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Bass said she was more impressed by a Manhattan wedding she catered. There was an extraordinary Balinese dance, a puppet performance and singing.
Karenna Gore, who presented a trendsetter award to Wang, said she is surprised by “how easy it is to get caught up in the wedding industry. The marketing is so intense even if you are not interested in these types of things. It’s important just to relax and enjoy yourself if possible.”
Gore is passing along this advice to her sister Kristin who will be married in a few weeks on the family’s Tennessee farm, even though she hasn’t been heavily involved with the plans.
Newscaster Ashleigh Banfield, another awards presenter who tied the knot last summer, said the legwork of planning a wedding can be a bit much. She wore a Laura Madrigano bodice, shawl and pants with a train for her nuptials on a yacht in a lake off a remote Canadian island. The clothes were a cinch compared with the logistics. “I was the wedding planner,” she said. “I had no idea there would be so much work involved.”
Several designers and executives, who did not attend the Modern Bride dinner, chimed in about the changes sweeping wedding day fashion.
Mara Urshel, president and owner of Kleinfeld, said bridal designers are putting the same kind of energy into their fashion shows that rtw designers put into theirs, as evidenced by two shows last week. She applauded Reem Acra’s outdoor presentation at the Palace Hotel with models stepping out of antique cars as church bells rang and Monique Lhuillier’s elegant one at the Burden Mansion in Carnegie Hill.
Oleg Cassini, who sells wedding gowns to David’s Bridal, said, “Slowly but surely, the bridal business is getting into the fashion arena. Today it is a fashion item of the first order. There is a lot of attractive clothing by totally unknown designers.”
The company has sold 60,000 dresses that retailed for $1,000 or more, and this year’s goal is 100,000 units, he said.
Preparing for the August retail launch of Legends by Romona Keveza, Keveza said, “What I find most surprising about the bridal business is how fashion forward it has become. We are seeing the same trends present in bridal and ready-to-wear at the same time.”