Princess Eugenie has never shied away from taking fashion risks (case in point: her iconic hats), and her wedding dress by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos on Friday didn't disappoint. Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's younger daughter skipped the veil and wore a low-backed, long-sleeved ivory gown to marry her longtime boyfriend Jack Brooksbank in Windsor Castle on October 12, 2018.
The 28-year-old bride previously announced she had selected a British-based designer, with bookies taking bets on favorites Erdem, Suzannah, Jenny Packham, Preen, Alice Temperley, and Burberry, to name a few. But Eugenie always had her mind set on what she wanted to wear.
"[The dress] is the one thing that I was really decisive about," she told prior to the ceremony. "As soon as we announced the wedding, I knew the designer, and the look, straight away. I never thought I'd be the one who knew exactly what I like, but I've been pretty on top of it."
Here's exactly what she had in mind:
Royals have traditionally tapped local talent to create their gowns, with the Duchess of Cambridge opting for Alexander McQueen and Princess Diana working with David and Elizabeth Emanuel. However, Princess Eugenie's choice signaled a change. "Neither Mr. Pilotto nor Mr. de Vos are actually British, making Princess Eugenie’s choice, whether consciously or not, a prime example of the potential complications and consequences of the looming Brexit, and what 'Britishness' actually means," the wrote of the selection. Pilotto is Austrian-Italian and de Vos is Belgian-Peruvian, but their studio is in East London.
Meghan Markle did almost the opposite at her wedding, choosing the British-born designer Clare Waight Keller who works for the iconic French fashion house Givenchy.
Peter Pilotto is known for his textile design, and the fabric for Eugenie's gown did not disappoint. The team identified four symbols central to the couple: the thistle for Scotland and the couple's love for Balmoral; a shamrock for Ireland to pay homage to Sarah Ferguson's family; the York Rose; and finally ivy to represent the couple's home. The designers then sent their garland-like pattern to the Como region of Italy, where it was woven into a jacquard of silk, cotton, and viscose blend. "The result is a very modern looking fabric using a highly intricate weaving technique," the read.
Was the pillbox hat that Princess Eugenie wore at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding a sign? The unusual neckline that will soon inspire more copycats has appeared on celebrity gowns before, most notably Jackie O's first wedding dress back in 1953.
As a child, Princess Eugenie suffered from severe scoliosis that required an eight-hour surgery after she turned 12. The resulting scar became a key part of her identity, however, as she didn't want to hide it on her wedding day.
"I think you can change the way beauty is, and you can show people your scars," she said on ITV's This Morning before the ceremony. "It’s really special to stand up for that." In another touching tribute, Princess Eugenie invited the surgeon who operated on her to attend the nuptials as well.
The peekaboo style had fallen out of trend recently, but we believe Eugenie could totally bring them back. This particular pair of satin heels come from Charlotte Olympia.
The Duchess of York received the diamond diadem by Garrard & Co. as a wedding gift from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip back in 1986. Even though her parents separated in 1992, Eugenie's mother held onto the York tiara and wore it on a few formal occasions. Royal experts expected the princess to bring it out from the vault once again, as brides traditionally wear their family tiaras if they have one (just think of Princess Diana in the Spencer tiara on her wedding day!) but Eugenie went in a different direction instead.
In line with her decision to reveal her scar, Princess Eugenie skipped the customary cathedral-length veil for her ceremony. The decision showed off the tiara that she did ultimately wear: the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara. Boucheron made the platinum piece in 1919 for Dame Margaret Greville in the style favored by the Russian Imperial Court. Greville bequeathed the diadem to the Queen in 1942, who then loaned it to the bride today. Brilliant and rose cut diamonds flank seven large emeralds, which matched the emerald drop earrings given to Eugenie by the groom.
Although the dress didn't have an actual sash, Pilotto and de Vos created volume in the back with several pleats that flowed into a full-length train.
The venue itself is a big consideration when it comes to designing a dress, designer Sassi Holford told . She created Autumn Phillips's gown for her 2008 wedding to , which also took place in St. George's Chapel. "The grand rooms and drama of Windsor Castle and St. George's means the dress should have enough detail to be seen from a distance, be fit for a royal wedding," she explained.
Princess Beatrice got up from her seat to adjust her sister's train at the altar, but she didn't act solo. Father of the bride Prince Andrew also darted around all day also assisting his daughter at every photo-op. What a sweet dad!
In addition to the earrings Jack gave her, Princess Eugenie accessorized her reception look with a little borrowed bling from the Queen. The bride used Queen Victoria’s Wheat-Ear Brooches to hold back her hair. William IV originally commissioned the sparkling pins in 1830 for Queen Adelaide, who then passed them down to Queen Victoria in 1837 and eventually the Queen in 1952. Her Majesty has worn them as both brooches and hair slides, taken in 1991 on a visit with President George H.W. Bush.