31 July 2015

Royal Wedding Gown Flashback of the Day: July 31

This week (July 29) marked 34 years since the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. And oh....That Dress.

Oh good, or oh bad? Oh, both. Designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel and made from silk taffeta woven in Suffolk with plenty of lace, including a bit of lace donated by Queen Mary to the Royal School of Needlework, and plenty of embroidered pearls and mother-of-pearl sequins, it's a confection in the sweetest sense of the word.

Its overwhelming volume hasn't stood up to the timeless fashion test, and all its unintended wrinkles on the big day are hard to forget. But it also stood its own against the scale and grandeur of St. Paul's Cathedral, which is precisely what the 25 foot train and all those sparkles were intended to do. Diana moving down the aisle, anchoring a barge of silk with the Spencer Tiara twinkling away, is not an image easily forgotten.

The fact that it is not easily forgotten is exactly why this one has a spot on my best list. I don't actually find it attractive myself - it is well and truly dated to these eyes - but for better or for worse, this dress was an event. I think that part of the goal of a royal wedding dress should be that memorable quality, and a dress that still pops into your brain when someone says "royal wedding dress" all these years later is an achievement on its own.

P.S.: Yes, let's talk about the dress. Friendly reminder that judging the marriages of others and personal attacks of any sort are quite simply not what we do here.

Photos: via Getty Images