Haute Couture. A twice yearly celebration in which the most beautiful gowns and whimsical creations come out to play. A space where fashion can exist (for a moment) as pure fantasy, with designers free from commercial constraints, with the ultimate leave pass to explore their wildest ideas (and utilise their most skilled craftsmen for some insane embellishment and artisanal techniques). It’s little wonder then that Haute Couture shows are such a rich hunting ground for bridal inspiration, and one of our favourite moments on the fashion calendar. Sparking fresh beauty trends and endless alternatives to a white gown, we’ve rounded up our favourite moments from the Fall 2017 shows.

Zuhair Murad’s Otherworldly Embellishment
The master of insane embellishment, Zuhair Murad’s collections are the Couture creations of dreams…or maybe more accurately, the kinds of dresses mere mortals can only dream about! Best described as gowns for goddesses (with a signatures style that blends otherworldly and sexy, somehow with success – no mean feat!) his designs are the perfect inspiration for any bride in search of a unique take on bridal, or a beautiful alternative to white.

Elie Saab’s Gilded Girls
The array of opulent gold dresses were our standouts from this king of Couture. A super luxurious option for a second dress, or for the daring non-traditionalist bride, a show-stealing option for a black tie wedding (gold fabric photographing particularly beautifully after dark). Just add an iconic heel and a saucer of champagne for ultimate glamour!

Paolo Sebastian’s Fairytale Opulence
Australia’s own Paolo Sebastian is like the god of Cindarella dress fantasies…only these are dresses for cool modern-day-Cindarella’s who choose their own destiny, and choose their own gown. Super romantic (in gorgeous shades that aren’t white) we especially loved the light-as-air silk and the illusion necklines. So feminine. So beautiful.

Alberta Ferretti’s Chic Little Mini Dress
Totally contemporary yet timeless to a fault, this perfectly cut mini (part of Alberta Ferretti’s Limited Edition collection) provides the perfect option for your second dress. Or an achingly cool (and unexpected) option for your first. Pair with a fingertip veil for nostalgic “heading to the chapel” styling – then switch out for a barefoot beneath the stars, first dance.

Valentino’s Ethereal Bohemians
Our favourite beauty look from the collections, these fresher than fresh faces sported subtle lips, dewy skin, shimmering highlights and the most ethereal eyes. Think a luminous white inner eye and discreetly lined outer eye, lending an otherworldly (yet down to earth vibe) paired with a simple centre part and oversized earrings. Styling perfection.

Ziad Nakad’s Celestial Veils
These veils!!! Part celestial, part ocean life looking, these insanely embellished creations accompanied some pretty amazing gowns…but it was the veils that stole the show for us. Dusted in irregular shaped stars and crystals, they lend drama to any dress. But if the double embellishment of gown & veil is too much for you, consider a show-stealing veil paired with the simplest silk slip dress beneath, for a modern take on a traditional accessory.

Zuhair Murad’s Re-Imagined Botanicals
This combination of delicate gold wreaths through hair and super natural faces, evoked a kind of Midsummer Night’s Dream feel. Stained lips, subtle eyes and tendrils of natural (imperfect) hair framing faces. That perfectly undone style of beauty inspo, that’s so beautiful for (relaxed) bridal, but so so hard to find!

Christian Dior’s Barely-there Beauty
Another favourite beauty look, taking the ‘barely there’ stakes even higher, these faces were fresher than fresh. If you’re a ’no-makeup, makeup’ kind of girl, print these out and take them with you for your make up trial. Dior has all your invisible face goals sorted. We also loved the super natural swept back hair, perfect for the bride that wants to look effortless (yet amazing).

Elie Saab’s Exotic Eyes
Upping the glamour stakes, Elie Saab’s make up, by contrast was a celebration of exotic femininity. Sporting sweeps of gold across lids and beneath bottom lashes, with eyes lined in fine black kohl, top and bottom, we reccomend stealing the accompanying stained lips & loose waves through hair, but leaving the crowns behind.

Ralph & Russo’s Dramatic Wings
Not for wallflowers (or a beach wedding), we loved the chic drama of Ralph & Russo’s amplified winged eyes. One part femme fatale, one part screen siren – it’s a little mysterious and super elegant. Also best entrusted to the professionals…this one definitely requires a make up artist you love and trust.

E&T x

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