The incredibly lavish events that marked Prince Pavlos of Greece’s wedding to Marie-Chantal Miller deserve a place in the history books. Last week we recapped the wedding festivites (click here for a refresher) and today we’re taking a close look at the bride’s couture wedding dress.
Since the couple became engaged during the Christmas 1994 holiday and the wedding took place on July 1 of 1995, there were just 6 months to pull everything together. Marie-Chantal chose Valentino to design the dress and according to Vogue, it took more than 25 seamstresses to complete the £140,000 ivory silk gown. Twelve different types of lace reportedly were included in the dress and with a high neck, fitted bodice, and long sleeves Marie-Chantal wanted quite a traditional and modest silhouette. The bodice and sleeves are made of floral lace (much like Grace Kelly’s iconic wedding dress) and the lace extends to the empire line of the dress.
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It’s a beautiful gown but even with all the attention to detail it is not a favorite of mine- overall it just seems rather heavy – but I do love the lustre of the ivory silk and the detail on the skirt is gorgeous.
In fact, the lace appliqué on the skirt is somewhat reminiscent of Kate Middletown’s Alexander McQueen wedding gown. I wouldn’t be surprised if Marie-Chantals’ gown was an inspirational reference for her. Check out both of the gowns on display below to see the similar affect they both have:
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Different and yet so similar – can you see it, too?
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I think what really takes the heaviness factor over the top is the chantilly lace veil; there’s just so much going on and those scallops are not dainty. I think a more diaphanous veil may have done the trick. Regardless, the veil extended beyond the length of the dress which was quite stunning, though.
Along with her intricate veil Marie-Chantal wore a diamond and pearl encrusted tiara. This particular tiara is known as the Antique Corsage Tiara and it was on loan from her mother-in-law Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.
Queen Anne-Marie received it on her 18th birthday (gotta love the 18th birthday tiara tradition) and it has quite an extraordinary history. The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor – a fantastic blog- has a great post on this tiara here. Marie-Chantal wore the tiara at other occasions after the wedding, though nowadays she seems to prefer wearing three other tiaras at her disposal (perhaps they should be the subject of another post!).
In choosing Valentino, Marie-Chantal started something of a trend among royal brides including Maxima, shown here at her 2002 wedding to Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. Maxima’s gown was made of silk mikado and has a similar silhouette to Marie-Chantal’s.
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Princess Madeleine of Sweden also chose Valentino as well for her 2013 wedding to Christopher O’Neill
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as did Prince Amadeo of Belgium’s bride Elisabetta Rosboch Von Wolkenstein in 2014.
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Marie-Chantal remained friends with Valentino over the years and loaned her dress to be exhibited for Valentino: Master of Couture. This exhibit was held at Somerset House in London from November 2012 – March 2013 which gives us a great look at the detail of the dress. Here’s a better look at the train – it is separate from the skirt and extends from the waist.
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Marie-Chantal and Valentino posed in front of the dress at a private viewing before the exhibit opened which is quite sweet.
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The King and Queen of Greece showed up as well, and Marie-Chantal brought along her oldest child and only daughter Princess Olympia (more on her here).
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Marie-Chantal still wears Valentino and they seem quite chummy; she shared this instagram picture with the design legend en route to Princess Madeleine’s wedding.
So what are your thoughts on this wedding gown – too ornate and heavy or perfectly pretty and just right?