Michelle Kwan has worked with Vera Wang, the renowned fashion designer, for six years now to come up with highly functional and elegant figure skating costumes.
“She knows me in terms of my lines,” Kwan tells, “and she knows my body really well.”
This is juts one of the reasons why Kwan want to adorn a Wang design on her wedding. She recently got engaged to Lt. Clay Pell, U.S. Coast Guard.
“I did tell her the news,” says Kwan, who is currently in New York City. “She was like, ‘When is it?’”
In her entire career, Kwan has tried a number of Wang gowns “just for size, for a visual on what’s happening for a spring or fall look,” the skater recalls. “She’d say, ‘This shape would look great on you, try this on!’ But I’d say, ‘Vera, I’m really excited to be getting married one day, but I don’t need to try on a wedding dress and if you’re not engaged, it’s supposed to be bad luck, right?’ But she was like, ‘Eh!’”
Kwan is based in Washington D.C. and Wang is based in New York City. The commute works pretty well apparently. Kwan says. “I have a long relationship with Vera, so I hope she does it.”
“I had gotten a sense of some of the things that Michelle would like by looking around,” Pell says about the platinum engagement ring, “but I really wanted [our] two initials, M and C, so I had that part made.”
As for the diamond, “the shape I thought looked best on her fingers was an oval,” Pell says, “which was also the shape of an ice rink. I liked that, and I thought that looked the best because she has such thin, long fingers.”
For Kwan, “my favorite parts are the details he thought long and hard about, like the M and the C. It’s so pretty.”
“I remember sitting down with Clay to prepare for our White House fellowship interviews,” Kwan says, “but we ended up just talking. We laughed so hard that I was crying. I never was one who believed in love at first sight, but I have to admit it happened for us. I felt there was a magnetic connection between us. I thought he was the one from the beginning.”