Marchesa Spring 2013 Bridal Collection

Posted on April 19, 2012

Darlings, here’s your low-key pretty for the day: the Marchesa spring 2013 bridal collection. That’s right; we said “low-key.” Oh sure, there’s some poofiness on display but nothing approaching the poofstravaganzas the brand is known for. Instead, the lines are simpler and cleaner, offering a bridal vision that feels modern yet has an old-fashioned romantic feel.




[Photo Credit: John Seabrooke for]

    • Liana Brooks

      The fifth picture down. I love it.

      • halleygee

        I was going to write the same thing, love that one.

      • mountainFashionista

         It would be nice in posts like this if T & Lo would caption the dresses with numbers so we all know which ones everyone is talking about  :-)

        Having said, that, I *think* I agree with you!

    • Pupioso

      Some of these are okay, but man, can we get some color in the background? it makes everything look so washed out and the details are hard to see. I dunno. They all look pretty similar to me.

      • Janet Selman

         Exactly what I was thinking!  I turned off my desk lamp thinking that was it but it didn’t help.

      • skadi1

        Like like a thousand times like!

      • quiltrx

        I’m with you–I don’t understand why so many bridal collections are photographed on white/colorless backgrounds.  You’d think contrast would be desirable.

      • rainy d

        and i kept angling the screen of my laptop

      • Rebecca

         *Exactly* what I was thinking!

    • petalfrog

      One of those models is terrifyingly thin. The dress looks 10 times too big for her. I always thought they’d choose slightly less thin models for bridal. 

    • Elizabeth Winer

      No to the side-mullet (first dress).

      • NinaBoo

        Gunne Sax.  I think I’m really embarrassed I remember how to spell it.

        • Lori

          Yes. That is one look (of many) from my youth that does not need to make a come back. It looks so weird that it triggers my OCD.

          • Little_Olive

            Esp since the front and back of one’s legs are usually a lot less pretty than the sides.

        • holdmewhileimnaked

          if it makes you feel any better, i still have some.
          & not only gunne sax but, i believe, gunnies–& definitely gunne sax of more than one label. not to mention arpeja, young edwardian, huk-a-poo, organically grown–oh heavens the list goes on & on. candi jones. & i am not even crazy about prairie dresses. & they never fit over the grand tetons, mine or anyone else’s that could be considered mountainous. not even when i was eleven years old. so there you go.

          • mountainFashionista

             Wait, are you saying you still have your collection of fancy dresses from when you were 11???

            If so, I have seriously deep admiration for your mother’s generosity and foresight!  Mine was always culling, culling, culling as I grew, grew, grew…

        • understateddiva

           Yes!!!!!  I flashed back to my early 90s homecoming dress shopping.

        • NormDeplume720

          A LOT of these look like Gunne Sax from the mid-90s when I sold bridal gowns. 

      • kimmeister

        I was thinking, ‘that dress doesn’t have a mullet . . . it has side burns!’

        • TheOriginalLulu

          Hilarious! Who would want to be the girl in the sideburn dress?
          Even the model…the look on her face is saying “trust me, I would never wear this thing if they weren’t paying me a ton of money”. 

    • Zippypie

      Yuck. Is it me or do many of these dresses seem too big in the bust and shoulders for these models?

      I can’t stand tulle ruffles. And tulle poofs. And tulle cascading down the back. Down with tulle!

      • kimmeister

        The off-the-shoulder gown looks particularly big.  From the back view (where you can see the model’s tattoo), it looks like it’s about to slide right off!

    • Laura

      Hm. I liked yesterday’s selection much better. 

    • MilaXX

      Dare I say I think sleeves are finally making their way back to the bridal world. I guess this is a trickle down effect of Kate Middleton, but whatevs, I’ll take it. That said I’m not a fan of this collection.  I do like a few at the bottom of the post. The last one and 13 if I counted correctly.

      • luciaphile

         I liked the first one which seemed vaguely 30s inspired and the last couple.

