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Middleton wedding: We take a look at the dresses worn by Pippa and Kate

As soon as Pippa Middleton's engagement to financier James Matthews was announced last July, speculation was rife about what the bride's dress would look like.

Here's how Pippa and Kate's dresses compared:

  • The designer

Both Middletons chose British designers. The Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress was designed by Sarah Burton, creative director at Alexander McQueen, while Pippa chose Giles Deacon, who is renowned for creating edgy, red-carpet gowns.

"I was thrilled to work with Pippa on her wedding dress," Deacon said. "It's a privilege to show the craftsmanship that my team produces in London and a real testament to Pippa's support of British fashion."

  • The colour

Ivory, a traditional wedding gown colour, was the choice for both Kate and Pippa, which is no surprise given they have such similar hair and skin tone.

  • The style

"Because it was an English country wedding, Pippa went for soft and pretty, whereas Kate's was more dramatic in its silhouette and had a harder silhouette - it was more appropriate for Westminster Abbey. Kate's was definitely grander," explains David Emanuel, host and creative director of Say Yes to the Dress UK, who also designed Diana, Princess of Wales' wedding dress.

"They both looked very British and lovely in their own way," says Peta Hunt, editor-at-large of Your Wedding magazine. "I think it would have been very easy for Pippa to go a for a giant couture dress, I think she's dialled it down quite a lot, and that's refreshing, that she's kept to her true self and not tried to be anyone else."

But the experts agree Pippa's dress was a little bit sexier than Kate's - in a good way. The heart-shaped cut-out back was a touch that couture designer Edwing D'Angelo loved.

He says: "Kate's gown was a bit more classic and more in line with what we'd expect for a Royal princess. Her shoulders were covered, her arms were covered. The back is the main difference, how Pippa chose to show a little bit more of her arms and have that little 'moment' at the back.

  • The fabric

"The bespoke silk cotton lace is embroidered with pearl detailing over an organza and tulle underskirt, which has layer upon layer to enable a floor-sweeping movement," explained Giles Deacon of his creation for Pippa.

"The way the lace is cut is really stunning," commented bridalwear designer Charlotte Balbier. "Kate wore lace at the top but Pippa's gone for all over, not just at the top."

"It's a heavier lace than Catherine's, obviously, it's more of a couture lace. She looks really pretty," was Emanuel's verdict.

  • The veil

Both brides topped off their wedding ensembles with a full tulle veil and tiara, but Pippa's (designed by milliner Stephen Jones with a hairpiece by Robinson Pelham) was significantly smaller than Kate's.

"I love the tiara, it's very subtle, which is again her style. It's quite understated and minimalist; if she'd gone for a big tiara it would have been too much for her," Balbier believes.

"The veil was small, petite and toned down," Emanuel concurs. "And it wasn't a major tiara. It's sweet and pleasant."

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