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Elegance and simplicity with a touch of risk

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Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013 12:00 am

They are the basic ingredients in the newest bridal collections by Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta and Angel Sanchez that emphasized voluminous skirts, sharp pleats, sparkles and floral motifs.

These Latin designers are known to make some of the most elaborate, influential and popular gowns in the New York bridal market, which recently held a series of runway previews of gowns that likely will be headed down the aisle.

From de la Renta's signature highly elaborate designs to Sanchez's architectural triangular creases in the neckline, there were many sophisticated and innovative options that showed attention to detail.

"Architecture is my resource to achieve proportion, line, but to me, the materials, the detail to the ornament, help make women look beautiful. This collection really has that balance," Sanchez said after his show on Monday.

"I don't find it to be that daring. I see it as a collection that shows the back, that has things that remind of something sexy, but is so veiled, so discreet, so romantic, that it would never look vulgar. I tried to avoid sexiness being transformed into something obvious," he added.

Venezuelan Sanchez stayed faithful to modern dresses with his characteristic play on geometry. A bit of glitz came from the gemstones used to define thin belts. He also included designs that left the back uncovered and others that seemed to arise from a fairy tale.

Sanchez, who designed wedding gowns for Eva Longoria and Sandra Bullock, explained that instead of presenting two bridal collections a year this time he focused only in this one, with a total of 25 pieces. "I wanted a well-thought proposal. I took my time with this collection," he said. "What puts it all together in this collection is the ethereal. For me, a bridal grown has to offer lightness. Something ethereal is per se romantic."

De la Renta made the most out of organza and lace, giving his brides floral designs and strategic use of sheer materials. He left the shoulders bare and opted for voluminous and elaborated skirts. It wasn't an entirely white runway, with de la Renta using occasional flashes of pastel colors, starting his show with a blue dress and including another in pink with details in white lace.

Silk and long veils were key elements to his collection, as well as the use of beadwork. The Dominican Republic-born De la Renta greeted the crowd with a generous smile at the end of his show.

Elaborate embroidery on otherwise simple silhouettes defined Herrera's collection. The Venezuelan-born designer covered arms in lace or with a cape tied to a bow. She included platinum, gold and even some grey in her color palette.

"Carolina Herrera designs each wedding dress to be unique, evocative of the bride's personal style and embodying the spirit of the wedding day — with never a reference trend," according to her house statement offered to the press.

With this collection, the designer also launched her first blog, "The Carolina Herrera Bride," and described it as a resource to brides around the world.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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