Dream royal gowns fit for a princess

EVERY BRIDE FEELS THE PRES­SURE OF CHOOS­ING A DRESS THAT WILL STAND UP TO MOTHER-IN-LAW LEVEL SCRU­TINY. BUT WHEN YOUR CHOICE COULD AL­TER THE COURSE OF FASH­ION AROUND THE WORLD THE STAKES ARE A LIT­TLE HIGHER. KERRY PARNELL TAKES A LOOK AT THE ROYAL WED­DING

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - HARRY & MEGHAN -

VIC­TO­RIA’S WHITE WED­DING

Queen Vic­to­ria made white dresses fash­ion­able when she mar­ried Prince Al­bert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. Un­til then, brides had picked bright colours, es­pe­cially gold. Vic­to­ria chose white, not to re­flect pu­rity but to show off the lace on the dress, help­ing the Bri­tish lace industry. She also de­creed no­body else could wear it at the wed­ding. Ever since, brides have usu­ally worn white and guests have not.

QUEEN MOTHER’S FLAPPER STYLE

Lady El­iz­a­beth Bowes Lyon’s di­rec­tional dress made fash­ion his­tory when she wed Prince Al­bert, Duke of York in 1923. Her loose-fit­ting frock by Madame Han­d­ley-Sey­mour and sim­ple Juli­ette-cap veil was con­sid­ered the height of fash­ion.

THE QUEEN’S RATIONED FROCK

Princess El­iz­a­beth mar­ried Philip Mountbatten in 1947, when post-war ra­tioning was in force, so her dress, for which she used coupons, was mod­est. De­signed by Nor­man Hart­nell, the long-sleeved gown did how­ever in­clude 10,000 pearls and a 3.9 me­tre train which set royal wed­ding trends for decades.

WAL­LIS SIMP­SON’S BLUES

When Wal­lis Simp­son mar­ried Ed­ward, Duke of Wind­sor, in 1937, she wore a stun­ning crepe silk Main­bocher gown in duck egg blue, a shade spe­cially dyed to match her eyes and ti­tled ‘Wal­lis Blue’. Al­though an un­pop­u­lar wo­man, she topped the best dressed lists for the rest of her life.

GRACE KELLY’S MAS­TER­PIECE

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco’s wed­ding in 1956 was the stuff of fairy­tales, her dress in­cluded. She wore a gown by MGM cos­tumer Helen Rose, and the lace bodice and taffeta skirt be­came the most fa­mous wed­ding dress of its time, in­spir­ing brides for years, in­clud­ing Cather­ine, Duchess of Cam­bridge.

MARY MAKES HER MARK

Aus­tralia’s own princess, Mary Don­ald­son, mar­ried Fred­erik, Crown Prince of Den­mark, in 2004 and her ivory satin scoop-neck gown with dra­matic sleeves was de­signed by Uffe Frank. Sim­ple but el­e­gant, it marked a trend for the re­turn to sleeves.

QUEEN FABIOLA’S FASH­ION MO­MENT

Al­though not a royal many have heard of, Fabiola de Mora y Aragón’s Ba­len­ci­aga dress for her 1960 wed­ding to King Bau­douin of Bel­gium is re­garded as a mas­ter­piece. It had a high neck, long sleeves, a seven-me­tre train and was trimmed in er­mine. The dress was so heavy, she al­most fainted dur­ing the cer­e­mony.

PRINCESS DIANA’S DRA­MATIC DRESS

When Diana Spencer mar­ried Prince Charles in 1981 she wanted to make a state­ment and her dress cer­tainly did. Her enor­mous Emanuel taffeta frock, fa­mously crushed by the coach ride, had gi­ant puff-sleeves and frills of an­tique lace, with a 7.6 me­tre train em­broi­dered with 10,000 pearls and se­quins. For the rest of the 1980s, brides would sport puff-sleeved gowns.

PRINCESS MAR­GARET’S SIM­PLE STATE­MENT

When Princess Mar­garet mar­ried Antony Arm­strong-Jones in 1960, her sub­tle silk or­ganza dress, de­signed by Nor­man Hart­nell, was dubbed “the sim­plest royal wed­ding gown in his­tory” by Life Mag­a­zine. The princess-sil­hou­ette and tiara, how­ever, were adored by other brides-to-be.

CATHER­INE’S COUP

The world’s eyes were on Kate Mid­dle­ton when she mar­ried Prince Wil­liam in 2011 and her dress did not dis­ap­point. Like Mary, she chose long-sleeves, which com­pletely killed off the fash­ion for strap­less gowns. And like Grace Kelly, she em­braced lace with a de­sign by Alexan­der McQueen. Un­like Diana, she went for a mod­est 2.7 me­tre train.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.