Manchester designer’s royal wedding dress for Kate Middleton goes on show in Buckingham Palace

By Kathryn Cummings, Senior Fashion Writer

More than half a million visitors are expected to visit Buckingham Palace this summer to see Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.

The Royal Collection show, called ‘The Royal Wedding Dress: A Story of Great British Design’, brings together the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress, shoes and earrings for the British public to view up close for the first time.

MM takes a look at the stellar designer who is behind the dress of the century…

The moment Kate Middleton stepped out of the Rolls Royce wedding car marked the moment 36-year-old Mancunian designer Sarah Burton arrived.

The ivory satin creation with a nine-foot train was received with global acclaim upon its highly anticipated unveiling at the Royal Wedding.  

The Prestbury born designer took over as creative director of fashion house Alexander McQueen last year, after the designer committed suicide.

Sarah, described as the unseen star of the Royal Wedding, studied art foundation at Manchester School of Art after leaving Withington Girls’ School.

Anthony Ratcliffe, programme leader on the art foundation course, says it’s no surprise she has risen to the top of her profession, as she was both ambitious and technically outstanding.

He said: “She was a delight to teach and we are really proud that we made a contribution to her career and to British fashion.”

After completing her course she moved to London to study at the prestigious Central St Martins College, and in 1996 she joined the McQueen label on a year-long internship.

It became the beginning of a 14-year collaboration and friendship and she eventually became McQueen’s right hand woman.

After the tragic suicide of the legendary Alexander McQueen last year, Sarah was the obvious choice to head up the label but was initially reluctant to step into the limelight.

The decision was several weeks in the making and it was rumoured American Vogue editor Anna Wintour convinced her that she must carry on his legacy.

Since taking on the role of creative designer she moved the brand from strength to strength and won wide acclaim from the fashion world after producing her first collection without McQueen at Paris Fashion Week last year.

It was Sarah who dressed Michelle Obama in a striking asymmetrical dress for a state dinner with the Chinese, and is famed for her meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship.

It is thought she caught the princesses’ eye with the wedding dress worn by fashion journalist Sara Buys at her wedding to Tom Parker Bowles, the son of the Duchess of Cornwall, in 2005.

She has worked on one-off pieces for stars such as Bjork, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, Naomi Campbell and Lady Gaga.

It’s safe to say that all eyes will be on press-shy Sarah for some time now, but here at MM we are immensely proud that a local girl has done so well and is confirming again why Manchester is on cultural map.  

Related Articles