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Duchess of Cambridge Goes Edgy In Black Temperley to Action on Addiction's Autumn Gala

Thursday, October 23, 2014

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. 

64 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, as always Jane. I laughed when I read your verdict. I think this means that you wouldn't like it on anyone else, yes?
    Thanks for all your work!

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    1. Guilty as charged. I don't think I love this dress off the Duchess. :) Part of it may be the lighting, the glare of the cameras didn't show the contrast between the skirt and bodice to advantage, and part of it is that mesh--I tend to skirt that when shopping myself, but I thought it was extremely flattering on her. She really was fantastic. So, yes...hit for Kate, likely miss for anyone else.
      Thank you for reading the blog!!

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    2. I actually disagree with you Jane. I think Kate didn't pull off this dress at all. Normally, I think she does very well, but on this one, she had a huge miss. I actually think it would look much better on other women. I don't really care for this dress on Kate or on the model, but I think on the right woman it would look great. So, I think miss for Kate, maybe a hit for someone else:)

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    3. To the Tower with you! :) I didn't love it from the back--maybe we can find a point of agreement there? All seriousness, I think it is a dress that divides. It is just edgy enough that it elicits strong responses on both ends. Thank you for commenting, though--it is good to hear feedback!

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    4. LOL, just don't cut off my head in the tower:). We do agree on the back and that it is a dress that divides. I would like the dress more if there were no panels on the chest and back. I think maybe I feel someone who is a little more edgy could pull it off. I think it takes a certain personality to work a dress like this-a more verbose personality. And Kate is to sweet and shy in my opinion. Maybe that is why I feel it doesn't work on her. I am trying to think of a celebrity that it would look good on...hmm, I will have to think, but off the top of my head Jennifer Lawrence? She has the sass for this kind of dress

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    5. You are so right Anon 3;22.

      Jennifer Lawrence or Kristen Stewart... Emma Watson too!!!

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  2. Sorry, not a fan of this one. Just too busy for me. Too much to look at and Kate gets lost. Maybe that played a part in her decision - tired, so wear something bold... But I like that she went cocktail length and not long. Focus on charity, a restaurant, I see most others are wearing short. She got that right. Love Kate, love her style, points for trying this, but doesn't work for me.

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    1. I think you are 100% right on venue. I wanted her to wear long, but once I got better shots of the interior it was pretty clear she made the right choice. Two floor lengths in one week would have been practically unprecedented for her!

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  3. I like the dress and think it's quite lovely. I actually wouldn't mind wearing it myself. Like the hair, her earrings and love the Jimmy Choo shoes. Good to see her out and about three times this week and hope we see more of her on a regular basis as she begins to feel better.

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    1. I cannot wait to see her again! Hopefully we don't have to wait 'till remembrance Sunday, but we shall see.

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  4. Yep, you pretty much summed it up very well, Jane. Not a favorite of mine, but I love her for stepping out of her comfort zone. I do, however, like the Temperley from last year. Thanks again. Becks

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    1. I liked that one, as well, once I was passed the bitterness of no floor length. :)

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  5. I wonder why she felt the need to add the belt. . . I think it's too "sweet" for the edgy style of the dress. The Duchess makes a tricky design work, but I wish she'd up the bling factor in her appearances!

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    1. That struck me, too. Temperley is like this. If you have seen some of the dresses Pippa has worn, it can be very, very busy. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a scratch your head way. I felt like this was subdued enough that it didn't clash, but it was like they were trying to walk the line between sweet and sexy.
      I am dying for some royal jewelry... She just doesn't seem to go in for it much, eh?

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    2. Team bling!!!!! Kate needs to embrace her inner princess! I would. :) Becks

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    3. I love it Lucy, Team Bling!!! If I had access to tiaras I'd be wearing them every where LOL

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  6. I think she looked lovely, as always. Her hair just perfect. I think the slip is unfortunate though, it looks pretty bad in some of the photos. And that black and white photo sort of makes her eyes look demonic. For some reason it reminds me of Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters. :(

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    1. Ha ha, Zoe! Sigourney Weaver! That's funny... And, agree with you about that photo!

      I thought she looked fantastic, as always, The woman can wear anything! I liked the dress, it's edgy and fun and appropriate for the occasion. It may not be on my favorites list, but I think she looks wonderful.

      And, yes, it does look like female superhero wear! But, then, she is Super Princess! Ok, ok, Super Duchess!!!

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  7. It was me with the post out of line comment! :) I was hanging around to see what you blogsters thought of tonight. I have to say I like this dress and I think it was nice and fun for Kate in this 'getting back out there' stage BUT not great with the flash photography. If we ever see it again it won't be in an evening engagement.

