Sunday 21 April 2019

Princess Eugenie's wedding dress: 10 designers in the running for the royal commission

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L), Princess Beatrice of York (C) and Princess Eugenie of York attend Royal Ascot Day 1 at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2018 in Ascot, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L), Princess Beatrice of York (C) and Princess Eugenie of York attend Royal Ascot Day 1 at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2018 in Ascot, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank attend the Chelsea Flower Show press day at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 23, 2016 in London, England. The show, which has run annually since 1913 in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, is open to the public from 24-28 May. (Photo by Heathcliff O'Malley - WP Pool/Getty Images)
Princess Eugenie of York (R) and Princess Beatrice of York (L) are seen in the Parade Ring as she attends Royal Ascot 2017 at Ascot Racecourse on June 22, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Princess Eugenie of York in Harpar's Bazaar September issue. Photo: Alex Bramall
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew’s two daughters, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice. Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse
Cressida Bonas and Princess Eugenie attend a private view of "Radical Presence" curated by Kate Linfoot at The Unit on July 5, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Princess Eugenie of York in Harpar's Bazaar September issue. Photo: Alex Bramall
Princess Eugenie of York in Harpar's Bazaar September issue. Photo: Alex Bramall
Princess Eugenie attends day 5 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2016 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie during the Trooping the Colour on June 13, 2015 in London, England.
Proposals: Princess Eugenie with her fiance Jack Brooksbank. Photo: AFP
Princess Eugenie wears a ring containing a padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds as she poses with Jack Brooksbank in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London after they announced their engagement. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank attend the Chelsea Flower Show press day at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 23, 2016 in London, England. The show, which has run annually since 1913 in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, is open to the public from 24-28 May. (Photo by Heathcliff O'Malley - WP Pool/Getty Images)
Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York attend Royal Ascot 2017 at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Princesses Eugenie (left) and Beatrice, arrive for the Easter Sunday service at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in Berkshire

Charlie Gowans-Eglinton

It's now less than seven weeks until Britain's Princess Eugenie of York will walk down the aisle of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, to wed her fiancé Jack Brooksbank on the 12th of October.

Queen Elizabeth II's 28-year-old granddaughter has been dating Brooksbank for roughly seven years, with the pair becoming engaged in January.

While the venue is the same as that used in the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May, and the invitation of 1200 members of the public and following promenade through Windsor offer further similarities, there's no doubt that Eugenie is keen to make sure that her own royal wedding will be one of a kind. Reports that the day will be plastic-free, in line with the Princess' environmental stance, offer a clue as to just how unusual this wedding could be.

But it seems that there is one detail that will be in line with tradition - the Princess has announced that she will be wearing British on the day, unlike Meghan, who surprised many with her choice of Parisian fashion house Givenchy in May. "I'm not telling anyone who is making it, but I can say it is a British-based designer," revealed Eugenie in the September issue of British Vogue. We can also guess that she'll be wearing the York tiara, which was designed for her mother Sarah Ferguson in 1986, on the big day. As tiaras are reserved for brides and married women according to royal protocol, this will be the Princesses first chance to don it. But who is her chosen dress designer? Here are the runners and riders in the race for the commission:

Stella McCartney

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Mr & Mrs: the new Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle sports a bespoke Stella McCartney halter-neck gown at the after party of her wedding to Prince Harry. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Eugenie's determination that her wedding should be anti-plastic proves her commitment to the environment, and that's a credo also held firmly by British designer Stella McCartney. McCartney is well known for her stance on animal rights, eschewing fur, leather and all other animal skins. She's also spoken out about the fashion industry, calling it “incredibly wasteful and harmful to the environment”, which would no doubt strike a chord with the woke young Princess. Visually, McCartney's sleek designs - like the halterneck dress that the Duchess of Sussex wore for her evening reception - are certainly in keeping with Eugenie's elegant, understated style.

Erdem

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Floral midi dress with lace trim, €1,665, Erdem, available at Brown Thomas

Canadian-born, London-based Erdem Moralioglu is a favourite with the Eugenie's generation of royals: the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex have both worn the label, and the Princess chose to wear a floral Erdem dress for her official engagement photographs. And royal style is a theme that the designer often references: his spring/summer '18 collection paid homage to the style of the young Queen Elizabeth II. If Erdem did design Eugenie's dress, we could expect a full skirt and lots of feminine touches - bows and lace are details often seen in the brand's collections.

Gainsbourg

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Princess Eugenie arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

This little-known label came to our attention when Princess Eugenie wore a pale blue, 1960s style minidress by the label to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May. This new label, founded by former Vogue staffer Caroline Breteau and ex-Alexander McQueen designer Sam Dougal, is poised to debut a ready-to-wear collection in September as a follow up to their bespoke business. As the bride to be is already a fan, it's possible that she might want to champion this small British label, and be the first royal bride ever to wear one of their designs. And while little is known about the brand's aesthetic, Eugenie's little blue dress suggests that there could be vintage references.

