Wallis Simpson Duchess of Windsor 1937 wedding dress ensemble designed by Mainbocher
On 3 June 1937, American divorcee Wallis Simpson married The Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII at the Château de Candé in Monts, France. No members of the royal family attended the nuptials in France.
The dress ensemble
The wedding dress ensemble worn by Wallis Simpson is designed by Mainbocher(1890-1976), an American couturier based in Paris, who was her favorite designer. Mainbocher had created a special color for her which he called "Wallis" Blue, reportedly to match the color of her eyes.
The wedding dress was also created in that particular "Wallis" blue, which sets the tone of her trousseau of 80 dress and 40 hats.
The dress ensemble made of silk crepe, includes a floor length dress cut on the bias featuring a petal shaped high collar, cinched waist and fitted bodice; and a short bolero jacket of long sleeves with shirring at the front and the sleeves and fabric-covered button closure.
The dress ensemble was reported to cost about USD250.00 at the time, and it's replica soon appeared in many high end stores and boutiques for the brides who were inspired by Duchess of Windsor's wedding ensemble.
Wallis Simpson donated the ensemble to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1950, but since then, a defect in the stability of the dye has caused the dress to lose its "Wallis" blue, becoming a light khaki color.
Wallis Simpson accessorised her wedding dress with a co-ordinating blue skull cap shaped straw hat with a turned back halo brim of blue silk tulle by Parisian milliner Caroline Reboux, and a pair of high heeled open-work sandals of same shade.
On her hands, she wore a pair of wrist-length gloves, also made of the blue silk crepe, specifically designed to accommodate her emerald and diamond engagement ring
For the jewellery, she wore included diamond earrings set with eight sapphires, a diamond bracelet, and a sapphire and diamond brooch pinned at the neckline of the gown.
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