There are only four days left until the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton and I am giddy! I’ve said before that I am obsessed with this wedding but, in reality I am really only obsessed with the details of the wedding itself, mostly her gown. I am so super-excited about this wedding that I will watch the entire thing on the DVR… probably more than once and also more than likely bore my husband to death with the details over and over – that’s what I do. He’ll nod and pretend to care while I talk – that’s what he does.
Not knowing either of them personally or having any interest in the future of the British Monarchy, I am still riveted to the tv whenever there is talk of the royal wedding. I was watching when Diana married Charles in July 1981. That was when there were no HDTV’s or DVR’s or even VCR’s. That’s when there were no 24 hour news channesl and the paparazzi actually had some limits. That was way back in the day when the princess was supposed to marry prince charming and live happily ever after. I thought that was the way it was. Diana’s future was not as simple as a fairy tale. But the wedding? It was something to behold.
I still get chills when I see the images of Diana coming out of that glass coach for the first time wearing Elizabeth Emmanuel’s silk tafetta creation, smoothing the skirt slightly as she stepped forward trying to manage the 25 ft detachable train. Detachable trains became big in the 1980’s as a result of her decision to incorporate it into her gown. For her, it was the only plausible decision since it would be technically impossible to bustle 275 yards of any fabric successfully! Two hundred seventy five yards of fabric. Mathematically that gown today would cost over twenty thousand dollars in material alone, not to mention the hundreds of hours of labor invlved in hand-sewing pearls and sequins onto lace. The style of her gown became quickly known as meringue and similar gowns were immediatley copied around the globe, using every fabric imaginable. That gown transformed Diana Spencer into Princes Diana and single handedly turned her into a fashion icon. The tight bodice, full skirt and puffed sleeves eventually fell out of fashion in the bridal industry as strapless took over. Honestly I can’t wait for this trend to take a break and I know I am not the only one.
Catherine is more mature and has an obviously independent spirit. She has been co-habitating with the future king for some time now…. something that was completely taboo in 1981. She has decided to arrive by car and not the glass coach, much to the chagrin of the public. The designer of her gown has been kept secret, an impossible feat to be sure. Her hairstyle, tiara choice and jewelry choices are all top-secret. However, every night there is another deisgner speculating on what she will wear and who is really designing it. Most agree that it will not be strapless. All agree it will be a British designer.
Someone I know ran into someone who knew firsthand that the designer is absolutely Sarah Burton of the Alexander McQueen label. Hmmmm. But, just yesterday I read an article on the Huffington Post that states (matter of factly), “I can reveal that Sophie Cranston of the Libélula label is designing Miss Middleton’s gown”. Last month it was Bruce Oldfield, when Catherine’s mther and sister were spotted leaving his boutique and then there were the rumors of Stella McCartney. Today I read that Miss Middleton’s gown is of her own design. It’s all very confusing and if you have a scorecard, don’t even try to keep up.
Why all the speculation? Because believe it or not, this one gown will change the designer’s life and the entire fashion industry for many years to come. It will be something that history books, talk shows, news channels and people around the world will use to catapault into the next big thing. Can you imagine that kind of pressure? No wonder the designer wants to remain secret, they have work to do!
No matter what she wears, I have a feeling there will be bits of Diana incorporated into the style. Whether it is the sleeve, the train or the fabric, she will want the bond that began with her acceptance of Diana’s engagement ring to remain intact. I am waiting with anticiaption and hoping this princess gets the ‘Happily Ever After’ that everyone deserves.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago