We unveiled the winner of Operation Dream Dress this morning, live on Good Morning America. It was a tough decision—the five final designs were both unique and inspired. According to Diane Sawyer, each of the gowns was “dazzling”–and we have to agree! After the on-air fashion show, editor in chief Millie Bratten revealed that Amy Wong Micucci from Beverly Hills, CA, would go home with $10,000—and the distinction of having her dress photographed for the cover of our November/December issue. If you love it, you’ll be able to wear it for your wedding, since it will be manufactured by David’s Bridal this fall. Best of luck to all of our contestants, and we look forward to seeing all of your entries next year. –Jackie, Cubicle Chat

(sketches and corresponding dresses from left to right: Johnny Corona, Jennifer Allen, Haley Badenhop, Amy Wong Micucci, Claire Thompson.)

ODD Image for blogRemember to vote for the most beautiful wedding dress in America, created by up-and-coming designers, fashion students, and wedding dress aficionados. Will ruffles trump ostrich feathers?  Will color win out over traditional whites and creams? Will America favor trendy and short or a truncated train? Staffers here have already voted for their favorites, and our office debates are getting intense! We’ll announce the top five winners in June. Remember to cast your vote from now until May 26th at brides.com/dreamdress. –Jackie, Cubicle Chat

That's me in the yellow!

That's me in the yellow!

A year after my friend Jen’s wedding, I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my bridesmaid’s dress.  It’s a floor-length, chiffon Jovovich Hawk dress the color of a buttercup, and while I do want to preserve the integrity of this lovely frock, I know I’m not going to wear it as is. My mission is to turn it into the perfect dress to bring on trips, wear out to dinner, and maybe even wear to this summer’s weddings.  Do I shorten it? Do I dye it?  Or should I leave it as is, and ride the wave of maxi dresses that are flooding the market these days?  Whatever I do, I can’t just leave it in my closet!  —Xander, Un-Veiled

Last night’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute gala–one of New York’s “Important Evenings,” provided lots of fuel for discussion and fun gossip in today’s weekly staff meeting.  While many of the looks were kind of out there (rabbit ears, Madonna?), there were some gorgeous dresses that I couldn’t help but daydream about for down the aisle.  Diane Kruger’s floral mini from Chanel Haute Couture, Iman’s elegantly draped number by Donna Karan, and Elizabeth Hurley in a sweeping Elie Saab Couture creation—they would all be gorgeous on a bride.  And for an after-party dress?  Gisele’s glittering Versace microdress might just be the perfect Something Blue. –Ellen, Un-Veiled

For her April wedding, my best friend, Lisa, told her bridesmaids that we could each choose our own black dress.  As matron of honor, I was relieved: Since I’m having a baby in May, my appearance is distracting enough without adding fuchsia to the mix.  I work at BRIDES, so I started at the fashion director’s desk.  She told me to check out A Pea in the Pod’s dresses (“Totally cute—I’d wear them!” were her exact words), which are sold at Destination Maternity, an awesome one-stop shop. It’s an easy place to love: The staff walks the floor with free water and juice, and the day I was there, they were also passing out Magnolia Bakery cupcakes.  I found 14 (!) dresses to try and about half were serious contenders.  Would I go boho with a silk 70s-style gown with funky black embroidery?  Or girly with the wrap dress that had a ruffled neckline and polka-dot chiffon overlay?  I finally settled on a flowy, goddess-inspired cocktail-length number with delicate gold beading under an empire waist, the BFF of preggo women everywhere. (PS: The price was perfect—I’d love to wear it again, but won’t be bummed if I don’t.) To pull my look together, I only needed a great blowout, patent peep-toe flats, and the Tiffany & Co. bracelet that was a gift from Lisa.  –Lexi, Cubicle Chat

 

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 moniquelhuillier.com.  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