      • Little_Olive

        They’re just an excuse for sleeves, as if to show the people they can deliver variety à la Cathy, if you ask me. The majority are still strapless. 

        I have a personal peeve re. the looseness with which people throw strapless at the world (my boobs cannot carry it with dignity) so I’ve analyzed the issue a LOT. Down with strapless!

      • Nancy Abrams

        The last one is exactly what I have always thought a wedding dress should be. Gorgeous!

        • VicD

          Oh dear – I thought the last one went straight back to the 80’s … and that we really did not need to go there.

          • Nancy Abrams

            Actually, it goes much farther back than that. But then, so do I.

        • quickpicks

          Picture the original 50’s Barbie in that dress.

    • Isana Leshchinskaya

      i was expecting something a little less generic from marchesa, but i really love the sixth dress from bottom. of course everything is impeccably turned out, but a little more imagination and drama is what i expect from good couture bridal.

    • oatmealpie

      As a size 10 bride, I wish they’d show the dresses on bigger models. Several of these dresses would look great on curvier gals, but they look kind of odd on size 0s.

      • Alexandria

        I was thinking the exact same thing! Pretty dresses, but how would they look with boobs?

    • giiiirrrr

      Love these photographs–they’re like the Romantic Side of Sears.  The dresses are pretty too.

    • librarygrrl64

      I love gowns 7 and 8, but can we please let the mullet dress/gown die? Please???

      • blumonky

        Really? I thought that was beautiful. It’s like a Watteau gown.

    • Lina_bee

      OMG I had hopes when I clicked since they’ve managed to show a handful of surprisingly decent gowns in recent months, but this is so bad I don’t even have words. Some of these are, no lie, Holly Hobbie doll’s dresses I owned in the late 70s and early 80s. *shudder*  One good thing is this makes yesterday’s de la Renta collection look EVEN BETTER.

    • Addicted2Glamour

      It’s all incredibly pedestrian, from the dresses themselves to the styling and the photography. 

    • Ali

      Oscar de la Renta did it a thousand times better, I’m just saying.

    • blumonky

      I’m talking about 13 I think..with the lace shoulders and train dropping from shoulders in the back. The other ones that are short in front and long in back…hidjus.

    • Julie Chase

      The second to the last is really romantic.

    • Elena

      Pretty, but nothing earth-shattering. I was expecting more frippery from Marchesa.

    • Carla_Charlton


    • MinAgain

      That 13th dress is just stunning.  Stunning, I tell you!

      And I approve of showing the back view for each dress.  It’s amazing how important the back is in a wedding dress.

    • sagecreek

      Oh, I love that first one! And trust me, “love” is not a word that I use often with “Marchesa”.

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      had i still a mess of money & if i were ever foolish enough to wanna get married again [not hardly. fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me three times, you’d think i’d know how to think by now, &, finally you dont get a chance to fool me the fourth fifth eightieth & eightyfirst times. oh heavens no] –anyway, were my two imaginary criteria above to come to pass, it would be hard to make me refuse numbers one, five, nine, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, & maybe one other which i now forget–even though i would probably look better in number eleven. anyway.

      it’s all fantasy, right? & my fantasy gets to include not involving myself w/ [my unlawfully wedded] spouses two & three, yes? & being six inches taller. so i will go w/ the above.

      tired, here.

    • StelledelMare

      I actually like this collection better than the Oscar de la Renta collection. This is much more my style (minus the poofiness). Simple yet elegant and pretty.

    • egl48

      Wow, what a bunch of bored, grumpy brides.

      • poggi

        That’s the first thing I thought too. It’s dresses for the bride whose vows consist of “Fine, I said FINE.”

    • Anathema_Device

      That last one is so ’80s!! None of these thrill me. In fact, some look a little cheap, and I know they’re not.

    • malvernite

      frothy. and mostly traditional. i’m more drawn to odlr. the one with the should train is inriguing.

    • Alison Sohmer

      No no no!  I would not get married in any of them!

    • bellafigura1

      The Oscar collection puts these frocks to shame.  No contest.

