Touted as the wedding of the century, lovely commoner Kate Middleton will wed HRH Prince William of Wales on April 29 at Westminster Abbey, and, trust us, all eyes will be on the dress.
You might remember back in 1981, the late Diana’s elaborate, fluffy affair with its massive train designed by Brit Elizabeth Emanuel…sorry, not for this girl.
Recently Women’s Wear Daily asked a few dozen designers who ranged from Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel to J.Crew for sketches on their would-be wedding frocks for the soon-to-be princess. Lagerfeld suggested a “Victorian wedding dress, with a twist – high boots and an open front.” Tom Mora, vice president of wedding and special occasion for J. Crew told WWD, “I think that there will be so many comparisons to the late Princess Diana that her dress should almost be the opposite of what Diana’s was — modern, simple and very elegant.” The Valentino team, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, designed a “’blossoming’ dress because we imagined her as a new Botticellian Venus,” while design duo Badgley Mischka created a sparkly off-the-shoulder job, commenting that Middleton’s “beauty and grace will make any gown magnificent.”
That’s probably true, so we asked two terrific Long Island designers for their take on the hotly anticipated wedding gown.
Elene Cassis, who hails from St. James, and showed at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week last season, and will present in the tents at Lincoln Center in February, worked with her assistant designer, Calvin James, to create her “conservative yet modern” design in classic, soft ivory (see photo at left). “It’s very clean and structured. It’s the kind of image she has to convey to the public and media,” says Cassis. The gown, made of lace and chiffon, “wouldn’t have any beading. It’s classy, timeless and elegant,” says Cassis. “She’s an example for the world, everybody looks up to her.” What might such a dress cost? “Probably about $12,000,” says Cassis.
Christina Makowsky, who spent 28-years in retail selling luxe designer duds at her Georgina boutiques in Manhasset, Hewlett and East Hampton which she shuttered in 2009, launched her own eponymous label that year. She works from her design studio in Woodbury, and has won some highfalutin fans, including some of the moneyed Bravo, “Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Her work was recently showcased on an episode and will appear again on the show, Thursday, December 23.
Says Makowsky, “I know exactly what she should wear.” Her design, of Duchess satin, features a sparkling Swarovski crystal empire waist and includes a detachable train so Middleton can work the dance floor après ceremony (see photo below). “She’s very aristocratic with her small bones and petite figure like a young Jackie O, and she’s going to be a very modern princess and queen,” says Makowsky. “Anything that’s ostentatious is wrong right now for the country and the world.” A large half bow is visible from the back and front, and Makowsky says the dress should be done in diamond white, “a softer more sophisticated shade of white.” This frock would retail for $10,000-$12,000.
Natch, both designers would swoon to make the world’s most-watched wedding gown. “Oh, it would be such an incredible honor,” says Cassis. “It would be the highlight of my life,” says Makowsky. That said, it’s doubtful that the Princess Bride will choose either of them, or even a dress by one of the heavy hitter established types in WWD. Likely, a British designer will get the gig. But sometimes, dreams do come true. Don’t they Kate?
Christina Makowsky's design