So, we have discussed McQueen and Packham, let's look at the other labels that Kate has also favored when choosing her evening gowns. Most of these are labels that are big hitters for more casual events, so although I have termed them "second-tier" this certainly is subjective to this particular category of apparel, and is not meant to be disrespectful in the least! We all love these beautiful labels!
The leader of the second tier is easily Temperley London. Even the most casual Kate observer is familiar with her (arguably) favorite evening gown, the "Amoret" lace. Kate first debuted this on January 8, 2012 at the War Horse premiere.
The dress was a smash hit. I don't think it got a single negative review. From a favorite royal label, the Temeprley gown fit Kate's style-profile to perfection and was also entirely in keeping with the style de rigueur: lace. (Spot our favorite PPO?)
This was the first dress, however, that Kate recycled in a major way. Almost a year after its debut, Kate recycled the dress on an evening celebrating St. Andrews at Middle Temple in London. She added a really fun pop of color with the Alexander McQueen Bow Clutch and a Remembrance Poppy. Both these little details also happen to be very helpful for quickly differentiating which event is which when looking at pictures.
Before she three-peated the Jenny Packham, she three-peated this dress. Granted that Kate hasn't worn an overwhelmingly large number of evening gowns even to this day, but she had worn even less at that time. Still, I think as a public we were already formulating certain patterns in our head. If she was going to wear a floor-length dress, we expected it (and still do) to be new. I thought twice was the limit for an evening gown, but Kate wore this a third time when she attended David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive in 3D.
I know this third wear received very mixed reviews. Some people really love this dress and were thrilled, and others were left a little colder. I was so surprised to see it a third time that it was almost as exciting as a new dress. This is one of the most flattering dresses Kate has worn. That fitted bodice and plunging neckline are drop dead gorgeous and the lace overlay really makes it especially elegant. This wear is a little hard to tell apart from the first, since she added no color, but she did debut a straighter haircut, which was a huge deal, and she added a Mappin & Webb pendant necklace.
From under the Temperley umbrella came the next dress. It was less formal dress, and I do not expect that Kate will wear anything of this nature to the State Banquet, but I do count it is a floor-length evening gown, and in terms of noting which labels she likes, I think it counts. The "Beatrice" maxi-dress is from Alice by Temperley and Kate wore it to a State Dinner in Tuvalu during the tour of South East Asia in 2012:
Kate has only worn one Beulah evening gown, but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing a second. She tapped this red dress for a night supporting 100 Women in Hedge Funds in 2011. This dress was very in keeping with her pre-marriage style, which I still think was pretty fantastic.
Kate has shown a limited, but interesting, penchant for French designer Roland Mouret, to which I say, Bravo. This Lombard gown first debuted at a dinner for the Thirty Club where William was the distinguished speaker of the gathering.
Kate recycled the dress a little over a year later when she wore it to the premiere of the The Long Walk To Freedom. It certainly ranks as one of her most successful recycles. Since that time, she really wowed us with the Jenny Packham in New York, but it is interesting to note that on both occasions, she put her hair up for the recycle and that is part of what gave both looks a fresh twist and an added pizazz.
Kate wore this icy blue Amanda Wakeley when she stepped in for Prince Charles at an event the heir was hosting at his Clarence House home-base. Her appearance was a little last minute, and the dress is from 2006, so my bet is she just pulled this from the closet. I would love to know what event she purchased the dress for originally. I bet she wore it with William...:)
Finally, a dress that surprised many, the "Zarita" from Diane von Fürstenberg. Kate wore this to her first appearance at the Royal Variety Performance where she and William were standing in for Her Majesty The Queen. This is notable, because it was an event where I fully expected her to wear a British brand, and instead she opted for American. It doesn't significantly shift my opinion that she will wear McQueen in October, but it does add just a hint of uncertainty and an edge of excitement.
One of you lovely readers emailed me last week to remind me that I left out one of Kate's Jenny Packham gowns! The Duchess wore this silver, one-shoulder dress to the an event raising money for the National Memorial Arboretum in 2012, and I didn't want to not include it at all. I may go back and revise the earlier post for posterity.
I have a few other reflections on Kate's evening-wear, which will be at the end of the next post. As I am sure most of you have heard by now, Kate has added an event to her calendar: September 17th! Pop up the "Kate's Calendar" tab to keep up-to-date on her schedule.
The Cambridges go to Balmoral in September, and I expect they will travel north again this year. Keep on eye out for a Sunday-sighting. Rebecca English of the Daily Mail has told us that her sources say Kate and William will not be there this weekend, nor will they make an appearance at Braemar. Nevertheless, unless William has to stay put for work, I think we will see them at some point. Maybe late September? The weekend of the 18th right after Kate completes her engagement? I'll keep you in the loop.
Lastly, many thanks for the kind tweets, emails, and posts. You all are super awesome and I appreciate the support and kind wishes. I was gratified by the response and am glad you all are as excited as I am to push forward! Happy weekend!