Video: Kate Middleton wedding dress is Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen
Published 29/04/2011 | 12:02
Catherine Middleton has chosen a bridal gown fit for a queen-to-be. Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen is the British designer who has created the Wedding Dress of the Century.
Ms Middleton's arrival at Westminster Abbey a few minutes ago revealed 'the dress' in all its sumptuous glory, to a waiting world estimated at two billion.
Ms Middleton stepped out of the vintage Rolls Royce Phantom VI and into the pages of royal and fashion history.
Fabulous, fashionable and fairytale, the dress was fit for a queen-to-be and combined the style of a modern princess with that of a 20th Century princess, namely Grace Kelly, one of Diana, Princess of Wales's early champions.
The dress featured a strapless, Victorian style corset, underneath a high-necked, sculpted bodice in hand-made lace which contoured the waist and hips.
The long, medieval-style sleeves and ultra-long train on the softly pleated ivory and white satin gazar skirt, which was held by her maid of honour, her sister Philippa, enhanced Ms Middleton's regal bearing as she made her way, on the arm of her father, to the Abbey's Great West Door.
The design of the long-awaited wedding-dress combined majesty and modernity, royal heritage and romantic history, passion and pageantry.
Underneath the long lace-trimmed veil, Ms. Middleton wore a small diamond tiara.
The first glimpse of the spectacular gown ended months of anticipation, weeks of speculation, and endless rumours and gossip.
Since the engagement of Prince William and Ms Middleton was announced in November, feverish guesswork and hypothetical fashion scenarios had suggested most of the country's better-known designers, including Stella McCartney and Bruce Oldfield, a favourite of Diana, Princess of Wales, as having landed the coveted royal commission.
Ms Burton, however, remained the hot favourite.
Aged 35, the Manchester-born designer took over as creative director of the Alexander McQueen brand in May last year, following the tragic death by suicide of the maverick British couturier. She had been his atelier right-hand for 12 years.
The legacy of having worked alongside the man regarded as one of the true British fashion geniuses was quickly demonstrated. In just two seasons, Burton has shown the ability to infuse McQueen's radical ethos with a breathtaking sense of romance and sensuality, and a mastery of hand-craftsmanship.
Alexander McQueen's life and work will be celebrated with a major restospective, 'Savage Beauty', at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, opening next week.