Lebanese designer Reem Acra is renowned for her reverent, lavish approach to bridalwear, and this season was no different. The show notes set the stage for the collection’s divine inspiration with the somewhat cryptic phrase: “We are protected. The spirit of the saints.”
For the show the New York Public Library was transformed into heaven’s gate and on the models, bunches of baby’s breath sprouted from headbands and tiaras, serving as halos, equal parts angelic and regal.
Breaking from the expected, the heavenly collection opened with a quintet of unadorned, minimalist gowns in duchess satin and silk crepe, standing as irrefutable proof that clean simplicity can look every bit as opulent as over the top embellishment. Still, plenty of lace, embroidery, and crystal bedazzling followed: A round-neck bodice stitched with glimmering paillettes complements a frothy tulle skirt. The white lace details of a full-coverage gown with long sleeves and high neck stand out even more so thanks to its champagne beige underlayer. An A-line gown embroidered with what can only be yards and yards of gold and silver metallic thread is further ornamented with a crystal bow at its waist.
This season, Acra experiments with toppers. A jewel-encrusted bolero (no need for jewelry here) obscures the bare décolletage of the strapless gown with which it’s worn. A floor-sweeping jacket made from embroidered tulle (a practical alternative to a train) perfectly matches its twin halter gown. And, a pair of enormous bows is tacked on to the straps of an embroidered cape that slips on like a backpack.