Causing a furore over the weekend was the usually meticulously-dressed-and-event-appropriate Kate Middleton, who committed something of a faux pas by attending a friend’s wedding in BLACK, still considered to be something of a sartorial missstep by the likes of traditionalists everywhere.
Now, we all know that wearing black to a wedding can be considered a bit, well, of a statement (especially if you have ever gone out with the groom, which we should point out does not apply in Kate’s case) but as well as this, is another custom for royals who traditionally do not wear black unless they are in mourning.
Prince William’s mother Diana fell foul of this particular royal tradition when, at the first official event she attended with Prince Charles after announcing their engagement in 1981, she wore black (it was a slightly-too-small strapless number designed by the Emanuel’s, who would later design her wedding dress.) The royal family were deeply unimpressed, with varying accounts of what was actually said by whom, but the upshot was that Diana never wore black to an official engagement again (until the night Charles admitted his adultery on television and she attended an opening at the Serpentine gallery).
The Dress which Kate chose to wear on Saturday attracted attention not only for it’s colour but also because it was (gasp) not new but actually dated back to S/S 2007 which makes it PRACTICALLY as old as Kate herself. Miss Middleton originally wore the Issa cocktail dress to the wedding of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly, but this time she paired the low-cut mesh fronted number with a velvet coat by Libélula, a beret, and purple accessories, at the wedding of her friends Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and Sarah Stourton.
In the final piece of news to spring off the back of black dress-gate, Kate has come under this week fire for being too slim in the run-up to her wedding. In spite of calls by some UK papers for Kate to pie up and ‘fill out her wedding dress’, brilliant NY magazine fashion blog The Cut points out, ‘You're not the bride in one of the world's most high-profile weddings in modern times and eat cake morning, noon, and night without a care’. Though frankly, if anything could turn Grazia Daily to cake, it’s just that kind of pressure.
In other wedding news, there has been a clamp down on labels associating themselves with Kate without her consent. A great deal of care is taken to protect the image of the royal family, and to ensure their image is not used to promote particular brands or services. This protection has been extended to cover Kate in the run-up to the wedding in April, with a Royal aide saying that whilst it was ‘highly unlikely that we would have any objection if a company wanted to call a dress “the Kate dress”’ because ‘”Kate” isn’t specific to Catherine Middleton. It may, however, be a different scenario if it was called the “Catherine/Kate Middleton” dress as that impacts... on personal copyright. Or indeed if a company was suggesting a dress was officially endorsed by Catherine.’ Thank you Mr. Adie, that is as clear. As. Custard.
And finally, because we are getting desperate for things to moan about (and it’s only January. Help!) The unethical method of manufacturing silk has come under the spotlight, because it involves the unsavoury practice of silk worms being boiled or roasted before turning into beauuuuutiful, erm, moths, which allows their cocoons to be spun into silk without being damaged. Now, whilst this does sound awful, as unashamedly shallow individuals, we are more interested in the related nugget of genius that as a gift after her wedding, Princess Diana gave each of her bridesmaids one of the flowers from her bouquet encased in Perspex along with, erm, two of those boiled or roasted silk worms who had woven the dress. As a ‘gift’. Not a ‘hideous trick’. The royals are really not like us, are they? We can’t wait to see what Kate gives her bridesmaids. Any ideas?
- Alex Butt