I stopped by the Salon du Mariage at the Carrousel du Louvre over the week-end to find out what’s on the radar for French wedding fashion trends for 2012. First, I have to say that this year’s salon did seem a bit more, well… meager than in years’ past. I expected to see some of the classic vendors that had been staples of the Salon - designers like Ana Quasoar and Cherry Chau, or fabulous florals by Varda. While some of the bigger key players were still on hand- Pronovias and Rosa Clara, for example, I actually didn’t see any florists at all! Jean-Luc Blaise created his customary over-the-top, blinged out opening tablescape- but even it seemed a bit rehashed. In fact, this year’s tablescape looked suspiciously like 2009’s tablescape- just with an overlay change, non?
Top: Salon du Mariage, Carrousel du Louvre 2009 by Jean-Luc Blais,
Bottom: Salon de Mariage, Carrousel du Louvre, 2011 by Jean-Luc Blais
The theme of this years Salon was “Noces de Dentelle” - Lace Wedding, and it was reflected throughout the exhibit space and runway shows. The runway show itself was a bit, um… eclectic. It opened with a gospel sing-a-long (note to gospel groups: the French don’t really seem to go for sing-a-longs…) and above all else, seemed to illustrate the fact that one can go high or low with a lace wedding dress.
Inspired by the theme as well as the current trend, there was a much heavier emphasis on vintage and antique-inspired gowns this year. Some of the finest lace in the world comes from France, and this salon was the perfect vehicle for French lace-makers to strut their stuff. Their work was absolutely beautiful, and at times the Salon felt more like a museum exhibition than a wedding fair- so many of the dresses were near works of art. Having a chance to see this level of handiwork up close was such a rare opportunity, but I think I was happiest to have been able to discover some Parisian wedding dress designers that may have been over-shadowed in the past by their more high-profile colleagues.
I think the take-away from the 2012 Salon du Mariage at the Carrousel du Louvre was that Paris still reigns supreme as far as wedding gown craftsmanship and artistry is concerned- but I think I may be preaching to the choir on that one, n’est-ce pas?
Palest gray lace dress and veil, by Fabienne Alagama
Embroidered lace capped sleeve and tulle, by Nuit Blanche
Antique-inspired French lace jacket with high collar, by Nathalie Durieux
Detail, French lace jacket by Nathalie Durieux
Vintage inspired looks by Leutellier Tesson Couture
Bodice detail, by Atelier Manon Pascual
And for a peek at the finale of the runway show, click here!