Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

The Middleton family love affair with Irish fashion continues

Kate and William in Canada yesterday
Kate's mother – wearing Paul Costelloe – father, sister Pippa and her boyfriend, at Wimbledon
Zara Phillips (with her fiance Mike Tindall) wore Paul Costelloe to the royal wedding

First Kate, now her mum Carole, has become a big fan of veteran Irish designer Paul Costelloe. The royal mother-in-law wore one of Paul's floral summer dresses to Wimbledon this week.

Carole, a former air stewardess, clearly has an eye for a bargain and she picked up Paul's pleated, fuchsia print dress from his spring/summer 2011 collection at the sale in Peter Jones, Sloane Square, reduced from £169 (€187) to £119 (€132).

Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, who has brought three changes of clothes a day for her state trip to Canada has already purchased a number of Paul Costelloe's designs, and hats from Irish milliner Philip Treacy.

Following her Wimbledon appearance, Paul is tipped to do some one-off special commissions for Carole Middleton in the future. However, it was Paul's special royal wedding commissions from Zara Phillips which really pushed him back into the royal fashion spotlight for the second time in three decades.

It is exposure that can only help his business, which ran into some difficulties in February when his backers, Signature Brands International, went into administration but he quickly secured a new licensing deal with Calvelex, a Portuguese company.

Thirty years after Princess Diana discovered the Irishman's tailoring genius, the reaction to the silver-grey, A-line, silk and wool ottoman bow coat he designed for Zara to wear to the ceremony at Westminister Abbey earned him lots of plaudits.

Paul also designed the very girly, navy silk organza ruffled evening dress Zara wore that night at Buckingham Palace.

With Zara's July 30 wedding to England rugby player Mike Tindall in Edinburgh fast approaching, speculation is rife who will design her dress.

Confirmation yesterday that Zara is due at Paul's London studio next week will only feed speculation that the Irishman will have a part to play in designing the Queen's granddaughter's wedding trousseau.

Paul's daughter Jessica Costelloe spoke yesterday about the impact of the royal connection to her dad's design business. "It is an exciting time, for sure. We expect to see her (Zara) in the office at some point next week, but that's all that I can say. I've been told to keep my mouth shut," said Jessica.

Meanwhile, Prince William and Kate's first foreign tour was hailed as an historic event yesterday, as eager crowds gathered in the Canadian capital in anticipation of meeting the couple.

Poise

William and Kate's poise and style -- but particularly her fashion sense -- was praised by royal fans flocking into Ottawa.

The couple were described as the new generation of royals, who are able to connect with ordinary people.

The Duke and Duchess will travel to seven cities during their nine-day trip, meeting a diverse array of Canadians and getting to grips with the challenges and excitement of being on tour.

Kate wore a navy blue knee-length Manon dress by French designer Roland Mouret with a navy blazer by Toronto-based Smythe les Vestes during the flight from Heathrow Airport.

However she emerged on the other side of the Atlantic wearing a different outfit, this one by Erdem Moralioglu, a Canadian designer born in Montreal.

The dress was a navy, lace Cecile shift scoop-backed dress of contrast stone crepe with a navy lace overlay. The dress has a sheer lace sleeve with a scallop detail.

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