It’s been less than a week since the world glimpsed Meghan Markle’s wedding dress for the first time, but bridal-gown startup Floravere has already created a lookalike version for $1,475 that will come in sizes 0 to 24.
Markle’s Givenchy dress came as a bit of a surprise to many professional wedding watchers, who had predicted she would go with Ralph & Russo. Instead, she went with a minimalistic, boatneck dress designed by Clare Waight Keller, a British woman who happens to be the first female artistic director for the French luxury house. Markle’s dress is reported to cost more than half a million dollars.
But if you fell in love with the Duchess’s dress and happen to be walking down the aisle soon, you’re in luck. Today, Floravere unveils the M.Markle gown, priced at an estimated 1/350th of the original, or $1,475. Much like the original, it features a structured fabric and feminine boatneck. It isn’t identical, however: The Floravere gown has shorter, off-the shoulder sleeves, buttons down the back, and a more fitted silhouette. (Some, including Katy Perry, claimed that Markle’s dress was not fitted enough; others, like Victoria Beckham, thought it was perfect.) The whole look is designed to be relaxed. The brand did not attempt to create a version of Markle’s 16-foot train. And importantly, the dress will come in then Floravere’s characteristic inclusive sizing, which means it will go all the way up to size 24.
The speed with which Floravere turned around this design is a testament to how nimble the startup is. The brand has a team of designers who have experience working at the bridal industry’s top labels. Floravere says its streamlined manufacturing and marketing processes and direct-to-consumer approach allow it to sell high-quality dresses at a fraction of industry standards. As early as today, women will be able to request a sample of the M.Markle dress for a home try-on, and can purchase a made-to-order dress, which they’ll receive within two to three months.
That said, it’s unclear whether brides-to-be will want to mimic Markle. After the last royal wedding, when Kate Middleton married Prince William, American bridal shops stocked dresses similar to Middleton’s, which was a long-sleeve, high-neck lacy affair. However, according to many industry experts, stateside brides were more inclined to go with strapless, highly embellished gowns in the months that followed. Ronnie Rothstein, the owner of Kleinfeld Bridal in New York told the New York Times that he still has some Kate-like dresses in stock from seven years ago, and has not stocked many that look like Meghan’s. Let’s see if the L.A.-born Duchess of Sussex has more influence over American brides.