Expert Opinion: 7 Iconic Brides and their Dresses
7 Iconic Brides and their Dresses
Our newest addition to the BCME expert panel is Mohammed Al Haj, Managing Director of Dubai-based bridal boutique Contessa. Mohammed will be bringing our readers lots of bridal fashion tips and advice, and is kick starting his contributions by highlighting his favourite iconic brides of all time.
As someone working in the bridal fashion industry, I have always admired the grace and effortless style of iconic brides of the past. Today, I share with you my top seven classic brides and their beautiful gowns. Which one is your favourite?
Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip got married in November 1946, at the age of 21. Their ceremony was held at Kensington Place, with more than 200 million people tuning in to watch the event. Her Majesty’s gown was made by Norman Hartnell and incorporated over 10,000 imported white pearls, silver thread and tulle embroidery. Her bridal ensemble also included a 15-foot patterned full court train attached at the shoulders, and a silk tulle veil held in place by a tiara lent to the princess by her mother.
Actress Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1955 during the Cannes Film Festival. In December of that year, Prince Rainer visited America and after meeting her family, and spending just three days with Grace, he proposed. Her wedding dress, designed by MGM Academy Award-winning costume designerHelen Rose, was worked on for six weeks by three dozen seamstresses.
Princess Diana of Wales
Princess Diana married Prince Charles on 29 July 1981 at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral; 600,000 people lined the streets and the event was watched by more than 750 million viewers.Diana was dressed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel in a gown made from ivory silk taffeta and antique lace, with a 25-foot (7.62-metre) train, valued then at 9,000 euros. A closely guarded secret, the gown became one of the most famous dresses in the world.
Princess Soraya of Iran
Soraya was introduced to Iran’s recently divorced Shah Mohammed Reza PahlaviIn 1948 and married him on 12 February 1951. Their ceremony, at Tehran’s Marble Palace, was decorated with 1.5 tons of orchids, tulips and carnations, sent by plane from the Netherlands. Soraya wore a silver lamé gown studded with pearls and trimmed with marabou stork feathers, made by Christian Dior. She also wore a full-length white-mink cape.
The marriage of Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer took place in Burgenstock, Switzerland. They married in an intimate ceremony in 1954, attended by their nearest and dearest, followed by a service at the local Protestant chapel the following day. Hepburn wore a gown of white organdie by French couturier and costume designer, Pierre Balmain.
Jackie married JFK in Newport, Rhode Island on Sep 12, 1953. She wore a beautiful ivory silk taffeta gown designed by New York designer Ann Lowe. The dress was made from more than 50 yards of fabric, taking Lowe and her team two months to design and construct.
Prince William and Kate Middleton met in 2001 and announced their engagement on 16 November 2010. Prince William presented Kate with a ring that Princess Diana used to wear: 4 solitaire diamonds and a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set on 18-karat white gold. The TV audience for their ceremony, held at Westminster Abbey on 29 April 2011, peaked at 26.3 million viewers, with 36.7 million watching part of the coverage. Kate’s gown was designed by English designer Sarah Burton, creative director of the luxury fashion house Alexander McQueen.
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