You’ve got the squad, we’ve found the dresses. We profile ten of the sassiest bridesmaid labels that you and your girls need to know now
WHAT THE FROCK? If you’re in the market for a classic yet relevant uniform for the girls, take a look at Dessy. Established by Margot Rosenthal in 1939, it’s an authority on all things bridesmaid. Although the label originally produced just veils and headpieces, it wasn’t long until it introduced wildly successful dresses for the bridal party.
These days, it’s still the go-to brand, but one that’s dedicated to keeping up with the times. What’s next? “Jumpsuits are this season’s must-have,” says Jadene Hayes. “They are so versatile and would suit a fashion-forward bridesmaid. And, of course, they can be worn again!” Case in point: Dessy’s sophisticated, impeccable option in crepe above.
WHAT THE FROCK? When Motee Maids first launched in 2017, its signature, innovative lattice beading and mix-and-match approach had us feeling some kind of way – here was a line that was fresh, cool and definitely not destined for the back of the wardrobe.
A couple of years on, and Motee has gone from strength to strength, without losing the charm of its original concept. “Two new bodice designs have been added to the Motee original collection, bringing the total number available up to nine,” reports founder Rosanna Garden. “We predict that the halterneck will be a big trend for the year ahead. It’s a style that is super-flattering on most figures.”
WHAT THE FROCK? If Florence Welch were ever to be a bridesmaid, we reckon she’d be all over Rewritten. The brand is young (it was launched in 2016 by friends Katie Arnott and Frances Cookson), but it’s already a firm fixture on the bridal scene, thanks to its modern vintage vibe. “Inspired by the oversized, billowing silhouettes of the 1970s, our new collection is a celebration of vivid colour and fluid movement,” explains Frances.
“With a heavy emphasis on the mix-and-match trend, flowing palazzo trousers are teamed with a kimono-style wrap top, and a beautifully cut bias skirt is worn with a delicate cross-strap camisole.” Heck, we’d wear the Prague dress right now – those sleeves…
Stockists include: Melle Cloche
WHAT THE FROCK? Ah, Watters, how we love you. The American powerhouse has been producing directional dresses for almost 40 years and shows no sign of slowing down. Considering founder Vatana Watters began her career casually designing pieces for frustrated friends and family who’d been struggling to find anything non-traditional, it’s remarkable that Watters now encompasses no fewer than three sister labels: Watters, its core offering; Wtoo, a more youthful interpretation of the brand’s fun, feminine aesthetic; and Willowby, a bohemian babe’s dream – free-spirited, laid-back ’maids, this one’s for you.
“The Fall 2019 Watters bridesmaid range was inspired by real bridesmaids and their love for effortlessly chic dresses that can be worn time and time again,” says the company’s style director Sydney Watters Dunbar. “Girls can expect to see modern styles with lace trim, strategically placed tiers and wearable necklines.” Just add a halo braid and flower crown.
Maids to Measure
WHAT THE FROCK? London-based Maids to Measure has an urban edge that’ll satisfy the type of bridal crew who’d rather rock an irreverent ankle boot than a prim court shoe down the aisle (seriously, how covetable is the combination of flouncy wrap dress and cowboy boot, far right?).
This is your trusty source of ’90s slip dresses, slitted skirts and distinctly contemporary takes on the stalwart pastel gown. “Brides continue to crave clean lines and styles to suit different figures, in the same or complementary colours, which is what we specialise in,” director Sinclair Sellars explains. “We’ve noticed that the number of bridesmaids each bride is having is growing – our average has moved from two to four, with our record so far being 13!”
Going forward, Maids to Measure will be stocked at Glasgow boutique Melle Cloche. “We are excited to have award-winning Melle Cloche as our exclusive Glasgow stockist,” Sinclair says. “It’s known as a bridesmaid destination and we are very much looking forward to working with the team there.”
