Susannah Frankel: Chelsea's dress was demure and chic, with a touch of bling


They say that every woman, however emancipated, resorts to tradition where her choice of wedding dress is concerned.

Chelsea Clinton is no exception, clearly. In fact, so classic is her sweet confection of a gown, coupled with perfectly simple, even chaste, fluttering silk tulle veil, that it seems almost radical for that. Had this particular frock found its way onto the set of Mad Men, say, no one would have batted an eyelid.

It is, then, proudly anachronistic, the way only the wedding dress, and particularly the wedding dress in polite circles, may be. The no make-up make-up – note the lips in a shade only slightly riper than nature intended – and honey-coloured hair gathered into an immaculate chignon is equally conservative and so too are the diamond-drop earrings. All in all, Grace Kelly would have been proud.

The design in question is crafted in the purest white organza – no half-hearted ivory here – and comes courtesy of Vera Wang, a friend of the family and guest at the discreetly private ceremony.

Ms Wang is something of a legend in wedding circles having also designed Victoria Beckham's rather more cantilevered affair (well, who would have expected anything less?) when she tied the knot in characteristically extravagant style with husband, David. It's perhaps worth noting that where VB opted for her signature shade of orange as far as her skin colour was concerned, Chelsea Clinton is alabaster pale which, it almost goes without saying, is the considerably more chic option.

All in all, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the 30-year-old daughter of the former US President and current Secretary of State was clearly in pursuit of a style perhaps best summed up as demure. It's expensive, but far from ostentatiously so, and despite a 50s-style fullness, is far from overblown, exuding old money and taste as opposed to anything more gauche in flavour.

There's just a touch of bling – a jewelled belt with a faintly medieval flavour cinches her already tiny waist but is more Maid Marion than Beyoncé Knowles – but otherwise the delicate pleats and folds of fine silk are refined in the extreme.

Both groom and father of the bride look suitably dapper in Burberry (Burberry designer Christopher Bailey was also in attendance), the latter with a single white freesia from his daughter's bouquet pinned to his lapel. The only colour in a resolutely monochrome tableau is thanks to Hillary Clinton, resplendent in raspberry Oscar de la Renta, long American high society's designer of choice.

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