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Kate At Clore in New Maternity Label Madderson

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The first official engagement of the New Year is always exciting, but to have that event be a visit to a school makes it all the sweeter. Fan photos are fun but the scores of excited children vying for Princess Kate's attention warms even the coldest day. The excited smiles and outstretched hands... 



The Duchess was in Notting Hill (great movie) to officially name the Clore Art Room at Barlby Primary School. You may recall that one of the engagements Kate had to cancel while she was suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum was the launch of Clore Art Room on October 1st. This is a bit of a make-up event. 



Kate debuted a new shift dress. The "Naomi" is a navy wool trimmed in colorful French tweed from  Madderson London. This is a new label for Kate, and it is quickly apparent how perfectly it fills her need: 
Madderson London creates investment pieces that are aspirational yet accessible. The brand encompasses two lines, Womenswear and Maternity Wear. Founders, Sara Madderson and Helen Hughes, both worked for large corporations during their first pregnancies and saw the opportunity for a luxury maternity wear line that allowed strong, style conscious women to retain their sense of self and to indulge their love of fashion while pregnant. Their signature style embodies London society at its most elegant and timeless.
Apparently, Zara Tindall favored the brand while pregnant with Mia, so it is likely that Kate chatted with her cousin about it, and kept the brand in mind for her second pregnancy. 



Kate has really solidified her maternity style this pregnancy: straight-shift dresses and short hemlines.  
As most of you regular readers know, I felt Kate really struggled when pregnant with George. It was as if she wasn't quite sure how to handle a new silhouette. She had some hits, but she had far more misses than anyone would have expected from our impeccable lady. When I saw her this morning my first thought was, "At last she is hitting her stride!" We have seen many variations on this ensemble, certainly it was reminiscent of the Goat coat she wore in New York, but there are quite a few other examples. After experimenting and finding her feet, she has really pegged the look that she clearly feels comfortable in and that is also scoring in the style stakes. 


Today was a hit! Kate looked cute and young, trendy and ladylike. She paired the dress with opaque stockings, her Mulberry Bayswater and Episode Angels for a classic ensemble that has been universally praised.  I am really thrilled to see her looking so well and fit. My gosh, she looked fit for 6-montsh pregnant! It is amazing that she is still doing her deep-knee bends to give attention to children. I hope she popped out of this quickly. I have hard time with these at a mat Pilates, and I do them in socks and am in way pregnant. Hope she was deep breathing... Kate the Great, kids:


Well, busy week. We saw Kate today, we will see her tomorrow, and we will see her on Monday Funday three times. The best little piece of trivia to take away from today's event is that the wool of Kate's dress was made at Hainsworth, "a heritage British mill that clothed the soldiers in the Battle of Waterloo." (That would have been Wellington vs Napoleon.) This year is actually the 200th anniversary of Waterloo, and there are going to be some significant celebrations going down in June in Belgium. I am halfway through a bio of the Duke, who was an extraordinary British hero, so it seems that Kate made a good-choice all around with this dress. Of course, Napoleon practically ruled the world, so it is trimmed in French tweed. All around, quite the historical piece! I think I will rename it The Waterloo. oookk... Over and out, all!



41 comments:

  1. Each piece taken on its own is quite all right, but why would one choose black suede accessory to go with a navy dress really is beyond me. Plus, once again, the dress is so incredibly short...she has great legs, of course, we all know that, but I can't help feeling this sort of lenght, while being fine for downtime (i.e., shopping in John Lewis yesterday), is inappropriate in a professional context

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    1. I agree, the dress is too short. I don't mind the retro vibe, but one set of pockets would have been enough. Mixing black and navy seems to be acceptable today as opposed to when I was growing up. If it were altered to have a lower hemline and less pockets, I would like this dress more. All in all she looks lovely, as usual.

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    2. Woah. I honestly have to say that I didn't really notice the color difference, Claire. Excellent point...t have been a little pre-occupied today, but I must have looked at 200 photos, literally, and for some reason, I think she gets away with this. Maybe because the dress is wintry with its tweed embellishments. At least for me, it doesn't grate. t think it is reasonable to raise an eyebrow. I don't think it jumps out the way the Matthew Williamson ensemble in Wales clashed. I don't know...it's a valid point. I LOVED this look. I wonder how it would have looked with navy stockings and accessories...

      Becks, they look a little like fish-fins, haha, but I actually really liked the pockets. Anyway. :)

      Thanks for reading AND commenting, ladies!! See you tomorrow!

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    3. I really couldn't tell at first they were different colors. I thought they were all black in the beginning. I also think you have to careful when putting shades of navy blue together, as they can clash as well. In this case I think they all go together fairly well in this outfit.

      I also think if it had been to much longer it would have looked more matronly. I really think the shortness combined with the black tights gave her a younger more youthful look while maintaining a more sophisticated presentation.

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    4. I am fine with navy and black but I think it was too much darkness and could have used a contrast - so I don't think navy tights, but gray tights would have looked nice.

