Though by most accounts, David Emanuel (who along with his wife Elizabeth was responsible for creating the lavish wedding gown worn by the late Diana Princess of Wales) will be the one asked to create a gown for Kate Middleton when she marries Prince William of Wales, it’s still fun to see what some of our favorite designers would suggest for the storybook nuptials. Women’s Wear Daily asked 29 of the biggest names in the fashion industry to sketch what they would put Middelton in on the day she becomes a Princess. Notably absent in the pack is Issa, designed by Daniella Issa Helayel, the brand that is being considered by many to be the second most likely choice for the gown’s designer.
It’s highly unlikely that any of the sketches featured in WWD will be the gown of choice; who would want to have their chosen gown revealed to the world before their special day? Further, it’s likely that Middleton will opt for a demure look that covers, at the very least, her shoulders, which many of the proposed sketches do not. Nonetheless, here are some of the standouts that A-list designers are suggesting.
Though it’s not my favorite by a long-shot, Elizabeth Emanuel must be singled out. She told WWD that she suggests a design that’s “entirely different from the Diana dress” she designed. She updated the frilly 80s dress and gave it a modern, but demure twist with hints of what looks like Elizabethan embroidery (above, left).
How can we not talk about Karl Lagerfeld’s design? The Kaiser suggests “a Chanel take on the Victorian wedding dress, with a twist—high boots and open in the front.” Arguably the most far-fetched, perhaps Dita Von Teese will opt for this design (above, right) if she ever gets married.
Not my style either, but Ralph Rucci’s Chado Ralph Rucci is master when it comes to couture details and would be a wonderful fit for the job. Described as "white tulle veil to floor…satin bodice and cardinal hat…huge silk tulle gown with pinches, like ostrich pores…all embroidery in freshwater pearls—no glitter,” his vision (above, left) sounds like craftsmanship at its best.
Gucci’s Frida Giannini designed a clean, streamlined dress that is simply stunning (above, right). Likely too simple for the royal wedding unfortunately, the designer says of her vision, “I admire the balance Kate Middleton strikes between elegant and contemporary with her unmistakable style. For her, I had in mind clean lines, soft shapes and classic touches such as the boat neckline and distinctive train.”
Few designers are responsible for as many of my favorite red carpet looks as J. Mendel’s Gilles Mendel. The designer’s vision for the wedding doesn’t disappoint (above, left). “On the royal wedding day, I envision Kate Middleton in a fresh, modern silhouette emphasizing her elegance and beauty in a youthful way,” he tells WWD. Though the future Princess will unlikely go for a sleeveless look, the designer’s gown looks nothing if not Princess-worthy.
Mark Badgley and James Mischka of Badgley Mischka also opted for a shoulder-baring style (above, right). "We see Kate going completely classic," they told WWD. "We love this off-the-shoulder silhouette for her. Her beauty and grace will make any gown look magnificent.”
I have to say, though, that I’m disappointed that my two favorite bridal designers, the Marchesa ladies and Oscar de la Renta, did not submit sketches. I would have also been curious to see what Fiona Cibani of Ports 1961 would have suggested. Though Ports 1961 is not known for wedding gowns, the brand’s aesthetic seems in line with Middelton’s style.
view the full feature at WWD.com