When I got married nearly 13 years ago, nothing mattered to me more than finding the perfect dress. Never mind the venue, the flowers, the food—I was singularly focused on leaving no bridal boutique unturned to uncover a gown that represented who I was at that time. Skipping a headpiece entirely, I ultimately settled on a soft white, curve-hugging strapless sheath, with draping on the bodice and an explosion of ruffles down the short train. Paired with turquoise Zuni needlepoint chandelier earrings, I felt both totally myself and very much a traditional bride. If I were getting married in 2019, however, I’d beat a blazing path in the direction of Vera Wang.
The designer, who’s reigned over bridal couture for the past two-plus decades, continues to recreate the very medium she turned on its ear when she hung out a shingle in 1990. Unimpressed with the dresses on offer when she was set to marry her ex-husband, Arthur Becker, she designed her own elaborate gown and commissioned a dressmaker to create it. Since then, countless celebrities from Alicia Keys to Chelsea Clinton to brides-to-be around the globe have flocked to her doors for a chance to experience the singular femininity and glamour only Wang can conjure.
For the 2019 me, Wang’s Tatiana gown is the indisputable standout of the season. From the nude tone to the deep neckline, slit skirt and long, split sleeves, all the way up to the armor detail at the shoulder, this garment feels not only fresh and unique, but entirely relevant to our times. This is a dress for a modern-day warrior. For a generation fed up with silence, abuse and inequality. This one’s not for the blushing bride, but an individual who has vision and a clear sense of self—not to mention excellent taste. I wasn’t quite there 13 years ago, but then again, neither was the world around me.