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  #1  
Old 07-16-2016, 05:12 AM
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Royal Wedding Gowns by Valentino

Thinking about the many royal wedding gowns of the past few decades, one thing that has stuck out at me is just how many brides have Signor Garavani as their designer of choice. Now, to be honest, Val is not my personal cup of tea - too fussy and frothy, and too conservative if not downright reactionary in terms of aesthetic - but I can see why he would appeal. Valentino knows about courtly tradition, he trained under Jean Desses who dressed the Egyptian and Greek royal ladies, as well as understanding church tradition and modesty. His dresses, although sometimes hit and miss, are very well made with top notch material, and he (or his successors know) how to design for pregnant brides without making them look like sacks - no mean feat. (before you point it out I know that he retired in 2008)

Here are some the brides that I know of who choose Valentino

Queen Maxima
CPss Marie-Chantal
Sibella Luxembourg nee Weiller
Archduchess Sophie
Beatrice Borromeo
Mathilde Borromeo
Madeleine of Sweden
Clotilde Courau (the only one actually marring into an italian family)
Paola Windsor nee de frankopan
Gloria von Thurn und Taxis


Here's more info from Order of Sartorial Splendor

The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Wedding Wednesday: Valentino Gowns

Are there any others I've missed? And which is the best and the worst?
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:03 AM
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Princess Madeleine'sn dress was a mix of hit and miss imo. I love the full skirt with that delicate lace but I was totally dissapointed by the top that looked like a t-shirt with some lace inserts.
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:20 AM
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Beatrice Borromeo to Queen Maxima: Valentino's royal brides
More pictures
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty91charmed View Post
Princess Madeleine'sn dress was a mix of hit and miss imo. I love the full skirt with that delicate lace but I was totally dissapointed by the top that looked like a t-shirt with some lace inserts.
Nyeargh!!! DUST RUFFLES!!! What's with this man and blessed dust ruffles - they belong in the 90s - the 1890s!
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:45 PM
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Although a lot of the gowns designed in the 1980s 1990s were hit and miss in terms of style, they were at least well made, ever since Val retired, quality control seems to have slipped, and the problems w Madde's dress is proof of this
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Old 07-16-2016, 11:34 PM
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Princess Amedeo (Elisabetta von Wolkenstein) wore Valentino.

The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: Royal Wedding Gown of the Day: July 7

While I agree with the hit-miss, I cannot place all the blame on Valentino or his successors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli. The bride has significant input and clearly Madeleine and others didn't object to dust ruffles, odd bows, and whatnot.
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Old 07-16-2016, 11:34 PM
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I orignally posted this on the thread about Pav and MCs nuptials but I think it might be more approximate here

Quote:
The fundamental problem with this dress is not the fabric or the embellishments or the tablecloth on the brides head or anything else. the individual elements are all fine on their own except the lace used on the top of the dress (it looks like old curtain fabric).

Its much worse than that, this dress is not fit for purpose in that it does not suit the mise-en-scene, that it does not suit and flatter its wearer, and that it gave the wrong message. I can't pin down any overarching aesthetic or idea that is meant to unify the overall look. The antique corsage tiara's design has been taken into account and there is a Marian thing running through it, something does not feel right and does not add up. An orthodox ceremony does call for some modesty on behalf of the participants the neckline, the sleeves, and the veil all seem like overkill.

The bodice is far too tight and looks hard to breathe in and she was often having trouble moving more than is the norm for a large wedding dress. the round waist makes her look chunky around the middle and the boning in the bodice squashes her bust down - apparently MC later said she had problems breathing and i'm not surprised. The extra boning in the bodice was to support the weight of the skirt as the bodice and skirt are made from the same piece of fabric - poor design as separate bodice and skirt would allow for the weight of the skirt to be supported on the hips (better for women as hips are often more sturdy than the shoulders and less bad for the back, also places less strain on the shoulder seams) and not the shoulders, allowing for a less constricting top half.

Having the train built into the skirt was not a good idea - I presume Valentino did this for aesthetic reasons, as well as necessitating a second dress for the reception, as cost effectiveness does not seem to be a priority of his; it ruins the way the skirt is meant to hang when walking, giving it an awkward tulip/tapered shape (Pss Charlene had the same problem with her dress as well), and its lucky that there were not any accidents like what happened to Nicky Hiltons very similar dress. The skirt needed a frame underneath (crinoline or farthingale or panniers) to help maintain its shape

It actually looks like something from the late 1960s early 1970s to me due to the stiff fabric and angular silhouette but for someone conservative with a point to prove - is it possible it was based off Chantal Millers wedding dress, because I can't think of any other possible starting point for it? I'm not convinced about the Grace comparisons as they are so common place for wedding dresses with lace sleeves that it has become meaningless but, the embellishments are from the 1940s and 1950s and Signor Garavani has not succeeded in making all these different elements fit. There are too many patterns and too much embellishments on one dress that someone taller and bigger would have struggled to wear well (Maxima), but someone as tiny as MC just looks swamped in - the fact she has short legs and is bottom heavy doesn't help either, as the scale of the skirt and the unfortunate tapering effect only serve to emphasise this.

What happened is that Valentino basically made something that appealed to his personal taste and did not take the function or the setting or the wearers body type into account, it was a basic shape, than went nuts with the embellishment - its intellectually lazy. Stark white is too serve on MC, she needed something cream or pearl coloured with a warmer undertone to go with her complexion, it also makes the detail too hard to see on camera, and would have looked nicer in the church with all the gold detail. The fundamentally south American catholic design looks out of place in an orthodox setting - less lace and more emphasis on embroidery and sequins would have been a better option, along with a satin that flowed and draped instead of a stiff structural fabric. The lace veil is too large and overpowering (Butterflies?! are you kidding, how old is she, twelve?) a combination of tulle trimmed with smaller lace would have worked better and allowed the train to shine - the train and veil compete against each over.

