Leading up to the royal wedding, Meghan Markle kept all her wedding dress details under wraps. So naturally the rumors about what the gown would look like and who would be designing it left the Internet in flames. The only thing to top it was the frenzy the dress caused when it was finally revealed on May 19, 2018. Clare Waight Keller, who designed Meghan’s bateau neckline Givenchy wedding dress, was reportedly shocked by the level of attention the gown received. Keller, who is the first female artistic director of the French fashion house, was recently honored at the Time 100 Gala where she spoke more about the reception of the dress.
“I had no idea how momentous it was going be,” Keller told Time. “The last time there was a royal wedding there was no Instagram, really, or any of those huge social networks. So it really took me aback, actually.”
Keller continued: “The idea of that purity was just really modern. I think it was right for now, and it was right for her.”
Actress Julianne Moore wrote Keller’s tribute in the Time 100 issue and mentioned the gown literally seen around the world, with 29 million people in the United States and another 18 million people in the U.K. watching the wedding. “The world gasped when they saw that bride, and everyone wanted to know who had made that dress,” she wrote. “We are drawn to Clare’s work because she doesn’t design from the outside in, she designs from the inside out.”
In an interview with Paris Match last year Keller talked about the process of designing the dress, which took 3,900 hours to create. She described Meghan as a “strong woman who knows exactly what she wants," which helped when it came to designing the dress. “We very quickly agreed on the perfect dress,” Keller said. “I wanted a modern and fresh silhouette while respecting her style.”
After thousands of hours and eight (!!) dress fittings, they finally landed on the simple but elegant design Markle ultimately married Prince Harry in.
“It is an immense honor to have worked closely with Meghan and to have lived by her side for all these special moments," Keller said. "Prince Harry came to me and said, ‘Oh my God. Thank you. She is absolutely magnificent.’ I am very proud. It’s a fairy tale. A dream come true.”