The gown is a design by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen's fashion house.
"Miss Middleton chose British brand Alexander McQueen for the beauty of its craftsmanship and its respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing," the palace said. " Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterizes Alexander McQueen's work. Miss Middleton worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress."
The dress is made of French Chantilly lace and English Cluny lace throughout the bodice, skirt and underskirt. The dress, made of ivory and white satin gazar, was designed to emulate an opening flower. The train measures almost nine feet long.
The lace applique for the bodice and skirt was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework. Individual flowers were hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create the dress' design, which incorporates the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock. The back of the dress was finished with 58 gazar and organza covered buttons fastened by Rouleau loops.
"It has been the experience of a lifetime to work with Catherine Middleton to create her wedding dress, and I have enjoyed every moment of it," Burton said in a statement. "It was such an incredible honour to be asked, and I am so proud of what we and the Alexander McQueen team have created. I am delighted that the dress represents the best of British craftsmanship."
Middleton's veil is made silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers. It is held in place by a Cartier "halo" tiara, lent to Middleton by Queen Elizabeth II. The tiara was presented to Princess Elizabeth (now the Queen) by her mother on her 18th birthday.
The bride's earrings, diamond-set stylized oak leaves with a pear-shaped diamond set drop and a pave set diamond acorn suspended from the center, are by Robinson Pelham and were inspired by the Middleton family's new coat of arms. The earrings, which were made to match the tiara, were a personal gift to Middleton from her parents for her wedding day.
Her handmade shoes, also by McQueen, were composed of ivory duchesse satin and lace.
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