In less than a week, we won't have to speculate anymore about Kate Middleton's wedding dress. All the questions we've been asking about it (who's the designer? will she wear a ball gown -- and a tiara?) will be answered the moment she steps out of her car at Westminster Abbey.
Who hasn't been scouring headlines for the latest rumors about Kate's wedding day look? And while we're all entitled to our opinions about what the future Queen of England should and will wear, there's no one better to weigh in on the matter than a wedding expert.
At TLC, we have plenty of people who know style. When it comes to wedding style, three names in particular come to mind: Lori, Monte and Randy. So, we asked our favorite "Say Yes to the Dress" and "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" stars what they envision for Kate's wedding day.
We've heard plenty of predictions for the big day -- we wanted a new take on the Kate question. How would you dress her, we asked? The three experts offer their take on a princess-perfect wedding day style.
Lori: Visions of Lace
Lori Allen owns Bridals by Lori, the boutique featured on "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta." Her vision for Kate's wedding day look is all about lace. "I keep picturing in my head the day I watched Diana get out of the carriage," Lori explains. "She was so wrinkled, like a ball of wadded-up taffeta. But lace will travel much better. When Kate steps out of the car, it will be a magical moment."
"I'd put her in an all-lace gown -- totally lace -- head to toe," Lori says. "Lyon lace is lighter and more unique. And, you can work it into a better silhouette." One big vision of lace? "I've seen that done," Lori assures us.
Of course, the dress would be modest and venue-appropriate, too. "She'd wear long, bell sleeves and maybe a deep V-neckline, like she had in her sapphire blue engagement dress." As for the silhouette, Lori imagines a modified A-line. "It wouldn't be totally fitted for Westminster Abbey," she says, but it would be sleek. And the train? "Way long! At least 10 feet."
The veil needs to have a big impact, too. Lori describes a 10-foot train with a 20-foot veil. "It could be all Lyon lace, or with Lyon lace on the edging. And, of course, a tiara." In fact, Lori says, the royal wedding is making waves throughout the bridal industry. At market, she saw lots of tiaras and more dresses with coverage. Brides who love sleeves will have a lot of dresses to choose from soon; they're coming out with three-quarter, cap and lace sleeves. "I saw a dress almost identical to the one I wore in 1979!" Lori laughs.
As for Kate's shoes and accessories, Lori prefers a classic look. "I don't ever like an open toe with a bridal gown," she says. For Kate, a silk satin or even a lace pump with a high heel would work. But this kind of shoe doesn't have to be too traditional. "Maybe she could dress up a satin shoe with a motif -- like her monogram in light blue." Overall, the whole look is so "grandiose" that the jewelry should be kept minimal. Lori suggests a diamond stud and a small bracelet. "She's going to have an enormous bouquet, so let's not distract from it!"
And speaking of keeping things simple, Lori also favors "very natural makeup -- like she does every day, but bumped up a little. I'd do a slight curl in her hair, but she should wear it down because it's so pretty. Pull the sides away from her face, and put the tiara on top!"
Monte: Regal and Radiant
Monte Durham is the Fashion Director at Bridals by Lori. You've seen him work his magic "jacking up" brides on "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta." And what if Monte were jacking up Kate?
"Well, she's thin, beautiful and would look good in a burlap sack. But she's the future queen of England, and the design of her dress should pay homage to the crown." Another point to consider? "Every girl wants to look back in 10 or 20 years and say, 'I still love my dress.' That doesn't always happen, but with someone like Grace Kelly and other royal brides, the style may be a little peculiar now, but they still look regal."
Monte pictures Kate in a bateau neckline and hand-embroidered Alsace lace lightly scattered with seed pearls. "She's so tall and willowy, I'd put her in a three-quarter sleeve with a cuff that mimics the neckline. A cuff minimizes the need for jewelry and gloves, and it's a great way to transition to the bouquet." As for the silhouette, Monte imagines a very fitted bodice and a skirt "with a little texture." He explains, "I'd like to see a silk crepe -- as the fabric eases from the bodice into the skirt, it flows beautifully with a lot of movement. You get the fullness in the look, but it's still body-conscious." Fit and flare is too contemporary for Kate; Monte prefers a slim A-line.
"I'd like to see a Watteau train, which starts at the shoulder," Monte says. He's feeling a little '60s influence in the look. This style gives the bride a strong connection to her train and helps her pull it more easily. "You're truly pulling it behind you, not dragging it." And, if it were done in Alsace lace, or sheer with lace and crepe, even at 6 to 10 feet, it would be light and perfect for spring.
Working our way down to her accessories and footwear, Monte remarks, "Shoes seem to be one of Kate's passions -- she always has on a beautiful shoe or boot." He'd put her in a classic, satin pump with a serious heel. The jewelry would be simple: a pearl and diamond drop earring and a pearl bracelet. "The crowning touch would be, well, just that. A crown."
Because Kate's hair is so beautiful, Monte explains, "it could be a distraction. I'd style it with some height at the crown and work it into a side knot or a side ponytail. Brides should be careful with half-up styles because they can look like a fourth grade school picture!" Kate's makeup doesn't need to be heavy. "I'd do a very clean, natural look with more intensity in her eyes and minimal lip color. I've never seen her in a bright shade of lipstick, so I wouldn't do one on her wedding day."
Randy: Best Face (and Figure!) First
Randy Fenoli is the Fashion Director at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York -- he's a familiar face on "Say Yes to the Dress."
For the princess bride in question, Randy would dress her in lace. "A bit form-fitting but still covering her up," he says. The dress should "highlight her figure" and feature "a long train -- but not too long. It should still be modern." And, Randy pictures the lace "scattered with crystals to kick it up a notch." The bodice would have a scalloped V-neck and an open back in his vision of Kate. As for her veil, Randy suggests a very long one that she could take off, perhaps "trimmed with lace starting around her elbows."
"Accessories can either make or break any ensemble," Randy warns. "Choose them wisely! I would rather have one really gorgeous statement piece than a collection of pieces. Less is more." To complement Kate's dress, "I wouldn't do a necklace -- she will already have a tiara, so just a pair of gorgeous earrings."
For Kate, hair and makeup is really about showing off her natural beauty. Randy pictures her hair half-up, half-down. "She has beautiful hair, but this way it's out of her face and she's still showing her beautiful locks." As for her makeup, "she shouldn't overdo it, but she has to get her makeup right for all the different cameras." The trick is, Randy says, "being camera-ready, so a little more than what she is used to, but still looking like herself."
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