\"Kate

Kate Middleton now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Irish fashion designers a big hit with Kate Middleton family

\"Kate

Kate Middleton now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

The new Duchess of Cambridge has brought Irish fashion into the spotlight.

Both Kate and her mother Carole are big fans of veteran Irish designer Paul Costelloe. The royal mother-in-law sported one of the designer’s floral summer dresses to Wimbledon this week, and Kate has already purchased a number of Costelloe’s designs as well as hats from Irish milliner Philip Treacy.

The designer is also tipped to do some one-off special commissions for Carole Middleton in the future.

Thirty years after Princess Diana discovered the Irish designer’s fashion genius, the reaction to the silver-grey, A-line, silk and wool ottoman bow coat he designed for Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara Phillips, to wear to Kate’s wedding at Westminster Abbey pushed him back into the spotlight. He also designed the very girly, navy silk organza ruffled evening dress Zara wore that night at Buckingham Palace.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, speculation is rife that Costelloe will design the dress Zara wears to her own wedding to England rugby player Mike Tindall on July 30 in Edingburgh.

Jessica Costelloe, the designer’s daughter, spoke last week about the impact of the royal connection to her father’s business. "It is an exciting time, for sure. We expect to see her (Zara) in the office at some point next week, but that's all that I can say. I've been told to keep my mouth shut," said Jessica.

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