Dear Meghan: Say Yes to This Dress

 nytimes.com  5/18/2018 9:01:01 AM   Josephine Sedgwick

Our fashion-forward and royal-obsessed readers imagine Meghan Markle’s bridal gown.

CreditClockwise from top-left: Robbie Tubbs, Jasmine Burton, Tara Perry, Lara Wolf, Mengjie Di.

Compiled by Josephine Sedgwick

Mermaid silhouette, illusion neckline, duchesse satin and jellyfish veil: Do these a royal wedding dress make?

A royal wedding dress is one of the most prestigious commissions in British fashion — and quite possibly the most discreet. The identity of the designer behind Meghan Markle’s gown will be kept under wraps until the wedding bells ring over Windsor this Saturday. So in the meantime, we invited our readers to submit their own designs for Ms. Markle, the future wife of No. 6 in line for the throne, Prince Harry.

Here are 11 of our favo(u)rites.

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I work at David’s Bridal doing alterations, and I see so many styles of wedding dresses. I knew that Meghan was getting married soon, so I wanted to design her a wedding dress she would feel beautiful in walking down the aisle, and remember for the rest of her life.

The wedding dress I designed is in a romantic mermaid style with an illusion neckline, three quarters length sleeves, lace trimming, a custom lace design all over the dress, with a long train and an old-fashioned crown flowing to the veil that matches the dress length.

The fabrics are silk shantung, taffeta and guipure lace. These fabrics will shape and smooth her figure. I also will have hand beading all throughout the dress.

My design combines a bit of Asian style with the sensibilities of an English garden. Meghan is not a traditional princess. Therefore, her dress needs to have a unique look that aligns with her personality and celebrates her special relationship with Prince Harry.

The materials used are lace (for the flowers), tulle and silk. The yellow sash and flowers are designed to celebrate spring. It’s been a long, cold winter, and it’s time to let in the sunlight — along with the good news of a royal family wedding. We definitely need one of those here in the U.S.!

I was inspired by Meghan Markle’s simple yet chic street style. I wanted to keep the design simple, but still have some royal bride drama. I also pulled influence from some former royal brides such as Princess Margaret and Princess Anne, whose chic bridal gowns toned down all the lace and embellishments other brides have.

I was really inspired by Queen Elizabeth I. I wanted to take elements of her style and twist them to break down and soften her signature look. I would use pearls, Swarovski crystals, satin and chiffon.

My design for Meghan Markle is inspired by her style and love of pencil skirts. I wanted to create a look for her that was timeless, but still modern and elegant. This gown is form-fitting with pockets and a pearl-embellished belt, to give it that “pencil skirt” look. The bottom half of the gown is silk charmeuse, and the top is made of Venetian lace.

Because Meghan is an American actress marrying into royalty, I took inspiration from Grace Kelly’s wedding gown, the only other American actress to marry into royalty. I combined Kelly’s classic and elegant, high-neck silhouette with Meghan Markle’s personal style, which is modern and sophisticated. To give the gown that modern sensibility, I designed a vine-leaf embroidery on net instead of a traditional floral lace with hints of gold thread and beading.

When I thought about what kind of dress I would design for Meghan Markle, I thought about the word “royalty.” To me, royalty signifies timelessness, elegance and sophistication, which are three things my design embodies.

Keeping in mind Meghan’s style, I made the silhouette of the dress simple — all about the little details. The materials I would use are silk satin for the bodice and skirt of the dress; for the sleeves and trims around the dress, I would use Alençon lace to add depth and contrast.

The inspiration behind this dress was jellyfish and the fluidity of their movement. I imagine a bride walking down the isle so very lightly, almost as though she is floating, like a jellyfish.

The materials I would include: various lace, tulle and a variety of organza, then incorporate chiffon for the ruffled cuffs on both sleeves and trimming.

I was inspired by Queen Victoria’s wedding dress designed by Mary Bettans and William Dyce for her wedding in 1840. I admire the tradition of Honiton lace, which was entirely handmade and featured English springtime themes, with roses, butterflies, lilies, camellias and more.

My design for Meghan’s dress incorporates the style of Honiton lace on the veil and the chapel train to celebrate this tradition of artisan craft from East Devon.

The design also features a tulle bateau neckline, flared ruffle off-shoulder hem and sheer floral embroidery on long sleeves for an ethereal look. The accentuated waist line and flowing voluminous tulle gown showcases a timeless and classic silhouette.

Meghan Markle has a soft yet chic appearance so I wanted to design a dress that had a bold structure and loose elements as well. I chose lavender as a motif because the flower is defined by refinement, grace, and elegance. I would use brocade for the structured overlay with beaded appliqué, duchess satin for the under-gown and silk organza for the inserted sleeves.

Materials: silk organza, silk charmeuse, silk satin, tulle, lace.

Organza’s transparency allows for two silhouettes in one dress. I would use white silk underneath.

Red is so often left out of Western weddings, but it draws strength to the wearer. The addition of red flowers on the veil adds a performative element to an otherwise tired tradition.

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