Marchesa Spring 2014 Bridal Collection

Posted on April 22, 2013

Poof. There it is.


As with most Bridal discussions, we tend to step aside and let the brides, potential brides and former brides weigh in with their thoughts. We will say that this is a surprisingly restrained collection from Marchesa, with little of the over-the-top princess ridiculosity of other collections. There’s a pleasing sophistication and range here.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • Nicole C

    I know they’re models, but all I see is, “I’m getting married. Hooray.”

  • I’d definitely put a couple of these on my fantasy wish list.

  • MilaXX

    None of these really float my boat, but YAY! sleeves.

  • gabbilevy

    Huh. I’m surprised how much I like a lot of these. Minus the uber-poofy ones, which I’m not inclined to like anyway.

  • BendinIntheWind

    Several of the necklines/bodices and shoulder treatments are quite pretty, but good lord the PEPLUMS and modified double-layered mullet skirts. Ugh. There are details here I love, but overal this is a big ol’ BOO.

  • Nikko Viquiera

    I don’t know how I feel about my train hanging down from my boobs (dress no. 6). Atleast the models are pretty and don’t look mad, like some do in other collections.

  • SassieCassy

    i will snicker at any bride wearing that puffy peplum diaper thing

  • nerdykitten

    I LOVE this collection!! I will definitely be looking at styles that mimic these for my special day!

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Good lord, the models are downright scary.

    And those dresses all remind me of the bridal dress fitting scene in “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” which is not a compliment in any possible way.

  • teensmom99

    I don’t love them all but kind of do love the short ones with peplums. Maybe this is what Marchesa should be doing.

  • sylverlight

    I like the 4th pic down – with the silver embroidery (?) on the top… the rest are ‘meh’ at best and ‘gak’ at worst. Not a fan… and I usually *love* Marchesa. Sad.

  • I must have missed the memo that says you’re not allowed to have sleeves on your bridal gown.

    • Lori

      Bridal has been (nearly) all strapless, all the time for years and years now. It’s starting to feel like that’s never going to end and I don’t really understand it. I wold think designers would be bored with it by now and it doesn’t seem like so many brides would indepently consider strapless their first choice. It can be hard to really wear and unflattering for a lot of women. Apparently, I’m wrong about this though.

      • VeryClaire

        Actually, you’re right but the brides haven’t gotten the memo. Strapless doesn’t look that great on you!

        • It does if you’re 23. The problem with most bridal is that it hasn’t accepted that most women are getting married later.

          • 3boysful

            Even 23 yr olds aren’t flattered by these styles if the bride is busty. See, e.g., “Say Yes to the Dress”–half the brides on that show.

          • Targettaste

            Hate seeing that “spillage” of busty brides in strapless gowns. But small busted brides can end up flattened. It’s a very difficult style to look good in.

        • Actually, don’t blame the brides. “Get me some goddamned sleeves” is the most oft repeated cry among brides of my acquaintance, and that was going on way back in the 90s. It’s Anya syndrome, nobody can sew a f-ing sleeve. It’s murder for cold weather brides, brides with arms they aren’t fond of, brides with big boobs, brides with narrow ribcages, brides with small boobs, brides who will have a religious ceremony….basically a huger percentage of brides. Sure, some will always prefer the strapless look, but there is no reason for 90% of wedding dresses to be strapless.

          • As I remember, brides still had tragically puffy sleeves in the nineties.

          • Very true. I know a number of brides who were on really tight budgets who just could not get a gown with sleeves.

          • I was really hoping Cathy Cambridge would usher in a new trend of sleeves, but it doesn’t seem to have happened. Sigh.

        • I design wedding albums, and maybe 10% of the albums I do have a bride in a sleeveless dress. And the forums on most wedding sites are filled with “where are the sleeves” discussions. I don’t really know why the dressmakers haven’t caught on, though I do know strapless is less expensive to make.

          • Heather

            That’s exactly why… it’s very time-consuming to set in sleeves. A friend of mine used to sew wedding dresses for the high-end “bridal industrial complex” (as she called it); it’s all about cutting every corner possible for dresses that sell for over $1,000.00.

          • So how did they cut down the budget for those puffy long sleeves, which were the trend decades ago? Does the sleeve thing have to be all (puffy and long) or nothing (strapless)?

      • Corsetmaker

        Easier to alter, that’s the only reason I can think of.

