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It just take Google 0.74 seconds to find 90.2 million results about the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It was probably the news of the month and there was so many things already said about it. At LuxuryActivist we decided to focus on just one single thing: the Givenchy dress!

French Style Meets British Talent: Givenchy by Clare Waight Keller


As we noticed, this British Royal wedding was different from all the previous one. Experts tend to say it was the renewal of traditions. Among many things:

  • The first one in modern English
  • Gospel and an American preacher acting
  • A French Fashion House did the bride’s dress!

By choosing Givenchy, Meghan Markle opted for simplicity, modernity, elegance and style. Since the departure of Riccardo Tisci back in 2017, it is the British designer Claire Waight Keller who is the Creative mind behind Givenchy. She was born in Birmingham in 1970. Claire Waight Keller studied at Ravensbourne College of Art, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion, followed by a master’s degree at the Royal College of Art in London. She started her career at Calvin Klein in New York as a stylist for the women’s ready-to-wear line, then at Ralph Lauren, for the Purple man line. Then she had a brilliant parcours among the most prestigious fashion houses:

  • In 2000, she was hired by Tom Ford to join Gucci, responsible for women’s ready-to-wear and accessories, until her departure in 2004.
  • In 2005, she became artistic director of Pringle of Scotland.
  • In 2007, she received the Scottish Fashion Awards ‘Designer of the Year’ in the cashmere category.
  • In 2011, she became the artistic director of Chloé.
  • In 2017, Keller was appointed artistic director of haute couture and ready-to-wear for women and men at Givenchy.


Let’s note that since Hubert de Givenchy left his position as the Creative Director of the French Fashion and Luxury house, only men took over his legacy. Claire Waight Keller is the first woman in history to take this position.

Thanks to her parcours, Claire Waight Keller learned how to dress a woman! She learned the importance of shape at Calvin Klein and Tom Ford. She learned the importance of quality of materials at Pringle of Scotland and developed feminine contemporary elegance at Chloe. With these professional assets, she was the perfect candidate to perpetuate the unique style of Hubert de Givenchy.


Meghan Markle’s Wedding Dress: The Modern Renewal

The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex has done an outstanding weeding. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle represent a new modern fairy tale. Everything was modern in this wedding and the choice of a Givenchy dress was a perfect match. By choosing this dress, Meghan Markle took the best of French allure with the British design. Claire Waight Keller, as a British designer, had the work of her life to be honored with such task. The dress is beautiful and translates this wind of youth within Buckingham Palace.




Let’s talk about the dress details as despite of a very minimalistic look, there is a lot to be said, from the materials, the design details, the embroidering and the shape. Overall, this royal wedding gown is done out of pure white silk with a graphic open neckline and a slight A-line skirt. It is based on a Givenchy couture design made of silk “duchess satin”. The dress is completely in line with the house heritage. Givenchy is known for the purity of the lines and to create a timeless elegance that would highlight any feminine look. Here below a quick comparison between Meghan Markle’s dress and Audrey Hepburn’s.


The main focus of the dress is definitely the open bateau neckline that allows with lots of grace to unveil the bride’s shoulders. It also brings a lot of emphasis to the slender sculpted waist. The dress is well structured and the front lines extend to the back where the train flows thanks to naturally placed folds. The folds are cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza. It is for sure a masterpiece created by Claire Waight Keller.




For the veil itself, Givenchy declared that Claire Waight Keller wanted to design a romantic cathedral-length style veil. Royal weddings give big importance to veils as it contributes to the royal grace of the bride. Meghan Markle’s veil is five meters long and made from silk tulle. One important detail to note is that in order to keep the dress and the veil completely white, the workers were obliged to wash their hands every 30 minutes and the work was accomplished in a careful dust-free environment. More than white, that was a “PURE WHITE” dress. Last but not least, there is a very important detail to notice: the veil embroidery. In order to celebrate and honor the Commonwealth, Claire Waight Keller designed a beautiful and poetic floral composition that was embroided white on white into the veil. They represent distinctly a flower from each Commonwealth country, all united one to each other. According to Givenchy Meghan Markle wished to also have one special flower: a California Poppy.

meghan-markle-dress-details meghan-markle-wedding-dress-embroideries

Each flower is hand-embroidered in silk threads and organza. The flowers were worked flat, in three dimensions in order to create a delicate look. By doing everything in white, the dress looks very modern, fresh and discreet. In order to complete the look, Meghan Markle wore Cartier jewelry (earrings and bracelet) as well as beautiful tiara from Queen Mary’s collection. The last detail is a beautiful welsh gold ring that, according to Buckingham Palace officials, was a personal gift from the Queen herself.

During this modern fairy tail, one important element was the Givenchy dress. It was the best kept secret of the month as even Prince Harry only discovered it at the church. A bride’s dress is everything!

José Amorim

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