Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Many Bridal-Gown Choices Follow Timeless, Traditional Style of Jackie O

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Many Bridal-Gown Choices Follow Timeless, Traditional Style of Jackie O

Article excerpt

THE FIRST RULE of fashion is that styles come and go with the times. Bridal gowns are no different. Trends take hold and influence brides across the country.

Think Grace Kelly with her elegant Dior ball gown in 1956 and Princess Di with her bigger-than-life dress in 1981. Even Tricia Nixon Cox, with her White House wedding, spawned imitators of the '70s high-waisted look created for her by Priscilla of Boston.

Maybe they were trendsetters. Maybe they simply reflected the look of their day.

As the '90s struggle for a fashion identity, it's oddly appropriate that the inspiration for this year's brides is Jackie Kennedy Onassis, who first married in 1953. There is nothing new after all, and if you're going to take from the past, where better than Camelot to turn?

"Jackie Kennedy is the No. 1 influence," said Tricia Metcalf of Virginia Bernhard Ltd. bridal salon of East Greenwich, R.I.

Brides want to capture her look of box pleats in a full ball gown. Forget the beads: They want the simplicity of Jackie's gown.

What isn't so simple are the fabrics, including rich peau de soie (a soft silk fabric of satin weave with a dull finish), glossy duchesse satins and raw silks, said Scott Gray of Cinderella Bridal Salon of East Greenwich.

"Brides are looking for a simple dress in a nice fabric," he said. "It's in the Jackie O style that is timeless and traditional. They don't want anything trendy."

Claudia Pisaturo of Filomena's bridal salon in East Providence, R.I., also noted that many want A-line silhouettes as a scaled-down version of the full ball gown, made in a tulle or organza fabric for a lighter-than-air look.

Shop owners said that this trend toward sophistication is being driven by older brides seeking elegant weddings.

Metcalf said that the tank-style gown, with a sleeveless, form-fitting bodice, is a new, in-demand look for the well-toned bride. Over-the-elbow gloves complement the style.

On the ball gowns, fitted sleeves are made of delicate lace or tulle. Necklines include sweetheart and portrait styles, which complement the simple silhouettes.

As for headpieces, Nancy Rodrigues Spiritu, who does custom bridal headwear and accessories at Studio in Cranston, R. …

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