Sitting on the frow at a catwalk show gives you a great sense of the dresses' movement and fluidity, but touching the actual fabrics, feeling the weight of the gown and seeing up-close the carefully tailored details is an unforgettable experienced. And that's exactly what happened when Brides fashion director Bryony Toogood and I got an exclusive, private view of Vera Wang's much-anticipated autumn 2016 collection.

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Behind the frosted glass at Wang HQ in NYC, before the official press preview and only 12 hours after the campaign images were shot, we were led into the very secret, very special showroom to obsess over the 16-look collection. 

For autumn 2016, Vera Wang beckoned us back into the surreal world of her spring collection. 'Hotel Madrid Part Two, The Lure of Spain' continued the sensual spirit of her spring offering as captured in the atmospheric film by Gordon von Steiner (scroll down to watch below).

Once again, the designer amped up the drama and created with a daring bride in mind. The collection was elegantly dishevelled romance personified; from the black silk taffeta gown (a hue fast becoming a trademark for Wang's edgy bridal offering - although it's also available in ivory) with a silk lined bubble high-low hem that nods to the theatricality of Bizet's gypsy girl Carmen, to the ivory long-sleeve illusion organza ball gown with the frothiest tulle skirt.

With an unexpected juxtaposition of everything from texture to colour and mood (think demure full skirts with barely-there lingerie necklines or exquisitely hand-embroidered cutaway bodices), the devil really was in the detail. Passementiere, an art form devoted to creating elaborate trimmings of braid, cord, embroidery or beads, added a sumptuous intricacy and weight to the super-sheer Chantilly and floral lace appliqués  which are becoming another signature.

THE TOP TRENDS AT NEW YORK BRIDAL WEEK

The variety of deeply romantic embellishments, including wispy ostrich plumes and French tulle ruffles, were crowned by a plethora of bows. Designed as add-ons for brides to customise their look, bows appeared around the waist of a white silk crepe gown with an ultra-modern diagonal bandeau top, perched on the shoulder of a structural column gown in black and atop a complex pleated tulle skirt. Magnifique!

Watch the video here:

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