Alexander McQueen Sued Over Kate Middleton’s Wedding Dress (…5 Years Later)

Photo: Samir Hussein/Getty Images.
Kate Middleton's wedding to Prince William may have taken place a few days shy of five years ago, but her Alexander McQueen gown is still causing a stir. Bridal designer Christine Kendall has filed a lawsuit against the British fashion house, citing breach of copyright. Kendall claims the Duchess of Cambridge's custom wedding gown, designed by McQueen creative director Sarah Burton, bears a striking resemblance to Kendall's own sketches, The Sunday Times reports. Kendall filed her claim with London's Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, alleging that one of the most famous wedding dresses in recent history (or just history, period) features similarities to a drawing she submitted to the palace prior to the ceremony, as part of an open call for ideas from British designers. Kendall's lawyer is arguing that her client's work was "unfairly taken and copied," according to The Sunday Times, and the blame is being squarely placed on McQueen's camp, not on the Duchess or the palace. The designer claims that she got a thank-you letter from the office of Prince William and Prince Harry after submitting her designs. The Duchess of Cambridge, however, had never seen Kendall's sketches, her spokesperson told the British publication.

The Alexander McQueen team is "utterly baffled" by the accusations, according to a statement released by the house. "Christine Kendall first approached us, at Alexander McQueen, almost four years ago, when we were clear with her that any suggestion Sarah Burton’s design of the royal wedding dress was copied from her designs was nonsense," a spokesperson for the fashion house said in the statement. In a YouTube video from 2013, Kendall shares drawings of the dress she submitted to Kensington Palace in 2010 and takes credit for the elaborately embroidered gown's aesthetic: "I believe that, without my sketches, the royal wedding dress would not have looked as it did." The British fashion house has no plans to back down. "Sarah Burton never saw any of Ms. Kendall’s designs or sketches and did not know of Ms. Kendall before Ms. Kendall got in touch with us — some 13 months after the wedding," the brand rep said in the statement. "We do not know why Ms. Kendall has raised this again, but there are no ifs, buts, or maybes here: This claim is ridiculous." Stay tuned for how this (very belated) drama surrounding the 21st century's most high-profile wedding dress pans out.

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