      • MilaXX

        I like the Monique Lhuillier collection a bit better.  I definitely think we’re seeing the Kate Middleton  influence. While there are still loads of strapless, every bridal collection I’ve seen so far had one or 2 full sleeve gowns, but they are almost always lace sleeves and then there are a few short sleeves/wide straps.

    • Athena Bast

      Ugh, Marchesa does nothing for me.

    • ri_dic

      Not a one would I wear. Although it IS low-key for Marchesa.

    • Vera

      Some of these border on Gypsy wedding, but there are some pleasant surprises. The first one is my favorite. Nice vow renewal dress…

    • Chantelle James

      Where’s the overuse of lace and embellishment? I wouldn’t have known that these were Marchesa gowns – they’re so elegant and delicate (for the most part). 

      I love that sleeves are on their way back: here’s to the demise of the strapless bridal gown!

    • sarahofalessergod

      The problem is that half of these really look just like they’re recycled/re-appropriated versions of Marchesa dresses I’ve seen on starlets over the past few years.  They really have a limited repertoire and sometimes it’s painfully obvious.

    • kikisayshi

      I heart Marchesa. I would wear just about any one of these.

    • Judy_S

      I like the first one but I STILL like the Jil Sanders dress from yesterday better than any of these.

    • Mary Elizabeth Poytinger Baume

      i know models are supposed to be walking clothes hangers, but its a wedding, smile a bit

    • TieDye64

      I’m not a big proponent of lace, but I rather like #13. I love the simple elegance of the lines, though I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m in the minority. The others are generic “meh”.

    • ASK26

      My goodness it looks like they recruited models after long term stays in concentration camps.

    • Leah Burns

      LOVE. IMO, much stronger than the De La Renta collection. Classic and interesting at the same time. The one with the jewel helm and cape look especially dramatic.

    • guestela

      The red-headed model looks seriously pained by her shoes.

    • pattyw

      Wow, this collection actually made me feel good about my wedding dress (though still not my hair and makeup).

    • Sarah Veenstra

      numbers 3 & 14 I would kill for. love, love LOVE the classic elegance of illusion necklines, and a return to some degree of modesty in bridalwear. And no, this post was not sponsored by the LDS church. 

      • Amelia Logan

        I agree with you, even as a non-religious person. When/If I get married and pick a dress I don’t want the dress to say “Sex”. I would prefer to seem tasteful and perhaps even modest – If my body looks good then great, but I don’t need an ass constricting or tits show.

        • Sarah Veenstra

          YES. And though I am no longer a Christian, I grew up Catholic, and am floored by how many brides who choose a full wedding Mass eschew etiquette and marry in a church wearing a shoulders-bared dress. I’m sorry, but veils do not qualify to serve that purpose imho. 

          I only wish I was tall enough to pull off those styles I’m coveting…! (and that my wallet wouldn’t weep / strangle me at the thought, ha)

    • guest2visits

      This was a little dreary for a wedding presentation. Though none of my many ideas of a perfect gown are here;
      the second ‘white swan’ dress is gorgeous. Also like gown 12.

    • quiltrx

      I love the one with the silvery-beaded capelet-looking neckline/cap sleeves.  It’s so classy and elegant.  The whole collection is pretty nice.

    • myblackfriendsays

      most of these are pretty boring.

    • sweet_potato

      The back on the 13th dress is beautiful.

    • fashionablylate


    • alyce1213

      #13 (sleeves and cape) is quite exceptional. It looks like it came from a fine bridal boutique I visited some years ago in Paris. The rest, not so much, but I’m so happy to see the return of sleeves of any length.

    • Wannabeer

      I think they are beautiful.  Mostly.  Number 3 is the one I’d wear myself if we ever got around to doing the deed again.

    • unbornfawn

      They all blend into the backround.

