Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
So, how do you keep secret the fact that you are making the most important wedding gown of the century? Decoys, lying, royal secrets: It turns out Sarah Burton's Kate Middleton wedding dress cover up included more extensive maneuvering than all the James Bond thrillers combined.
According to Grazia, Burton camoflaged the dress even from her own studio by coincidently (or not!) creating her entire F/W 2011 couture collection in a bridal-ish theme, hiding the need for wedding-dress materials with the rest of the rich rich fabrics ordered for the snowy looks she sent down the runway. Supposedly, nary a mind at the British fashion house thought twice about it (though all were forced to sign non-disclosures agreements, just in case). When asked, Burton steered away from bridal as an influence, and defined her collection as "icy."
Icy like the eyes of Anna Wintour piercing your soul? Hamish Bowles told Grazia that when the editrix asked Burton point-blank whether she was the designer of Kate's dress, Burton held fast and said no. (That must have been quite the intense moment.) Burton deserves a prize for such steely will—but perhaps winning the "Dress of the Year" at Bath Fashion Museum for one of her F/W 2011 couture decoys will do.