What will Meghan Markle’s wedding dress be like? That’s the question everyone has been asking ever since the couple confirmed their engagement. Meghan will wear something custom; however, the question is which country its designer will hail from. The royal family often dresses diplomatically, so she’ll either commission a British designer like the Duchess of Cambridge did with Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, or she’ll opt for an all-American designer or a Canadian label in a nod to Toronto, where she lived before she moved to Kensington Palace.
UPDATE: May 15
Following Meghan’s last round of official engagements, What Meghan Wore founder Susan Coutner and What Kate Wore founder Susan Kelley have naturally come to consider that every all of her recent outfit choices have been strategic, and could therefore lead us to the answer: “We both felt very strongly that Roland Mouret really seemed a good fit, and we were aware that the majority of people thought it would be Erdem,” Susan Kelley. “Because she’s worn all of these brands that were considered in the running for the dress—be it Stella McCartney, Emilia Wickstead and she carried a Roland Mouret— the one brand she has not worn in the last few weeks is Erdem. So you can go down a path of did she showcase brands that she’s fond of that she has an affinity for and likes and give them some exposure therefore meaning Erdem could be the likely dress.”
Susan Courter still believes Mouret could be the man for the job: “I’ve always felt strongly around Roland Mouret in the beginning right off the bat, and I think that’s because of their connection and their friendship. And Meghan tends to gravitate towards someone that she knows, that knows her style and knows what flatters her, and as well he is a London-based designer and he would be able to zone in and focus on those clean lines, tailored look with a little bit of a whimsical element within the dress.” Both, however, agree that Meghan’s second dress will propel a more unknown, boutique name into the spotlight, with Philippa Lepley’s brand thrown into the ring.
UPDATE: April 9
Previously, fashion circles were suspecting the commissioned designer is Erdem Moralıoğlu—he was born in Canada and shows at London Fashion Week, and so by choosing him, she could be supporting both of her homes, London and Toronto. The rumours spiked last week when the brand announced that it was bringing its PR in-house, rather than with an agency, and announced a new hire. People wrote: “This move is leading several royal watchers to wonder if they are staffing up ahead of a big announcement.”
Erdem isn’t the only name that has been suggested, of course. Ralph and Russo has also been a favourite ever since she wore the spectacular gown by the British couturier in her official engagement photographs. While Meghan Markle will be able to wear something slightly less formal than the Duchess of Cambridge, it is important to remember that this is still a royal wedding, so she will still have to honour traditions and not wear anything too radical. This is reflected in the formal manner in which the palace announced the engagement, releasing a statement from her parents.
In an interview with Glamour in March 2016 about the wedding dress for Rachel Zane, her character in Suits, the soon-to-be royal was asked what her dream wedding dress looks like, giving an indication as to what she might wear. “I have the luxury of wearing beautiful pieces of clothing every day for work, so my personal style—wedding or not—is very pared down and relaxed,” she revealed. “Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a modern twist. I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic. Delphine Manivet and Christos Costarellos are faves of mine for their uniqueness and beauty. And I will always be a fan of Elie Saab. J. Mendel is spectacular as well, especially for more structural designs.” Keep scrolling to see what the Who What Wear team thinks Meghan could wear for her royal wedding this spring.
“I think she’ll wear something pretty understated,” says Elinor Block, assistant editor of Who What Wear UK. “Her style is very low-key but glamorous, and while I imagine it’ll be a pretty Hollywood vibe, she’ll want to remain respectful to DOC and Prince William, as she can’t upstage them.”
“I have a feeling Meghan’s look will be understated and modern—and in that vein, most likely free of lace, frills and the usually girlish trappings you’d imagine on a royal wedding dress,” says Who What Wear UK Editorial Director Hannah Almassi. “Her day-to-day style is polished and a little sassy and simple, but it’s elegant. I’d imagine her opting for a dress like this that looks neat and plain from the front but is all party at the back.”
Hannah Almassi thinks that Meghan will wear a British designer like Temperley, however, she might also wear a classic American bridal label such as Oscar de la Renta, which creates cathedral-worthy gowns. Deputy Editor Emma Spedding thinks she will be careful to avoid anything too similar to the Duchess of Cambridge’s lace-sleeved Alexander McQueen gown, but she will likely go for something more traditional than a strapless, so she might opt for a delicate sheer sleeve like the one on this Oscar de la Renta gown.
Isabel Mundigo-Moore, Who What Wear UK’s social media editor, thinks she will follow Kate’s lead and opt for something sleeved and princess-worthy like the Elie Saab gown above. “I think it won’t be too different from Kate in that it’ll have long sleeves and lace,” she says.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
Opening Image: Getty Images