    • Kiltdntiltd

      Okay, so here I am, early morning in Paris, and I’m looking at these pics thinking to myself, “Why do all these models look so damned pissed off?  Aren’t they supposed to be getting married?  Isn’t this, like, the happiest thing ever?   How about some smiles ladies?   The dresses are all just fine, nothing earth shatteringly new or fresh.

    • sleah_in_norcal

      i’m the last person to tell anyone else to wear stockings (i swear i’ll never wear panty hose again, ever.)  but, when the legs are framed and presented front and center, such as in the first gown, the legs must appear flawless.  and even the model’s ain’t (flawless).  for my wedding, i wore sheer white stockings and a garter belt.  perhaps that’s what’s called for here with the shorter lengths.  keep them on with your “going away” outfit and it makes for a nice start to the honeymoon, too.

      the long full gowns look like they wouldn’t fit down the aisle of a church.  fine on the dancefloor in a ballroom, though.

    • ccm800

      OMG that poor red head (cocktail length number) in those gold LB peep-toe pumps – her feet look like they are about to snap. Shoes are RIDICULOUS. Why in the hell would a woman even want to do that to her feet??!! LB must hate ladies. 

    • ccm800

      And the American Apparel Ad – the shirtless ginger who was a horizontal banner for jeans but now a versicle for a jean jacket: Every time I see him I say “Really?!” to myself. 

    • Ana Ced

      i have to say, i love sleeves. i love that designers are adding more sleeves to wedding dresses because i have never ever been a fan of strapless! and the second dress is my wedding dress hands down, except not so layered

    • Corsetmaker

      Some pretty dresses, but collectively a bit bland. Maybe it’s just that ivory dress after ivory dress leads to snow blindness.

      But, some of the models are doing the dresses no favours. The gowns are hanging on them. The 16th dress down, tulle skirt and strapless with pale gold beading, is actually going OUT at the waist! Presumably it’s clipped and pinned to keep it up but then it’s hanging at her waistline. The one with the crossed beading a couple up from it is no better. For goodness sake get models that fill the samples! I don’t generally comment on model size, much as I hate to see girls too thin for their frames, but their job is to make the clothes look their best and that is not happening here.

      • juliamargaret

        Could not agree more. It was distracting. 

    • Phyllis Craine

      No tulle!  It rips and gets filthy instantly

    • Jessica TallGirl Freeman

      Aside from the first dress I love them all.  Wow, I just said that about Marchesa.  Hell hath frozen over. 

    • SapphoPoet

      Pretty. I wish they hadn’t used a white background, though. My eyes had trouble focusing on the dresses. 

    • bluefish

      Not my thing but some are very pretty.  Good use of veils too.  Photos number 15 and 16 my favorites — an interesting looking model always helps.  Marchesa’s downfall always seems to be the over reliance on frills, frippery, and the relentlessly uber feminine.  Cloying after awhile.  7th and 8th photos up from the bottom very Neely from Valley of the Dolls!  Cool 60s vibe.

    • BioDrag

      Eh.  Bridal is the one arena where Marchesa should be able to let the frippery fly, and these are just….eh.

    • rebecca

      They’re OK. I’m Team De La Renta.

    • formerlyAnon

      These are pretty, but more classic than stunning. Even the ones that aren’t the ‘traditional’ wedding gown silhouette feel classic to me. I wish the lighting allowed me to see the detail better.

    • Gayer Than Thou

      Some of them feel a little cocktail dress sexy/casual to work as bridal gowns.

    • TheOriginalLulu

      Shame about the double-mullet hem on that first dress, because the top is quite beautiful with the lace over the shoulders and front.
      This collection is one big yawn. I mean, how many ways can you reinvent the poofy white dress before you die of boredom?

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      A couple of those models are so dangerously thin that I found myself looking at them rather than the dresses.

      • AthenaJ

        Agreed, there is a difference between naturally thin and wasting away… unfortunately when you can see a model’s skeleton through her skin it makes one not only feel sad for the model, but it completely distracts (and detracts) from the fashion. Dress #7 could have been presented so much better if the model didn’t look like she was swimming in it.  