        • H3ff

          And since they probably fit easier in the first place, they are likely easier to sell to different body shapes.

        • out for a walk

          Weird as it sounds, they’re easier to sell, too. If a dress with sleeves isn’t damn close to the correct size for the girl trying it on, it looks TERRIBLE. Strapless dresses you can clip in a bigger range of sizes. So for most shops that have one or two samples of a given style, the strapless are just way more profitable. And since the shops mostly buy those styles, the designers mostly make those ones.

          It’s a pretty obnoxious situation all around, but I understand why it happens. Anyway, glad to not be in bridal anymore!

      • Lisa Dugan

        The best place to find sleeves is probably in a boutique for Orthodox Jewish brides. Some of those gowns are absolutely stunning and can certainly be purchased and altered.

      • Coolekat

        In every case I’ve observed in the last year, the brides in question should NOT have gone strapless.

    • Indovina

      I believe that was decided at the Spring 2007 meeting of the Fashion Cabal.

    • Monica

      I think they do it because strapless is easier to fit to more bodies. If you put sleeves on (real sleeves, not those afterthought lace things), there are too many problems presented by issues like shoulder width and torso length. I wore my mother’s long-sleeve wedding gown, and I had to have a seamstress make an entire new bodice from part of the train because the original bodice was too short for my long torso and too narrow for my wide shoulders.

  • At lot of instances I liked the top but cringed when I scrolled down and saw the rest

    • pulpytomato

      Same here. The lace top on the second one, for example, is pretty. And then you scroll down.

  • Kathleen B

    dress no. 2 would be divine w/o the waist ruffles and lace flower.

  • Call me Bee

    Marchesa is perfect for wedding gowns, no? And…sleeves!! Hallelujah! Up to here with strapless wedding gowns. 90% of real woman look awful in strapless, so I’m happy to see sleeves, straps and other shoulder/arm covering. Love all the lace, save for the ruffle that goes acrross the bust and down into a train. Silly.

  • Beardslee

    I know! But at least they’re not gaunt, and that’s an improvement.

    • BrooklynBomber

      True. And since she sometimes likes her models to look they’re coming off a 3-day bender, this is a big improvement.

  • imspinningaround

    Look 3, the tea-length dress with the circular ruffles, is half-baked Jacqueline Bouvier…well, whatever the opposite of realness is.

    • Guest

      I believe the word your looking for is cray-cray

  • MK03

    I like #4. And that’s it. But I’m a staunch traditionalist when it comes to wedding gowns.

  • cowper

    I rather like that one-shouldered number! But that last one: pure JELLYFISH.

    • j_anson

      It IS! And that’s why I love it best. 🙂

  • ralish

    Boring, and ugly.

  • random_poster

    Enh. Nothing here to make me want to walk down the aisle again.

  • Can I just say, I just purchased a wedding gown (very similar to #15, fourth from bottom). What you end up loving is very different from what you think you will love. Trying on is so crucial. I was one of those people railing against strapless gowns, but that is exactly what I bought, because the look was perfection.

    I love how varied this collection is. I hated looking at a collection and realizing that once I’d seen one or two dresses, I was done with the collection because the rest were variations on a theme.

  • Pennymac

    Surprising un-offensive for Marchesa. Except for the big ol klunker #6, these are all rather pretty.

  • cmb123

    number 3 and number 8 (especially number 8) make me want to walk down the aisle again. the rest…eh

    • MoHub

      Number 8 would look fabulous on my daughter.

  • Little_Olive


  • Deedles

    You know, these could be summed up as “The Many Moods of Pregnancy” in dress form.

  • BrooklynBomber

    Talk about Dr. Seuss: the last one!
    But, you’re right, for Marchesa this is relatively restrained, and if I liked Wilmas, I’d like the one here because it’s short and the silhouette’s nice (or would be, if it wasn’t a Wilma).
    But there’s still a lot of off-putting “importance” on display.

  • TAGinMO

    Isn’t a BRIDAL runway show one of the few instances when it would make sense for the models to, y’know, SMILE?! These girls are giving off a serious “mail-order” vibe.

    • Calinda_L

      Seriously! I never understand bridal runway shows that don’t make more of an effort to make the models look like they’re happy, at the very least. One of the models looks like she’s thinking, “oh, sh*t! I have to marry THAT guy?!”

