Catherine Middleton

It’s November — which in magazine-calendar-speak means December issues, which in turn means Best-Dressed Lists. Yahoo! First out of the blocks is Harper’s Bazaar UK, and guess who tops the list? Yes, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is perhaps the most unsurprising choice ever. Because really, let’s be honest: best-dressed lists are not just about being best-dressed, and the Duchess isn’t the best dressed woman in the country.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wore Alexander McQueen again to the royal couple’s “hotly anticipated” black tie BAFTA dinner in L.A. As a super-secret dress choice, it was a little anti-climatic compared to the wedding reveal, but as a choice that could have meaningful repercussions for McQueen the business, it was pretty significant.

After all, you know the rule: once (the wedding) could be a fluke; twice (the sailor dress in Canada) is a coincidence; but three times (last night’s gown) makes a trend. And the winds of trend are indicating that the newest, most-photographed, royal family member has settled on McQueen as the brand that will define her style. Read more

Wardrobe diplomacy – aka the practice of a national leader (or leading representative) wearing clothes from the country they are visiting as a form of economic and cultural outreach – is back. Diane von Furstenberg just told me she had learned from the folks at Harrods and Selfridge’s that the newly minted Duchess of Cambridge had bought two of her dresses to take with her on her North American tour, which begins at the end of next week.  Read more

If the Obamas trip to the UK isn’t the most sartorially co-ordinated opening of a State visit in history, I’ll eat my Philip Treacy hat.

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The news that the strange and controversial Philip Treacy creation sported by Princess Beatrice at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has been sold on eBay for almost gbp 80,000 is both generally shocking (although very nice for UNICEF, who gets the money) and also shockingly educational.

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Since this is a royal wedding, every little bit of the royal wedding dress actually has symbolic meaning, and roots in different parts of British industry.  Read more

So the answer is in: Sarah Burton did indeed make Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. A major British brand for a new British royal.

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Royal Wedding Day minus 1 and slowly the sartorial chips are falling into place. Read more

Lately I can’t seem to escape stories in which various clothing manufacturers brag – publicly, with names – about how fast they are going to rip off the royal wedding dress as soon as Kate Middelton takes her first steps down the aisle at Westminister Abbery, and they can actually tell what she is wearing. But why is this so celebrated/accepted?

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I had an interesting lunch the other day with Jason Wu, a young Taiwanese-American designer in the uptown mode who shot to fame in 2009 when he designed the one-shouldered white gown Michelle Obama wore to the Presidential inaugural balls. Anyway, Mr Wu had some interesting observations about the experience, and advice for whomever ends up designing Catherine Middleton’s dress.
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Today may be Easter Monday, but it is also – zing! – RWD minus four (aka Royal Wedding Day, for those who aren’t up on their acronyms), so we will finally wade into the royal wedding dress fray, and take a moment to wash the Augean stables of gossip clean – or at least cast a calm look at the odds of the various designer names floating about.  Read more

The Time magazine list of the 100 most influential people in the world is out and guess what: there’s only ONE fashion person on it: Tom Ford.  Read more

Kerry Taylor Auctions just reported that the not particularly fashionable sheer tube dress Kate Middleton wore at the St Andrews charity fashion show to catch Prince W’s eye lo those many years ago just sold at the Passion for Fashion Auction for…GBP78,000. Read more

This fashion week has been aflood with more rumours than India after the monsoon. First there was the stream of gossip about who will get the Dior job (one last suggestion: two names that haven’t been part of the conversation at all — Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler. They’re young, have a jones for French couture shapes, but a way to make them jazzy, are fluent in the worlds of twitter and youtube, and have no hang-ups about working with businessmen. But that’s just me.) And now we have the “is Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton making the royal wedding dress?” tsunami. Read more

ust in time for the Kate Middleton/Prince William royal nuptials, Matthew Williamson has announced he is following Alberta Ferretti and Oscar de la Renta into the lucrative brand extension that is wedding dresses, unveiling his first full collection next May. Coincidence? Read more

All comments and reactions appreciated. Read more

Daniella Issa Heyalel, aka the Brazilian founder and designer of London-based fashion label Issa, just shot to the top of the Who-Will-Make-Princess-Catherine’s-Dress list; turns out not only did she make the blue dress Kate Middleton wore to a friend’s recent wedding, she made yesterday’s official engagement announcement dress — which was ready-to-wear. Read more

And so the frenzied speculation about who will make the next royal wedding dress — and reap profits from it — begins. Today’s official announcement of Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton may have romance novelists swooning and traffic cops in a frenzy, but British fashion designers have pound signs in their eyes and ka-chings in their ears (Ms Middleton has to wear British, after all). Read more