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Will Kate be the next fashion icon?

By Jia Xu (
Updated: 2011-04-28 18:02
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Editor's Note:

Nowadays, if there's one woman that you cannot avoid seeing in daily headlines, it is Kate Middleton.

Everything makes the news, such as the teapot souvenirs, T-shirts, and even condoms! And of course, "What will Kate's wedding dress be like?" has become one of the hottest discussed issues thanks to the love of beauty that humans share.


Will Kate be the next fashion icon?
File photo: Michelle Obama (L), Kate Middleton (C)  and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy[Photo/] 

You may be tired of reading about one-angle reports about the bride-to-be, and China Daily website presents a Fashion in politics review, just in time for the royal wedding.

We take you on a visual tour of how some first ladies dress, and examine their fashion codes and impact on fashion, and the political world.
To start, let's look at Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama, and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.


Kate Middleton: Between Royal and Modern

Will Kate be the next fashion icon?

The wind blows Kate Middleton's hair during a Naming Ceremony and Service of Dedication for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's (RLNI) new Atlantic 85 Lifeboat, the 'Hereford Endeavour', at Trearddur Bay Lifeboat Station, in Trearddur Bay, Anglesey in north Wales February 24, 2011.[Photo/Agencies]

A recent BBC poll of 2,000 women across the UK shows the public thinks Kate is a bigger fashion icon than Lady Gaga and Cheryl Cole, and another poll conducted by YouGov among 1,000 people 18 and older shows 86 percent of women don't envy Kate Middleton, even though she's pretty.

To define Kate's dressing style, fashionistas find it as hard as Kate herself does. She is at a transforming stage, battling between royal and modern.

Take the tiara, for instance. Some tabloid reports say Kate is considering wearing flowers in her hair on her wedding day, even though she knows "she's risking being blamed as disrespectful to royal tradition."

"The unknown is how far she's going to present herself as absolutely the traditional bride, and how far her designer might collaborate with her just to give her that bit of difference," said Alice Ritchie, of Agence France-Presse.

Fashionistas also kept close tabs on Kate's wedding dress, saying it is so much more than a dress. UK Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman points out: "The dress carries not only her personal taste, but her commitment to fashion, her attitude to money, especially in the current economic doldrums."

She must have noticed the unspoken fashion mission she carries. She is reported to have inherited Princess Diana's style: the love of blue and the love of wearing a beret.


Will Kate be the next fashion icon? Will Kate be the next fashion icon? 

Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton pose for photographs at St. James' Palace, Nov 16, 2010. [Photo/Agencies] 

The girlfriend of Britain's Prince William, Kate Middleton, is seen watching on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival horse racing in Gloucestershire, western England in this March 16, 2007 photo. [Photo/Agencies]

* A
fashion magnet & High-street brands sales booster *


Will Kate be the next fashion icon?

The 29-year-old has enough magnetism to attract top fashion designers. Speculations on the designer of Kate's wedding dress include Sarah Burton, creative director at Alexander McQueen, and Sophie Cranston, a relative unknown who worked for McQueen before setting up her own label, Libelula.

A Grazia magazine editor said Kate's classic, natural and a bit conservative elegancy have attracted top designers, "Bruce Oldfield, Princess Diana's favorite designer, is said to be making Kate's bride veil, and James Pryce will do her hair, Adele Clarke will make her a pair of shoes."

Whoever the designer will be, "he or she is poised to become the most famous fashion designer on earth overnight, the moment Kate walks down the aisle at Westminster Abbey," said the editor.

Kate worked as an accessories buyer for Jigsaw, a British clothing brand, after graduation from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. During her time there, she collaborated with jewelry designer Claudia Bradby on a necklace that's now being reissued for $71.

Kate's fashion influence became clear as far back as 2007, when a dress she wore for her 25th birthday (a £40 Topshop tunic) sold out within 24 hours, a Topshop retailer told MailOnline news.

Retailers are reported to be ready to get reproductions out on the streets and the image printed on souvenirs.

"We have to remember that this dress is going to be seen forever. She is our future queen," said Caroline Castigliano, a British wedding dress designer.


* Fashion upgrade *

However,not every fashionista likes Kate's fashion taste. Vivienne Westwood has mentioned the bride-to-be does not share her idea of dressing and that she's not bothered about not having the honor to make Kate's wedding dress.

When Kate was spotted enjoying her last single shopping spree on King's Road in London a week ago, the Telegraph reported that she spent £225 for four size 8 dresses from Warehouse, a mid-market women's fashion chain. Other shops she went to include her favorite, Whistles— and there, her shopping bags reveal the princess-to-be is still in the "way-too-common" fashion stage.

Fashion columnist Liz Jones said, "I like Kate's down-to-earth attitude to fashion, I really do, but a big part of me wishes she would up the ante."

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