The Shmooze

Meet the Jewish Designer Favored To Design Kate Middleton's Royal Wedding Gown

By Michael Kaminer

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Will a Jewish thread run through the wedding of Prince William and fiancée Kate Middleton, who announced their engagement this week?

One of Britain’s biggest bookmakers thinks so, according to the UK Jewish Chronicle. Paddy Power, which operates betting parlors, telephone gambling, and online gaming in the UK and Ireland, has tipped London-based designer Elizabeth Emanuel as the most likely candidate to create the future Queen’s bridal outfit.

Odds are five to one, Paddy Power says, that Emanuel — a Jewish schmatte maven who parlayed a 1981 gig designing the late Princess Diana’s wedding gown into a book (“A Dress for Diana”) and worldwide fame — will make the gown in which Middleton will walk down the aisle. “The bookmakers are offering better odds only for the bride’s favourite designer Daniella Issa Helayel, and British establishment staple Amanda Wakeley,” the Chronicle said.

Emanuel, who designed with ex-husband David until they split in 1990, has lent her name to a series of upscale-lifestyle ventures, but never seemed to scale the heights of her Diana debut. Her own web site touts clients like Paula Abdul and UK demi-celebs like “’Big Brother’ winner Chantelle Houghton, for her marriage to Preston, lead singer with the Ordinary Boys.” The Chronicle said Emanuel “has also designed evening wear for a range of glamorous celebrities, including Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins, Jerry Hall and Ivana Trump.”

Meanwhile, Emanuel’s already weighing in with design choices — despite the fact that the royal soon-to-be newlyweds have yet to select a designer. Emanuel “would go for ‘off-white silk in a moss crepe,’” according to Metro newspapers. “I’ve not seen crepe used often in bridal wear — most brides stick to taffeta or satin — but crepe creates a flattering, slim-line silhouette. I wouldn’t give her sleeves but I’d put a silk organza drape over the shoulders,” Emanuel told Metro. “She also recommended a brooch from the royal collection.”


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