Whether it composes a gown or embellishes a veil, lace will always be associated with weddings and brides. Grace Kelly’s iconic wedding dress featured Point de Rose lace, and when Catherine Middleton married Prince William, her Alexander McQueen gown included exquisite French Leavers lace. Amal Clooney, Nicky Hilton, and most recently Sofia Vergara wed in beautiful lace wedding gowns, confirming that lace is one of the top looks of choice for celebrities as well as royalty.
Acquaint yourself with this beautiful bridal staple with our close-up take on the top three types of wedding lace. Although originally handmade, the look of each of these types of lace may be mimicked through the use of modern machinery, but couture gowns are most often adorned with the real thing.
A handmade lace stitched with needle and thread, Alençon is best known for the raised outline of its motifs, accomplished by re-embroidering over the lines with fine cording. It has enough body to support sequins and beading, and is often used to create detailed appliqués.
Named for the city in France, Chantilly lace is made by hand through the twisting and braiding of delicate silk threads wound on a series of bobbins (hence known as a type of “bobbin lace”). It is recognizable for the intricate detail of its patterns, which may or may not be outlined by flat, untwisted strands of thread, and it’s light, airy look and feel.
Also a type of bobbin lace, Guipure is noted for being meshless, using bars or plaits of thread to connect the patterns that compose its motifs instead of netting. It offers a multitude of patterns that aren’t strictly floral, and its weight and heft make it a favorite for winter and fall.
Photos courtesy of Claire Pettibone