Style Celebrity

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Angelina: verdict on that dress

Caitlin McBride and Freya Drohan

Published 04/09/2014 | 02:30

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The Hello exclusive coverage of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's wedding.
The Hello exclusive coverage of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's wedding.
Caitlin McBride.

When it comes to celebrity wedding dresses, most style watchers are guilty of obsessing a little too much.

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Take Angelina Jolie's much-anticipated marriage to Brad Pitt. Her wedding gown was always going to get the world talking, and it has divided opinion, especially the decision to feature her children's doodles on her veil.

Caitlin McBride, editor of Independent Style, says her dress was just another PR strategy - while Freya Droyan loved that Angelina went for something different. Here's what they had to say about that dress...

'She's walking proof that some people can pull off any look...'

I knew that Angelina Jolie's wedding gown would take my breath away. Her style has polarised couture critics for nearly two decades and many of her fans (myself included) have a long-lasting love/hate relationship with her.

As one of the world's most photographed women, Angelina's image is one which has been carefully constructed and is safely guarded by her handlers.

In 10 years, she's gone from a blood-vial wearing vampiress to an earth mother with six children and an A-list movie star husband who has achieved international praise for her global charity work.

And her role as a mother is a major talking point in her ambitious PR strategy. I have no doubt in my mind that she loves her little ones with all of her heart, but I can't help but feel the decision to include their drawings on her wedding dress was a little transparent - at least to my cynical eye. As was their decision to sell their wedding photos in the first place.

This wasn't a case where photographers had managed to storm their chateau and snap photos of the private pair on their big day.

Their security team kept all media way, and they managed to keep the entire event a secret until Brad was sported wearing his wedding ring three days after.

Brangelina are said to be donating their seven-figure paycheck for the exclusive rights to their photos to charity (in the same vein as their exclusive baby photos) but my pessimistic side will stay wary about some of their wedding decisions.

All that matters is that they are happy and, at the end of the day, AJ is walking proof that some people really can pull off any look at all.

CAITLIN McBRIDE

'The dress reflects her transition from wild child to matriarch...'

Angelina's custom-made wedding dress has resulted in disparate opinions, but to understand her logic we need to recognise that this is a woman who would rather be defined by her status as a mother and humanitarian campaigner than as a style icon.

How many stars can you name that wore frothy Vera Wang, Marchesa or Dior numbers up the altar? It is always refreshing to see high-profile brides who opt for something more unique and innovative.

Angelina's own style is refined and reserved; this is not a woman we generally see embracing overtly feminine outfits, or runway to red-carpet looks.

She has a long-standing relationship with the Versace brand - need we mention the infamous black velvet gown with the daring thigh-high split - so it is only fitting that she would enlist Donatella and tailor Luigi Mass to collaborate on her most personal dress to date.

The gown itself is stunning in its simplicity, with a full silk skirt, spaghetti straps and ruched bodice.

Though it is not something I would ever wear, the hand-embroidered doodles on the train and veil by her six children - Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Vivienne and Knox - are an endearingly sweet touch.

The actress said: "Luigi is like family to me and I couldn't imagine anyone else making this dress. He knows and cares for the children and it was great fun putting it together."

"It was such a special day to share with our children and a very happy time for our family," she added.

Angelina, remember, is a woman who once wore a vial of her then-husband's blood around her neck. In the last decade, she has come full circle from wild child to matriarch and respected philanthropist and I think this dress reflects that transition perfectly.

FREYA DROHAN

Irish Independent

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