Where does one shop for a wedding gown set to be the dress of the year—an outfit chic enough for a fashion-loving bride but suitable for a church that's the burial place of monarchs? Everyone at London Fashion Week—and elsewhere—is dying to know. With only three months to go before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's May 19 wedding, the fashion and bridal worlds are abuzz with talk of who the bride will pick to design her dress and what kind of look she'll go for. It's no wonder: There's not been a bigger royal wedding since Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011 in an extravaganza broadcast around the world. Seven years later, Kate's lacey, long-sleeved Alexander McQueen gown is still influencing bridal designs. "It's going to be the greatest fashion commission of 2018. There'll be millions of eyeballs on it," said Jade Beer, editor at the British edition of Brides magazine.
While the design—and designer—of the dress is a guarded secret, many are positive Markle will choose a British designer, reports the AP. In 1981, then-Lady Diana Spencer surprised many when she chose David and Elizabeth Emanuel, designers fresh out of college. Frontrunners for Markle's choice include British-Canadian Erdem Moralioglu, known for his elegant styles; Ralph & Russo, the couture designers Markle chose for her engagement dress; heritage fashion powerhouse Burberry; as well as McQueen and Giles Deacon, who designed Pippa Middleton's wedding gown. It's a dress that many hope will depart from tradition while living up to the grandeur of its surroundings. "She's going to be walking over dead monarchs on the way up the aisle," said Beer. And yet, says designer Jasper Conran, "I think everybody here loves her so dearly. She can wear a dishcloth and people won't mind."