It must be one of the most talked about dresses of all time. Kate Middleton—or rather Kate Middleton’s dress—is back in the news again, with more speculation about who the lucky designer will be. Well, after five months of endless rumors, only three weeks remain until the unveiling, as Middleton steps out of the car into Westminster Abbey and the secret is out.
“The aim is to protect Prince William from knowing anything about the dress — something all brides do on their wedding day,” said Patrick Harrison, Prince Charles’ press secretary, to WWD.
In the meantime, betting odds are going crazy, and designers are generally either not disclosing a word or denying the gossip. Top favs on the books are 1-25 it will be Sarah Burton of McQueen, which makes her in the lead, and 4-1 it will turn out to be Bruce Oldfield.
What’s more, it may not come down to just one fortunate winner. After all, there are options beyond the wedding dress: bridesmaids’ dresses, the mother of the bride’s dress and the maid of honor’s, plus the getup Kate will choose for dinner and dancing on her big day. This means it could be a party of designers joining together, all involved in some manner.
This will not likely be just your average luxury wedding gown. Elizabeth Emanuel, responsible for Princess Diana’s legendary wedding dress in collaboration with her ex-husband David Emanuel, told WWD she would bet that the dress will come with a surprise.
“It’s such an important dress, there’s got to be a classic underlying look to it, but I think there will be a little bit of a twist…an element of excitement,” she said.
The sewing of the dress should be well underway, as the project will likely be huge. Emanuel believes the body of the dress should have been finished, and the chosen designer is apt to be in the process of attaching the embroidery, beading and other details.
Okay, the list you have been waiting for. The top possibilities as to who the chosen one will be.
Bruce Oldfield: A top choice
The plus side: He’s an established figure within British wedding gown design and has designed for several of Middleton’s friends. This makes him a safe bet, plus he could create a gown able to shine even amid the splendor of Westminster Abbey.
The minus side: He is too well known as the creator of Princess Diana’s gowns. Not a good choice if Middleton wants to make her own mark.
Catherine Walker: A definite contender
On the plus side: Even though Walker has passed away, there remains an accomplished team of her designers. Moreover, wedding dresses are, in fact, their specialty. Their list of clientele is impressive and includes royalty such as Lady Gabriella Windsor and Lady Helen Taylor.
On the minus side: Walker is also too closely associated with Diana. The princess was even laid to rest in a Walker dress. Not the right choice if Middleton wants to be known for her own look, not to mention that would be in bad taste.
Daniella Helayel: A skillful possibility
On the plus side: She has a strong track record with Middleton, who seems to adore her looks, even wearing an Issa dress on the day of her engagement.
On the minus side: The designer is Brazilian, and Middleton is likely rumored to select a designer from Britain. She also doesn’t have the background in wedding dresses that would make her a key player. She does, however, remain a contender for creating Middleton’s dress for the wedding dinner dance.
Alice Temperley: A maybe
On the plus side: Middleton often sports her looks, and she is clearly one of Middleton’s preferred designers, judging from the frequency she wears Temperley’s designs. In addition, she brings that experience with wedding gowns.
On the minus side: Well, the pros sound good. But sources close to Temperley report she’s not the one to craft the gown. The designer’s usual aesthetic—sexy and Bohemian—might not play right at a buttoned-up British wedding in an imposing church. She remains on the list of possibilities for other dresses that day.
Sarah Burton: A wild card
On the plus side: Burton’s designs have made a splash since she debuted her first collection in 2010 as head of creative at Mc Queen. She has a number of show-stopping wedding creations in her portfolio, including Plum Sykes and Sara Buys, who is married to Tom Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall’s son.
On the minus side: While she has that experience and beautiful design, the designer just doesn’t follow Middleton’s usual serious style. In addition, Burton denies she’s the chosen designer.
If you could pick, who would you have design Kate’s dress?