Friday, May 6, 2011

Forget Kate! The dressmakers working overtime on copycat gowns for brides-to-be... who all want to look like Pippa

By Tamara Abraham

The Pippa effect: Many women in the U.S. are demanding copies of the maid-of-honour's dress from the Royal Wedding, rather than the bride's

Bridesmaids' dresses are typically unattractive creations in saccharine peach or mint green. But Pippa Middleton's slinky white gown for her sister's wedding last week was such a knockout, fashion houses are working overtime to get copies in store.

While many had already been planning to replicate the new Duchess of Cambridge's bridal gown, designers admit they didn't anticipate the success of the maid-of-honour's.

Now several companies are responding to demand from brides-to-be, keen to channel 27-year-old Pippa's look for their own big day.

They believe this is the first time a bridesmaid's dress, rather than a bride's has sparked such demand.

David’s Bridal, which is among the companies working on a version of the cowl-neck gown, says the interest is unprecedented.

Design director Dan Rentillo told the New York Times: 'There was really no anticipation about Pippa’s dress. I can’t think of one where there was such a fuss over the bridesmaid’s dress.'

Andrew Hops, vice president for JS Collections, added: 'She wore it so well, so we said, "We’ll do that dress right away."'

Meeting demand: Dan Rentillo, design director at David's Bridal, will be ordering as many copies of Pippa's dress as he will of Catherine's

Manhattan dressmaker Faviana is also cashing in on the Pippa effect.

'It almost looked like a bridal gown,' said chief executive Omid Moradi. 'The second we saw it on the screen, it was beautiful. It was just very elegant and glamorous.'

Both Catherine and Pippa's dresses were designed by Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen.

Faviana, which typically orders between 500 and 3,000 or any given design, believes that the main bridal gown, which will retail for $1,800, will outsell the 'Pippa' dress, which it will be pricing at $$320.

But other labels are convinced that copies of Pippa's dress will outsell replicas of Catherine's.

Unexpected trend: Mr Rentillo said that he couldn't think of a time when so much fuss was made over the bridesmaid's dress

Sketch in time: All three companies already have samples made up, and expect to get dresses on sale within six to eight weeks

JS Collections has already ordered more of the maid-of-honour-inspired dresses, while David’s Bridal says it expects to order equal numbers of both gowns.

But time is of the essence for all three companies, who already have samples made up, and expect to get dresses on sale within six to eight weeks.

Mr Moradi explained: 'We want to get to market. The demand is now.

'Before she even walked down the red carpet, we were getting calls from customers and consumers [asking], "When can we get it?" "I have an event next month, can I have it then?"'

Brian Beitler, executive vice president for David’s Bridal, added: 'The immediacy of the world that we live in today changes our customers’, and our brides’, expectations on how quickly we can respond.'


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