When E!'s royal family throws a ball, you better believe that they’re going to dress the part. And on last night’s episode of The Royals, "Unmask Her Beauty to the Moon," the costumes certainly didn't disappoint. Hosted by Queen Helena (Elizabeth Hurley), the palace's annual masquerade-themed soiree was one that we’ll never forget—especially after seeing the leading ladies’ gorgeous gowns.
“We focused on three main jewel tones to keep the costumes from becoming too overwhelming in such an opulent room,” the show’s costume designer, Rachel Walsh, tells InStyle. “Obviously, some of the costumes are over the top, but we felt within that palette it would look tasteful and elegant.” For inspiration, Walsh looked to the Venetian masked balls and the Met Ball, as well as a few of her favorite designers. “I love Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, so those were my influences for the ideas for the frocks,” she says. Below, she gives us the deets on each of the jaw-dropping gowns from last night’s episode.
Adding to its wow factor, the gown was designed by Elizabeth Emmanuel—the same designer who created Princess Diana’s wedding dress. So, understandably, Patterson didn’t want to take it off on set. “Merritt was running around the fitting room screaming and squealing, ‘I feel like a princess!’ says Walsh. “She loved it—she didn’t want to take it off.”
Dolce & Gabbana gown, and we took away the structure of the power dresses that she usually wears,” Walsh says. “It’s the only time you’ll really see her in something quite fluid and romantic.” A move that was intentional, Walsh explains. “This is her moment to feel truly happy without the weight of who she is on her shoulders, and for just that one night she can be alone with her lover, Alistair—so even though it looks like she’s dressed for the ball, she really dressed for him.”
Designed and made by Walsh in only two days, the bespoke piece was inspired by Alexander McQueen’s past creations. “He used a lot of those feathers in some of his collections, and it just looks edgy and dangerous.” But not every princess could pull off such a look. “Only she would walk in wearing something like that, a dress that’s completely backless,” says Walsh. “And obviously she has no underwear on, but she just doesn’t care—that’s her character.”