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The wedding day is a significant day for a couple. The bride would do whatever it takes to look as beautiful as a beauty queen and as gracious as a princess in a fairy tale. And the bridegroom would want to be the matching prince that deserves the adoring bride. While hair style, makeup and manicure play important role in the transformation of the bride, the wedding gown or dress is inevitably the major eye-catcher on the occasion. In different countries worldwide, indigenous cultural ceremony with traditional costumes form the main part of a marriage occasion. But in most countries, the wedding gown as it is known in Europe and the Americas is favoured as a bride’s dress. At a bridal fashion trade fair that took place in Stuttgart, Germany between the 12th and 13th of January 2008, designers exhibited their latest bridal dresses and gowns.
 

The bridal fashion trend introduces more fabric/materials combinations and colours to the bridal fashion. While silk and silk-based fabrics such as satin, duchesse satin and shantung remain the classic wedding dress fabrics, the textile industry is providing fashion designers with novel fabrics that are topping the list of favourite materials. These fabrics include:

Chiffon: Delicate, sheer, and transparent, made from silk or rayon, with a soft finish; often layered because of its transparency, making it popular for overskirts, sheer sleeves, and wraps.

Satin: A heavy, smooth fabric with a high sheen on one side; very common in bridal gowns

Duchesse Satin: A lightweight hybrid of silk and rayon (or polyester) woven into a satin finish

Shantung : Similar to a raw silk, shantung is characterized by its slubbed texture

Charmeuse: A lightweight, semi-lustrous soft fabric, that is satin-like to the touch

Silk Gazar: A four-ply silk organza

Gabardine: A tightly-woven, firm and durable finish, with single diagonal lines on the face

Illusion: A fine, sheer net fabric, generally used on sleeves or necklines

Silk Mikado: A brand of blended silk, usually heavier than 100-percent silk

Tulle: Netting made of silk, nylon, or rayon; used primarily for skirts and veils (think ballerina tutus) continued>

 
 

Silk-faced Satin: A smooth silk satin, with a glossy front and matte back

Peau de Soie: A soft satin-faced, high-quality cloth with a dull luster, fine ribs, and a grainy appearance

Georgette: A sheer, lightweight fabric often made of polyester or silk with a crepe surface

Velvet: A soft, thick fabric with a felted face and plain underside

Taffeta: Crisp and smooth, with a slight rib; not frequently used

Crepe: A light, soft, and thin fabric with a crinkled surface

Damask: Similar to brocade with raised designs, but woven in a much lighter weight.

Faille: A structured, ribbed finish like grosgrain ribbon; usually quite substantial.

Jersey : A very elastic knit fabric; the face has lengthwise ribs and the underside has crosswise ribs

Moire: A heavy silk taffeta with a subtle, wavy design

Organdy: A stiff transparent fabric

Pique: A lengthwise rib weave in medium to heavy weights; wrinkles badly unless given a wrinkle-free finish

Dupioni: A finish similar to shantung, but with thicker, coarser fibers, and a slight sheen

Organza: Crisp and sheer like chiffon, with a stiffer texture similar in effect to tulle, but more flowing; popular for skirts, sleeves, backs, and overlays

Batiste: A lightweight, soft, transparent fabric

Brocade: A Jacquard-woven fabric with raised designs; traditionally popular for fall and winter, now also worn in warmer weather

 
 
The look and feel of a wedding gown is determined by its fabric. Each fabric has some distinctive properties that enable the designer to use the fabric to create specific effects. Natural pure silk has a luxurious feel and could be styled into very elegant designs that give gracious luxury look. Different types of satin with corresponding grades of lustre are used to produce wedding dresses that flow in consonant with the figure of the bride. Other types of fabrics are also used to create diverse styles in variety of colours.  continued>
 

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Though different nuances of white and cream still dominate, wedding gowns and dresses in colours ranging from pastel green, pink, yellow to red and black are in trend. Apart from the classical ball gown with a train, wedding gowns and dresses  are available in different lengths including Knee-length, floor-length, ankle-length, tea-length, ballerina, intermission, miniskirt and hi-lo. The necklines are styled in typical jewel, portrait, off-the shoulder and bateau forms. The creativity of bridal fashion designers is also manifested in the style of the sleeves; Three-quarter sleeves, cap sleeves, spaghetti straps, off-the-shoulder sleeves and t-shirt sleeves in all variations were presented at the trade fair in Stuttgart .
 

The combination of various neckline styles, sleeve styles, bodice, skirt-shapes and colours offers the bride a wide range of bridal dresses and gowns to choose from. However, this could be a time-consuming and difficult task. In order to look great, the bride should be careful in her choice. The length, the neckline, the sleeve, the fabric and the colour of the bridal dress/gown should fit the figure and the personality of the bride. If the bride is unsure and not able to decide, there should not be any reason to despair.

Bridal fashion is big business. The scope of the business includes bridal fashion consulting, bridal gown/dress lending services, jewellery business, bridal photography business, catering services, graphic and printing services, party services, music and disc jockey services to mention a few. The bride and the bridegroom could make their dream wedding come true by taking advantage of the numerous services offered in the bridal fashion business. The choice is theirs.          End   Afritopic 2008

 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 

 

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