The Big Reveal was worth the wait! To describe the bride as breathtaking in her authenticity, as exquisite is an understatement. The beyond beautiful Meghan Markle (now HRH, Duchess of Suffolk) looked absolutely stunning, in an elegant, sophisticated gown.
The choice of the designer, albeit a surprise, was no accident - Markle, a self-described "feminist," chose the first female Artistic Director in the history of the revered Parisian House of Givenchy, British designer Claire Waught Keller. Ms. Keller's name had not been even been rumored. They managed to keep it under wraps, quite a coup in this age.
I knew she would 'go minimal' but she did exceed my expectation. In an interview last year, Markle was asked about her favorite celebrity wedding dress. She replied: "Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. Everything goal". So no shock waves with the streamlined almost monastic silhouette. The emphasis of the structured gown was the wide bateau neckline that ran horizontally across the collarbone, accentuating her shoulders - the minimalist shape highlighting the intricate workmanship of the designer. T
he choice of the fabric -pure genius! Silk cady is one of the most luxurious fabrics. It is a two- or three-ply, woven fabric, slightly concentrated silk used for couture and evening gowns. It was produced originally in southern France - the double weave fabrication insured no wrinkles coming out of that car. (Flashback to Diana in the wrinkled bubble of satin stepping out). For the holdup factor alone, I recommend this fabric to my clients for custom gowns foe red carpet, galas, special events and weddings. (Truth be known, in the fit: it could have used just a bit of an alteration all around).
It has been said that the design of the dress was a collaboration between the bride and the designer, Keller (whose personality is noted to be 'quite chill' - a welcome relationship for the California girl, I am sure!). The touch of tradition was evident in the embroidery of the magnificent 30-foot translucence train with symbols of the commonwealth sewn into the borders of the veil. Dignity and class, inclusiveness - she brought the drama, but it was subdued because of its ethereal sheerness.
The personal touch in the regal ensemble was the loan by the Queen of the exquisite tiara. The 1932 Queen Mary tiara, not worn since 1953, was in perfect balance with the dress - a bateau shape again - the brooch, perfectly placed atop the part of her signature low bun. Her fresh, minimal make-up highlighting her freckles was further evidence of her authenticity, her natural grace.
In her second dress for the evening celebrations, HRH again paid homage to the late iconic original style icon, Caroline Bessette Kennedy with a modern twist in a custom couture Stella McCartney. A white halter style dress, again accentuating her shoulders, a little bit of Hollywood with a whole lot of glamour.
The American Princess brought it all.