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Another British royal wedding is upon us.

On May 19, Britain’s Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle, an American actress. For many watchers on both sides of the Atlantic—at least those who care—one of the highlights of the event will be the reveal of Markle’s dress.

Royal wedding gowns can be a spectacle in themselves, as they aspire to match the fairytale grandeur of their circumstances. Extravagance isn’t demanded; the dress Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon wore to marry the Duke of York in 1923 was known for its simplicity, even if it was still elaborately embroidered. But a lavish gown is often the choice. These dresses can also set a course for the wedding fashion that follows. The ivory dress Queen Victoria wore for her 1840 union to Prince Albert is credited with helping to make white the standard for wedding looks in the West.

The designer Markle chose to create her look hasn’t yet been revealed. The speculation at the moment is that Britain’s Stella McCartney won the job, though previous odds favored Ralph & Russo—Britain’s only officially-recognized couture label and the one Markle chose for her engagement photos.

Whichever designer has the honor, the dress is sure to be another noteworthy entry in royal fashion history. Here’s a look back at a few of our favorites of the past.


Photography wasn’t well-developed enough to capture the 1840 ceremony, but Victoria’s silk-and-lace gown has thankfully been preserved.

FILE - In this Feb. 10, 1840 file image, an illustration depicts the wedding of Britain's Queen Victoria, centre right, and to Prince Albert, centre left, in The Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace in London, England. The celebrated silk-and-lace bridal gown worn by Queen Victoria offers some clues about what Kate Middleton will wear when she walks down the aisle April 29, even if much has changed since Victoria's low-key wedding in 1840. Just as Victoria used English lace and silk woven in London to show support for British industry, Middleton faces overwhelming pressure to use a British designer. (AP Photo/File)


The ivory silk wedding dress worn by Queen Victoria in her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840 is displayed and then reflected in mirrors as part of the exhibition "Victoria Revealed" in the building where she was born, Kensington Palace in London, Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Kensington Palace has been transformed following a 12 million pounds ($19 million, 14.4 million euro) restoration project timed to be completed for this summer's Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The ivory silk wedding dress worn by Queen Victoria in her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840 was displayed as part of the exhibition “Victoria Revealed.”


Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, later known as Queen Mother, in a very 1920s, loose-fitting gown.

26th April 1923: Future Queen Consort to King George VI, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900 - 2002) leaving her Bruton Street residence for her wedding to George, Duke Of York. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon leaves her residence on her way to marry King George VI in 1923.


Wallis Simpson, an American socialite, married the Duke of Windsor in 1937. Their romance was a scandal. Until a few months before, the duke had been King Edward VIII. When he proposed to Simpson, already divorced once and in the process of being divorced a second time, it caused a constitutional crisis that prompted him to abdicate the throne. They were married in a small ceremony in France, and Simpson opted for a relatively modest look.

Edward VIII, former King of England, now Duke of Windsor, and his bride, Bessie Wallis Warfield Simpson are seen following the civil and religious ceremonies at the Chateau de Cande, near Tours, France, June 3, 1937. (AP Photo/BIPPA)

Wallis Simpson at their wedding in 1937.


Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, wore a gown with a 15-foot train made of transparent ivory silk. It was edged with satin flowers and encrusted with pearls and crystals.

Britain's Princess Elizabeth and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh are seen leaving Westminster Abbey, London, on Nov. 20, 1947, following their wedding service. (AP Photo)

AP Photo
Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, after their wedding in 1947.
Seen from above are the Royal newly-weds, British Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten (Duke of Edinburgh) as they leave Westminster Abbey, London, November 20, 1947. After their marriage, shows the bridal train. The 15-foot long bridal train is of transparent ivory silk, attached to the shoulders and edged with graduated satin flowers, finally forming a deep border encrusted with pearls and crystals. (AP Photo)

AP Photo
Newly-weds Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh.


The first televised British royal wedding took place between Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones. More than 20 million viewers watched, seeing the princess’s bright white silk organza gown. Its designer, Norman Hartnell, deliberately kept the embellishments to a minimum.

Great Britain Princess Margaret with Anthony Armstrong Jones at Buckingham Palace after their wedding in Westminster Abbey on May 6, 1960. (AP Photo)

AP Photo
Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones on their wedding day in 1960.
Anthony Armstrong-Jones holds the hand of his bride, Princess Margaret of Britain May 6, 1960 as they leave London's Westminster Abbey after theIr wedding. (AP Photo)

AP Photo
The bride and groom as they leave Westminster Abbey.


Some dresses distinctly reflect their fashion era. The one Lady Diana Spencer wore to marry Prince Charles was a paragon of 1980s style.

