All the Hidden Meanings Behind Princess Eugenie's Wedding Dress Choice
Princess Eugenie's big day is here, and she certainly dressed the part.
There was nothing particularly shocking about her wedding gown, at least not in the way that Kate's lace detail shocked the world, or the way Meghan's minimalist Givenchy number caused a fashion fuss for its simplicity. But there was symbolism in every stitch of the off-the-shoulder Peter Pilotto gown.
Perhaps most significantly, the dress showed off the scar on Eugenie's back from the 8-hour surgery she underwent when she was just 12 years old to correct scoliosis. During a pre-wedding interview, Eugenie told reporters that she wanted to pay tribute to the medical staff that tended to her (she also invited her surgeon to the nuptials), and also to honor "the young people who also go through this."
"You can show your scars," she said, "I think it's really special to stand up for that." Eugenie is also a patron of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.
The designer, too, is important to the bride. In an interview with Vogue U.K., Eugenie noted that the dress was one of the first decisions she made in the wedding-planning process, while also hinting at the significance of choosing a British brand. (Always a good choice for, you know, a British royal.)
Though Peter Pilotto is London-based, its namesake designer is half-Australian and half-Italian and studied in Antwerp, according to Business of Fashion. He works with creative partner Christopher De Vos, who is half-Belgian and half-Peruvian, making for quite the international brand. The label's history reflects Princess Eugenie's own international reach. The 28-year-old royal has friends and family throughout the world — from American friends like Karlie Kloss to business associates who work with her at the Hauser & Wirth art gallery, which has locations in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and New York in addition to the London outpost where Eugenie works. Jack, too, has international ties; he serves as the British ambassador for stateside tequila brand Casamigos, which was founded by George Clooney and Rande Gerber (Cindy Crawford's husband) before the pair sold it in 2017 to the tune of $1 billion.
Eugenie also lived in New York until 2015, and her sister (and maid of honor) Princess Beatrice currently resides in the city that never sleeps.
Of course, Peter Pilotto wasn't just chosen for his heritage. The designer, known for his attention to detail — be it obsessive pleating, innovative prints, or intricate embroidery — has also been a favorite for plenty of public-facing ladies before Eugenie, including former First Lady Michelle Obama and another Queen, Beyoncé. And all of this after only 11 years in the business.
There may also have been a nod to her mother, Sarah Ferguson's wedding dress. Like Fergie (and pretty much all royal brides before her, including Princess Diana), Eugenie's gown had long sleeves and a lengthy train that makes for a show-stopping entrance. But also like Fergie, the material of the gown featured plenty of embroidered detail that's visible up-close. Royal commentators noted that the embroidery held a special significance to the bride and groom, including “Thistle for Scotland acknowledging the couple's fondness for Balmoral."
The Princess topped off her look (literally) with an emerald tiara, which color-coordinated with her mum's all-green ensemble for the day, and Charlotte Olympia shoes. Like Pilotto, Olympia is also a London-based brand, which ties everything together quite nicely.