Bridalwear that is elegant and rich in culture popular among Malaysians


When it comes to more traditional wedding designs, they are still beautifully embellished to ensure the bride stands out during her big day. Photo: Amazae

For brides-to-be, the big day can be a memorable one indeed – and the most important thing is picking the perfect wedding dress.

One factor to consider when shopping for gowns is the latest trends.

Western-style designs that are not only visually stunning but also embody feminine elegance and culture are a popular choice.

“The emerging trend leans towards wedding dresses inspired by Middle Eastern motifs, known for their majestic and aristocratic allure,” says Gelly Wee.

“Characterised by their opulent designs, these gowns celebrate the art of fine craftsmanship, featuring luxurious fabrics, precise tailoring, and intricate handiwork.”

Wee is is the founder of a bridal boutique in Kuala Lumpur that specialises in curating exquisite wedding gowns from international designers.

“A significant focus within this trend is on Lebanese designers, such as Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad and Georges Hobeika, who are renowned for their ability to fuse traditional elegance with contemporary flair, offering brides an exquisite blend of beauty and cultural depth,” Wee notes.

Read more: Shrugs, voluminous gowns, peplum waists: What are the latest bridalwear trends?

She goes on to say that between 2018 to 2022, Malaysians were opting for feminine, simple bridalwear styles – as depicted in K-dramas. The trend then shifted in 2022 to favour the sweet and rustic designs worn by modern brides in Thailand.

According to the designers behind local label Amazae, there is now an uptick of requests for wedding dresses that mimic the Nusantara and Peranakan look.

Zeed Jamel, one-half of the duo, adds that brides tend to look for a two-in-one look. This can be used for the solemnisation and reception ceremonies.

“They want more value for their money. Also, they would love to reinvent the look, and wear it again after the event,” he explains.

It is believed that white will still be a favoured colour by brides this year. Photo: Gelly WeeIt is believed that white will still be a favoured colour by brides this year. Photo: Gelly Wee

Colours and materials

While there is now a choice of different colours for wedding dresses, brides in Malaysia still prefer to play it safe.

Amazae’s Amar Madfie thinks the reason is because white is timeless. Even when experimenting, most people would pick shades such as off-white and ivory.

He calls these “safe colours” that won’t look out of place in photographs.

“If last year we saw a resurgence of sage green when it comes to colour themes for weddings, 2024 will return to shades like champagne and soft peach,” Amar says.

Wee stresses that the allure of white wedding dresses remains unmatched in the bridal market – especially in Western culture.

“White symbolises purity, nobility and solemnity,” she relates.

“For many, the dream of wearing a white wedding dress is a cherished vision from childhood, embodying a timeless tradition and a sense of ceremonial significance that coloured dresses rarely replicate.”

Wee does however admit that there is a growing interest in bridal dresses that incorporate colour.

“These options offer a modern twist on tradition, allowing brides to express their personal style and the unique spirit of their celebration,” she explains.

Designs from designers like Zuhair Murad fuse traditional elegance with contemporary flair. Photo: Zuhair MuradDesigns from designers like Zuhair Murad fuse traditional elegance with contemporary flair. Photo: Zuhair MuradElaborate details like beading will help add a touch of luxury to a wedding dress design. Photo: Elie SaabElaborate details like beading will help add a touch of luxury to a wedding dress design. Photo: Elie Saab

Bridalwear trends can also include aspects like materials used and the embellishments.

“Bridal gowns that feature elaborate handcrafted details, such as embroidery, beads, crystals, sequins and tassels, are particularly sought after,” Wee says.

She thinks these give a design an artisanal feel and make it look luxurious.

Amar says that silk material such as Shantung silk and synthetic ones such as silk Mikado are very popular this year. They are favoured for the ultra glossy look.

He however cautions that these are only practical for indoor weddings – they are not that breathable fabric, and can stain with sweat easily.

“The climate is very humid and hot outdoor, breathable fabric options are a must.”

Read more: Bridalwear evolves as fashion designers find new ways to change its vocabulary

A joyful experience

The fact remains, no matter how many options a bride is faced with – styles, colours, material and more, the process of finding the right wedding dress should not be a stressful experience.

“It should be a journey of joy and not a task of trepidation,” says Wee.

Her advice is to seek out help from a professional consultant, who will take into consideration everything from the bride’s financial comfort to body shape and stylistic preferences.

As from the point of view of designers, the brides remain as the most important focus of the day.

Within this line of thought – no matter the trends of the year, a wedding dress is only as beautiful as the person feels wearing it.

Zeed shares that he will always consider his client’s vision. Finding a balance between that, and his aesthetic is what matters.

“However, brides also need to choose their designer wisely,” he says in conclusion.

“Go with one who can execute your vision three-dimensionally. You need to find a designer with a similar or exact point of view. It will help you get that dream wedding dress.”

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