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Meghan’s wedding dress – a study in understated elegance

Blog title image Meghans wedding dress a study in understated elegance

It’s nearly a week since Harry and Meghan tied the knot in the most talked about wedding of the year. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the wedding and was caught up in all the excitement surrounding this happy event. As a designer I was of course particularly interested in Meghan’s choice of dress. I’ve seen a lot of comments on the web this week about how the dress didn’t fit very well or that it was too plain. So I thought I’d throw in my two pennies worth and share my thoughts on why I think her dress was utter perfection.

Meghan Markle walks down the aisle of St George's chapel on her wedding day

1. The dress was perfectly suited to her

Anyone that has seen coverage of Meghan’s public engagements in the weeks and months leading up to the wedding will have noticed that she likes to dress in elegant chic clothes. Simple and functional styles that looks modern and sleek are her go-to pieces. She has proven that she is bold enough to make her own choices and break with convention when she wants to.

Her wedding dress perfectly epitomised this sentiment. It was deceptively simple and elegant. The clean lines were not broken up by any embellishment and let her own features shine. It’s exactly the kind of style I expected her to choose. Something unfussy and humble yet exquisitely made with great attention to detail and sentiment.

Meghan Markle walks up the steps to St George's chapel in her wedding dress

2. Comfort

Where some social media warriors saw poor fit I saw a dress that was above all comfortable. It did not appear to have any boning supporting the bodice yet stayed put perfectly. The neckline did not gape, but hugged her shoulders just so.

Aerial view of Harry and Meghan during the carriage ride through Windsor after their wedding

The skirt was flared, but not overly so. It seemed to me that Meghan chose the minimum she could get away with for such a grand venue and let the veil provide all the drama and romance instead. A lightweight and beautiful choice for a summer wedding. In my opinion too many wedding dresses prioritise looks over comfort. This gown was therefore a breath of fresh of air and by not restricting her movement with hidden corsetry a subtly feminist choice too.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave St George's chapel following their wedding ceremony


3. Meghan’s wedding dress material – double bonded silk cady

The beautiful design by Clare Waight-Keller for Givenchy was only seemingly simple. The purest and simplest designs are often the hardest to execute as you cannot hide any imperfections with a carefully placed trim. From the press release it is clear that a lot of thought went into the type of material to use. A traditional silk duchesse satin or heavy crepe would not have achieved the modern feel and look Meghan and Clare wanted to achieve. In fact there was no existing material available and they therefore developed their own.

Close up of Meghan Markle's wedding dress and tiara in the sunshine

To me this proves how much thought and care was put into getting the look just right. All traditional fabric choices would not have been right. Within days of the royal wedding I have seen bridal designers copy Meghan’s dress, but using conventional bridal fabrics. The result is a more traditional look lacking that subtle modern edge.


4. The veil

Weddings are all about personal choices, but also public statements. And a royal wedding is even more laden with symbolism where every detail is analysed and given meaning.

Meghan's wedding veil being carried by her two page boys

The veil has traditionally been a sign of virginity and purity. In Meghan’s case she made it a symbol of the role she was stepping into. By choosing to have flowers from all Commonwealth countries represented she made a statement about the importance of those countries in relation to her and Harry, but also put them on an equal footing with the UK. Again a subtle, but carefully considered statement.

5. The tiara

Choosing to wear a tiara was perhaps her most traditional choice of all. It is only worn by married women in the royal family and a clear outward sign of having joined the ranks. It signalled acceptance by her new family and showed that she is fully embraced into it. I am a great fan of all things Art Deco so I thought it absolutely stunning. I’m not sure you can ever call a tiara simple, but compared to others in the queen’s collection it was geometric and had a timeless quality to it. The perfect accessory to round off her look.

Harry and Meghan during their wedding ceremony

So there you have it – my ode to Meghan’s wedding dress. A study in effortless elegance, timeless design and deceptive simplicity.

If you would like to discuss your own perfect design please get in touch and you can view my bridal services here.

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