Designer Diaries – Queen Letizia and Lorenzo Caprile

Many thanks to our contributor, Iselen, for this next series of the Designer Diaries – Spanish Queens. We know you will enjoy it!

Lorenzo Caprile Trucchi was born in Madrid in 1966, although he holds an Italian passport. He studied at NY Fashion Institute of Technology and the Politecnico Internazionale della Moda in Firenze. From 1986 to 1993 he worked for several Italian and Spanish brands before opening his first atelier in Madrid, primarily designing wedding dresses for brides, mothers of the groom, and bridesmaids. He considers himself an admirer of Manuel Pertegaz style (the designer of Letizia’s wedding dress). He’s currently one of the judges of a TV show Maestros de la Costura, the Spanish version of Project Runaway. 

In the early days of then Princess Letizia’s public life, Caprile was one of her main designers, and some of her early, iconic designs were from his fashion house. He met the Princess through Infanta Cristina, with whom he was very good friends. Most of the Caprile dresses were made during that first year of collaboration and worn later. According to Caprile, there’s a white silk dress she never wore in public but he considers it his masterpiece.

The two best known dresses from Caprile were worn to Prince Frederik’s wedding. Letizia, wanting some extra coverage the first evening, chose to wear the corset-jacket dress that evening, and save the sweeping red for the wedding. Caprile made a statement publicly about this switch, and the lack of discretion on his part cost him further commissions from the Princess. It’s a pity, because they are beautiful gowns that suit Letizia well.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

The grey satin dress is her pre-wedding dinner dress in 2004, which she re-made later for the gala dinner with the President of France and Carla Bruni in 2009. It’s said that Caprile was very upset, since he’s one of those artists that considers the dress is still his property even after selling it to a client. But by 2009, the designer was no longer working with the Princess and was not consulted. Again, it’s a pity, since the designer had an eye for the historical context. Letizia’s pre-wedding dress by Caprile is an homage to the Countes of Barcelona, Juan Carlos’ mother. Infanta Pilar has this portrait of her mother in the living room.

The black top with red skirt embroidered in black jet the princess wore in 2004 to attend the wedding of Laura Ponte and Beltrán Gómez-Acebo, Felipe’s cousin, was the way Caprile tried to honour the Asturias’ traditional costume. The red ballgown was worn in 2011, for the visit of Charles and Camilla. The mantón of Manila skirt was from 2004, and it was worn several times

Another iconic dress is the red top with dark print skirt, worn in 2007 for the Slovakia State Dinner. It was iconic because it was the one she chose to pose for her first official portrait, by the artist Ricardo Sanz. 

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Portrait by Ricardo Sanz

Lorenzo Caprile has recently taken over the post of Letizia’s most critical journalist, Carlos Garía Calvo, who died from a heart attack months ago. The articles written for his publication are often not favorable to the Queen, so future fashion collaborations between Caprile and Letizia are unlikely. They had a brief, but glorious, pairing.  

Next up: A very fashionable Classic Queen.