What Will She Wear?

At this month's Royal Wedding, all eyes will be on Kate Middleton's choice of gown. "Three Devon-based wedding dress designers share their thoughts and sketches with Alexandra Richards for the dress commission of the century

At this month’s Royal Wedding, all eyes will be on Kate Middleton’s choice of gown. "Three Devon-based wedding dress designers share their thoughts and sketches with Alexandra Richards for the dress commission of the century

Sarah Treble

After graduating from Central St Martins College of Art and Design, Sarah Treble went to Italy where she worked as a designer for five years, becoming head designer for Valentino in Rome where she developed a fascination for haute couture.After working as the head designer for Daniel Hechter in Paris, she moved to London where she decided to set up her own studio. Sarah moved her couture garment and wedding dress business to Devon in 2009, where she now works from a studio by the Cathedral in Exeter.

“When the royal engagement was announced, I felt compelled to send a design to Kate Middleton. I had an idea of her style – modern, elegant and understated, and felt this should be reflected in her wedding dress. “The sketch I sent was of a very simple design, the silhouette of the dress follows the contours of the body to just below the hip before flaring into a long voluminous train. It is a two-layered dress with ivory crepe silk for the base and lace for the top layer. My idea was to commission Honiton lace from traditional lace makers, and although most ‘Honiton lace’ is now made abroad, there are still some working in the East Devon area. I thought it would be wonderful to follow in the footsteps of Queen Victoria, who used Honiton lace for her wedding dress.“I think Kate would have appreciated the mix of modern and traditional in this design, and I felt it was too good an opportunity to miss. I did receive a very nice letter from Buckingham Palace which got tongues wagging, so it was worth it. You never know – they may pass my details on to Zara!”

www.sarahtreble.co.uk, 07944 605559

Caroline Fricker

“My designs for Kate Middleton are simple yet elegant and leaning towards the traditional. I love fabrics, so I have chosen ivory silk to complement her skin colour. I have mainly used the royal of all silks, duchess satin, along with Thai silk, crepe back satin and some amazing embroidered organza, and Thai silk embroidery with silver threads.“I am sure Kate will wear a beautiful silk tulle veil, which will be Cathedral-length to complement her train.”

www.carolinefricker.com, 01271 813104

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Eleanor Rafferty

“I have designed a dress that I think Kate Middleton may have chosen without the restrictions of a royal wedding. In the early days of Kate and William’s relationship, she maintained a rather bohemian style, so I would love to see her in something of this nature.“The dress I have designed would be made in an ivory heavyweight silk satin, with a full circle skirt that would move beautifully as Kate walked down the aisle. This is nipped in at the waist with a wraparound midnight-blue, French-dyed chiffon band to show off her tiny waistline. “At the back, a statement soft tulle corsage with a pleated train scattered in midnight-blue and silver crystals falling from this detail. A band of silver French-dyed chiffon outlines the low-plunge v-neckline, encrusted in crystal motifs, a perfect neckline for a slim shape. The finishing touch is a headpiece with a tulle corsage detail decorated with beads and crystals.“I feel this is a perfect mixture of a dress that would suit Kate’s slightly alternative style alongside a twist of regal colour to set it off.”

www.eleanorrafferty.co.uk,  07920 485051

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