Monday, 25 April 2011

An indulgent look back at Royal brides!

Happy Bank Holiday Monday!

Well, it's only 4 sleeps until the long awaited Royal Wedding takes place when we see Kate Middleton finally become Prince William's wife! Like everybody, I am completely intrigued as to what she will be wearing on her big day, and as I also work in a bridal boutique myself I can't help but try and guess what style it ought to be!

This post is completely indulgent because I have always had a love affair with wedding dresses and am always the first in the queue to buy the latest Hello or OK magazine when they do their wedding specials! Anyway, I got all excited when I started looking back at what other Royal brides have worn over the years and thought I'd share it with you...

Here's Queen Victoria back in 1840, which heralded the birth of the white wedding dress - previously it was the norm to wear colours for weddings - fancy that!

Wow, check out The Queen Mother on her wedding day back in 1923, the whole look is gorgeous and super vintage! I  just love this photograph of her.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, on their wedding day, 20 November 1947. She was only 21! Super vintage lace - love that train!

Princess Anne got married in the late 70's and her dress was indeed very 70's.  It was very medieval in style, highnecked and pintucked to show off her tiny waist. She actually helped design the dress herself as she was keen to get away from the traditional gown that was expected of her. The large trumpet sleeves were a key feature of this dress, tucked into the elbow and flared out over fine chiffon. She also had lots of pearls on her neckline and shoulders.

princess anne wedding dress

Now I don't really recall Lady Di's wedding (I was only 3!) back in the early 80's (when she was only 20!) but I feel like I watched it as this is such a famous wedding dress and I've seen these pictures so many times! Interestingly, speaking to people who watched this wedding, many were really disappointed when Diana stepped out of the carriage as her dress was so crumpled. Designed by Elizabeth Emanuel, it was seriously big and seriously 80's but still so iconic. That train was huge, but I suppose if you are getting married at St Paul's Cathedral the sheer size and grandeur of the Cathedral demands volume!

Diana's make-up was very befitting of this era. It was reported that her make-up artist just applied a little colour to her face, with a lot of waterproof mascara as it was important that she appeared fresh and innocent at the altar! From this photo below you can see that her eyes and cheeks were shaded, lots of mascara and with a hint of colour on her lips.
Royal Wedding Prince Charles and Princess Diana July 1981

Gosh she doesn't look very comfortable posing in the dress!

 Wow her train really was huge!

Next up, Fergie. When Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew married in the late 80's she went for volume indeed, not quite the scale of Diana's but the train and veil were still pretty lengthy! Created by designer Lindka Cierach, the gown was made of ivory duchesse satin featuring a scooped neck, elaborate embroidery and beads adorning the bodice, padded shoulders accented by bows, and a large bow at the bustle which flowed into a 17-foot-long train emblazoned with an "A" for Andrew, as well as Sarah's personal coat of arms, which consisted of a bumble bee, an anchor (chosen to represent the groom's naval career) and a rose.

I don't really recall Sophie and Edward's wedding very well as it was much more low-key than either of Diana or Fergie's. The dress suited her perfectly however, it was a long-sleeved silk organza gown by designer Samantha Shaw and a simple ivory silk and organza dress coat. The dress was emblazoned with 325,000 (no less!) cut glass and pearl beads on the sleeves, neck and train. She also went for a very natural make-up look with emphasis on her eyes.

Autumn Kelly married Princess Anne's son (Zara's brother) Peter Phillips in 2008 and her dress, by Sassi Holford, was made of ivory duchesse satin, featuring a train of ruffles running down the back and cathedral train, and it was teamed off with a delicate lace bolero. This was a contemporary dress with a nod to traditional with the lace detail on her bolero.

Now, l've saved my absolute favourite until last - it has to be the timeless fashion icon Grace Kelly who married the Prince of Monaco in 1956. From the stunning antique Valenciennes rose point lace, 25 yards of silk taffeta and 90 yards of tulle on the dress, and a veil covered with appliqued lace lovebirds and thousands of seed pearls it is hardly a surprise that wedding dress designers today are desperate to replicate this dress. On her head she wore a Juliet cap decorated with orange blossoms.

I just love her make-up too and how she achieved such timeless beauty. While it looks so flawlessly natural, a lot of attention has gone into the contouring of her face and cheeks in particular, her lids have been shaded beautifully giving lots of eye definition and her brows are a perfect full shape which must have been shaded to add definition.  Her lipstick looked to be a deep red which just finished off this classic look beautifully.

Wow that's a serious bridal party!

So, will any of these have inspired Kate's gown? Personally I think she will have her very own style - contemporary with a nod to traditional, and I'm thinking a very fitted gown with volume from a long fishtail train. She'll be wearing a veil which will fill that aisle in Westminster Abbey.  Fabric? I'm thinking lace but it could be silk as she's got a great figure to pull it off (maybe that's why she's been losing more weight!) Well, whatever it is, it is sure to divide opinions!

I'm actually hoping this prediction by Gucci is along the right lines...


Hope you find this interesting - I really enjoyed researching it anyway!

Emma x

No comments:

Post a Comment