As I’m sure you know already, Kate Middleton and Prince William were recently engaged. With the wedding date set for April 29, 2011, there’s not much time to prepare. Hearts are all aflutter in England with talk of who will design Kate’s wedding dress, but I’m much more interested in something else…
Who’s going to design Kate Middleton, the future Queen Katherine’s, lingerie?
I hope you can understand as fellow lingerie addicts why this question is so important. Unlike a wedding gown or a pair of shoes or a hat, lingerie something we women wear every single day. Lingerie not only sets the foundation for everything that goes on top of it, it can completely ruin your day if you’ve made the wrong choice (bunched-up knickers, anyone?).
Rigby & Peller is Queen Elizabeth’s corsetiere, and a few people are recommending that this esteemed British house of design should handle Kate’s trousseau as well. I disagree. Kate is a modern beauty with modern style, and, as such, she deserves modern lingerie.
Agent Provocateur is another name on the tip of everyone’s tongue, and understandably so. Like Victoria’s Secret in the U.S., AP has made it’s name synonymous with luxury lingerie in the U.K. But I don’t think they’re unique enough for the enviable task of outfitting a future Queen of England in her intimates. Agent Provocateur is nice, it’s true…but they just don’t have that special something.
The ideal lingerie designer for Kate Middleton will have 3 qualities:
1) They’ll be British-born and bred (this is obvious, but it also narrows our choices a bit).
2) They’ll use only the choicest fabrics and the most couture sewing techniques.
3) They must be able to balance tradition and modernity.
With that in mind here are my 3 top picks:
Sian Hoffman is the corsetry world’s best kept secret. Most people have never heard of her, yet she’s producing some of the most gorgeous bespoke creations I have ever laid eyes on. Many of her designs are carried at FairyGothMother and she’s been recently spotted at Coco de Mer as well.
I chose this piece for Kate’s bridal trosseau because she may very well need a corset on her wedding day, and this is the perfect combination of fit and function. My two fave details are the buskless front and powermesh sides; those features make this corset eminently wearable with modern-day clothing.
Founded in 2001, Damaris is credited with turning the London lingerie world on to luxury fabrics and daring designs again. Her corset back knickers sparked a revolution, and her very first collections were carried in high prestige stores like Harrod’s, Harvey Nichols, and Liberty of London. She’s also a staple designer in most luxury lingerie boutiques.
I chose this piece because I love how it blends modern and vintage. Chantilly lace is such a classic lingerie fabric, and just the look of it (much less the feel) screams luxury. Using chantilly lace on a modern silhouette like a bodysuit represents the perfect hybrid of old and new.
Though she’s been working in the fashion industry for over 6 years, Florrie Mitton only recently begun promoting her own label, and I’m sure the lingerie world is glad she did. Florrie Mitton fulfills a unique niche in that her speciality is bridal garters. All of her couture garters are handmade in the U.K., and she uses only the finest silks, laces, and trimmings.
All of her garters are gorgeous, but I chose this one for the special horseshoe charm beneath the bow. Any marriage takes a lot of work, but I imagine one under as much public scrutiny as Kate’s and Prince William’s will require much more. And I, along with the rest of the world, want to wish them the very best success in making that happen.
What do you think of my choices? Did I leave any U.K. designers off the list that you feel should be included? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!