UWE graduate's 'Kate Middleton dress' makes £78k at auction

Issue date: 18 March 2011

A dress designed by a fashion graduate from the University of the West of England that was modelled by Kate Middleton for a charity Fashion Show has sold for £78,000 at an auction in London.

The dress, designed by Charlotte Todd, who graduated in Fashion/Textiles Design in July 2001, has captured international media attention during the run up to the Royal Wedding in April.

The winning bid came from an unnamed man who would only reveal that he was acting on behalf of a collector based in Jersey. Charlotte Todd said of the dress, “If it is true that my design helped change the Prince's interest in Kate from platonic to romantic as has been reported, then I am pleased to have played a part - however minor. I never would have imagined as I sat knitting this piece that one day it would be so important.”

The dress cost £30 to make and is a knitted lace design in black and gold.

Interviewed today Charlotte said, “I'll probably put the money towards a house as my husband and I are renting at the moment. And who knows I may even start a new fashion business. I have been approached by several fashion manufacturers who want to make replicas of the dress. It was amazing at the auction as everyone was expecting the Diana dress to reach more so I find it all quite unbelievable. I'd love to find out who the buyer is.

“It's quite apt that the brief for the dress project was 'the art of seduction' as things have turned out. The inspiration for the knitted texture came from looking at gem stones, and jewellery as I was aiming to get an irredescent quality. The knit pattern is entirely original and designed by me on a punch card on my knitting machine.

“I really enjoyed my course at UWE – at the time it was one of the few places in the UK that gave the opportunity to spend time concentrating on knitting textiles and this is what interested me most. Although the course gave the opportunity to try out alot of things this is what I enjoyed the most and I'm still very interested in designing and knitting even though I haven't to date followed a career in fashion. But who knows, the fame resulting from the interest in the dress, that's been lurking in the bottom of a wardrobe for the past decade, could now lead to some exciting opportunities.”

Charlotte is currently working at Bristol Aquarium, she said, “I love working at the Aquarium and everyone there has been really excited for me.”

Charlotte's mum, Liz Todd, said, “Charlotte knitted the fabric herself on a knitting machine that we bought for her. The beauty of the dress is in the stitching that Charlotte designed herself. She got married last year and they are renting a little flat in Bedminster in Bristol so this is just a wonderful stroke of luck that has happened at a really good time in their lives. We are so happy for them.”

FFI: Jane Kelly or Mary Price, Press Officers


Tel: 0117 32 82208

E-mail: Jane.Kelly@uwe.ac.ukor Mary.Price@uwe.ac.uk

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