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Vera Wang on Hailey Bieber, wedding dresses for modern brides and her latest collection

The iconic designer says 2023 is the year of breaking with tradition

Natalie Salmon
Fashion Digital Editor
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The first wedding dress Vera Wang ever designed was for a Kennedy, (as one does) “My first client in the door was the son of Bobby Kennedy, Max Kennedy and his fiance [Victoria Strauss] and so that was the first wedding dress… and it just sort of went on from there,” the iconic designer tells Hello! Fashion.

Wedding dresses have changed a great deal since those days, but one thing that hasn’t changed is Vera Wang’s A-List clientele. From socialites to celebrities, she's dressed them all. It goes without saying that the roster of names reads like the Oscars guest list: her gowns gracing the likes of Ariana Grande, Chelsea Clinton, Mariah Carey and Victoria Beckham on their big day.

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Vera Wang Bride 2023

Now the designer has released her new collection for 2023, a second Vera Wang Bride capsule for Pronovias which will open her to a wider audience, “I'm very excited because its a partnership that has enabled me to be able to go internationally on a different, very different scale than I've ever done before,” she explains. From reworked classical silhouettes to edgier fashion-forward statements, these dresses and accessories capture the pulse of the moment and the quintessential ‘Vera Wang’ attitude. “I think what we brought hopefully was certainly a more fashion take and I think that this collection is very reflective of the youth-quake in culture in the United States, which comes from music, film, Hollywood, and music festivals like Coachella and Burning Man.”


Hailey Bieber wore a Vera Wang gown for her reception

There’s one newlywed in particular that truly represents the zeitgeist of today's modern bride, “We created some wedding after-party dresses for Hailey Bieber and Justin Bieber's wedding and it sort of went viral,” explains Vera. “This picture of her in bias cut, seductive, very modern dress. She's got insane personal style and she happened to wear them with sneakers and I think that that just was emblematic of the kind of attitude of certain young stars today… that joyful, hip, cool kind of attitude - one that I’ve always tried to bring to bridal wear.”

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Vera Wang Bride 2023

The latest Vera Wang Brides collection is clearly a reflection of Vera’s style personal ethos, “I'm very, very excited about it because it just reflects very much also the way I dress myself, I really do kind of mix things up. I mean there's Asia mixed with couture pieces, mixed with tom-boy, mixed with sophistication.”

Vera styled the shoot for Pronovias herself, “with Birkenstocks, sneakers and lug sole boots with hoodies and denim that were paired with the dresses and pearls…  just a more fashion approach,” she reveals, “I'm not saying that not every single aspect of the nearly 60 dresses was completely modern, but I think that certainly in the way it was accessorised and presented and shot.” The 54 sophisticated styles have all the hallmarks of Vera Wang’s inimitable fashion language. Hi-lo and bustled skirts, clean bandeau tops, and deconstructed ball gowns mixed with debutante design details such as belted ties with lace peplums. Corseted bustiers with see-through panels and cross-your-heart drapes are modest, but also put a deliberate focus on the décolleté.  


Vera Wang poses in her 2023 campaign

In a career that spans over 30 years, Vera has clearly managed to keep her finger on the pulse, “Women right now are reconsidering what bridal means,” she says Vera, referring to the current mood for unorthodox looks, “I think we’ve done everything possible to create a wide range of looks with this collection, which I hope will appeal to so many different brides everywhere.”

“I like to think that over the last three decades we played a part in encouraging brides to own who they are and how they want to express themselves and who they want to be. And you don't only have to follow traditional formulas of what people look like at weddings.”

Breaking with tradition? It sounds like like 2023 is definitely the year of the modern bride.   

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