One beautiful and influential bride can have a significant effect on the direction of bridal fashion. Last Sunday, Ivanka Trump was such a bride as she wed Jared Kushner at the Trump National Golf Club. Both her wedding gown as well as her wedding jewelry, the latter from her own Ivanka Trump Collection, created ripples in the bridal fashion world.
Her wedding gown, developed in collaboration with designer Vera Wang, was designed to be modest but classically elegant in style, influenced by the wedding gown worn by Princess Grace at her wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco. Wang created a stunning wedding gown appropriate for the Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony, with a high neckline and short sleeves of hand-appliquéd lace so fine as to appear as a stencil or a tattoo, as characterized by Wang herself in a video posted on People.com.
Trump’s diamond and platinum jewelry was lavish yet also tastefully elegant in design, consisting of an Art Deco style link bracelet, a pair of drop earrings of diamond clusters, and a stunning headpiece of mixed diamond shapes to accent the veil. The neckline of the dress did not lend itself to a necklace, and the jewelry selected comprised the perfect accents. The headpiece wasn’t as ostentatious or fairy tale-pretend in style as a tiara would have been, yet was still dazzling. It appears to be approximately the length of a bracelet. I expect it will influence many a bride to pin a sparkling bracelet into her hair along the edge of a veil.
Kathy Horyn, writing for the New York Times, commented on the wedding dress: “I thought Ms. Trump looked sensational in her lace dress. It was the sleeves. We’re so used to seeing brides in strapless dresses that Ms. Trump’s gown made a fresh statement. Maybe she’ll have an influence on brides.” I wholeheartedly agree and I’ll take that thought farther: Maybe Trump’s style will have an influence on evening gowns, too. The red carpet shows have become increasingly tedious with version after version of strapless gown appearing as the default style of choice. Moreover, well-designed sleeves can be flattering to most women, including the many women who prefer not to expose their upper arms.
Vera Wang commented on the significance of the sleeves in her interview with Horyn: “She [Trump] was actually very much about being covered and I seized on the chance to do a dress that wasn’t naked and very Hollywood.” Did she think Ms. Trump might start a trend with her sleeves? “She might very,” Ms. Wang said. “Nothing would make me happier. I’ve been doing strapless dresses for 15 years. It’s tiring.”
In Wang’s interview with People magazine, she discussed how the design decisions were collaborative yet reflected thoughtful and deliberate decisions by Trump about the image she wanted to convey: “She [Trump] was quite precise about what she wished to convey and I’m sort of there to always hopefully help the bride create the image of who she wishes to be on that day. In a way I’m a costumer in this particular instance more than purely a designer.”
Precise decisions about the message one wishes to convey by how one dresses and adorns oneself: This is an approach that might be considered in every selection of clothing and every choice of jewel, and this is true every day, applicable to everyone. There is power in the deliberate style choices one makes. This is the art of image, so clearly illustrated by this beautiful bride.