Giorgio Armani wanted Charlene Wittstock's wedding dress to be "completely modern".

The Italian designer created the South African beauty's gown she wore to marry Monaco's Prince Albert Ii on Saturday (02.07.11) and says he was conscious for the dress to be different from Albert's late mother, Princess Grace.

Writing for Giorgio said: "The idea was to go for a completely modern look, without an obvious sense of nostalgia or revivalism. I felt this was appropriate given that there would inevitably be comparisons with Princess Grace, and though such comparisons are of course a sign of admiration, each person has their own individual and unique style, and style is an expression of the times."

Giorgio says former Olympic swimmer Charlene was a pleasure to work with and the perfect Muse, saying: "Charlene is without a shadow of a doubt very beautiful. Tall and slim, she is sporty and at the same time has a natural elegance about her. Dressing her is such a pleasure - she knows how to wear my creations with the nonchalance and confidence of youth. I believe Charlene has the ideal figure to show off great dresses, because they highlight the fine curves and beautiful structure of her back and shoulders."

The dress took 2,500 hours to create, including 700 hours for the embroidery alone, and featured 40,000 Swarovski crystals, 20,000 mother of pearl teardrops and 30,000 stones in gold shades.