Kate Middleton’s One Year Proposal Anniversary
By Debi Wexler , Thursday, November 24, 2011
This week marks one year since Prince William proposed to a young lady named Kate Middleton. In the year since, the world has witnessed one of the most dramatic, most elegant and most watched weddings of all time, and has embraced Duchess Catherine, as Kate is now known, as a fashion icon in her own right. The emergence of the new royal power couple on the international scene has affected the fashion world in many ways, from the newfound appreciation for Kate’s understated style to a global trend for all things British. Here is a short list of just a few ways Kate and William have changed the global fashion current:
- Kate’s ring, which was revealed one year ago this week, changed the paradigm of the diamond engagement ring once again, just as her dearly-missed mother-in-law did over twenty years ago when she wore the same ring. Seeing Kate proudly brandish her 18-carat sapphire engagement ring created a worldwide craze for the deep-blue stone. Diamonds no longer dominated the engagement ring market in the same way—brides began looking to sapphires in various colors, rubies, emeralds and other gemstones as stylish alternatives to the classic diamond solitaire.
- When William and Kate announced their engagement to the British press, Kate wore a dress that would sell out immediately, spawn thousands of imitations and replicas, and define her style to the world. The sapphire-blue silk wrap dress by Issa, which was carefully chosen to match the brand-new ring, was modest in cut, with a moderate v-neck, long sleeves and a knee-skimming hem, but commanded attention with its bold color and perfect tailoring. When the photos of Kate wearing the dress appeared in the morning paper, the dress sold out in the United Kingdom within hours, with cheaper replicas showing up on the market within days.
- Another emotion inspired by Kate Middleton’s famous engagement photo was envy—for her long, lustrous locks. Kate wears her chestnut brown hair in a straightforward long style, but thousands of women around the world have longed for the shiny, supple and perfectly bouncy style. Kate’s hairdresser, James Price of Richard Ward of London, has been thronged by royal watchers looking for the same shampoo-ad-worthy locks, while fashionistas around the world have a renewed interest in the beauty of simple, girl-next-door hair done right.
- Almost as soon as the world got wind of Kate and her style, our attention also turned to Kate’s equally fashionable younger sister Pippa. From her everyday style, which is more relaxed and trendy than her sister the princess’, to her famously curvy figure, Pippa has become an international celebrity. Pippa’s luxurious purses and boots are featured in every major fashion magazine, and the London high-society events she attends have received unprecedented publicity as the world eagerly looks to see what elegant gown or dramatic fascinator Pippa will wear next.
- The fascinator is back. But can we really say these delicate little hats are back if they were never really an American style to begin with? As British rules of decorum require Kate Middleton to wear a hat at many public functions, the world has suddenly been introduced to the fascinator—a tiny decorative hat or hair decoration often embellished with beading, feathers or flowers. Kate herself tends to favor relatively subtle, monochromatic fascinators that match her clothing, but at the royal wedding, the hair decor ran the gamut from Victoria Beckham’s angular piece to Princess Beatrice’s famous pink looped shape. Repeated exposure to this unique new way of dressing up your hair has led to a style revolution around the world.
Of course, the royal wedding, watched by hundreds of millions of people around the world, also changed bridal fashion in substantial ways, but for a closer look at that, we’ll have to wait for the royal couple’s first anniversary in a few months!
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