Kate Middleton's Wedding Dress: Design Reminiscent of Grace Kelly's


Badgley said he was not completely surprised by Middleton's choice of Burton. "I know that she's a fashionable girl," he said. "I kind expected that would be on her radar."

Burton, who grew up in Manchester, England, and graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1997, worked with McQueen for 16 years. She was considered McQueen's right-hand prior to his 2010 death and was head of design for the label's women's wear since 2000. Burton has been credited with completing the designer's autumn/winter 2010-11 collection in time for Paris Fashion Week in March, less than a month after his suicide.

Middleton has long been interested in fashion and design. She worked for the British apparel chain Jigsaw as an accessories buyer after graduating from St. Andrews University, where she studied art history. It was at St. Andrews where she modeled in a student fashion show and reportedly caught Prince William's eye in a see-through dress.

According to a Royal Palace press release about her wedding dress, Middleton worked closely in formulating the design.

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 around feet. 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 gazar and organza covered buttons fastened by Rouleau loops. The underskirt is made of silk tulle trimmed with Cluny lace.

The lace appliqué for the bodice and skirt was handmade by the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace. For the bodice, individual flowers were hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create a unique and organic design, which incorporates the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.

Minor of Priscilla of Boston predicted that long sleeves will become a new trend in wedding dresses. Ivanka Trump and Nicole Richie both wore dresses with sleeves, but Middleton, whose wedding was watched live around the world, will take the sleeved dress to another level.

"This was the tipping point for sleeves on a gown," Minor said. "It was just beautiful, the lace with the handmade flowers was just soft enough. It's a perfect way to do sleeves. And you don't have to be 5'10, like Kate, to wear this silhouette."

Burton also designed the dress worn by Philippa "Pippa" Middleton, Kate Middleton's sister and maid of honor. The dress is made 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.

Minor said the dress was a hit. "Pippa was no lady in waiting," she said. "She was a chic bridesmaid. In her own right, she made a definitive statment. It was beautiful in such a different way, very chic, very modern, simple lines."

In addition to the bridal dress, there had been widespread speculation about the shoes that Middleton will wear. The Huffington Post reported that the bride-to-be commissioned four pairs of shoes for her wedding day, each with different heel heights. The lowest will be used to walk down the aisle at Westminster Abbey and are expected to be covered with multiple layers of silk and embroidery.

Middleton will reportedly change out of those shoes and into more festive heels for Friday afternoon and evening events, where she will perhaps, to the delight of the fashion-loving masses, debut a party-ready dress or two, too.

The palace confirmed that the wedding shoes were handmade by the team at Alexander McQueen of ivory duchesse satin with lace hand-embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework.

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