Who will design Pippa Middleton’s wedding dress?


Breaking

The Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister Pippa Middleton is due to get married next year- Save the Date cards have reportedly been sent and the church in the Middleton’s home village of Bucklebury will apparently be the setting for what will undoubtedly be the society wedding of the year. 

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Pippa Middleton and James Matthews enjoying Wimbledon together earlier in July

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews enjoying Wimbledon together earlier in July Credit: Karwai Tang

Here on the fashion desk, naturally our focus has turned to the question of who will design her wedding dress. Pippa and big sister Kate have a similar approach to style, favouring ladylike and conservative pieces by British labels. On the eve of her engagement announcement, Middleton wore a breezy silk dusty pink, daisy printed dress with a cascading hem and nipped in waist by L.K. Bennett, which looked like it might have been lifted straight from the Duchess’s Kensington Palace walk-in wardrobe. The British high street brand has an unofficial ‘Middleton warrant’, as the Duchess of Cambridge is credited with causing a huge expansion of the brand due to her love of their nude court shoes and formal dresses.  

Pippa Middleton wears L.K. Bennett florals

Pippa Middleton wears L.K. Bennett florals Credit: PA Wire


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Pippa Middleton and the Duchess of Cambridge on the Royal Wedding day

Pippa Middleton and the Duchess of Cambridge on the Royal Wedding day Credit: Getty

But it’s safe to assume that her wedding day is the one time Pippa Middleton won’t wear a dress like her big sister’s. The Duchess of Cambridge’s Alexander McQueen gown was custom-made over many months under the watchful eye of creative director Sarah Burton and designed to create a grand ‘Princess Moment’ as Kate married William at Westminster Abbey. Two million people watched the royal wedding and Pippa’s sleek maid of honour dress, also by McQueen, drew almost as much attention as her sister’s dress.

For Pippa, the wedding world is her oyster, with no traditions dictating the kind of wedding she’ll need to plan.   

Pippa Middleton at the Royal Wedding

Pippa Middleton at the Royal Wedding

But something tells us this wedding won’t be a ‘Hackney Town Hall and drinks at the local’ affair. Not only will a number of senior royals be in attendance, but her fiance James Matthews is a Chelsea-based, Eton-educated millionaire, who is the chief executive of Eden Rock Capital Management Group. He is also the older brother of Made in Chelsea‘s Spencer Matthews, and if that reality show has taught us one thing it’s that the Matthews family doesn’t scrimp when it comes to parties. And let’s not forget Pippa has written her own book about hosting, Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends.

So who will Pippa enlist to create a dress which is all her own? These are some of her options…

Pippa Middleton by numbersWatch | Pippa Middleton by numbers 00:56

The British Couturier: Giles Deacon

Gwendoline Christie wearing Giles at the British Fashion Award

Gwendoline Christie wearing Giles at the British Fashion Award Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Last week, British designer Giles Deacon was seen visiting Pippa and Mum Carole at home. He and his assistant came armed with what looked like bulky dress bags- the kind which might carry a full-skirted wedding gown. Deacon would be an inspired choice by Pippa; he recently refocussed his business on couture pieces and is known for his beautifully gothic creations. His girlfriend is Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie and she often chooses his structural, draped gowns for red carpet premieres around the globe.

The International Society Favourite: Elie Saab

Elie Saab

Elie Saab Haute Couture AW16 Credit: Rex

When it comes to OTT weddings, the socialite’s go-to couture house is Elie Saab. The house creates fairytale tulle gowns dripping in custom beading and hand-sewn crystals, making them popular with the super rich brides like Khadija Uzhakhova and Salome Kintsurashvili who both chose Elie Saab creations for their jaw-dropping weddings this year.

“Thousands of hours goes into a dress like this,” James Lord, Founder and CEO of the Quintessentially Atelier has previously said to The Telegraph of the workmanship involved in a couture wedding dress like the Elie Saab above. “It will be entirely made by hand, with no sewing machines involved. If there are a thousand crystals, each could take up to a few minutes to sew on.”

