Strapless dress approximately £278,

Brides are shunning traditional frills and turning to the high street to dress their bridesmaids in style, says Libby Banks

Now in its fourth year, east London’s  three-day design festival Clerkenwell  Design Week (CDW) – an increasingly  important showcase for young British  designers –  takes place from next Tuesday.

The days of bridemaids wearing “the one-style-suits-all pink meringue are long gone, thankfully”, says Bryony Toogood, fashion editor at Brides magazine. After all, the 2013 wedding is judged, liked and shared on social media according to how it stands out. And as traditions have loosened up, modern brides are turning to the high street for dresses that won’t make their best friends hate them.

Charlotte O’Shea, founder of the Rock My Wedding blog, agrees that brides are taking more risks: “Inspiration increasingly comes from the latest catwalk trends rather than the more traditional ‘matchy matchy’ approach.”

Instead of old-fashioned formalities, bridesmaids  are now dressing for what many weddings actually are – a big old knees-up with friends and family.