Madeleine's royal wedding

Swedish princess picks Valentino wedding dress

Swedish princess picks Valentino wedding dress
Sweden's jet-set Princess Madeleine has chosen Italian couture for her impending nuptials to her financier beau, whom she will wed clad in Valentino - wedding gown designer of choice of US actress Anne Hathaway and Dutch Princess Maxima, who is now queen.

It is rumoured that Swedish Princess Madeleine will be wearing a dress made by the Italian designer on her wedding day this Saturday. The Expressen newspaper reported on Tuesday that sources close to the princess said she had selected the Italian couture house Valentino for her wedding gown.

Unlike her sister, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, who wore Swedish designer Pär Engsheden to her wedding in 2010 when she married her former personal trainer Daniel Westling, Princess Madeleine’s choice of foreign designer is befitting of her rather international lifestyle.

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The princess is set to wed British-American financier Chris O’Neill and currently the couple have no plans to move from their home in New York after the wedding.

Her choice of international rather than Swedish designer is also reminiscent of her mother Queen Silvia’s choice of French design house Christian Dior for her wedding gown when she married King Carl XVI Gustaf in 1976.

IN PICTURES: A modern history of Swedish royal weddings

Princess Madeleine did, however, turn to the Court’s fashion favourite Pär Engsheden in the run up to her nuptials. In May, the bride-to-be wore Engsheden to hear her banns of marriage read at the Royal Chapel (Slottskyrkan).

The mint off-the-shoulder silk dress echoed the cut of her sister’s simple but elegant ivory wedding gown also created by Engsheden.

The popular royal favourite first dressed Princess Madeleine at the Nobel Prize Award Banquet back in 2002, in a fashion coup that turned heads for altogether different reasons. The rose red, low-cut gown worn by the princess caused quite a stir at the time; it was popularly known as “the Baywatch dress” and drew many a gasp from guests and press alike for its provocative cut and fit.

One can probably expect a more demure dress for the third in line to the throne this Saturday; as whilst her choice of wedding gown designer may not be patriotic it is however, a rather obvious one. If anyone can create a fairytale gown befitting a real princess, it’s Valentino.

The design house was founded in 1959 by Valentino, who, after studying in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, went on to apprentice for Jacques Fath and Balenciaga before starting his own label back in his home country of Italy.

During his career, Valentino designed for the crème de la crème of high society, counting Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Sophia Loren and Grace Kelly as customers, and friends.

His signature unapologetic romanticism is adored by fashion editors and celebrities alike. Not one to follow trends or even be intent on creating them, the label, maintains its status as one of the most exclusive and unequivocally romantic of design houses.

Although he retired from the helm of his design house in 2008, Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, now aged 81, worked closely with Hollywood starlet Anne Hathaway on her exquisite off-shoulder gown for her wedding to Adam Shulman in 2012.

The dress – a frothy tulle gown, embroidered with satin flowers and tinted with a delicate blush pink – was worn with a 1920s inspired headband and vintage lace veil to the couple’s intimate ceremony in California last September.

Jennifer Aniston is also said to be planning a Valentino gown for her wedding to Justin Theroux later this year. And in 2002, another royal, then Princess Maxima of the Netherlands wore a classically demure Valentino gown for her wedding to Willem Alexander, who is now king.

Whether the dress will be designed by the legendary designer himself or by his highly-praised successors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli is not yet known.

Nor have any details been released as to the design of the gown. What is almost certain however is the fact that this will be an exquisite fairytale gown with the hallmarks of classic Valentino; whether it be lace, embroidery or simple elegance, it will without doubt be an exclusive gown fit for a very lavish occasion.

Victoria Hussey

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