Designers and royal watchers are noting the striking similarities between Catherine Middleton’s Alexander McQueen dress and the iconic wedding dresses of two other princess brides. Both Princess Grace of Monaco and Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) wore similar styles during their weddings in 1956 and 1947, respectively.
Grace Kelly’s wedding dress was designed by MGM costume designer Helen Rose and is said to be the most-copied wedding gown in history. Add Middleton to the list of admirers, as her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown boasts similar details. Lace sleeves, a fitted bodice, and even a row of small satin buttons referenced Kelly’s gown. The discrete row of buttons, however, was placed on the back of the gown instead of the front, allowing for a V-neck décolleté, a nod to early Victorian ball gowns.
The bodice of Middleton’s gown was sewn from hand-cut English lace and French Chantilly lace, which was then sewn onto ivory silk tulle. The silhouette draws on “the Victorian tradition of corsetry.” The bodice of Princess Grace’s gown, similarly, was crafted from rose point silk needle lace and tulle.
The pleats and silhouette of the skirt resemble Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding gown, designed by Norman Hartnell in 1947. Florentine Renaissance art also appears to have inspired the silhouette.
Women’s Wear Daily reported early this morning that many notable designers have already praised Burton’s design and noted its similarities to the iconic royal wedding gowns of Queen Elizabeth and Grace Kelly.
“The dress is classic and goes very well in the Westminster décor,” said Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel. It almost reminds me of (Queen) Elizabeth’s wedding, the royal weddings in the Fifties. The proportion of the train is good. The lace is very pretty. I like the veil a lot.”
French designer Christian Lacroix also noted similarities, saying the gown is, “A combination just in between 1956 Grace Kelly and 1947 Queen Elizabeth dress. I love the modest veil with the Queen Mother’s Thirties scroll tiara and balanced volume of the whole gown.”
American designer Mark Badgley of Badgley Mischka concurred, “It is a classic Grace Kelly look.”