Could There Be a Political Motivation Behind Meghan Markle’s Dress?

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Meghan Markle Prince Harry wedding
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Fashion trends draw inspiration from editorials, red carpets, film, television, and influencers, but nothing surpasses momentous occasions quite like royal weddings. Millions worldwide anticipate and watch these lavish affairs, feeling like a part of the fairytale. The gowns of the princesses become iconic fashion moments in history and the industry always circles back to imitate the gowns, from the silhouette to the color and fabric.

Grace Kelly’s bridal gown, for example, became an iconic style for every bride to emulate – even Kate Middleton. The Duchess of Cambridge’s own bridal gown, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, was inspired by that of Grace Kelly, but with a modern approach. The lace sleeves with a similar lace collar and long sleeves appeared on the runways for not only bridal, but also high-fashion looks. The mixing of both white and ivory fabric, like that on Middleton’s gown, was seen on the bridal runways of Carolina Herrera to Reem Acra in past seasons.

Harry and Meghan may serve very effectively as UK ambassadors to Europe, helping to heal the emotional and financial toll of the Brexit divide.
The Victorian-inspired corsetry on Middleton’s gown is an Alexander McQueen signature – it accented the bodice’s narrow waist, which had bridal and high-fashion designers give their gowns an extra oomph at the waist for the following seasons. The wedding dress is so iconic that you can still buy knock-offs on Amazon over seven years later.

Meghan’s Markle’s gown was designed by British designer Clare Waight Keller, the first female artistic director at French fashion house Givenchy. Ever thoughtful, Markle and her stylist would have considered the impact of having both British and European makers for her gown. Harry and Meghan may serve very effectively as UK ambassadors to Europe, helping to heal the emotional and financial toll of the Brexit divide.

Markle’s gown was classic, uncomplicated, and quite modest, with the only adornment being her Queen Mary-era diamond tiara and a custom veil with 53 flowers representing the nations of the Commonwealth that the couple will visit as part of their new joint vocation. The most striking detail of her gown was the bateaux neckline with a streamlined effect. There have always been brides like Markle (and “American Royalty” Caroline Bessette Kennedy before her) who believe that simple, sleek styles are regal – and now the masses will imitate.

For the past several seasons, the go-to gowns have been the more embellished styles. They feature beading, chiffon, jewels, embroidery, organza, and tulle, all of which were the definition of looking luxurious. Now, with a newly minted Duchess of Sussex showing that simplicity is synonymous with royalty, both couture and high-street designers will be inspired to imitate.

Meghan Markle Prince Harry wedding
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Markle’s wedding gown will inspire designers to implement in their upcoming season collections at least a few dresses that have evocative styles. Designers will include the simplicity and modesty of the dress in various silhouettes and color hues, so expect to see blouses and dresses with three-quarter length sleeves, bateaux necklines, and the ‘50s-era silhouette of her gown repeated with varying hemlines.

The modesty of the gown, which was surely appreciated by the Queen, will have brides around the world – especially in the Middle East – trying the new silhouette. Many modest dressers will feel regal and secure with this silhouette, which is neither overly fitted nor body-conscious. The bateaux neckline, which isn’t something we have seen on royal brides, is how Markle showed her individuality and independence, and it will have a huge impact on bridal style. Not to mention that her walking down (most of) the aisle by herself cemented her modern-day approach to not being “given away” by a man. She didn’t have anyone on her arm – she was giving herself away.

About Engie Hassan
From the Oscars to the SAG Awards, Hassan dresses some of the most glamorous women and men in the world. She has styled and personally shopped for Spanish, Moroccan, and Saudi Arabian royalty, including Princess Ameerah Al Taweel. Also on her impressive roster are A-list celebrities such as Orlando Bloom, Kanye West, Miranda Kerr, Priyanka Chopra, Lady Gaga, Andre Holland, Amir Arison, and current Tony Award nominee Joshua Henry, as well as a bevy of editors and models during key happenings such as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and the Met Gala.

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