Lace conjures up images of timeless romance and elegance. It's no wonder brides have adorned themselves in lace for centuries. But with so many varieties, patterns, and textures to choose from, finding the perfect lace wedding dress can feel overwhelming. That's why we spoke with Megan Ziems, Founder and Creative Director of Grace Loves Lace, for the inside scoop.
A Brief History of Lace
The origins of lace can be traced back to the 16th century in Europe. Once a luxury item for the noble class, lace has become a beloved fabric for brides everywhere. Today, it graces wedding gowns of all styles, from vintage throwbacks to modern masterpieces
What are some of the different types of lace you use in wedding dresses?
Megan explains that designers tend to have their favorite laces to work with, much like an artist has their preferred mediums. Some of the most popular laces used for wedding dresses include:
- Guipure: A heavy, geometric lace that creates a structured look.
- Chantilly: A delicate, floral lace with a web-like appearance.
- Leavers: Considered one of the finest laces, Leavers features intricate, floral patterns.
- Embroidery: Decorative stitching creates patterns on fabric in the shape of flowers, vines, leaves, and more.
- Appliqué: Cutout lace shapes are sewn onto a base fabric like tulle or chiffon.
- Elastic Lace: Stretchy lace that moves with the body.
- Eyelet: Circular cutouts give this lace an open, airy look.
- Soft Woven: Lightweight, woven lace with a smooth face.
How does the choice of lace influence the overall look and feel of a wedding dress?
Ziems, the creative force behind Grace Loves Lace, highlights the transformative power of lace. “If you have an eye and appreciation for quality and detail, then it makes all the difference,” she shares. The lace isn't just an embellishment; it's the canvas for the gown's artistry. According to Ziems, “sourcing or designing and developing our laces comes first, and then you work with it to create the dress.” This approach sets the tone for everything, from the gown's silhouette to its intricate details. Intrigued? Keep reading!
How does the choice of lace impact the cost of a wedding dress?
Megan Ziems offers a straightforward equation: “The higher the quality of lace, the higher the cost, and so the higher the price of the gown ends up being.” But not all brands prioritize quality. Ziems cautions against brands that don’t design in-house and, instead, opt for ready-made gowns from offshore factories. So, when selecting lace, consider it an investment in your dream day. It's about finding the perfect balance between quality and budget.
How delicate is lace on a wedding dress typically?
When it comes to the delicacy of lace, Megan Ziems provides a nuanced view. “This is a huge variable depending on the lace—how well the gown is constructed, and if the design has been created to suit the functionality of the lace,” she explains. Each type of lace has its own care requirements. Ziems and her team focus on laces that are high in quality, comfortable to wear, and visually stunning.
So, what's the takeaway? Handle your lace gown with care to keep it looking pristine. “Be mindful of clean hands, handle with care, be careful of jewelry, etc.,” Ziems advises.
How can a bride determine the right type of lace for her personal style and body type?
Megan Ziems offers a refreshing take on choosing the right lace to match a bride's personal style and body type. “Laces on their own can certainly look very different in style—from vintage, boho, contemporary, classic, art deco, romantic, chic, and so on—but it's what you do with them that makes them open to interpretation and possibility,” she says. In other words, the lace itself is just the beginning; it's how it's used that truly brings a gown to life.
Drawing inspiration from iconic designers like Alexander McQueen, Ziems and her team view lace as a tool for artistic expression. “We approach fabrics like a tool to create the art piece,” she shares. This approach opens up a world of possibilities, allowing brides to find a lace that not only complements their body type but also resonates with their unique style.
So, when it comes to selecting the perfect lace, remember that the lace is a canvas, ready to be transformed into your dream gown.
Are there any trending lace patterns or designs that brides should be aware of?
Megan Ziems has her finger on the pulse of lace trends, and she's excited about the direction they're taking. “Gone are the days that lace was only seen as ‘traditional,' which is a long time coming,” she notes. Celebrities and influential women are embracing lace in new and exciting ways, shifting the perception of this timeless fabric.
According to Ziems, the trend is moving away from large-scale embroidered laces and leaning towards more intricate, romantic designs. “I think trend-driven embroidered laces on a very large scale are definitely out, and more intricate romantic laces are in, and that's a really nice indication that the appreciation is really there for the beauty that lace is,” she says.
How does the choice of lace correlate with different wedding themes and venues?
Megan Ziems offers a liberating perspective on how lace can align with various wedding themes and venues. “Less about the type of lace and more about the pattern and scale and how it's used in the gown itself,” she explains. In other words, it's not just the type of lace that matters, but how it's incorporated into the overall design of the dress.
Ziems encourages brides to break free from traditional constraints. “I really think it's about having no rules and appreciating lace for how it captures you in that gown, and how it makes you feel,” she says. This sentiment resonates in today's wedding landscape, where brides are increasingly opting for multiple looks to express different facets of their personality. “Women these days often represent ‘both' sides of themselves on their wedding day and I love that. Be that romantic you and then be your wild and carefree you. And that often means two dresses, two looks.”
What are your tips for styling a lace wedding dress?
Megan Ziems has some sage advice for brides wondering how to style a lace wedding dress. “I think it's important to let the hero element of your look shine so if you have a very detailed lace gown, keep the flowers and your jewelry minimal,” she suggests. The intricate patterns and textures of lace can stand on their own, making it unnecessary to overload on additional embellishments.
Ziems also recommends a strategic approach to planning your wedding look. “A good tip is to approach your wedding a little like a brand would approach a campaign—establish a mood board including color scheme and put a picture of your dress at the center—build it around that so that it all speaks to each other,” she says.
In the ever-evolving world of bridal fashion, lace stands as a timeless testament to love, elegance, and individuality. Megan Ziems and her team at Grace Loves Lace have elevated this classic fabric into a versatile canvas for modern romance. Their designs, rich in quality and artistry, invite brides to explore the many shades of their femininity, from the dreamy romantic to the spirited free soul.
For those drawn to the poetic allure of lace, a visit to the Grace Loves Lace website might feel like stepping into a gallery. Each gown is a work of art, a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, waiting to be discovered by a bride who sees herself in its intricate patterns and soft silhouettes. And in the words of Megan Ziems, the ultimate tip for brides-to-be is simply to “Embrace the Lace!”