  • Synnamin

    As a future bride, I am perplexed by the tendency of many dresses to look like fancy drapery. Thus, I’m making my own dress in blush pink with black, in a simple 1950’s Dior style

    • Lori

      That sounds beautiful.

    • Pink and black is SUCH a gorgeous combination! That sounds so much nicer than 99% of the dresses I have seen.

      • Synnamin

        Thank you 🙂 There definitely needs to be much more rich color in bridal wear!

  • The short, off-the-shoulder lace sleeves one would be my absolute dream dress if it had a long skirt.

    I want, I want, I want.

  • I get that some of these could be worn as non-bridal, but it’s kind of hilarious that the most bridal of them all is walking down the aisle with a clutch. lmao.

  • Eeee, the one with the spaghetti straps! So lovely.

  • barbarienne

    I hate peplums under the best of circumstances, and they are not made any less fug for being done in lace on a “this is my second marriage” dress. (photo #2)

  • Georgina and Harvey…..congratulations on your little boy!

  • jilly_d

    I actually love the second to last. Lace mullet peplum is something that sounds like it came from one of my nightmares, but it looks shockingly dainty and sweet here.

  • 2014 already?

  • alyce1213

    The poofy, tulle ones are ridiculously overdone — down-the-road-regret. (As in What was I thinking?)
    The only ones –a few — that approach nice are the simplest, but we’ve seen them before, done better.

  • Angela_the_Librarian

    I like the idea of the laces sleeves on the shorter dresses, but I also think that it must be really hard to move your arms with the sleeves placed like that (No YMCA for that bride!).
    Also, the model the fifth pic down looks a lot like Audrey Hepburn!

  • Donna Tabor

    Wedding gowns are so boring, aren’t they? White, off-white, and almost white. I really don’t see a lot of newness here.

  • j_anson

    Ugh, I can’t with all the white. It’s not a good color on everyone, Marchesa!

    I do like the jellyfish one at the end, though. I mean, I wouldn’t WEAR it. But it’s fun.

    • demidaemon

      It’s Detox’s wedding dress!

  • barbarienne

    Ah, in between fairly standard-lovely dresses, we have some major fug. Let’s take them in order:

    Pic #2: a second-wedding dress with a ludicrous lace peplum. Double peplum = double fug.

    Pic #5: for when a teenage manic pixie dreamgirl is getting married to some 30YO loser. It’s a pretty dress if it was just a regular dress. As a WEDDING DRESS it scares the crap out of me. I feel so bad for the girl who’s going to wear it. This wedding is just one of many bad decisions she has made and will continue to make until she gets a divorce, hopefully before children are involved.

    Pic #6: WHY is the train hanging all the way from her bosom? Points for creativity, but there’s a reason no one has done this before and it’s because it looks awful.

    #10: This dress is just hanging there, looking so sad. This woman is getting married because she feels she has to, either because she’s pregnant or she’s 35 and desperate to be married and someone finally asked her. Either way, I won’t be crying with joy at the wedding.


    #14: same as #2/#13, but now with more flounce!

    #16: I want my dress to rustle louder than the organ playing “Here Comes the Bride.”

    #17: I am Trophy Wife #3, marrying husband #2.

    #18: We decided to have an Undersea Theme wedding, and I am attending as a spectacular jellyfish!

    (Actually, I secretly like #18. But I can’t imagine anyone really looking good in it.)

    • #11 alone has won my affection.

    • TheAmericaness

      Yes to #11. Laughed out loud!

    • demidaemon

      Amazing critique! LMAO at #11!

  • save_the_hobbit

    Love a few of them, hate a few of them, and the rest are too plain for a wedding dress.

  • snarkykitten

    90% of all wedding gowns are hideous and overdone.

  • CommentsByKatie

    Generic strapless and boring, with some fug mixed in. I usually scroll down quickly and pause at what interests me; I scrolled right through. What happened to Marchesa? These are sad.

  • TheAmericaness

    Most of these look like they were designed using barbie dolls, scraps of lace, pins, and a couple bottles of wine on a tight deadline.

  • I like the concept of an off the shoulder lace overlay, but since short rectangle isn’t my desired silhouette it’s completely impossible.

    • conniemd

      I liked that too. It looked really good in the fulllength dress, though.

  • Daenyx

    I like it better than most Marchesa wedding collections, but I’m still bored stiff with this.

  • MoHub

    The only one I like is number 8.

