Princess Chooses Armani For Wedding
How often does a fashion designer get chosen to design a wedding dress for a royal bride-to-be? Considering the small number of opportunities that arise in a typical designer's career, the answer has to be rarely.
And while most media attention is currently on Prince William and Kate Middleton's event, it will switch to Monaco from May onwards as the Principality prepares for their big day.
When Prince Rainier - Albert's father - got married in 1956 to Hollywood actress Grace Kelly - Albert's mother - it was hailed as the fairytale wedding of the century by the press at the time as European aristocracy met Hollywood glamour. As well as being a royal, Prince Rainier was the wealthiest bachelor in the world.
Princess Grace's wedding gown was a gift from film studio MGM, and was designed by Helen Rose, while the studio's top hairdresser Sydney Guilaroff attended Princess Grace on the wedding day.
Prince Albert's wife-to-be Charlene Wittstock is from a different background to his mother, she represented South Africa at the Olympic Games in swimming events, and while the hotels in Monaco will be as full as 1956 her choice of fashion is naturally different - and for her wedding gown she has chosen Fashion House Armani.
According to Wikipedia Armani is an Italian fashion house that not only designs, but manufactures and retails haute couture in top boutiques and department stores in London, New York, Paris, Milan and other cities.
Being chosen as the supplier of the wedding dress will give Armani a boost in exposure the world over, as the press, celebrity magazines, television and internet will report on the ceremony extensively.
Also vying to be suppliers will be the companies who provide other aspects of a wedding. It's already being reported for example that the top champagne houses will be wanting to be the official champagne. Also receiving a boost in the fashion world will be the tailor of Prince Albert's wedding atire, along with sisters Stephanie and Caroline.
Monaco is no stranger to huge sponsorship by leading brands. The Grand Prix held every May is the jewel in the crown of the F1 season, and Monaco Grand Prix tickets are sought after by those who follow motorsports. Even with the banning of tobacco sponsorship companies spend millions on having their logos feature on part of an F1 car, while the streets of Monte Carlo are awash with high price advertising hoardings with the companies hoping that the tens of millions of people watching worldwide will see them.
In the rest of the Principality all the top fashion companies have retail outlets, and with more millionaires per square mile living there than anywhere else in the world, there are plenty of residents and visitors who can afford the best that top companies like Cartier and Luis Vuitton are offering. And for those who are resident all the major banks have branches, most of them are located in Monte Carlo, and at a minimum deposit of 300,000 Euros to open an account with one of the banks in Monaco it's only the wealthy who can afford to move there or shop in the fashion boutiques.
2011 is quite a year for royal weddings, with Prince William, son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, marrying Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London on Friday 29 April that will draw a worldwide television audience, and fashion houses and wedding designers hoping to be chosen, with Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock's wedding in Monaco two months later with all eyes on what the two brides will be wearing.
The world of fashion will be hoping for some more royal engagement news soon!