Stockists include: Melle Cloche and Perfect Bridal Rooms
WHAT THE FROCK? Pleasing everyone is, of course, impossible, but if anything can come close, it’s Morilee’s bridesmaid selection. All across her bridal empire, designer Madeline Gardner has a knack for marrying timeless shapes with unexpected details and savvy fabric choices, but one area where her talent really is unmistakable is in bridesmaid gowns.
For spring, the proportions are on point: you’ll notice close-fitting halternecks atop flowing chiffon jumpsuits; romantic, ruffled asymmetric necklines combined with slinky split skirts; and slightly deeper sweetheart necklines that manage to be more sultry than saccharine. As for colour, the cooler end of the spectrum is where it’s at.
Hayley Paige Occasions
WHAT THE FROCK? Hayley Paige Occasions comes courtesy of 30-year-old Stateside bridal giant JLM and fashion darling Hayley Paige, purveyor of the sartorial equivalent of a My Little Pony – that is, frothy, waterfall ballgowns in shimmering blush and lilac – and her own range of wedding emojis, entitled Holy Matrimoji.
If that’s not impressive enough, her bridesmaid line is brimming with assured options for the party. The unusual statement strap neckline of style 5911 (above) has earned all the heart eyes from Team TTKS, as has the chiffon cape (above, middle) and pale pistachio colourway, Sage. Elsewhere, anticipate frilly V-necklines and refined satin trumpet gowns.
WHAT THE FROCK? It was no surprise to us that True Bride’s winning formula (decadent, heavily embellished Hollywood glamour with an affordable price tag) won over a generation of brides last year. Chances are you’ve checked it out already, but did you know that the brand also caters to ’maids?
The range is luxurious and grown-up, with clever beaded accents to echo the bridal line and expert tailoring to flaunt every curve your girls have got going on. We’ve got our eye on the rich Eggplant shade (Tyra, above), which will suit most skin tones.
Stockists include: Barony Brides, Blush Bridal, The Bridal Boutique, CKS Bridal, Da Wedding Shed, Diane Honeyman, Ederra Bridal Studio, Forever Bridal Inverness, The Finer Detail, Ivory Whites, Kudos Bridal Boutiques, Marina’s Bridal, Polly Rose Boutique, Simply Bliss Bridal Boutique, Sarah Louise Bridal, Sophia Grace Couture and Wedding Belles Bridal
WHAT THE FROCK? Sorella Vita is in good company: the bridesmaid force is part of the phenomenal Essense of Australia group, under whose umbrella you’ll find bridal favourites Martina Liana and Stella York, as well as the main Essense line.
Famed for figure-hugging silhouettes and obsessive attention to detail, this family of labels is prolific and its relentless work ethic also extends to Sorella Vita, where the prettiest of designs prevail. “Today’s bridesmaid dresses are all about striking a balance between effortless, trendy bohemian beauty, and the classic feel of a formal wedding-day look,” considers chief creative officer Martine Harris. Nailed it.
Stockists include: Angharad Bridal, Apple Blossom Time, The Finer Detail, Isobel Florence Bridal, Kudos Bridal Boutiques, Olivia Cameron Bridal, Opus Couture, Perfect Bridal Rooms, Sarah Louise Bridal, Simply Bliss Bridal Boutique and Sophia Grace Couture
Christina Wu Occasions
WHAT THE FROCK? Nearly 30 years of experience has been distilled into Christina Wu Celebration, the House of Wu’s bridesmaid label. Hailing from Florida, the brand proudly places a strict emphasis on fit and a flair for diversity in design, so this is where to search if you have a real motley crew of figures to flatter (and, let’s face it, that’s most of us).
No changing-room breakdowns here. “Sleeves and customisable necklines are very popular with larger bridal parties,” says the brand’s Mary Hall. “We’ve introduced a couple of new fabrics, including a sparkle knit and a printed floral, which are perfect for summer events and shimmering away at a beach wedding.”