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    1. I agree Anon, a day time engagement or one where high powered flashes aren't used might show it off better.

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    2. Anon: Thank you so much! I had been working with about 25 different posts sorting tags and I almost and heart failure thinking they had all loaded as current posts. Thankfully, only one had gone rogue. I appreciated the heads up!

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  8. I don't know why but she looks like Xena from the movie. Especially on the first photo. LOL

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    1. She does look like XENA lol!

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  9. I am not a fan of Temperley and I wish Kate would drop the label; however, of the street-length dresses she has worn by this designer, this is my favourite by far. IMO, the two others, both black, were hideous; this has some pizzaz.

    All in all, given that most/all of the ladies present were wearing short dresses,--would someone please explain just when not terribly fancy cocktail dresses became appropriate counterpoints to men in black tie?--I thought Kate stood out. So, one-and-a-half thumbs up here.

    JC

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    1. I have to agree. I am not a fan of Temperley either. They have never wowed me. I would also agree...that I like this Temperly better then any of the others she has worn. And agreed she hit the length right considering what everyone else was wearing.

      I will give her credit for trying something edgy...and these knit type dresses show every roll and pound..and she looks fabulous ...so again credit to her. Don't like the belt with the bow....too cutesy and little girlish....

      Strangely I hated it at first and the more I looked at it ..I kind of warmed up to it. But still not my favorite. I think there is just one two many sets of vents....Too busy.

      I love the duchess and frankly she looks awesome in most anything but this is just so-so for me.

      Jane...I have followed your blog for sometime and but have just started adding comments. Keep up the amazing work!

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  10. Hi Jane!
    I'm so glad to see her out again and I hope she's feeling better even if I suppose it's difficult to have a fast recovery from all that. I think it's not easy to go to such events after a month and an half inside an house. I feel off from the world even after a week of flu when I get out again..I can't imagine knowing so many people outside are waiting for you..terrible!
    I was waiting for your own opinion about this evening and I've loved your humour but I'm so sorry to say I don't like this dress at all. It's a really personal taste, but I suppose I don't like Temperley dresses in general, on Pippa too..maybe I'm forgetting something but I can't remember a Temperley's dress she has worn that I liked. However this and the Buckingham Palace's one (the one with those weird sleeves) are the worst for me. Anyway I'm sure the dress is far better live as you said and the shoes are fantastic as always.
    Conversely, I loved the blue Packham dress last night with that necklace...I think Packham's dresses are always far more elegant and suitable. It's a shame for those pink shoes..wonderful shoes but I've found them not too appropriate with the short dress. Anyway, all that matters is that, with any dress, she was well enough (or probably she has only strong will and courage) to get out again!

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  11. Im not a big fan of Temperley but I do like this dress. I think its a nice change for Kate and a little more edgy and youthful for her. She is only in her early 30's and sometimes her choices are a bit old. This one is a hit. Total look is great.

    KiwiNic

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  12. So much potential, but kind of blah for me. If I wore this dress for a gala, I think I would have added color to give it some pizzazz!!!

    It is too much black. I would have worn a red shoe, with a red clutch. Or keeping with the black tie event. A white pump with white clutch. She could have even matched her belt to the other color (though I really think the belt was unnecessary, and an added distraction). I just think this was kind of boring, all black. She needed something more, even if it was just jewelry.

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  13. Hi Jane I am a regular reader and I love your blog, this is my first post. I am a huge Kate fan, I think she always handles herself with grace and is a huge asset to the Royal Family, but I do think she needs a stylist. She has made it clear that being a wife and mother are her priorities and she seems to have no interest in being a clothes horse. That being said she is representing the Royal Family and should be perfectly put together at all times. The designers she is wearing are letting her down. The Alexander McQueen was poorly tailored, the blue mullet dress was way too short in the front and her shoes were scuffed. Kate has amazing legs and this dress would be fabulous for a private occasion. The black Temperley was not my favourite and IMO not formal enough, but could have been saved by different styling. The shoes were too heavy, the dress needed jewellery and maybe a bright lip, the way the lining photographed was not appropriate for a Duchess. I admire Kate for putting family first and not being obsessed with clothes but I think she should employ a stylist to create looks for her.

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    1. I agree annon 7pm i do not know why she does not use a stylist who could save her from some of these mishaps. She needs to get off of sexy and embrace classy. So much potential. An experienced stylist would go a long way. I think she did better right after she married William. That blue dress last night was just too short for a Duchess. I fear she will embrace short styles like the last pregnancy. She just refuses to embrace royal dressing rules.

