Prince William: You look beautiful.
Eric Wilson: The gown was well received not merely because it was pretty — or flawless, actually. This was also a significant fashion moment because the design of the dress, the selection of its designer and even the secrecy that surrounded its preparation seemed remarkably well calculated to project a specific image about Miss Middleton. That is, she represents a new breed of the British monarchy, one that is respectful of its boundaries and traditions, but is not stuffy and off-putting to the general populace.
Hamish Bowles: I think it’s magnificent. Entirely lived up to and exceeds anyone’s expectations. It’s a traditional style, but it’s been tweaked in a nuanced way. It has great body and stiffness and architectural drama, but it’s very light and airy. … It’s perfect and highly sophisticated. A triumph.
Leila Rose: I think the dress is perfectly beautiful but somewhat uninspired. … Knowing it’s coming from Sarah Burton — and she is so enormously talented — I expected a little bit more of pushing the envelope.
Robin Givhan: In the end, the McQueen gown, designed by the house’s creative director, Sarah Burton, and hand-sewn by the atelier, did not change Western fashion as the world knows it. It did not alter everything that defines modern femininity. And it did not force a reassessment of what it means to be elegant, sophisticated or sexy. But it was a gasp-inducing, slightly sexy gown worn by a beaming bride. It put a giddy smile on the young prince’s face and caused him to seemingly murmur: You look fabulous. And really, what more can one expect or hope for a wedding dress to do?
Annabel Tollman: It’s McQueen doing royal wedding. It’s not runway. But can you imagine if it had [been]? It would not have been a great start. The fashion industry would love it, but…this is not the Grand Palais. It’s Royalty. You don’t really want her turning up in look 12.
Julia Panciroli: With McQueen designing, I was wondering if there would be feathers on it, or edgier materials and embellishment. Although I didn’t like the style of Princess Diana’s gown, it was more sensational than Kate’s.
Lily Samii: The gown was nice and clean, but I wanted it to have more style. It was blah; it didn’t wow me.
Mark Badgley: It’s the kind of gown that will stand the test of time. Not all gowns do. Any bride across the world will want to wear it. It’s got a touch of vintage, a classic 1950s ball gown, so timeless that her daughter would look gorgeous in this gown 30 years from now.
James Mischka: She’s not taking a lot of chances with this dress, but in the best possible way.
Hubert de Givenchy: It’s a lovely thought, a nice tribute[to McQueen].
Oscar de la Renta: She had a perfect dress, a very traditional dress for a very traditional wedding. What I liked about it was, it was not ostentatious. There was not 50 meters of train, and it was not overembroidered. It was just a very traditional dress for a ravishing girl who doesn’t need a lot.
Vera Wang: Diana’s dress had a sense of innocence, whimsy, almost storybook romance. In contrast Catherine’s gown was about way more than simply the dress. Sarah Burton channeled a new take on classicism for a modern-day bride who will one day be queen.
Tom Kolovos: A tasteful, understated and conservative dress may indeed serve as both economic and political spin. On a personal level for Catherine, a commoner, a reverential dress can signal that she intends to straddle the fine line of ascending to the ranks of royalty without betraying her commoner lineage. We have already heard how she intends to live with Prince William without the help of any staff and even do her own cooking and laundry. The savvy Duchess of Cambridge may share more than a couturier and a milliner with Lady Gaga. She may be humming to herself “don’t be a drag, just be a Queen,” just loud enough to drown out the noise of the spin cycle.
Karl Lagerfeld: The dress is classic and goes very well in the Westminster decor. It almost reminds me of (Queen) Elizabeth’s wedding, the royal weddings in the (19)50s. The proportion of the train is good. The lace is very pretty. I like the veil a lot.