I was genuinely surprised by the fashion choices Meghan Markle – now the Duchess of Sussex – made for her wedding gown and “wedding after-party” gown. Very few people even had Clare Waight Keller on their short list for wedding-gown designer, so I’m glad that was such a surprise. Clare Waight Keller is a British designer who currently works as artistic director for Givenchy, a famous French fashion house. So Meghan’s formal wedding gown was actually made in the Givenchy atelier, with Keller’s in-house French team. According to the Daily Mail, the Keller-for-Givenchy gown cost about £200K. Which seems like a lot. Apparently, Meghan would travel to Keller’s Chelsea home for fittings and such, because there were few ways for Meghan to travel to Paris incognito. Keller is thankfully not a famewhore about pulling off the biggest fashion coup of the year. She only spoke about Meghan and the dress hours and hours after the wedding took place:
The designer who created Meghan Markle’s wedding dress said she was “truly privileged” and “flattered” to have been asked. Clare Waight Keller continued it was an “enormous honour” to have been given one of fashion’s most coveted jobs ahead of the royal wedding. She added that the “momentous” task left her feeling “enormously proud” when Meghan “looked absolutely stunning and radiant” on her wedding day.
The designer revealed that following the ceremony, Prince Harry told her that he thought his new wife “looked incredible”. Ms Waight Keller added that it was “an extraordinary thing to observe the whole ceremony” and see the “love in their eyes during the ceremony, it was just the most beautiful, poetic moment. I’m so proud to have been part of it.”
Givenchy’s Artistic Director said that when she was approached with the commission in January, the now Duchess of Sussex already “had an idea of what she wanted” and the pair “worked very closely together”. The 47-year-old said she wanted to capture the former actress’ “modern, fresh” style in the dress, but also make her “feel absolutely incredible in the dress and also I wanted her to feel like it was absolutely right for the occasion”.
Asked how she ensured any details about the dress were such a well-kept secret, Ms Waight Keller refused to give any details, but said the gown was created by a small team of ateliers in Paris. She continued that she wanted the bridesmaids’ dresses to echo the simplicity of bride’s dress, and also capture their “innocence and purity”. She added she was amazed at how “well behaved they were” on the day, adding that they all “so thoroughly enjoyed it”.
So many were critical of the Keller-for-Givenchy gown, but as I saw it throughout the ceremony and I saw the way it “walked” in different kinds of light, I liked it even more. As I said on Saturday, I’m glad it wasn’t lacy or fussy or too big. The simplicity of the design really suited Meghan, and let’s face it: it wasn’t like she would have been allowed to go crazy. She had to be covered up. She had to wear sleeves. She had to look “modest.” It would have been frowned-upon if she went too body-con.
As for the second look, the party look – I’m still shocked that this beautiful, sexy gown is Stella McCartney. It’s gorgeous! Stella ended up speaking to Women’s Wear Daily about Meg’s second look/gown, saying: “I am so proud and honored to have been chosen by the Duchess of Sussex to make her evening gown and represent British design. It has truly been one of the most humbling moments of my career and I am so proud of all the team on this stunning sunny royal day.” According to the Daily Mail, the Stella gown cost £80,000 altogether.
Oh, and I’m including a close-up of the emerald-cut aquamarine ring Meghan wore to the wedding party. It was Diana’s ring.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Pacific Coast News.