He may have retired from the haute couture scene since 2007 but his most recent bridal piece for Sweden’s Princess Madeleine is undeniable proof that he remains as one of the finest designers when it comes to wedding dresses. W&T picks out five iconic bridal gowns made timeless by famed Italian designer, Valentino Garavani.
1. Jackie O, 1968
The couturier himself named this gown from his 1968 White Collection as one of the most famous dresses he has ever made. Donned on by Jackie O, widow of American President John F. Kennedy, at her remarriage with Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis in 1968, the lace-covered beige two piece dress has been hailed as the fashion house’s most legendary bridal couture piece.
Apart from the worldwide attention the ceremony garnered due to the status of the bride, the gown was an immediate hit as it defied all rules of a typical wedding dress – it was short and had color other than the common white or ivory colors. The fact that it was chosen by fashion icon Jackie O further solidified the dress’s position as a trendsetting piece.
Worn by Jackie O, this pale beige lace bodice was from the famous Spring-Summer 1968 White Collection.
2. Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, 1995
From Hollywood superstars to royalty, Valentino has dressed them all. One royalty was Princess Marie-Chantal. When the ex New York socialite wed Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece in 1995, all attention was on her as she emerged out of St Sophia’s Cathedral.
Looking all prim and princessy, the new royal looked like she just stepped out of a fairytale. The ivory silk wedding gown she had on was encrusted with pearls, featured 12 different types of lace and had a train almost 4.5 metres long. This elaborate piece apparently took 25 seamstresses four months to finish.
Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece in an elaborate gown fit for a princess.
3. Claudia Schiffer, 1995 & 2002
Being a long time friend and muse of the Italian designer, German model Claudia Schiffer had possibly the best gift for her big day in 2002 – a fairytale wedding dress from Valentino himself.
Hand sewn using four different types of handmade white floral lace, the hourglass gown accentuated the supermodel’s perfect figure. It featured an off shoulder neckline, long sleeves flaring at the wrist and a four-metres long train. The five-metres long veil was attached to a delicate headband made with orange flower blossoms. It is said that at Schiffer’s final fitting weeks before the wedding, a very emotional Valentino said: “In all the years we have worked together, you have never looked this radiant.”
The other memorable bridal look featuring Schiffer happened on the runway, when the model closed the Valentino Spring/Summer 1995 Haute Couture show in a body-hugging gown with a vast train and navy hem.
Claudia Schiffer off the runway in 1995 (left) and in her fairytale wedding dress (right).
4. Jennifer Lopez, 2001
When singer J. Lo married backup dancer Chris Judd in 2001, it wasn’t her first nor was it going to be her last wedding. But it was perhaps her most lavish, with some 10,000 white and pastel rosebuds used during the wedding. Apart from having all seven bridesmaids dressed in matching Valentino, the singer with a figure to kill shone in a white silk and Chantilly-lace gown, which featured a low cut back detail and plunging neckline.
J. Lo in 2001.
5. Anne Hathaway, 2012 “She’s a very good friend of mine. She’s like my daughter.” And that is why Hollywood starlet Anne Hathaway had the honor of being dressed by the Italian after his retirement at her top-secret wedding to Adam Shulman last year. Having dressed in Valentino on various red carpets, the star looked her best in a frothy tulle gown, embroidered with satin flowers and tinted with a delicate blush pink. The 1920s inspired headband and vintage lace veil she had on was an exceptional fashion statement, we say.
Do you agree with us when we say Anne Hathaway’s vintage-inspired Valentino bridal piece is one of the most memorable bridal looks of 2012?