x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Kate Middleton's catch-prince-frock sets off a fashion stampede

Stocks disappear and stores get involved in price war even though dress mimics the demure blue Issa number but doesn't quite have the silk quotient of the original.

The dress worn by Kate Middleton for the announcement of her engagement to Prince William has been in heavy demand.
The dress worn by Kate Middleton for the announcement of her engagement to Prince William has been in heavy demand.

Mere minutes after Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton appeared on television to announce their engagement, women all over the world went into a frenzy.

Not a jealous one you understand; most of us just felt a sense of relief that she'd finally snagged her man. No, the enthusiasm this time was for the dress that Middleton was wearing. The demure blue Issa number was out of stock within 24 hours.

Old news you may think. Well, now the high street has got involved. The UK supermarket giant Tesco was the first to get in on the act, producing a replica just days later. It sold out online in 60 minutes.

You might suspect that, priced at £16 (Dh92), it doesn't quite have the silk quotient of the original, but still, it's a small price to pay to look like an (aspiring) princess, right?

The budget chain store Peacocks is the latest to get involved. It recently released its version of the "engagement dress", boldly undercutting Tesco, by charging just £14.

Anticipating a ferocious demand for said dress, it has even introduced a special waiting list for it, titled (wittily? viciously?): "Waity Katie", in homage to Middleton's tabloid nickname during the couple's extended courtship.

Should the Dubai Mall version of Peacocks happen to stock it, we are predicting that the streets will become awash with women rocking the outfit, accessorised of course, with a mane of loose curls and some sapphire and diamond finger bling. We're not quite convinced ourselves, but each to her own…