The dress of the century: Who will design Kate Middleton’s wedding look?
When news broke this week that Prince William, heir to the throne of England, was to marry his longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton, the world went kind of insane:WHO IS SHE? Where will they marry? When will they marry? (Whenever it is, it will be a national holiday.) But most important of all? WHAT WILL SHE WEAR?
It’s an unimaginably big question for the fashion world—designing a garment for an event this size (for context: 750 million people watched Princess Diana get married in 1981) is a once in a lifetime experience, the gown will become instantly iconic and whoever Middleton chooses to create it will become an overnight and lifelong success. In fact, the Dress question has been so hotly argued in England that British odds maker Ladbrokes are now tallying designer “contenders” (Brit designer isPhillipa Lepley is in the top slot with 2 to 1 odds, the jokey “She’ll wear a tracksuit” is at 1000 to 1).
Diana’s world-famous gown was designed by Elizabeth Emanuel and featured a 25-foot train and 10,000 sequins and pearls. Fashion experts expect Middleton to make a less traditional, more modern choice.
For example: Helayel was commissioned to tailor-make this dress, which Middleton wore to the wedding of Prince William’s friend Harry Meade last month.Photo by: AP Photo
And: This sapphire blue number by Helayel sold out within hours of the engagement announcement.Photo by: Getty Images
Princess Diana’s Elizabeth Emanuel wedding dress sported a 25-ft train and 10,000 pearls and sequins.
Kate Middleton is already considered a style icon, just as Princess Diana was.
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It’s sure to be the wedding dress of the decade, if not the century.
And while newly engaged Kate Middleton has yet to reveal who’ll design her gown, style mavens and designers already are weighing in with their opinions on what they think she should wear on her big day.
British bridal fashion expert Peta Hunt of You & Your Wedding magazine told the Daily Mail that the future queen will walk down the aisle in a traditional couture gown, wearing a crown or tiara on her head.
“I can’t see [that] it will be covered in Swarovski crystals,” Hunt told the Daily Mail. “I think it will be hand embroidered and I think with lace.”
British fashion designers hope that Middleton chooses a U.K. designer, and Bruce Oldfield (who was once a favorite couturier of Princess Diana) and Phillipa Lepley (known for simple but elegant couture gowns) are considered favorites.
When Vogue UK asked Oldfield what Middleton’s dress would look like if it was up to him, he said he’d like to see “a simple silhouette, sufficient detailing to give it the sense of occasion, but not so much as to drown her slight frame.”
British designer Julien Macdonald told Vogue UK: “I see her [Middleton] in a beautiful, intricately ornate yet simple and romantic dress in a shade of white.” William Tempest said the future queen would “look stunning in a long ivory Grecian-inspired dress incorporating drapery, but at the same time being form fitting allowing her to show her amazing figure.”
If she went outside of England for a designer, Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang are said to be among the popular contenders for the title of royal wedding dress designer.
Middleton will definitely choose a traditional dress, Hunt predicts. “She’s never going to please everybody so I think she will go down the traditional route, but hopefully with an added something – a modern twist.”
When Lady Diana Spencer became the Princess of Wales by marrying Prince Charles in 1981, she wore an ivory silk taffeta gown with a 25-foot train and 10,000 pearls and sequins designed by Elizabeth Emanuel. And when Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew in 1986, she wore a gown designed by Lindka Cierach that was made of ivory duchesse satin and had a 17-foot train.
Wedding dress styles for royals and other wealthy brides have changed dramatically since then.
Last summer, Chelsea Clinton married longtime boyfriend Marc Mezvinksy in strapless ivory gown by Vera Wang. And when Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden married Daniel Westling in Stockholm in June, she wore an silk and satin white dress from Swedish designer Par Engsheden, according to RedCarpet.com.
One thing is certain: Whatever dress the future queen of England ultimately chooses, it’s sure to encourage copycat creations once she’s seen wearing it in public.
Though their trips were 19 years apart, Diana and Kate wore similar ski outfits on the slopes in Klosters, Switzerland (Graham/Getty).
Kate Middleton glows in her red coat and black hat at the 2006 Sovereign’s Parade, looking strikingly similar to Princess Diana in 1993.
Royal-to-be Kate Middleton, fiancée of Prince William, takes fashion cues from late Princess Diana
BY AMANDA P. SIDMAN
Wednesday, November 17th 2010, 4:00 AM
There’s something familiar about Kate Middleton – and it’s not just because she’s been on the arm of Prince William for eight years.
It’s because the beautiful brunette, who announced her engagement to William Tuesday, is strikingly similar to his late mother, Princess Diana.
“I see a regal resemblance between what Kate wears and what Princess Diana wore,” says New York City stylist Lindsay Brooke Cohen. “She always looks put- together in an effortless way, much how Princess Di appeared.”
Middleton, who now sports Diana’s 18-carat oval sapphire engagement ring (which, at the time, was priced at nearly $45K), has taken notable fashion cues from Shy Di, including her affinity for clean-cut lines, big hats and bold color choices.
During the 2006 Sovereign’s Parade inSurrey, England, Kate sported a bright red coat and large black hat shockingly similar to an ensemble Diana wore on Christmas Day at Sandringham 13 years earlier.
On another occasion, Kate wore a below-the-knee beige jacket that mirrored an outfit Di wore during her first official visit toWales in 1981.
“Kate’s demure and ladylike style would most definitely make Princess Di proud,” says Cohen.
Perhaps Kate is similar to Di in more ways than just her wardrobe. The 28-year-old, although nine years older than the late princess was when she joined the royal family, was also publicly educated in England, and seems to have quickly mastered the art of controlling the press.
“As Kate prepares to enter the royal family, the public will be asking whether she is able to take up Diana’s mantle as their favorite princess,” reported the U.K.’s Daily Mail. “Keeping her mouth shut and with a lawyer in tow, Kate is already acting on the hindsight that Diana’s legacy left behind.”
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