Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Kate Surprises in Dolce & Gabbana at Lancaster House

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Good evening one and all! It has been a pretty fabulous day all around. For me it started in the dawn hours with a steaming mug of coffee as I watched live updates of Kate arriving at Lancaster House and I am now ending it with cold champagne and this recap of what was quite a stunning appearance. By now most of you are aware that Kate pulled out all the stops today in an aubergine, lace dress from Italian label Dolce & Gabbana:



Where to even start? Let's start with the event before we lose ourselves in fashion.  The couple were joining President Xi Jinping and his wife at Lancaster House for a Creativity is GREAT event celebrating Great Britain's cultural influence and the nation's collaboration with China. If the GREAT campaign sounds familiar to you, it should be. William and Kate support this initiative, and most recently and prominently did so in New York City, U.S.A.


A quick note on the venue. My ears pricked up when I heard the event was at Lancaster House in London and I obviously wondered if there was a connection to the medieval Duke of Lancaster, John of Gaunt. Don't get your hopes up, there is no connection. The mansion was built in 1825 (loooong after the most chivalrous knight in Christendom ruled the roost in the mid-14th century) and was called York House. It's final owner was a merchant from Lancashire, who named it after his neck of the woods and then passed it off to the nation. I feel you nodding off as I type, so to snap you back into focus, there is a more modern tidbit you might enjoy. Lancaster House is used as the interior for various movies and shows, and played the part of Buckingham Palace in Downton Abbey's Christmas special.  



I thought that would wake you up. Now I have your attention again, back to Kate. ;) The royal couple met with design and film crews of various (very popular) shows, including Sherlock, a Barr family favorite, and Poldark. I don't watch tv really, but I make an exception for Sherlock and Downton



I have been intrigued by Poldark, but have never seen it. I know it has become something of a phenomenon and I once I bid a tearful farewell to Downton, this may be my replacement. The VIP party watched a scene being filmed from the hit show. The Express piece described the scene:
They watched as Heida Reed, who plays Elizabeth, and Jack Farthing, Poldark's nemesis George, performed an intense scene in period costume, as George tried to get Elizabeth to set a date for their wedding in the Cornish drama. After the scene, the guests chatted to the actors and Debbie Horsfield, writer and executive producer of the hit show.
Ok, to the fashion. I think the first thing I have to say is: Dolce & Gabbana! I never would have called this. Kate has a very regular roster, and even when she deviates, e.g. The Fold dress for HMPSend a few weeks ago, she taps a British brand or a label that is something of a newbie.



D&G is a pretty flashy choice for Kate and I am entirely thrilled. I love Dolce & Gabbana for their lush and ornate designs. This dress is the "Guipure" and is a relatively new release. Don't trip over yourself trying to rush off and buy it before it sells out. At $3,495 I am pretty confident it will be around for a bit:



The first massive win in my book is the color. I am in love with purple, or to put it more poshly, aubergine. It is rich and deep and substantial, but it isn't overwhelming. It is such a gorgeous fall color and I look forward to its advent every September. Banana Republic outdid themselves this autumn with this color, as did several other brands. It's just gorgeous, and is particularly flattering on brunettes. It set off Kate's deep locks to perfection:



Color is a win, what about style? I love this illusion technique and the high neckline. I presume that Kate chose this style because it echoes the mandarin collars associated with the Orient. I don't think I would buy a dress like this myself, because it is too unusual. That element--unusual--is what makes it really pop on Kate. It pushes the envelope a little; it is a look that maybe the majority wouldn't pick, and that makes it bold and trendy. Well done, Kate! 



I have heard a lot of chatter about whether or not the lace was appropriate for the occasion. I think it was. Not to sound like a granny here, but when I was "growing-up" I was taught that lace was only for the night, and that was correct at that time. In the last five years or so, though, that time-honored tradition has softened.



