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Inspirational chic wedding gowns

Rosette and Lunga Ncwana's wedding at Boschendal Wine Estate in Franchoek in 2015./ ESA ALEXANDER
Rosette and Lunga Ncwana's wedding at Boschendal Wine Estate in Franchoek in 2015./ ESA ALEXANDER

We were all excited when the wedding date for Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle was finally announced - May 19 2018.

There are many speculations about what Markle's wedding gown will look like because let's face it: the bar has been set very high.

Remember Prince Harry's mom, the late Princess Diana's iconic wedding dress that featured almost 8m - train and was made from ivory silk and designed by the legendary David Emanuel?

That dress has been embedded in our minds forever.

In South Africa, we have seen our fair share of memorable celebrity wedding gowns that blew us away. If your wedding is imminent, perhaps you want to get inspiration from the iconic wedding gowns that some of our favourite personalities have worn.

Stylist and creative consultant Bradley Gawie takes us through some of the most memorable designs and tells us how to borrow inspiration from them.

In 2015, businesswoman Basetsana Kumalo took to
Instagram in celebration of 15 years of marriage to her executive husband Romeo Kumalo.

She shared her wedding pics, which reminded us of the elegant affair that was their wedding in the year 2000.

Gawie says that her dress was simplistic chic. "While the dress itself was not a show stopper, it became somewhat iconic because she was the first celebrity bride we had seen who defied the norm and did not wear white.

"She instead opted for a soft baby blue-tinted ballgown, which caught a lot of people off guard. The dress was tailored to perfection, and she kept it very minimalistic as it did not have any embellishments or dramatic effects, which really suits her character.

"To get the look, you should see a bridal consultant and discuss opting to wear a coloured bridal gown in great detail. My theory is that Bassie opted for the baby blue colour so that it was not so far removed from white, as opposed
to something really dramatic like pink or
orange. So you could mimic this by getting the softer version of whatever colour you desire.

Romeo and Basetsana Kumalo on their wedding day at Marlbank, Vanderbijlpark, in 2000./ Joe Sefale
Romeo and Basetsana Kumalo on their wedding day at Marlbank, Vanderbijlpark, in 2000./ Joe Sefale

"A lot of people don't know this, but wearing white is traditionally meant for a first-time bride, and coloured wedding dresses generally mean that it is a second or third wedding.

Supermodel Rosette married her businessman husband Lunga Ncwana in an elegant ceremony in 2015.

Gawie says not only was the dress stunning but it was practical. "With the corset being decked out in diamanté detail, playing with white and gold accents, Rosette definitely ticked the 'pretty element' box.

"At the same time, she kept her approach to this ensemble versatile - with detachable mesh material. The dress then converted into something practical to enjoy the rest of the afternoon in.

"You can get this look by creating the same illusion of a train, in any detachable material of your choice, which will be saving on excess expensive offcuts.

"The corset detailing can be remade by adding your own twist of beading or detailing from an inexpensive embroidery store, as opposed to high-end boutique outsourcing," Cawie says.

The businesswoman and now minister of home affairs got hitched in 2014. She wore a tube-dress made of French Chantilly lace designed by David Tlale. "Mrs Gigaba
decided to swim against the current and got bold flower beads attached, running diagonally down her dress.

"Noma's game plan was to be completely comfortable and confident first and foremost, then the dress would follow. She then added one dramatic edge with the flower detail and topped it off with the poofy, flared-out bottom.

"If this is the daring look you are going for, you can achieve it by adding your version of dramatic elements to your dress.

"You don't have to stick to the asymmetric flow, yours can be around your bust area, waist, right around the edge of your dress or cape. Doing it Noma's way will also save you from spending a lot on jewellery, as the flower statement acted as a perfect substitution."

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