Clare Waight Keller designs the wedding dress of the Duchess of Sussex
It is no exaggeration to say that Meghan Markle’s custom-made Givenchy wedding dresses are dresses from all over the world. According to the BBC’s estimate, in May’s royal wedding, Marker married Prince Harry and reached 1.9 billion people worldwide.
The design is simple and classic: with a slit neckline, four-quarter sleeves and long sleeves, an A-shaped silk organza skirt and carved at the waist. The most important is a 16-foot half silk veil embroidered with 53 flowers of the Commonwealth. Are the people behind it? British designer Claire White Keller became the first female art director of the French fashion house in 2017.
Keller recalls the moment she learned about her commission at Eva Chen at Vogue’s Fashion Power Conference today. At that time, she only spent about six or seven months at Givenchy. “The committee itself is really a moment for me,” she said. “This is a huge thing for my career, but personal happiness is an Englishman who can be a part of British history.”
She secretly worked with Markle for a five-month design. “This is a very cautious communication between us – actually just us. No one else is involved,” she said. “In those five months, that was really special. This is my chance to know her.”
Throughout the process, Keller wanted to ensure that the dress reflected the Duchess of Sussex and its values. It feels very personal – after all, this is her wedding day with Prince Harry. But they also know that because of the current arduous nature, it needs to be a very iconic thing.
“This is an overwhelming moment, I think, ‘I have to really decide the right thing for everyone, the world must pay attention to,'” she said.
The veil is crafted with intricate hand embroidery. “The whole story has a complete story,” Keller told Chen. She fills the entire accessories with hand-painted paper and carefully studies their patterns and feelings. When deciding on the final design, she tends to wildflowers, grass and grass, and even grass. Keller thinks they are very poetic. “I want to portray something that makes me feel more modest because I think she is very modest as a person,” she said.
On May 19, when Kensington Palace announced that she was designing the dress, people were very concerned that Keller was the first female designer of Givenchy. But Keller said she first thought of herself as a designer, but that doesn’t mean her meaning. She noticed the time she spent at Gucci, where she worked with the newborn twins 24 hours a day. “This is really too difficult,” she admitted. “You will always compromise with your life and work balance. You have to make a choice. But those choices, I will never look back and see them regret.”
There are fashionable moments. There are historical moments. Moreover, after a year at Givenchy, Keller has successfully completed two tasks.