Lace has been very popular for a number of years now and has been incorporated into a variety of daywear. It remains tricky at the best of times and with the loveliest of dresses. You have to choose your lace carefully, lest you look like you just tumbled out of a bordello and looking for your way back. So, tasteful...always tasteful, but it can be worn in the day. That is where fashion has taken it. And we have seen Kate do this before, most notably in her first Erdem in Canada:


I think that the general rule I have is that it must be for a formal day event. I wouldn't wear this dress to the office, obviously. I would wear it to church, to a day-time wedding...to this event. It remains a look with limited scope. I think that today's event was formal enough to warrant a lace dress and I thought that Kate looked entirely appropriate. Could she recycle this at a cocktail party? Yes. But, I did not find it jarring this morning.


The dress was not the only new item. Kate coordinated with a new clutch and new shoes, both in a deep burgundy. (Who is my anti-monochromatic girl? Is it you, Georgia Rose?) Kate wore a new pair of suede heels by another Italian designer, Gianvito Rossi. These are available ate cool price of $608, which is actually cheaper than most Jimmy Choos.


While it is not entirely confirmed, Kate looked to be carrying the Mulberry "Bayswater" in burgundy.  It is a sleek envelope clutch that matches Kate's bespoke, black clutch. 


Kate recycled her Mappin & Webb "Empress" drops, which seems an historically appropriate choice. 


Verdict: Super win. I loved it. Kate really stepped up to the bat today, and played the part of the perfect international princess. She was glitzy and glamorous, and just like at the State Dinner last nigh, still entirely the Kate Middleton that we love. Every element worked together to perfection and I thought she simply glowed. Kate. the. Great. :) 



I have a very strong no-politics rule on this blog, but for the reasons I am about to state, I could not post this without a small caveat. I only covered this event because of dedication to HRH the Duchess of Cambridge. The human rights violations in China--that continue to this day--cannot be overlooked by a person of sound conscience. China's one-child policy alone, a policy that restricts the freedom of the human person to such an appalling extent and the forced abortions that violate a woman's most sacred right, are unbearable sins that rest squarely on the head of the Chinese government. Furthermore, as a US citizen, it is impossible for me to overlook the fact that China continues to use their impressive cyber skills to hack into American defense companies and steal our military secrets,  secrets vital to our national security and our defense. Although I feel very strongly about the theft of our intellectual property, I want to focus on the more human level tonight. I dedicate this post to the women of China who have been captured by their government, who have been strapped to tables, and had their children forcibly torn from their wombs, even as as they cried for mercy. To these women, who have been brutally violated beyond my horrified imagination, to their husbands, and their families, I dedicate this post. Your loss is not unmarked, the void you are left with is not unmourned. To the people of China who yearn for a brighter dawn, for a day they can stand as free men and women, to you I send my prayers and my love. I am not afraid to stand with you. We will not be silent. Your pain and your oppression is known and it is abhorred. In the darkness you endure, you remain in our hearts and we lift you up in prayer to the Creator who see all things, who holds your little ones in His loving embrace, and who will reward your suffering on that final day. Millions in the West hold you in their thoughts.  You are not alone.


75 comments:

  1. I... Like the dress. I think it looks nice on Kate, and, well, I love the switch to D&G. The color is okay on her, but the whole ensemble looked kind of aging to me. And I really really didn't like the matchy shoes. Her hair was majestic. This was a myeh for me.
    Jane, I appreciate your thoughts on China. I taught in a "small city" in the Chengdu province and came to love a lot about China, especially the people I worked with and the kids Ii taught, but I cannot overlook many issues that make me uneasy about China. Well said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ensemble aged her...this lace turtleneck look is kind of on-trend right now. Nicky Hilton's wedding dress featured a lace turtleneck too, and personally I found that aging. Each to their own, I guess. I feel like Kate's hair today was the big "aging" factor. A half updo or full updo would have showcased things. I don't like how the "bangs/fringe" today was more of a 70s tapered look than bangs or layers. To me the hair was the "aging" factor today.

      Delete
    2. I agree that this dress called for a different hairstyle. It does seem to date the whole look. I also think it may be time to update the make up. As time passes, the heavy eye-liner is starting to give her a wan appearance.

