A Primer on Amazing Lace Styles

Common and some not-so-common swatches of this timeless fabric.

When it comes to bridal fabrics, nothing is as timeless, feminine, and beautiful as lace. As with many exquisite things, though, a little goes a long way. It’s best to leave its use to expert designers and seamstresses, because placement on a gown or veil is key. Lace can be a gorgeous accent, embellishment, or even a primary component of a gown, but too much β€” and the wrong kind β€” can look gaudy or even dowdy. Lace, which comes in a range of styles, patterns, and price points, is generally thought of as a delicate fabric, but, again, there is a range, from sturdy to extremely dainty. We asked Alisa Koysman of Alisa Brides, whose bridal accessories are sold at Beehive Collective in Mount Kisco and Kleinfeld in Manhattan, to give us a primer on some common (and not-so-common) styles of amazing lace.

Guipure

Description: Also called Venetian lace, Guipure originated in France. It is a firmly dense fabric with no mesh background or net.
Signature Characteristics: Known for a swirly pattern, subtly floral, with larger negative space than other laces; Cotton.
Popularity: Trending now in dresses; harder to find on veils. This style gained popularity in late-1960s and ’70s fashion.
Price Range: Expensive

Beaded Chantilly

Description: Made in Chantilly, France; originally made with silk
Signature Characteristics: Regal pattern on the trim and floral appliques throughout. Sheer, requires delicate work.
Popularity: Not very common
Price Range: Very Expensive

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Shadow Chantilly

Description: Made in Chantilly, France; originally made with silk.
Signature characteristics: Very sheer, requires delicate work for veils; gorgeous for high-end gowns and lingerie; floral pattern throughout
Popularity: Expected to grow in popularity
Price Range: Expensive

Beaded French Alencon

Description: Made in Alencon, France, this heavily intricate lace is typically used as trim for wedding gowns and veils; vintage is best for this type.
Signature Characteristics: Floral pattern, sturdy enough to hold up for generations due to the cotton fiber content and embroidery
Popularity: The most popular lace for veils; very popular for dresses
Price Range: Expensive

Chantilly

Description: Created in 17th-century France, this romantically delicate lace is similar to Alencon but without embroidery.
Signature Characteristics: Floral pointed edge with delicate floral appliques throughout; cotton.
Popularity: Gaining popularity
Price Range: Expensive

 

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