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Princess Eugenie’s wedding dress shows off her surgery scars

A dress made of memories: Eugenie shuns Erdem in favour of a Peter Pilotto gown featuring a print inspired by the Queen AND Fergie – with a low cut back to show her scoliosis surgery scars

  • Princess Eugenie wore bespoke gown by London-based design duo Peter Pilotto
  • Features meaningful symbols, including thistles to represent Queen's beloved Balmoral estate
  • Also incorporated shamrocks to incorporate Sarah Ferguson's Irish heritage
  • Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos created an original pattern printed on jacquard

By Siofra Brennan For Mailonline

Published: 04:24 EDT, 12 October 2018 | Updated: 12:51 EDT, 12 October 2018

Princess Eugenie has pulled off a major surprise by choosing design duo Peter Pilotto after being widely expected to wear Erdem.

The bride stunned in the V-neck dress made from a jacquard of silk, cotton and viscose blend with a low back, designed to display the scars from her childhood operation for scoliosis designed by London-based Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, who first met at the University of Antwerp.

The fabric of the dress – pronounced a 'major departure' from the choices of previous royal brides by celebrity stylist Lucas Armitage – features symbols that are meaningful to the bride and groom, including thistles, to reflect their love for the Queen's beloved Balmoral estate in the Scottish highlands.

A design of shamrocks also featured a nod to the bride's Irish heritage, with Eugenie's maternal grandmother hailing from Ireland, where Fergie spent time while recovering from the aftermath of her divorce from Prince Andrew.

Pilotto and De Vos reinterpreted these symbols in a garland of rope like motifs, and once the artwork was completed, it was translated into a jacquard weave in the Como region of Italy and the intricate gown is estimate to have cost the Princess as much as £200K.

Hamish Shephard founder of Bridebook.co.uk told Femail: 'We believe the dress to have cost in the region of £175-200,000. Everything about it has been made completely couture, especially for Eugenie, which is a vast amount of work.

'It incorporates a bespoke fabric, of which there are several metres because of the length of the train, which would have taken hours upon hours to design and then hand-make.

Princess Eugenie's Peter Pilotto wedding gown featured a low back, deliberately designed to reveal the scar on her back from her childhood spinal surgery to address her scoliosis. The fabric of the bride's dress features symbols that are meaningful to Eugenie and her now husband, Jack, including thistles to reflect their love of Balmoral, the Queen's Scottish retreat

Princess Eugenie's Peter Pilotto wedding gown featured a low back, deliberately designed to reveal the scar on her back from her childhood spinal surgery to address her scoliosis. The fabric of the bride's dress features symbols that are meaningful to Eugenie and her now husband, Jack, including thistles to reflect their love of Balmoral, the Queen's Scottish retreat

Go for a fairytale dress like Princess Eugenie in Peter Pilotto

It's the second Royal wedding of the year, and the second time we've fallen head over heels in love with a big white dress.

When wondering who might make Princess Eugenie's bridal gown there were plenty of names in the mix. Erdem, Ralph & Russo, Stella McCartney…

But as she stepped out of the car and headed into St. George's Chapel it was announced that her beautiful dress was the work of Peter Pilotto. It's a million miles away from the designer's signature bold prints, but she is a big fan of the label.

We love the elgant long sleeves, jacquard fabric and slightly off shoulder shape with fold over detailing. The voluminous skirt and dramatic train are very regal and when teamed with the Queen Mother's Greville emerald tiara and Charlotte Olympia shoes, it's everything we expected and so much more.

Click (right) to shop Peter Pilotto at NET-A-PORTER, or if your own big day is in the diary, start your dress search with the help of our edit below.

* PRICES MAY NOT BE AS ADVERTISED …NOW GET ONE LIKE IT Attendants ensure the bride's train is perfectly in place as she prepares to make her way up the steps of St George's Chapel on her wedding day at Windsor Castle 

Attendants ensure the bride's train is perfectly in place as she prepares to make her way up the steps of St George's Chapel on her wedding day at Windsor Castle

Eugenie's dress featured a stunning train and a v neck at the back, showing a scar from corrective surgery she had for scoliosis as a child 

Eugenie's dress featured a stunning train and a v neck at the back, showing a scar from corrective surgery she had for scoliosis as a child

