We’re starting to call 2011 ‘Year K’ here at Confetti Towers. The year Kate Middleton was married and she wore that wedding dress. Whilst the impact on the fashion world was immediate, it has taken longer to filter through to bridal fashion – but now that it has, it seems here to stay. Here’s our lowdown on five ways she changed bridal fashion back in 2011.
The dress that changed everything
Cover the arms
Eschewing the contemporary sleeveless trend at the time, the Duchess of Cambridge opted for a long-sleeve design that got everyone talking. Elegant floral motifs (machine-made lace shapes) were appliquéd onto a silk Tulle bodice producing an effect similar to Chantilly Lace.
Move over tea length wedding dresses
When Kate walked down the aisle it was tea-length-or-die in the world of bridal fashion. Now we’re beginning to see longer dresses that follow Kate’s splendid lead. It’s a more magical, fairytale, midsummer’s night dream look than the tea length: a look befitting a princess or a queen.
Laces of English Cluny and French Chantilly styles featured in Kate’s wedding dress yet it was the former that really caught the imagination and set hearts racing. Whilst technically it wasn’t a standard Chantilly Lace, it had many of the signature features, but was brought startlingly into modernity using machine-cut floral shapes delicately appliquéd onto Tulle. Now Chantilly lace or its derivatives are all over the bridal and non-bridal catwalks. Kate once again blazed a path for others to follow.
Boho meets tailored elegance
Kate’s perfectly tailored and fitted dress followed her svelte figure but there was a touch of bohemian abandon all the same. The veil was understated with a soupçon of both traditional religious headgear, a splash of paganism and a hint of Arthurian legend. We could imagine Guinevere marrying King Arthur in such a veil. Her natural shape was accented by padding at the hips and a narrowing of the waist and the two-piece design that blended different laces nodded knowingly towards the bohemian trend.
A bespoke fusion of fashion, tradition and modernity
What Kate managed to pull off, thanks to Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, was a dress that combined a modish nod to contemporary fashion and cutting edge modernity whilst embracing the timelessness and sartorial elegance of traditional Britain. That there was a everday touch amongst the regal splendour only helped to spark memories of another famous princess: Princess Diana.