Meghan Markle's wedding dress was beautiful. It was a bespoke gown by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, featuring an open bateau neckline with a bodice that subtly accentuated her body. The silk gown had a full skirt with a crisp silhouette that ended in a sweeping train. It gleamed in pure elegance, sophistication, and simplicity.
Still, all these details were overlooked with people zooming in on everything the dress was not. They called it "ill-fitting," since it didn't wrap around her body to emphasize a tiny waist or toned arms. They called it "boring" even, without heavy beading, crystal embellishments, and appliqués. Overall, it was "plain." It wasn't covered in delicate lace and it didn't have the details that would make for the princess-worthy gown, at least according to many.
In my personal opinion though, the dress did serve its purpose—as Meghan's personal choice of a wedding dress, that is. It allowed her to be seen beyond all the things she was expected to be, to be more than the ideals, names, and labels the society throws at her: the Deal or No Deal briefcase girl, Rachel Zane from Suits, a Hollywood biracial actress, a blogger, a divorcee, the now-Duchess of Sussex, or the new princess.
All of this did not matter on her wedding day. She was no Disney princess. There were no fairytale tropes. She wasn't being anti-bridal, even. She was simply Meghan clad in white, on her way to marry the man she loves.
With Meghan consciously choosing this Givenchy gown, a gown not unanimously loved by all, we're given a glimpse of who the bride is, demonstrated through her fashion sense. The dress worked in the service of a woman—a backdrop for her strong personality, her individuality, security of herself, and the diversity that she embodies—as any dress should. Sure, Meghan's choice was a romantic one, but in the context of a modern woman. Perhaps this ornament-free dress was her version of a "princess gown" and an overall metaphor of her definition of love—free, pragmatic, and simple. Through her sartorial deviances, Meghan emphasizes that while she had married into royalty—an institution rigid with traditions, rules, and protocols—she is still a free-thinker.
Above all, the dress, in its utmost simplicity, calls for a change of perspective. It debunks the idea of living in a fairytale fantasy and proposes a reality where women are seen as people, not decorative articles or spectacles. Meghan demonstrates that she is a woman in control and capable of making her own decisions. Meghan has already developed a strong sense of herself. And now, she is determined to pass along the same certainty to every woman—especially those who are constantly challenged by societal pressure to be anything but themselves.