The Princess Bride

And Kate certainly didn’t disappoint – when she emerged from the Rolls Royce Phantom in a breathtakingly beautiful gown designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Kate was every inch the princess, giving the world what they wanted – a modern-day fairy tale bride.

The dress, which will instantly be immortalised in fashion history, was made of French Chantilly lace and English Cluny lace, with a stunning nine-foot train, which provided just the right amount of drama befitting for the most-watched wedding of the decade.

The dress, with its plunging neckline, and long lace-sleeves (apparently it is custom for a royal bride to cover her arms in Westminster Abbey), definitely called to mind the dress Grace Kelly wore to her 1956 wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco. The style was quite elegantly 1950’s -even the pointed bust-cups (criticised by some) befit the style of the dress.

The gown was off-set by a veil made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers, created by the British Royal School of Needlework.

Kate, who has been slowly but surely fashioning herself into a style icon, proved she’s definitely got fashion chops with the choice of gown, and designer. According to a press release on the Royal website, Kate wanted 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 dress itself wasn’t a surprise – capturing Kate’s classic, timeless style beautifully. Although I do like Kate’s classic style, it would be nice to see her take a few more fashion risks, in the way the late Diana did. While some criticised the gown for being a little too safe, when you’re on the world stage, it’s probably not the best time to take a fashion risk. But hopefully the unanimous verdict on her beautiful gown will give her the confidence to do so in future.

While the dress didn’t have the trademark McQueen avant-garde sensibility that I’m sure the man himself would have shown, it definitely elevated Burton to the level of one of the world’s top designers. With her debut collection as Creative Director for Alexander McQueen, Burton was praised for bringing a more wearable femininity to the fashion house, and Kate’s wedding gown cemented this – it was the ultimate beautiful, whimsical ‘princess dress’.

So bravo to the newly-minted Duchess of Cambridge – it was a spectacular dress, for a spectacular wedding. I'll watch with interest to see which fashion direction Kate will take from here.

By Natalie Cosgrove

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