Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Kate's ivory gown for sweet William

Kate Middleton arrives at Westminster Abbey (PA)
Kate Middleton arrives at Westminster Abbey, London, with her father Michael and sister Pippa (PA)
Prince William's bride Kate passes down The Mall on her way to Buckingham Palace

Royal bride Kate Middleton's wedding dress is an ivory gown with lace applique floral detail designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen.

Made of ivory and white satin gazar, the skirt resembles "an opening flower" with white satin gazar arches and pleats. And Kate's bridal flowers contain a touching tribute to her husband to-be - her bouquet includes sweet William.

The dress's beautiful, intricate train measures just two metres 70 centimetres - modest in comparison to many previous royal brides. The train and bodice are decorated with delicate lace applique flowers, handcrafted using the Carrickmacross lace-making technique, which originated in Ireland in the 1820s.

St James's Palace said the bride chose British brand Alexander McQueen for the "beauty of its craftsmanship" and its "respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing".

Kate worked closely with Burton, who was widely speculated to have won the coveted job to create the historic bridal gown, on the design.

"She had a vision in mind that she wanted to support the Arts and Crafts tradition," St James's Palace said.

The Arts and Crafts tradition advocated truth to materials and traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often Romantic styles of decoration.

The dress's lace design incorporates the rose, thistle, daffodil and the shamrock - the four floral emblems of the United Kingdom. The soon-to-be Duchess of Cambridge, who usually wears her hair fully down, choose a "Demi Chignon" for her wedding day instead.

Her tiara - the little known 1936 Cartier "halo" - was her "something borrowed" and was loaned to the bride by The Queen, a tradition for royal weddings. The veil, which falls to just below her waist, is made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle and is decorated with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers.

The top secret dress, which up to two billion people watching across the world were waiting to see, has sleeves - appropriate for a religious wedding in the holy surrounds of Westminster Abbey.

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