There is perhaps no more personal an expression of style than a woman’s wedding dress. That is certainly true when it comes to celebrities and their wedding ensembles. Often, the gowns are as surprising as the women who wear them. Here are five celebrities who, for better or worse, opted for dresses that were as attention-grabbing and unpredictable as the stars themselves.
Pretty in Pink? Gwen Stefani
This pop/rock princess and fashion designer has been known for her style statements both on stage and on the runway. So it should have been no shock that her dress by John Galliano for Dior for her wedding to rocker Gavin Rossdale in 2002 would be less than traditional. Stefani looked gorgeous in her silk dress, which from the waist up was traditional except for its soft pink color. But the bottom of the dip-dyed dress dramatically swirled deeper in color to a shocking pink. InStyle called the look “equal parts girlie and punk, like the pop star herself.” The dress is one of the most talked about in fashion history, making fashion bible Harper’s Bazaar’s list of 10 Iconic Wedding Gowns.
Second Time’s a Givenchy Charm: Kim Kardashian
While the fashion world tried not to care, the gossip rags had a field day with “Kimye’s” teasing of the press about what she would wear for her second walk down the aisle. Kardashian’s dress for her recent wedding to Kanye West was indeed a surprise, playing out perfectly for the publicity-hungry bride and those who follow her. Designed by Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci, the gown was unexpectedly modest, or even “virginal,” as The New York Times joked, with long lace sleeves and a covered up bodice. But Kardashian is all about the backside, and the back of her dress didn’t disappoint. It was deeply cut down to the small of her back, much to the entertainment of the wedding guests she stood with her back to as she took her vows.
In Seventh Heaven: Jessica Biel
I admit to some disappointment in Jessica Biel’s wedding gown choice, and I wasn’t alone. Following Biel’s 2012 wedding to Justin Timberlake, there was much disagreement in the press about whether Biel’s froufrou, bubblegum pink dress was feminine and fun or just a flop. Biel later explained to Elle magazine that she had never been a big fan of white, and asked designer friend Giambattista Valli to come up with a dress in a mix of white and other shades. But he suggested pink, she took a leap of faith, and the rest is history.
The Bride Wore Black: Sara Jessica Parker
It’s a decision that fashion icon and actress Sara Jessica Parker now regrets. Her groom, actor Matthew Broderick, wore an off-the-rack suit. Parker wore a long dress in basic black, in fact the first black dress she saw once she had decided to wear the somber color. While she looked pretty, she looked nothing like a bride. It was an effort to keep the press off the trail of a wedding that even their guests knew nothing about beforehand. It was a quick, rash decision, and If she had to do it again, she’d “white it up,” Parker later told Harper’s Bazaar.