After much speculation, the closely guarded secret of who would be designing Kate Middleton’s wedding dress and what it would look like, was revealed today.
Kate Middleton in Alexander McQueen wedding dress

The Royal Wedding Dress was designed by Sarah Burton, the lead designer for Alexander McQueen. The once-in-a-life-time opportunity was given to Burton in March, who took over as creative director of Alexander McQueen following his death last year.

Ms Burton said creating the royal wedding dress had been the “experience of a lifetime”.

The dress had a lace appliqué bodice and skirt, and a veil that was held in place with a Cartier “halo” tiara, lent to Miss Middleton by the Queen.  The bride wore her hair in a demi-chignon, styled by new up and coming talent James Pryce from the Richard Ward salon. Kate did however do her own make-up.

All the fabrics used in producing the dress were sourced from and supplied by British companies, including the bridal train, which measures 2m 70cm.

 The lace on the bride’s dress which very closely resembles the style of Grace Kelly’s wedding dress, details a rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock to represent each nation of the UK.

"Grace Kelly"
Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer on their wedding day

 The public’s reaction to the dress has been tremendously positive, and even more so from the fashion world. Vogue London tweeted: “We’re loving Kate’s long lace sleeves. Elegant and very pretty.”

Fashion designer Vera Wang, who is world-known for her wedding gown collections, has also quoted: “It’s [Kate Middleton’s wedding dress] very much what I expected, not so fashion-forward and won’t age in photographs.”

Even Perez Hilton, the famous celebrity gossip from across the pond couldn’t contain his amazement at Kate’s dress tweeting: “I literally GASPED at my first look of Kate!!! OMG!!”

As for the old saying, Kate’s ‘something old’ was the traditional Carrickmacross craftsmanship used to create the gown, her ‘something new’ was her earrings that were a wedding gift from her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton. A blue ribbon was sewn into the interior of her dress for her ‘something blue’ and her tiara being the ‘something borrowed.’

 By Chloe Mellors


South Yorkshire universities and colleges make a stand together

Lecturers walked out at both Sheffield Universities over the Government’s plans to cut pensions.

Members of the University and Colleges Union manned picket lines and refused to enter the buildings they work in on Thursday 24th March, in a national strike that they hope will make a difference.

The dispute centres on attempts to raise the retirement age, increase contributions and to end the final salary element of the scheme for new joiners.

David Clarke, a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, explains why he and his colleagues are on strike today:

The protest that took place outside Sheffield University proved the tremendous strength of feeling the pensions issue had created. As well as lecturers from Sheffield Hallam and Sheffield University, support from surrounding colleges, Barnsley, Doncaster and Chesterfield were also there making a stand together.

The strike that comes after a wave of action from universities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland saw up to 500 universities taking part, which in effect disrupted the learning of more than one million students.

Students show lecturers their support

The National Students Union however is in full support of the stand that members of the UCU are making.

Student Phil Wong was present at the protest on Thursday, and thinks students should stand by their lecturers:

Sheffield University’s UCU chairman Mick Ashman, commented on how he hopes the nationwide action “will raise awareness amongst the public and will have some really good industrial action response across the sector, and that will create a situation where by the employers are prepared to come back and talk to us”.
As well as the rise in tuition fees and lecturers pension cuts, it seems the education sector is undergoing rapid changes in all areas including the ending of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

By Chloe Mellors


A team of third year students organised the success that was Sheffield’s Next Top Model as part of their final year project.

The event that took place on Thursday 10th March at Walkabout bar on Carver Street, saw the female and male finalists take to the catwalk and battle it out for the year long modelling contract with DK Model Management, whilst raising money for charity.

The money was raised for Sheffield charity Mencap, which helps improve the quality of life for people with learning disabilities and their families, and for the leading children’s charity in the UK, Barnardo’s.

Blissful Events were the team of Sheffield Hallam events management students who organised the event, which included finding sponsors, a location, setting up and advertising the competition all within three months and with a budget of £1,000.

Walkabout offered their bar to host the event for free, and had DK Model Management and Amie Parsons Photography sponsoring the event as well. The judges on the panel included Miss Sheffield 2010 Stacey Milano, former model and director of DK Model Management Kathy Holdsworth, Miss Everymodel Kayleigh Hewitt and top photographer Amie Parsons.

