For the breathtaking gown that Jessica Simpson wore for her wedding to Eric Johnson in Santa Barbara, Calif., on July 5, the bride didn’t serve as the only muse.
Designer Carolina Herrera reveals in PEOPLE’s exclusive video that she also drew inspiration from the famed portrait of Empress Elisabeth “Sissi” of Austria painted by Franz Zaver Winterhalter in 1865.
“It reminds me of the way I want you to look,” Herrera told Simpson during her dress fitting at the designer’s New York City atelier June 11. “You told me before you wanted to be very regal. I thought this is fantastic for the whole idea.”
“I love that you’re inspired by a painting,” Simpson said. “It makes me feel special.”
RELATED: See the first sketch of Simpson’s gold-and-ivory gown!
She’s not the only one who felt that way: Simpson’s 2-year-old daughter, Maxwell, also wore Carolina Herrera for the family’s big day.
Said the proud mom of her mini-me, who participated in the wedding: “She’s going to feel like a princess.”