Dress that inspired Kate Middleton's wedding gown is Bath Fashion Museum Dress of Year

By Culture24 Reporter | 30 March 2012
A photo of a catwalk model wearing a white sleeveless couture dress
Sarah Burton’s Autumn/Winter 2011 “Ice Queen” designs set tongues wagging when they went on show in Paris in March 2011.© Chris Moore / Catwalking
The catwalk creation that started tongues wagging among fashionistas and the media keen to find out who would design Kate Middleton’s wedding dress has been unveiled as Dress of the Year 2011 at Bath Fashion Museum.

Sally Burton’s Autumn/Winter Ice Queen design for the House of Alexander McQueen keeps the bar set high for the popular annual award and collection which now comprises 49 era defining outfits.

Fashion Museum Manager, Rosemary Harden, who described the work as a “dress of exquisite beauty” said, “this is what fashion is all about. All the craftsmanship, expertise and vision coming together in this wonderful dress which is now on show for everyone to see.”

Chosen by Hamish Bowles, Editor-at-Large for US Vogue, the couture dress created a media frenzy of speculation as rumours circulated that Burton would be designing the future Duchess of Cambridge’s bridal gown for her big day at Westminster Abbey. 

Bowles said the dress, which features an ivory tulle bodice fully embroidered with individually crafted 3D organza feathers and a skirt consisting of 31 panels hand embroidered with miniature eagle motifs, was “the most anticipated, talked about and ultimately applauded dress of the year”.

“Nowhere are Sarah Burton’s unique skills better exemplified than in this magnificent dress that dazzlingly updates the tradition of the robe de bal, looking back to the crinolined Second Empire creations of Charles Frederick Worth and the mid-century masterworks of Christian Dior, but with a cut, technical treatments, and embellishments that are uniquely twenty-first century.

“We are profoundly grateful to Sarah Burton and to the House of McQueen for their generosity in giving the Fashion Museum this unique runway sample.”

The dress, together with a selection of previous winners, is on show now in the Dress of the Year display at the museum.
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