Iconic Wedding Inspirations
From chic sun dresses to elaborate designer ball gowns, a legendary selection of wedding dresses continues to inspire the fashion choices of brides-to-be across the globe.
Whether it’s finding the perfect venue, choosing the right blooms or selecting the most delectable appetisers, tailoring each and every detail of a wedding can be a challenging experience. For the bride-to-be, however, the most important detail is undoubtedly the dress.
As the belle of the ball, a bride might spend months agonising over a dress that will look great on the day, as well as one that withstands the test of time in her wedding photographs.
In the search for that perfect gown, a number of brides also look to the most iconic bridal gowns of the last 60 years for inspiration. Each of the famous brides below achieved effortless elegance with a twist of timelessness to make their dress a success. By studying the designs, it may also be possible to channel their style.
Fit for a Princess
Lady Diana’s journey to becoming the “Queen of Hearts” began the day she married Prince Charles in 1981, wearing the ultimate Cinderella-style wedding gown. Designed by the celebrated Emmanuels, Diana’s dress featured a number of royal characteristics that included frills, lace detail, jewels and a magnificent train. The buoyant skirt of Diana’s ivory crinoline-style dress was supported by layers of petticoats, and the flounce collar and puffed sleeves focused attention on the intricately detailed bodice. For luck, a miniature 18-carat gold horseshoe studded with diamonds was sewn into the dress’ label, and Diana’s “something blue” – a tiny bow – was attached to the gown’s waistband.
While Sarah Jessica Parker’s on screen alter-ego is fictional, luckily for many brides, Carrie Bradshaw’s Vivienne Westwood wedding gown was not. In 2009, a shortened version of the dress sold out within hours from online fashion retailer net-a-porter.com, as Westwood and Sex and the City fans battled it out to get their hands on the iconic frock. According to a Westwood spokesperson, Carrie’s dress was one of many choices sent to producers of the Sex and the City movie during their search for the perfect wedding gown. Let’s hope that ladies who managed to bag one of the wonderful gowns had a more successful wedding day than Carrie did.
The Duchess’ Dress
From fashion royalty to the British royal family… the Duchess of Cambridge has already earned a place as one of the 21st Century’s leading fashion icons. Media hype surrounding Kate’s choice of dress reached fever pitch in the days leading up to the Royal Wedding, and her classy gown elated style gurus across the world. Designed by Sarah Burton, creative director at Alexander McQueen, the nipped-in waist and padded hips of the gown showed off Kate’s slender figure. The lace detail also incorporated the four flowery emblems of the United Kingdom – the rose, daffodil, shamrock and thistle. Like her late mother-in-law, Kate also had a piece of blue ribbon sewn into the dress for a little extra luck.
From one princess to another, the wedding gown of American actress Grace Kelly is said to have been one of the chief inspirations for Kate Middleton’s wedding gown in 2011. Designed by Helen Rose of MGM, the dress was presented to Kelly as a gift for her 1956 wedding to Prince Rainer III of Monaco. The famous outfit comprised an outer bodice, which was attached to an under-bodice with a skirt support, in addition to two petticoats. Kelly also donned an elaborate headdress and veil, and carried a pearl-encrusted prayer book as she walked down the aisle.
The Yoko factor
John Lennon married his second wife, Tokyo-born Yoko Ono, on 20th March 1969 – just two days after fellow-Beatle Paul McCartney tied the knot to his first wife Linda. Yoko opted for a daring white mini dress for the Gibraltar wedding, and teamed it with white knee-high socks, a sunhat and oversized sunglasses to become the iconic 1960s hippie bride. Despite her striking style statement, John and Yoko’s famous honeymoon in bed eventually caused a bigger media stir than her choice of wedding dress.
by MAX VEE
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