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ROYAL COUTURE.....Harry and Meghan Royal Wedding: The WEDDING DRESS and BEST DRESSED Guests!

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Meghan Beautiful--Prince Harry and Meghan Markle--the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at their wedding in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle Windsor England

Last weekend, Prince Harry married actress Meghan Markle at a beautiful wedding in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle Windsor England. The royal wedding was watched by millions around the world. The bride wore a simple yet elegant wedding dress from Givenchy Haute Couture and its Artistic Director, 47-year-old Clare Waight Keller. Last year, she became the first woman to hold that title at the famed French fashion house. Earlier this year, in mid-February Meghan Markle visited Waight Keller at a property in South West London for a two-hour secret meeting where Keller showed her archives of designs she did during her time at Chloe as well as catalogs/archives from the House of Givenchy, and that's how the wedding dress design began...

A Simple Duchess--Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in her Givenchy Haute Couture wedding dress--St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle Windsor England

I thought it was a simple--if not quite "barren" gown, in terms of its lack of details, which actually surprised me. Initially, I just wanted "more". By that I didn't mean I wanted a gown fully embroidered with 50,000 crystals and big pouffy sleeves. I just expected maybe more architectural details, such as pleating or draping, especially at the top. But I do understand the impression such a simple "un-fussy" dress tells people; it's modern, and void of the "trappings" of what one would expect from a "Royal" wedding dress. In other words, Markle was transmitting a signal of "I am a Princess for the 21st Century". There have been examples of these "Clean, modern, un-fussy" wedding dresses from royals in recent years...

The New Royal Wedding Gown--(L to R) Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden (2010); Princess Charlene of Monaco (2011); Queen Letizia of Spain (then-Princess Letizia) (2004)

The Duchess Wears Givenchy Haute Couture--St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle Windsor England

Wedding Dress Dish:
*The gown took a total of 3,900 hours of work with two small teams exclusively working on the dress at two separate locations.
*The dress was made at the Givenchy Haute Couture Atelier in Paris and the train was made at a secret workshop location in London.
*The workers had to sign nondisclosure agreements (of course!).
*The wedding gown cost an estimated $270,000; it's Haute Couture after all, meaning all hand-made.
*Made of double bonded silk cady with a soft matte luster in "pure white".
*The simple gown features only six seams.

Sketches of Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress--Givenchy Haute Couture

Many people (who know their Fashion History) commented on the similarity of her gown to this...
1964 Givenchy Haute Couture wedding gown design worn by Audrey Hepburn in the photograph above. Similar style and silhouette but instead of silk cady, the fabric used  for the above 1964 design was a silk matelasse

The Veil:
Veil Dish:
*The 16-foot veil mas made of delicate silk tulle.
*The edges featured hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza representing the 53 Countries of the Commonwealth.
*Besides this flora and fauna, additional flowers were added, including the California Poppy as a nod to the bride's California heritage.
*The veil took 500 hours to make with workers having to wash their hands every 30 minutes so to not make the delicate fabric dirty.

The Tiara:
Tiara Dish:
Meghan Markle borrowed the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau Tiara from the Queen Elizabeth II jewels. The crown, made in 1932, was originally from Queen Mary (therefore the name) and featured diamonds set in platinum, and has a detachable brooch made of ten diamonds originally made in 1893. Queen Mary (photo above, left) passed it down to Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and in the past, Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister (photo above, right) wore it to main events.

Best Dressed Guests:
Amal Clooney in Stella McCartney--Amal tops my list of Best Dressed Guests in this canary yellow colored dress from Stella McCartney. When they first showed her--with her hubby George--making her way to the Chapel, I couldn't control myself. All I kept thinking was "She SHUT IT DOWN!!" And she did it in this stylish fitted tea-length dress featuring a back exaggerated tie detail; fabulous from the front and back.

Serena Williams in Versace--Serana looked sexy-gorgeous in this blush pink Versace dress. The dress FIT HER PERFECTLY and featuring fabulous draped pleats at the neckline, torso, waist and diagonally on the skirt section. This was a LESSON Ladies and Gentlemen in how to create a dress that hits all the right figure notes: It creates an hourglass figure, showcasing a teeny tiny waist and perfectly balanced hips. It is Plastic Surgery...IN A DRESS! Bravo Serena and Bravo Versace.

Priyanka Chopra in Vivienne Westwood and Philip Treacy hat--Leave it to a former Miss World and top actress to show all the other ladies how one should look to a Royal Wedding. Priyanka looked chic, regal, above-it-all. And once again, this was an example of design that highlights a woman's figure to the limit and yet, still is giving Royal Wedding appropriateness.

Actress Sarah Rafferty in Lanvin--One of my favorites in terms of what the guests wore to the Royal Wedding, was this navy blue ensemble from Lanvin worn by actress Sarah Rafferty. This was elegance, class and refined style all rolled up into one dress. The tea length and fit were just right and I loved the delicate crystal detail as well. And those gathered silk gazar "balloon" sleeves were EVERYTHING!

Janina Gavankar wearing a 1930's vintage dress and 1940's hat from Western Costume House--I LOVED what Janina wore to the Royal Wedding the minute I saw it! She walked to the Chapel alongside Priyanka Chopra and I almost forgot Priyanka was there--only because she made such a distinct style impression with this coral colored draped dress with fringed shawl. On her Instagram, she said that it was a vintage 1930's dress from Western Costumes in North Hollywood. She also said that her stylist Niki Schwan tried to reach out to designers to dress Janina yet no one responded. Next Time Niki and Janina: DM me on Instagram!!

Lady Kitty Spencer in Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda--Lady Kitty Spencer is Princess Diana's niece and daughter of her brother Charles Spencer. She wore this green A-line shaped dress from Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda, the Haute Couture arm of the Italian fashion house. The tea-length dress was GORGEOUS (as well as it should be since it was probably a $75,000 hand-sewn Alta Moda dress!) and one of my favorites, featuring a square neckline, 3/4 sleeves, a fitted waist and hand-painted flower print.

Sofia Wellesley in Valentino Red--Socialite and James Blunt's wife Sofia Wellesley was one of my Best Dressed Guests at the Royal Wedding in this stunning multi colored floral embroidered macrame dress from Valentino Red--one of the "lower" lines of the Italian house of Valentino And when I say "lower" line, I mean these dresses retail at about $2,000 as opposed to $12,000 for a Valentino. Whatever it cost, she looked beautiful, fashionable and oh-so-right for a Royal Wedding. And she also stood out in the gorgeous print.

Carey Mulligan in Erdem--Speaking of prints, actress Carey Mulligan wore this very pretty flower printed dress from Erdem. I loved everything about it--the tea-length, the flowers, the 1920's/1930's-like silhouette. If anyone wants to know what PRETTY looks like, look at the photo above.

And lastly...
Karen Spencer, Countess Spencer in Pamela Roland--Karen Spencer, Countess Spencer is the wife of Charles Spencer, brother of Princess Diana, wore this violet-hued dress-and-cape ensemble from Pamela Roland. While I get that some people might not be fans and may have found it a little too Cruella de Vil, I disagree COMPLETELY; She looked UBER stylish and quite fabulous! I loved the capelet, the violet color and that great hat!

Congrats Harry and Meghan!

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