This is the last in our series on royal wedding gowns. We hope you enjoyed the tour, which took us through family traditions, cultural aesthetics, matching gowns to venues, scaling gowns to the occasion, coats and wraps galore, and many other aspects of designing a royal wedding gown. If you want to revisit any part of it, go to “Find that Post” on the header, select “Recurring Feature” and “Royal Wedding Gowns”.
We are leaving with a fun post by revisiting the era of excess, otherwise known as the eighties. Big sleeves, big hair, big design, big, well – everything. If you are wondering where the granddaddy of all big dresses is, we have already covered that one! Take a trip back and enjoy some other gowns.
Bride: Princess Astrid of Belgium
Designer: Louis Mies
The daughter of King Albert and Queen Paola married in 1984, and the operating word on her gown is leg-o-mutton sleeves. No one ever remembers that gown was made of taffeta, had a massively long train and some lovely lace insets. The sleeves simply take over.
Brides: Princess Marie Astrid and Princess Margretha of Luxembourg
The mini-marriage boom in Luxembourg occurred in 1981 and 1982, with Hereditary Grand Duke Henri marrying in 1981, and his two sisters in 1982. Just in time for ruffles! The older of the sisters, Marie Astrid, married first. Her gown featured ruffles at the sleeves, v neckline and waist. The gown also featured an assymetrical wrap that secured the skirt adorned with – you guessed it – ruffles.
Princess Margretha, Grand Duke Henri’s younger sister, married a few weeks later. The gown has many similarities to her sister’s, in this case, though, the ruffles decorate a high neckline and are even more liberally applied to the sleeves. The same volume can be found in the skirt, though! It remained 1982 ; ).
The eighties were my heyday, and I have more than my share of fondness for their more outrageous elements. The good news is that all of these marriages have lasted, and there are many children from the unions. The big, of-their-times dresses made not a difference to long term happiness, and they give us something to look back on with, we hope, amused tolerance if not outright appreciation.