Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Ever since the Royal Engagement between Prince William and Kate Middleton was announced earlier this year, the betting scene has been awash with potential winners, all hoping for their chosen designer to create the perfect wedding dress. Now, this is no ordinary wedding, it is the nuptials of a future King of England. This alone suggests the pressure everyone involved with the wedding must be feeling, and the dress is the centrepiece around which everything else revolves.
So who could these potential designers be? It goes without saying, surely, that Middleton will choose a British designer. I certainly hope so anyway!

Now, when one thinks of a British designer, names like Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen instantly pop into the head. Perhaps Amanda Wakeley, Julien MacDonald or Bruce Oldfield? All are well-known, world-renowned designers with what initially seems as excellent chances at becoming The Chosen One. However, we must think about the surrounding issues regarding this dress - firstly, no matter what Kate Middleton's personal favourites are, she will HAVE to consider the opinion of the rest of the Royal family, the fact that it will be broadcast worldwide, potential offence her choice may cause by way of design features and history and association with the Royal family in the past few decades.

We can already eliminate names - a favourite, Elizabeth Emanuel, designed Princess Diana's dress when she married Prince Charles. However sweet an idea this might be for the extreme Royalists, I think we can take her off the list. No new bride wants to be cast in the shadow of their mother-in-law, and I imagine that Kate will suggest alternatives. The same applies to Bruce Oldfield. He is the bookmakers number one choice at the moment (such a buzz has been caused that the bookmakers have had to suspend betting), but somehow I can't see it happening. Kate's mother and sister have both been seen browsing his London store recently, so perhaps he will design bridesmaid/mother-of-the-bride outfits as a fitting tribute to Diana, which I think would be lovely. The dress itself however, must stay true to the bride. And as amazing as it would be, I imagine an Alexander McQueen dress is ruled out - after all you can't be married in a dress of the designer who once stitched 'I am a c**t' into the lining of Prince Charles' jacket when he was a young apprentice tailor. What an incredible achievement if she does choose McQueen though. Oh, the delicious irony of it all.

Names like Vivienne Westwood, Jenny Packham, Stella McCartney, Amanda Wakeley and Victoria Beckham have too many celebrity associations to be considered - the brand name can't take over the event itself! Marchesa would be too extravagant for Kate, she already wore Issa for her engagement dress and Christopher Bailey is too commercial.

What about some well-known British bridal designers; Suzanne Neville, Phillipa Lepley, Caroline Castgliano. These names have all been mentioned. After a little research I hope she doesn't choose Suzanne Neville - she seems to be a firm red-carpet favourite for British D-list celebrities. Phillipa Lepley however, I love. A firm favourite.

My two particular favourites on the designer side of things are Erdem and Preen. Erdem would be divine - feminine; not to OTT but also not too demure and the brand stands at the perfect level of notoriety. Preen has a somewhat edgier aesthetic, but could create an amazing contemporary wedding dress that retains just the right amount of traditional elements.

I just hope Kate stands her ground and picks the perfect wedding dress for herself, staying true to her style and her principals. It is believed she has already made a decision and things are in motion, so I can only speculate. It may end up being some obscure bridal couturier (which I hope it isn't - how disappointing), but I can barely imagine the kind of pressure that chosen designer is under. I wish them luck, and I can't WAIT for everything to be revealed!

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