Tonight, Kate followed up her double-header on Tuesday with another glitzy evening appearance, this time for Action on Addiction's Autumn Gala at L'Anima Italian restaurant in London. Kate could have gone long or short to this event, and I felt like it was a 50/50 proposition--obviously I was rooting for long. She went short:
Action on Addiction's press release made mention of several of visits that the Duchess has made to their various services. They referred to her visit to Hope House, which was actually the first engagement Kate undertook following her hyperemesis gravidarum when pregnant with George. Much like this Tuesday, it marked her return to health and public duties following some very rough weeks.
The press release referenced her work on behalf of M-PACT Plus. Kate kicked the initiative off, also while pregnant with George, when she visited Willows Primary School in April of 2013:
And at Blessed Sacrament School just this summer, again to promote an M-PACT Plus initiative wearing Goat:
Lastly, they made mention of a visit that Kate undertook to Clouds House. If this event doesn't ring a bell, there was limited coverage because it was a private visit. You can read more about that visit from the Daily Mail here. Tonight, The Express reported that the program this evening held brief remarks penned by Kate:
During the time I have spent with clients and staff I have been privileged to see the phenomenal work which the charity undertakes to improve the lives of those affected by addiction. The stories of recovery are remarkable; and Action on Addiction's role in helping people achieve this is truly inspiring. Your generous support will enable Action on Addiction's vital work to continue, helping transform people's lives.
Action on Addiction's color is pink and so they rolled out, not a red carpet, but one in the same hot pink hue as their giant "A" logo. That could really throw a girl for a loop if she arrived in red to discover she was in for a clash with this bold carpet. Thankfully, royals are always apprised on possible conflicts of this nature.
Guests mingled in the very popular and hip Italian restaurant waiting for Kate to arrive. Given there was an auction at the end of the evening, I imagine they had some shopping to keep their minds off their impending brush with super stardom.
Upon arrival, Kate chatted with guests at the restaurant while a live pianist played in the background before she listened to a speech by the Chair of Action on Addiction and watched performance by comedian Rory Bremner.
Kate chose Temperley London's "Emblem Flare" dress, retailing at £595.00. I think this dress is a testament to the rule that sometimes a dress is rather...awful on the rack, but transformed once on a real, live person. The company describes the dress's inspiration:
This long-sleeved dress is inspired by stained glass ironwork and woven from a lightweight cotton-blend yarn. Delicate panels expose the nude slip, adding an edge to this feminine piece. The design is finished with a slashed neckline and a scoop back. Simply slips on.
I think most of us ladies pretty quickly noticed the wardrobe malfunction. The nude liner was not a match against the super-charged camera flashes. This is a really annoying mistake, and has probably happened to most of us. Thankfully, I am sure Kate's sense of humor will easily laugh this one off.
At first it appeared that Kate had debuted another new clutch, this one black and beaded, but Annie of My Small Obsessions is suggesting that the clutch could go back to 2010 when Kate may have carried it to the wedding of Mel Nicholson and Ollie Baker.
Someone wondered in the comments if Kate may have had some of these pieces made for Malta. Undoubtedly, the Duchess had a full wardrobe that was slated for Malta and that now can be utilized other places. Because of the radical climate difference, I don't think that the coat dress from Tuesday was tagged for Malta, but can't you just imagine that blue Jenny Packham floating in the Mediterranean breeze? My sense is this dress was always meant to go with this evening, though, because it ticks every box that I think Kate was trying to cover.
Tonight, she kept her jewelry simple, and given the design of the dress, this was probably a smart move. She wore her diamond earrings gifted to her by Charles for her wedding.
She finished her ensemble with sky-high, suede Jimmy Choo "Cosmic" pumps.
Kate was accompanied, as she almost alway is, by Rebecca Deacon, who was wearing a very similar ensemble. You can see in the background of some shots, and from the two of them in the car together, that she is wearing a black dress with lace embellishment that mimics the spirit of Kate's dress.
We had a really fun discussion on Twitter before Kate arrived, wondering what she might wear. My thoughts are that Kate has categories. (We have chatted about this here on the blog in the past) Certain labels fit into different categories. Examples: McQueen is her absolute go-to designer for formal and/or State events. If the event has royal gravitas, nine times out of ten, Kate will wear McQueen. Then, we have Jenny Packham. If Kate needs an evening dress, the majority of the time she will wear Jenny P. Obviously, we have seen crossover in these categories, Packham designed the polka-dot Lindo Wing dress, which is pretty historic, while McQueen has done a few stunning evening gowns for Kate. (I am discounting the wedding dresses, btw.) Once these two fashion powerhouses have staked their turf, then Kate fills in with Temperley, Beulah, and after that it's almost anyone's guess.
Kate seems to wear Temperley when she wants to add a modern edge to her usually classic style. She also chose Temperley when she wore a short dress to the black-tie SportsAid Gala last year, and the two dresses demand a comparison. Both utilize a nude lining to enhance the detailing on the dress and Kate chose Jimmy Choo on both occasions. While she used a red McQueen clutch to give her ensemble a pop last November, perhaps this year the pink carpet deterred her... :)
My verdict on this one is: just-over-the-finish-line hit. It's edgier than SportsAid. I can't say I love the bodice. Doesn't this dress kind of look like something a female superhero would wear on her night off? Seriously, though, it has got some grit, which is fine, but I don't know if the bodice is weird or cool. Honestly, it's a little vampy to me, although I say that in the best sense. Just a taste vamp. Which, I believe, is one of the reasons Kate chose it. I think she likes to have fun with her fashion the just as any other girl. All this taken into consideration, black is aaah-mazing on Kate and I thought she looked like a million bucks. That being said, this dress might come with the little warning...Duchesses only; don't try this at home.
Pictured in the car upon arrival, Kate looked a little tired. I imagine she is still under the weather just a bit, but like a pro, she put it aside to beam throughout her evening for the guests and for her charity. Hopefully, she takes the weekend to relax after this extremely successful week of come-back engagements.
Although she stayed for dinner, before the auction began, Her Royal Highness made her farewells and returned to Kensington Palace. While not his birthday, today is a very special day for Prince George. It is the one year anniversary of his baptism into the Church, and I am sure that Kate and William are fondly reminiscing on that momentous and joyful event just one year ago today.
P.S. To whomever commented on the very out of place post, THANK YOU! I was playing around with new tags while I waited for Kate to show this evening and it should have simply left the post in its appropriate place... I pulled it for the moment, but pardon any oddities later as I try to make it get back in line.