Designers take on detachable dresses as trend grows

March 30, 2010 3:20:15 PM PDT
The growing trend among brides is to have two dresses - a traditional gown for the ceremony and a cocktail dress for the reception. Designers at every price point have caught on, and they are creating one dress that transforms to serve double duty.

"They're perfect for the classic bride,"'s Heather Levine said. "Something for this girl to wear at her ceremony, but something for the trendy bride to switch up for the reception."

With a growing number of brides trying to make the most of their wedding day budgets, more designers are offering detachable wedding dresses, gowns that work double time.

Master creators Mark Badgley and James Mischka have introduced "Lucy" into their new bridal collection.

"She's really inspired by the red carpet, because one shoulder is so important on the red carpet this year," Mischka said. "It has been at the last few awards shows and continues to be."

Get lost in yards of tulle as you say "I do," and then take it up a notch with the above-the-knee transformation. If you yearn for strapless, it might be the dress for you, with clouds of silk satin and tulle.

"It's so classic," Badgley said. "It's so effortless, I think it turns every woman into a princess."

A princess who then wants to party in a cocktail dress.

This season, there are more choices in terms of silhouettes and price points.

For less than $200, you can be draped in tiers of tulle, with floral details, and a secret weapon. Undo a few buttons, and now you're ready to cut the cake.

Experts say make sure it doesn't look like you are wearing a skirt over a dress.

"It works the best if there is a unified theme between two dresses," Levine said. "So that's why taking a dress and just having the skirt come off, you pick the right bodice that's right for you and make it work for both dresses."