The Best Kept Secret Is Revealed...
Earlier today, Catherine Middleton became Duchess of Cambridge as well as a Princess when she married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in THE WEDDING of the Century!!! Of course, even though I was filming all day doing a "secret" project, and came home at 11PM, I stayed up until 4AM (that's when my body--and eyes--gave out) to watch it LIVE. There was no other way! As everyone else who was watching, I was waiting to see THE DRESS! And finally, the best kept secret in the World was revealed:
Miss Catherine Middleton’s--now Duchess of Cambridge--Wedding Dress was designed by Sarah Burton, Head Designer for the House of .What a coup for her and the British House of McQueen!
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! It was elegant, classic, very 1950's with a strong nod to Grace Kelly's Helen Rose-designed gown when she wed Prince Rainer of Monaco.
Here are the notes from the Official Press Release:
Miss Middleton chose British brand Alexander McQueen for the beauty of its craftsmanship and its respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing. Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterizes Alexander McQueen’s work. Miss Middleton worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress.
The dress epitomizes timeless British craftsmanship by drawing together talented and skilled workmanship from across the United Kingdom . The dress design pays tribute to the Arts and Crafts tradition, which advocated truth to materials and traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often Romantic styles of decoration. Ms Burton’s design draws on this heritage, additionally giving the cut and the intricate embellishment a distinctive, contemporary and feminine character.
The Veil: Made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers, which was embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework. The veil is held in place by a Cartier Halo Tiara, lent to Miss Middleton by The Queen.
TIARA DISH: The Halo Tiara was made by Cartier in 1936 and was purchased by The Duke of York (later King George VI) for his Duchess (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother-seen above) three weeks before he succeeded his brother as King. The tiara was presented to Princess Elizabeth (now The Queen) by her mother on the occasion of her 18th birthday.
THE GOWN: Hand-cut English lace and French Chantilly lace was used throughout the bodice and skirt, as well as the underskirt trim. With laces coming from different sources, much care was taken to ensure that each flower was the same color. The whole process was overseen and put together by hand by Ms Burton and her team.
The dress is made with ivory and white satin gazar. The skirt echoes an opening flower, with white satin gazar arches and pleats. The train measures two meters 70 centimeters (about 110 inches) from the waist. The ivory satin bodice, which is narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips, draws on the Victorian tradition of corsetry and is a hallmark of Alexander McQueen’s designs. The back is finished with 58 gazar and organza covered buttons fastened by Rouleau loops. The underskirt is made of silk tulle trimmed with Cluny lace.
It seems to be a tradition for Royal Wedding Gowns to include TONS of lace, whether in the veil--or somewhere in the gown. It's very "Royal Mantilla-esque". I loved how exquisitely fitted the gown was (surprised how she could breath in that corset) but then the skirt section had a "hint" of a Ball Gown but not too "Disney Princess" like. She looked Picture Perfect!! Everyone expected her to go more fitted or closer to the body, choosing softer more "liquid" fabrications (Kate loves a draped jersey dress as we know!) but for this--her Royal Wedding--she went for a more structured, architectural almost--gown in a stiffer fabrications. But yet, it wasn't overwhelming and "Princess Diana-over-the-top" grand.
Her sister's, Philippa Middleton, dress was also designed and created by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. It is of a heavy, ivory satin-based crepe, with a cowl front and with the same button detail and lace trims as the Bride’s dress.
The Page Boys wore uniforms combining a Guards’ Red Tunic with gold piping, featuring Irish shamrocks on the collars and buttons arranged in fours, denoting the Irish – or Fourth – Regiment of Foot Guards. The buttons feature the Harp of Ireland surmounted by the Crown Imperial. The breeches are ivory and are worn with white stockings and black buckle shoes. SOOO cute!!!The Bridesmaids’ dresses were created using the same fabrics as the Bride’s dress (silk satin gazar). The ballerina-length, full, box pleated skirt gives the dresses a sculptural quality. They have all been hand-finished with delicate English Cluny lace, which is visible under the skirts, and FOUR layers of netting/tulle underskirt (to make the skirt stand out). The puff sleeves and neckline are trimmed with the same English lace as the Bride’s underskirt. The backs have been finished with the same button detail. As a special memento, the Bridesmaid’s name and the date of the wedding have been hand-embroidered onto the lining of each dress.
What an amazing display of Pageantry! Not a single missed step! Congrats to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!