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‘Covered up’: This is what a princess bride actually looks like


Telling a bride in a plunging neckline wedding dress, garter reveal split skirt, or lace-trimmed corset that she looks like a princess may be nice, but it’s inaccurate. And no, adding a tiara won’t make a difference.

“It’s regal to wear something more covered,” says designer Stephanie Caltabiano of Sant Elia in Sydney.

The royal wedding of Princess Iman Bint Abdullah II at Dior and Jameel Alexander Thermiotis took place on March 12, 2023 in Amman, Jordan. Credit:Getty

This month, Princess Iman bint Abdullah of Jordan drove the point home at the Beit al Urdun Palace in Amman, wearing a floor-length Christian Dior haute couture dress with long sleeves, an A-line skirt, square neckline and high lace collar, with a tiara by Chaumet, for her wedding to financier Jameel Alexander Thermiotis.

According to the Royal Hashemite Court’s website, being a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed can be expected to cover you up, but it’s also part of a global princess campaign.

“We have more brides who want to look regal,” says bridal designer Steven Khalil. “Kate Middleton is a big part of this change of direction. People like to be classic but conservative. It can be very fashionable to be more modest.”

Clare Waight Keller’s sophisticated boat-neck silk cady dress for Givenchy, worn by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, on her wedding day in 2018 didn’t have the same appeal. “Kate’s was more memorable than Meghan’s wedding dress,” says Khalil. “People didn’t understand the simplicity of that. Kate’s was a much more memorable moment.”

Next month marks 12 years since the debut of Princess Catherine’s full-skirt wedding dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, featuring lace sleeves and a high collar. The Kate effect is fading, isn’t it?

“Trends move much more slowly in the bridal world,” says Caltabiano. “The timing of the influence is not as fast as in mainstream fashion. Brides see something and hold onto the idea until their wedding day.”

“Oddly enough, we are seeing a resurgence of customers coming in for these high collar Grace Kelly styles. Two years ago, these women would have been asking for a shimmering, beaded dress.”

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