The Bride Wore McQueen
While some might find it counter-intuitive that the line responsible for the adventof the bumster pant also created Kate Middleton’s dizzingly elegant wedding dress, the pairing makes perfect sense coming from Alexander McQueen, a house celebrated for its stunning sartorial contradictions. Standing next to her freshly wedded husband Prince William (who, in perfectly tailored scarlet regalia, also looked like a figure from the McQueen imagination) Kate carried the ethereal V-neck, long-sleeve gown. Honoring the impeccable standard of craftsmanship that McQueen himself set since the his days cutting suits for Prince Charles and others on Savile Row, the floral lace appliqué for the bodice and skirt were handmade by the Royal School of Needlework, using a nineteenth-century Irish technique called Carrickmacross. The delicate fabrics, ivory and white satin gazar and blended hand-cut Chantilly and English lace, reflected the unique romance of the occasion. Yet the look didn’t lack Alexander McQueen’s telltale drama, now carried on by Sarah Burton. Signatures, such as Victorian-style corsetry, padded hips and a modern skirt with soaring pleats and arches, ensured that Kate’s beauty was anything but quiet on her day.
After months of silence, Burton reflected in an official statement, “Alexander McQueen’s designs are all about bringing contrasts together to create startling and beautiful clothes and I hope that by marrying traditional fabrics and lacework, with a modern structure and design we have created a beautiful dress for Catherine on her wedding day. The last few months have been very exciting and an incredible experience for my team and I as we have worked closely with Catherine to create this dress under conditions of the strictest secrecy.”
Some, such as Elie Saab and Hubert de Givenchy, found the effect to be a touch too simple. While the gown was subdued for the notoriously high-stakes line, it suited Kate perfectly. In it, she was never overshadowed, but confident, strong and engaging — which is exactly what Alexander McQueen designs are all about.