Tonight is our private fashion show, where the final five Operation Dream Dress designs–chosen by America!–will be showcased on the catwalk and critiqued by our panel of experts. Among these panelists are our own fashion director, Rachel Leonard; Austin Scarlett, who you might recognize from the first season of Project Runway; Hilary Rhoda, the face of Estee Lauder’s fragrance, Beautiful; Dan Rentillo, designer for David’s Bridal; and Britt Aboutaleb, Associate Editor of  Our panelists and models are just arriving! –Jackie, Cubicle Chat


Last night I was whisked up to the 2nd floor of the Gabriella bridal salon to find it transformed into a classy cocktail party space that featured the tastes and sounds of France, Spain—and New York!  Live French music wafted through the room while ladies in lovely gowns served Moet champagne.  Later, a flamenco dancer took to the stage and commanded the room with each stomp of her high-heeled shoe, while an amazing beatboxer set the tempo.  The food was just as unexpected and fun as the entertainment.  New York classics like hot dogs, pretzels, and beer, and classic comfort foods like grilled cheese sandwiches and pancakes were served tapas-style.  I was in tasting heaven!  I guess good things really do come in small packages.   -Machell, Wedding Stylistas


April showers, and I have to run around all day for market appointments!  I am so sick of my rain boots…  Finally, I saw something that put a smile on my face.  Check out the whimsical customized boutonnieres at Fritts Rosenow Bespoke Boutonnieres. Weddings tend to be a bit bride-centric, now the grooms can express themselves too.   -Christina, Party Girl


Look #4 from the Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2009 Runway Show.

Look #4 from the Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2009 Runway Show.

I’ve been looking at photos of the bridal runway shows for a week now.  There are so many stunning gowns…it makes you think about the statement you want to make with your dress.  Are you classically elegant? Will you wow them with ruffles? Do you have the guts to go short?

Since I got engaged, I’ve been seriously considering wearing pants at my wedding(!). I love this gorgeous suit by Diane von Furstenberg.  I can’t wait to go try it on! While looking at all those runway dresses, I’ve begun to question my decision. This is the one day that I can live out my fantasy of being Ginger Rogers in that feathered dress from the movie “Top Hat.” On second thought, my wedding IS a fantasy but it should still be reflection of me, today.  I’m not that kid who idolized Ginger Rogers. I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t buy anything with feathers!  So I’m going with where my heart is now, not 15 years ago. I’m going to dare to be me.  -Kristen, A Bride at BRIDES 

Monique Lhuillier—one of the hottest names in fashion—is finally doing bridesmaid dresses!  The eight styles will be priced from $250-340 (can you even?) and will launch mid- May on  I saw them at her spring bridal presentation and wow, I just loved them and your girls will too.  Her bridal collection had lots of ethereal silhouettes—layered organzas and tulles that seemed to just float on the models who looked like graceful ballerinas.  My fave was Sunday Rose, a pleated strapless dress with a full floral skirt. Gorgeous!  —Ellen, Un-Veiled at NY Bridal Market

It’s not often you get to see genius at work.  I did today when I saw Vera Wang’s latest collection—a fantasy of fabric, color, and romance come to life.  The show’s vibe was very informal, and—lucky me—I found myself next to Vera herself as the models, in one fabulous dress after another, walked by.  (I desperately wanted to take the pale gray organza one-shoulder ball gown home.)  Vera offered running commentary on her inspiration, which was as educational as it was entertaining.  (Who knew there was such a thing as “random asymmetry”?)  Some of the most stunning dresses included a hand-painted pale green-and-pink organza confection and a nude-colored tulle design with multiple ribbons.  When a black (yes, black—how’s that for bold?)  Empire frock floated past, you could hear a collective sigh of appreciation.  —Terrie, NY Bridal Market

I want to make this clear—I am not a lady who lunches.  However, after seeing Oscar de la Renta’s stunning bridal collection, I felt like throwing on a classic sheath and ballet flats, and heading to Fred’s at Barneys New York for a glass of chardonnay.  Who could blame me?  The show opened with a powder blue silk-faille knee-length dress followed by an embroidered sheath (worn with a tulle coat) that were oh- so- ladylike.  On the ballgown front, no one does volume like de la Renta.  When a silk-organza design with a cloud-like crinoline skirt came floating down the aisle, the normally reserved me wanted to shout “Big and billowy? Bring it on!”.  While there were plenty of other gorgeous light-as-air gowns, perfect for that garden wedding, I also appreciated the designer mixing things up a bit with a sexy silk pants and embroidered coat ensemble. Obviously, de la Renta’s lady can also be a bit of a vamp.  Bravo!  —Terrie, NY Bridal Market