Historically, wedding day styles were dictated by the customs and trends of the day, which generally were demure and covered up.As recently as the early to the mid-1990s, modest wedding gowns with long sleeves, exaggerated shoulders, high necklines and full skirts reigned supreme.
The 1990′s started out much like the late 1980′s with wedding dress designs that emphasized the shoulders and upper arms. Man made materials were still a staple as was the use of inexpensive offshore labor which meant that a bride could get a beautiful wedding dress at an exceptional value. Many of the designs can most closely be related to those of the mid or late Victorian time period. The ballgown skirt was by far the most popular. The 90′s updated version had a waistline that dropped well below the hips, and then flared out to include a full skirt. Puffy sleeves and bows were still common; just like we saw in the 80′s.
Embroidery and beading were also common in 90′s wedding dresses as were off the shoulder designs. During this decade we also saw a trend toward a highly sculpted corset bodice, which allowed many body shapes to conform to the dress, giving a tightly fitted look. Stiff materials allowed for extra beadwork or pearls to be applied to the dresses, but as the decade was coming to a close, this style began to fade. As we moved closer to the turn of the century we see more free flowing and fluid materials appear and a trend toward narrow profiles once again made an appearance.
A major shift began in the mid to late 1990s when brides began requesting sexier more streamlined looks with plunging V-necks, strapless necklines and sleeveless gowns that showcased bare arms. Once the strapless looks came on the scene, they dominated. During this period, the only designs with sleeves generally were extremely conservative and worn for traditional or religious ceremonies.
If you were to sum up 1990′s wedding dresses in just a few words, especially those in the earlier parts of the decade, big and bold are two words that would come to mind.
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