Wedding fever hit the UK in May when Prince Harry married the, now Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. Born to an African-American mother and Caucasian father, Meghan Duchess of Sussex had brown girls everywhere glued to their TV screens to watch the fairy-tale unfold. This wedding however was unlike any the royals had experienced before. With a guest list that read like a Hollywood award show, performances by Celloist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Kingdom gospel choir and of course Bishop Michael Curry taking the royals to church, the Duchess surely ruffled a few feathers with her injection of culture and style. Down to her choice of gown, the royal bride stayed true to herself.
It has been well documented that the rising style icon has a love of clean lines and minimal aesthetics and her wedding dress was no exception. Created by the first female creative director of the house of Givenchy, Clare Waight Keller, the dress was truly fit for a modern princess. Meghan wore an elegant silk, bateau neck gown. While the dress itself was stunning in its simplicity, the embroidered cathedral length veil and diamond encrusted tiara added a regal drama to the whole look. After months of speculation, the final reveal was met with mixed reviews, many feeling Meghan choice was perfect, others saying it was too simple for a royal bride. I had the pleasure of interviewing Award Winning Couture Bridal and Evening wear designer Yemi Osunkoya to get his expert opinion.
Mr Osunkoya, is the genius behind Kosibah Couture. Known for his signature corsetry, luxury fabrics and hand beading, it’s no wonder his clientele include Hollywood royalty and beauty queens, so who better to talk royal bridal gown than the King of Bridal couture.
Yemi what did you think of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex’s dress?
I absolutely loved it. I think she struck the right note. A classic gown that will stand the test of time for years and decades to come. As a woman of colour, she alone was already enough of a statement and she didn’t need to guild the lily but she let her personality shine through. Having said that, the tiara she wore and the cathedral veil featuring embroidery of flowers from all the Commonwealth countries and California certainly elevated the whole ensemble.
Is it what you expected?
It was much, much simpler than I expected. I knew she would go with a British designer or design house. I predicted Ralph & Russo, and I expected her to wear something classic in design with sleeves but I expected a slightly fuller skirt and perhaps some lace detailing on the dress.
What would you have put her in?
I’d have put her in a gown with a cinched in waist, 3/4 length sleeves, a full circular skirt probably in a heavy silk satin fabric that will not crease, perhaps with a Tulle overlay. I’d have put her in a high bateau neckline with as much of a deep V at the back as would be respectable for a Royal Bride.
Do you think her choice of dress will influence brides of colour in the coming season?
I think it will allow brides with a simpler fashion aesthetic and style to be more comfortable wearing a relatively simple gown or a gown with no embellishments whether the style is complicated or not. But in all honesty, the design was so classic that it won’t make that much of a difference.
What are your go to trends for bridal wear 2018?
Illusion mesh, Tulle, embellished or bold appliqués, 3D Lace and versatility in the wearing of the gowns to take you from the formal to the more relaxed aspects of the day. Dramatic backs and voluminous but ethereal skirts.
How would you describe your collection this season: Inspiration, fabrics silhouette etc?
It was important to me that to sustain longevity and remain relevant one has to keep evolving and renewing one’s design aesthetic and style while keeping to the elements that make one unique. I was therefore inspired to create softer more ethereal designs and use soft floaty fabrics such as tulle, organza etc.
What details are your Couture brides asking for most so far this year?
Most brides want a combination of Lace and Tulle. They also want some layering of fabrics to achieve a unique look to their gowns. For example a fabric like silk satin or double crepe is overplayed by Chantilly Lace or a beaded crosshatch fabric, on top of that bold 3D lace appliqués are strategically hand-stitched in place to complete the look.
What are the 3 important things a bride should think about when planning her overall ensemble?
The location and venue of your wedding, the time of year and time of day play a strong part in that decision. Religious and cultural factors also come into play. Combined with what style/silhouette would best flatter the bride results in a design that ticks numerous boxes and therefore the perfect dress.
What is your no. 1 tip to all brides on choosing the perfect dress?
Keep an open mind. You may have a style you’ve dreamed of wearing for years or you may think certain styles are ‘not you’ or may not fit your body type. You’d be surprised how many brides who’ve tried something they never thought they’d like and fell in love with the style or silhouette. Of course, getting a bespoke dress made is the best options if your budget is up to it, because you can have a style that ticks all the boxes and tweak certain proportions or silhouettes to suit your body shape, size and height perfectly.
With wedding season well under way, and brides eagerly searching for that special gown, how can they commission a couture dress of dreams from yourself?
Though I have now relocated to NYC, I’ve kept my London studio open and I return every 8 weeks to carry out client consultations and fittings so I’m totally able to cater to the needs of my UK based brides seamlessly. In fact, it’s a bit of a win-win situation because I’m able to source fabrics and embellishments in the US that are not available in the UK. However, all gowns are stitched and finished in the UK.
I am very engaged with followers on all my social media platforms which I am @yemikosibah as I find it helps to build trust and reassure brides who they are dealing with even before they decide to commission me to create their couture bridal gowns. “
So there you have it. Have a look at the fabulous collection on www. kosibah.co.uk for more bridal gown inspiration.