The newspaper catfight over who has secured an “exclusive” in naming the designer of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress has been amusing to observe.
On Sunday, the Sunday Times claimed it had scooped the world’s press, naming Sarah Burton, creative director at Alexander McQueen, as the couturier chosen to run up the frock of the decade. Their assertion came despite a categorical denial from the MD of Alexander McQueen, and firm “no comments” from everyone else. Their evidence was the fact that Sarah Burton designed the gown worn by Sara Buys. Buys is Kate’s friend who married Tom Parker Bowles, son of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Kate’s future step-mother-in-law.
My own view, based on the pic in the Sunday Times, of a rather boring silk satin gown which gave the wearer droopy boobs was “Kate, you can do better”. Not least with Bruce Oldfield, whom the Sunday Express claimed in their own, contradictory “exclusive”, was the designated designer of the royal wedding dress.
Other designers still in the frame include Philippa Lepley, Jenny Packham and – oh dear – Elizabeth Emanuel, who was one half – with ex-husband David – of the couple who made the wedding gown for the late Diana Spencer when she married Prince William’s father the Prince of Wales. I am a big fan of Emanuel, but the idea that, loaded down with that kind of baggage, she might design a dress for Kate Middleton, is, frankly risible. She is a talented designer with great cutting skills, but if her last catwalk collection is anything to judge by, not – these days – a designer of wedding dresses.
Jenny Packham designs ravishing gowns, which have the kind of gently off-beat, ethereal quality which would work well for Kate Middleton.
Bruce Oldfield produces ravishing evening gowns, sometimes demure sometimes slightly edgy. He cuts like a dream, and his gowns are elegant yet fresh and very youthful. My guess, however, is that Carole Middleton is the one having a dress designed by Bruce Oldfield. And it would be the perfect choice. You may not see Bruce Oldfield gowns on the red carpet, but that isn’t because the celebs’ stylists don’t want them; it is because Bruce has a steady stream of uber-elegant clients and doesn’t need to give his gowns away in order to sell frocks. Real women, with generous budgets and a real sense of personal style, who want to look divine for a big occasion choose Bruce.
Who do you think will get the Middleton frock commissions?