sartorialonce: Emma Swan’s wedding gown: an as…


Emma Swan’s wedding gown: an astonishing failure by any metric

(Many, many pictures in this post.)

I hope that, as readers of this blog, you know that I have a great deal of respect for the work of Eduardo Castro on this show. It was with dismay that I began analyzing this dress last season, when friends began asking me to talk about it. I like talking about the successes—negative analysis can be fun and cathartic and all, but analyzing something that works, in order to understand why it’s really that good, is at least as valuable, if not more so. But sometimes, a thing is really that bad, and that’s where we are today. I hope everyone understands that this is a critique of this garment, not an analysis of the character.

But let me be very clear: this dress was poorly made, poorly fitted, and poorly suited to the medium.

Arguably the most famous wedding gown ever made is that of Grace Kelly, worn for the Catholic ceremony of her wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco (the pair had been married in a civil ceremony the day before). Kelly’s gown was designed by a costume designer from MGM Studios, Helen Rose. Rose was a two-time Oscar-winning designer and ten-time nominee. She had designed costumes for Kelly several times, and she was also a well-regarded wedding gown designer.


This gown is without question her most famous work, and its influence has been far-reaching. Fifty-five years later, a dress inspired by Kelly’s was worn by Kate Middleton for her wedding to Prince William. Several European princesses of the same generation have also drawn inspiration from this gown.


Emma Swan’s wedding gown, however, does not draw inspiration from Kelly’s. It is a copy, and not even a good one.

Let’s start from the top.

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