Bride-to-Be Michelle Kwan Wants a Vera Wang Wedding Gown

09/14/2012 at 05:00 PM ET

Michelle Kwan Engagement RingJen Lombardo

For six years, Michelle Kwan worked with fashion designer Vera Wang to create elegant and functional figure skating costumes.

“She knows me in terms of my lines,” Kwan tells PEOPLE, “and she knows my body really well.”

For those reasons and more, Kwan is keen on Wang to design her wedding dress following Kwan’s announcement of her engagement to U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Clay Pell.

“I did tell her the news,” says Kwan, who has been in New York City for Fashion Week. “She was like, ‘When is it?'”

Kwan says that throughout her skating career, Wang would have her try on gowns at costume fittings “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!'”

The commute from Washington, D.C., where Kwan is based, to New York City, where Wang is based, would work well for dress consultations, Kwan says. “I have a long relationship with Vera, so I hope she does it.”

A custom-made gown would go quite well with Kwan’s custom-made platinum engagement ring, too.

“I had gotten a sense of some of the things that Michelle would like by looking around,” Pell says, “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.”

Planning for a wedding will be a cinch for Kwan and Pell, too.

“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.”

For more on Kwan’s engagement, pick up this week’s PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

–Cynthia Wang

SEE 13 OF OUR FAVORITE STAR ENGAGEMENT RINGS

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Showing 19 comments

dwarflover63 on

Well, I am so surprised ! I have been waiting for her to make another “announcement” for years.
Didn’t she read that article about all of the brides who wore Vera Wang gowns and are now divorced ? Coincidence ?

Mathie on

Trop beau!!!

amy on

She is just adorable,always been a fan.

StyleWatch Fan on

Congratulations! So happy for her and wish them all the best!

BKF on

I’m always astounded with the women dying for Vera Wang wedding dresses. I tried many of them on, and found it was the like the emperor’s new clothes. They’re 1000’s of dollars, but looked like something I could pick up at a generic dress store. Because they’re Vera Wang, they *must* be beautiful. Not so. To each her own, but they’re overpriced frocks for one night of your life.

Gina-Nicole on

Wow! I see Nicholas Cage has a twin!

elsa caceres on

why do so many gorgeous women settle for normal looking man who look wimpy
her man need to have a make over
they look like beauty and the beast
it is not acceptable!

Penelope on

@elsa caceres

Beauty and the Beast? Can you say vain? The man works at the White House and she is more than just a pretty face herself, having set herself up with a career in government post-skating. There are many more important things in life than appearances. I think its great that she found someone who isn’t just a pretty face, but an accomplished individual. They seem very happy together, wish them nothing but the best!

JB on

Her fiance also happens to be the grandson of late Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell (who created Pell grants for college) and heir to large fortunes through both his grandfather and grandmother.

Elsa Caceres on

i did not question his brains ?
but i am sorry he is not the most handsome man
it is a comment and i am entitled to my own opinion
and yes he seems nice
but it seems many models and pretty woamn date man who areoridnary looking
i have never questioned her intelliegence
she is smart and beautiful

and i do wish them the best!

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