02 July 2011

The Prince and Princess of Monaco's Wedding: The Bridal Gown

What's a bride to do in the midst of a whole bunch of illegitimate child/runaway bride chatter? Only one option, really: look amazing, and carry on. On those levels, I think H.S.H Princess Charlene of Monaco can consider her mission complete. As we all knew, Charlene chose Giorgio Armani Privé to create her wedding gown, and the confection that resulted was an off-white silk dream made from 50 meters of silk duchesse, 80 meters of silk organza and 2,500 hours of couture labor, sweat, and tears.
If I may fluff my feathers for a moment, I called this one right: a slim silhouette from the front, simple but elegant, and one major train. Well, two major trains actually.
The skirt of the gown folded out to a shorter train, while the crossover neckline extended into a longer train on top. The long train must have been difficult for the bride to handle: at times she looked like she was walking uphill, pulling all that fabric behind her. The longer train was removed sometime around the registry signing to make things a little easier for her.

The shorter train is on the left above, the longer one on the right. It's a shame the shorter train couldn't keep its fullness: it's looking a little skinny!

The second stand out detail was the embroidery. Down the front of the dress, the bottom of the skirt, and the center of the train were 40,000 Swarovski crystals, 20,000 mother of pearl teardrops, and 30,000 gold stones, all stitched in a floral pattern with platinum-coated embroidery thread. The detailing along took 700 hours to complete. The crystals shimmered in the sunlight during the ceremony, really an eye-catching feature.
The veil also featured light embroidery on 20 meters of off-white silk tulle. I loved the way her front veil came over from the back of her head. The fabric was the perfect weight to frame her face without looking as though her features were smashed, and the effect was completely lovely.
Anchoring the veil was not a tiara, as I had hoped, but a diamond hair ornament that is 19th century piece inherited from Princess Charlotte (grandmother to Albert, Caroline, and Stephanie) on loan from Princess Caroline. The en tremblant floral piece is quite a work of art, isn't it? Though you know I love a good tiara, I thought this was absolutely beautiful (and certainly plenty packed with diamonds!). I particularly love the way it sneaks into her gorgeous hairstyle on one side.
This isn't a gown that will break new ground (and after the civil ceremony outfit, I am more than okay with that), but I loved it. It's remarkably similar to Crown Princess Victoria's wedding gown last year, which I also adored. I thought Charlene looked lovely! Say what you will about their relationship - let's just not go there - I think the bride was the picture of poise and class, and she did her job well today.

UPDATE: Here are Armani's sketches of the gown.
Just magnificent!

What did you think of Princess Charlene's gown?

Photos: Getty Images/Daylife/BilledBladet/Paris Match/Vogue
Source: Mariage Princier Site