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Dressing in Layers

Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2000

Like an exquisitely tiered wedding cake, a bridal gown is a masterpiece of layers. Not only do the layers sculpt a gown's shape and create a sense of movement, they seem to transform the bride who wears them into an ethereal being. "Layers give a bride a sense of delicacy," says Reem Acra, a bridal and eveningwear designer in New York City. "They create a romantic mystique." A bride who is dressed in a sheer, layered gown seems to float down the aisle on a cloud of transparent net, the buoyant layers moving easily, creating a soft, constantly reconfiguring contour. If the bride's gown is a simple, straight column, an overlay will provide a whisper of movement so she seems to glide. And when she is seated at the reception, all the guests' eyes will be on the bride as the layers of her dress envelop her in a gauzy frame, setting her apart in a misty silhouette.

Layers Over Shoes
Opulent silk mules (above) covered with pearls and beads are muted but not obscured by a sweep of organza.

Layers of Possibilities
Adding That Extra Something
Functional Layering