I’ve talked about wedding dresses before on this here web log and, as you might recall, I didn’t have a lot of nice things to say. That’s because most wedding dresses look like shit, or more specifically, the excrement of Liberace reincarnated as a flamboyant snowman who ate one too many sprinkled cupcakes…just sayin’.

But I digress. Just because I don’t like most wedding dresses doesn’t mean I don’t like any. There are a few bridal designers out there that seem to take their jobs seriously (Pnina Tornai is fucking with us, right?) For instance, I like Jenny Packham a lot and if I had unlimited funds (her dresses run about $5,000), I may have searched harder to find this her deco-inspired design to try on.
I also like Australian designer Johanna Johnson, who sticks to clean lines, cool cuts and what must be extremely pricey fabric. This rather simple dress is about $4,000. 
Getting less astronomical, at least for wedding dresses, UK-based designer Catherine Deane has some decent designs, as well, like this one, which comes with an awesome fringe trim and this one, which has a similar-ish beaded shoulder like the above-pictured Jenny Peckham garment. Both retail around $2,000.
catherinedeaneBut here’s the secret about those last two—they’re not specifically “bridal” designs. That is, both of those dresses come in other colors, as well, besides white. This is the key for brides like me (the anti-pouf crowd), who hope to find a gown that doesn’t feel and often look like a costume: get out of bridal shops and stop looking for “wedding dresses.” Look for light-colored gowns instead (or dark-colored, ’cause who says you have to wear white anyway?). Being such a WIC cynic, I’m pretty sure that’s why these designs are $3,000 cheaper than the Packham and $2,000 cheaper than the Johnson… sigh. It’s all a ruse, I swear…
But this post isn’t about complaining; it’s about looking at pretty things, so I’ll end with one more picture. Behold my second favorite gown I found during my wedding dress search. (I obviously bought my favorite, which I’ve decided to keep a secret from my fiance and, thus, the Internet. Sorry.) Sure, perhaps the only person who looks good in it this design is the model in the picture, and yeah, anyone with the guts (metaphorically, of course) to wear this would also need to invest in some industrial-strength boob tape, but my-oh-my is this dress, with it’s intricate bodice beading, a work of art. And at just—yes, just—$1,200 (we’re in wedding world, remember?), New York designer Mara Hoffman gets my official virtual thumb’s up.
marahoffmanbackWell, now that I’ve revealed my specific tastes to you, what do you think? Both endless praise and epic hatery are welcome.