It's been over 35 years since Princess Diana and Prince Charles's wedding day, and the royal's wedding dress has been iconic ever since. Designer David Emanuel, now 63, is now hosting the British version of Say Yes to the Dress, and reflected on the biggest design of his life in interviews with Express.co.uk.
David, along with his wife, Elizabeth, first designed for Diana before she was in the public eye. Suddenly, he spotted her on television with Prince Charles wearing a silk taffeta dress they designed. "Later, there were double-page spreads in newspapers and magazines speculating as to who would be the designer of her wedding gown," he said. "My ex-wife and I were ranked outsiders." But Diana chose them and changed their careers forever.
He said that he had multiple visits with Diana to design her gown, and after a few visits, she asked if she could bring her mother. The entire process had to be top secret because of the prying press. "I showed her a sketch and ripped the sketch up because we didn't want it floating around," he said. A sketch like that could have fetched a major amount of money at auction these days. The dress was displayed around the world for many years, and has since gone back to the royal family.
The gown, made of ivory silk taffeta and antique lace, had a massive, 25-foot-long train. "I wanted the dress to reflect that but she was going in as Lady Diana Spencer and coming out as the Princess of Wales. St. Paul's Cathedral was very grand," he said. "If you did a subtle little number, it's not going to work to an audience of seven hundred billion people!"
Emanuel also weighed in on how he'd design a wedding dress for Kate Middleton's newly engaged sister, Pippa. "As long as it's the complete opposite of her sister, because she's a different woman, she's a different body shape," he said. "I'd keep it very soft because I think Catherine's dress was quite rigid and quite hard, so just the complete opposite and you shouldn't compare brides. You shouldn't compare women, really."
Princess Diana with designer David Emanuel at Kensington Palace.