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Kate & William Attend First Garden Party Together

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Kate and William attended a Buckingham Palace garden party today where the Duchess recycled the cream McQueen she wore for Prince George's christening!

Some recycles are more exciting than others, but certainly topping the list of most coveted rewears would be those pieces at which we never actually got a full look. This stunning ensemble from Alexander McQueen certainly is on that list! Thanks to Prince George's beautiful baptismal gown, he obscured a good view of his mother's fashion in every photo we had from the christening.

Today, that fashion injustice was finally rectified and we got a really great look at this creamy peplum perfection.  Today also marked a special occasion, as Kate brought along her best accessory. Prince William, handsome in topcoat and tails, was at his wife's side. William has never attended one of the Queen's garden parties; today marked his very first appearance! 

This was the final garden party of the season and Rebecca English, who was reporting from the event, Tweeted this photo (below) of the Duchess flanked by Natasha Archer and Amanda Cook Tucker. These ladies help Kate with her hair and clothes, although Natasha's role in choosing Kate's clothes is still a hotly debated topic. It is nice to see that they got to get all dressed up and enjoy the event, too. 

Kate's hat is by Jane Taylor and was made specifically for the McQueen ensemble. Usually, I would prefer a new hat, but because the hat, jacket, and skirt are so perfectly paired, I thought this was a fun recycle of the complete ensemble. 

This was most certainly a win for me. I like soft shades at the garden parties and this cream hit the spot while also setting Kate apart from the crowd. 

Kate loves ruffles and peplum and given her slim frame, she can really pull them off. McQueen incorporates these elements often and I always love to see them on Kate. The only drawback of this ensemble is the ruffle along her waist. It short-waists her just a hair, and given this is a piece that was customized for Kate, that should have been taken into consideration. 

That aside, I still love this on Kate. The creamy white is gorgeous against Kate's skin and the fabric looks substantial and luxurious. Seeing this from a distance also highlights the beautiful folds of the skirt and the ruffles of the peplum. Kate again carried her Nina clutch and wore her Annoushka Baroque pearl drops. Her pumps are new and I am still working on an ID. 

If you missed the post on Kate and Prince George playing on the police motorbike, see that post here

Kate Wears New Great Plains Dress While Out With George

The Duchess of Cambridge loves her Cézanne Great Plains dress and just a week after the company released the dress in a new ebony/navy print, Kate has been spotted wearing the frock while out and about with Prince George. These photos were taken by a photographer on Twitter under the handle: @PolticalPics


The Duchess was snapped smiling as police officers near her London home showed Prince George their motorbikes. The little prince was doubtless delighted to get to sit on the motorcycles, although since Kate won't let him ride a horse yet, I think motorbikes are ways off for him yet. 

The sighting took place after Kate and George had watched the helicopter leave KP. I imagine the exciting comings and goings of the heli are a favorite past-time of the little prince. The photographer described the event:
I was walking to Notting Hill from Kensington to go to the gym when I saw a helicopter taking off at the back of Kensington Palace. I noticed George and his mother watching Princess Anne take off. The Princess was wearing a Navy uniform. After the helicopter took off, the prince had a go on a policeman's motorbike for quite a while. Kate was really smiley. There were about three or four hundred people watching. It was so lovely.
As discussed last week, the Duchess first wore the dress in a red colorway while visiting Grimsby. The dress complemented her rusty Hobbs coat perfectly on that occasion, although she never took the coat off to give us a better view of the dress. 

It is always great when you have a print that really works well with other pieces in your closet, and this dress is something of a staple for Kate. The Duchess bought the dress in "pine" and wore it at Christmas of this year, but one of my eagle-eyed readers pointed out that Kate might have worn it under her Reiss "Angel" coat in 2012 on a visit to St. George's Park. I searched around for a photo and sure enough, Kate is wearing the Cezanne here:

So, when Kate wore it again on Christmas morning, it was not the first time after all, but it certainly looked gorgeous with that SportMax coat.

Great Plains rereleased the dress just last week in this new blue and grey print. Although Kate has been pictured wearing the dress casually and on its own, I am not surprised Kate snapped this up. 

The print will work very well with many of Kate's cream coats as well as several of her blue pieces, thanks to the dress's navy hues. It would be lovely styled with a grey coat, as suggested on the Great Plains website. 

Happily for fans of the Duchess's style, this versatile dress is still available at Great Plains. You can purchase it for £75 here. The Duchess attended the Queen's final garden party of the season today, and that post is up next!


Kate Wears Spring Green to Chelsea Flower Show

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their first appearance at the Chelsea Flower Show this evening, joining the Queen, Prince Harry, and a generous sprinkling of other royals who had turned out to view the show on its opening night. It is always a good day when Kate is surrounded by flowers. Such a plethora of loveliness in one place can only ever put a smile on one's face. 

There are a number of activities that strike this American as quintessentially British and a flower show is one. Certainly the Chelsea Flower Show is now world famous as Britain's foremost horticultural presentation, nevertheless, the broader category of flower show conjures up all sorts of visions of perfect English summers. I think of the competitive rose show in Mrs. Miniver, or more recently the Dowager Countess's floral battle in Downton Abbey. It seems to bring out the best of Brits love for all that is charming, bucolic, and gracious.  

Beulah London, a brand Kate favors heavily and one that champions causes fighting modern slavery, designed a special dress for the Garden Show. The company announced the dress would be unveiled at the show, and shared a sketch of the springtime frock on Twitter several days ago.

