuits stunned with dramatic oversized satin capes and allover beading.

A tuxedo jacket with a detachable chiffon skirt was a highlight at Savannah Miller, while Galia Lahav stunned with his pantsuit which consisted of satin trousers, a sheer corset and satin overskirt.

Theia (1), Savannah Miller (2, 3, 4), Justin Alexander (5 & 6) Laure De Sagazan (7, 8 & 9)

Detachable skirts

As more brides incorporate separate ceremony and reception looks, detachable skirts and trains were also incorporated by many designers.

At Pronovias, Justin Alexander, Lee Grebenau and Galia Lahav, slinky mermaid dresses were transformed into red carpet numbers with dramatic tulle petticoats while a beaded romper at Morilee by Madeline Gardner was given a bridal makeover with a multi-layered tulle overskirt.

Galia Lahav (1 & 2) Justin Alexander (3) Morilee By Madeline Gardner (4) Jenny Yoo (5)

Floral embroidery

Floral motifs also dominated bridal trends this year, from intricate embroidery to beading. Lee Grebenau’s ‘Enchanted Blossom’ collection was adorned with three-dimensional floral stitching and beading while Alexandra Grecco also included bold floral embroidery.

At Pronovias, sheer panelling was transformed with romantic, oversized floral motifs. A jumpsuit with allover beaded flowers stunned the crowd at Justin Alexander while Savannah Miller included subtle, pastel-coloured embroidery of necklines on underskirts.

Alexandra Grecco (1, 2, 3 & 4), Watters (5)

Old Hollywood

While mermaid, trumpet and ball gown skirts, low backs and plunging necklines still reigned supreme among bridal fashion, several designers decided to go back to old Hollywood for inspiration.

Moira Hughes was entirely inspired by old Hollywood brides such as Grace Kelly, giving them an updated look, while high rise Victorian necklines and halter-neck gowns in bias-cut silky crepe at Jenny Yoo, Anna Campbell and Theia stood out amongst the traditional tulle ball gowns.

Theia (1 & 2),  Morilee by Madeline Gardner (3), Watters (4) Jenny Yoo (5)