London designers hail "elegant" Kate Middleton

Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:46am EDT
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By Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Basmah Fahim

LONDON (Reuters) - Inspiring, chic and effortlessly elegant -- that's what designers at London Fashion Week have hailed Kate Middleton's style, as her sartorial choices could prove a potential stimulus to Britain's clothing industry.

Middleton has graced magazine covers since she announced her engagement to Britain's Prince William last year and her wedding in April was watched by millions of people around the world, with many eagerly waiting to see her bridal gown.

With all eyes on her wardrobe, dresses have sold out hours after she has worn them as women seek to copy her style.

"I think she is the new queen of fashion ... She's young, she's every little girl's dream and she always looks chic and sophisticated," Britain's Julien Macdonald told Reuters after his spring/summer 2012 womenswear show.

Middleton is as likely to wear designer clothes as high street ones. The 29-year old, now known as the Duchess of Cambridge, has been praised for wearing more affordable main street labels and has been snapped wearing clothes by British fashion retailers Reiss as well as Whistles and Spain's Zara.

A blue Issa crossover knee-length dress that she wore when her engagement to William was announced sold out within 24 hours and cheap knock-offs vanished almost instantly.

"I think she is great, I'm very fortunate that she likes to wear Issa," the label's designer Daniella Helayel told Reuters.


<p>Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives for the wedding between Zara Phillips, the eldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth, and England rugby captain Mike Tindall, at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland July 30, 2011. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez</p>