The Second Wedding as it will probably come to be known took place on July 30, when the Queen’s granddaughter wed long-term beau Mike Tindall in what was a surprisingly innovative affair by royal standards, complete with drunken merriment thanks to a vodka fountain; fish and chips and a best man with a black eye (Yes, we’re just as intrigued). But let’s cut to the chase – were not concerned with the finer details of the biggest day of this royal’s life as much as we’re feasting our eyes on what she wore. Yes, (deep breath) another dress to dissect and ingest, only to throw up and re-examine in a different light.
We were taken aback by Kate’s dress choice as she stayed true to her homeland but chose a designer so eccentric, the fashion population couldn’t help but choke with happiness. She broke free from the quintessential shackles of ‘well-behaved’ royal wedding wear, and chose to let her fashion personality coyly peep through her silk tulle McQueen veil. But for me, equestrienne Zara’s novel approach to selecting her wedding dress truly defines the term ‘granny chic.’ She only went and chose Stewart Parvin, her grandmother’s regular (and favourite) outfitter and the very man who kitted out Queenie on the day.
OK, to the dress: a fussy silk tulle cathedral veil which appeared to oddly sprout from the top of Zara’s head rather than fall gently onto her face wasn’t the most appealing first view as she stepped out from the car, but things improved slightly as we focused lower down. The dress itself; a silk faille and duchess satin creation with a corseted waistline appeared flattering, but averagely exciting. It didn’t give me the sudden I-will-replicate-very-dress-for my-wedding-day moment as I got with Kate’s.
For a person considered something of a royal rebel this wedding dress was a safe choice. Maybe Zara was sending out a silent message, that by keeping it low key she wanted to avoid direct comparisons with wedding dress limelight outlaw, Kate. Or maybe being 13th in the line of succession to the throne means you’re in no rush to charm the public into ‘accepting’ you as the future queen with your choice of needlework or dress cut.
But critics will refer and compare Zara’s sartorial shrewdness to that of Kate’s, and will measure, inch for inch, the godliness that Sarah Burton’s touch brought to Kate’s big day with that of humble Edinburgh College of Art educated Parvin’s. Even though Kate’s dress was phenomenal in comparison, for me it’s a case of creating a fresh legacy that will have us recalling Zara Phillips as the woman who made grannies fashionable again.