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer are shown on their wedding day at St. Paul's Cathedral in London on July 29, 1981. (AP Photo)

AP Photo
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer during their wedding ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Britain's Prince Charles kisses his bride, the former Diana Spencer, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, after their wedding on July 29, 1981. (AP Photo)

AP Photo
The bride and groom kiss.


The wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William was a huge event, and the Alexander McQueen dress she wore lived up to the occasion. The New York Times has called it “the wedding dress of the decade.” We’ll see if it retains the title, or at least has some company, once Meghan Markle’s dress is revealed.

Maid of Honour, Pippa Middleton (L) holds the wedding dress of her sister Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, after her she married Britain's Prince William at Westminster Abbey, in central London April 29, 2011. Prince William married his fiancee, Kate Middleton, in Westminster Abbey on Friday. (ROYAL WEDDING/SERVICE) RREUTERS/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY ROYALS) - LR2E74T172DAA

Reuters/Kirsty Wigglesworth
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, marries Prince William in 2011.
Exhibition curator, Caroline de Guitaut, adjusts the wedding dress of Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, at Buckingham Palace in London July 20, 2011. Buckingham Palace expects record crowds this summer as up to 650,000 people are set to file into Queen Elizabeth's London residence and past the dress worn by Kate Middleton at her royal wedding to Prince William. The ivory and white garment, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, won over the fashion press and public when Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge and a future queen, walked up the aisle of Westminster Abbey in April. Picture taken July 20, 2011. REUTERS/Lewis Whyld/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ROYALS TRAVEL SOCIETY ENTERTAINMENT) - GM1E77M067A01

Reuters/Lewis Whyld
Kate Middleton’s Alexander McQueen gown holds the floor at an exhibition.

OMG! Bella Hadid Wore a Body Chain With Her Daring Gown and Somehow Made It Even Sexier


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Bella Hadid's Elie Saab Dress at Cannes 2018


Bella Hadid has been living her best life in the French Riviera. The model, along with her best friend Kendall Jenner, has hit up the red carpet numerous times in one jaw-dropping lookafter another. The supermodel walked the Cannes Film Festival red carpet at the premiere for BlacKkKlansman in a sparkly silver gown by Elie Saab. (Kristen Stewart also attended the premiere in a similar minidress by Chanel and walked barefoot to make a statement about the film festival’s controversial no-flats policy.)

Bella’s halterneck gown featured a superlow back, and she styled it with dazzling blue earrings, diamond bracelets, an embellished clutch, and Giuseppe Zanotti heels. When she turned around, we realized that Bella was actually wearing a thin, silver body chain with her daring gown. Read on to see all angles of her amazing gown ahead.

19 Times Emilia Clarke Brought Sexy Back to the Red Carpet


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Emilia Clarke's Sexiest Dresses

Emilia Clarke is one of TV’s sexiest characters as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, and she knows how to bring it IRL too. She has a penchant for plunging necklines and formfitting dresses and has sported everything from a plunging Miu Miu gown to a figure-hugging Versace number for her glamorous red carpet appearances. Take a look back at her most glamorous moments here, then get lost in a beautiful Emilia-shaped internet rabbit hole with her best off-screen style and Instagram pics too.


May 2018

In Dolce & Gabbana at the Met Gala.


January 2018

Wearing Miu Miu at the Golden Globes.

January 2018

In a Michael Kors dress at the BAFTA Los Angeles Tea Party.

January 2018

Wearing an Elie Saab button-down blouse and floor-length skirt to the Sean Penn & Friends Haiti Rising Gala.

September 2016

In Atelier Versace at the Emmy Awards.

May 2016

Wearing an Ulyana Sergeenko hand-knitted dress at the Me Before You London premiere.

April 2016

Wearing Alexander McQueen at the Refugee Exhibit.

April 2016

In Dolce & Gabbana at the Parker Institute For Cancer Immunotherapy Gala.

April 2016

Wearing a Stella McCartney suit at CinemaCon.

April 2016

In Erdem at the premiere of Game of Thrones season six.

February 2016

Wearing Miu Miu at the Vanity Fair Oscars party.

February 2016

In Victoria Beckham at the BAFTAs.

January 2016

Wearing a sheer embroidered Dolce & Gabbana dress at HBO’s Golden Globes party.

January 2016

Wearing a Dior Haute Couture gown at the SAG Awards.

January 2016

In a crop top and zip-up skirt at the BAFTA Los Angeles Awards Season Tea.

