Meghan dress: mystery sends designer world into a spin

Lottie's Bridal Boutique in Lytham
Lottie's Bridal Boutique in Lytham
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The most anticipated wedding of the year will grip the nation on Saturday, as Meghan Markle walks down the aisle to marry Prince Harry.

The closer the big day gets, the more details emerge about the wedding - but one very important aspect and a heavily guarded secret is what will her wedding gown look like?

Liz Metcalfe of Orchid Bridal Design in Clitheroe

Liz Metcalfe of Orchid Bridal Design in Clitheroe

It has had the dress designing world in a spin as they speculate on who has been given the exquisite job of designing the royal gown.

Will Miss Markle’s personality be reflected in the design and in-keeping with tradition, will she choose a designer sanctioned by the Queen? It might be elaborate, or plain and simple, what colour will it be and will she stick to royal protocol?

Wedding dress designer Liz Metcalfe, of Orchid Bridal Designs in Clitheroe, has been designing wedding dresses for Lancashire brides for 34 years.

She has exclusively sketched a design detailing the style of gown she believes Meghan will wear, envisaging an ivory gown which will not be too revealing.

Dreamcatcher Bridal Wear in Kirkham

Dreamcatcher Bridal Wear in Kirkham

“She will stick to royal protocol,” said Liz, “in that there will be a sleeve in the dress to cover her shoulders and it won’t be too figure hugging.

“I think it will be ivory and although she would suit something fitted, the dress will not be understated because of the grand place where they are to marry.

“It will be completely different to the dress she wore to her first wedding, which was a beachy style.”

Liz thinks the dress would be very ‘on trend’ and this year that means sleeves, possibly a lot of lace but a simpler style.

In Liz’s sketch, the stunning gown has a 12-ft train, long see-through sleeves and bodice top with a full silk skirt with beads.

The bodice is heavily beaded with crystals, pearls and diamantés and at the back it has a diamanté button trim.

“Designs are very much fashion led and there is still beading and diamantes around but not necessarily in abundance,” she added.

Georgina Stuttard, of Kirkham-based Dreamcatcher Bridal, thinks Meghan’s dress will be modern.

“I’m sure she would suit anything but I think she will have to conform to royal wishes - with a modern twist.

“I think she will wear ivory, rather than white, because she has been married before, although I do think she will get away with a bit more than Kate did.

“Her dress will probably be full, we have a dress here along the lines of what I think she might wear - the Swanson, a Suzanne Neville design.

“It’s quite traditional at the front but quite backless, not too revealing however.”

Lottie Derham, 33, owns Lottie’s Bridal Wear in Lytham. She has been trading for five years but has been in the business for 14 years.

She said: “Most brides search for the dress that ‘feels right’ that speaks to them, that gives them a feeling. Meghan however, has so much more to consider.

“She’s been married before and from experience, the dress she wears for this fabulous occasion will need to be completely different to her first. Her first gown was strapless and chiffon, both elements that I imagine the Royal family would not approve for such an occasion.

“Most royal brides we’ve seen over past years have had a sleeve, whether that be a dress made and fitted with a sleeve or a lace, lined jacket, shoulders have been covered. Will Meghan break with tradition? Would it be approved?

“We’ve also seen a lot of lace and I mean a lot!

“Kate’s (Middleton) dress changed trends massively in the bridal industry and there was a huge influx and demand for it.

“However, in the last two or three bridal seasons we have seen the return of classic, elegant, structured fabrics - mikado, silk and satin, where the designs of the dress speak for themselves with very little embellishment or lace.

“This is the look I think Meghan will create.

“Her all round style is very classic, understated – apart from the incredible engagement dress – and I think this will continue into her bridal look. Think ‘less is more’.”

So that just leaves the silhouette - will Meghan be one of the first to wear something slightly more fitted?

Lottie added: “I think so, something perhaps drop-waisted to show off her fabulous figure but keeping some fullness in the skirt or if she decides to go down the more traditional route, which she hasn’t so far, a classic, soft a-line shape.

“It’s safe to say, there are loads of questions and options and I can’t wait to see the big reveal!”