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  2. Carmen, The NetherlandsJanuary 15, 2015 at 1:31 PM

    Wow, she does look trim! This woman is amazing. I'm starting to believe she's not human, but supernatural... :D
    I'm not a big fan of the dress, but she can pull it off (what else is new)
    Fun fact about the wool Jane, thank you for that.
    I will be back tomorrow. A large dosis of Duchess in the next few days...what a treat!

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    1. I know! It's amazing. She really looks tiny to me. She is wearing clever clothes to hide it, so I guess that helps.
      Looking forward to tomorrow, too!
      xoxo, Jane

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  3. I like it. I like that she's wearing stockings with it. I think she looks lovely. Also, I love the movie Notting Hill. That's one that my husband and I will watch whenever we see it on tv (and sometimes we'll pop in the DVD, we love it). :)

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    1. Such a great movie! It's on Netflix right now and I know it will tempt me all evening while I should be working.

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  4. Hi Jane,
    hope you had a great start into this year. Royal December completely passed me - damned busy time ;-). I still have to catch it up.
    So, as I couldn't follow Kate for a long time, I was surprised how much her baby bump has grown. Incredible!
    She looked so cute today! I love the colours of the dress and I like that she wore black stockings! But the arrangement of the pockets and far more the golden buttons are not my taste.
    In one sentence: No wow to me, but no miss either, just solid.

    I hope to be able to tune in more often again :-/
    Chapeau you manage it to keep at it!

    XOXO Vicky

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    1. Oh, do I know it. :) I love holidays, I love my family, but it was nice to go back to normal. I do like routine. :)
      Well, you may have missed a few posts, but it was a quiet holiday on the royal end, and I was honestly too underwater to do much, so...you didn't miss that much! Here is to a New Year!
      xoxo, Jane

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  5. Love the dress and cannot see anything wrong with the length, when it is worn with opaque tights.
    She certainly looked trendy and elegant.
    The children were delightful and excited and it was interesting to see some of their really quite excellent work..

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    1. Yes, she only gets away with this length because of the stockings. She has an easier time with maternity wear when it is cold. :)

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  6. So happy to see your first post of the year on an official engagement, Jane! I am excited to see Kate back and looking well, and very happy to also be spending the virtual time with you, enjoying your witty remarks. To a wonderful year royal-watching together!

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    1. Thank you, ma'am! Super glad you popped in to join me. :) I am excited for 2015, too!

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  7. Dear Jane,
    Thank you so uch for this lovely article adorned with peferctly chosen pics :-) I liked the dress on Kate, very fresh and ladylike although I'm not very fond of the stitches across the fabric. She must enjoys short hems and seems to favour that when pregnant! I think it looks fine with the black opaque stockings.
    I enjoyed when you refered to the Notting Hill movie... It's one of my favourite along with the Evil wears Prada and not to mention You Got Mail... These kind of mobiles are sooooo perfect when you feel low and want some romance to cheer you up!
    Best wishes,
    Sophie from South Of France :-)

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    1. Merci, Sophie! Those are all great movies!! I am definitely a sucker for a romance. You need to tell me your favorite ones in French so I can work on my language skills while sitting in front of the tv. :)
      Glad you liked the pictures--they were my favorites from the day...obviously. :) She was super cute!
      See you tomorrow!
      Bises,
      Jane

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    2. Dear Jane,
      I'm so sorry that by using an IPad I constantly appear to make spelling mistakes as the IPad if I don't double-check transform English words to French ones... it's really annoying.... Movies tranformed into mobiles for ex. Grrrrr....
      Anyway to answer your question ... Le Diable s'habille en Prada... Vous avez un message (You Got Mail)! I've just finished to watch Grand Budapest Hotel! what a cast and how great is that film!
      Enjoy the weekend!
      Sophie xx

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  8. hahaha, obviously the Queen DIDN'T discuss hemlines with Kate, because on occasion she still appears at an official engagement with lots of leg :-)

    I'm not a fan of the dress, in the sense that two sets of pockets is too much. I'm also not thrilled that it is made out of doe skin. I wear leather, but something about me just feels funny about it being used for a dress. Don't read too much into my weirdness about it.

    Apparently Kate referenced reading an in-depth psychology report on creative outlets and behaviour improvements. While we might think she can work harder at times, she does do behind-the-scenes work we'll never be fully aware of.

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    1. Now, that would be a headliner! "Duchess Wears Doe Skin Dress." Happily, I can put your mind at ease. The dress is 100% wool, but it has a specific "grain" that makes it feel soft, like doe-skin. Supposedly it also makes for a better drape and contour. But, it is most definitely wool, not deer skin of any kind. :)

      I agree. She really does her research, which can be quite time-consuming. Haha, yep, I agree it seems we can lay the Queen story to rest. :)

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    2. hahaha, thank you for clarifying that! I obviously wasn't reading properly and I was confused. I would like to touch that dress to see what that blend/weave of wool would feel like. Thanks, Jane!

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  9. With some navy tights and accessories and one less set of pockets this would have been a win for me - but as is, I have to say 'meh,' leaning toward a miss.

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    1. No one liked the pockets! I loved the pockets!
      I am envisioning navy, and I think it would have been great. I am sorry to hear it is slipping down the slope. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a win for you! 'xoxo, Jane

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    2. I like the pockets !!! I like the whole outfit Jane. I thought it was a hit too.

