I’m far from convinced that Libélula’s Sophie Cranston is the designer of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, but let’s speculate. Let’s say that Cranston has been afforded the opportunity to make the most talked about dress since Diana married Prince Charles.
Will this be Cranston’s “Jason Wu moment,” as HuffPo royal correspondent Yvonne York declared? Will fashionites the world over be clamoring to get a piece of Libélula post-April 29?
Hardly. And there are several reasons why.
The biggest difference between Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama, or Kate Middleton and Princess Di for that matter, is that Middleton is risk averse. We all may be singing the praises of Wu now, but when Obama wore that white one-shoulder gown, not everyone was pleased. Luckily, that’s the first lady’s M.O. She wears unique clothes by a diverse group of designers, introducing new and unknown talent to the masses. While Diana was less adventurous, her sartorial choices became riskier as she separated herself from the royal family.
We may all remember Diana in Versace dresses but be honest: Was Elizabeth Emanuel’s name at all familiar to you before last week? I like to think of myself as a student of fashion, and as well as I remember seeing photos of that wedding gown, I couldn’t have told you the name of the designer. While the dress was special, the vision was not.
Cranston’s pieces are quite lovely. They have a sort of subtle Jane Austen-era feeling about them, and I think they suit Middleton well. But will Cranston attract the eye of fashion editors, or the women who buy high fashion? (Let’s remember that Wu was a fashion darling long before Obama anointed him.) She hasn’t in the past, so we don’t think this event will change much. At least not permanently.
And you know what? That’s fine. Because Middleton doesn’t have to be a “fashion bunny” to succeed in her marriage, or life.