Sending a message: Princess Eugenie specifically wanted a dress that would show the scar from her surgery for scoliosis as a way of redefining what beauty means

Sending a message: Princess Eugenie specifically wanted a dress that would show the scar from her surgery for scoliosis as a way of redefining what beauty means

The Princess' spectacular gown was pronounced a 'dramatic' choice by celebrity stylist Lucas Armitage, who called it a 'major departure' compared with the choices of previous royal brides 

The Princess' spectacular gown was pronounced a 'dramatic' choice by celebrity stylist Lucas Armitage, who called it a 'major departure' compared with the choices of previous royal brides

Princess Eugenie broke with tradition by deciding not to wear a veil, so that she could showcase the low back of her dress instead, which was specifically designed to show the scars from an operation to correct scoliosis when she was 12-years-old 

Princess Eugenie broke with tradition by deciding not to wear a veil, so that she could showcase the low back of her dress instead, which was specifically designed to show the scars from an operation to correct scoliosis when she was 12-years-old

'The structure of the dress has also been made bespoke, specifically to complement and flatter her figure perfectly. The bespoke corset, structured bodice and skirt would all have been fine-tuned over several fittings, until the perfect fit was achieved.'

However, other estimate that Eugenie's cost have cost more than £200K, making it more expensive than even the estimated cost of Meghan Markle's Givenchy creation.

'The dress Eugenie has worn for her nuptials is a work of wearable art. The nature and complexity of the bespoke fabric the construction and amount of details also comes with the price tag of a work of art.

'There's bespoke fabric in vast quantities – I'd expect 20 metres at least, all hand embroidered and the under dress – the framework for the orgami style skirt to sit on.

Who are the designers behind Peter Pilotto?

German-Austrian designer Peter Pilotto (left) and Christopher de Vos met at the University of Antwerp in 2000 and are now based in London

German-Austrian designer Peter Pilotto (left) and Christopher de Vos met at the University of Antwerp in 2000 and are now based in London

Half-German, half-Austrian Peter Pilotto studied at Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Art where he met half-Peruvian, half-Belgian Christopher de Vos in 2000.

Christopher was 19 at the time and Peter, 23, and the pair became friends, bonding over their shared love of design.

The friendship turned romantic and they've now been a couple for 18 years.

In 2004, Pilotto graduated and launched his eponymous label, which was immediated bought by trend-setting Parisian store Maria Luisa as well as some Japanese retailers.

The early boost from Maria Luisa boosted the label's profile on the European fashion scene.

After graduation in 2005, De Vos moved to London and Pilotto followed two years later, and the pair decided to collaborate.

They quickly became known for their statement prints, using the technique of digital printing that was previously used on low price t-shirts and tracksuits, on luxury fabrics.

In 2009, they won a British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent, followed by a British Fashion Council/Vogue Fashion Fund award of £200,000.

Their eye-popping prints have made them a hit with celebrities, with stars such as Lupita Nyong'o, Emma Roberts, Alexa Chung, Anna Friel, and Naomie Harris wearing their designs.

'Due to nature of the dress I would think this would be the most expensive royal bridal gown we have seen in years.'

Princess Eugenie met the designers when she was co-hosting an event in support of women artists. Her Royal Highness has been wearing designs by the brand for several years.

Princess Eugenie, Mr Pilotto and Mr De Vos have worked closely together on the design of the dress. The designers undertook archive research into previous dresses worn by Members of the Royal Family and identified a silhouette.

Buckingham Palace revealed that the bride had several fittings, during which the dress was developed layer by layer, constructing it from the corset and the complex underskirt to the fitted bodice and full pleated skirt.

The princess stunned in a white bridal gown created by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, who founded the British based label Peter Pilotto, in London in 2007

The princess stunned in a white bridal gown created by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, who founded the British based label Peter Pilotto, in London in 2007

The dress's low back was a specific request from Princess Eugenie, who wanted it to show the scar on her back from an operation she had to correct her scoliosis as a child. She is seen on the steps of St George's Chapel today with her father, the Duke of York, who looked proud as punch to walk his youngest daughter down the aisle 

The dress's low back was a specific request from Princess Eugenie, who wanted it to show the scar on her back from an operation she had to correct her scoliosis as a child. She is seen on the steps of St George's Chapel today with her father, the Duke of York, who looked proud as punch to walk his youngest daughter down the aisle

