(ARA) - Finally found the perfect dress? Now it's time to go from blushing bride to a fashion stand-out your family and friends will be talking about for years.
Whether you prefer the classic elegance of old-Hollywood glamour or the daring innovation of the avant-garde, fashion instructors from several Art Institutes school locations share the top trends in bridal accessories that can help you achieve a one-of-a-kind look on your wedding day.
Accessories can be a fun and easy way for brides to add some creativity to their style, while also showing off their personality. One way to look unique on your wedding day is through headpieces, according to Erica Sewell, Fashion Instructor at The Art Institute of New York City.
Brides are trading in traditional veils in lieu of headbands, fascinators, blushers, feathers and for the daring brides, hats. Jewels and headbands, like the ones seen recently on Kim Kardashian and Alicia Keys, are another great alternative to traditional veils. Sewell is also seeing more Eastern-looking head jewelry.
Tiaras are another bridal classic that are getting a makeover. They are being replaced by birdcage veils, which are short, face-framing veils that were popular in the 40s, and fascinators, like those seen during the royal wedding.
When looking at jewelry, many brides are keeping it simple or focusing on statement pieces that can be worn again and again after the wedding is over. "Your dress you wear one time. Your accessories are for a lifetime," says Michelle Zabel, Fashion Instructor at The Art Institute of Washington - Dulles, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta. "People are spending more on their accessories, because they can wear them again."
Another trend in jewelry is vintage pieces. "Brides are incorporating vintage pieces from their family," says Michael Watson, Fashion Instructor at The Art Institute of Charlotte. These pieces are not only unique, but they also have sentimental value. And, whether vintage or new, brooches and lariats are making a return to the scene, but are being used in unexpected ways. Lariats are long chains that can be wrapped around the neck several times with the ends either hanging loosely or tied into a "y" shape. "If a bride has a dress with some back detail, some are using a lariat in reverse so the long part is hanging down the back," says Sewell. Instead of finding brooches only on the dress, brides are now using them to accessorize their bouquets.
If the thought of a feathered headpiece worthy of Carrie Bradshaw's couture-clad bride seems a little extreme for your tastes, don't worry. Feathers are definitely having a fashion moment, and the ways to incorporate them are endless. According to Watson, "feathers have transitioned into an inexpensive way to make your look unique." Sewell agrees, noting that people are putting feathers on fascinators, clips, combs and veils. "Feathers are a big story as far as headgear," she says.
Headpieces aren't the only place one can find feathers. Just like brooches, they are also turning up on wedding bouquets. "Flowers have been clean, simple, minimal and accessorized with pearls, feathers and rhinestones," says Watson.
What girl doesn't love her shoes, and for today's bride pretty much anything goes. For something unexpected, brides can add a pop of color with their shoes or even go a little trendier with lace booties. Sewell says she is also seeing shoes in general becoming less traditional and more casual. This includes taking a fashion cue from the guys. "Some brides are wearing sneakers, such as Chuck Taylors, because the grooms are wearing sneakers," says Sewell.