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WEDDING WHISPERS: With 10 days to go before the royal wedding, chatter about the provenance of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress has taken on urban myth status, right up there with a cryogenically frozen Walt Disney, deadly alligators roaming the New York sewer system and JFK’s jelly doughnut speech in Berlin.
Speculation about the dress is now feverish, with reporters from various outlets insisting they have the true scoop. Meanwhile, Clarence House has declined to comment on any speculation, saying the details will only be revealed when Middleton steps out of her car at 11 a.m. on April 29.
The Sunday Times of London Style magazine has been insisting on a near-weekly basis that Sarah Burton, Alexander McQueen’s creative director, is Middleton’s chosen designer. The Sunday Times, which splashed the McQueen story on its front page in early March, is persisting despite repeated denials from Burton and her team. On Tuesday, a McQueen spokesman reiterated to WWD: “No, Sarah isn’t designing the dress, and has nothing to do with the dress.”
Earlier this week, the Daily Mail reported that Middleton actually designed the dress herself. Quoting an “impeccably placed source,” the paper said Middleton began work on the dress back in November after her engagement was revealed, and has been collaborating with an “established dressmaker.” The dress, the paper claimed, is inspired by Middleton’s study of the Renaissance while at the University of St. Andrews, and features a “nod” to Princess Diana’s wedding gown — but with none of its flounce. The Mail reported that the gown is ivory satin and lace, with a pearl button detail and a 10-foot train.
Over the weekend, The Huffington Post reported that the royal dress designer was Sophie Cranston, who designs clothing under the label Libelula, and who makes bespoke wedding gowns. A spokeswoman for Libelula has declined to comment on the speculation. Back in January, Middleton donned a velvet silk Libelula coat for a wedding she attended in north Yorkshire. The coat, which has a brooch-like diamanté clasp at the waist, was from the fall 2010 collection. Cranston launched Libelula in 2003. Previously, she had worked for Alexander McQueen and helped set up Temperley with Alice Temperley — who has also been tipped as a candidate to design the dress, as have Bruce Oldfield and the design team at Catherine Walker. None of those are talking either.