After months of specualtion, the world’s best kept secret was finally revealed as Kate Middleton emerged from her chauffer driven car. She had managed to keep the dress design from her husband-to-be and miraculously managed to keep it from a frenzied media eager to get the first scoop.
With rumours connecting numerous big name designers to what would become a legendary dress, names like Bruce Oldfield, Phillipa Lepley, Alice Temperley, Jasper Conran, Sophie Cranston, Amanda Wakeley, Jason Merritt, Jenny Packham, Daniella Issa Helayel and Caroline Castigliano kept creaping up in speculative conversations.
But, on the big day, one British designer beat the rest – Sarah Burton.
Upon Kate’s arrival at the Abbey, the world was finally able to see the dress in its full splendour, a showcase of Burton’s creative genus at its best. A world-class designer working in Britain, Burton was Alexander McQueen’s right-hand woman and succeeded him after his death last year. Kate’s choice to use Burton was a bold statement, placing recognition on the McQueen name for its tailoring and beauty when many at Clarence House must have been worried that his name could be was synonymous with suicide and tragedy.
On the day, Kate’s dress proved to be a triumph for Burton, who commissioned the Royal School of Needlework to hand-make lace appliques featuring roses, thistles, daffodils and shamrocks. The workers hand-cut the English lace and French Chantilly lace detailing, washing their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and renewing the needles every three hours to keep them sharp and clean.
The body of the dress was ivory and white satin gazar, with the train measured at 2m 70cm, all materials source from and supplied by British companies.
Already well-known throughout the world for for first-class designs, no doubt Sarah Burton’s star will be burning brighter for years to come after her show-stopping creation.
What did you think of Kate’s dress?