Every aspect of the Royal Wedding was speculated and talked about — from Prince Harry to Jay-Z — but the most anticipated aspect of the morning was when we all waited, breathless, as Kate Middleton (now Catherine, the Dutchess of Cambridge) stepped out into the camera in her wedding dress.
We all guessed who the designer would be, with rumors floating around that it could be Alexander McQueen, Sophie Cranston or even a Kate Middleton original design. We studied Alexander McQueen’s latest (very bridal-looking) collection designed by Creative Director Sarah Burton and read that Kate’s wedding dress would be a “quirky interpretation of high fashion.”
But was it?
The dress is, in fact, an Alexander McQueen (designed by Sarah Burton). Kate Middleton looks gorgeous in her wedding dress — obviously — but was it the high fashion you were expecting?
I think Kate’s wedding dress beautifully walked the line between traditional and modern, considering what the late Princess Diana’s dress looked like. A few more facts about the wedding dress: The lace appliqué on her bodice and skirt was individually handmade using a traditional Irish lace-making technique called Carrickmacross by staff and students at the Royal School of Needlework (with one lace-maker only 19 years old). They also added hand-engineered lace to her Alexander McQueen shoes. The rest of her dress was made from hand-cut English lace and French Chantilly lace, as well as ivory and white satan gazar.
Despite the use of handmade, traditional materials (I called that one, by the way), you can see Alexander McQueen’s fashion-setting silhouette with the narrow corseted bodice and padded hips. And just look at the gorgeous back:
There are 58 gazar and organza-covered buttons down Kate’s back, and her veil was made from ivory silk tulle and appliquéd flowers (hand-made by those busy craftsmen at the Royal School of Needlework, of course). And instead of a quirky hat (which we had expected, given Kate’s style), the veil was held on with a tiara that’s been passed through the royal family since 1936.
Wondering about the bouquet? Kate used myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William (aw!) and hyacinth flowers — together symbolizing love, marriage, gallantry and happiness.
So what do you think of the wedding dress? I think it’s breathtaking. Sarah Burton did an extraordinary job making a traditional dress look more modern and sophisticated, in true Kate Middleton fashion.
[Photos and source via New York Magazine]
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