Wedding Couture 2020; luxury meets social awareness

Weddings are all about the lady in the dress. When doing a round up of the trends for 2020, we don’t have to look further than Google or the ‘gram for designer gowns to step off the runway and onto Pinterest. With large traditional gatherings on hold, possibly until year end, chances of wearing a trendy wedding gown soon are pretty slim. We spoke to three Cape Town bridal couture designers on what to wear in the long run.

“Environmental awareness is bringing purity back,” said Kobus Dippenaar about his bridalwear label, Anna Georgina. “Big and OTT is a disrespectful waste and so last season”, he continued.
With 33 years in the industry, one who travels extensively and retails in Germany and the UK, Kobus has his finger on the pulse of what the cosmopolitan clientele wants. According to him, abundant tulle which is trending now will always be present but paired down in deconstructed, fairytale or diaphanous designs. He prefers a more luxurious approach by working with rich tactile fabrics like silk peau de soie, (French for skin of silk) which is soft and grainy, drapes fluidly and tailors to perfection. 

“Today’s well-travelled client understands the value of quality even in economically challenging times. So I’m going back to the romance and glamour of the Grace Kelly era,” Kobus continued. “For me, it’s about a beautiful silhouette with a luxurious feel.”    

Elbeth Gilles Wedding Couture carries 20 years bridalwear experience with made-to-measure and custom designs catering to a wide clientele in terms of design and budget.

“Wedding dress design is returning to the 50’s. It’s simple and classic with a strong architectural look”, she said. “Opulence will alway be around; this time in luxurious fabrics like Mikado silk for its volume and movement,” she added. In a nutshell, ladies, step away from the frilly lace, beads and embellishments.

Completing the design trifactor is Hendrik of Hendrik Vermeulen Couture. He and his Swiss husband and business partner have relocated to Switzerland after Hendrik’s 20 year career in Cape Town. “If I were to use the word trend, it’s more of a design movement towards minimalist aesthetics both in Europe and South Africa,” he observed, proving that our bridalwear can hold court in an international arena. “Clients still want quality despite spending less frivolously. Understated elegance is the new black with big fairytale weddings giving way to intimate occasions.” he added. Then Hendrik dropped a shocker and admitted to receiving regular requests to design dresses which could be repurposed later. 

Fashion with a conscience is a common phenomenon these days, yet we never imagined that social awareness would enter the luxury world of couture so soon and without much fuss. *Applause* 

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