Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Belfast dressmaker's replica of Kate's Royal wedding gown goes on display

The first replica of Kate's gown created by Mary Rose McGrath at House of Fraser
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 02: The replica wedding dress worn by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge displayed at the Queen Victoria Building on May 2, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. Woman's Day Australia assembled a team that worked throughout the weekend to recreate aspects from the Royal Wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, which was watched across the world by billions on Friday night Australian time. (Photo by Mike Flokis/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Spectators react to a passing marching band as they wait for the arrival of Prince William and Catherine Middleton along the procession route near Westminster Abbey for the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

It was the most eagerly-awaited fashion moment of the decade.

When Royal bride Kate Middleton finally revealed her wedding dress, all eyes were on the outfit that had kept millions guessing up until the big day.

Within minutes designers across the world were scrambling to recreate the elegant gown, made by Sarah Burton from fashion house Alexander McQueen.

Local dressmaker Mary Rose McGrath was among the hundreds of designers who got to work making cut-price copies of the regal look.

Mary Rose, originally from Downpatrick, produced the first high street version of the dress, which is on display outside the House of Fraser in Belfast’s Victoria Square.

Her take on the gown, made of French lace and delicate ivory fabric, was put together in less than 24 hours.

It is said to be a perfect replica of Kate’s dress.

Reactions from local fashion experts were mixed, with some doubting that the copy-cat look can measure up to the original.

Cathy Martin, organiser of Belfast Fashion Week, said Kate’s dress was a “work of art”.

“You just couldn’t achieve the intensity of work that went into handcrafting her dress in 24 hours,” she added.

Tracey Hall, director of Style Academy, was more optimistic about the local version. “I imagine Mary Rose could have copied the shape and fabric of the dress just from a screen grab of it,” said Tracey.

“But I can’t believe she’s got a replica out there already — surely it’s impossible to recreate that standard of craftsmanship in such a short time?”

Meanwhile, Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton has attracted a number of admirers after her maid of honour dress proved almost as popular as the bridal gown.

The ivory cowl-neck dress, also made by Sarah Burton, was crafted using the same embroidery, material and buttons as Kate’s.

A number of fansites have been set up for the younger Middleton sister, including a Facebook page with more than 90,000 followers.

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