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Brides rush for Chelsea's dress

WE may be in a recession -- but that isn't stopping brides from dressing like their favourite celebrities on their big day.

With stars such as Alicia Keys, Hilary Duff and Chelsea Clinton all sporting Vera Wang as they walked up the aisle in recent weeks, Irish brides-to-be are flocking to Brown Thomas to get their hands on one of her stunning creations.

Vera Wang's Dublin manager Sarah Kelly told the Herald that Chelsea's dress has sparked a flurry of interest from engaged Irish women hoping to get their hands on the designer creation, worth €7,675.

"Once women saw the pictures of Chelsea Clinton, there were a good few calls and people popping in to say that they wanted it.

"Her dress was practically the exact same as the one we have here, except she had a different bodice. And now a lot of brides are asking for that beautiful Swarovski crystal belt that she had," she said.

And Chelsea isn't the only high-profile bride that's caught the eyes of Irish women -- singer Alicia Keys' Grecian style wedding gown has also become a favourite here.

"Alicia Keys' dress is also here and because it's this beautiful Grecian style, lots of women have been trying it on," Ms Kelly added.

But it's newlywed Hilary Duff's mermaid gown that has achieved near superstar status in the fashion world.

"A lot of people asked to come in and see it. It's an absolutely fabulous dress, it's a part of our spring/ summer 2011 collection so we'll be getting it in a couple of months.

"We had a preview of it a few weeks ago for four days and there was a lot of interest," Ms Kelly explained.

Duff walked up the aisle to her multi-millionaire hockey player beau Mike Comrie earlier this month, sporting the custom made gown and a unique chiffon bun.

Vera Wang has long been considered the 'go-to' designer for your big day and the brand's iconic status, with starting prices of f3,000, has helped them buck the recession quite successfully.

cmcbride@herald.ie