Belfast Telegraph

Royal wedding: Tesco's £16 Kate Middleton replica dress fliying off the shelves

By Maureen Coleman

It’s the copycat dress that sparked a fashion frenzy. A bargain basement version of Kate Middleton’s midnight blue engagement dress has been flying off shelves across Northern Ireland.



And the Tesco lookalike — based on the £349 Issa silk wraparound — is the company’s best-ever selling dress online.

Only a handful of the dresses — a mere snip at £16 — are currently available, although Tesco has launched two new colours — black and red — in the same style.

To capitalise on the success of the dress high street store Peacocks is also launching its own version, priced £14, which will be available in-store from December 20.

Such is Kate Middleton’s influence now as a style icon that the white Reiss dress she wore for her official engagement photographs with Prince William is now exchanging hands on eBay.

The Nanette belted gown, with three-quarter length sleeves and a frill along the zip, was advertised at the weekend on eBay for £179.

The dress, from last season’s autumn/winter collection, is no longer available in-store, but following the release of the engagement pictures it too is expected to spawn a raft of copycat designs.

At various Tesco shops around Northern Ireland, the blue £16 wraparound dress from the Florence and Fred range was sold out this week, with none available at Springhill in Bangor or Knocknagoney. However, the Newtownbreda store had the frocks on sale.

More stock was added online following the fashion gold rush, but these |also sold out within minutes.

Jan Marchant, Tesco clothing buyer, said: “The response from our customers to the ‘Kate’ dress has been incredible. We have never seen a dress sell out so fast.

“It seems many women already want to emulate the elegant Kate Middleton look and I have no doubt that she will become the next style icon and influence fashion on the high street.”

One fashionista who managed to get her hands on the coveted ‘Kate’ dress was Belfast student Katie Patterson.

The 18-year-old bought the dress just days after seeing the bride-to-be wearing hers for the official announcement.

She said: “When I saw Kate Middleton wearing the dress for her engagement announcement, I thought she looked stunning. I liked the colour and the shape of it.

“When I was in Tesco a few days later I saw the copycat dress, and because it was such great value I snapped it up.

“I absolutely love it — it is |elegant and sophisticated yet stylish at the same time, and it will be great to wear out this Christmas.

“The Issa one was a bit out of my price range, but I think it’s a great idea that Tesco launched its own, much less expensive version.”

Belfast Fashion Week organiser Cathy Martin said: “Kate Middleton looks set to be the next big style icon.

“The Issa dress she wore |to announce her engagement |to Prince William was a beautiful sapphire blue, which flattered her skin tone and matched her ring.

“She does tend to play it quite safe, but as the future wife of Prince William, that is to be expected.”

Cathy added: “However, she |is also very elegant and chic |and I’m not surprised her dresses are proving so popular with customers.”

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