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The Faculty of Arts and Design’s Andile Dube asked Fashion and Textiles alumna and McCarthy Wolff’s co-owner and head designer, Jane Wolff about bridal trends to expect this year. If you are planning on tying the knot this year, Wolff also gives hot tips on how to find the perfect wedding dress.

The coronavirus has changed the landscape of so many industries and the bridal industry is one of those that have been affected. Wolff notes that in the past two years’ brides have been opting for a more simplistic style. This can be attributed to the fact that weddings in general have had to be downscaled due to COVID-19 restrictions, such as guest-lists being cut and vendors increasing prices.

She predicts that this year people can expect “much more simplistic designs. There is a focus on more easy wearing dresses, more simple; meaning satin and beads, more streamline, the dresses are more chic and clean.”

According to Wolff trends have moved away from heavy chorded laces, and brides are embracing more soft tulle which was a trend two years ago, but is still very much popular for 2022/2023.

When it comes to colour, she says blush still remains a firm favourite: “We are seeing an introduction of soft lavender, nudes and lots of sparkle. Textured florals are also coming back in, but in a light, soft way.”

Wolff points out that brides are also not shying away from interesting and dramatic details such as big sleeves, corsets, separate skirt overlays that still offer the drama, but can be removed for a party.

“What we are seeing globally, is that brides are wanting dresses that they can have fun in, it has been a hard past two years and they are wanting their dresses to represent everyone’s need to celebrate. The words that strike us for the upcoming bridal season are: Fun and lightness and intimacy,” she notes.

This year, Wolff’s business which she formed with fellow Fashion and Textiles graduate, Dale McCarthy celebrates 10 years. The pair along with their team which includes Tayla Humphreys who is McCarthy Wolff ‘s studio manager and coordinator, specialise in bespoke bridal gowns, eveningwear and corsetry.

McCarthy Wolff is responsible for dressing The River actress, Linda Mtoba for the Vodacom Durban July in 2019.

She says the Durban based bridal label is based on a foundation of originality, true elegance and premiere quality.

“Wolff is dedicated to art through fashion. It’s about construction, impeccable attention to detail; every bead and stitch in its place, each element carefully considered, she adds.

Her advice to brides is that they should not rush the process but should take their time to research the right designers to make their wedding dress.

“When searching for a designer the bride must research the designer thoroughly so that you chose the designer based on the aesthetic they are producing, which allows you to blend well with them. Shop around, and make sure they are the best choice for you. Once you have established that you are happy with the specific designer then you need to trust and work with them side by side. When you let the designer do what they are made to do, it creates a beautiful collaboration resulting in a beautiful dress,” she says.

Wolff adds that when designing the dress of their dreams, brides must allow for the unexpected.

“A lot of brides come to us with an idea in their minds, but when trying on dresses, they are often surprised at the gown that really suits them is not necessarily the design they imagined would be the right look for them,” explains Wolff.

If you have watched the hit American reality show, say ‘Yes to the Dress’, you will understand what Wolff is talking about below. She warns that bringing a large entourage to consultations can leave you overwhelmed and confused.

“Something we have also learnt over the years is to limit the people who you bring to your consultations. It is important to have the closest to you that you trust and whose opinion you value the most, but too many opinions can affect the bride’s confidence in her own opinion,” Wolff cautions.

She further advises that when choosing a wedding dress, brides must consider their personality among other things.

“Focus on more than your body shape, there are many factors that make a dress suit a person. There is a lot of focus these days, but a bride’s personality has as much of a role to play in the final look. Consider trends, but don’t slavishly follow them. We focus on designs and details that suit the bride, but remain elegant over time,” she says.

According to Wolff it is also important to consider the season the wedding will be held: “It is always important to consider the season you will be getting married in, not only for practicality, but also for colours, mood and silhouettes,” she concludes.

You can view more of McCarthy Wolff’s work on social media:

Facebook: McCarthy Wolff

Twitter: @mccarthy_wolff

Instagram: Mccarthywolff

Pictured: McCarthy Wolff sophisticated design with dramatic details. Picture by McCarthy Wolff.

Pictured: Textured florals are also coming back in, but in a light, soft way. Picture by Michigan Behn.

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