07 November 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Infanta Elena’s Gown

Infanta Elena of Spain & Jaime de Marichalar
March 18, 1995
Seville, Spain

Spain ended an 89 year royal wedding drought in grand style in 1995, when the King’s daughter Infanta Elena married Jaime de Marichalar, son of the Count and Countess of Ripalda. The couple met in Paris, where she was studying and he was working in finance, and their wedding - the first royal wedding in Spain since the restoration of the Spanish monarchy - was held in Seville’s magnificent cathedral.
Elena’s gown for her Spanish wedding extravaganza was from a Spanish couturier (naturally), Petro Valverde. Working with 48 meters of silk organza, Valverde created a gown with a square neckline, three-quarter sleeves , and a multi-layer skirt. Thick silk hand embroidery highlighted the neckline, sleeves, and waist.
The back of the gown featured a delicate bustle and a detachable 4 meter train. The veil, complete with matching embroidered trim around the edges, included a voluminous top veil with a blusher to cover the bride’s face on the way to the altar and a longer detachable veil to rest on the length of the train. It was a lot of veil.
She wore a tiara which was a gift from her new husband’s family (more on that tomorrow), along with pearl earrings and a matching bracelet. These were said to have been a gift from the Countess of Barcelona, her paternal grandmother.
Elena, known with her husband as the Duke and Duchess of Lugo, was certainly a joyous bride, but the joy would not last. After two children (Felipe Juan Froilán and Victoria Federica) and Jaime’s major stroke in 2001, they announced their separation in 2007. The divorce was finalized by 2010.
There have been a lot of requests for this gown in the past few weeks, and some of you seem quite fond of it. Personally…I don’t get it. It’s very much a gown from 1995 for me, deflated but still with some of that 1980s excess pouf. I can only assume I’m missing something here, so go forth and explain yourselves:

What do you like about this gown?

Photos: Hola/Corbis