If you’ve just got engaged, or are already in the process of planning your special day, your dress is probably one of the biggest priorities on your ever-expanding list of things to do. Do you go for something traditional, a cutting-edge outfit, a trouser-suit, or a knee-length stylish and slight sexy little number?
You might already have an idea of what sort of style you want, but need an
extra bit of help to make that all-important final decision. Alternatively, you
might be at a total loss for where to start. In either case, we’ve got some
fantastic inspiration for all blushing brides-to-be thanks to some of England’s
best-loved royal wedding dresses.
Who could forget Kate Middleton’s princess-perfect bridal gown, designed by luxury fashion house designer, Alexander McQueen. With an antique-looking lace bodice, ivory and white satin skirt, and 270cm bridal train, it inspired dozens of replicas after its appearance at Kate and William’s wedding on 29th April 2011.
Then, there was Princess Diana’s royal wedding dress which she wore for her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981. Designed by Elizabeth Emanuel, it is now considered a priceless piece. The epitome of the fairytale wedding, the puff-ball style dress, with large puffed sleeves and a frilly neckline was made from silk taffeta and lace, and was beautifully hand-embroidered with pearls and sequins.
Hollywood star and wife of Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Grace Kelly, also wore a show-stopping outfit in 1956. It is said to be one of the best-remembered and most elegant bridal gowns of all time. Her gown was designed by MGM’s Helen Rose, and consisted of a high collar, long sleeves, fitted bodice, and voluminous skirt, made from rose point lace laid over silk netting, and hand-embroidered with thousands of pearls. It not only continues to inspire brides over all the world, but its influence is also heavily noticeable in Kate Middleton’s dress as well.
So why are Royal wedding dresses so inspirational? Well, every girl dreams of looking like a princess on her special day, and royal brides have leapt to fashion icon status thanks to their beautiful gowns and sparkling jewels, from the simple to extravagant. However, they also communicate a whole lot more.
In tough economic times, the royal wedding dress has conveyed a message of national renewal, focusing on beautiful flowers and garlands, instead of opulent jewels. When Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria walked down their respective aisles, for example, their dresses represented the hopes of a nation.
The royal wedding dress also says a lot about the year or decade in which it was worn. Princess Margaret was a very fashionable young lady in her heyday. Her gown was revealed to the national on 6th May 1960 and still influences brides decades later.
Sarah Ferguson, on the other hand, had her designer (Linda Cierach) fashion her duchess satin and beaded dress and train with some clever personalisations. Her 17-foot train included her personal coat of arms, and the letter ‘A,’ whilst her veil was kept in place with a coronet of her husband’s favourite flowers – gardenias.
All of these royal wedding dresses can provide an immense source of inspiration for brides-to-be. Perhaps, there’s one particular dress that encompasses a style you like, or maybe you could combine elements from several to make one, unique gown that is worthy of a true princess?