A dress fit for a queen
Kate Middleton's gown, speculated upon for months, was created by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. (Anthony Stanley/WENN)
Fashion is in the details, and for Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, no expense was spared.
After months of speculation, it was finally revealed as Middleton exited the Queen's Mercedes at Westminster Abbey that the gown had been designed by Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton. Composed of ivory and white satin gazar, hand-cut English lace and French Chantilly lace, it swept gracefully over Middleton's slender frame, finishing in an almost ten-foot-long train.
As predicted, Middleton's arms were covered, with long, lacy sleeves reaching down to her wrists and over her shoulders, finishing in a V-neck atop a corset-like bodice. According to the Official Royal website, "the ivory satin bodice ... is narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips, (drawing) on the Victorian tradition of corsetry."
Pleats down the front showcased the Duchess' modern appeal, while an underskirt of silk tulle was trimmed with Cluny lace.
Incorporating work from the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace, the lace was placed painstakingly on the train, skirt, bodice sleeves and veil. As noted by the Official site, "the workers washed their hands every thirty minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and the needles were renewed every three hours, to keep them sharp and clean."
While many assumed that Middleton would be wearing one of Princess Diana's tiaras, her veil was in fact held in place by the 1936 Cartier 'halo' tiara by the Queen, originally given to The Queen Mother by The Duke of York three weeks before he became King. It was given to The Queen for her 18th birthday.
Earrings by Robinson Pelham, a gift to Middleton from her parents, were inspired by both the Middleton family's new coat of arms and the tiara, showcasing diamond oak leaves and an acorn in the centre.
Not to be forgotten were the shoes, which were also handmade by the designers at Alexander McQueen, crafted from ivory duchesse satin, and also adorned with lace by the Royal School of Needlework.