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Sarah Burton photographed at the McQueen show for Spring/Summer 2011

So Sarah Burton (whose full statement is below) designed the Royal Weddiing dress after all the speculation surrounding her and it, and the flat denials issued by Burton herself. The Sunday Times was right all along. It leaves me wondering how did the Sunday Times get the story? Did the Palace leak news that the house of Alexander McQueen was creating the dress to the Times in order to divert interest away from a sordid story on Prince Andrew published further into the paper that same day? Or did the leak stem, as is also rumoured, from an unguarded comment made by the CEO of Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Akeroyd, to someone who knows Sunday Times editor John Witherow? I hope to get the full story some day in the future. 

(updated May 3 2011) Have been informed by a well placed source that the accidental leak to the Sunday Times about who designed the wedding dress came not from the McQueen business but from the Catherine Middleton camp. Sara Parker-Bowles? Sara is the fashion writer who married Camilla's son Tom wearing none other than Alexander McQueen.
Either way, the result is still wonderful. What a brilliant outcome for Sarah Burton and the Alexander McQueen business. All the darkness generated by Lee McQueen's suicide has been oblilterated by the purity and lightness of todays Royal nuptials leaving the brand Alexander McQueen as clean and shiny as a new pin. Though at the Grazia office today we were thinking that  no matter who Catherine Middleton had hired to create the dress, the actual gown would have been essentially the same, as it is clear this is the dress she wanted. However the newly minted Duchess of Cambridge most certainly chose exactly the right woman for the job.

Add to this that Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, an exhibition highlighting his career will be launched at the annual Costume Institute Benefit Gala, known as the Met Ball, on May 2nd, (open to the public from May 4th to July 31st) and McQueen is the hottest luxury fashion house in the world right now.

The soon-to-be Duchess of Cambridge emerges to show her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding dress for the first time

London, 29 April 2010 - Sarah Burton, Creative Director at Alexander McQueen made the following comments regarding her role as designer of Catherine Middleton’s wedding dress:

“It has been the experience of a lifetime to work with Catherine Middleton to create her wedding dress, and I have enjoyed every moment of it. It was such an incredible honour to be asked, and I am so proud of what we and the Alexander McQueen team have created. I am delighted that the dress represents the best of British craftsmanship. Alexander McQueen’s designs are all about bringing contrasts together to create startling and beautiful clothes and I hope that by marrying traditional fabrics and lacework, with a modern structure and design we have created a beautiful dress for Catherine on her wedding day.

“The last few months have been very exciting and an incredible experience for my team and I as we have worked closely with Catherine to create this dress under conditions of the strictest secrecy. Understandably, Catherine has been very keen to keep the details of her dress a secret, which is every bride’s prerogative, and we gave an undertaking to keep our role confidential until the day of the wedding.

“Catherine looked absolutely stunning today, and the team at Alexander McQueen are very proud of what we have created. The dress was just one component of a spectacular day, and I do not think it is appropriate to comment any further beyond saying that I personally am very grateful and honoured to have been given the opportunity to work on this project, and I wish TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge every good wish for the future.”

[please note: in line with Sarah Burton’s desire not to comment further, neither she nor any other company representative is giving interviews today or in the coming days]
Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueens latest collection for Autumn/Winter 2011

Burton was raised in Manchester, and studied Print Fashion at London’s Central St Martins. It was while at St Martins that she interviewed for a years placement at McQueen, which at the time was based in a little studio in Hoxton square. She worked alongside McQueen for 14 years, which made her a natural choice for taking over the label’s creative direction following his passing. A big name designer could have been brought in from another, rival label. However, the risk was that McQueen would lose the essence of what Lee McQueen had built into his design over the years: the theatricality, intricacy, flamboyance and movement inherent in all his garments. Sarah is married to photographer David Burton.

Photos: Christopher Moore/; AP