Custom Style

Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

Kate Middleton goes Retro-Modern

When Kate Middleton stepped out of the car finally revealing her wedding gown to the world, I immediately saw a modern version of Princess Margaret’s lovely 1960s dress. And it was simply beautiful – of course I love anything that has even a hint of retro style.

Many people immediately started comparing Kate’s dress to the dress that Grace Kelly wore to her wedding in 1956. The fabric of Grace’s dress was also lace over a similar bodice, but I think that it may have been the inspiration for the details of Kate’s dress while Princess Margaret’s gown was the inspiration for the overall silhouette and cut of Kate’s.

Let’s compare all three elegant gowns.

 First we have Kate arriving:

  See the similar lines of Princess Margaret’s dress? Notice the pleats and the shape of the neckline:

 Aside from the fuller skirt near the waist, the silhouette is remarkably alike:

Even the pleats of Kate’s train look like a modern, more controlled version of Margaret’s:

Kate and Grace have different skirts (pleats where one is flat, natural waistline versus high waistline) and different necklines. Kate’s veil, however, is the same style as Grace’s (it even has a scalloped lace edge) and you can see how both gowns are alike in placement & use of fabric types:

Grace Kelly was a “Hollywood Princess” before becoming a real princess so, naturally, her wedding dress was designed by costume designer Helen Rose.

Princess Margaret’s dress was designed by Norman Hartnell. Her wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones was the very first televised royal wedding.

British designer Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen was the designer who brought Kate’s dream to life. She created an amazing dress for a modern princess with a nod to the past.  I’m sure I’ll be making a dress based on Kate’s for some bride in the future.  =)

Happy wedding day Princess Catherine! You were exactly as your groom said – “beautiful”. May you live happily ever after with your Prince.

(Royal Wedding 2011 photos found at The Telegraph.)

2 responses to “Kate Middleton goes Retro-Modern

  1. Athene April 29, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Yep. You’re right. It’s definitely more like Margaret’s dress. I’m sure as time goes on that will start coming out more and more. Today everyone just had to come up with a knee-jerk reaction, so they were going to comment more on look than cut since it’s a faster comparison.

  2. Orlene April 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I agree with your observations on the dresses and veils. Very interesting. What a romantic event, the dress couldn’t have been more perfect.

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