You're not just seeing things: When it comes to wedding dresses, the Kate Middleton effect is still very much present. The now-iconic Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown that Middleton wore to marry Prince William on April 29, 2011 (their anniversary is right around the corner!) immediately sent shockwaves throughout the bridal industry. At the time, Dan Rentillo, fashion director for David's Bridal, told Brides that dresses in similar styles began rocketing off the racks. "Women have really responded to the coverage," he said. "They're asking for ladylike gowns with clean, simple lines."
Nearly three years later, the main style elements that Kate's wedding dress embodied—that is, dramatic trains, deep V-necks, long sleeves, and lace detailing—were among our favorite details during Spring 2017 Bridal Fashion Week. What gowns best exemplified Kate Middleton's delightfully ubiquitous hold on bridal fashion? Read on to find out!
Photo: Gerardo Somoza & Luca Tombolini / Indigitalimages.com
Long, dramatic trains: Before Kate stepped out of the vintage car on her wedding day, trains were going out of style. Thought of as unwieldy and old-fashioned, many brides were opting for low-maintenance wedding dresses with short (or no) trains. Though Kate required several bridesmaids (and one Pippa) to wrangle her train, it made the case for bringing back the former wedding dress staple. Her gorgeous, cathedral-length train made a stunning statement as she walked down the Westminster Abbey aisle, giving guests a special stylish treat. This Lazarro wedding dress, from the designer's most recent collection, made a huge splash with its full train. Though it's not as long as Kate's, it has as much of an impact.
Photo: Luca Tombolini / Indigitalimages.com
Deep V-necks: One wouldn't expect a future princess to wear a wedding dress with a plunging neckline, but somehow, Kate made it work. Like this gorgeous Lela Rose dress that we just spotted at the designer's latest fashion show, Kate's gown used lace to make the neckline feel ladylike. Kate absolutely popularized this style of neckline, and Lela Rose's dress proves that it's still an irresistible look.
Gerardo Somoza / Indigitalimages.com
Long Sleeves: Thanks to Kate, long-sleeved wedding dresses have overthrown strapless gowns as the most popular style. And for good reason! They're conducive to beading and embellishment, offer warmth for cold-weather weddings, and are perfect for more conservative or religious brides. Kate, for example, needed a more covered-up look to become the Duchess of Cambridge. The gorgeous lace sleeves on her wedding dress were tasteful without being too stuffy. This Oscar de la Renta gown, fresh off the runways, is a sleek update on Kate's wedding-day style. It shows how long sleeves can balance a modern silhouette, a concept that would surely get Kate's approval.
Photo: Rodin Banica / Indigitalimages.com
Lace Detailing: One of our favorite aspects of Kate's wedding look is how it incorporated ladylike lace throughout. It was on her veil, sleeves, bodice, and hem — so delicate yet regal. Reem Acra, a veritable queen of royally romantic wedding dresses, used lace in nearly all of her Spring 2017 wedding dresses. This gown caught our eye because the lacy detailing reminded us of Kate's wedding dress. It's meticulously embellished, and yet the overall effect is still one of subtle sophistication.