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Ulster is a Cut Above The Rest with Copycat Wedding Dress

9 May 2011

It’s a stunning replica of the fairytale wedding dress worn by Royal bride Kate Middleton – and a University of Ulster fashion technician played a big part in its creation.

Attracting global attention, the UK’s first copycat gown is currently turning heads at the House of Fraser in Belfast’s Victoria Square as passers-by stop to take a second look.

Under the supervision of acclaimed local designer, Mary Rose McGrath, a team of dedicated dressmakers worked for just over 18 hours to deliver their own interpretation of Sarah Burton’s sensational creation.

And among them was Lorraine Cunningham from Newtownabbey a fashion technician at the University of Ulster’s Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment, whose main responsibility was to cut out the pattern.

“The idea first emerged when a few of us were chatting about the wedding with Mary Rose. She suggested that we try to copy the gown and we were all invited to her house on the big day,” said Lorraine.

“Luckily she has a huge stock of beautiful, bridal fabrics which we were able to work with including satins, chiffons and taffetas and there was an exquisite piece of antique Chantilly lace we were able to use on the bodice.

“We started sketching as soon as we caught our first glimpse of Kate’s dress when the bride-to-be stepped into the wedding car with her father.

“It was non-stop from then on and we were absolutely shattered when we finished eighteen and a half hours later. However, it was great to be part of a team where everyone had different skills and valued each other’s input.

“That team spirit is really important as designers don’t just work in a vacuum but need to understand the technicalities of everyone’s talents in order to achieve great results.

“But it was all worth the hard work as the dress has attracted a lot of publicity both locally and nationally.”

Note to Editors: For more info see House of Fraser website  House of Fraser in Belfast’s Victoria Square