For something that cost a quarter of a million dollars I would have expected something much better and all this does is confirm my low opinion of Valentino as he can do better - he was just fleecing bob Miller on this one.
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Old 07-16-2016, 11:36 PM
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A signify the part of the designed job is to try and guide the client towards something that flatters them - but ultamintly she who pays gets what they want for good or ill
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Old 07-16-2016, 11:49 PM
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I actually liked the top of Maddie's. I liked it was short sleeve. Summer wedding last thing you need is full sleeves. I am so sick of strapless/sleeveless dresses. And full lace are all starting to look the same.

The dress I hate in MC's. The lace turtleneck looks itchy and confining.

Honestly, local designer aside, I would either go Saab or Armani, the best wedding dresses in the past 10 years (from major designers, I love Vic's) are one of these 2. Beatrice Borromeo had 6 dresses, some were major misses including Valentino hippy frock. Her 2 from Armani were amazing.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/493144227925325763/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/493144227925325660/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/493144227925325563/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/493144227925325494/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/493144227925325542/

vs Valentino
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/493144227925325731/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/493144227925292102/

second Valentino was far better but more evening gown than wedding
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/493144227925292090/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/493144227925292092/
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:34 AM
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Elie Saab makes the worst wedding dresses imagineable. Too nouveau-riche and often too uniform and interchangeable. Valentino produced total different dresses for total different brides.

The criticism on him is not really fair: especially in the biggest royal weddings we may assume it were no "Say Yes To The Dress"-scenes but exactly a start from an empty page in Valentino's drawing book, with various wishes and conditions ("The dress must be decent and high necked" or "the veil will be a 19th C family heirloom", etc.). The client approved the design, the use of materials, has seen the coupeuses and modinettes a few times during the passages of the dress-under-construction.

So, all in all, the dresses of Marie-Chantal, Máxima and others were created in close collaboration, unlike the ready-to-go dresses in bridal shoppes. Criticism on too fluffy dresses, too much or too sober? It is not only Valentino's vault. Especially in haute couture dresses every centimeter has been made in agreement with the lady.
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:50 AM
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I guess one person's Loud is another person's.....honestly looking at something like Stephanie's gown, I cant even sort out how you use the word. I would take her gown over the monsterous lace of MC.

Yes, brides have a say but you choose a designer because you like their style and their skill. Yes, your dress will be altered to match some of your criteria but it will still reflect the designer. That is why you can find similar properties in Valentino's dresses, or Saabs, or Armani's.

That is why I always thought Kate made a bad choice, If she wanted a lace gown, McQueen was a poor choice. Those lace gowns are not their usual style. They did their best to mix her lace desire with their style and it showed. She should have either embraced Burton's style or gone with a designer who can handle lace. Like Bruce Oldfield. Valentino has had some success with lace but nothing compared to the work of Saab IMO.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:16 AM
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I think Val might hold the record for the most Royal wedding commissions - who else has done a lot of Royal weddings and who do you think should do more Royal weddings?

Only other ones that have done multiple Royal weddings I can think of are Norman Hartnell and Dior although Worth was quite prolific in the nineteenth century
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by WreathOfLaurels View Post
Nyeargh!!! DUST RUFFLES!!! What's with this man and blessed dust ruffles - they belong in the 90s - the 1890s!
I disagree. I think that the bottom part of princess Madeleine was almost perfect, as it contains all the details of a bride's dress without being too fussy: traditional shape of the skirt, lace in the right place, only fully visible in the train, ans the ruffles were far from being cheap, but they gave the dress a princess-like look.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:07 AM
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I love Maxima's dress and Madeleine's dress :)

And Maxima's veil was gorgeous ♥
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
Elie Saab makes the worst wedding dresses imagineable. Too nouveau-riche and often too uniform and interchangeable. Valentino produced total different dresses for total different brides.

The criticism on him is not really fair: especially in the biggest royal weddings we may assume it were no "Say Yes To The Dress"-scenes but exactly a start from an empty page in Valentino's drawing book, with various wishes and conditions ("The dress must be decent and high necked" or "the veil will be a 19th C family heirloom", etc.). The client approved the design, the use of materials, has seen the coupeuses and modinettes a few times during the passages of the dress-under-construction.

So, all in all, the dresses of Marie-Chantal, Máxima and others were created in close collaboration, unlike the ready-to-go dresses in bridal shoppes. Criticism on too fluffy dresses, too much or too sober? It is not only Valentino's vault. Especially in haute couture dresses every centimeter has been made in agreement with the lady.
I agree that Elie Saab is redundant.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:07 PM
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For my money Maxima's was the best as V had to follow the conventions of a northern European protestant ceremony, and was guided by the iron fist of then Queen Beatrix (!)
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:39 PM
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Madaeline had dust ruffles on the bottom of her dress, such a beautiful woman and I have no idea how she could think making the bottom of her skirt look like a bed or couch.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:49 PM
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Many of these dresses use the same pattern of the train built into the skirt that either attaches to or is part of the rounded bodice (Sibella, MC, Maxima, Madeleine). Its interesting just how many different designs you can get out of the same basic pattern. I also see that the maternity bridal gowns are made from the same basic pattern as well (Clotlide Courau, Mathilde Borromeo).
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Old 07-18-2016, 01:42 PM
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I love Valentino but my only favorite is Beatrice's dress at her civil wedding. I disliked Maxima's dress but her veil but amazing. Madeleine's dress was not terrible but there are many parts of the dress that I don't like.
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