Nancy Shevell's Wedding Dress Inspiration Revealed

The bride wanted a dress modeled after Wallis Simpson's wedding gown

Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

When Nancy Shevell married Paul McCartney in London on Sunday, it wasn’t surprising to hear that Stella McCartney designed the couple’s wedding attire. After all, the newlyweds are front-row regulars at the designer’s fashion shows, and Shevell typically wears her now-stepdaughter’s designs on the red carpet.

But the real inspiration for the bride’s dress, it turns out, came from the Duchess of Windsor, wedding guest Barbara Walters revealed on Tuesday’s episode of The View.

“Stella redid it for her,” the host (the new Lady McCartney’s second cousin) said of the high-necked, long-sleeved crepe gown (below) Wallis Simpson wore when she married the Duke of Windsor in 1937. The designer back then: Mainbocher, a Paris couturier.

Shevell’s dress — which featured a lower neckline and a shorter hemline — was the first of three outfits she wore on the big day. For the reception, held in a tent at the groom’s home, she changed into another Stella creation, “a long, beautiful sort of plum-color chiffon dress,” said Walters. She then added that at one point, the couple “went upstairs and they put on jeans and T-shirts.”

Stella wasn’t the only McCartney who contributed something special to the wedding: her sister Mary, a photographer, took pictures of the family during the ceremony at the Old Marylebone Town Hall, Walters shared, and their brother, James, toasted the newlyweds at the reception. (There were only two other toasts: one by Shevell’s son, Arlen, and one by Paul, honoring fellow Beatle John Lennon on what would have been his 71st birthday.) Paul’s youngest daughter Beatrice, 7, was a flower girl, and also wore a dress by Stella.

Wallace Simpson Wedding Dress

Universal History Archive/Getty

–Joey Bartolomeo


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