Is it a coincidence or not?

By Christopher Luu
Oct 22, 2019 @ 8:30 pm

When Meghan Markle stepped out of St George's Chapel wearing her wedding gown, the world finally got its answer after weeks of speculation. Givenchy. Boat neck. It's the stuff of royal wedding history now, but fans of rom-coms and Jennifer Lopez had a case of déjà vu. They'd seen the dress before in Lopez's classic The Wedding PlannerGlamour spoke with Pam Chilton, the movie's costume designer, who explained that it was all probably just a coincidence, but isn't ruling out a little bit of influence.

"I got a lot of texts about Meghan Markle's wedding dress," Chilton told Glamour. "I'm like, 'Well, I’m sure it’s a coincidence.' But she was at a good rom-com age when the movie came out — she could have been watching it at sleepovers!"

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Markle was 20 years old when The Wedding Planner came out in 2001, so it's entirely plausible that she took a little bit of inspiration from the film, which, understandably, ranks high on just about everyone's list of best romantic comedies, best Jennifer Lopez movies, and best use of Matthew McConaughey. According to the Huffington Post, Markle worked closely with designer Clare Waight Keller on the dress, so if a few details from the flick slipped in, it'd be completely understandable.

People noticed the similarities between the designs almost immediately, posting comparisons on Twitter after the royal wedding. Both dresses have the same neckline and long sleeves, though the design in the movie features a vintage-inspired pillbox hat and button details on the sleeves.

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"After meeting Ms. Waight Keller in early 2018, Ms. Markle chose to work with her for her timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanour," reads a statement from Kensington Palace released after the ceremony. "Ms. Markle and Ms. Waight Keller worked closely together on the design. The dress epitomises a timeless minimal elegance referencing the codes of the iconic House of Givenchy and showcasing the expert craftsmanship of its world-renowned Parisian couture atelier founded in 1952."

Now, fans have information straight from the source. Chilton added that the dress was almost completely different. Originally, the production had called for a princess-y gown, but everything flipped when Chilton and the team realized an over-the-top confection didn't match the scene's serious tone.

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"It's beautiful, but it's not a celebration or a joyful expression of one’s self," Chilton said. "It's kind of serious. It's dutiful. That's why we liked the vintage feel of that pillbox hat and the veil matching it, because it was a throwback. In the movie, her mom had died, and there was a feeling that maybe this was something her mother would have worn or appreciated."

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