      Delete
  2. I'm a fan of the look, but with two caveats. First, there's something going on with the sleeves that bothers me. They look too loose or something -- maybe they needed to be more tailored or perhaps a greater proportion of elastic fabric? Her Erdem dress from the Canada tour is one of my favorites and this one reminds me of it, but there's something just a little bit... off. And her hair - looked lovely but would have been even lovelier if it was pulled back -- even half up -- to really show off the unique collar of the dress.

    Love the aubergine. LOVE the shoes. Can't wait to see what else she has in store in the upcoming days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane, that is an impressive statement on China. Well said.

      Michelle, I really like the color and cut of the dress, but perhaps the sleeves could have been just a little bit shorter...? And I do agree about her hair; wearing it up would have allowed the neckline to shine.

      To be honest, I did not expect to see red yesterday, and this dress surprised me too. And it's not like she has never worn lace before, but there is something out of the box about this one...

      Delete
  3. Jane. This was an outstanding post. She was the princess that she is. William looked so,proud of his beautiful wife.
    I loved this dress, shoes and clutch. Her hair was beautiful too.
    And for your statement at the end all I can say is AMEN. Very well said.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jane, your comments on China made me tear up at work. Your words were lovely and well written. Now, let's move on to fashion before I cry at work again.
    I agree with Michelle that there seems to be something a little off with the sleeves; too loose? a little too long? not sure what it is, but it is a little off...a little alteration can make this amazing outfit perfect. I love the colour too, and the fact the Wills' tie complements Kate's outfit!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Where to begin?! Serious stuff first...I absolutely agree with you about China. I don't think it's political to state that one is against human rights violations. The horrors over there are real and deplorable. For this reason I think William will make a better leader than his father. William and Kate are stepping up and doing their royal duty. Charles has avoided all but an informal tea at Clarence House and looking at some art. In the photos of him with the Chinese president, he looks very uncomfortable. I can't blame him on that one but he is going to be King and needs to be a bit more diplomatic.

    Now the fun stuff! First - Sherlock and Downton! Total obsessions in our household! Like you, we have never watched Poldark. Might give it a try at some point.

    Kate looked fabulous! As a fellow brunette, I also love aubergine. D&G is a great surprise but she seems to enjoy a surprise! I think the lace completely appropriate for attending this type of event. Lace gets out of the closet much more often these days and I am a fan. For a future wearing, and since she is so slim, a sparkly, thin evening belt would look lovely with it. I love the shoes, but not the color. I don't enjoy the mix of the burgundy and the aubergine. I think black accessories for daytime would have been too formal so I think I would have gone with special pieces dyed to match. She looked gorgeous though and the earrings were perfect.

    I will be so sad when they retreat back to the country after this state visit is over.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post, beautiful look in my book. She hit all the right notes. Can I just say that the picture of William, Catherine and the young actress from Matilda gives me all the feels! A flash forward to when we will see family pictures with G&C. Love!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think the dress was an interesting choice for a morning event, but I thought she looked lovely. I don't like the hair, because it is becoming more 70s, which I'd rather she avoid. I think her shoes are new! Overall it was a hit. I think Kate could have worn a dress coat and still had a home run, but I appreciate she was bringing her A-game for her hosting role. I love sayings like "always overdress" and "dress for the job you want, not have". If she was comfortable and happy with her choice, who cares if it was too "cocktail" or "evening" for a morning event :-)

    No worries regarding your political statement. It's what I find interesting about how England/William has been focusing on China recently. Human rights issues. Supporting (allegedly) N. Korea, who has human rights issues. China and shark fins. China and bile bears. The Yulin festival. Etc.

    It's been an interesting couple days. Your paragraph on China. Kate not having a royal order, which would be the Queen's portrait on ivory. Has William, on Kate's behalf, said she would not accept an ivory order? I hope William doesn't just talk the talk...I look forward to him being a "radical" one day when he is King.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think this was your best post yet Jane. Thank you so much. This is why I come to your "house". Getting to "know" you has been as much a pleasure as following our Duchess. You are going to be a fabulous lawyer. But you know that.

