If you have ever followed a royal engagement on Twitter, you’ve probably seen a few things happen. A well-respected reporter on the scene sends a tweet, saying something like “The Duchess is wearing Alexander McQueen today.” Then, there will be a flurry of pictures, messages, and “what about this” tweets before someone finally says “It is bespoke.”
The Duchess of Cambridge wears a lot of bespoke pieces, as do other royal women and influential women throughout the world. The word “bespoke” means “custom-made” or “tailor-made” – the piece was designed just for Catherine! She met with a designer and they crafted the item to her exact specifications, fitting it perfectly to the occasion and her body. The dress, coat, jacket, or skirt is not available for purchase anywhere else, since it was crafted just for her.
We are often questioned on what it means to have a “bespoke” piece. Sometimes, Kate will wear something very similar to a piece from the designer’s regular collection, but it is in a different color, has different sleeves, or a different neckline. Essentially, any major reconstruction of an item (with the exception of hemming) would create a bespoke piece. Changing the color or design of a dress creates an entirely different dress, which would have been custom-made just for Kate.
It is entirely likely that Catherine says “I like this coat, but can we do smaller pockets, a longer hemline, and in a bright blue?” The designer then gets to work making a custom item exactly how Kate wants it! The major difference between this bespoke piece and the similar piece is that one can be purchased, the other cannot. You will most likely never see an exact copy of Kate’s bespoke designs available for purchase from the designer.
The Duchess of Cambridge chooses bespoke pieces for special occasions when she wants to get the outfit just right. Some of her best looks have been bespoke creations from designers such as Alexander McQueen and Emilia Wickstead. Since you can’t find these styles in store, it is best to repliKate them!
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