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

April 27, 2011 |  7:30 am

It's Day 3 of my royal dress derby, for which I'm handicapping the odds of the top designer contenders. Monday, I looked at the dark horses, Tuesday I took on the traditionalists, and today, I'm sizing up the high-fashion favorites.

The fashion clique has been trying to bring Kate Middleton into its glossy fold for months. British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, for one, has been lobbying hard for the princess-in-waiting to choose Alexander McQueen successor Sarah Burton to make her dress. But Middleton has been linked to several other designers, too. Here's a rundown, along with pros and cons for each contender.

Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Pros: Has brought a fresh femininity to the label and been almost universally lauded in the fashion press. She's the one British designer in the running whose creations approach haute couture, with the highest level of craftsmanship and detail. Alexander McQueen, who died last year, is top of mind with the opening of the retrospective exhibition "Savage Beauty" on May 4 at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which is masthead queen Anna Wintour's baby.  

Cons: Might contradict Middleton's sensible shopper, ordinary girl image. In other words, the gown could be too provocative and too high-fashion.  

Stella McCartney

Pros: Has a clean, sporty sensibility in keeping with Middleton's style. Could help secure top musical guest for the reception. 

Cons: McCartney designed Madonna's wedding dress. Does Middleton really want to follow in the footsteps of Madge? Beckhammarchesa 

Victoria Beckham

Pro: As a member of the Spice Girls, Beckham was probably a childhood fashion idol of Middleton's.

Con: Is attending the wedding, when presumably she'd have more important things to do, like fluffing Middleton's train.

Marchesa by Karen Craig and Georgina Chapman

Pros: Designers are Hollywood darlings (Marchesa co-founder Chapman is married to producer Harvey Weinstein), which could appeal to the media-savvy royal couple. Could help parlay their married life into a reality series like E!'s "Khloe and Lamar."

Cons: Designers are Hollywood darlings.

--Booth Moore


Handicapping Kate Middleton's wedding gown designer: The traditionalists

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

Royal wedding: Party favors, comic books and the London Chamber Orchestra

Interactive: Your guide to the royal wedding

Top photos left to right: A runway look from British designer Stella McCartney's Fall-Winter 2011/2012 women's collection. Credit: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters. A runway look from the Fall-Winter 2011/2012 Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen show presented in Paris. Credit: Francois Guillot/AFB/Getty Image.

Bottom photos left to right: David Beckham and his wife, Victoria, at the 2008 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, July 16, 2008. Credit: Danny Moloshok/Reuters. Co-founder of Marchesa Georgina Chapman and producer Harvey Weinstein attend the exclusive fashion fundraiser "Suzanne Rogers Presents Marchesa" at The Carlu on April 5 in Toronto, Canada. Credit: George Pimentel/Getty Images.