Best Dresses

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2002

A dress that becomes you celebrates your individual beauty -- your stature, your style, your smile.

Inimitable
A cascade of silk satin is distinguished by its color, a citron yellow, and its ladylike silhouette with a bateau neck and three-quarter-length sleeves. Below: A white wool sheath with high-crossed straps and dropped waist is spare and elegant, as is the bride's leafy green bouquet of variegated croton, sago palm, hen and chickens, and cymbidium.

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Fruitful
A no-frills coupling of silk and tulle has bucolic appeal. A cap-sleeve overdress of sheer silk pique slides over a thin-strapped silk slip; detailing is limited to embroidered edges at the sleeves. Below: This silk gazar dress has a gored sweep skirt and a felicitous notched collar that opens like a rosebud. Understated details such as the bouquet of lily-of-the-valley, poppy pods, and velvety lamb's ears keep the focus on the bride.

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Dazzling
A seaside wedding is a lovely setting for this beaded and sequined silk-organdy wrap dress, its plunging neckline and slender strap evocative of sun-drenched days. Sprays of lady's mantle fly from waves of cockscomb in the green and yellow bouquet. Below: A rustling sweep of silk satin mounts to a high, wide banded neck; the neck and cap sleeves are stiffened with rows of stitching. A narrow oval cut in back from nape to waist is finished with a demure bow at the small of the back. The modest bouquet is boxwood dotted with wired stems of stephanotis, traditionally the groom's flower.

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Graceful
A sleeveless column of silk organdy tiers banded in satin widens to a delicately flamboyant sweep train. An extravagant 1920s-style cataract of ivy, mini calla lilies, and gardenias streaming with sheer green-gold ribbons, some knotted at the ends, complements the dress. Below: The bride who loves to dance can hardly do better than this knee-length swing dress in four-ply silk. A diamond-shape "handkerchief" capelet gives the dress breezy wings; the petticoat built into the flattering gored circle skirt ensures luxurious fluidity.

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