2014 Looks for the Alternative Bride

By Amy-Jo Tatum, Published Feb 12, 2014

What do indie designers have in store for 2014? Offbeat dresses and head chic you will adore! If you're looking for that dress or accessory with a twist of cutting edge, a hint of costume or vintage chic, stop by Etsy rather than the bi-yearly NY Bridal Markets. Artisans  found on this mega site for the creative have the freedom as well as time to explore more inspiring options simply because they produce smaller lines. Below are some trends emerging on Etsy that I just love. Comment below with your faves!


Black and Colored Laces: Laces backed in contrasting colors make motifs pop.  Not only does this technique make for beautiful couture, it truly makes a statement piece.

Anything Austen: Strong female characters from this  icon's romantic novels have endured the centuries. Simple silhouettes in soft flowing fabrics epitomize the look.  Add some fine china and a few carefully chosen accessories into the mix and it's perfect inspiration for all you die-hard romantics who love to add a little costume to your wedding day drama.

Tye Die For: I remember the rush on tye dye back in the 1960s-70s but did I ever think I'd see it make a comeback in formal wear? In the height of the hippie era, tye dye was everywhere and worn by both men and women.   Now in cotton, silk and rayon, this rainbow of color would be ideal for the adventurous bride wanting something different. This fabric looks as if it was printed tye dye in the factory rather than submerged in the process, though the overall effect is perfectly stunning . . . 

Prairie Revival: Designers Laura Ashley and Jessica McClintock designed dresses back in the 1970s evoking looks from Little House on the Prairie and  Elvira Madigan.  High necklines, organdy yokes, and skirts embroidered in eyelet were hot tickets for brides and prom-goers back then.  Lately we've seen dresses like this in styled shoots under titles like Boho 70s and Hippie Chic.  While designers are working with this look, most seem to be adding more open necklines, bell sleeves and form fitting skirts . . . .

Crocheted Laces: Crocheted laces are trending as trims on wedding dresses as well as an allover lace.  Believe it or not, some dresses are completely crocheted!  That's right--crocheted by hand!  I predict over the next few years we'll be seeing many more swoon-worthy candidates both new and vintage.

Three Dimensional-Looking Laces, Beading and Appliques: Handmade florals, beading and embroidery are just a few techniques that can be mixed together to make one gorgeous piece of wearable art like this one. . .

Sequins and Sparkle: Glitter, glitz and bling, whether crystal, sequin, jewel sewn or even intricate embroidery, is one trend some brides embrace with gusto. If you love the sparkle, don't get caught up in the question of whether or not extreme sheen is right only for night time celebrations; just enjoy it! 


Gatsbyesque: Yes, Gatsby is still going strong, especially in the head chic department. Designers are incorporating Gatsby-inspired elements into modern fashion as well as reviving the entire era in collections.  Topping off your look with 1920s head and hat regalia can pull your entire look together whether you're adding just a hint of Gatsby or an entire wedding day theme.

The Pill Box Hat: Reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy, the pillbox worn with a short wisp of veil or netting was a head option back in the 1960s for brides sporting a less formal look.  Fast forward almost fifty years later and this look can pair up nicely with to-the-floor opulence as well as shorter dresses.

Poufs, Cocktail Hats, and Fascinators: For me, all three of these styles carry a more modern tone than vintage but can be matched up with dresses harking back to yesteryear. The pouf is a relatively rare reinvention that plays off well with intricately bustled dresses found in Can-Can and Toulouse Lautrec-inspired designs.

Recent Blogs