the Dress! the Dress!

I am absolutely loving the dress , especially the description in the official Royal Wedding Page. The lace is simply exquisite , gracing the V neck , appliqued on the skirt and even to the silk tulle underskirt . I also like the long sleeve with detailings at the wrist and the mist like silk tulle as veil covering her face.

The lace appliqué for the bodice and skirt was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace.  The lace design was hand-engineered (appliquéd) using the Carrickmacross lace-making technique, which originated in Ireland in the 1820s.  Individual flowers have been hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create a unique and organic design, which incorporates the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.

Hand-cut English lace and French Chantilly lace has been used throughout the bodice and skirt, and has been used for the underskirt trim.  With laces coming from different sources, much care was taken to ensure that each flower was the same colour.  The whole process was overseen and put together by hand by Ms Burton and her team.

The dress is made with ivory and white satin gazar.  The skirt echoes an opening flower, with white satin gazar arches and pleats.  The train measures two metres 70 centimetres.  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.

The Fabrics
French Chantilly lace was combined with English Cluny lace to be hand-worked in the Irish Carrickmacross needlework tradition.
All other fabrics used in the creation of the dress were sourced from and supplied by British companies.  The choice of fabrics followed extensive research by Sarah Burton and her team.

The Royal School of Needlework (RSN), based at Hampton Court Palace, assisted the Alexander McQueen 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 every two to three millimetres around each lace motif. The workers washed their hands every thirty minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and the needles were renewed every three hours, to keep them sharp and clean. . . . The RSN workers included existing staff, former staff, tutors, graduates and students, with the youngest aged 19.

If at first her dress caught my attention , it was the flower girls dresses that really kept me glued to the TV . I am loving the clean pleated skirt which flared very nicely both on the 3 year old and an 8 year old flower girl . Its clean , traditional , and timeless . I can also see a flower girl dress version of Kate's dress , so I might just do that and have it on display at the boutique . We shall wait and see :)

The Young Bridesmaids’ Dresses
The young Bridesmaids’ dresses were designed by childrenswear designer Nicki Macfarlane to echo the Bride’s dress.  The four dresses were hand-made by Ms Macfarlane and her daughter Charlotte Macfarlane at their homes in Wiltshire and Kent.

The Bridesmaids’ dresses have been created using the same fabrics as the Bride’s dress.  The ballerina-length, full, box pleated skirt gives the dresses a sculptural quality, with the layering of ivory over white satin gazar adding depth of colour.  They have all been hand-finished with delicate English Cluny lace, which is visible under the skirts, and four layers of net underskirt.  The puff sleeves and neckline are trimmed with the same English lace as the Bride’s underskirt.  The backs have been finished with the same button detail. 

The sashes are made of pale gold, wild silk, which is tucked at the front and tied at the back in a sumptuous bow.

As a special memento, the Bridesmaid’s name and the date of the wedding have been hand-embroidered onto the lining of each dress.