Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Local designer’s royal replicas go global!

Local fashion designer, Shauna Fay, says she is “totally gobsmacked” at the reaction to her whirlwind creation of a replica of Meghan Markle’s wedding dress last weekend.    The south Armagh designer collaborated with friend and fellow designer, Sharon Patterson of Elody Bride in Newry, to whip up the copycat dress and veil less than 22 hours after it was first glimpsed by the world, donned by the new Duchess of Sussex as she married Prince Harry on Saturday 18th May.

Images of the stunning replica were soon being shared online, prompting interest from the iconic New York Time magazine, which featured the story of the snappy recreation last week.  

Shauna says the idea to make the royal wedding dress started as a “bit of fun and to celebrate local ladies in business” and she admits the reaction has been “just crazy.”

“We are just overwhelmed by the response!  We had no idea Time magazine would pick up on it. We’ve had messages from people in Canada and Australia who’ve been reading about us,” she told The Examiner. 

The women set about the task at Shauna’s workshop in Jonesborough as soon as they laid eyes on the dress and together they worked through the night until 9am on Sunday morning having whipped up almost identical copies of Meghan’s Givenchy wedding gown and the extravagant  Stella McCartney halterneck dress the Duchess wore for the evening festivities, as well as Sharon’s beautiful recreation of Markle’s 16 foot embroidered veil.

“We were never sure we could actually pull it off,” says Shauna, “We had our model and hair and beauty team on standby but we didn’t actually know if we would get it finished on time so it really was just a case of working on and hoping we would get it done.  Sharon and I kept each other going throughout the night – when one hit a wall the other kept her going!”

With the replicas completed, the ensuing photoshoot was a triumph of collaboration of talented local designers and business women, with Newry milner, Donna Mackin, providing  a similar piece to Meghan’s bandeau style diamond tiara, topped off with a £50,000 diamond centrepiece courtesy of Gemma Murphy from Jack Murphy Jewellers!   

Gorgeous Armagh model, Cleo Parkinson, received a Meghan makeover from Rosemary Wright make-up artist and Suzanne from Chocolate Blonde Hair, Couture Markethill to complete the Royal look which was captured in the incredible shots featured above by Rashida Keenan Photography Newry.  

“The whole thing was a real collaboration of all these wonderful, talented local women,” says Shauna.  “Everything needed to come together to complete the iconic look and, thanks to the efforts and amazing talents of everyone involved, it really worked!  We still can’t quite believe the reaction the dresses have received, we honestly didn’t think for a minute this would go global. It has been such a celebration of women in business and it just goes to show that, you don’t have to be a princess to pull off a royal wedding around here!”