Sophie Cranston of the Libélula label is said to have won the coveted commission to make Catherine’s wedding dress. We first heard of the designer when the royal bride-to-be stepped out to a friend’s wedding in Yorkshire this January in a much-talked-about, vintage-inspired, Libélula black velvet dress coat with a diamante clasp — the Dulwich coat, named after the area in South London where Cranston has her studio.
With less than two weeks to go, Kate’s wedding dress is near-completion. It’s also likely that there is more than one dress made (by the same designer), much like Princess Diana’s dressmakers, David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who had a “back-up” dress in case something happened to the first one.
Libélula is a relatively unknown British label that is soon-to-be-besieged designer.
So, who is Sophie Cranston?
34-year-old Cranston is a a young British designer with a romantic and bohemian background. She is a graduate of the University of Northumbria, who won the Student Collection of the Year award at Graduate Fashion Week in 1999, with a tongue-in-cheek collection called ‘The Morning After the Night Before’, which featured a male model wearing only a striped cashmere cushion.
After cutting her teeth under Alexander McQueen, Sophie joined Alice Temperley – another designer whose name has been in the frame for the royal appointment – in 2000, and was instrumental in helping her establish the Temperley label. Then, in an about-turn, she suddenly decided to move to Andalucia to learn Flamenco and Spanish. It was here, in a small, white-washed village in Southern Spain that she established her own label Libélula – Spanish for dragonfly.
She rapidly gained a loyal band of high-profile followers, including Emma Watson, Tamara Eccleston, and Jerry Hall, with her signature vibrant prints and beautifully cut, timeless and flattering shapes. Cranston currently creates two ready-to-wear fashion collections a year from her studio in Dulwich, plus a fledgling bridal range, which The Daily Telegraph’s Celia Walden chose for her marriage to Piers Morgan in June last year. http://www.libelula-studio.com/shop