Royal Wedding Dresses
If you're in my social circle, it's not cool to care about the upcoming Royal Wedding. For every mention of what Kate Middleton is going to wear, one of my friends has to bemoan the oppressive state of the British monarchy throughout history. Well, I'm not collecting the tea towels, but I'm certainly interested in Friday's pageantry. And, of course, with what all those very privileged folks will be wearing. Here's a look at some famous royal pairings along with some pattern pairings.
1930s: Wallis Simpson & Edward VIII
Say what you will about Wallis Simpson (and there certainly is a lot of stuff to say), that gal knew how to dress. We're talking about the woman who had the Schiaparelli lobster dress in her wedding trousseau (third one's a charm). Her late 1930s and early 1940s suits are most marvelous — usually accented with a gorgeously whimsical brooch.
1940s: Princess Elizabeth & Philip Mountbatten
In Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O' Hara marries her first husband, Charles Hamilton, in such a rush that there isn't any time to make alterations on her mother's own wedding gown. 1940s wedding gowns always remind me of Scarlett's dress. A lot of fabric, big sleeves and not neccessarily the most form-flattering. I'm sure the then Princess Elizabeth's dress was gorgeous in person — the photos of its details certainly confirm this. But it's not like QE II couldn't rock the bare arms. Her coronation gown from 1953 was far more modern and, I daresay, flattering.
1950s: Grace Kelly & Prince Rainier
I'm a huge Judy Garland fan so I always view Grace Kelly as the woman who robbed Garland of her "A Star is Born" Oscar. Even with that strike against her, there's probably no lovelier princess that Princess Grace. Her wedding dress is perfect and probably the only royal wedding dress designed by MGM. Honorable mention goes to Princess Margaret for her equally timeless dress from 1960.
1960s-1970s: Princess Anne & Mark Phillips
Princess Anne in 1973. Those sleeves! That neckline! I'm so not a fan of bell or trumpet sleeves but she did manage to work this dress. And considering how many patterns in the 1960s and 1970s had bell sleeves, she certainly wasn't alone in like that fashion trend. To each his own.
1980s: Diana Spencer & Prince Charles
I can't say I'm a fan of this dress. I was three and a half years-old when this wedding took place and I can distinctly remember news coverage. Even then, I thought the dress was over-the-top. Seriously, what three year-old would think any dress was too much? My favorite Princess Diana period was pre-wedding, when she could get away with looking like a long-lost member of the Bay City Rollers. While her later outfits were a bit too 1980s, the earlier years produced a natural look that is worth replicating.