September 2015

Wearing a bright orange-red Oscar de la Renta dress to the GQ Men of the Year Awards.


July 2015

Wearing an Ulyana Sergeenko Couture gown at the Terminator Genisys Seoul premiere.


March 2014

Wearing a sheer Donna Karan gown to the premiere of Game of Thrones season four.



Mommy and Me: Shop Matching Looks for You and Baby


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Are you a nautical mom like Jackie at Hyannis Port? Casual cool like Jane Birkin? Jetset-ready like Bianca Jagger? Any way you swing it, keep your chic this summer—with the baby look to match, of course. Consider it Mommy and me done right.

1   Garden Tea Party

Pink florals look as fetching on you as they do your little boo…

Lindsey Berns rose garden dress, $92, lindsey

2.  Go to Sleeps Chic

We’re fans of matching from sunset to sunrise, too, in these utterly charming sleep gowns. And who says you can’t wear them from sunrise to senset as well?


3.  Pretty in Pink


A ruffle here, a voluminous sleeve there—make some statements in the color of summer.

Monica and Andy seersucker garden party dress, $58, monica and


4. In the Navy


You can’t go wrong this summer in this New England-ready shade of blue. Is it ok that we wish the romper fit moms too?


5. Nautical Now


Even if the boat isn’t on its way, it’s ok to always look ready to hop on board.

6.  Moto Mama


Brave those chillier summer nights in jackets that are seriously cool…

Anine Bing kids motley moto jacket, $399, anine

7. Swim Team


Prove you’re not a regular mom, you’re a cool mom in bikinis times two.

Marysia ‘Bumby’ top, $57, bottom, $57,

8.    Red Alert

These twinning dresses are for really standing out in a crowd—and for twirling. They’re definitely for twirling.

9.   All White, All White, All White

Get in a South of France mood in airy white for you and bébe…




10.    Hello, Yellow


Because every babe needs a fetching summer suit—and you need an excuse for that stellar statement top.


11.    On the Go


Headed to the shore? Don’t forget to pack hats, a cool look for the babe and a cool carrier for you…

12.  In Bloom


Because one floral look for summer is hardly enough…


13    Don’t Avoid a Sandal


Because you can match from head to toe, if you’re so inclined…

14.  Sporty Spices


Get your workouts in in killer gear—even if that workout is just dancing around the living room together.

As Abortion Vote Nears, Irish Fashion Designers Choose a Side


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Dublin is not a city known for its fashion extravaganzas. But last Thursday, inside the vaulted atrium of the upmarket Powerscourt Centre shopping arcade, models took to the catwalk clad in one-off couture creations by a dozen of Ireland’s best known designers.

One model wore a knit navy sweater with neon yellow trim, covered in prints based on the number 8, by Pearl Reddington. Another wore a trilby hat by the milliner Margaret O’Connor; it was bedecked with colored sequins and black ribbons emblazoned with the word “Repeal.” A third woman modeled a black shift dress with puffed sleeves, finished with chiffon ruffles and a large scarlet heart, by Natalie B. Coleman.

It was a visual statement, but not solely of the fashion kind.

Titled “Fashion Is Repealing,” the event had been organized by abortion rights advocates, two weeks before a vote on Ireland’s strict abortion laws, with every garment then offered for sale to benefit the Together for Yes campaign.

Just as designers from across the fashion world have, increasingly, been speaking about their political beliefs, including voices of support for Hillary Clinton and an anti-Brexit push by London fashion, this is a newly vocal stance from the Irish fashion community.

On May 25, voters will be asked if they want to repeal Article 40.3.3 (known as the Eighth Amendment), which since 1983 has effectively enshrined a ban on abortion in the Irish constitution.

Now, after decades of fierce debate and news last week that Google and Facebook had suspended all advertising connected to the abortion referendum in a move by the tech giants to protect what they called “election integrity,” fashion has decided to exercise its muscle.

“The abortion issue is primarily a women’s issue, and until recently I noticed a lot of women’s media here hadn’t really broached the topic,” said Andrea Horan, a Dublin-based nail bar owner. “So making Irish fashion a focus of our campaign was partly a bid to draw that media spotlight in on us, and get more voices heard.”

Ms. Horan was the driving force behind the “Repeal” show and is the founder of the women’s rights discussion platform Hunreal Issues, which she describes as “throwing glitter on issues without minimizing them.”

Models in designs created for the Fashion Is Repealing runway show and auction, held at the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin on May 10.

“A lot of the time, political conversations can be academic, highbrow and exclusive. And fashion can act as a great leveler in terms of welcoming a bigger audience who may not be politically minded,” Ms. Horan said. “This abortion vote is going to be the most important we’ve ever had in this country. It was great to see so many Irish designers felt they had something to say about it.”