An attendant helped to adjust Princess Eugenie's elaborate train as she made her way up the steps of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle 

An attendant helped to adjust Princess Eugenie's elaborate train as she made her way up the steps of St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle

Eugenie was accompanied by a party of eight bridesmaids and flower girls as she made her way down the aisle to marry Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel 

Eugenie was accompanied by a party of eight bridesmaids and flower girls as she made her way down the aisle to marry Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel

Radiant smile: Eugenie just can't stop smiling as she is walked down the aisle by her father, the Duke of York

Radiant smile: Eugenie just can't stop smiling as she is walked down the aisle by her father, the Duke of York

Her dress was been designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, who founded the British-based label Peter Pilotto, in London in 2007

Her dress was been designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, who founded the British-based label Peter Pilotto, in London in 2007

Jack takes Eugenie's hand in his as they read their vows at the top of the altar at St George's chapel

Jack takes Eugenie's hand in his as they read their vows at the top of the altar at St George's chapel

The happy couple: Jack and Eugenie have wide smiles as they exchange rings during the ceremony at  St George's chapel

The happy couple: Jack and Eugenie have wide smiles as they exchange rings during the ceremony at St George's chapel

The royals: Jack and Eugenie can been seen at the top of the altar while the rest of the royals including the Queen and Prince Charles sit behind them 

The royals: Jack and Eugenie can been seen at the top of the altar while the rest of the royals including the Queen and Prince Charles sit behind them

'The low back feature on the dress was at the specific request of Princess Eugenie who had surgery aged 12 to correct scoliosis,' the palace said in a statement.

The Queen's granddaughter was diagnosed with scoliosis and underwent corrective surgery that saw a pair of eight-inch titanium rods inserted alongside her spine.

She has invited the doctor who performed the life-changing operation to her big day and didn't try to hide her scars as she walked up the aisle this morning.

Princess Eugenie wears the Queen's dazzling Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara

Princess Eugenie's something borrowed was from the Queen today – who lent her an dazzling emerald tiara for her big day at Windsor Castle this morning.

The blushing bride opted for the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, lent to her by her grandmother, while her matching diamond and emerald earrings were a wedding gift from the groom, Jack Brooksbank.

The glittering bandeau tiara was lent to the bride by the 92-year-old monarch, and was made by Boucheron in 1919 in the fashionable 'kokoshnik' style popularised in the Russian Imperial Court.

It is made of brilliant and rose cut diamonds pavé set in platinum, with six emeralds on either side. The tiara was bequeathed by socialite Margaret Greville to the Queen Mother in 1942.

Steeped in history: The glittering tiara was lent to the bride by the 92-year-old monarch, and was made by Boucheron in 1919 in the fashionable ‘kokoshnik’ style popularised in the Russian Imperial Court

Steeped in history: The glittering tiara was lent to the bride by the 92-year-old monarch, and was made by Boucheron in 1919 in the fashionable 'kokoshnik' style popularised in the Russian Imperial Court

Here comes the bride! The younger daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York wore a stunning gown by British designer Peter Pilotto this morning; teamed with the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, lent to her by her grandmother the Queen

Here comes the bride! The younger daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York wore a stunning gown by British designer Peter Pilotto this morning; teamed with the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, lent to her by her grandmother the Queen

The centre emerald is 93.70 carats, and also has diamonds set in platinum, the Palace said this morning, adding that previous wearers include both the Queen Elizabeth and her late mother.

Part of a magnificent jewellery collection known as the Grevillle Bequest, it was passed down to the Queen following her mother's death in 2002.

In a letter to Queen Mary in 1942, the Queen mother – then Queen Elizabeth – wrote: 'I must tell you that Mrs Greville has left me her jewels, tho' I am keeping that quiet as well for the moment!

'She left them to me 'with her loving thoughts', dear old thing, and I feel very touched. I don't suppose I shall see what they consist of for a long time, owing to the slowness of lawyers & death duties etc, but I know she had a few good things.

'Apart from everything else, it is rather exciting to be left something, and I do admire beautiful stones with all my heart. I can't help thinking that most women do!'

Part of a magnificent jewellery collection known as the Grevillle Bequest, the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara (pictured) was passed down to the Queen following her mother's death in 2002

Part of a magnificent jewellery collection known as the Grevillle Bequest, the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara (pictured) was passed down to the Queen following her mother's death in 2002

The Princess, 28, said: 'I think you can change the way beauty is, and you can show people your scars and I think it's really special to stand up for that.'

