The Royal Wedding Series is an eight-part series that highlights exceptional work by fashion journalists at SCAD Atlanta. The series was written entirely by students in Writing About Fashion and Fashion Writing courses, taught by Professor Linda Sherbert. The students were assigned to cover the royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Each piece was written from a unique perspective and style surrounding the topic of the historic royal wedding. If you would like to submit a work of fashion journalism, contact fashion@scadconnector.com.

Graphic by Austin Klubenspies
by Teryka Jones

Anticipation finally came to a royal halt as Meghan Markle walked down the aisle of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle while wearing a haute couture gown designed by Givenchy’s first female artistic director, English-born Clare Waight Keller. There had been relentless speculation as to which designer the future Duchess of Sussex would showcase at her wedding to Prince Harry. Many were surprised to find out that the dress came from a designer working in France, especially since several big names in England had been hotly debated as favorites prior to the ceremony.

Simple. Elegant. Classic. These three words come to mind when describing Meghan’s wedding gown. The design wasn’t overly dramatic or richly embellished, as some expected. However, the dress had real presence and suggested a sense of poise that made it all the more intriguing to encounter.

With its minimalistic details, such as the wide bateau neckline, three-quarter sleeves and flowy train, the gown made a statement without exaggeration. Yet the dress was an understatement in terms of Meghan’s autonomy and dignity as an individual. Ultimately, the dress honored both her personal values and royal tradition. The fact that the gown was designed by a British woman who is the first female designer of Givenchy makes a statement of its own.

In comparison to  bridal attire worn by Princess Diana and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan’s gown was clearly the most minimalistic of the three. For Diana’s 1981 wedding, she chose a puffy-sleeved, voluminous taffeta gown by London-based David and Elizabeth Emanuel. For Kate’s 2011 wedding, she wore a lacey, long-sleeved dress designed by Sarah Burton, creative director for the fashion house of Alexander McQueen.

Although Meghan’s gown might not have been what many anticipated, one could come to the conclusion that the dress was more than just a representation of fashion. It directed our attention to the importance of the actual sacredness of the wedding ceremony.

The simplicity of Meghan’s dress should be celebrated not for the way in which it was designed but for the significance it possessed that day, in that moment. Meghan wore the dress, she didn’t allow the dress to wear her. In fact, this was a great way to take the focus off her choice of fashion and, instead, direct our attention to her and Harry’s confessions of their love for each another.

Whether the gown was a hit or miss, this latest Audrey Hepburn-esque look from Givenchy will be remembered as one of the most iconic royal wedding gowns, not only because it was worn by the Duchess of Sussex but also because of what the dress represents during this moment in history.