Micaela Erlanger

What Bridal Looks Like Now



“I firmly believe the closest thing to walking down the red carpet is walking down the aisle, and there are so many similarities and parallels - they’re both live events, there’s photo beings taken, the emotions are high and it’s a special moment that’s memorialised,” says celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger (@micaela) over the phone from New York.

 

Having dressed icons such as Lupita Nyong’o, Meryl Streep and Michelle Dockery for major red carpet events around the world, lending her expertise to brides who want to look their absolute best was a natural extension of her business. “I saw an opportunity to really provide my experience and creativity to a market that doesn’t really have stylists.”

 

Micaela kicked off her new business with a bang by working with model Amanda Hearst for her 2019 wedding which took place at her family’s legendary California estate, Hearst Castle  - a glamour-packed weekend featuring five bridal outfits that ranged from a classic off-shoulder wedding gown to a sequinned minidress. Her expert eye ensures cohesion between the wardrobe and the entire event, working with the wedding planner, florist and photographer to create that all-important unified aesthetic. Business was picking up speed, until of course, Covid-19 hit.

 

Having had to re-schedule her own wedding plans four times, Micaela blazed the way in helping her clients navigate postponing, downsizing or re-imagining their ceremonies. “I’m experiencing this myself,” she laughs, “I’m the guinea pig going through the emotions and sharing them with my clients.” As restrictions and limitations look likely to stretch into 2021, she shares her top tips for how to keep your day feeling super special and how to pick that outfit that makes you feel your absolute best.



THE ICONIC RED CARPET MOMENTS CREATED BY MICAELA FOR CELEBRITY CLIENTS DIANE KRUGER, LUPITA NYONG’O AND  CONSTANCE WU.


     HAVE VISUAL REFERENCES.

Most people have a hard time describing what they want. So look back at previous weddings that have been published or even red carpet fashion, and come prepared with images. This allows you to pinpoint the elements you like and dislike. Ultimately, you’re creating a moment from nothing so imagination has to come into play.

 

     RE-THINK PREVIOUS TRADITIONS.

A pre-Covid trend that’s gained momentum is the need for things you can enjoy and wear again. With millions of weddings postponed, the availability of weekend dates are getting scarce, so weekday events are no longer taboo. With all these factors, we are seeing a wardrobe change with a lot more prints, colour and separates that brides can get more mileage out of. I think it’s quite cool and it’s here to stay, a modern evolution of what bridal should be.

 

     FOCUS ON THE MOMENT, NOT WHAT YOU’RE WEARING.

One thing I can tell you from red carpet experience is that if you don’t feel comfortable, it will read in the photos! Choose shoes you can walk in and don’t wear items that are too tight. This will be even more important now as everybody has gotten so used to dressing comfortably. You really shouldn’t be focused on what you’re wearing, you should be focused on enjoying the moment.

 

     LISTEN TO YOUR GUT!

I strongly recommend that you don't have a “peanut gallery”. It’s really important that you feel the best version of yourself, so listen to the experts if you are working with professionals and if not, remember that whilst it’s great you value their opinions, your friends and family are not necessarily dress experts!




     ADD INTIMACY WITH DETAILS.

 

Weddings may have to be smaller, but the upside is that you have more time to focus on little details and personal touches - these are the elements that really define a special celebration.

 

     YOUR BUDGET IS PERSONAL.

 

You decide where you want to put your resources, especially with weddings getting down-sized. Some may want to splurge on outfits, others may prefer to spend it on décor and we’re also seeing a trend towards investing more in jewellery. Don’t be confined by “traditional” budget allocations.

 

     WHAT SURFACE ARE YOU WALKING ON?

 

A detail people often overlook in the big moment is considering whether they’re walking a church aisle, grass, brick or wooden walkway? Obviously, if it’s grass then you might prefer a platform heel to a stiletto, and if it’s a rough-textured surface, be aware that your dress or veil could catch!

 

     DO A HAIR AND MAKEUP TEST.

 

You want your hair and make-up to last so it can be nice to bring in professional help, especially if you’re wearing a veil or hairpiece. The questions you should also be asking are: what is the time of day, what will the light look like and will it be windy? Plan accordingly.

 

     CREATE NUANCE IN YOUR BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES.

 

If you are having a bridal party, you want some level of visual cohesion, but there’s ways of achieving this other than the exact same dress, which in my opinion, is a little dated and less exciting. You want your friends looking fabulous! Colour palette is still key in bringing the aesthetics together, so pick shades within a specific range or consider an ombré effect. Different prints can also be really fun but may require an expert eye to help mix and match – remember you don’t want your photos to look messy.

 

     ULTIMATELY, DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF WHAT’S IMPORTANT.

 

Whatever type of celebration you decide on and however much you need to consistently adapt to changing circumstance, you can’t forget what matters here – which is that you are getting married to your best friend. Enjoy every moment!