Known for their exquisite craftsmanship and sharp tailoring, Catherine Walker & Co was Princess Diana’s go-to designer for more than 16 years. Now her daughter-in-law, Princess Kate is following suit – having worn several of the British couture house’s designs.
So what exactly makes Catherine Walker & Co so popular among the two royal women – more than two decades apart? “Garments are designed and constructed perfectly to flatter the female form, giving confidence, comfort and ensuring the wearer is the star,” Sara Jensen, head of communications for the house, tells PEOPLE. In a new episode of our exclusive video series Make Me Kate!, Jensen gives PEOPLE a behind-the-scenes tour of the house’s London atelier, where a team of 30 craftsmen and women “work together, lovingly hand-sewing every single ruche, ruffle and pearl onto the most luxurious of fabrics.”
Creative director Said Cyrus, who started the line with his wife and the label’s namesake, offers clients a completely bespoke experience that combines French luxury with English Savile Row tailoring (note the masculine sharp shoulders combined with the elegance of the silhouette on all of Kate’s outfits).
With access to historic archive of dresses in the atelier (which includes more than 400 evening dresses alone!) and a total of 30 body measurements taken on the first appointment, the experience is one-of-a-kind. “We take the analogy for fast and slow food,” Cyrus tells PEOPLE, explaining, “This is slow fashion.”
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Cyrus has continued the legacy of his French-born wife, who died of breast cancer at age 65 in 2010. The couple co-founded The Haven in 1997 – a U.K charity that offers emotional support for women and their families who have been diagnosed with the illness.
Due to celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2017, business is thriving more than two decades after Diana put the label on the map.
“The made-to-measure experience is unsurpassable, and clients appreciate the care and attention and genuine passion that goes into every garment and of course, how it looks and feels to wear,” says Jensen.
With demand for Catherine Walker & Co to expand outside of London, the house has recently introduced their E-Couture service which means that anyone (as long as they have a trusted local tailor!) can now order the entire Spring/Summer 2016 collection from almost anywhere in the world.