Kate Middleton wasn"t first to wear that split-to-the-thigh gown

From Amber Valletta to Carla Bruni, how Kate wasn't the first to wear that split-to-the-thigh gown

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UPDATED:

16:39 GMT, 9 May 2012

Kate Middleton's Roland Mouret dress caused an instant internet sensation when she stepped out at Claridge’s Hotel in London last night.

But the Duchess of Cambridge isn't the first style icon to have worn her floor-sweeping dress.

Originally from the RM by Roland Mouret 2009 fall collection, the form-fitting dress with a thigh-high split was first worn by supermodel Amber Valletta, followed by France's former First Lady a few months later.

Kate Middleton chose to wear the Roland Mouret Lombard dress, named after actress Carole Lombard, in a classic off-white

Kate Middleton chose to wear the Roland Mouret Lombard dress, named after actress Carole Lombard, in a classic off-white

Effortlessly elegant: The Duchess chose to wear the Roland Mouret Lombard dress, named after actress Carole Lombard, in a classic off-white, instead of its original jade green

Worn in its original jade green colour, Carla Bruni deviated from her usual Dior and stepped out in the dress for a 2010 State Dinner in Paris, after Ms Valletta wore hers to a New York beauty launch in late 2009.

However the Duchess chose to wear her Roland Mouret Lombard dress, named after actress Carole Lombard, in a classic off-white.

Mouret told Grazia: 'I am absolutely delighted that The Duchess of Cambridge chose to wear my Lombard gown to the Thirty Club annual dinner.'

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The Lombard: The classic Roland Mouret dress was worn by Carla Bruni (left) and model Amber Valletta (right) before Kate Middleton stepped out in it

He added: 'The Duchess has an elegance and timeless beauty that is a breath of fresh air, it is an honour to be part of her journey,'

The epitome of effortless chic, the long-sleeved classic dress is at once grand and understated, a style the Duchess has made her signature.

This isn’t the first time she has worn Roland Mouret, however. Kate famously kicked off her tour of North America last year in a navy dress by the same London-based designer.