Duchess Meghan Markle stunned the world when she walked down the aisle in a custom-made Givenchy gown. Givenchy wasn’t on anyone’s radar when guessing who would be making Meghan’s dress. The frontrunner was British design house, Ralph & Russo.
Meghan’s dress was loved for its elegance and understated sophistication, while some complained that it was too simple in comparison to Princess Diana’s and Duchess Kate Middleton’s dresses. But Meghan’s “simple” dress was anything but simple.
Clare Waight Keller, the British designer in charge of Givenchy, talked to Women’s Wear Daily about how much time and detail went into making Meghan’s historic wedding dress. Waight Keller is the first female head designer of Givenchy.
Waight Keller said that the dress took roughly 3,900 hours to create over four months. She didn’t specify if the 3,900 hours was just for the wedding dress or the dress and veil. Meghan’s veil was 16-feet long and had embroidered flowers from every country in the Commonwealth around the border. According to the official press release, Meghan “expressed the wish of having all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey through the ceremony.” The veil was hand stitched.
If you’re not an expert in haute couture or designer dresses, 3,900 hours and four months is a significant amount of time to create a dress. Elle published a piece breaking down the hours it took to create dresses for Dior’s last runway show. A tulle ballgown took 1,000 hours and 41 days to complete. That’s almost a fourth of the time it took to create Meghan’s dress.
Meghan’s wedding dress is made of double bonded silk cady, which was specially developed for this dress. The underskirt is made of triple silk organza. The dress has six seams and a boat neckline, framing her shoulders and face. Waight Keller said 50 people worked on creating her dress, veil, shoes and the bridesmaid dresses.
Meghan’s dress is anything but simple. It’s expertly tailored and crafted around her so it never appears that the dress is wearing Meghan, it’s complimenting her.