'That dress' designer revealed as Mrs Clooney shows fashion flair

Angus MacKinnon

Rome (AFP) - The new Mrs Clooney flew the flag for British fashion by wearing Stella McCartney for her civil wedding ceremony Monday but it was an Italian who triumphed in the celebrity wedding of 2014's style wars.

McCartney's cream trouser suit, trimmed with navy blue at the former Amal Alamuddin's tiny waist and around a matching wide-brimmed hat, was suitably elegant and business-like for a visit to the Venice city hall to put the final, legal touch to a weekend of intense nuptial celebrations.

But it created nothing like the buzz generated by the thigh-flashing mini-dress with which Alamuddin wowed the crowds in the City of Canals over the weekend and which was revealed Monday to be the work of Roman haute couture star Giambattista Valli.

Alamuddin, the lawyer who wed Hollywood star Clooney in a private ceremony on Saturday, spent most of her first full day of married life in a stunning, predominately white mini-dress that was intricately decorated with exquisite macrame embroidery in the form of purple and pink flowers.

A high, round neck and long sleeves helped give the piece a demure, bridal feel.

But, in typical Valli style, that initial impression was offset by a high "drop" (higher at the front than the back) hemline that, paired with towering, strappy gold stilettoes, hinted at a racier side to the 36-year-old human rights specialist.

A spokeswoman for Valli revealed the dress that made front pages around the world was crafted from silk, the Paris-based designer's favourite fabric.

The dress was not specifically designed for Alamuddin to wear. She picked it from a previous Valli haute couture collection and had it adapted to her own willowy measurements.

"It was the first time he has dressed Amal and for sure it won't be the last," the spokeswoman said.

- Designer for several Hollywood A-listers -

Valli is a firm favourite among Hollywood A-listers, having designed red carpet outfits for the likes of Penelope Cruz, Natalie Portman and Halle Berry.

He created the much commented upon pink robe that Jessica Biel wore for her 2012 wedding to Justin Timberlake.

The global buzz generated by Alamuddin's showcase of his skill could help promote his new, more affordable line.

The new Giamba collection, unveiled in Milan earlier this month, is meant to complement his haute couture and ready-to-wear collections, and features mini-dresses in the same vein as the one sported by Alamuddin. It is due in shops in early 2015.

Born in Lebanon but raised in Britain, Alamuddin won international acclaim for the fashion sense she displayed over the course of a weekend of extravagant nuptial celebrations.

Details of the dress that she wore for Saturday's private wedding ceremony remained a tightly-guarded secret although several influential publications were suggesting that it was the work of Oscar de la Renta, the veteran designer whose back catalogue includes producing clothes for Jackie Kennedy.

The couple, who met through Clooney's humanitarian work, are widely thought to have agreed a deal to sell the pictures of Saturday's star-packed wedding exclusively to one publication with the intention of donating the proceeds to one of the causes they support.

Other looks that Alamuddin sported in the floating city include a flowing, scarlet Alexander McQueen dress embellished with an ornamental black print that featured a low-cut but discreet neckline, a tight waist and another asymmetrical hemline. She wore that to the pre-wedding dinner on Friday.

During the day on Friday, she was seen in a black-and-white Dolce and Gabbana number with a '60s feel.

Breathless reports in the British media suggested the D&G item had sold out after the pictures of Alamuddin wearing it appeared.

Not true, a spokeswoman for the Italian style duo told AFP.

It was in fact a dress from D&G's 2013 spring-summer collection that the lawyer had sourced... from her wardrobe.