Let it reign: Local experts share tips on looking like a duchess
The Duchess of Sussex, formerly known as Meghan Markle, married Prince Harry of Wales at Windsor Castle on May 19. The regular-girl-marries-party-boy-prince fairytale had 29 million Americans tuning in on a Saturday morning. The sun was in attendance as well–warm weather greeted visitors to the crowded town of Windsor as they lined The Long Walk for the procession. Guests at the royal wedding like the Beckhams and the Clooneys filled St. George’s Chapel with color and print, each lady abiding by tradition and donning a distinct fascinator for the ceremony. Queen Elizabeth wore a lime-colored dress by Stewart Parvin while Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, stunned in a similar-colored ensemble by Oscar de la Renta. Meghan herself was a regal vision as she made her way down the aisle in a custom gown by Givenchy.
Clare Waight Keller, the English designer and artistic director behind Givenchy, spent years working in French fashion, but it was her British roots coupled with her simple-meets-whimsical designs that ultimately sealed the deal for Meghan. The dress was quietly elegant, making an impression without having to make any noise. Her veil spoke a little louder with a message that was both sweet and symbolic; embroidered flowers graced the edge of her 16-foot veil, representing each flower of the U.K. Commonwealth. According to a statement from Kensington Palace, Waight Keller worked closely with the palace to design a veil “representing the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country united in one spectacular floral composition.”
While her veil made a statement, the bride’s hair was relaxed in a loose, low bun. Styled by Serge Normant, her tresses were meant to be loose and effortless–a style that seemed to garner a little backlash from those who expected more. Nonetheless, Meghan’s polished look suited her and held up well during her entrance into the British royal family.
From the gown and veil to her subtle makeup and hair to her free-form bouquet, Meghan was the epitome of grace and elegance. And contrary to popular belief, looking like a duchess is not unattainable; we sat down with three local experts to learn how to get Meghan’s look on this side of the pond.
The Hair: Christopher Spencer, Christoper Spencer Salon
We sat down with Christopher Spencer at his new salon at the Settlement at Willow Grove for a step-by-step tutorial on how to get Meghan’s wedding-day locks at home.
“There is a lot of controversy when it comes to Meghan’s hair and makeup, but in my opinion, simplicity is the new black,” says Spencer. “I thought it looked so organic with the middle part and a teardrop bun. I was a huge fan of the overall look.”
Step 1: Start with a middle part and pull all of your hair into a low ponytail.
Step 2: “Topsy-tail” the ponytail–flip it inside out!
Step 3: Using a hair tie, wrap the tie around the bottom of the ponytail.
Step 4: Sprinkle L’Oreal True Grip Powder on the ponytail for an invisible grip.
Step 5: Gently roll the ponytail and secure the bun with bobby pins.
Step 6: Finish with L’Oreal Techni Art Next Day hair spray for an effortless, disheveled look.
The Dress: Nikki Vu, Blush Formal and Bridal Salon
“Meghan Markle’s wedding dress is elegant, sophisticated and perfect for the modern bride,” says Nikki Vu of Blush Formal and Bridal Salon. For brides looking to resemble the Duchess of Sussex on their big day, it might be a little tricky trying to find one similar to the custom Givenchy gown that Meghan wore for the ceremony. While her wedding dress was the main focus of the big day, local brides may be able to get their hands on a dress similar to the Stella McCartney one that Meghan debuted at her reception instead. At Blush on Perkins Road, brides can snag these styles that are similar to Meghan’s reception dress.
Honesty by Robert Bullock Bride
This dress by Robert Bullock offers the same clean and elegant design that the duchess wore to her reception.
SEK1189 by Eddy K
The high-neck design and flowing mermaid bottom bears a striking resemblance to Meghan’s Stella McCartney dress.
The Bouquet: Brenda Goff, Red Onion
“To me, everything was understated,” says Brenda Goff, owner of Red Onion.
Meghan Markle’s bundle of flowers for her big day consisted of sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, astrantia and the late Princess Diana’s favorite, forget-me-nots.
“All of those flowers are delicate and classic, which definitely says something in itself,” says Goff. “People will be looking at those photos for hundreds of years.”
Her bouquet was subtle yet sophisticated, being sure not to hog the spotlight. Not only did her bouquet pay homage to her groom’s mother, it kept with royal tradition and also featured a sprig of myrtle, which is said to represent love. According to a tweet from The Royal Family, this tradition dates back to the wedding of the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
If holding a bouquet similar to Meghan’s sounds enticing, floral havens such as Red Onion specialize in building bouquets fit for a duchess.
To learn more about Red Onion, read this story from inRegister.