Charlene Wittstock's Royal Wedding Dress

Before America was celebrating with fireworks, the principality of Monaco was celebrating with its own set of fireworks–of a different kind.
Prince Albert, the 53-year old bachelor son of  Hollywood starlet Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer III, was finally getting hitched! No one thought it would happen–after all the prince was already the father of 2 illegitimate children and just prior to the wedding, a scandal had come out about a possible third.  But Charlene Wittstock, a beautiful South African with Olympic swimmer shoulders seemed to have stolen his heart away.  While some argue that she was forced into an arranged marriage and almost did not make it to her own wedding, she now stands as the reigning Princess of Monaco, the wife of the reigning sovereign prince of the country.  Charlene Wittstock, a woman who shared an awkward kiss with Prince Albert, then grew emotional by the end of the ceremony as tears rolled down her cheeks, was married to Monaco’s prince  at the Royal Palace with all the trimmings.
Charlene, who was featured in Vogue magazine just before the ceremonies, is set to be a style icon, if she isn’t already.  She’s being dressed by the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Giorgio Armani (her favorite!) and had both in attendance at the wedding.  It was set to be a royal wedding fit for kings–rivaling that of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s.
Which begs the question–what about the dress? Did it wow as it was meant to? Did it surpass Kate Middleton’s Alexander McQueen confection? Perhaps not so much.  But one thing’s for sure–the dress was fit for a princess, and Charlene Wittstock wore it gracefully.

Charlene chose Giorgio Armani as her designer dujour.  It’s been known for quite some time that she’s a big Armani fan, so the dress designer was no surprise to many, though the Palace tried to keep it under wraps as Kate Middleton had with her choice to dazzle in Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.  Charlene’s dress was glamorous, no less, but just slightly more modest.  The dress’s collar was a boatneck shape, perhaps to enhance her beautiful broad shoulders and Armani played with off-white silk when he developed the Armani Prive creation. The dress was more detailed then it looked in the pictures–it was embellished with embroidered flowers, as well as Swarovski crystals and mother of pearl teardrops in white and gold.  The train was long and the veil was made from off-white silk tulle. Fit for a princess, but a modest one at that.  Except that the train was six yards long!

Albert wore a cream summer uniform of the palace guards and three medals, including the Order of the Grimaldi.
The princess’s other outfits were decidedly eve more modest.  For the civil ceremony, many didn’t like Charlene’s choice for a Chanel suit in robin’s blue egg.  It had a long blazer and pleated pants that looked like a skirt as she glided, but yes, they were actually pants! Perhaps she’s going back to her less-than-fashionable roots.  She’s already known for wearing crisp but elegant suits and funnel pants at many of her outside appearances, including at the Amber fashion show for the Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1.

That night at the Jean-Michel Jarre show, she wore blue again with a strapless number, perhaps the underpiece to her suit earlier in the day? What really stood out with this ensemble was the beautiful statement necklace at her collar.

After the religious ceremony, she changed into another modest dress with thicker sleeves, a sheer bodice, sequined beads and a four-tiered hem for the evening’s festivities. The dress had a lighter, sparkly feel but was still classic, not overdone and made the princess shine. Not well captured by the cameras, it also had ruffled edges and a small train.   Of course, it was another stunning Armani creation.  Her shoes, also white, were peep toe satins.

Truly a princess in the making that has come full circle.
Photos: Zimbio, Styelist, Stylebistro
–Simona Kogan

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