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Fashion Report: Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress and Veil details

When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry at St. George's Chapel at Winsor Castle over the weekend, the world watched in awe to get a glimpse of her dress.  Kensington Palace released the details on Markle's (now the Duchess of Sussex) Givenchy dress.

The Wedding Dress: Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy
Ms. Meghan Markle’s wedding dress has been designed by the acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Keller. Ms. Waight Keller last year became the first female Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy.

After meeting Ms. Waight Keller in early 2018, Ms. Markle chose to work with her for her timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanour. Ms. Markle also wanted to highlight the success of a leading British talent who has now served as the creative head of three globally influential fashion houses – Pringle of Scotland, Chloé, and now Givenchy.

Ms. Markle and Ms. Waight Keller worked closely together on the design. The dress epitomises a timeless minimal elegance referencing the codes of the iconic House of Givenchy and showcasing the expert craftsmanship of its world-renowned Parisian couture atelier founded in 1952.

The Design
True to the heritage of the house, the pure lines of the dress are achieved using six meticulously placed seams. The focus of the dress is the graphic open bateau neckline that gracefully frames the shoulders and emphasises the slender sculpted waist. The lines of the dress extend towards the back where the train flows in soft round folds cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza. The slim three-quarter sleeves add a note of refined modernity.

The Fabric
Following extensive research by Ms. Waight Keller in fabric mills throughout Europe, an exclusive double bonded silk cady was developed. Perfect for the round sculptural look required, the silk cady has a soft matt lustre whilst the bonding process and pure white colour chosen by Ms. Markle and Ms. Waight Keller bring a fresh modernity to the dress.

The Veil
Ms. Markle expressed the wish of having all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey through the ceremony. Ms. Waight Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country united in one spectacular floral composition.

The Commonwealth family of nations – of which Her Majesty The Queen is Head –will be a central part of Prince Harry’s and Ms. Markle’s official work following   His Royal Highness’s appointment as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Ms. Markle wanted to express her gratitude for the opportunity to support the work of the Commonwealth by incorporating references to its members into the design of her wedding dress.

Significant time was spent researching the flora of each Commonwealth country and much care was taken by Ms. Waight Keller to ensure that every flower is unique.

The veil is five meters long and made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza.

Each flower was worked flat, in three dimensions to create a unique and delicate design. The workers spent hundreds of hours meticulously sewing and washing their hands every thirty minutes to keep the tulle and threads pristine.

In addition to the flora of the Commonwealth, Ms. Markle also selected two personal favourites:

Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), which grows in the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) the State flower from Ms. Markle’s place of birth, California.

Symmetrically placed at the very front of the veil, crops of wheat are delicately embroidered and blend into the flora, to symbolise love and charity.

A selection of flora distinctive from every member state of the Commonwealth is listed below:

Botswana - Ear of Sorghum and Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
Cameroon - Red Stinkwood (Prunus africana)
Gambia - White Variety Orchid
Ghana - Caladium (Caladium)
Kenya - The Tropical Orchid
Lesotho - Spiral Aloe (Aloe polyphylla)
Malawi - Lotus (Nymphea lotus)
Mauritius - Trochetia Boutoniana
Mozambique - Maroon Bell Bean (Markhamia zanzibarica)
Namibia - Welwitschia (Welwitschia mirabilis)
Nigeria - Yellow Trumpet (Costus spectabilis)
Rwanda - Torch Lily (Kniphofia uvaria)
Seychelles - Tropicbird orchid (Angraecum eburnum)
Sierra Leone - Scadoxus (Scadoxus cinnabarinus)
South Africa - Protea (Protea cynaroides)
Swaziland - Fire Heath (Erica cerinthoides)
Uganda - Desert rose (Adenium obesum)
United Republic of Tanzania - African violet (Saintpaulia)
Zambia - Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea)

Bangladesh - White Water Lily ( Sada shapla)
Brunei Darussalam - Simpor (Dillenia suffruticosa)
India - Indian Lotus (Nelumbo nucifers gaertn)
Malaysia - Bunga Raya Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa sinensis)
Pakistan - Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)
Singapore - Vanda miss Joaquim Orchid (Miss Joaquim)
Sri Lanka - Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea nouchali)

Antigua and Barbuda - Agave (Agave karatto)
Bahamas - Yellow Elder (Tecoma stans)
Barbados - The pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)
Belize - The Black Orchid (Encyclia cochleata)
Canada - Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Dominica - Carib Wood (Sabinea carinalis)
Grenada - Bougainvillea (Nyctaginaceae)
Guyana - Victoria Regia Water Lily (Victoria amazonica)
Jamaica - Lignum Vitae (Guiacum officinale)
Saint Lucia - The rose and the marguerite
St Kitts and Nevis - Poinciana (Delonix regia )
St Vincent & the Grenadines - Soufriere Tree (Spachea perforatais)
Trinidad & Tobago - Chaconia (Warszewiczia coccinea)

Cyprus - Cyclamen Cyprium (Cyclamen cyprium)
Malta - Maltese centaury (Cheirolophus crassifolius

England - Rose
Wales - Daffodil (Narcissus)
Northern Ireland - Flax flower
Scotland - Thistle

Australia - Golden wattles (Acacia pycnantha)
Fiji - Tagimaucia (Medinilla waterhousei)
Kiribati - Bidens Kiribatiensis
Nauru - Calophyllum
New Zealand - Kowhai (Sophora microphylla)
Papua - Sepik Blue Orchid (Dendrobium lasianthera)
Samoa - Teuila (Alpinia purpurata)
Solomon Islands - Hibiscus (Hibiscus)
Tonga - Heilala (Garcinia sessilis)
Tuvalu - Plumeria (Plumeria frangipans)
Vanuatu - Anthurium (Anthurium)

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