After a year spent going all out on gowns—two years of cancellations, postponements and downsized ceremonies will do that to a bride—2023 will see a marked shift towards simpler, barer silhouettes. In particular, says Khalil, the minimalism of the ’90s will serve as a key point of inspiration.
“I am seeing a lot more relaxed shapes, with brides looking to bias cuts,” the designer shares. “We are also seeing a demand for the simpler ball gown silhouettes in heavy, plain satins. Over-embellishing is taking a backseat, and classic laces and satins are moving back in.”
This season, keep your eye out for white gowns that are bare and body-skimming; spaghetti straps and liquid skirts will come more prominently into favour as brides adopt a less-is-more mentality.
A fresh interest in minimal shapes doesn’t mean that brides in 2023 won’t be taking their fair share of sartorial risks. If anything, says Khalil, they’re becoming more confident in being experimental with textures and fabrics,
challenging the norm by wearing fabrics not traditionally used in a bridal setting. “We just created a beautiful tweed ball gown for Becky Boston, who married Australian cricket captain Pat Cummins,” explains Khalil.
“The silhouette was a classic ball gown, but the outcome was a modern bridal look with an unexpected texture and definition.” Look also to brides like Ivy Getty and Genevieve Morano Campori, whose mirrored mosaic and golden Vivienne Westwood gowns were left-field, but not eccentric.
High necklines, inspired by wedding dresses like Grace Kelly’s Helen Rose gown and Catherine, Princess of Wales’s Alexander McQueen design, remain as popular as ever.
Expect them in traditional fabrics like eyelash lace, says Khalil, though ’70s-inspired halter necks—think Meghan Markle’s Stella McCartney reception gown—will also serve as a reference.
It’s unlikely that we’ll ever stop getting married in white, but with each passing year, fewer brides consider the shade as their default option. The last year in particular has seen an increasing number opt for colours adjacent to ivory: peaches and cream, ballet slipper pink, or antique gold.
It’s a development that Khalil has also noted amongst his clients. “There are usually requests for latte tones, silvers and blush pinks,” he says. In 2023, consider expanding your horizons past white to an array of soft pastels that can be equally romantic and regal.
A wedding dress doesn’t need to be a ball gown to make an impact. Brides getting married in the upcoming season will consider hems cut at the ankles and even the knees, worn either at the official ceremony or the reception.
Some shorter dresses will nod to vintage silhouettes, like Audrey Hepburn’s tea-length Funny Face design, later referenced by Zoë Kravitz at her Parisian wedding.
Others will be mini and exceedingly contemporary. Says Khalil: “Suit blazer jacket dresses are being requested as a solo look, or as an outfit change to take our brides into their reception.”
Adding onto Khalil’s observations about the more relaxed, restrained aesthetic dominating bridal dressing come 2023 is the emergence of the capped sleeve. “I am noticing our brides are no longer asking for full sleeves but rather capped ones, exposing a little more skin,” says Khalil.
If you’re a bride whose taste in wedding gowns errs on the sweeter side, try your hand at the trend by wearing a delicate, A-line design in chiffon.
Those with a penchant for theatre however can consider pairing the cap sleeve with a fuller skirt, or adding detail to the sleeve itself, either with appliqués or crystals.
Just how versatile can a wedding look be? In 2023, Khalil predicts, a growing number of brides will be requesting designs that incorporate two dresses in one.
“With an increased interest in creating two separate looks,” explains Khalil, “we have brides asking for a bodysuit bodice, which allows for a skirt change from the day to the night.”