Dressmaker looks to Kate for inspiration

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A DRESSMAKER who designed clothes for the Queen and Queen Mother is sticking to the royal theme with her latest creation – a replica of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.

Clare Perkins, who owns Silk Rose Couture in Lavenham, was asked to make a copy of the famous dress for a fundraising event ... and duly jumped at the chance, having had a keener interest than most in the outfit.

In fact, had circumstances been different, the 57-year-old could have been the one receiving worldwide acclaim for the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress after she submitted her own designs to Prince William’s private secretary.

“I could have made the dress, but I would have been so nervous and it was lovely just to have my designs submitted,” said Ms Perkins, who used to work for royal dressmaker Sir Norman Hartnell.

“I believe Kate looked at my book and designs but in the end I got a nice signed letter wishing me luck for the future and politely saying no thanks.”

But that did not stop her from recreating the dress that was chosen – although costs dictated it could not be an exact replica – and after around 100 hours of work it went down a storm at the fundraiser.

“I’m a great royalist and admire the Royal family,” said Ms Perkins, who lives in Brent Eleigh.

“I think William and Kate did brilliantly well on their day and I loved all the romance and history that went with the importance of the occasion.

“The dress had an absolute wow factor and reflected her personality, as well as the pomp and ceremony.”

Ms Perkins’ replica dress is now on display in her studio, which opened in Water Street on Friday.

“I think people should always be able to see a crafts person or artist at work and that way they understand what goes into making a dress,” she said.

“I’ve dreamed for years about having this studio and I just want to make beautiful dresses and be as successful as I can.”