|By Andrea Dibben
Originally published in the March 2012 Socionomist
The white wedding dress—and its connotation of purity—is a big part of the fairy tale that most brides yearn for on their wedding day. So what prompted the world’s top wedding gown designer to color half her latest collection black?
“I did take it to a witchy kind of place,” Vera Wang told The New York Times. “For me, it helped build a sense of mystery that I was hungry for. And it added this sensuality and sexuality, and a little bit of severity, too.”1
The spring 2012 season, for which Wang’s noir line was designed, is almost upon us. We will have to wait a few months to learn just how popular the midnight theme has become. But given the ongoing stock market rally at Primary degree, it will surprise us if these gowns have flown off the shelves—yet.
This is not the first time bridal fashions have featured the color black. Shortly after the October 1987 stock market crash, The New York Times reported on bridesmaids suddenly wearing black.2 The Times’ explained that “brides [are] marrying older,” and therefore have older bridesmaids, and older bridesmaids befit black dresses.
But socionomists saw that timing—and this one—as more than coincidental. In The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior, Robert Prechter noted that “anti-fashion fashions” such as black wedding dresses tend to become more popular during negative mood trends.3
Watch for noir nuptial gowns to become even more tempting if social mood resumes its downward trend. And near the bottom, look for other deviations from long-held wedding traditions.
Androgynous wear, anyone?■
1 Bee-Shyuan, C. (2011, October 24). All dressed in black.The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/fashion/black-wedding-gowns-from-the-runway-to-the-aisle.html?_r=2&ref=style
2 Nemy, E. (1988, November 20). Style: New Yorkers, Etc. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/1988/11/20/style/new-yorkers-etc.html?src=pm
3 Prechter, R. (1999). The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior (p. 232). Gainesville, Georgia: New Classics Library.
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