Her bridal beauty look was created by Bobbi Brown’s Hannah Martin, while her hair was styled by Sonny-Jo Macfarlane at Hari’s.

Eugenie previously told how her wedding would be an environmentally friendly, anti-plastic affair.

'(The dress) is the one thing that I was really decisive about,' the princess told British Vogue magazine in an interview in the run up to her big day.

'As soon as we announced the wedding, I knew the designer, and the look, straight away. I never thought I'd be the one who knew exactly what I like, but I've been pretty on top of it.'

Picture perfect: Princess Eugenie and her new husband Jack look the part as they walk down the steps of the chapel

Picture perfect: Princess Eugenie and her new husband Jack look the part as they walk down the steps of the chapel

The newlyweds shares a kiss after marrying in front of 850 royals, aristocrats, VIPs and friends today

Princes Eugenie looks delighted as she leaves the chapel with her new husband Jack Brooksbank following the ceremony

Princes Eugenie looks delighted as she leaves the chapel with her new husband Jack Brooksbank following the ceremony

Jack and his new wife Eugenie exit the chapel after their royal wedding ceremony in St George's chapel, followed by a procession of bridesmaids and page boys

Jack and his new wife Eugenie exit the chapel after their royal wedding ceremony in St George's chapel, followed by a procession of bridesmaids and page boys

Eugenie and Jack emerge from the West Door of the chapel and wave to the crowds following the lavish ceremony 

Eugenie and Jack emerge from the West Door of the chapel and wave to the crowds following the lavish ceremony

Princess Eugenie's dress: The experts give their verdict

Phillipa Lepley, couture wedding dress designer

'The Princess is wearing an extremely beautiful 50s-inspired jacquard dress with a very full, circular skirt,' she told Femail. 'It is a great dress for her shape, and it is very flattering.

'The combination of the clever pleating on the front adding detail, the double pleat within the collar and a low cut back make it very individual.

'It is the perfect balance of traditional classic with a sleek modern edge. Lovely and timeless, but with a twist.'

Celebrity stylist Lucas Armitage

'Princess Eugenie has opted for a highly structured origami in inspired gown which is a huge departure from any royal gown we have ever seen.

'I love the way the embroidered satin has been manipulated with precise folding to create a dynamic and dramatic effect.

'As expected from a royal wedding the gown has a modest quality covering the arms and shoulders. The fold over of the fabric creates a gentle V and some more added interest.'

Bridal designer Caroline Castigliano

'The Princess looks classic with a contemporary twist – the long sleeves staying in line with Royal tradition – the cuff style neckline and full flowing skirt in a jacquard print has a freshness and simplicity.

'The back is slightly daring with an edge for a Royal. The gown by Peter Pilotto is entirely different to Kate's and Meghan's –

'I think Eugenie she has learnt silhouettes that work for her and she has absolutely nailed it with her wedding look, everything about the gown is perfect, the dress is beautiful, and the emerald tiara borrowed from the Queen, and earrings add a sense of sparkle.

'The outfit is perfectly balanced and not too much, and she looks super classic. Princess Eugenie is a stunning bride, she is very beautiful has stunning colouring and her fabulous wedding dress looks truly outstanding.'

Fashion designer Scott Henshall

'Princess Eugenie broke with tradition, by being the first Royal Bride for over a hundred years to not wear a veil.

'The dramatic theatrical dress with a low V cut back highlighted the fact she had scoliosis as a child. Dramatic and befitting for a Royal Princess, she went left field picking Peter Pilotto, a British trained Designer.

'The train was sculptural and dramatic teamed with an emerald tiara loaned by the Queen, with matching earrings, a gift from her hubby.'

Jet Shenkman, Founder of EPONINE London

'The dress is beautiful, I love the shape of the collar and the deep V-neck detail at the back. The fabric choice is stunning. I really like the fact she didn't wear a veil. It showed her individual style and also showcased the Queen's Tiara beautifully.'

In her engagement interview in January, she told the BBC's Matt Baker that her only stipulation was 'no meringue shoulders', calling them 'unfashionable'.

