Iconic wedding dresses

From Alexander McQueen to Jasper Conran, there are few British fashion houses that have not been reported as Kate Middleton’s choice of wedding dress designer since her engagement to Prince William was announced last November. However a farmer’s daughter who set up her own little–known label nine years ago has emerged as a surprise candidate for the most coveted commission of the decade.

Reports have named Sophie Cranston, founder of the Libélula studio, as the woman whose creation Middleton will be wearing when she walks down the aisle next week. The 34–year–old Londoner, who has a shop in Chelsea and a studio in Spain, has previously worked for Alexander McQueen, whose creative director, Sarah Burton, is currently the bookmakers’ favourite.

In January Middleton wore a velvet dress coat by Libélula, which is Spanish for dragonfly, at a friend’s wedding in Yorkshire.

Middleton is determined that her gown remains a secret until the wedding day, meaning the real designer would not be allowed to confirm anything to the media.

Famous weddings can have a huge affect on the bridal industry, and the Prince William and Kate Middleton’s upcoming royal wedding will be no exception when it comes to setting bridal trends.

Queen Victoria single-handedly started the trend in the 1800s of a woman wearing white on her wedding day.

Chelsea Clinton’s wedding also influenced bridal fashion. She wore a Vera Wang in organza with a jewelled belt that became an instant trend.

Jackie Kennedy was another iconic bride whose style was widely imitated. Classic brides still choose dresses with a portrait neckline, resembling her dress. Princess Diana’s dress was very elaborate, with huge puff sleeves and a 25-foot train, but despite that scaled back versions of her gown sold throughout the ‘80s.

Middleton’s dress could influence bridal fashion for the next decade, apparently it takes four minutes to walk down the aisle at Westminster Abbey and fashionistas reckon the gown will already have been copied by the time she gets to the altar!