Princess Eugenie's wedding dress: 10 designers in the running for the royal commission
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ralph & Russo
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.