The Washington Post

Sarah Burton to design royal wedding dress?

Bruce Oldfield is so yesterday.

The latest buzz on who’s designing Kate Middleton’s wedding dress focuses on Sarah Burton, the creative director of the British fashion house Alexander McQueen. Burton, 36, took over after McQueen committed suicide last year. Britain’s Sunday Times reported that the chief executive of the label, Jonathan Akeroyd, reportedly said it had won the commission; an Associated Press follow-up noted that both Burton and Akeroyd were denying that they had the assignment.

The Telegraph is lauding the choice, if true, as “a coup for British fashion.” The Guardian report noted that palace officials refuse to comment on who is designing the dress.

The look of the royal wedding dress is a closely guarded secret — and designers eager to stay popular with the royal family tend not to talk about their commissions. The Times article is behind a pay-wall; a Daily Mail article speculating on whether Burton has the high-profile assignment noted that “It is said that Miss Middleton, 29, has been consulting the fashion editor wife of Prince William’s stepbrother Tom Parker Bowles.

“Sara Buys, who writes for Harpers Bazaar, wore McQueen for her own wedding in 2005, and ‘would have given her a good knowledge of the best designers’, according to the [Times].”

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail has tracked down the Italian designer of the bright red suit Kate wore when she and Prince William visited the University of St. Andrews recently. The royal bride-to-be won high marks for pairing the traditional-look suit — which played on the university’s colors — with tall black boots (Aquatalia by Marvin K.), black gloves (with red trim) and a black belt. But the only comment journalists could initially unearth about the outfit was that it came from Kate's closet. The Mail reports that “Kate’s stylish outfit was created by Luisa Spagnoli, the Italian ready-to-wear label beloved of screen sirens Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren. Kate purchased the striking £160 skirt and £335 ‘sushi’ jacket from Hollie de Keyser in Knightsbridge, Central London. In doing so, she was retracing the fashion footsteps of Princess Diana – de Keyser’s premises were frequented by William’s late mother when the boutique was known as Emma Somerset. Luisa Spagnoli, who founded the label in Perugia in 1928, was famous for introducing angora fibre – derived from Angora rabbits – into knitwear.”

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