The world’s most iconic wedding dresses
Grace Kelly (Prince Rainier April 19 1956)
No list of this kind would be complete without mentioning Princess Grace of Monaco. No bride to be or fashionista could see this dress for the first time without saying, “wow”, just wow. This is possibly the most beautiful wedding dress ever and has influenced brides the world over. A certain Kate Middleton was certainly channelling her inner movie icon (see below) on her big day. The dress was designed by famous MGM costumier Helen Rose. There were a whopping 25 yards of silk taffeta in Grace’s dress and it took 36 seamstresses six weeks to complete.
Kate Middleton (Prince William April 29 2011)
Kate Middleton has so far successfully navigated the pitfalls of the tabloid press to become wildly popular with the British public. This popularity was cemented when she stepped into Westminster Abbey in a stunning wedding dress created by Alexander McQueen fashion house headed up by Sarah Burton. Kate’s dress is clearly inspired by the one Helen Rose created for Grace Kelly and she looked every inch the princess in it. The happy pair have now been married for just over two years and are expecting their first child in June 2013. If you want to have your own princess moment all it takes is a stunning wedding tiara, enough adoring guests to fill Westminster Abbey and a couple of baguette diamonds – easy right?
Princess Diana (Prince Charles 29 July 1981)
One of the most closely guarded secrets in fashion history, Diana’s wedding dress has become one of the most famous in the world. It is, however, no timeless classic. Very much of its era, brides throughout the 80s copied the big puffy sleeves and now look back ruefully at that fashion choice. The dress had a 25 foot train and was made of ivory silk taffeta and antique lace. It was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel and whether you like it or loath it remains a wedding dress gold standard. The dress can now be seen as part of the ‘Diana: a celebration‘ exhibition.
Jacqueline Kennedy (John F. Kennedy 12 September 1953)
The style icon of the 1950s was most definitely Jackie Kennedy and of course her wedding dress is one of the most iconic of all time. The designer was African-American dressmaker Ann Lowe who unfortunately didn’t get full credit for her creation. When asked who designed her dress by the press, Jackie replied, “a coloured woman”. Not one of her finest moments. It seems that her remark might have been down to the fact that she didn’t actually like the dress saying it made her chest look flat and was like a lampshade despite the critical acclaim for the design the world over.
Marilyn Monroe was married three times (to James Dogherty, Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller). Sadly she doesn’t seem to have had her white dress, full-blown princess moment at any of the ceremonies. She wore a black skirt suit finished with a white fur collar for her second wedding to DiMaggio. However we do have an image of the glamorous bride she really should have been in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ wearing a stunning lace bodice dress with taffeta skirt designed by William Travilla. If only life was like the movies.
Audrey Hepburn, style icon and humanitarian obviously had to make a splash on her big day. Her dress, designed by Pierre Balmain, suited her petite figure perfectly. True to the style of the 50s her full skirted dress was ballerina length and she topped this romantic look with roses in her hair. Nobody did flawless elegance quite like Audrey.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.