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A Beautiful Illusion {Portrait Back Wedding Dresses}

1-SBB

A Beautiful Illusion {Portrait Back Wedding Dresses} | SouthBound Bride

K-Patz in happier days. Tut tut, Kristin. No more sparkly boyfriend for you.

Blame it on Kristin Stewart. (I mean, she’s getting blamed for everything else right now, why not.) I thought the biggest style statement of that there Twilight wedding would be the hanging blooms, but it turns out that Bella’s gorgeous illusion back gown was the big winner. With lace being huge right now, I am seeing beautiful lace backs popping up everywhere, and goodness if they don’t always catch my breath. Now I’ll admit, there’s a bit of envy here because no way no how am I ever going to be wearing one of these in any form (let’s just say the look gets a little ruined by a bra strap, and I get a little ruined without a bra), but for you ladies who can pull this look off, they make an incredibly stylish and romantic statement. (For the rest of us, of course, there are still illusion necklines which are also a big trend, but that’s another post). There’s something about the mixture of covered and sheer, of lace and skin, that makes them simultaneously demure and sexy. Just one note of caution – if you have your heart set on wearing your hair down (or even half down, or in a ponytail), give this dress style a miss. No point in covering up Mona Lisa’s smile!

To get you inspired, I thought I would introduce you to some of the key designers who have been working this look recently, and then show you my local favourite.

CLAIRE PETTIBONE
You’d have to be living under a rock not to have come across Claire Pettibone‘s designs this year, especially since she was the designer of choice for Mark Zuckerberg’s bride Priscilla. Illusion backs are a key feature of her current collection, and have recently featured in amazing shoots from the likes of the legendary Elizabeth Messina, (a style combination so pretty it actually hurts).

A Beautiful Illusion {Portrait Back Wedding Dresses} | SouthBound Bride

A Beautiful Illusion {Portrait Back Wedding Dresses} | SouthBound Bride

Sources (clockwise from top left): 1- Anne Adams Photography via Wedding Chicks; 2-  Elizabeth Messina via Wedding Chicks; 3- Elizabeth Messina via Style Me Pretty; 4-  Mi Belle Photography via Bridal Musings & SMP

LELA ROSE
Another designer who’s been perfecting the look is US label Lela Rose. Her dresses are simple and incredibly feminine, and I adore those scooped backs and glittery, lacy motifs.

A Beautiful Illusion {Portrait Back Wedding Dresses} | SouthBound Bride

Sources: left- via Zankyou; centre- Scobey Photography; right- via Martha Stewart

VELUZ REYEZ
If you’ve not heard of Veluz Reyez before, I have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more about her soon. She’s a custom wedding gown designer based in the Philippines, and each dress is a work of art. Aren’ t they beautiful?

A Beautiful Illusion {Portrait Back Wedding Dresses} | SouthBound Bride

Sources: top left- Paul Vincent via Belle the Magazine; top right- Metrophoto via Belle the Magazine; bottom- Pat Dy via The Veluz Bride

TADASHI SHOJI
Tadashi Shoji is already a name well known among celebrities and on the US pageant circuit, although South Africans may be less familiar. Every time I see this gown (which, for the record, only costs £368 – whaaaat?) I want to throw a pretty party.

A Beautiful Illusion {Portrait Back Wedding Dresses} | SouthBound Bride

Sources: top left- Kellee Walsh via Style Me Pretty; top right- Sean Flanigan via Ruffled; bottom- James Christianson via Elizabeth Anne Designs

OTHER DESIGNERS

A Beautiful Illusion {Portrait Back Wedding Dresses} | SouthBound Bride

A Beautiful Illusion {Portrait Back Wedding Dresses} | SouthBound Bride

Sources and designers: Row 1: left- Arvydas Videika via Wedding Dress Avenue; centre- via Fashion TV; right- Mark Zunino for Kleinfeld via Zankyou; Row 2: Anne Campbell via Weddings by Lilly; Row 3: left- Valentino via Larissa Luella; right- Retro Vintage Weddings on Etsy

If you’re in South Africa, you might be feeling a bit blue since as far as I know, none of the designers above is currently available in SA (although of course many designers at home will custom-make for you). However, if you love this look off the rack, let me introduce you to Elbeth Gillis’ Elizabeth, from her 2012 collection. I’ve seen this gown up close and personal, since I included it in a shoot I styled a few months ago (I WISH I could show you guys, but hang in there!) and holy moley, but it is stunning. So if this is a look you’ve fallen in love with, give Elbeth a call!

A Beautiful Illusion {Portrait Back Wedding Dresses} | SouthBound Bride

 Images via Elbeth Gillis

What do you think? Is this this prettiest look of 2012?

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6 Comments
  1. Holy gorgeous gowns! I never thought I’d love illusion gowns so much, but now I’m absolutely itching to try one on!

    August 22, 2012
  2. As trends go… this is one I am really hoping will stick around!! Swoon xo

    August 22, 2012
  3. Amy #

    Truly stunning! I think the first one I love the best because of it’s simplicity!

    August 24, 2012
  4. Love love love this!! x

    August 25, 2012
  5. Harsh a #

    Loved the gowns and specially the way the backs have been adorned

    August 26, 2012
  6. The gowns are so amazing and stunning.The back is very delicate and charming.I love the design.If i can have a such bridal dress ,it should be much better!

    August 27, 2012

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