It’s been two years since the world watched Kate Middleton become the Duchess of Cambridge and all eyes were on the dress which she kept secret until the very last moment. Read our first reactions to it at the time…
Little girls the world over had the moment of their lives as Catherine Middleton stepped out of her Rolls looking every bit the princess, in an Alexander McQueen stunner designed by Sarah Burton, with classic sweetheart neckline, A-line skirt and fairytale-worthy train.
The lace appliqué bodice cover-up, complete with full-length sleeves and high collar, was an elegant answer to the super-formal tradition of keeping those shoulders concealed, and her diamond-set Robinson Pelham earrings and something borrowed – an understated Cartier ‘halo’ tiara lent by The Queen – added some demure sparkle to an otherwise simple and feminine ivory silk tulle veil, which was finished with a trim of tiny hand-embroidered flowers.
Hidden under that regal skirt were a pair of ivory duchesse satin Alexander McQueen shoes, hand-embroidered with lace by the Royal School of Needlework.
But there was even more to Kate’s chosen look than meets the fashion-loving eye: she picked Alexander McQueen “for the beauty of its craftsmanship and its respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing,” says Clarence House. “Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterises Alexander McQueen’s work. Miss Middleton worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress.”
“The rumours proved to be true, and it’s official that Kate is championing all things British by wearing a design by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen,” says Cosmo Bride fashion director Sally Dixon. “The dress has a distinct historical feel to it with its full skirt of white satin gazar arches and pleats. I love the delicate lace sleeves – very romantic and elegant with a Grace Kelly feel – without doubt a trend to watch in bridal from now on.”
“What a joy to see how fab Catherine looked,” adds Peta Hunt, fashion director at You & Your Wedding. “In the Sarah Burton for McQueen dress it was as we had always predicted. With its neat V-neck bodice, long sleeves in French lace, and full skirt with a long, not over-the-top train, this truly is an inspirational gown. We have a new style icon: move over Grace Kelly – Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is here.”
There was more McQueen elsewhere in the bridal party too, with maid of honour Pippa Middleton wearing a Sarah Burton-designed white bridesmaid dress with cowl neck, cap sleeves and slinky, subtle fishtail. The first sight of Kate’s sister was as she led the flowergirls (cute in ballerina-length Nicki Macfarlane dresses) and pageboys (in their red uniforms in the style of Regency Foot Guards officers) down the aisle ahead of the bride. Now that’s what we call a style Happily Ever After!”