Sketches of Meghan Markle's wedding dress released for the first time

The gown was designed by Clare Waight Keller

Olivia Petter
Sunday 20 May 2018 16:19
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Royal Wedding: Meghan Markle walks down the aisle in Givenchy dress to marry Prince Harry

In what was undoubtedly the sartorial coup of the year, Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller was finally revealed as the designer who’d landed the coveted role of designing Meghan Markle’s wedding dress for her nuptials to Prince Harry.

Now, fans can revel in every detail of Waight Keller’s intricate design as Kensington Palace has released a selection of the British designer’s original sketches.

The new Duchess of Sussex worked closely with the talented designer to create the gown, which was made to epitomise “a timeless minimal elegance referencing the codes of the iconic House of Givenchy”, according to the Palace.

The sketches reveal the extent of Waight Keller’s impressive craftsmanship, which includes an open bateau neckline and a billowing five-metre-long veil made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers, each of which represents the distinctive flora of each of the 53 Commonwealth countries.

According to the Palace, dressmakers spent hundred of hours meticulously creating each floral pattern, sewing and washing their hands every half hour in order to ensure the tulle of the veil remained spotless.

Markle originally met the designer - who has served at the helm of three global fashion houses - in early 2018 before asking her to create the gown of the year.

Staying true to the French fashion house’s minimalistic aesthetic, the end result was an homage to the couture atelier’s refined and meticulous traditions, featuring just six seams with three-quarter length sleeves for a modern twist.

Rumours as to who would design Markle’s dress were rife up until the very last moment, however, Waight Keller’s name was hardly mentioned amongst the roster of sartorial suspects.

She was named as Givenchy’s artistic director in March 2017, succeeding Riccardo Tisci, making her the first ever female designer to take the reigns at the Parisian fashion house.

Prior to that, she served as creative director at Chloé after a six-year-long stint at Pringle of Scotland.

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