We are doing another look-back! Don't worry, I am not going to re-write every single event while we sit about waiting for Kate the Great to come out of seclusion. But, since we do have time right now, I am enjoying wandering down Memory Lane and looking at some of Kate's more pivotal fashion moments. The Ark Gala on June 9, 2011 was a big deal because it was Kate's first official public engagement as a Princess, and by luck or design, it was a black-tie event. No one really knew what to expect, as Kate stepped out of the sleek Jaguar that June evening. I don't think anyone predicted what she debuted, but certainly she took everyone's breath away.
The dress seemed a stark departure from her black-tie preferences of the past. Obviously, Kate wanted something that would really sparkle for her first, big event, and she opted for a Jenny Packham, decorated with blush and pink sequins that shimmered as she moved.
This was a far busier dress than any gown we had seen on Kate up to that point, and as such it felt very daring and unusual. On reflection, though, the piece maintained a streamlined silhouette, her preference, and added a princess's pizazz with the detailed embellishments.
Kate debuted shoes from a a longtime favorite, and a brand that would soon become almost synonymous with her name, L.K. Bennett. She carried a Prada clutch and wore Links of London earrings. Her glossy hair had a professional blowout finished with the bouncy curls that were to become a signature of her style, solidified by her upcoming tour of Canada.
My analysis of this dress is markedly different today than it was at the time. In some sense, I was still trying to get used to this new Princess Kate, (I think the look on her face as she stepped out of the car said she was getting used to it all, too:)) but in reality, this was not a dress entirely foreign to Kate's style.
It was a big moment in her sartorial evolution, as she debuted her first dress from a designer who has become a queen in her closet, and because Kate has continued to concoct ensembles that are both bold, but still unfussy. The increased exposure to the public, thanks to her royal role, has allowed Kate to show us more of her style and give us greater insight to her personality.
I thought at the time that in this picture the pair really looked like the glamorous stars they had (and have) become. They weren't Wills and Kate Middleton that night. Dressed to perfection, posing for the bank of clicking photographers, they were every inch a Duke and Duchess.
It has been a wonderful four years of fashion and I look forward to many more!