The Middleton sisters have established an effective formula in choosing wedding dresses. Select an edgy designer, and commission them to create a fairly traditional gown. It works a treat, resulting in a bridal look which is elegant without being conventional, high taste but not too avant garde.
The high neckline and covered shoulders of Pippa Middleton’s Giles Deacon dress make it unassailably demure, yet it has a little more drama and attitude than found at the average home counties church wedding. The upstanding lace collar is rather fashion-forward, and the heart-shaped keyhole detail at the nape of the neck makes the dress interesting when seen from behind. The back view of the bridal party is very much in the spotlight on these occasions, something Middleton knows better than anyone after the intense interest in her slinky Alexander McQueen maid of honour dress at her sister’s wedding. The cap sleeves make the dress more informal than Kate’s McQueen gown, while also showing off Middleton’s yoga-sculpted arms.
Deacon took the ballroom dancing scene from Luchino Visconti’s 1963 film The Leopard as inspiration for a skirt which is draped at the front and filled with tulle at the back so that it floats gracefully. The designer, who credited his bridal client with having “a great eye”, is one of British fashion’s strongest talents. An independent-minded designer, his tiny London fashion week shows were packed to the rafters until he made the switch to a bespoke-only, haute couture business model last year.
The powerful stylist Katie Grand has described Deacon as “fantastically talented and always slightly subversive”. Until this weekend, his most famous bridal client was a voluptuously sultry dress for the model Abbey Clancy, who is married to the footballer Peter Crouch.
The commission will be a phenomenal boost to Deacon’s couture business. Born in Darlington in 1969, Deacon worked at Gucci under Tom Ford before setting up his own label in 2003. He has made red carpet gowns for actors Thandie Newton, Cate Blanchett and his girlfriend, the Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie. He says he likes to dress “strong characters, strong women”. Her choice of Deacon over a more predictable society-wedding label suggests Middleton may fall into this category.
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