Despite the coronavirus, wedding season is back — with a slight twist. Brides appear to be leaning into vintage dresses for their big day. The desire for vintage gowns may be influenced by multiple factors: sparse stock in stores because of pandemic production lags and shipping delays; an increasing shift toward sustainable fashion; and tastes awakened by the Regency style of “Bridgerton” and the ’70s-style wedding gown donned by Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani in the “House of Gucci” film.
What’s certain, though, is that the pre-loved gown business is booming in Los Angeles, where the vintage fashion market runs deep. Local shops are bustling to serve options for the bride’s big day, rehearsal dinner and after-party, as well as for guests and mothers of the couple.
According to fashion shopping platform Lyst, there was a 103% surge from March through May in online searches for pre-owned wedding gowns and a 53% spike in views of vintage bridal attire by brands such as Mugler, Vivienne Westwood and Versace.
“The irony is that ‘something old’ has always been part of traditional bridal, so now it’s just taking it to another level,” says Cameron Silver, owner of vintage couture boutique Decades in Beverly Grove. “And I think having something that’s not easily identifiable, or has a delicious story, is very, very attractive right now.
“I’ve had people come in and tell me, ‘The dress I got from you I reworked and used again,’” Silver said. “It’s a very antiquated notion to buy this dress and only wear it one time. Certainly, some dresses are really specifically only going to work as a wedding dress, but there’s no reason that you can’t wear a white gown to a black-tie gala.”
If you’re among the millions expected to wed in 2022 (Arizona-based research company the Wedding Report projects 2.5 million weddings in 2022 in the U.S., up from 1.9 million in 2021 and 1.3 million in 2020), we have you covered. We found seven spots — six in L.A. and one in Orange County — that offer vintage or vintage-inspired looks and accessories.