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Updated: Jul 26, 2021

It was February 1981, when David & Elizabeth Emmanuel first met Princess Diana. Shortly after the meeting, precisely on the 4th March, a phone call came through for the two designers and a calm voice spoke on the other end: “Would you do me the honour of making my wedding dress?“ Diana asked. I can only imagine the excitement when picking up the phone and hearing a princess in waiting make such an important enquiry.

Diana Spencer, chose the duo to design her wedding dress for the coming July. With only four months left to complete their task, the two young creatives did not disappoint the Princess and the worldwide publics expectations.

Since the beginning, the duo imagined a unique dress, which had been kept away from the press and their prying eyes. Diana, Elizabeth, David and their team were all hounded with questions and cameras all wanting a glimpse of the specially designed dress.

After 40 years, the most famous wedding dress of the twentieth century is still catching the attention of all generations as part of an endless fairytale. The Royal Kensington Palace opened up to visitors to showcase the exhilarating exhibition “Royal Style in Making” which displays the exquisite ivory silk taffeta and antique lace gown with its 25 foot train and 153 yard tulle veil. The skirt has fitted bodice with a deep flounce around the neckline. The skirt billowed out, supported by a crinoline petticoat made up of a few layers of tulle and nylon.

As fashion designers, the Emmanuel's were responsible for creating not only the dress but the whole look and the matter of a state occasion ceremony made each person feel involved in the process of making a huge impact on a historical British event.

Lady Diana's wedding dress came as an extraordinary opportunity, highlighting the talent of all designers involved, essentially forming a strong bond with the royal family and turning them into clients for a lifetime.

Beginning with Madame Hadley-Seymour who was the favourite dressmaker of Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and for the next 12 years she remained the Duchess’s of Yorks favourite/personal dressmaker.

Continuing on with Sir Norman Hartnell who dressed royal personalities for four decades gaining the Royal Warranty as court tailor of the Queen Mother & Queen Elizabeth II.

The list of talented court designers carry on with Oliver Messel who I personally call him “an artist “ more than tailor, for his ability to combine art, sculpture, design and fashion all together creating an unmistakable style, which sooner caught the attention of Princess Margaret.

Lastly, but by far not the least, the Emmanuel's, whose innovativeness conquered Diana’s heart and contributed to a piece of twentieth century history, as every wedding {royal or not} then placed immense focus and attention on the brides dress.

I believe the arrival of Princess Diana at St Paul Cathedral will always remain in the minds of the public as well as her kind nature and loving spirit. It surely was one of the worlds most remarkable moments and a significant moment in British royal history.

Exhibition Dates 3rd June 2021 - 2nd January 2022

Tap the link for tickets and info for 'Royal Style In The Making'


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