Royal wedding: McQueen's perfect marriage of tradition and modernity

29 APRIL 2011

As Kate Middleton floated down the aisle in a vision of white tulle, who didn't feel proud to be British?

And Alexander McQueen - the fashion house previously associated with rock chicks and models - created what is to become an iconic image.

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Now Sarah Burton, the woman at the helm of the label, has spoken of the "incredible honour" of winning the coveted commission and why the fusion of true British fashion and royalty was a perfect partnership.

"Alexander McQueen designs are all about bringing contrasts together to create startling and beautiful clothes and I hope that by marrying traditional fabrics and lacework, with a modern structure and design, we have created a beautiful dress for Catherine on her wedding day."

The dress featured a boned bodice which showed off Kate's wasp waist and drew heavily on the Victorian tradition of corsetry, which, combined with the padded hips, is a McQueen hallmark.

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Meanwhile, the sweetheart neckline and pleating on the skirt injected a dramatic modern twist, reflecting Kate's wish to forge her own fashion path.  

Sarah had cut no corners with her creation, and ensured that the work of art provided a spectacular view from all angles, in particular from above, as the full skirt fanned out.

Adding to the stunning effect was the use of French Chantilly lace and English Cluny lace.

Seamstresses from the Royal School of Needlework, who carried out the intricate embroidery, washed their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace pristine, and renewed the needles every three hours to keep them sharp and clean.

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The gown featured individual flowers which were hand cut from lace and sewn onto the tulle, creating a design which incorporated the four emblems of the United Kingdom: the rose, thistle, daffodil and the shamrock.

"It has been the experience of a lifetime to work with Catherine Middleton to create her wedding dress, and I have enjoyed every moment of it" she said on Friday, after being seen smoothing the bridal train at Westminster Abbey.

"It was such an incredible honour to be asked.


"Catherine looked absolutely stunning today, and the team at Alexander McQueen are very proud of what we have created."


Don't forget to buy your souvenir edition of HELLO! magazine with all the fantastic photos of the big day, on sale Sunday May 1.

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