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A woman who worked on both Kate Middleton’s and Meghan Markle’s iconic wedding dresses believes that their gowns showcased the two duchesses’ very different personalities.
Chloe Savage told Insider that she doesn’t have a clear favorite when it comes to Middleton’s and Markle’s gowns, but she loves how each dress “symbolized who they are.”
“Every bride’s dress is a statement of themselves,” she said. “A good wedding dress designer will help you show off both your figure and everything about you to the best — and that’s what those dresses did.”
Savage said she found Middleton’s custom Alexander McQueen gown, designed by Sarah Burton, to be “demure and very clean.”
Middleton’s dress featured long lace sleeves with floral embroidery that paid homage to the UK. The roses, thistles, daffodils, and shamrocks represented the four national emblems of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
“It was beautifully fitted,” Savage added. “But she’s not a flashy person, if you know what I mean.”
Markle’s custom silk Givenchy gown, designed by Clare Waight Keller, featured an off-the-shoulder neckline and a 16-foot veil decorated with California poppies and flowers representing all 53 countries of the Commonwealth — a tribute to both her and Prince Harry’s roots.
“Meghan’s is more flashy,” Savage said. “Off-the-shoulder was far more risqué, but she’s a risk-taker by comparison.”
Savage worked on the embroidery for both women’s gowns
Savage was at the Royal School of Needlework when it got a “cryptic email” asking if the embroiderers would be available for a “big project.”
The dressmakers were taken to London, where they had to sign the Official Secrets Act, promising they wouldn’t leak sensitive information about the royal family.
“Once the bombshell dropped it was like, ‘Oooh!’ because we knew who the designer was and everything else at that point, which nobody else in the world did,” Savage said of finding out she’d been tasked to work on Middleton’s wedding dress.
“It’s ridiculous not even being able to tell your partner,” she added. “I suspect some people’s husbands thought they were having secret affairs or something! My partner, he was fine about it. My mom got a bit weird though!”
Savage, who helped appliqué all the lace to Middleton’s gown and shoes and also worked on her blue silk and white lace garter, got to meet the princess during fittings and said she was “incredibly normal.”
The embroiderer was later brought in to work on Markle’s gown when a friend at Givenchy asked if she had some spare time for a project. When she saw the Official Secrets Act again, Savage immediately knew what it was for.
“I went, ‘Mhmm, been here before!'” she recalled with a laugh. “Givenchy wouldn’t be someone you normally sign the Official Secrets Act with.”
While Savage wasn’t in the office when Markle came in to see her dress and didn’t get to meet her, she said she loved working on both women’s gowns for their big days.
“Kate’s was beautiful handmade lace, it was absolutely divine to work with,” she said. “With Meghan’s, it was the veil.”
Both dresses had their own challenges
“It’s very similar to working for a couture house,” Savage said. “Slightly longer hours, less sleep, a little more obsession with the handwashing. They banned eating and drinking anywhere near anything. And whatever you do, don’t bleed on the work!”
But all that effort was worth it to see Middleton and Markle’s gowns on their wedding days.
“Oh, it’s always lovely watching a bride walk down the aisle in your garments,” she said. “I don’t often get to see it.”
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