Royal Wedding Series: ‘A Royal Controversy Plays It Safe’
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Lee Hartert
Meghan Markle, an American-born duchess, is known for breaking royal tradition throughout her engagement and wedding to Prince Harry. At her engagement announcement, Meghan was spotted with bare legs, a royal fashion faux pas. Her personal style has been described as accessible, relaxed and authentic. Meghan was seen sporting ripped denim by the brand Mother, one of her favorite denim brands — shocking attire for someone of this status. With her daring fashion choices, Meghan has proved she will not be a typical royal.
All eyes were on Meghan as she walked down the aisle in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle to marry Prince Harry. After many months of speculation, she wore a simple Givenchy gown designed by its first female artistic director, British-born designer Clare Waight Keller. The custom gown highlighted an open-bateau neckline, three-quarter sleeves and a soft, exaggerated train sustained by a silk organza underskirt. Keller and her small team in Paris also created a 16 foot-long veil with embroidered flowers around the edge. The flowers represented the 53 countries in the British Commonwealth, a compelling connection that Keller included to speak to Meghan’s future work.
The couple’s engagement had been surrounded by modern controversy and the growth of regal traditions. Previously, the Church of England, as well as the monarchy, did not allow royal nuptials to occur with divorcees. Looking back at past royalty, the world watched Edward VIII give up the throne to marry his love, the American divorcee Wallis Simpson, in 1936. Meghan was previously married to Trevor Engelson, a Hollywood film producer. Not to mention that she is a woman of color. High society in Britain is still white and exclusive, clinging to an old rigid social structure. Meghan entering into the royal family speaks to society both politically and culturally.
The Givenchy gown, free of embellishments, was too safe for this controversial duchess. For this modest gown to be pulled off successfully, Keller and her small team should have fitted the dress one more time. The minimal gown’s tailoring was less than impeccable, gaping in the sleeves as well as the bodice on Meghan. The gown matched her laidback style but fell short for a wedding, much less a royal wedding. Her hair, by celebrity hairstylist Serge Normant, looked too disheveled. The focus on her natural beauty was a nice touch, allowing her freckles to shine through along with a tasteful smoky eye.
The duchess’ dress has certainly produced controversy amongst social media. Some observers emphasized the elegance in the simplicity, while others were aggravated by the plainness of the bridal look. Whether you felt fondly toward Meghan’s humble bridal look or not, there is no question that her arrival is shaking up the royal family.