Pure Industry News ( Next show 7 - 9 August)
The royal wedding was a roll call of British designers as the leading ladies of the day chose to support home-grown design talent.
Speculation over who would design Kate Middleton’s wedding gown was rife in the lead-up to the big day. Finally, just hours before the ceremony it was revealed that the bride had opted for a dress created by Sarah Burton, creative director at Alexander McQueen. In traditional ivory, a plunging neckline added an edgy touch to the dress, which had lace covered sleeves and a two metre long train.
Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton was maid of honour and her outfit attracted almost as much attention as the bride’s. Dressed in a cream column dress, also designed by Sarah Burton, fashion commentators hailed her understated yet elegant style.
The Queen chose a primrose Angela Kelly dress and matching hat while the mother of the bride wore a sky blue dress coat and day dress, both designed by Catherine Walker. The Duke of York’s daughters, princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, attracted much attention for their get-ups and not all of it favourable. Eugenie wore a blue puffball dress and jacket by British designer Vivienne Westwood and her elder sister opted for Valentino couture.
Being almost seven months pregnant didn’t present a fashion challenge for Victoria Beckham who wore her own design, topped off with a Phillip Treacy hat. The Irish milliner was a popular choice among the guests and made most of the hats for royals attending the wedding – 36 in total, including creations for Prince Charles’ wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Princess Michael of Kent.
It wasn’t just the newlyweds who had reason to celebrate. As hundreds of thousands of people descended on the capital to catch a glimpse of the happy couple, retailers in London’s West End were expecting sales to soar by £50 million over the weekend. New West End Company, which represents 600 retailers on Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street, estimated that half a million extra shoppers would visit the area over the course of the four day weekend. The organisation also predicts there will be a “honeymoon halo effect” which will sustain the uplift in sales for around four weeks after the wedding.
Meanwhile, department store Debenhams said it had already seen a surge in sales of items in the same colours as those worn by the royal wedding guests.
Customers at the store have snapped up outfits in the primrose shade sported by the Queen as well as Camilla’s champagne, Beatrice’s dusky pink, and vivid shades of blue and emerald.
A spokesman for Debenhams said: “We’ve been inundated with shoppers across the country taking a lead from the colours worn at the wedding. Despite the debate over their role, the royal family still exerts a huge influence over the entire nation.”