Kate Middleton: The Perfect Bride

Laura Bucklin

While all brides want to look and feel like a princess, former commoner Kate Middleton, actually became a princess this past month on April 29. She definitely looked the part.

“At first, I thought she looked like an angel. She seemed to glide down the aisle,” said Kelsey Pedersen, a senior in apparel merchandising design and production at Iowa State. “The lace overlay was traditional, yet had a sense of fashionable flair. Kate looked absolutely gorgeous. “

One word can be used to describe Middleton’s dress: stunning. She walked down the aisle wearing a dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. A lot of thought, time and effort were put into this dress.

According to the official royal wedding website, Middleton worked very closely with the designers while they were making the dress and wanted to “combine tradition and modernity.”

Pedersen, who designed her own 1960s mod-inspired wedding dress for the 2011 Iowa State Fashion Show, commented on the modernity of the dress’ v-neck bodice. She also thought that the natural waistline created a “feminine and beautiful silhouette.”

“I feel the dress was perfect for her body type. Kate is a slender woman and the hourglass figure created by the dress made her princess material,” Pedersen said.

The hourglass figure did, in fact, make Middleton “princess material.” Fashionista.com stated that the silhouette featured padding at the hips, which harkened back to traditional Victorian corsetry.

Other traditions were echoed throughout the dress, such as the process of sewing hand-cut and engineered lace patterns onto ivory silk. This needlework practice dates back as far as the 1820s.

“Workers washed their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and the needles were renewed every three hours, to keep them sharp and clean,” reported the LA Times fashion critic Booth Moore.

Unlike the lace, the veil used was very simple, but it also had tradition behind it — something borrowed. Queen Elizabeth lent the Cartier “Halo” tiara to Middleton, who paired it with silk ivory tulle.

“Because the dress was so elegant and the train so long, [the veil] fit the look perfectly. The lace over the bodice and skirt was then more of a feature because of the simplified veil,” said Pedersen.

Many say Middleton’s dress will go down in history, inspiring many future brides to look to Kate for inspiration.

Kate’s hair and makeup were also something for future brides to emulate. Middleton went for a more natural look when she was wed. According to the Official Royal Wedding website, she wanted William to “recognize” her on the day of their wedding.

Middleton’s hair was worn half up with curled ends. Pedersen thought this was “perfect for the look” that the bride was aiming for.

Andrew Barton, a celebrity hairdresser, said in an interview that Kate’s wedding hairstyle would bring about the “death of the straightening iron.” He said girls’ new “best friend” will be the heated roller.

There are already tons of do-it-yourself Kate Middleton hairstyle postings online — ample evidence that her simple and natural look can work for people other than her.

There is no doubt that Kate’s look turned many heads and started many conversations.

Other brides can have guests rubbernecking and feel like a princess at their weddings by following some of Middleton’s examples above: dressing for their body type, incorporating tradition and keeping it simple.

By following these rules, Middleton even impressed Robb Young, a British fashion writer who recently released a book called “Power Dressing: First Ladies, Women Politicians and Fashion.” The book investigates the wardrobes that rule the world and the women who wear them.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that Kate’s dress will be a trend-setter. It’s sleek, understated, flattering, thoroughly modern and romantic, which, ultimately, I think is probably what most brides today are looking for,” Young said.