While many details about this Saturday’s royal wedding have trickled in over the last few months, like Kensington Palace-confirmed info about the flowers and the cake, there is still one major mystery that remains: Who is designing Meghan Markle’s wedding dress?
Almost every notable British designer has been linked to what will arguably be the most viewed, instantly iconic dress of 2018. Alexander McQueen, Victoria Beckham, Jenny Packham, Roland Mouret, have all been floated around as possibilities. But in the run-up to the main event, one slightly less recognizable brand has been quickly gathering steam as the chosen one: Ralph & Russo.
Markle actually chose a black semi-sheer, embellished tulle dress by the British design house for the couple’s engagement photos, and while that major moment did PR wonders for their brand, Ralph & Russo has actually been quietly building a loyal fan base made up of royalty, celebrities, and fashion icons for the past few years. Below, everything you need to know about the designers rumored to be behind Meghan Markle’s wedding dress.
Who are they?
The brand’s name comes from the last names of Ralph & Russo’s founders, married couple Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo, both native Australians, now based in London. Tamara heads the design portion of Ralph & Russo as its Creative Director, while Michael oversees the business side as CEO. An interesting fact about Ralph & Russo is that it’s also the only approved couture brand based in London. In 2013, it was the first British brand to be elected into the Chamber Syndicale de la Haute Couture, earning them a coveted spot at Paris Couture fashion week alongside Valentino, Dior, and Chanel.
Where can I find their clothes?
Ralph & Russo currently have one atelier in London, one in Paris, and a boutique in Harrods, but they’re about to expand—big time. There are plans to open a store on Madison Avenue, in Miami’s Design District, and Dubai. They also recently launched a ready-to-wear and accessories line last year, so expect to see this name continue to rise in the ranks. “The intention has always been to build an empire that spans all product categories,” Russo said in an interview with the New York Times. “We just decided that the smartest way to do that was from the very top of the pyramid. We want to get on par with those big names as quickly as possible.”
Who are some of their clients?
Aside from Markle, Ralph & Russo’s fan base includes Beyoncé, who has worn Ralph & Russo on tour and for a private event with President Obama. Gwyneth Paltrow wore a pale pink gown by them for the 2015 Oscars. Angelina Jolie picked a Ralph & Russo suit when she met the Queen and was named a dame. And you can also add Jennifer Lopez, Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner to their roster of clients. No big deal.
What are the chances they are the royal wedding dress designers?
Quite high! Over the weekend, the Daily Mail published a front page piece confirming Ralph & Russo as the chosen designers, and adding that the wedding dress would be a “hand-stitched, heavily beaded design” that will cost approximately £100,000. The article also reveals that last week members of the couture house visited the Royal School of Needlework, also known as the school that created Kate Middleton’s bespoke lace. Finally, when asked whether or not they would be designing Meghan Markle’s dress, Ralph & Russo offered up a non-response: “We will be politely declining to comment on this topic.” Sounds like a confirmation to us!