Kate Middleton wedding dress a success

By Claudine Zap

The rumors were true: Catherine Middleton's dress was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen.

[Photo gallery: Kate's wedding look]

The veil is long, sheer, and modern. It showcases her hair, which she is wearing down. 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 Middleton by the Queen. It's a simple but very elegant look. She is wearing a train that measures over six feet. The sleeves are long and lace. The front is cut in a low V.

According to the press release, Middleton wished for her dress to "combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterises Alexander McQueen's work. Miss Middleton worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress."

The sweeping train measures just over six feet. According to the official royal wedding website, the dress is made with "ivory and white satin gazar. The skirt echoes an opening flower, with white satin gazar arches and pleats. 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. "

Middleton was successful at keeping not only the look of the dress top secret, but the identity of the designer as well. Quite an accomplishment, considering every detail of the wedding was closely followed by a global media circus.

The princess bride wasn't keeping dress details just from the public; she was keeping them from her husband-to-be. Prince William finally saw the gown after many of the wedding watchers. Kate went to great lengths to make sure he did not catch a glimpse of it until she met him at the altar.

Some pre-wedding rumors suggested that Kate was playing bridal dress roulette, commissioning three dresses for the day, with two backups in case the number-one dress was leaked to the press. Other reports suggested she'd created the gown herself.

[Photo gallery: Notable guests arriving at the royal wedding]

The mystery around the designer became a source of everything from a guessing game for fashionistas to a professional betting business for British bookies.

Bruce Oldfield was a front-runner. He designed clothing for Princess Di and created the wedding gown for Queen Rania of Jordan.

Sarah Burton was named as a fashion favorite to produce the dress. She is the creative director of the Alexander McQueen label, taking over after the designer committed suicide last year.

And who can forget the blue wrap dress made famous when Kate wore it to announce her engagement? That designer, Daniella Helayel, of the British label Issa, had also been recently suggested as the name behind the royal wedding dress.

Other possible British designers included Erdem, Alice Temperley and Jasper Conran.

Relative unknown Sophie Cranston, whose label Libelula was rumored as the wedding dress designer, is responsible for the sheer black top and velvet coat that made scandalous headlines when Middleton wore the design.

Back in 1981, Princess Diana's dress was a surprise, but her dress designer was not. After Diana asked if the dressmakers David and Elizabeth Emanuel would design her wedding gown, the choice was made public.

The moment Diana appeared in the fairy-tale wedding dress, with a 25-foot train, enormous puffed sleeves, and 10,000 pearls and sequins, it was immediately knocked off. Expect no less with Kate Middleton's dress.

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