Alexander McQueen label denies Kate Middleton wedding dress reports

Clarence House refuses to comment on story claiming that creative director Sarah Burton will design dress

The Alexander McQueen label has categorically denied a claim in the Sunday Times that creative director Sarah Burton is making the dress Kate Middleton will wear when she marries Prince William next month.

The royal wedding dress is the most prestigious commission in British fashion for decades, and will guarantee global publicity for its designer. The design and designer have been kept a fiercely guarded secret.

Clarence House responded to the story on Sunday with a statement saying: "We're not commenting on the specific designer for the dress because Catherine Middleton wishes to keep the designer a secret until the wedding day."

Those who believe the story pointed out that in the event of a leak, the house of McQueen would not be at liberty to confirm the commission before Clarence House had taken the lead.

The story was met with surprise and delight at Paris fashion week. To date, Kate Middleton has played her wardrobe statements demure, safe and low-key. To wear a dress by McQueen, a label as closely associated with tragedy and controversy as it is with fashion, would be a radical departure.

McQueen killed himself in February last year at the age of 40, a day before the funeral of his mother, Joyce.

Sarah Burton was Alexander McQueen's right-hand woman for many years before his death and played a key role in establishing the lyrically beautiful, faultlessly tailored aesthetic of the label. She is richly talented, hugely experienced and well-liked in the industry.

Last October, she presented the first Alexander McQueen collection under her own name at Paris fashion week, under the critical eye of a fashion industry still pining for McQueen himself.

She acquitted herself with aplomb. Her ability to produce beautiful clothes under enormous pressure would come in useful if preparing the dress that needs to wow Westminster Abbey and the world on 29 April.

If Middleton has chosen Burton as her dress designer, it suggests a streak of daring which had not previously been evident in the would-be princess. The royal wedding dress will be a matter of intense interest to millions of people outside the fashion insiders' enclave.

To many, the McQueen name is strongly associated with suicide and with the mischievous young designer who scrawled swear words inside Prince Charles's jackets while an apprentice on Savile Row.


Jess Cartner-Morley

The GuardianTramp

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