As I scroll through Instagram, my face lights up. Finally! Wedding imagery of one of my ultimate icons has just popped onto my feed… it’s Chloë Sevigny (of course), looking devilishly chic in a custom couture Jean Paul Gaultier white wedding dress. But this isn’t your average pared back silk gown. Sevigny’s has layer upon layer of tulle and lace frothing at the shoulders, and sea-like tendrils of fabric running down the dresses length and train – she looks like the coolest ocean deep creature you’ve ever seen.
But the joy did not stop there. Just when you thought Sevigny had classically done bridal her own way, her afterparty (held at her brother's New York bar Paul's Casablanca) outfit trumped all expectations. Sevigny uploaded a photo – cigarette in hand – dressed in a Victoriana white lace and silk corset with a matching full-length bodysuit. So. Damn. Cool.
Chloë Sevigny in her Jean Paul Gaultier dress, and her husband, art gallery director Siniša Mačković
“tHE pAnDEmIC HaS sHiFTeD THe wAy iN wHicH cUsTOmeRS CONsiDeR tHeiR CLotHiNg cHOicEs”
Kourtney Kardashian in her Dolce & Gabanna mini dress, and Travis Barker
Sevigny is not alone in her intriguing choice for bridalwear, however – Kourtney Kardashian also made headlines this week. Although having already married in Las Vegas (without a licence, I might add), she officially tied the knot to beau Travis Barker at the downtown Santa Barbara courthouse.
Now synonymous with her rock ‘n’ roll makeover, Kourtney took a similar approach to her wedding look, eschewing the traditional long gown in favour of a white mini dress by Dolce & Gabbana ($1,895), complete with a gigantic dangling golden heart at the centre of the bust. To complete this left field look, she opted for a simple hood-like veil and matching gloves. The fun did not stop there, though – it's Travis and Kourtney, after all. Their footwear was in sync too, with Kourtney in velvet burgundy heels and Travis in matching loafers. Her whole ensemble was very teenage runaway bride, but perhaps that was the point?
For Shereen Basma, COO and buying director of KOIBIRD, this penchant for alternative wedding attire is by no means surprising – the pandemic has shifted the way in which customers consider their clothing choices. “Where it was chic to be dressed minimally, it now feels right to be dressed UP, it’s not uncool to look like you’ve made an effort now,” she says.
Daphne Bridgerton (right, played by Phoebe Dynevor) in her wedding dress, and her brother Anthony Bridgerton (left, played by Jonathan Bailey) in Netflix hit Bridgerton
This shift is also seen in the data. According to fashion search engine Lyst’s 2021 wedding report, more brides were seeking out 19th century inspired gowns – Bridgerton fans, rejoice! Regency era searches increased by 133%, demand for bridal corsets by 291% and embellished headpieces saw global searches increasing by 156%.
Lyst also revealed the need for more party pieces in the bridal category. Mini bridal dresses saw an increase of 170% and rhinestone heels proved to be the most popular search term for shoes.
“iT’s nOT UncOOL tO LOOk LiKe yOu’Ve mADe An eFFORt nOw”
Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski at their London Chelsea wedding, 1968
“Dressing up, taking more risks with choices, we’ve seen that reflected in KOIBIRD sales,” says Basma on this more eccentric take on bridalwear. “The customer is investing in special pieces that have a flamboyance, it’s a new kind of investment piece – it’s impractical, but brings joy.”
But ultimately, every bride just wants to be at her very best; “Some brides-to-be have waited a long time to have a celebration, so going all-out with the dress seems natural,” says Basma, Words could not be truer.