The dress that has gone down in history as arguably the most influential, stunning and awe inspiring design is still ruffling tulle, it seems, even five years after its debut at the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William, back in 2011. Fashion house Alexander McQueen has found themselves in the firing line of allegations that they plagiarised the design; a claim which they fiercely deny.
Bridal designer Christine Kendall has initiated legal proceedings some five years after the royal wedding. Kendall claims that the dress, created by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, was modelled from her own sketches sent to the palace for consideration, before a designer was chosen. Perhaps the fashion house took the ‘something borrowed’ tradition of the wedding a tad too literally. Kendall’s lawyer has spoken on her behalf, stating; “Proceedings have been issued because our client is certain that her company’s design was unfairly taken and copied.”
Alexander McQueen are “…utterly baffled…” by the allegations and a spokesperson for the company made this statement;
“Christine Kendall first approached us almost four years ago, when we were clear with her that any suggestion that Sarah Burton’s design of the royal wedding dress was copied from her designs was nonsense.
“Sarah Burton never saw any of Ms Kendall’s designs or sketches and did not know of Ms Kendall before Ms Kendall got in touch with us – some 13 months after the wedding.
“We do not know why Ms Kendall has raised this again, but there are no ifs, buts or maybes here: this claim is ridiculous.”
Kendall has voiced her case in a video posted to Youtube, highlighting the similarities between her sketches and the eventual design worn by the Duchess of Cambridge on the day that ‘paused the world’.
The case has been lodged to the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, with Kendall adamant that, “without my sketches, the royal wedding dress would not have looked like it did.”
For these claims to be true, there would have to be a link between the palace, the sketches and Alexander McQueen, however Kendall’s lawyer went on to say that, “The claim is not against the Duchess and there is no allegation of wrongdoing against the palace.” A spokesperson for Middleton has also said that she never saw the sketches, despite Kendall claiming that she received a letter of thanks from the palace for providing them with her drawings. The letter read;
“Miss Catherine Middleton has asked me to write and thank you so much for your letter of November 18 enclosing bridal-gown designs. Miss Middleton was most interested to see your work and very much appreciated you taking the trouble to write. Should she wish to see more of your designs I will of course be in touch.”
An article in The Daily Beast has drawn an amusing likeness between the letter received by Kendall and one that the author himself received when he sent knitted booties to the palace as a gift for the birth of Prince Harry. He jokes, “I received a lovely letter of thanks, and an assurance from a courtier that Prince Harry loved the booties…Even at the age of 10, I knew this to be a wonderful, generous, royal lie.”
As for Kendall versus Alexander McQueen? I guess we will just have to wait to see who catches the bouquet on this one.