Get me to the church in style
Need a chic wedding fix? Everyone can be a princess on their big day, says Rebecca Gonsalves
Monday 25 April 2011
The royal wedding is almost upon us, much to the delight of royalists and stylists.
We may scoff at the hoopla of retailers desperately tacking their wares to the bandwagon – Union Jack deeleyboppers anyone? – but it is a significant moment for the monarchy, for British fashion (assuming the bride wears a homegrown designer) and, of course, let's not forget the young couple binding their futures.
Without the aid of a crystal ball, it is impossible to comment on the dress that Catherine will walk down the aisle in, but that has not stopped rumours and speculation from swirling like so much tulle, organza and lace.
Doubtless many of this summer's brides-to-be will be suffering from performance anxiety until Friday's big reveal, when a collective sigh of relief will sound around the country and greet princess Catherine's couture choice, as the knowledge that their hand-made, bespoke and oh-so-special selection, ordered through tears of joy, will not see them looking like a desperate pastiche of the princess on their own big day.
Philip Treacy's dramatic headpieces are a no-less-romantic alternative to a cathedral-length veil.
The world's leading bridal house may be too mainstream a choice for Ms Middleton, but that hasn't stopped Creative Director Manuel Mota from designing not just one but three gowns for the royal-to-be, embodying her "elegance, sophistication and personality". The three designs, including the one above, will be presented at the flagship boutique on Bond Street from Wednesday.
Elle McPherson bridal
This newly launched addition to the Intimates collection strikes the perfect note of sweetly sexy, without any faux-virginal connotations, or old-fashioned elaborate trussing. Whatever your plans for the wedding night, the range includes suspenders, garter belts and bras available in D-G sizing.
Frou-frou frills send a shiver down the spine of the modern bride, so Lanvin's Blanche collection makes an arresting alternative to floor-length gowns. There are shorter hem lengths, modern – rather than meringue – volume and an alternative colour palette, embracing this flattering nude shade. The label is even so daring as to offer a chic, feminine trouser suit – which will really make the jaws drop in the cheap seats.
128 Mount Street, London W1K 3NU - 020 7491 1839
Created to celebrate the royal wedding, this scent was inspired by the most acclaimed wedding fragrances in the perfumer's heritage with a white flower theme introducing a modern twist. The blooms selected all convey their own meaning, including orange blossom – the scent of marriage and innocence.
£90, 0845 702 3239
We may not know who Catherine will be wearing, but there is little doubt that William will be kitted out by Gieves & Hawkes – bespoke tailor to the Royal family and military since 1771. As well as offering a made-to-measure service, the gentlemen's outfitters is displaying a selection of active service evening wear and ceremonial garments, including a version of a piece worn by Prince Charles at his own wedding.
Royal Warrant-holders Smythson have gone all out to celebrate the big day, commissioning five arts and crafts designers to create their own interpretations of royal wedding memorabilia. This romantically ruffled dress, the handiwork of Isle of Wight-based designer Lindsay Taylor, will be on display at the stationer's New Bond Street store until 3 May.
If the bridegroom doesn't know a Windsor from a half Windsor (clue: we're talking knots, not royals) and the only bow tie he's ever worn was clipped on, then My Tuxedo is well worth a click. The online formalwear retailer has launched a series of illustrated "how to" guides to equip the leading man with step-by-step savoir faire.
Rigby & Peller
Corsetiere to the Queen, Rigby & Peller is offering one lucky winner the opportunity to design a made-to-measure lingerie set created by Nichole de Carle, whose limited dition "Iridescence" bridal range is already proving very popular.
Net a porter's bridal boutique is a must visit for any pre-nup shopper; tightly edited collections offer sartorial solutions for every nuanced nuptial, while inspiring editorial content has suggestions for every step on the day itself.
London-based shoe designer Charlotte Dellal is launching a bridal range this season and there's not an ivory sateen kitten-heel to be seen. Instead, brides can show off their style credentials in a pair of sky-high platform pumps in palest pink, white or even leopard.
Zoe & Morgan
Siblings Zoe and Morgan Sibbald's jewellery with a rock 'n' roll edge is anything but traditional, and makes a whimsical alternative to the usual plain wedding band.
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