    This event for Kate was a huge win for me too. Appropriately elegant. Love it.

    Thank you Jane. I mean it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like the dress...not a huge fan of how she wore her hair today..it looked a bit messy...a low or high ponytail would have been better to show off more of the lace detail of the dress
    I still think this is too evening for an event like this I thought what the presidents wife was wearing was more appropriate for the occasion
    And I'm also an American and I applaud u for not overlooking how awful the government of china is to its own people
    I don't know how the royals can stomach being in the same room as them...
    Sarah usa

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also found Williams speech the other day hypocritical..as long as he continues to participate in blood sports I won't take him seriously as an advocate for wildlife

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think this is the first time that I've read a post on a site about Duchess Kate and cried! Thanks, Jane. ;) Your words about the human rights violations showed the compassionate lawyer in you. In the middle of pomp and circumstance (which I truly hope week make a difference in it's own way) it's good to have a reality check and be reminded to pray for and stand with those on China who are suffering. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Initially I thought it looked to evening dress attire for the event but looking at the dress in your pictures in a more complete way it looks much more appropriate and fits in well. I have been adjusting my view over the day as I saw more photos, especially yours. I did laugh at the one of the man holding the umbrella for Catherine and Madame Peng with his eyes closed. What a job that would be.Thank you. Ali
    Ali

    ReplyDelete
  13. She looked really lovely. It wasn't the lace that made it feel off for daytime, I felt, but that the layer underneath looks like it's strapless. Strapless for me is almost never a daytime look unless in a casual fabric, which lace is not. But I can't deny she looks fabulous in the dress.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oops! Hit publish too soon! My other post is the one about the strapless layer. Anyway...

    I agree with others about the bangs. She would look great in shorter, side-swept bangs or bangs with a deeper part. Both would look fresher and younger. I personally think she has trouble committing to the bangs so she keeps trying to go in between. But as someone with hair and a face shape like Kate's, I know that mistake. She needs to go all in or not at all. I suspect she's already growing them out. :)

    As for your statement on China, well said. Truly.

    -Minda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reading this post cleared up for me what was too evening about this look, so thank you! The strapless bit is it. However, I think she overdressed on purpose, likely after receiving advice from the diplomats about what is appreciated by the Chinese about clothing and Western culture and I am NOT COMPLAINING! Love the color, love the lace! This sent me immediately on a search for an aubergine lace dress for the holiday season. Those shoes are amazing.

      Delete
  15. I appreciate your enthusiasm for Kate's outfit. I, too, love the color of the dress and shoes - the clutch was a bit off for the monochromatic look, but the rest was lovely. The sleeves were perhaps a bit baggy, and the neck of the dress was a bit higher than I'd like. I actually don't think it would have ben a problem for me if the underlap had gone up higher; the jarring note I see is the vast expanse of lace-covered décolleté that goes on for a bit too long.

    Anyway, what I REALLY appreciate is your beautiful, forceful, and loving statement at the end of the post. Thank you for speaking to that; while it's wonderful to see Kate, especially in such a significant role for this visit, it is impossible to ignore the horrendous human rights violations that China regularly engages in. I pray with you, that we in the West can lead by improved example and contribute to a solution, and that the abuses end as soon as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Jane, that was lovely. I especially loved your comments regarding China because I wholeheartedly agree (as I often do with your gift of language).

    I loved Kate's choices today and I think the formality of a state visit was evident in her choice of dress. Ordinarily, I would say that this is a an evening dress, but it worked beautifully with the formality of Lancaster House. A win all around for me (except the bangs that I still don't care for).

    ReplyDelete
  17. I was indeed surprised when I saw Kate today. I thought she looked fantastic! The high neckline doesn't bother me; "Victorian" is on trend right now. And the color was just amazing!