Beulah London

I was excited to see that Eugenie was wearing this dress this evening. The princess was at the show with Beatrice and their respective boyfriends. Eugenie looked lovely in the dress, and I also think that given the design, this dress is very suited to Kate's love of white. It would be fun if she wore it sometime in the future.

Rose Tinted PR

Harry, for whom the Flower Show is old hat, seemed to enjoy showing his brother and sister-in-law around as they navigated the colorful displays. If Harry ever does find "the one" his knowledge base gleaned from his time at the Chelsea Flower Show can only be an advantage to locking her in. 

The Duke and Duchess seemed delighted to view the chrysanthemum named after Princess Charlotte. I am sure they were also pleased to know that 50% of the proceeds of the special flower are set aside for one of Kate's favorite charities, EACH. 

Rebecca English, Daily Mail

In 2013, Prince George got a special daffodil named after him. Daffodils are my favorite, so I am prejudiced towards those, but these mums seem to fit what we have seen of Charlotte thus far. The colors are particularly suited to her.

It was quite the family affair. The trio bumped into other royals who were wandering the exhibit, keeping royal reporters and fans plenty busy track of them all:

It has been noted and I admit that William did look like a bit of a Moody Judy several times today. Let's just say his energy didn't seem to be at raging 100%, shall we? 

It is possible the Duke (as well as the Duchess) was having a light allergy flare up. Kate was snapped powdering her nose, which I am not sure that I have ever seen, while William wiped his eyes. You have to assume that the pollen concentration around that place was higher than average. Ah well, roses all have thorns, what? 

The Duchess recycled her green Catherine Walker first worn in Canberra while on tour in 2014. This bright green coat dress is a mix of two Walker styles, melding the zippered top of one coat with the flared skirt of another. Perhaps even bolder than the design is the bright, nigh neon, hue. 

I don't have the aversion to this dress that many of you have expressed. I like the tight zipped collar and I think it has a modern and trendy edge. I would use a different belt with this, something that isn't so matchy matchy, but in every other respect I don't dislike it at all. This was a win for me, although it wasn't perfect.  

Perfect for today would have been pastel, something that complemented the delicate and feminine nature of the flowers. Despite that, Kate's coat was a shade sharper than the greenery that surrounded her and she seemed to almost stick out as the chief stalk. I liked it. She popped out particularly well by the poppy display, a sweeping carpet of red blooms paying tribute to the fallen. (Rebecca Deacon alert!)

Kate accessorized in nude, carrying her new Nina clutch from LK Bennett and her Fern pumps by the same brand. She chose to wear her Lauren diamond studded leaf earrings, presumably in a nod to the theme, although as we have noted here before, these earrings seem to be fast becoming a staple in her everyday wardrobe. All in all, the rain held off and the royals seemed to enjoy their evening in the garden. I was delighted when it was announced that the pair would attend, and although they might have made an exception because it is the Queen's 90th birthday year, I hope we see them at this lovely event many times over the years.

Favorite Duchess Kate Label DVF Hires New Creative Director

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A few months ago we chatted about the possibility that Kate's chief designer, Sarah Burton, would head up French fashion giant Dior. That came to nothing, but just this week the fashion world got the news that another Kate label has a new creative director. Diane von Fürstenberg has hired Jonathan Saunders to head up her label!

Duchess of Cambridge Wearing Diane von Fürstenberg

Talk about a match made in fashion heaven! As you probably recall, Saunders closed his eponymous label in the fall of last year, to the great disappointment of many Kate fans, and likely to the great disappointment of Kate herself. The princess first wore Saunders in 2012 when she picked his colorful "Evelyn" aqua print dress for her arrival to the Solomon Islands. 

She has worn his pieces on a number of occasions since. She turned to Saunders again for her 2014 tour, wearing his waffled sweater to a sporting event. This top didn't receive rave reviews, but perhaps it was short-changed by the many photos of the Duchess taken at a distance. It is so much prettier close up where you can see the pretty colored details. 

She debuted a red and pink mohair coat from Saunders in May of the same year while in Scotland. Saunders hales from Scotland and was the perfect choice for Kate, the Countess of Strathearn, when determining whom to wear on the visit to the region. 

She recycled the "Evelyn" to Wimbledon not long after, marking her first break from traditional white (as a royal) at the All England Club's prestigious grand slam event.

Just last fall, Kate wore a dress from Jonathan Saunders' diffusion line, now defunct as well. This bird print day dress was immediately popular and reminded us all how disappointing it was to see Saunders exit the creative field.

Kate loves DVF and has been wearing the label long before her marriage. Although she has worn several coats from the label, Kate is drawn to DVF's bold prints and often colorful designs. You might remember the luncheon date Kate had with Camilla before the Royal Wedding. She was wearing the "Samuella" sleeveless print dress that afternoon and has worn it shopping since.

The pink paisley Kate wore to a private visit to EACH's Treehouse has been in her closet for many, many years, too.

Of course, we all remember the bright green shift dress she wore in Los Angeles and again to Zara's wedding festivities the same summer.

The news that Saunders will be joining DVF is exciting and frankly I can't think of a better pairing.  Saunders and DVF both love prints and beautiful colors, but they work with different mediums. DVF tends toward jersey fabrics, while Saunders works with more structured materials. It will be very interesting to see how these two approaches to design will meld. I have no doubt it will be wildly successful.  I would think we will see Kate in even more of the label's designs as a result.

Final little tidbit, in case you didn't see The Daily Mail piece, Kate was pictured leaving her engagement at Portsmouth in black skinnies and a black cable-knit sweater. She had twisted up her still wet hair into a messy, but attractive, chignon. You can find more pictures at the link.