Lena Dunham asked Christopher Kane a question—kind of out of the blue—a few months back over text. “She said, ‘By the way, I’m getting married, and I’d love for you to do the dress.’ I was like, that came out of nowhere, but yeah, absolutely,” Kane says over Zoom two days after Dunham married musician Luis Felber in an intimate ceremony at the Union Club in London’s Soho neighborhood. “I had no idea she was seeing someone.” They didn’t have much time; their first fitting was two and a half weeks before the wedding. But they had a shared vision.
“Do you know what? We sort of came up with the same idea,” says Kane. “I knew she loved the ’60s, and she was looking at brides like Sharon Tate, June Carter Cash, and Priscilla Presley. There’s also something about the Holy Communion world, even though she’s Jewish. For me, growing up in Scotland, it was a big deal. Your Holy Communion and the perfect little dress. It was so weird that children were dressed up in these bridal outfits. We liked that subversive world. That’s what Lena loves too.”
The dress Dunham wore for the ceremony, the first of three, is laced with this subversive backstory. If you didn’t know it, though, you’d just see the bride. “When she first walked out into the room where it was, people were really in awe. They really stood back and were crying,” says the British designer, who struck up a friendship with Dunham after dressing her for the Met gala in 2019; she and Jemima Kirke attended the “Camp”-themed event with Kane, decked out in minidresses that read Rubberist and Looner, respectively, with latex gloves.
The Story Behind Lena Dunhams 3 Wedding Gowns
When Kane met Dunham for her first fitting at her home, he had created multiple toiles of dresses for her to try on. He assumed they would need options. “When you do brides, they think they know what they want, but then they go the opposite way,” says Kane. “So you have to have all these options ready. Lena knew what she wanted, and she wasn’t changing her mind. She tried it on and that was it. That was the one.” The dress was modeled after look 54 from his fall 2019 runway show, with lace bishop sleeves and Kane’s signature cupcake skirt (which dramatically puffs out thanks to layers of organza and crinoline). Paired with white tights, white shoes, and a floor-length veil affixed with a tiny bow, Dunham’s look was, as Kane says, “almost doll-like.” Her grandmother’s watch was sewn into the organza of the skirt: something blue. She wore her mother’s Art Deco earrings and a pendant made from one of her grandmother’s earrings as a necklaces.
When Dunham first tried on the dress, Kane says she immediately yelled out a phrase that isn’t fit to print. “She was crying, jumping about, and dancing,” he recalls. “She was like, ‘I can’t believe I’m so lucky.’ I love to see that moment when you try it on and you’re like, ‘This is it.’” But since she was already in Kane’s studio, and they already had all these sample dresses ready to go, Kane suggested she try on a few more. They decided to add two other dresses to the lineup: one for dinner and one for dancing.
The second dress was modeled after look 42 from Kane’s spring 2018 collection, a flowing, floor-length dress straight out of Gloria Swanson’s closet. The front features intricate embroidery, almost in the shape of an antique mirror, and the goblet sleeves are slit. Dunham paired it with a tiara by Dolecka Bridal that resembled shattered glass reassembled into a crown. For her final outfit of the evening, she wore an A-line dress with an abstract painting by Kane of Dunham and Felber. “I wrote on it Lena and Lu and the date of their wedding,” he says. “It was a wedding gift from me to them.”
In addition to the three dresses for Dunham, Kane also created the nine dresses for the bridesmaids, who included Tommy Dorfman and Taylor Swift, and Felber’s best person. This proved to be tricky, as many were flying in for the wedding. As such, some of the fittings were done the day of, and Kane chose a silhouette that was flowy and didn’t require much alteration for each woman. Still, the silver pleated dresses had some room for customization. They could be worn with either spaghetti straps or a halter neck, belted or unbelted, and at any hem length. Together, the disco ball bridesmaids fit into the ’60s theme Dunham was going for. “This was like a fashion show,” says Kane. “It was mayhem. Lena was totally so fine and easy—done and dusted. But with all the fittings in the morning, it was like a normal show. Luckily the dresses were easy.”
Throughout the night (especially with all the changes), Kane made sure Dunham looked picture-perfect. “I was there with a brush and the lipstick she had on,” he says. “I’m very hands on when it comes to brides. I was moving and situating her. I was more Bridezilla than she was.” He imagines that the guests didn’t know exactly what Dunham-as-bride would look like, but admires that Dunham stayed true to herself by being unpredictable. “When you get married, you fall into that realm of ‘I want to be this person,’ but you can forget who you are. I’ve been in situations where it’s like, ‘Why am I wearing this? I’ve never worn something like this in my life,’” he says. “Lena is unexpected, and that’s why we love her. You don’t know what you’re gonna get.”Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in