Kate Middleton (Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge) is a photographer's dream. Like Princess Diana, everywhere she goes she steals the spotlight with her elegant style and fashion sense as paparazzi and onlookers clamor to get a picture of her. Although her sister Pippa has received a considerable amount of media attention since the Royal wedding, it's Kate who has become a fashion icon.
On Sunday, Duchess Kate attended Prince Philip's birthday party where she dazzled in a patter coat and matching hat. Kate captivated audiences around the world with her dream-like wedding and gown, and some would argue she upstaged the Obama's when the President and First Lady Michelle visited Buckingham Palace.
It seems Kate is also mixing and matching as some of the outfits she was seen wearing over the weekend have been seen before. The dress Kate was wearing at Prince Philip's birthday was the same dress she wore the day after her wedding. The coat she donned, she also wore to a wedding in 2009. It seems the Duchess is both fashion savvy and thrifty.
But Kate wasn't alone in creating her iconic image. Over the years, she has had some assistance with her fashion sense. It was Irish-born image consultant Leesa Whisker who turned Kate's look from college girl to royal fashionista. Whisker was reportedly responsible for the turquoise BCBG Max Azria dress that Kate wore to a charity boxing event in 2006. Two years later, at the same event, Kate wore a pink Issa London dress.
Kate's hold on the fashion world is so strong that after she wore a blue Issa London wrap dress, the $535 dress sold out in all stores. It wasn't long before an imitation of the dress quickly came to stores for a more affordable price. It seems Issa is one of Kate's preferred designers as Kate often wears her dresses to public events. The UK based designer has also dressed Scarlett Johansson and Madonna, but it's Kate who has made a name for the designer.
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On the day of her wedding to Prince William, Kate's dress was all anyone could talk about. The elegant white gown with lace arms was designed by Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton. The dress was not only iconic because it was worn by Kate during the Royal Wedding, but also because the style represented timelessness as it channeled Cinderella and 1940's Hollywood with its classic, subtle, yet intricate design.
Even though the dress was a hot topic for weeks before and after the event, the dress was simple enough that it did not outshine Kate. There has been speculation that Kate and Burton worked closely on the dress to keep with Kate's modest yet fresh style.
Kate's celebrity status even inspired Katherine Elizabeth, a London-based milliner, to design a Limited Edition Princess Catherine Engagement Doll accompanied by a Bucklebury Fascinator hat. The doll, made to resemble Kate Middleton, was dressed and accessorized by seven award-winning British designers, with £1 from each purchase going to the Help For Heroes charity.
It seems that Kate is truly living in a modern day fairytale, and the commoner turned Royal Duchess will surely be at the top of most designers 'must dress' list.