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Exclusive: David Emanuel talks Princess Diana's dress, his new range and what he really thinks of the Spencer sisters' wedding gowns

The royal wedding dress designer tells all about Lady Kitty and Lady Amelia Spencer's gowns...

2 minutes ago

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Laura Sutcliffe
Fashion and Beauty News Editor
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David Emanuel is one of the most famous wedding dress designers of all time. He and then-wife Elizabeth single-handedly put the late Diana, Princess of Wales' fashion credentials on the map after she wore the wedding dress of dreams which he designed for her back in 1981.

WATCH: Princess Diana's wedding dress secrets

As the 71-year-old teams up with high street store Bon Marché for a fabulous clothing collection, we sat down for an in-depth chat with the iconic fashion designer to get his thoughts on Diana's famous nieces' wedding dresses.

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Lady Amelia Spencer got married in 2023 while Lady Kitty Spencer tied the knot in 2021, and David thought the siblings looked beautiful. "Lady Amelia looked lovely! But being a Spencer I was expecting something more traditional. What she got was an avant-garde Versace. Lady Kitty looked far more formal and royal. A ton of lace from Dolce & Gabbana. It’s just a shame that neither of the Spencer girls went with British designers," he said.

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Speaking about how Diana's dress changed bridal fashion in general, David is very modest. "Every royal bride's wedding gown has an influence in the bridal market. Since then, we have lived through various silhouettes, namely fishtail, A-line, slim fitted and now in 2024 it has come full circle. At bridal exhibitions around the world, crinolines are now back in fashion. Everything in fashion goes full circle!"

The Duke of Westminster is due to be married in June. We are all excited to see what bride Olivia Henson will wear, and David too. "Let’s wait and see. Keep the suspense and excitement for the big day. She will wear something she looks fabulous in and hopefully feels comfortable in. This goes for every bride the world over."

David is so passionate about his gorgeous new collection with Bon Marché. "It’s modern, well manufactured and extremely well priced. There is something in the collection for every occasion."

Knitted Stripe Jacket by David Emanuel at Bon Marche© Bon Marche
The knitted stripe kacket is priced at £38 by David Emanuel at Bon Marche

It's always hard for designers to pick a favourite piece from their work, but David has a style that's up there. "The long line ivory tweed jacket with gold thread. It’s perfect for a smart meeting, wonderful for the mother of the bride. Also, it could be worn with a hat to Royal Ascot."

  Princess Diana with her wedding dress designer David Emanuel
Princess Diana with her wedding dress designer David Emanuel

Refreshingly, David gets just as excited about celebrities wearing his designs as he does real women. "It’s very flattering when a celebrity selects and wears one of my designs. But this collection is available to all women because of the price points. Equally as flattering is when I meet ladies on the high street wearing my designs.

The Prince and Princess of Wales on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day, 29th July 1981.
Princess Diana at her fairytale wedding in 1981

We loved seeing Princess Diana's dress in The Crown; it was seen from the back during the programme. David liked how it was recreated. "It was never going to be an exact replica but was suitable for the scale of the show and the amount of screen time it had keeping the viewers hooked."

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