The bride is here!

It’s arguably the biggest fashion commission of 2018 and after months of speculation, the bets are off and the designer of Meghan Markle’s wedding dress has been revealed. Ms Markle, now to be known as the Duchess of Sussex, adorned a pure white gown by British designer Claire Waight Keller, the artistic director of French fashion house Givenchy. As Ms Markle stepped out at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the closely guarded secret was finally revealed after much anticipation.

The Filigree tiara, a rare piece that belonged to Queen Mary, was made in 1932 but the central brooch dates all the way back to 1893.

The haute couture dress is minimalist with its plain bodice, three-quarter length sleeves and beateau neck, something very different from the Duchess of Cambridge’s V-necked gown in 2011. Double-bonded silk cady cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza are the materials used for the dress. Kensington Palace’s statement explains the close relationship built between Ms Markle and Waight Keller this year, and their decision to opt for a design that would emphasise Ms Markle’s ‘timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring and relaxed demanour’. The statement further explains that ‘Ms Markle also wanted to highlight the success of a leading British talent’. Waight Keller has also headed the two other globally influential fashion houses, Chloé and Pringle of Scotland.

The veil is particularly significant, bearing flora symbolising all 53 countries of the Commonwealth, which will be central to her and Prince Harry’s official work coming up. Made from five-metre long silk tulle, it was held in place by Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara, lent by the Queen. The bandeau’s glittering diamonds and platinum were complimented by Cartier earrings and a bracelet by the French jeweller.

‘It is truly an honour to have been given the opportunity to closely collaborate with Meghan Markle on such a remarkable occasion,’ Waight Keller said. ‘We wanted to create a timeless piece that would emphasise the iconic codes of Givenchy throughout its history, as well as convey modernity through sleek lines and sharp cuts. In contrast, the delicate floral beauty of the veil was a vision Meghan and I shared, a special gesture embracing the commonwealth flora, ascending the circumference of the silk tulle.’

‘Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a twist,’ Ms Markle said on the topic of bridal gowns in 2016. ‘I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic.’ And if that was the brief Waight Keller received, the Givenchy artistic director nailed it.

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