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Royal wedding: Handicapping Kate Middleton's wedding gown designer: The wild card

April 28, 2011 |  7:30 am

Katewills It’s the final day of my royal dress designer derby. Because, in the wee hours of Friday morning (3 a.m. PST to be exact), the designer's name, along with photographs and sketches of Kate Middleton's gown, will be released on the official royal wedding website.

After evaluating the dark horses, the traditionalists and the high-fashion favorites, it's time to consider the wild card, the wild card being Kate Middleton herself.

When I first read the rumor in the London Daily Mail last week that she would design her own dress, I thought it was looney. I mean, really, who would pass up the chance to have the real princess treatment--the best the fashion world has to offer at her feet?

But after some thought, I decided that designing her own dress would be the biggest public relations coup of all time.

Middleton has carefully cultivated a girl-next-door image. She's the commoner-turned-royal who shops at chain stores just like you and me.  And how much more accessible can you get than designing your own gown?

We know Middleton is interested in fashion and design. She worked for British apparel chain Jigsaw as an accessories buyer. She studied art history at St. Andrews University, and even modeled in a student fashion show, wearing the now infamous see-through dress that cast a spell on Prince William.

So she wouldn't be totally out of her element. A DIY gown would appeal to the iPod-loving customization generation. It would simultaneously fly in the face of high fashion and fast fashion. With her sketches beamed around the world, Middleton could usher in a new era of homespun chic. She could get Britain (and the world) sewing again. Maybe one day she could even have her own range of Butterick Patterns--the Princess Collection, naturally--and donate the proceeds to charity.

Then, every girl really could have a piece of the fairy tale.

It might not do much to help the British fashion industry, but it would prove Middleton is her own woman—a final act of individuality before joining Windsor Inc.

--Booth Moore 


Handicapping Kate Middleton's wedding gown designer: The high-fashion favorites

Handicapping Kate Middleton's wedding gown designer: The traditionalists

Handicapping Kate Middleton's wedding gown designer: The dark horses

Interactive: Your guide to the royal wedding

Photo: Prince William accompanied by his fiancee Kate Middleton, as they arrive at Witton Country Park, Darwen, England, on April 11. Credit: Tim Hales/AP Photo.