Billions of people tuned in to the royal wedding last Friday, largely to check out Kate Middleton's wedding dress. The newly appointed Duchess of Cambridge chose a satin gazar and Chantilly lace gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, and now women everywhere are clamoring for a similar wedding gown of their own. While there are some comparable dresses already on the market, many intuitive designers already have knockoff designs for sale or in the works.
Gown imitator extraordinaire, ABS by Allen Schwartz, is acclaimed for replicating celebrity Oscar gowns, and the company has already created a Middleton copycat dress (pictured at left) that's being auctioned off on charitybuzz.com to benefit the Race to Erase MS. There are currently no bids but a starting price of $400, and the auction ends May 16.
Faviana is another company known for creating copies of famous dresses, and as we reported last week, head designer Shala Moradi has been hard at work on a replica of Middleton's dress for mass retail. "The dress is real elegant, and this is what we were expecting," Moradi told E!. "[Kate's] a very understated girl. She's very simple and elegant. I was expecting to see her in a lace, long-sleeve dress. And I think was not too much, not a big train, easy to wear, very light and very comfortable." One soon-to-be bride called Faviana before the royal wedding saying she wanted a copy of Middleton's gown no matter what it looked like. Clearly the demand is there! The Faviana dress was completed today and shipped to China. It should be available within eight weeks for under $2,000 in department stores and on faviana.com.
In Alexandria, VA, designer Angel Le of Le Star Bridal had an imitation dress in her storefront window only 26 hours after the royal wedding. It typically takes Le three to six months to craft a custom wedding gown, but she worked nonstop to get the satin Middleton dress (pictured at right) on the market. It sells for $1,500 and features a mermaid-style skirt, rather than a full skirt like Middleton's, because they've found more brides opt for that style.
Raul Echeverria, owner of Alterations Boutique in Marylebone, London, told the AFP his tailoring company began working on a replica of Middleton's dress as soon as she got in the Rolls Royce en route to Westminster Abbey. "We looked at the pictures on the television screen and once we identified what fabric we required, then we went to our suppliers and tried to match the fabrics," Echeverria told AFP. They ordered lining, tulle, betting, satin, and lace costing about $1,700 and completed their dress in about five hours. Sadly the dress is not currently for sale, as it was commissioned by the Times newspaper for a contest. One lucky reader will win the knockoff. "We have had inquiries already regarding the dress," the owner told the AFP. "It wasn't about making money, it was about the skills and proving that anything can be done. It was a fantastic challenge."
The Daily Mail also had a design contest to recreate Kate Middleton's bridal gown, which is being auctioned for the Help For Heroes charity. Wedding couturier Annette Carey said the months of work that went into the McQueen gown were obvious, but she sketched and worked with a seamstress to produce a similar dress in one afternoon. Click here for photos of the process, or head over to annettecarey.com for info on how to win the dress.
Lastly, Suzhou China is known as "Wedding Dress City" as there are over 1,200 wedding dress factories in the area, and the Muyi Wedding Dress Company is just one of the boutiques that sprung into action crafting a Middleton-esque gown. This dress (pictured at left) includes an 8-foot train and retails for about $334. The bride pictured, Zhao Tingting, wore it down the aisle just 36 hours after the royal wedding. Tingting may have been the first bride to wear a Middleton-inspired gown, but she most definitely will not be the last.
Want to see even more knockoff dresses? Watch this video below.
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