The Posh Girl’s Go-To: Suzanne Neville

Suzanne specialises in confections – draped  gowns that are pleated and tucked to behave like sweet wrappers. Her red carpet clients include Kate Winslet, Nicole Scherzinger and Katherine Jenkins, while she’s dressed famous brides from Victoria Pendleton to Christine Bleakley. But would she be ‘the one’ for Pippa? The designer’s Knightsbridge showroom certainly is conveniently located near to the West London home that she shares with James.

The Safe Bet: Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham 2017 collection Credit: Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham is a Middleton family favourite, as the British designer has created a number of custom gowns for the Duchess of Cambridge. Packham has dressed her for some of her most important occasions, including when she left the Lindo Wing after giving birth to Prince George and Princess Charlotte and for red-carpet events, such as a recent fundraising dinner at Houghton Hall in Norfolk. The designer also created Kim Murray’s wedding dress for her marriage to Andy in Dunblane last year. If Pippa turns to Kate for advice, then they’ll be sure to pay a visit to Packham’s studio.

The British Option: Ralph and Russo

Couture house Ralph and Russo creates spectacular, money-is-no-boundary couture gowns fitting for grand Chelsea nuptials. “Our bridal pieces are extremely intricate and can take over 7,000 hours to make, with up to 24 couturiers working on the gown at any time,” Tamara Ralph previously explained to The Telegraph. “The weight of the gown depends on the client’s fabric of choice, but where possible, we do try to reduce this so that the bride is comfortable when walking. We work very closely with every bride to ensure that they are completely happy and confident on their special day.”

While her co-designer, Michael Russo, adds: “The embroidery alone for the SS16 bridal gown took over 50 couturiers 6,000 combined hours to create. We encourage clients to get in touch as soon as possible with bridal requests, and in general advise that six months be given for creation.” Ralph and Russo would be a fitting choice given it is based in Mayfair and is the only British house to be elected to show at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week.

The keeping it in the family choice: Alexander McQueen

The Duchess of Cambridge in Alexander McQueen on her wedding day with Prince William

The Duchess of Cambridge in Alexander McQueen on her wedding day with Prince William Credit: Getty

It’s unlikely that Pippa would be a copy-Kate and chose McQueen for her wedding dress. But then again, she knows it works and that designer Sarah Burton has the design nous to create something seriously flattering and impactful. 

The modern society option: Emilia Wickstead

Lady Charlotte Wellesley chose Emilia Wickstead to design her dress when she married Alejandro Santo Domingo earlier in the year

Lady Charlotte Wellesley chose Emilia Wickstead to design her dress when she married Alejandro Santo Domingo earlier in the year Credit: DANIEL PEREZ

Another of the Duchess’ favourite designers, New Zealander Emilia Wickstead has carved out a reputation for creating modern designs for society women. Wickstead was not known for her bridal work until earlier this year when she created a grand gown for Lady Charlotte Wellesley’s wedding to Colombian billionaire Alejandro Santo Domingo. The look was praised for its timeless simplicity. Something in this spirit would make a beautiful choice for a country wedding in Bucklebury (the Berkshire village the Middletons call home). 

The minimal column dress: Marchesa

Marchesa

Marchesa

The form-fitting, simple Alexander McQueen dress which Pippa wore for bridesmaid duties at the Royal Wedding, was perhaps the most talked about look of the year, nay, decade, receiving almost as much as attention as Kate’s own dress. It’s clearly a silhouette that works for Pippa, and so perhaps she will opt for a more simple fit by Marchesa, available at BrownsBrides. Designed by Brits Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman, but based in the US, Marchesa is another red carpet hit so will be guaranteed to understand the nuances required for such a high-profile design. 

The Hollywood gown: Valentino

Italian house Valentino is another likely option, especially if Pippa decides to go international; the label’s refined, ecclesiastical dresses are a popular choice with European royalty and Hollywood elite, and have been worn by Nicky Hilton, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Anne Hathaway and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. 

The anti-royal wedding option

reformation wedding dress

If Pippa is looking to avoid comparisons to her sister’s dress, she could opt for a low-key high street option by buzzed-about label Reformation. It’s highly unlikely she will get married in a £295 dress, but the recent drop of gowns has a number of elegant, figure-hugging looks if she wants a silhouette similar to her Alexander McQueen bridesmaid dress. Plus, they’re environmentally friendly. 

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