Friday, April 29, 2011

The British Royal Wedding: It's McQueen for the Future Queen!

You're getting married in front of billions of people and marrying into one of the most prestigious royal families in the world. And your hubby-to-be is the second-in-line to the throne to boot. This is one of those times when the age-old What to wear? question can be a real sartorial conundrum.


Kate Middleton must have known she couldn't go too trendy, too avant garde or too sexy. She would have wanted a gown that spoke to her personality and would also stand up to the test of time. Keeping all that in mind we think Catherine's dress, designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, achieves its aims. Sure maybe its a bit too Grace Kelly for our liking (beautiful, but if we were KMidd we'd want a dress that screamed KATE not GRACE--you know what we mean...) but the construction and detailing were gorgeous.

The web exploded the night before the wedding when a hooded figure was seen going into the Goring Hotel where the now-Duchess of Cambridge was staying with her family. Eagle eyed fashionistas instantly ID'd the figure by her trademark belt and ballet flats: Sarah Burton! We were going to get the McQueen we'd been hoping for! And, yes, maybe the dress was more Burton than Lee McQueen, but there were definitely traces of the house--especially at the nipped in waist and fall of the skirt, which was our favourite part of the dress.

Here are some details on the dress via US Magazine and Clarence House:

"Its bodice and skirt features a lace applique hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, with lace designed and hand-engineered using a nearly 200-year-old tradition known as Carrickmacross lace-making. Individual flowers -- rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock -- were hand-cut and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle. The dress itself was made with ivory and white satin gazar and 'echoes an opening flower,' the statement adds. The train measures two-meters, 70-centimeters. The gown also features an ivory satin bodice narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips; the back is finished with 58 gazar and organza-covered buttons fastened by Rouleau loops."

So let's recap. We thought Kate Middleton looked beautiful. Fresh and happy and like herself. The delicate lace was, of course, classic, and the corset bodice and flowing embroidered skirt did wonders for that wasp-like waist. A gorgeous veil too and a perfect choice of understated tiara borrowed from the Queen.

So, obvs, no OTT fashion statements, not that we expected any. We would have just liked a dress that was a bit more unique.

Kate's tiara is the "halo" Cartier tiara (I've also heard it referred to as the Scroll) that originally belonged to the Queen Mother and was given to Queen Elizabeth on her 18th birthday.

The Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and Anne, and the Duchess of
Cambridge have all worn the Halo Tiara via the

Notice the acorn dangling from Kate's earrings?
A clear reference to the new Middleton family crest
custom made by Robinson Pelham Jewellers.

Pippa Middleton also made quite a splash on the wedding day in her own McQueen gown, which obviously hugged all the right places, like the maid of honour's well-toned posterior. The Middletons certainly have arrived.

Carole Middleton also looked chic, elegant and youthful in pale blue Catherine Walker. The mother-of-the-bride looked beautiful without overshadowing her daughter.

The bouquet, meanwhile was described as "a shield-shaped wired bouquet of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and hyacinth. The bouquet was designed by Shane Connolly and draws on the traditions of flowers of significance for the Royal Family, the Middleton family and on the Language of Flowers."

We're partial to lily of the valley when it comes to brides.

We woke up early to watch a wedding taking place a continent away and we weren't disappointed by the spectacle, but what we really loved were those touches of realness that seem to suggest that this royal couple is the real deal. Like when William turned to Kate's farther Michael and made a quip of having planned for a small family affair.

Our favourite part was the sly look that Harry snuck as Kate walked down the aisle towards William who, per tradition, kept his back turned. The younger prince turned to his brother and said, "Wait 'til you see her." Let's say it all together now: AWWWW.

When Wills, so often reserved, did see Kate how did he react?
By telling her how beautiful she looked. Over and over.
Score one for the McQueen.

The sly smiles and knowing looks shared by the duo throughout the ceremony shows that they're a real couple. They know each other. This isn't some awkward arranged deal and I think the Firm will be all the better for it.

As for the rehearsed balcony kiss? Well wishers were treated to not one but two liplocks, albeit quite chaste ones. Judging from the fans screaming as if they were at a rock concert the royals are enjoying a popularity they haven't dreamt of in years. While the princes have always been popular we'd wager that a lot of it has to do with Kate. A little bit fairytale princess, a little bit every woman. We don't think it'll be long now before Wills may just have to borrow JFK's famous quip about being the man accompanying Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris. Its going to be tough work for Kate not to overshadow her husband in the coming months.

As for the guests...
A quite pregnant Victoria Beckham sported a dress (tent?) of her own design, sky-high custom Louboutins and a stewardess-esque fascinator via Philip Treacy.

Can someone please explain to us why Chelsy Davy always looks like the morning after? How does the girl manage to look like she's doing the walk of shame in custom Alberta Ferretti?

And then there is Beatrice and Eugenie. The York girls weren't exactly sartorial wins. Eugenie was pretty much a hot mess in blue Vivienne Westwood while we quite liked Beatrice's Valentino suit, although her Philip Treacy fascinator did look a bit like it was attaching her face, which we're not exactly sure is the point.

We quite liked Samantha Cameron's Burberry dress and the overall colour scheme of her outfit. Criticized by some for her Blair Waldorf-esque headband instead of a hat, we're not inclined to be quite so harsh on SamCam.

Our favourite ceremony look had to be Lady Sophie Windsor who was almost noir-ishly glam in her navy Armani Privé cocktail dress and jacket combo. The coat, in silk jacquard, featured a subtle checkerboard pattern and was fastened by an unfussy bow. Sophie's hat (the 'Stealth') is also Philip Treacy who, we suspect, can now retire to his own island.

What did you think of Kate Middleton's wedding day style?
Who was your best and worst dressed guest?

Photosvia The Daily Mail, Getty,,,,, OK!

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