“Oh, look! It’s Kate Winslet’s wedding dress!”

On the night of the royal wedding, while most of us were drinking gins and making snarky tweets about Princess Beatrice’s hat (or pointedly not), fashion designer Jane Yeh was hard at work furiously sketching and sewing a replica of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, ready to go on display at 3pm the next day.

The dress is doing a royale tour of New Zealand, and Monday saw it on display at Farmers on Lambton Quay. I couldn’t resist the lure of a pretty frock.


There were tales of queues at the gown’s weekend appearance at Queensgate, but the downtown scene was much quieter. A few ladies stood around, some were quite excited by it, while others didn’t seem to know whose dress it was (see above).

There was a tie-in offer to replicate the wedding makeup look, but you know what? Kate Middleton was wearing pretty heavy makeup. It was deep, dimensional television makeup. Not the sort of thing that most brides – let alone ordinary people – need to bother with.

It’s a nice dress. It’s not an exact replica of the Duchess of Cambridge’s gown, though it’s a decent enough approximation for something knocked up in one night.

It didn’t quite have the magical aura that Kate Middleton seemed to have walking down the aisle, but maybe that’s the secret – it’s not just the dress, it’s the person in it.

Faux bow

As well as the replica dress, a replica set of the crown jewels were also on display. These were originally made for Farmers to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 1977. This makes me happy for two reasons:

1) Simply that such things exist. It’s a bit of a remnant from a time when it was less affordable for New Zealanders to visit the real crown jewels in London, when a replica set would have drawn the same sorts of crowds that the dress does today.

2) That 34 years later, there’s still someone at Farmers who remembers they have a set of replica crown jewels somewhere around. Or maybe the CEO uses them all the time. “You want me to sign off on the new branding? You’ll have to rub my orb first.”


The dress and accessories continue their tour of New Zealand, including visits to the dual disaster zones of Christchurch and Albany. And that seems like a rather royal thing to do.