        • Lauren Lynch Fox

          Did they find them at a “bad” rehab?? From the first picture on, all I looked at were those sad faces.

    • Deborah Lipp

      The only thing I love about this is the use of the word “poofstravaganza.”

    • AthenaJ

      Love dress #3… too bad I can only afford a cheaper knockoff :(  One thing I’m learning as a bride to be is that whenever you attach the words ‘bridal’ or ‘wedding’ to something, the price automatically gets doubled.

    • BigWhiteGrannyPanties

      These are actually pretty.  If I see one more bridal spread of nothing but strapless bodice/mermaid skirt dresses I will sob. I like the   the 13th one so very much – especially from the back.  It’s DIFFERENT.  And pretty.  And the model isn’t bone skinny either.

    • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

      Good golly those are GORGEOUS gowns!  Except, of course, the double mullett dress, which is just fug.  I love princess gowns – miles of big poufy swishy stuff swirling around.  Lovely.

    • KathKo

      I wouldn’t be caught dead in everyone single one of those above.
      I’m glad I’m already married because I’m afraid I would have trouble to find a suitable dress in the market.
      I didn’t have problem for my wedding : I found almost immediately MY dress, the dress that, in all honesty, couldn’t be worn by anyone but me.
      I was smug like only a future bride can be watching other girls try it after seeing it on me and look puzzled and annoyed because they just didn’t look as amazing as me.
      Smug, yes, and not a bit gracious about it.
      Good times, long gone.
      Well, with that beeing said, I feel that a wedding dress is not about looking sweet and angelic and lovely and princessy and so on. No you’re here because you’re the woman of the day, you’re here to conquier and destroy. You’re not a princess, you’re a fucking imperatrice.
      Well that’s my opinion.
      Anyway I can’t even put an arm in my dress anymore. So much for the imperatrice.

    • GorgeousThings

      Sarah Burton has nothing to worry about.

    • Laura Osborne

      Pretty enough, but some of them look terribly fitted on the models, and the “scenes” are so drab! The photos aren’t selling the dresses well at all.

    • little9

      i only like the one with the cape, its fun. the rest are kind of strapless-y :(

    • Susan Stroud

      Breathtaking!  Although, I am abnormally distracted by the models’ dusky legs…it looks like they have circulation issues.  Must have been about 40 degrees in the studio.

      • Lauren Lynch Fox

        why do they all look like they came from re-hab?

    • Lauren Lynch Fox

      is anybody else distracted by the models? Is there a story here guys?

    • save_the_hobbit

      Oh, god….that first one. I am so in love. 

    • save_the_hobbit

      Although I don’t love the back….if it was all the longer length in the back, I’d be in it in a heartbeat.

    • tsid2012

      There is some definite pretty here but all I could see in the 11th & 12th frames (scowling redhead in short dress) is how bizarrely uncomfortable her feet look in those shoes!  No wonder she looks less than thrilled…..

    • mznormann

      Sleeves! Sleeves!! I love the one with sleeves!!

    • fursa_saida

      There are some beautiful things here, no doubt, but do they all have to look so sad? It’s like a parade of virgin sacrifices.

    • cowper

      Kleenex explosion (though the same could be said for so many bridal collections).

      I kinda like the off-the-shoulder one, for its Mae West-meets-vegan-girl vibe (cute tattoo).

    • Carolyn Wheat

      The last one looks a lot like my wedding dress from 1995!  I think mine was a little prettier, though.  I should sell it while it’s back in style! :)

    • quickpicks

      Fire everyone responsible for this collection, but start with the last dress with the bride wearing the 50’s gown and the maid dusting cap on her head.  Awful.  All of it.

    • quickpicks

      Currently, every one of these dresses is on the $99 rack at David’s Bridal.  Ack.

    • Therese Bohn

      I actually love the 13th one down, with the lace across the top and shoulders and the cape effect.  Kind of a Empress Josephine effect.  Still way too many tight strapless bodices and over pouffy skirts, but at least they gave a few of these SLEEVES.