Did you see the picture perfect Royal Wedding of Prince William & Catherine (Kate) Middleton yesterday (April 29, 2011)? I wish them all the happiness!!! I also love Kate’s wedding dress which was a balance between classic elegance and contemporary design. Let me cover some aspects with pictures and details.
Kate Middleton’s Royal Wedding Dress
Kate Middleton’s absolutely stunning ivory white wedding dress as a lace workers’ dream. French Chantilly lace was combined with English Cluny lace and hand-worked in the Irish Carrickmacross needlework tradition. The wedding dress was designed by Sarah Burton of fashion design house Alexander McQueen.
Design & Craftsmanship
The lace appliqué was actually hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace.
They worked with the Alexander McQueen wedding dress team in accurately cutting out the delicate motifs from the lace fabrics and positioning the lace motifs with precision into the new design. The lace motifs were pinned, ‘framed up’ and applied with stab stitching about every 1/10 of an inch around each lace motif.
The lace design was hand-appliquéd using the Carrickmacross lace-making technique, which originated in Ireland in the 1820s.
This gorgeous handmade needlework was used mainly for the train and skirt of the Bride’s dress, the bodice and sleeves, the underskirt trim, the veil and even the Bridal shoes. These hand-cut & hand-appliquéd flowers onto ivory silk tulle created a unique, organic design.
As the laces came from different sources, it is important to make sure that each flower was the same color. The whole process was managed by Ms Burton.
This hand-cut English and French Chantilly lace handwork included the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock ~ royal flowers.
Wedding Dress Form
The flower motif was continued in the actual dress form. The wedding dress skirt resembled an opening flower, and its train was 2.7 m (about 3 yards long) complemented the skirt shape.
The ivory satin bodice, which is narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips, draws on the Victorian tradition of corsetry and is a hallmark of Alexander McQueen’s designs. The back is finished with 58 gazar and organza covered buttons fastened by Rouleau loops. The underskirt is made of silk tulle trimmed with Cluny lace.
In short, a wedding dress with amazing shapes, forms and exquisite details.
Bridal Veil and Jewelry
The veil is made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers, which was embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework. The veil is held in place by a Cartier ‘halo’ tiara, lent to Miss Middleton by The Queen.
Tiara, something ‘borrowed’
The ‘halo’ tiara was made by Cartier in 1936 and was purchased by The Duke of York (later King George VI) for his Duchess (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) three weeks before he succeeded his brother as King. The tiara was presented to Princess Elizabeth (now The Queen) by her mother on the occasion of her 18th birthday.
The Bride’s earrings, by Robinson Pelham, are diamond-set stylised oak leaves with a pear shaped diamond set drop and a pavé set diamond acorn suspended in the centre. Inspiration for the design comes from the Middleton family’s new coat of arms, which includes acorns and oak leaves. The earrings were made to echo the tiara. The earrings were a personal gift to the Bride from her parents for her Wedding Day.
Jewelry for others in the Bridal Party
Robinson Pelham have also designed and made a pair of diamond earrings for Miss Philippa Middleton. These earrings are more floral in nature to compliment the headpiece worn by Miss Philippa Middleton during the Service.
A tourmaline and diamond pendant and matching earrings have been designed and made for Mrs. Carole Middleton. Two gold stick pins, one with a single gold acorn at the head and the other with an oak leaf, are also worn respectively by the Father of the Bride, Mr. Michael Middleton, and the Bride’s brother, Mr. James Middleton.
Also see: Kate Middleton’s royal wedding bouquet
source: Royal site of Prince William and Kate’s wedding, officialroyalwedding2011.org