Prince and Princess

I admit, I have not been caught up in the pre-wedding mania that has swept most of the fashion world, as well as the world at large. I did not watch the ceremony broadcast.

But, because of the aforementioned mania, it was next to impossible not to see a photo of “the dress” the following morning. Despite my attempts to stay nonchalant about the royal wedding, the fashion-lover in me is crying out for a chance to critique the dress so here goes…

Look at that train!

From all the rumors flying around before the wedding, it was about a 99% chance that she was going to be wearing McQueen. That said, I think it was pretty obvious that it wouldn’t be an outlandish or avant-garde design despite the oeuvre of the McQueen fashion house. If you didn’t know it was McQueen, you probably wouldn’t guess it from the design itself. The pressure to wear something traditional that wouldn’t draw too much attention to itself (either for being awful or gorgeous) likely had a lot of impact on the choice of design. After all, more than a billion people are going to have an opinion about this flipping dress, best to keep it simple and pretty so you can please as many of them as possible.

A Happy bride makes the dress more beautiful.

Admittedly, the dress is beautiful and received glowing reviews from practically everyone in the fashion industry, but it is definitely a ‘classic’ and therefore a somewhat standard wedding dress design. The dress has been compared to ones worn by Grace Kelly and Queen Elizabeth II (shown below) which only highlights how ‘classic’ it really is.

Grace Kelly

Queen Elizabeth II

It is referencing dresses from over 50 years ago. I wish there had been a little bit more of a modern touch to the dress. The pleating on some of the Fall 2011 McQueen dresses would have been a nice touch to keep it in line with a recognizable McQueen aesthetic, and would have spoken to a more modern girl. I do like some of the details: the veil is quite pretty especially with the crown under it. I like the length of the train – its princess-y without being ridiculous. I wish we could see more of the buttons and the pleating at the back of the dress but I haven’t found any decent pictures. I also like the more dainty size of bouquet – it balances the dress beautifully.


What I find most interesting is what will come next. Princess Diana’s wedding dress literally changed the predominant style of wedding dresses in her time. Will Kate’s dress do the same? Will we suddenly see a surge in lace, full-length sleeves, trains, and veils on the wedding aisles of everyday women?

What do you think?

Details for the devout:

  • The dress was designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen
  • The lace flowers on the bodice and skirt were individually handmade and appliquéd using a nineteenth-century Irish technique called Carrickmacross.
  • The lace was created at the Royal School of Needlework.
  • The train is two meters and 70 centimeters long (about 8.85 feet).
  • The back of the dress is fastened with 58 organza-covered buttons and Rouleau loops.
  • Kate’s diamond earrings were a wedding gift from her parents. They were made by Robinson Pelham to look like the Middleton family’s new coat of arms.
  • The veil is made of ivory silk tulle with more hand-embroidered flowers by the Royal School of Needlework. It’s held in place by a Cartier “halo” tiara, which the Queen lent to Kate for the day. It was made in 1936 and passed through the royal family.

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