On Sunday I attended "Rocked: a Couture Bridal Event" at the Nines Hotel, in their grand ballroom. Although there was nearly six times more cake than couture, I still got a glimpse at what this season's (wealthy-ish) brides are wearing; ranging from "meh," all the way to "fuck yeah, that's red!"

Alongside vacation packages, limo rentals, and boundless booze, local designers sat perched and ready to sell.

Holly Stalder
  • Katie Swezey
  • Holly Stalder

Holly Stalder was the first designer I encountered, and I'd say the most interesting and "Portland-y" of any of the designers there. Though her designs still carried frills, lace, and flowers, the shapes and textures were more creative. Her waist and hemlines flowed elegantly, making the dresses appear more fitted and comfortable than the stiff wedding cakes we're usually expected to don as a bride. Her dresses would more likely be seen on a pouting ex-lover in a Shins video, rather than on Bristol Palin's wedding day.

One of my favorite dresses was from Divine Designs:

Divine Designs
  • Katie Swezey
  • Divine Designs

Though it seems simple and classic, there are complicated mesh layers that create a beautiful, flattering pattern; it even has a bit of a pinkish tint to it. I had to stop myself from walking out with the mannequin.

Sun Jin Lee
  • Katie Swezey
  • Sun Jin Lee

Sun Jin Lee caught my attention not with gaudy lace or voluminous poofs, but with flattering, classic lines. Her pieces were a nice range of sophisticated with innovative touches, all the way to dresses that you could wear in the picnic scene of a Fellini film. Their pricing caught my attention as being somewhat more accommodating, as well.

There was also jewelry...

  • Katie Swezey

...And lingerie...

  • Katie Swezey

...And some more conventional wedding dresses, for those who want to get back to basics.

Annas Bridal
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  • Anna's Bridal

Sophie Chang only had two dresses showcased, but took very different approaches on a similar structure. I wasn't crazy about the angles on her white dress, or where it jutted out; this dress would probably look best on someone with less robust hips.

Sophie Chang
  • Katie Swezey
  • Sophie Chang

Whereas her red dress was the belle of the ball. With an open back, and tailored, layered lace, this dress I found to be the most compelling and memorable.

  • Katie Swezey

Though "Rocked" provided less fashion than advertised, it seemed all-around to be a comprehensive convention for those awaiting bridehood. I'd recommend attending events like these if you're planning a wedding in the near future; just don't eat before you go (rookie mistake).