Kate Middleton wowed the crowds on Friday when she appeared in the intricately decorated wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. It was the most anticipated dress of the century, and now the public could get the chance to see it up close. The dress is expected to become one of the capital’s biggest tourist draws.
It is not known exactly when or where it will appear. Possible venues include the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, which open to the public in the summer, or Hampton Court Palace, where a team from the Royal School of Needlework helped in its creation. The Victoria & Albert Museum, which has a world-renowned fashion department, is also a consideration. A Clarence House spokesman said: The Duchess of Cambridge is considering a number of options to give members of the public the opportunity to see, close-up, the skilled British craftsmanship that went into the making of her wedding dress by Sarah Burton and her team as well as the Royal School of Needlework.
Embroidery work on the dress was completed at Hampton Court, where some staff were unaware of the significance of the piece they were working on until just moments before the official announcement of its creator. The ivory satin bridal gown, with a fitted bodice and nine-foot train, was decorated by hand with lace applique flowers.
The large team – aged from 19 to 70-something – comprised staff, tutors and graduates from the school, alongside students from Britain, Japan, the US, China, Switzerland, Holland, Thailand, Germany and Slovakia. Conditions were so stringent that the embroiderers were required to wash their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace pristine, and the needles were renewed every three hours. The lace designs were applied to the delicate net background with fine cord-like thread and minute stitches. To maintain a flawless appearance, no securing knots were used.
The dress won high praise from couture designers. Karl Lagerfeld hailed it as elegant and classic, while Valentino described it as very simple and young but with a nod to Grace Kelly’s 1956 bridal gown. Christian Lacroix said of the Duchess: She never was so beautiful.
The high-quality outfit worn by Kate’s sister Pippa on the big day also attracted worldwide attention, while affordable versions the bride’s frock are set to appear on UK high streets.