Sunday 19 November 2017

Have you got the rear to pull off the Pippa dress?

Karen Fitzpatrick
models that Alexander
McQueen gown, now
available at Brown
Thomas, Dublin
Karen Fitzpatrick models that Alexander McQueen gown, now available at Brown Thomas, Dublin
The Alexander McQueen gown as worn by royal bridesmaid Pippa Middleton. Photo: Getty Images
Pippa Middleton. Photo: PA

Bairbre Power Fashion Editor

IT's the dress brides would kill to get their hands on and finally it's arrived in Dublin.

But the big question is, will your bum measure up?

Within hours of stepping out at her older sister's royal wedding in a figure-hugging Alexander McQueen gown last April, Pippa Middleton became an overnight sensation -- or more precisely, her perfect, Pilates-toned posterior did.

A flood of internet sites dedicated entirely to Pippa's rear soon followed, plus the inevitable raft of fitness columns and videos on how to get a bum like that of the future English queen's little sis.

Nine months later, the stunning dress is available for Irish brides-to-be at a cost of €2,175 for an ivory floor-length gown designed by Sarah Burton, who also designed Kate Middleton's lace bridal gown.

But it would be a brave woman who'd risk the inevitable comparisons the dress would invite. Nonetheless, interest in Pippa's dress, estimated to have cost the Middletons £20,000 (€24,200), shows no sign of waning and it has become one of the most requested styles for brides because of its construction and intriguing contrasts -- it's demure at the front but ultra sexy at the back.

Debenhams rolled out its own €225 high-street homage to her 'Royal Hotness' last August -- which boasted a similar cowl neckline and a long row of covered buttons snaking down the spine.

Yesterday, two Alexander McQueen 'Pippa' dresses -- a size 10 and size 12 -- arrived in Dublin. And up close, at the Brown Thomas spring/summer 2012 fashion preview, it's easy to appreciate the body-skimming qualities of this ivory dress where the cut and fabric are the real stars.

The satin-back crepe fabric hangs beautifully, literally hugging the body and gliding around its contours, something that was not lost to the TV cameras and photographers last April.

Sarah Burton who replaced Alexander McQueen as creative director after his tragic death, is a genius at cutting fabric and instead of achieving the hourglass through the technique of bias cutting fabric, she used strategic darts on the back to shape the fabric to the curves of Pippa's body.

The pair of dresses on sale at Brown Thomas differ from Pippa's in two ways -- they don't have a lace trim on the cowl and the delicately proportioned cap sleeves, and there is no row of silk-covered buttons running down the back.

Shelly Corkery, buying director of the Brown Thomas group, says the frocks probably won't hit the shop floor. Because of the dangers associated with putting long white dresses out on rails, the two dresses will be handled by the store's private shopping consultants, with appointments and fittings in carpeted consultation suites. "It is very difficult to put white out on the floor when it is full length so we will be very careful, using scarves to avoid stains and lipstick," said Ms Corkery.

"The dress is very flattering. . . I think the shape is right, the curve on the bum is right and the front is magnificently proportioned."

Irish Independent

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