Grazia (UK) - - 10 Hot Stories -

WHEN IN­FLU­ENCER and en­tre­pre­neur Chiara Fer­ragni – she of 14 mil­lion In­sta­gram fol­low­ers and the orig­i­nal fash­ion blog­ger – first started plan­ning her wed­ding to Ital­ian rap­per Fedez (which hap­pened in Noto, Si­cily last week­end), she was de­ter­mined she didn’t want a tra­di­tional wed­ding dress. But, of course, if there’s one house that can get even the most mod­ern of brides into a fairy-tale gown, it’s Dior.

‘At the be­gin­ning, I felt I wanted more of an even­ing dress, specif­i­cally one that I loved from [artis­tic di­rec­tor] Maria Grazia Chi­uri’s first col­lec­tion for Dior,’ Chiara ex­plains. But Maria Grazia had other ideas. ‘[She] thought we could re­alise a mod­ern yet clas­si­cal wed­ding dress with­out los­ing my con­tem­po­rary iden­tity.’

The re­sult was a gown that’s equal parts de­mure and dra­matic, all full tulle skirt and fit­ted lace bodice. Tak­ing 400 me­tres of fab­ric and 1,600 hours of work at the cou­ture house’s Parisian ate­lier, the de­sign ref­er­enced south­ern Ital­ian crafts­man­ship ( par­tic­u­larly cro­chet­ing), a nod to the bride’s Ital­ian her­itage. ‘Maria Grazia and I met sev­eral times,’ Chiara says of the process. ‘ The first time was just the two of us, but each time af­ter that some­body new was added as it took a whole team to pro­duce my dresses.’ For the even­ing part of the cer­e­mony, a ball­gown was cre­ated with per­sonal touches wo­ven through­out the de­sign, like lyrics from Fa­vorisca I Sen­ti­menti [ My Feel­ings For You], writ­ten and per­formed by Fedez when he pro­posed to Chiara dur­ing his con­cert. There was also a draw­ing of a small lion to sym­bol­ise their son, Leone. This highly per­sonal de­sign is tes­ta­ment to the close re­la­tion­ship the two women forged dur­ing the de­sign process. ‘I feel like we have a close bond,’ says Chiara. ‘ We are women at dif­fer­ent stages of our working and per­sonal lives, but we share the same val­ues and pas­sion for em­pow­er­ing young girls.’ ‘ This point of en­counter be­tween a mod­ern em­pow­ered wo­man and a tra­di­tion­ally fem­i­nine prac­tice is the one em­bod­ied by Chiara, in her be­ing a role model for a new kind of fe­male,’ says Maria Grazia. ‘One who is not lim­ited by her fem­i­nin­ity, but wel­comes it as a new-found strength.’ In­deed, de­spite the

un­abashed, ro­man­tic clas­si­cism of Chiara’s wed­ding dresses, she re­mains at heart a mod­ern bride. Even for Chiara – prob­a­bly the world’s big­gest and most pow­er­ful in­flu­encer since found­ing her blog, The Blonde Salad – nearly a decade ago, hav­ing a cou­ture wed­ding gown is a priv­i­lege af­forded to a tiny few. Equally, for one of Paris’s most leg­endary houses to be­stow this hon­our on so­cial me­dia’s queen bee marks a wa­ter­shed mo­ment be­tween in­flu­encers and es­tab­lish­ment. ‘ When I started out 10 years ago, I had so many dreams, and this was def­i­nitely one of them,’ says Chiara. ‘I’m loving this jour­ney and I can’t wait to see what hap­pens next.’

Clock­wise from above: Chiara at one of the many fit­tings at the Dior ate­lier; the hen party in Ibiza (Chiara in the tiara); the even­ing gown; with hus­band Fedez; Dior’s Maria Grazia Chi­uri with Chiara in the day­time cou­ture wed­ding gown

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