Austria · France · Monaco

Royal Wedding Gowns – Dramatic Coats and Wraps

You may want to put your feet up for this entry. When I started, I had forgotten there were so many coat wedding dresses in royal-land, but as you will see, even leaving off those we have covered in other categories, it’s a long list. So long that I have divided it into three posts: Drama, Elegance and Second Weddings. Let’s tackle DRAMA! today.

Bride: Philomena de Tornos y Steinhart
Designer: Christian Lacroix

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It’s Lacroix, darling, how could it be anything but dramatic? When The Duke of Vendôme married Philomena de Tornos y Steinhart in May 2009, the bride wore what might be one of the more intricate, dramatic royal wedding gowns ever. Crafted of ivory silk taffeta, the gown featured a fitted bodice with pleated detailing, covered with sparkling embellishments and festooned with tulle. The bodice opened into an enormous, ruched skirt, which, in turn, led to the train. The bolero is covered in dense floral brocade with mother of pearl woven throughout, and the dress is finished off with a blue silk bow around the waist.

The whole look was further dramatized by the turquoise, gold and diamond tiara, which secured the antique ivory veil.

Baroness Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisaz
Designer: Versace

If anyone can give Lacroix a run for the drama money, it’s Versace, right? When Baroness Francesca Thyssen-Bornemiszs married Archduke Karl of Austria in January of 1993, Versace was at the height of his designing powers, and this dress is the epitome of his over-the-top aesthetic.

The wedding was held in the Austro-Hungarian style and the father of the bride led his daughter into the ceremony in traditional Hungarian clothes. The bride’s dress had to compete, and it most certainly did. The relatively simple satin dress was covered with a lace-up coat, which covered the ballgown skirt to dramatic effect. The coat’s embellishments included large buttons and a heavily embroidered cuffs and peplum. The bride wore a pearl and diamond bandeau tiara, which secured the 200-year-old Habsburg veil. The bride wore satin gloves and carried a Mass Book instead of a bouquet. 

Bride: Tatiana Santo Domingo
Designer: Valentino

The religious wedding ceremony of Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo was held on February 1, 2014, and it simply oozed winter wedding romance. The pair were married in the old Romanesque monastery of Rougemont,  in Gstaad,  Switzerland, and snow floated gently down over the wedding party and guests. The bride wore bespoke Valentino, and what few photos and sketches we have to piece together the event add up to major atmosphere.

The House of Valentino released an official sketch which showed an ivory cashmere coat, with a hood – very practical way to protect the bride from the cold. The dress itself was elaborate silk tulle and lace macramé, with a fitted bodice and tiered skirt. Tatiana borrowed the fringe Cartier tiara from Princess Caroline, which she wore sans veil.

Which of these dramatic coats and wraps speaks to you?