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  10. I love navy when paired with pink, so this outfit is a win for me. I think the French tweed pocket flaps were necessary in order to break up what otherwise would have been too much solid colour, verging on drab. I also think the pink trim and the length of the dress added a touch of playfulness, and as such, was perfectly suited to the kiddie occasion. Two thumbs up here!

    JC

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  11. I loved the look! I thought she looked great. I liked both sets of pockets. I also didn't mind the navy with black accessories. Today, I think we see less of the matchy- matchy accessories, at least that is my observation as I troll the Internet looking at celebrity fashion. Everything matching takes me back to the 1980's where I would rather not go!!

    Lisa in NJ

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  12. I like this, but I wish she had paired the dress with nude stockings and accessories rather than black. It wasn't so much the clash of colors that bothered me - though I didn't love that - but the fact that the black tights are *so* opaque they look almost like leggings. As far as the dress goes by itself, though, I'm a fan of it! Love the trim work against the navy. And Kate's face looked luminous...as usual ;) Thanks for the great post, Jane!

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  13. Hi, Jane,

    Thank you for this great post!

    Oh, dear-this is a miss for me. It's too short. In some photos it really looks as if Kate has forgotten to put her skirt on. She can definitely pull it off as she has beautiful legs but it seems to speak to some insecurities with her pregnant shape as her skirts get very short when she's expecting. It's a shame because she hardly looks pregnant.

    I wish she had paired this with navy opaque hose and shoes. It would have made a big difference for me when her skirt is so short. I think it makes the coordination with navy accessories even more important.

    Kate looks very puffy in the face over the last few appearances (the John Lewis photos, today and even back at Xmas). I hope she's alright and not starting to hold a lot of fluid. It's very bad for her blood pressure and could mean no flying. I really hope she can get away to Mustique on the Middleton holiday.

    Looking forward to the rest of the week/Monday.

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  14. I prefer the look of ballet flats with a shorter sheath dress. Sometimes I wish she's break out her London Soles again. I had a similar dress and when I wore it with heels the length felt uncomfortably short. Flats felt more demure.

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    1. Is it a UK thing? In the US it would be weird to wear heels with tights. Boots, flats, OK, but with heels??? Yuck.
      I don't mind the length of the hem (and the weather and short length require tights), but every time I see her (or anyone else, for that matter) wearing heels I think it looks strange.

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    2. Hmmm... I live in the US and I wear heels with tights all the time and see others do so as well. I am in my early 30's... are you younger?

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    3. I wear opaque stockings with heels all the time too. Maybe its a coastal thing. I live on the east coast.

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    4. I'm in my mid-twenties, living in Minnesota and wear stockings with heels! Midwesterners do it too :)

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  15. At the end of the day, Kate always looks lovely. That being said, this was a "miss" to me as well. Too short by a couple of inches, nude tights would have allowed the dress color and materials to shine, and simpler jewelry - not evening jewelry. Love that she introduced a new brand, and admire the professionalism that she always exhibits. She does look puffy and tired, though - guessing its a girl!!

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  16. I love this dress :* but i just feel that maybe the colors of the tights and dress clash. The tights could have been a lighter shade, if that is possible.
    And great movie XD.

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  17. I like this dress and I think the first photo shows it off beautifully. The dress needs to lose the very top faux pockets however. Really silly looking. The opaque black stockings pull the whole outfit together. Dont mind the black and blue together at all. I think that's an antiquated rule that has gone the same way as not wearing white after Labor Day. Of course, had she worn navy stockings with black shoes that would have been bad.See you all tomorrow !

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  18. Deep knee bends in heels! Kate the Great, indeed!

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  19. This was a baddie. She has such a cute pregnant shape, she needs to wear something more fitted. Otherwise, she is starting to look a little matronly. The outfit itself looks like a reject from Jackie Kennedy's closet circa 1955.

    Also, Jane.... How did you feel about the article in the Daily Mail quoting Kate's people who said that she purposefully wears items that are no longer being sold so that less attention is brought to her clothing choices. Do you think that blogs like this one upset Kate and make her appear as someone whose value rests on her clothing choices? I was surprised that she is now going to such lengths to distance herself from being seen as a clothes horse.

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  20. I do not like this look. I think it would look better with boots or maybe this dress should be a bit longer. Something is strange here.

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  21. I love this look...with one small quibbles. I'm not a fan of the double pockets, but I do like the slightly unusual quality they give the dress. (I know, I can't have it both ways.) The navy-black combo would normally bother me, but it doesn't here because of the fact that no navy actually "touches" the black...the contrast hem creates separation, which is good enough for me. If she'd worn all navy accents I'd have thought it was too monochromatic.
    Overall, it's a win for me! Excited for so many sightings coming up!
    -Tess

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  22. Hello, Jane,

    I haven’t commented for a while. But I have been reading & continue to appreciate your blog.

    I so agree with you that this was quite the historical piece.

    Please check your email at princesskateblog@gmail.com

    Happy 2015!

    Rose

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