Monday, May 2, 2011

Fashion History: (Kate Middleton) Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Wedding Dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Engagement Photos 

Kate and William photo that was included in the wedding program shot by
the famous fashion photographer, Mario Testino

Official Wedding Photos
shot by Hugo Bernard 


     On April 29, 2011 I watched the much anticipated Royal Wedding of the century along with 2 billion viewers worldwide. I woke up at 4 am (U.S.) Eastern Standard Time to catch this historic moment. And even though I was exhausted from the early wake up call, I literally gasped as soon as I saw Kate Middleton, now Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, get in her 1977 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI on her way to the Westminster Abbey. The first sighting confirmed all the initial rumors that she wanted Prince William "to recognize" her, and talks of a simple and natural hair-do and even Kate doing her own make up were very much true. As the Rolls-Royce made its way to the church, I along with all of the spectators of that memorable day, saw a much better glimpse of the dress (or at least the top half of it) -- it had long sleeves with a very sheer veil! But it wasn't until she stepped out of the car that the entire gown and its designer was finally revealed and simply put, she looked more than stunning. There are not enough words or synonyms in the English language to describe how beautiful she looked that day. The crowd outside the church roared as soon as she got out of the car and the designer Sarah Burton, the creative director for the late and great Alexander McQueen was finally given credit. Kate truly was the modern bride especially with a choice like Alexander McQueen for her gown which combined tradition with a modern edge. So here's the breakdown of Kate's wedding gown: 

Gown: ivory and white satin dress, fitted ivory satin bodice, long sleeves made of lace with rose and shamrock appliques, sweetheart neckline covered by thin sheath of lace
Train: 6.5 feet long
Veil: soft ivory silk tulle 
Tiara: 1936 Cartier "Halo" Tiara provided by Queen Elizabeth (inherited on her 18th birthday)
Earrings: custom-made diamond encrusted drop earrings (by Robinson Pelham) given to Kate by her parents with diamond pave' acorn design to represent their new family coat of arms
Bouquet:  lilly of the valley (for return of happiness), sweet william (for galantry), hyacinth (for constancy and love) and sprig of myrtle, a royal tradition
Wedding Ring: traditional Welsh gold given to William by the Queen
Hair: half up and half down 

Wedding Traditions
Something Blue: a blue ribbon that was sewn inside the the dress
Something Old/Borrowed: tiara from Queen Elizabeth 
Something New: earrings from Kate's parents 

     Aside from looking absolutely gorgeous, one thing that I really noticed about Kate was that she looked genuinely happy. And this wedding, which already broke traditions when Kate chose to wear a McQueen dress, also broke many more -- Kate and William kissed twice on the historic balcony of Buckingham Palace and rode off to the reception in one of Prince Charles' convertible Aston Martin with the sign "Just Wed" in the back. Photographs later surfaced of Kate wearing yet another Alexander McQueen gown designed by Sarah Burton for the reception, which featured a white angora cardigan, a strapless sweetheart neckline, and embellished waistline. Kate truly looked fit for the role of Royalty. So CONGRATULATIONS to William and Kate and may they have a lifetime filled with happiness and love. Cheers.  

Love, KB

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