Designer Diaries – Crown Princess Victoria and Pär Engsheden

Born in 1967, Pär Engsheden is a Swedish fashion designer who works primarily in haute couture. He is also a Swedish royal supplier, and has been a favorite of the Bernadotte women for almost twenty years. His first big splash on the royal scene was the dress he designed for Princess Madeleine’s appearance at the 2002 Nobel ceremonies, a notable eye-popping debut.

Wikimedia Commons

His signature style is big and bold, but he typically pares back the details when it comes to his royal designs. Most royal watchers remember him for the iconic wedding gown he designed for Victoria, but the two have had a long collobaration when it comes to evening wear.

Nobel 2007

This gown, with its ombre bodice and pleated accent on the skirt, was the first of the Nobel Engsheden gowns worn by Victoria.

Embed from Getty Images

Nobel 2008

This berry colored gown featured a side hip skirt detail and sequins at the neck and across the bodice.

Embed from Getty Images

Nobel 2014

As Engsheden became more comfortable with designing for the Crown Princess at such high profile events, his designs grew bolder. “Big Red’, as this gown is known around here, is big and bold in every respect. Big skirt, bold color, grand effect.

Embed from Getty Images

Wedding Gown

If he had never designed anything else for her, the wedding gown would have cemented Engsheden into royal lore as the designer who made Victoria look her absolute best. The wedding dress is a  cream-colored duchess silk satin dream.  The dress boasts a rounded collar, a deep v-shape in the back, where it meets the buttons covered in silk, a wide cummerbund, and short sleeves. It’s the masterful combination of these details as well as the restraint elsewhere in the design that makes it iconic.

Embed from Getty Images

Pär Engsheden is still designing, both for royals and for other high-profile Swedish women. He created gowns for the late Sara Danius, the permanent secretary to the Swedish Academy. These designs show Engsheden’s edgier, showier side. Still a young man with many years of designing in front of him, it will be interesting to see where his career takes him, royals, and beyond.

Do you have a favorite Engsheden creation? Royal or not, let’s see it in the comments.

Next week we’ll take a trip back to visit the “Mother of Swedish Couture” and her relationship with a very stylish queen.