An interesting newcomer has arrived on the bridal wear market. UK-based luxury retailer Matches Fashion recently launched its new Wedding Edit, a special space dedicated to the modern bride with outfits for both the aisle and events before and after the ceremony.
There are some 30 bespoke collections on the site and 250 unique pieces with prices from €184 for a balloon satin sleeve mini by Rat & Boa (which also has a leopard devore ruffle dress for €308), along with Ganni dresses from €475 for a feather trim midi, up to eye-wateringly expensive gowns from Erdem and Richard Quinn – Erdem topping it with a crystal embroidered Chantilly lace dress at €6,203.
According to leading Irish wedding planner Tara Fay, the dress is not the only big cost factor when it comes to wedding fashion. Today’s brides also have to consider options for the ceremony (if they are having a registry office marriage on a separate day, for example), as well as the reception and honeymoon – “so it means getting two or three pieces,”she says. “Big gowns need help and I remember one bride shrugging it off in the bathroom and saying ‘damn it, I want to dance’”, which is when detachable skirts and comfortably stylish footwear become desirable items.
Included on the new Matches site are many ready to wear collections that allow for this. There are evening looks along with bridal wear from some of the most sought-after designers in the UK along with Irish designer Simone Rocha with an organza tiered midi for €1,815, and a floral cloque midi skirt for €740. In between the 740 looks (you could spend ages on the site) are shoes (lower heels for dancing), jewellery, headwear (a tulle veil straw hat €711 and a floral grosgrain headband €542 both Stephen Jones), as well as shawls and boleros. Suiting a la Bianca Jagger is notable too, particularly from Christopher Kane and Jacquemus. Lingerie, beach cover ups and swimwear also feature.
As a one-stop shop, the extensive offer is impressive from the white occasion wear and outré Paco Rabanne chain mail dresses (noisy on the aisle and foxy on the eye), to suggestions for formal events pre and post the matrimonial ceremony. The stress of the dress may be part of the pre-wedding headache, but there is pleasure in the hunt as well. Visit matchesfashion.com