    • stubbornthoughts

      My thoughts exactly.

  • embers618

    I think wedding dresses need shots from the front and back. A wedding is one of few events where people will be looking at your back almost as much as your front.

  • blueberrypanckae

    Love it…Lots of variety, yet still cohesive

  • jmorino08

    Why does so much of the detailing look cheap and haphazard? Most of the tulle looks like it was stapled on as an afterthought!

  • Stubenville

    The last look is a 1950’s lampshade reincarnated. At least one other veers dangerously close to lingerie.

  • unbornfawn

    Lots of fug here.

  • Laura Mahon

    Too much shimmer on the shoulders and foreheads. Couldn’t get past them all looking sweaty.

  • That final dress looks like something attached to the Great Barrier Reef.

    I don’t think wedding dresses look good unless you’re seeing them in person, on a normal body. I spent several Saturdays prom dress shopping at David’s Bridal (yes, I know, but it’s got a lot of prom dresses) and it was fun seeing the brides trying different things on. I didn’t even know these girls, but they all looked lovely, and none of them looked like walking marshmallows.

  • marilyn

    Apparently we are inbetween bridal trends. I thought this collection was a little disjointed in terms of concept. It is simpler, but with a lot of overlaid sheer fabric. The strapless trend is on the wane (thank goodness-there were too many brides with fat upper arms out there for the wedding pictures), with a few dresses having straps on the shoulder. Marchesa usually has a very luxurious feel. With volumes of fabric. This collection has less volume, and actually looks kind of cheap. I think it is because of the sheer overlays used generously. They look cheap, like a substitute for lace. I realize they are probably very expensive, but they do not look it. Anyway, these Marchesa dresses do not have any overall design. They have lace details stuck on them almost randomly. Marchesa is not known for simple and sparing. They should not be going this way.

  • Trisha26

    #3 is modern without being OTT and #4 is classic without being too princessy. My picks.

  • Totally feel the same way!! I’m a wedding planner and very few of these are ones that brides (mine at least) will wear. Those peplums – several years away, if ever, from really being at a wedding. Especially a southern one. Ugh. Love the sleeves, though!

  • Heather

    Why do all of the “bride” models look 12? Never fails to creep me out…

  • Coolekat

    Number 3 is my fave. Very Audrey.

  • SewingSiren

    I like the street length ones . Especially the one with the flounce over the bust that lengthens to a train in the back. i haven’t seen that in a while.

  • PeaceBang

    I like three of these at the most. Almost all of them have some egregious frippery that ruins the line and that will be a problem for the bride for a real-life event. Also, the models look traumatized and look like they were rubbed down with chilled Albilene.

  • VicD

    Well, there’s something there for everyone – as long as you want to look like a lampshade in your wedding photos.

  • ankali

    God, do they just grease all of their girls down with sticks of butter before they hit the runway? I haven’t seen a Marchesa model yet who didn’t look like she needed an OED’s worth of blotting papers.

  • MartyBellerMask

    Wow. I like this a lot more than I expected.

  • Shit like this makes me glad that it’s customary in my family to have one custom-made.

  • Zaftiguana

    I’m really digging the introduction of more cocktail length options.

    • trixietru

      Me too. I think a bridal dress can be incredibly more chic than a gown, and on a very young bride I find it avant garde.

  • demidaemon

    As T&Lo said, this is remarkably restrained. I do wonder how the non-floor length versions will sell though, if at all.

  • Contralto

    I am so very, very over strapless wedding gowns. I like the one with the model carrying the clutch.

  • carnush

    They’ve really got something for everyone. Beautiful dresses. The model with the despondent face is hilarious.

    • Qitkat

      Which one? Half of them might as well be on their way to a funeral.

    • So, all of the models? 😛

  • All very pretty, and all well within Marchesa’s wheelhouse. I cringed when I saw the hem in the 3rd picture.

  • MGMcD

    Um, I was too distracted by the sweaty consumption-pallor of the models to even pay attention to the dresses.

  • Why have the models been coated with oil?

  • The Last dress has a titscrepancy

  • And you know the reason wedding dresses look so good on the day of the wedding, color, churches, reception halls, all have COLOR, so do some brides. Marchesa, color will not hurt you. Embrace the color.

  • Melissa Snyder

    #2 and #14 are the best wedding dresses I’ve seen in decades.

  • I love the face-covering veil one. Very classy and dramatic.