The majority of the press-baiting creations on the NY Bridal Week runway cost the equivalent of a luxury car. Unlike a luxury car, a custom designer gown is something you only get into once (maybe twice if you are creative at Halloween). In my conversations with recent brides, many complained after multiple appointments at bridal retailers, how difficult it was just to find even a simple sheath under $2000.
I admit, when I attend and shoot fashion shows, I am not always conscious of the price point of the looks on the runway. I am just documenting the design elements of what I see before me from the perspective of my design background. Being at a trade show, there was an announcer shouting out the catalog page number and both the retail and wholesale price for every style. What this jarring voice lacked in adding to the ambiance it made up for in practicality for the clients in attendance.
I saw the full, extravagant silhouettes on this runway that were comparable to any of the most famous designers that anchor NY Bridal Week. I admired the vintage inspired crystal studded embroideries on many of their looks. However, I was most impressed at the prices I was hearing from the announcer. Most of the richly embellished gowns were under $2500 retail (and usually negotiable with the boutique itself). Many were at the $1500 mark. From my own experiences at stores like Kleinfeld, that's barely a starting point.
The Maggie Sottero collection calls both Utah and Australian their home base. That's rather unusual for the designers that are major players in the bridal game. While Sydney is one of the most stylish cities in the Southern hemisphere, Salt Lake City is not the one of the top fashion locales to come to mind. Either way, the collection I photographed here was glamorous but actually accessible to most brides.All photos by Mariana Leung