Find out more about the wedding dress everyone's talking about...
Find out more about the wedding dress everyone’s talking about…
After months of speculation, Kate Middleton’s wedding dress remained a closely-guarded secret until the bride stepped into the spotlight on the big day. And boy, was it worth the wait….
Reminiscent of Grace Kelly’s 1956 wedding dress, the elegant gown featured a 1950s neckline and delicate lace sleeves.
The dress was thoroughly British, with all fabrics, save for the French Chantilly lace, sourced by UK companies. The four flowers used in the design of the lace, roses, thistles, daffodils and shamrock, were symbolic of the four nations of Great Britain.
In classic Alexander McQueen style, the dress featured a narrow satin bodice and padded waist, creating an exaggerated silhouette. There were 58 buttons down the back of the dress, mirrored in Pippa Middleton’s bridesmaid’s dress, also created by Sarah Burton.
The lace appliqué on the corseted bodice and skirt was handmade by the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace. They used the Carrickmacross lace-making technique, which originates from 1820s Ireland. The needles were replaced every three hours, and the workers were required to wash their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace threads perfect.
Sarah Burton, who was revealed as the designer of the dress only after Kate got into the Rolls Royce taking her to Westminster Abbey, told the press in a statement that it was ‘an incredible experience for my team and I, as we have worked closely with Catherine to create this dress under conditions of the strictest secrecy.’
She also echoed the Palace’s praise of the dress, stating she was: ‘delighted that the dress represents the best of British craftsmanship. Alexander McQueen’s designs are all about bringing contrasts together to create startling and beautiful clothes and I hope that by marrying traditional fabrics and lacework, with a modern structure and design, we have created a beautiful dress for Catherine on her wedding day.’
The diamond tiara, her something borrowed from the Queen, is the 1936 Cartier halo. Her parents supplied the something new in the form of the earrings, made by Robinson Pelham. They drew on the Middleton family’s new coat of arms, with pear-shaped drop diamonds and diamond-set oak leaves, with a pave set diamond acorn in the centre.
Kate did her own make up on the day, reportedly stating that she ‘knows her own face’. She opted for a rosy glow and smoky eye, but did receive some lessons from make up artist Arabella Preston.
Senior stylist James Pryce from the Richard Ward Salon created Kate’s glossy curls on the day, while her manicure was a custom blend of Bourjois’ no. 28 Rose Lounge and Essie’s 423 Allure to create an off-white bridal look.
Prince William even wore white gloves to handle the dress after the ceremony, as he helped his new wife into the carriage leaving Westminster Abbey.