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Friday, October 9, 2015

NY Bridal Week: THEIA Fall 2016

NY Bridal Week got off on a very sexy start Thursday with THEIA's Fall 2016 Bridal collection. Designer Don O'Neill's inspiration this season was the sultry spirit of 1920s opium dens. 

What I love about how O'Neill designs his collections is that he considers his theme both aesthetically and intellectually. Aesthetically, you see influences of the time period in bias silhouettes and the very current trend of fringe worked into elegant gowns. You also see hints of Asian influence in the use of red for bridal gowns and the embroidery without veering into cultural appropriation that lesser designers are tempted by.
 A bit of the flapper influence immediately set the tone with that first look of vampy eye shadow and fur chubby and the beaded gown. Intellectually, the opium den was carried through in the spirit of a bride who has rid herself of her inhibitions and is now free. There were sheer dresses that served to highlight the graphic patterns of the embroidery. The 1920s was a breakthrough decade of major progress in women's lives so the liberation idea was appropriate there too.
In practical details, THEIA does a great job of taking classic details and current fashion trends and reworking them into bridal. Instead of standard cowl-back bias gown, there were multiple draped strips framing the back. Off-the-shoulder silhouettes were cut in modern shapes. Instead of using fringe in a bohemian way or traditional flapper dress, the placement was used to create movement where a sheer skirt or back cape detail might be.

A perfect partnership, floral designer Fleur de Pascal created dramatic orchid bouquets, lillies and over-sized lotus flowers for a sophisticated look. He wasn't afraid to go dark for the darker colored gowns adding to that sultry, illicit opium den vibe.

The THEIA bridal collection once again gave us a beautiful collection that is flattering, sexy and fashion forward. It has hints of classic bridal silhouettes but pushes them forward with updated trends. When the foggy opium den haze clears, what an image these gowns make.
photos by Mariana Leung

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