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  14. Hi Jane! As a huge Kate fan, I read your blog religiously! The content is wonderful but I have to say, I have also always been struck by how very kind and gracious your replies are to your readers:) Even when you disagree with their fashion verdict, you always offer a good-natured comment in return. Truly classy and sweet:) Keep up the excellent work updating us all on our favorite Princess!:)

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    1. Thank you, Magdalen! This might have been one of the nicest compliments I have received. Very appreciated! Thanks for reading! Warmly, Jane

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  15. Hi Jane,

    Sorry to bug with this, but when I tried to respond to a post I got sent to google to set up an account before my comment would post. :(

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    1. Gosh, I really am not that savvy on this stuff. Let me try and fix it this weekend and see how we are on Monday's post.

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  16. Oh and the proving I'm not a robot is still on :(:(

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    1. I do not know what is up! I just double checked and nothing is any different than it has been the past year. I am so, so sorry. Super annoying. I wonder if anyone else is having this trouble... I will try and contact a Google team member to see if they have any input.

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  17. Hi Jane,

    Great post as usual!! Unfortunately, I don't care for this dress. I liked the one she wore last year, but the venting in the bodice is just off for me and the white that shows through, ugh. Also, I think the black clutch she used yesterday morning would have been a better fit for this outfit than this beaded bag. And as many have already pointed out, the belt was unnecessary and just didn't fit with this dress.

    I loved the dress she wore last night and had high hopes for tonight but... le sigh...was disappointed. All this being said, it's great to see her out and about, smiling and chatting. Also, I bet Rebecca was thrilled to be out and about :)

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  18. Oh dear. Somehow I find it doubtful that she was unaware of how LBDs photograph under lights, since there are such frequent stories in the media. The “ripped jeans” look, a la Messy Cressie, isn’t becoming at all. The ribbon doesn’t really add anything to an already busy dress, the purse looks like a raid on granny’s closet. Edgy can be achieved with superb tailoring, luxurious fabrics, and an attitude. And Anon above has nailed it -she needs a stylist because the pricey designers just aren't cutting it for Duchess costumes at all -looking like a Kartrashian only proves it.

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  19. I always look forward to hearing your opinions, Jane!

    I love that Kate tried something different, but I think the top is just too tight. It reminds me a lot of a ballet leotard!

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    1. I am thinking she may have purchased this before she got pregnant... It was a little snug, but part of the that was accentuated by the detailing on the bodice. I have been watching video of it in motion...it isn't her best dress.

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  20. This dress just didn't do it for me. Something about it just was "off". Maybe it would be better if the slashes were only on the top OR the bottom, not both? Maybe it would've looked better floor-length?

    Kudos to her, however, for choosing something out of the norm and being more "edgy" (as much as a duchess can be so). Maybe that article about how not many men want to sleep with her rubbed her the wrong way? (Joking). Seriously, though, it's easy to feel unattractive when you're pregnant and when you're the mother of young children. Good for her for showing she can be a mom and a wife and still be sexy.

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  21. Will you tell us more about Rebecca Deacon? I feel like I've never heard of her. What's her role? Thanks!

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  22. Replies
    1. Marion from GermanyOctober 24, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      Of course, like any other woman! Apart from being intelligent, sophisticated, elegant, witty and self-assured.

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    2. I am going to go with...yes. :) Not tastelessly sexy...not Kim K, bare all for everyone "sexy"...but, yes.

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  23. Nope, don't really like the dress either, vamp on the edge of weird. But she looks happy en lovely and the shoes are amazing! And, how is it possible that it looks like she gaint weight in 2 days? didn't notice on the pics from tuesday? I like the baby weight on her, her face looks sweeter :)

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  24. I seem to be in the minority here but I LOVE this dress! Kate seems to generally play to the more conservative dressers among us and to someone younger and generally a little more edgy she somewhat frequently comes off as boring or staid to me - especially over the past year. This time she threw us a bone! That said, I do not like the styling. The bow is too much and that bag is overly fussy for a modern and edgy dress. Too bad the darn thing is $800, otherwise I would definitely rock this dress at an event that didn't involve any flashbulbs. I'd love to see her dress this way a little more often and continue to inspire me.

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  25. I agree with one of the posts upon. It rather Kim Kardashian's look. It doesn't suit her. For me it's a disaster. Maybe as a pregnant women she wanted to show she's still sexy and attractive.

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  26. I love the look too. My immediate thought was "that would look terrible on a hanger!" LOL but she obviously tried it on and liked it. I thought she looked amazing.