Ms. O’Connor, the milliner, who lived in Britain for eight years before moving back to County Clare in western Ireland in 2017, said: “I can look back at this and see that I spoke out, created some art and at least did something. I’d hate to look back 20 years from now and think I was one of the people in the corner who said nothing because it felt safer.”

That the established fashion community, predominantly populated by left-leaning social liberals in Ireland as it is in many countries, overwhelmingly landed on the side of abortion rights is not surprising to many observers. (In the United States, the Council of Fashion Designers of America has supported Planned Parenthood, handing out pink pins during one fashion week.)

“Wearing what you believe is more apparent with this debate in Ireland than ever before,” said Deirdre McQuillan, the fashion editor of the Irish Times newspaper. “One of the most powerful symbols of the entire pro-choice movement has been the Repeal Project sweatshirts, which you now see out on the streets at the moment almost every day.”

Black with the word “Repeal” stamped in a slogan-like graphic across the front, these sweatshirts were the brainchild of the activist Anna Cosgrave. She founded the Repeal Project after attending a vigil for Savita Halappanavar, an Indian-born woman whose death in 2012, after her requests for an abortion were refused by a hospital in Galway, Ireland, prompted widespread outcry across the country.

“I wanted people that otherwise felt nervous about the political and academic rhetoric around reproductive rights to be able to wear a jumper and be like, ‘I care,’ without necessarily having any of the linguistics or technical terms,” Ms. Cosgrave said of her sweaters. “By choosing these clothes, wearers are silently screaming. By seeing the jumpers over and over again out and about, it normalizes conversations about abortion, while showing that there is support there for the women who have had them and suffered in silence.”

Similarly, an alliance called Abortion Rights Campaign has been selling popular T-shirts printed with “Free Safe Legal.” And The Repealist, a brand that specializes in clothing and housewares, has created a dress that reads, “Our Bodies Our Choice,” with a print of an upside-down hanger, emblazoned with “Hanging in the Balance.”

“At one level they are just garments,” Ms. Cosgrave said. “But now they are also a rallying cry.”

It’s a call that has been heard by several young Irish fashion designers living and working across the sea in Britain. More than 4,000 Irish women leave home for England every year to get an abortion, according to data from Marie Stopes, an organization that provides sexual and reproductive health care.

“Repealing the Eighth Amendment is incredibly important and a necessary change for Ireland,” said the designer Simone Rocha when contacted by email last week, though she has not yet used her brand platform for the cause. “I am pro-choice, as a woman and a mother.”


The designer Richard Malone wore a T-shirt about the referendum at the end of his runway show.CreditFirstview

Even more vocal is Richard Malone, a 26-year-old from County Wexford and a rising star on the London fashion scene who was nominated for the LVMH Prize last year. At the end of his most recent catwalk show in February — which opened London Fashion Week — Mr. Malone took his bow wearing a Repeal the 8th T-shirt. In a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II, who met with young designers on the final day of London Fashion Week last season, he wore a Repeal sticker on his chest.

“Coming from a working-class background and being brought up by strong women, the debate around abortion is one I’ve been having for as long as I can remember. At root, it’s not just a women’s rights issue, it is a human rights issue,” said Mr. Malone, who has been back and forth between London and Ireland in recent months to canvass for the Yes campaign. “My work is all about what it means to be a woman and making statements about femininity. This issue, for me, is impossible to ignore.”

Dedication to the cause landed him in hot water with the department store Selfridges last month, which removed unauthorized Repeal the Eighth slogans from a window put up by Mr. Malone as part of a pop-up exhibition exploring the nature of luxury.

For Mr. Malone, luxury meant an unfettered freedom of expression: He drew hearts and slogans in red across the glass panes, and had organized a number of speakers to read from Una Mullally’s “Repeal the 8th” book, along with dancers and music as part of his installation in the window. The store’s management was not amused.

“Selfridges is a politically neutral safe space for everyone, and it’s regrettable that a platform for celebrated creative talent was commandeered in this manner,” a Selfridges spokesman said in a statement after the event.

Still, Mr. Malone remained unrepentant. “It was disappointing, but sometimes as a designer there are more important things than working with stores — you have to stay true to your voice,” he said. “Fashion is so concerned with image making, or faux politics for an Instagram post, which means nothing. You have to physically get out there and do it. All I can do now is raise awareness and use my platform within fashion and beyond. Ours is a battle that hasn’t been won yet.”