And speaking to Vogue earlier this year, she said: '[The dress] is the one thing that I was really decisive about. As soon as we announced the wedding, I knew the designer, and the look, straight away. I never thought I'd be the one who knew exactly what I like, but I've been pretty on top of it.'

Eugenie's bridal beauty look: Glowing and effortless

Eugenie's wedding make up was done by Bobbi Brown’s Hannah Martin.

Celebrity make-up artist Lisa Little told Femail that Eugenie went for heavier foundation than normal to ensure longevity for her look, but still looked effortless and glowing.

'Princess Eugenie is naturally attractive with a smile that lights up the room, and my first impressions were 'effortless and striking' as she walked down the aisle,' she said.

'She looks a strikingly beautiful English bride. The glow was the first thing I noticed highlighted to perfection. Eugenie opted for a slightly heavier coverage than what I expected as she tends to wear a very sheer foundation as a rule. The pop of pink on her cheeks adds youthfulness and a healthy flush of colour.

'The staple smudge eyeliner is a little more precise today with a wash of champagne on the lid and lashings of mascara to accentuate her hazel eyes. Her eyebrows were Bold but not too heavy with what looked like a powdered finish. Teamed with the Peachy nude lip it's the piece de resistance.

'Although princess Eugenie has opted for a higher coverage foundation than usual she has still kept her makeup 'very bridal' which will add to its longevity and will continue to look radiant throughout the day. Minimum make up with maximum effect. She now looks truly regal. '

Before today's ceremony, Paddy Power had suspended betting on Eugenie wearing Stella McCartney after a flood of bets.

The British designer created the Duchess of Sussex's halterneck evening gown, which she wore for the wedding afterparty at Frogmore House when she married Prince Harry in May.

A Paddy Power spokesman said before the wedding: 'We've seen a lot of action on Stella McCartney to be the designer of Princess Eugenie's wedding dress this morning, forcing us to stop taking bets.

'The level of wagers could indicate insider knowledge, and the brand seems a good fit for the day with their positive environmental standpoint.'

Eugenie was walked up the aisle by her father, the Duke of York, in front of 850 guests including the Queen and a host of A-listers – from supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell to the A-list actress Demi Moore.

Commenting on Eugenie's style evolution this week, Sassi Holford – who famously designed Autumn Phillips' wedding gown – said: 'I think Eugenie's style has changed in the last five years.

'She's 28 now, I think she's at that age where you start to develop that core style.

'And things have simplified. So I'd be surprised if it's Vivienne Westwood, I think she'll probably go for cleaner lines. Certainly the dress she wore to Meghan's very clean lines, understated. I think she's gonna nail it.

'I think there could possibly be a second dress, with Kate and Meghan the point of the second dress was that both their [day] dresses had sleeves.

'And then they went on to have a less formal party with their friends.

'So if [Eugenie's] dress has sleeves I think there will be a second dress so she can party with her friends later on.'

Stella McCartney is also in the running after a flurry of last minute bets. The designer created Meghan's halterneck gown for her evening reception when she married Prince Harry in May 

Stella McCartney is also in the running after a flurry of last minute bets. The designer created Meghan's halterneck gown for her evening reception when she married Prince Harry in May

Princess Eugenie showed her support for Erdem when she wore one of his elaborate floral creations for her engagement portrait with Jack Brooksbank in January this year 

Princess Eugenie showed her support for Erdem when she wore one of his elaborate floral creations for her engagement portrait with Jack Brooksbank in January this year

FROM POP ROYALTY TO THE REAL THING: WHO'S WHO IN EUGENIE AND JACK'S BRIDAL PARTY

Details of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's wedding party were unveiled ahead of the October 12th ceremony at Windsor Castle…

Best Man

The groom's brother, Thomas Brooksbank

Maid of Honour

The bride's sister, Princess Beatrice

Bridesmaids

Princess Charlotte, three, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Savannah Phillips, seven, and Isla Phillips, six, daughters of Peter and Autumn Phillips

Mia Tindall, four, daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall

Maud Windsor, five, daughter of Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor – and the bride's goddaughter

Theodora Williams, six, daughter of Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field

Page Boys

Prince George, five, son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Louis de Givenchy, six, son of Olivier and Zoe De Givenchy

Special Attendants

Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, 14, daughter of Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex

James, Viscount Severn, 10, son of Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex

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