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  27. Well, I have to say, this dress is not my taste. There’s too much going on in the details. The striped pattern on the sleeves, skirt, collar and belly – too many sections and thereby too agitated in my opinion. But I am surprised and I am glad that Kate seems to be more courageous in this fashion choice (and also the JP gown she wore on Tuesday). I think basically it’s a typical ‘ Kate style’, as the Temperly dress she wore last year, but sexier and bolder. So, well done, Kate!

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  28. Hi, Jane,

    Many thanks for all the great coverage over the last few days! You're spoiling us.

    I'm going out on a limb here given the consensus of most of the comments so far...I love this dress! I think Kate may have lost her nerve with how she executed the presentation of the dress. I'm not a stylist but here goes...

    -The dress doesn't photograph well. I remember thinking this about the last short black Temperley. I bet it looks much better in person. You can argue that Kate should know better but let's not forget that the number/intensity of flash bulbs going off when she arrives is at an entirely unmanageable level so she might as well wear what she likes. Only a suit of armour would avoid the occasional "underwear" incident.

    -I feel she's just on the brink of really stepping it up. If she had put up her hair and put away the middle school dance bow belt, she would have had people fainting over how good she looked. I think the added hormones of pregnancy are letting her contemplate throwing some of her caution to the winds (?!). She's just not quite there yet.

    -I think the dress is really interesting with lots of great details. The other versions of it are interesting in contrast but the straighter cut on the other version of the dress makes it far too sexy for a "working royal" appearance.

    -I loved her shoes and clutch.

    Really what we should all be focussing on is just how truly amazing she does look, considering she has been sick. Kate is a real trooper. Sure she has lots of money and perks and isn't really a "working Mom" in the "I have to go grocery shopping and the baby has a fever and my boss is mad at me and my husband says he as no clean shirts..." sense but she copes with what is on her plate (constant scrutiny, photographers, constant critics) with uncommon grace.

    Still like that dress and wouldn't want Temperley to get the axe.

    Have a great weekend, Everybody!

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  29. I try to look at whatever Catherine is wearing as those who are at the event, or have stood in the cold see her. All these quibbles are only seen by HD cameras.
    I liked this dress and Catherine in it---and I am not a young person--- in fact almost in my dotage. I look forward to seeing what she is doing and wearing and have never been disappointed..
    I saw her when she came to Manchester and was taken by how beautiful she looked---didn't ave time to wonder what colour her underwear was.

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  30. The new design is amazing!!

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    1. Thank you SO much! I love it and I am so happy that you also think it is great. Hoopefully the rest of the readers do, too. :)

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  31. Great to see Kate feeling better, back at work and looking BEAUTIFUL in whatever she wears. I wanted to let you know how much I love your new header! Very classy, just like our favourite princess ... the acorns are a lovely touch.

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    1. Thanks, Sharon. I am glad you like it. I have been super excited to launch the new design for a few weeks now, so I am so happy we are finally live and that people are liking it. :)

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  32. I agree--I love the new design of the site too! So classy and fitting. This really is the best Kate blog!

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  33. Wow, what a beautiful new design for your awesome site Jane!!! It looks very regal :)

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  34. I like the new design, too. It does look great ;-) And everything's still clearly arranged. Thumbs up!

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  35. Wow! The hubby and I go out of town with friends for a week and when I get back Kate has made three successful appearances and the appearance of the blog has changed as well! The best part is that three out of four are a hit with me. I love the new blog look with the soft pink and gold colors with the acorn motif; the plaid McQueen was superb and I hope we see it again; the Jenny P evening dress was quite the stunner with it's hidden surprise! I did not care at all for the Temperley and feel it is one of Kate's few fashion misses. I agree with all you said about it being something edgy and fun for her to wear (especially since her figure is about to change again) but I also agree with your superhero comment. The accessories were perfect but, for me, the dress is a complete miss.

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  36. You summarize the look pretty well!

    And wow ! I like the new outlook of the blog! Brilliant Jane!

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  37. The new look of the site is wonderful. And whole thing loads quicker. I love it. Well done Jane.

    P.S. I very enjoy the backgrounds photos from the events. I am always curious how it all work, how people make rehearsals, preparations or their reactions. Staff put much effort to set up things well. Sometime it's a real challenge. I am always looking forward to those photos. I like spontaneous photos as well but they are rare. Thankyou Jane!

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  38. Nice to see her taking some risks with her style. But with that comes some missteps and IMO this was one. However it's good to see she's feeling better. I do have to disagree with the "duchesses only don't try this at home" point though. I think this dress could look good on many different women …not just Kate (or those shaped like her ). Lelsy :)

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  39. Hi Jane. I love the new design too! I think Kate looks stunning as always. Great to see her looking so well.Go Kate!

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