Emilia Wickstead

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April 2014: Her blue Emilia Wickstead dress ensured she was centre stage in New Zealand.

Wickstead found herself in hot water when comments about the Duchess of Sussex's wedding dress on her instagram account hinted at sour grapes (Wickstead was rumoured to be one of the designers in the running for that commission). Still, it seems all is forgiven, as Meghan has since worn Wickstead, so Eugenie wouldn't be ruffling any feathers were she to choose the brand - and the modest, elegant designs that Wickstead is known for would make for a stunning bridal gown.

Related: Here's how Meghan Markle has shown support for designer behind those controversial 'identical wedding dress' comments

Ralph & Russo

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A model presents a creation for Ralph & Russo during the 2018 spring/summer Haute Couture collection fashion show on January 22, 2018 in Paris. / AFP PHOTO / Patrick KOVARIK (Photo credit should read PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)

This label - the only British brand invited to show on the official Paris Couture schedule in nearly a century - was the favourite for Meghan's dress. But could it be that while those rumours spread, the real-life couple behind this label was actually having secret meetings with Princess Eugenie? If so, the dress would be sure to be impactful - the label is known for highly-embellished dresses - think beading, lace, Swarovski crystals - like the one that the Duchess of Sussex wore in her engagement photographs.

Alexander McQueen

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HIT: Felicity Jones in Alexander McQueen.

Admittedly, this would be an unlikely choice, as McQueen's Sarah Burton was the chosen designer for the Duchess of Cambridge's show-stopping wedding dress back in 2011, and the Duchess often wears the label for public appearances. If Eugenie were to choose Burton, though, we could expect a breathtaking level of detail and craftsmanship - though perhaps not to the scale of Kate's dress.

Vivienne Westwood

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Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie leave Westminster Abbey

It was the York sisters' hats that made headlines on the occasion of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding in 2011, but Princess Eugenie's printed blue dress on the day was by veteran British designer Vivienne Westwood. One of the designer's calling cards is sculptural, body-flattering dresses, so this could be a dramatic and even a little risqué choice.

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi

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Princess Eugenie of York is seen in the Parade Ring as she attends Royal Ascot 2017 at Ascot Racecourse on June 22, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Eugenie wore a full-skirted red dress by this London Fashion Week favourite to Royal Ascot in 2017. While the brand, run by husband and wife Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, doesn't have a bridal line, they have designed bespoke wedding dresses in the past. This would certainly be a fashion-forward choice for the young royal.

Osman

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Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (L), Princess Beatrice of York (C) and Princess Eugenie of York attend Royal Ascot Day 1 at Ascot Racecourse on June 19, 2018 in Ascot, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Princess Eugenie was spotted wearing Osman to Royal Ascot in July, and the off-white shade of her sculptural coat-dress didn't make it too hard to imagine what an Osman royal wedding dress would look like.

Burberry

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Elena Perminova, wife of Alexander Lebedev, arrives for the Burberry catwalk show at London Fashion Week in London, Britain, February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

This September will see the Burberry's debut catwalk show under new creative director Riccardo Tisci, following Christopher Bailey's departure from the brand. It would be quite the coup if Tisci were to design a Burberry royal wedding dress, and Eugenie has worn the label in the past, so it's definitely a possibility - though hopefully said dress wouldn't bear any of the brand's signature checks.

Princess Eugenie of York in Harpar's Bazaar September issue. Photo: Alex Bramall
Princess Eugenie of York in Harpar's Bazaar September issue. Photo: Alex Bramall
Princess Eugenie of York in Harpar's Bazaar September issue. Photo: Alex Bramall
Princess Eugenie of York (R) and Princess Beatrice of York (L) are seen in the Parade Ring as she attends Royal Ascot 2017 at Ascot Racecourse on June 22, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Cressida Bonas and Princess Eugenie attend a private view of "Radical Presence" curated by Kate Linfoot at The Unit on July 5, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Princess Eugenie of York in Harpar's Bazaar September issue. Photo: Alex Bramall
Princess Eugenie attends day 5 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2016 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie during the Trooping the Colour on June 13, 2015 in London, England.
Proposals: Princess Eugenie with her fiance Jack Brooksbank. Photo: AFP
Princess Eugenie wears a ring containing a padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds as she poses with Jack Brooksbank in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in London after they announced their engagement. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew’s two daughters, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice. Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank attend the Chelsea Flower Show press day at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 23, 2016 in London, England. The show, which has run annually since 1913 in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, is open to the public from 24-28 May. (Photo by Heathcliff O'Malley - WP Pool/Getty Images)
Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York attend Royal Ascot 2017 at Ascot Racecourse on June 20, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Princesses Eugenie (left) and Beatrice, arrive for the Easter Sunday service at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in Berkshire

Telegraph.co.uk

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