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Royal Watch
Posted at 09:21 AM ET, 04/29/2011

Sarah Burton, the designer behind Kate Middleton’s wedding dress


Alexander McQueen gown designer Sarah Burton (bottom L) adjusts Britain's Kate Middleton's dress as she arrives with her father Michael Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London for her wedding to Britain's Prince William. (SUZANNE PLUNKETT - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Sarah Burton, creative director of the fashion house Alexander McQueen, and creator of Catherine Middleton’s floor-length ivory wedding dress, was so low-profile that the public knew little about her before the wedding Friday.

The 36-year-old designer from Manchester was chosen in part because her lack of visibility would help keep the dress a secret.

Burton became McQueen’s right hand woman after joining his label as intern in 1996, and presented her first womenswear collection without McQueen at Paris Fashion Week shortly after his suicide last year. Many noticed then that Burton used her mentor’s style but also had added a new element of femininity.

Middleton reportedly noticed Burton’s work when she spotted Sarah Buys, a fashion journalist, wearing an off-the-shoulder wedding dress at Buys’ wedding to the son of the Duchess of Cornwall in 2005.

Despite being recognized as a new British style icon, Middleton has also been criticized for being too conservative and “high street.” Burton, who is known for her alternative take on elegance, was a choice that would challenge that notion.

Burton is known best for designing a billowing red and black dress worn by Michelle Obama to a state dinner last year. She has also worked with Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Burton just released this statement about the dress:


Sarah Burton (David Burton - AP)
“The last few months have been very exciting and an incredible experience for my team and I as we have worked closely with Catherine to create this dress under conditions of the strictest secrecy. Understandably, Catherine has been very keen to keep the details of her dress a secret, which is every bride’s prerogative, and we gave an undertaking to keep our role confidential until the day of the wedding.”

“It has been the experience of a lifetime to work with Catherine Middleton to create her wedding dress.... I am delighted that the dress represents the best of British craftsmanship.”

“Alexander McQueen’s 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...Catherine looked absolutely stunning today.”

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By  |  09:21 AM ET, 04/29/2011

 

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