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The 'Kate Middleton effect' on fashion


Mar 18, 2011

With the imminent rise of the big Royal wedding and constant speculation surrounding who will take honours of official wedding dress designer, fashion circles are aflood with talk of ‘the Middleton effect.’ For it seems that the public now can’t get enough

of Miss Middleton’s sartorial choices and where she goes with her nipped in waists, long lined silhouettes and designers du jour, others follow. FashionUnited takes a look at some of the designers she favours and charters her ability to boom sales in an ascent to title of 'unlikely style icon.'

It started around the time of her 25th birthday in 2007, when she wore a Topshop tunic priced at roughly £24, and it sold out within 24 hours.

ast week she’d upped the ante a whole lot more, picking a taupe Burberry trench with a frilled, pelmet style hem for a day out, which sold out that day in stores and online. Furthermore the £22 Asda version saw a 300% rise in sales.

Brazilian designer, Issa, has long been favoured by the bride to be, she’s like a reliable fall back for a know what you get, well cut designer occasion dress. And, loyally, she chose their signature waist flattering Sapphire style for the engagement photo call. Again the dress sold out in department stores like Harvey Nichols and Harrods within 24 hours and has spawned numerous high street copies.

Another safe choice is the British designer, Temperley. After being caught wearing one of their monochrome pieces, requests came flooding in with a disappointed public after the label didn’t re-stock the design. However whispers are still abound that they have been asked to design the dress for the big day.

Middleton’s also drawing fashion applaud for her eye for a young chic designer.  At a close friends wedding recently she pulled out all the stops in a long-lined black velvet coat dress by British label, Libelula. Within hours of released pictures, the company had sold out, set up a waiting list and attracted a whole host of new clientele (the making of a young designer) in the UK as well as in the States.

In with current trends, Middleton has made good use of footwear and accessories.

She’s long favoured the knee high boot and has found a favourite in the black/brown versions by Aquatalia. Stocked by Russell and Bromley, stores have been inundated with new demand.

And she also has shown an ability to spark her own trend. The age old, fading tradition of millinery, which was starting to suffer, under a generation that no longer saw head gear as essential occasion wear, has been undergoing a renaissance as Middleton favours an eclectic array of fascinators to adorn her sartorial choices. And it’s given the heritage based tradition some oomph with young talent such as Piers Atkinson, Noel Stewart, Little Shilpa now elevated into high fashion's stratosphere.

Middleton’s come a long way from the old cashmere cardies and long skirts she favoured and looks set to be a long lasting unlikely British royal style star.

Image: Middleton in Burberry
Video: AssociatedPress