Kate Middleton's wedding dress designer, Alexander McQueen, sued for copy cat design

Catherine Middleton waves to the crowds as her sister and Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton holds her dress. Photo / Getty
Catherine Middleton waves to the crowds as her sister and Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton holds her dress. Photo / Getty

Kate Middleton's bridal gown has ignited a legal battle as a wedding dress designer claims the fashion brand who created the Duchess of Cambridge's gown stole her ideas.

Sketches for the royal gown were submitted for selection by Christine Kendall, but the wedding dress designer lost out to Alexander McQueen who went on to make Kate's dress.

The label, named after the popular British designer who died in 2010, are denying Kendall's claims.

The much-hyped gown was kept a secret until Kate stepped out of her wedding car at Westminster Abbey on the day of her nuptials, April 29, 2011.

Designed by Sarah Burton, who took over at the fashion house following McQueen's death, it was critiqued as a triumph, and compared to Queen Elizabeth's wedding dress, worn in 1947 when she married Prince Phillip.

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Kate's dress was likened to Queen Elizabeth's in 1947. Photo / Getty
Kate's dress was likened to Queen Elizabeth's in 1947. Photo / Getty

But the owner and designer of Christine Kendall Couture claims her own work is evident in the Duchess' dress.

Five months before the wedding, Kendall submitted a series of 1950s themed ideas to Kate and William. She received a letter of thanks on behalf of the soon-to-be-wed pair.

According to The Sun, an official wrote: "Miss Catherine Middleton has asked me to write and thank you so much for your letter of 18th November enclosing bridal gown designs.

"Miss Middleton was most interested to see your work and very much appreciated you taking the trouble to write. Should she wish to see more of your designs I will of course be in touch."

But a spokesperson for the Duchess has since said Kate never saw Kendall's sketches.

Kendall claims her sketches heavily inspired Burton's design. Photo / Getty
Kendall claims her sketches heavily inspired Burton's design. Photo / Getty

The winning designer's identity was revealed two months before the wedding, and Kendall was invited to comment on the dress on the day of the ceremony.

At the time she said: "I feel that she could have gone a little bit younger; it could have been just a little bit more edgy, a little bit more elegant, and really something to elevate her beauty and bring out her personality. I am not sure this really does."

But two years later she claimed that without her submitted sketches, Kate's dress would not have ended up looking as it did.

Kendall has issued legal proceedings at London's Intellectual Property Enterprise Court and her solicitors have noted there is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Buckingham Palace.

A spokesman for McQueen says the label is "baffled" by Kendall's accusations and claims Burton never saw or knew of any of Kendall's designs.

- nzherald.co.nz

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