Kate Middleton's see through fashion show dress
Kate Middleton's see through fashion show dress is a dress worn by Kate Middleton at a fashion show whilst studying at St Andrew's University in 2002.
It's been billed as 'the dress that started it all'.
The see-through knitted lace dress was designed by former design student Charlotte Todd and modelled by Kate Middleton at the St Andrew's annual charity fashion show in 2002.
At the time, William and Kate were friends and in their first year of studies. William had bought a £200 ticket to the show in March 2002 and was in the front row when Kate took to the catwalk in the black and gold lace number, her black underwear clearly visible beneath it.
The dress was selected for Kate to wear and it was decided it should be worn as a dress rather than a skirt. "It was meant to be worn with say a satin or silk slip underneath," Todd told ABC News. "It wasn't the intention to show the underwear."
"Whether Kate knew what she was doing on that night, we'll never know. But I think she did. And I hope that she chose my dress to bag her prince."
According to Royal biographer Katie Nicholl: "He was sitting with his friend Fergus at the time…he turned to Fergus and he said, wow, Kate's a knockout, she's gorgeous.
Nichol has also said that it was at a house party later that night that William made his first move on Kate — even though she had a boyfriend, Rupert Finch.
One of Miss Middleton's friends told the author: “It was clear to us William was smitten with Kate. He actually told her she was a knockout that night, which caused her to blush. There was definite chemistry between them.”
Ms Todd, a former fashion student at the University of the West of England, decided against a career in the business and now works in an aquarium in Bristol.
She has turned down £1,000 from a newspaper for the dress, which took her a week to make, and said she only realised the significance of her design when the couple announced their engagement.
“The dress is a part of fashion history — the moment William could first have fallen in love with Kate — and that makes me really proud,” she said. “I only made it as a skirt, but they pulled it up on Kate and she wore it as a dress. Maybe if it hadn't have been see-through, William might not have noticed her. I definitely think it has a played a part in the royal love story.
“That picture has been used so much over the years. I always wonder whether she is embarrassed about it, or liked it. I am reluctant to part with the dress. I want it to be in a collection of Kate's royal dresses in future. The only person I'd probably give it to is her — maybe in exchange for a wedding invitation.”
The dress cost £30 to make. After the fashion show, the dress was kept by Charlotte Todd.
Despite being 'reluctant to part with the dress' it was auctioned by Kerry Taylor Auctions on Thursday 17 March 2011, in London. Estimated at £8,000-£10,000, the dress sold for £78,000 including commission. The buyer was revealed as Nick Roberts, nephew of David Gainsborough Roberts.
"It was literally a bit of a show-stopper, this one," auctioneer Kerry Taylor said of the diaphanous dress. "It's interesting to think that our future queen once wore this."