At long last the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (a.k.a. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) are married. And while the party may be over and the guests have gone home, we’re still not done swooning over the bride’s stunning Givenchy wedding gown. On Sunday, Kensington Palace released designer Clare Waight Keller’s original sketches of the impeccably constructed gown and veil, which carried its own very special meaning.
In keeping with the heritage of the Parisian fashion house and the former actress’ personal aesthetic, Waight Keller and the then-bride-to-be worked closely for months on every detail of the minimalist design. In an interview with reporters, the British-born designer, who became the first female artistic director of Givenchy in 2017 after years of acclaim at Chloe and Pringle of Scotland, said it was an “extraordinary moment” when she learned she had been chosen to design the gown.
“It was very collaborative,” she said of working with Meghan. “We exchanged conversations about what would be the ultimate lines and proportions and the scale of the dress. But over time we quickly got to a point where I know she felt really she knew exactly what she wanted … And then it evolved into the final design.”
Sketches of The Duchess of Sussex’s #RoyalWedding dress, designed by Clare Waight Keller, have been released. The Duchess and Ms. Waight Keller worked closely together on the design, which epitomises a timeless minimal elegance referencing the codes of the iconic House of Givenchy. Ms. Waight Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of all 53 Commonwealth countries united in one spectacular floral composition 📷 Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy
That final design, of course, was handcrafted out of a double bonded silk cady and included six meticulously placed seams, an open bateau neckline, three-quarter sleeves and a slender sculpted waist that was both timeless and modern.
Just as important as the dress was the veil, and, in addition to adding a dose of romanticism, it included a sweet meaning that paid homage to British heritage. At Meghan’s request, Waight Keller and her team designed a 16-foot silk tulle veil with a trim of hand-embroidered flora and fauna representing each of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
England, for example, was represented with a rose, while Australia was depicted with a Golden Wattles. Two additional flowers, a Wintersweet that grows on the grounds of Kensington Palace and the California Poppy, were added as a nod to Markle’s new home and birthplace.
Paired with the sparkling Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara lent to the bride by Queen Elizabeth II, the veil topped off the understatedly elegant wedding day look that we can only imagine will be referenced for decades to come.