The Judges from left to right: Amie Parsons, Stacey Milano, Kathy Holdsworth and Kayleigh Hewitt.

Apart from the entertaining catwalk show from the finalists, there were lots of exhibitors including stalls such as Moroccan jewellery, Sheffield Eagles rugby clothing, Ilkeston Co-op Travel and Face4Make-up. All the finalists had their hair and make-up done by Sheffield’s best hair salon, Wigs and Warpaint as well.

A raffle was also drawn which included donated prizes from the exhibitors such as Sheffield Eagles tickets, Meadowhall vouchers, Champagne, £80 worth of holiday vouchers from Ilkeston Co-op Travel and three personal training sessions with the Walkabout bouncer!

Katie Gollick, Jenny Simons and Farah Barakat were the students behind the night itself, Katie commented, “running the event was the hardest as the members of public can be unreliable causing unexpected problems!” They explained how it was their first event and felt like it was a success. Their Facebook group, “Sheffield’s Next Top Model” gained 2,800 likes which was more publicity than they could have hoped for.

Sheffield clothing boutiques Yes Orange and Bliss contributed to the night by holding a fashion show in the interval, where their Spring/Summer 2011 collections were exhibited. Members of the Sheffield Eagles rugby club also got their new kit on and strutted some interesting moves down the catwalk much to all the ladies pleasure!

The competition ended in high spirits mainly due to the very cheap bar, but the night was only just beginning as the after party commenced with style.

The female winners: 1st place Stephanie Shemeld (centre), 2nd place Natalie Fowler (left) and 3rd place Kelly Wainwright.

The male winners: 1st place Marcus Brown (centre), 2nd place Tomas Govoruchinas (right) and 3rd place Paul John Bonnett (left).

Check out the Facebook event page to see more pictures from the night!/pages/Sheffields-Next-Top-Model/163385657034920.

Also have a look at the official website where you can find out more about the charities the money was raised for .

By Chloe Mellors



Vintage vultures were prepared to swoop…..despite an unexpected arrival of snow! Yet the show must go on, and so the UK’s largest touring vintage fair arrived in Sheffield on Saturday 19th February.

As the doors opened at 12pm, it became apparent that this fair had been long awaited as flocks of eager students looking for a stylish bargain flooded in. The Circle on Division Street played host to the fair on Saturday, where you were plunged back in time by DJ’s spinning tunes from artists such as Soft Cell, Bucks Fizz, and The Nightingale.

This fair amongst many others boast genuine vintage clothing and one-off pieces at affordable prices. The Vintage Fair press release even states that all stalls are price checked to ensure that it is the most affordable fashion around, with prices starting as low as £1.

The fair was founded by Louise Whitehead, who after running her own chic vintage store in Sheffield decided to open her horizons into the world of fairs. In 2008 Louise launched The Vintage Fair in Sheffield Hallam’s Union, The Hubs, of which was the university she graduated from. It was the perfect place to grab the attention of fashion-loving students looking for a bargain. This one-off event proved a massive success and now the fair travels around 15 major cities, with up to 40 stalls at every event, making it the UK’s largest vintage fair.

So what exactly is it that makes it the must-attend event on our social calendars? Apart from the live DJ, the fair has more than just clothing and accessories to offer. At each fair a tea party is held, where delicious cakes and cup-cakes are served on china with tea, coffee or ice cream milkshakes; perfect after a hard day’s shopping!

The newest addition to the fair however, is the most exciting one yet. The Vintage Hair Salon includes a team of experts who style your hair, make-up and nails and transform you ready for a night out on the town! Pre-booking is advised which you can do via the website.

Here is a peek at what went on at the fair:

It seems the vintage trend has officially taken over the high street not just in Sheffield, but all over the UK. As Sheffield leads the way with stores such as Cow, Syd and Mallory, Freshmans and BangBang Vintage, it is apparent this trend is not going anywhere yet.

Gemma McConville, owner of Ruby In The Dust Vintage online store, has a stall at The Sheffield Vintage Fair where she sells mainly 80’s clothing. She said, “I think people got used to having mass produced clothing and it was so cheap that people have got used to seeing everybody in the same outfits. I think people like to have something a bit special and a bit different now.”

For more information on The Vintage Fair, visit

By Chloe Mellors

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