    Thank you for your thoughtful words at the end of this post, Jane. You have a beautiful heart.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love the look on Kate and I agree with you that the dress was appropriate for the time of day as the event was formal. I was, however, surprised by the strong wording of your statement.
    China's one child policy has been relaxed for several years now, and forced abortions and sterilizations have been illegal for over a decade. China has made significant improvement in these areas, and I believe most reference to their human rights abuses refers to persecution of religious minorities. While this is deplorable, the US is far from perfect. Public figures openly make hate-filled statements against Muslims. The US military steals private and military information from the entire globe. It is hypocritical for us in the west to condemn China. State visits like these provide a venue for nations to become closer and help each other make progress. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kau:
      Thank you for your comment. I do not object to diplomacy among nations, I do not think that William and Kate ought not to have met them. You have to be able to work with people in politics and as a government you really have to deal with much of what is thrown your way. So, agreement there.
      I disagree and object to a few things you said and will very briefly respond. It is not a defense to say other people do bad things, too. That was my mother's first rule. :) It applies here. The US isn't the point right now. We have a multitude of sins, none of them are relevant to this. Nor should they silence us when great evil is presented. Our failures do not preclude our ability to see ugliness and certainly they do not release us from our obligation to object to that evil when we see it.

      China is putting a lot of work into cleaning up their image internationally, but it is absolutely false that the forced abortion policy is not in full-force. It is. It remains to destroy people and lives. Look beyond the cities, look into the provinces. It is there. It cannot be ignored.

      I am going to move down the lien and respond to a few others, and then make a general statement at the end. I am not going to allow follow up comments on this post for the reasons I will give at the bottom of the thread.

      Again, appreciate the comment!

      Delete
    2. Jane, you have my total admiration. Wonderful person - that's what you are. I would o LY add the military violence in Tibet to your earlier comments, which is incredibly appaling to me. I actually believe that Charles keeping the distance is a good thing for Britain. It shows that China can not fool everyone. And whilst a good relationship between countries is good for the economy, it should not become the only thing that matters. Personally, I have a problem with Governments who treat people like idiots. Or the entire world, for that matter (see pairing the grass in green to convince the IOC that China can host the Olympics, cause it has no pollution problem). So, overall I think the royals did well, which is no surprise to me. I think her Majesty is one of the wisest people living on the planet at the moment.

      Delete
  19. I loved, loved this look so much. Beautiful colour on her. Even liked the dress though I am a bit bored with lace.
    On the other hand, I would have never thought saying this but she was a bit overdressed for a morning event showing up in an evening dresss. But the overall look matters.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I agree with you about what the women in China have to endure with abortion. Praying this will come to an end some day very soon. Maybe that's why Katie didn't look very happy in some of the photos knowing she has two precious babies that mean the world to her and who are safe and waiting for her back home. I'm not a fan of the dress but Katie could wear a paper bag and look like the beautiful Princess that she is! Love her and her adoring husband!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I meant to write "Kate". It was late and my daughter's name is "Katie". :)

      Delete
  21. Marion from GermanyOctober 22, 2015 at 12:51 AM

    Dear Jane,

    I appreciate your blog to a great extent and even if I seldom take the time to comment, I read each new entry closely and benefit from the work that you put into it. So, let me start by saying THANK YOU for that.

    I do not intend to trivialize China’s politics and I am very much aware of how human rights are widely violated. In this aspect we totally agree. What makes me cringe a bit is that you do not only criticize on a factual basis, but rather accuse from a somehow “higher” moral standpoint and you do that very emotionally. I think I am a bit confused by your tear-evoking statement and one reason could be that I am German.

    We Germans are highly aware of the catastrophe we initiated in the past and still today, after 70 years, all German children and teenagers are confronted with our past more than once in their school lives and are taught to learn from that. And this also explains the (exaggerated?) way we have come to welcome the huge mass of refugees in this past summer.

    When we Germans show emotions - we do have them  - we do that thoroughly. I think we almost outdid you Americans during President Obama’s election campaign, we were so enthusiastical about him, that was beyond words. You may understand that we have experienced some feeling of disappointment since then. The name of that hellish place “Guantanamo” may give you a hint.

    You criticize the Chinese people of illegally and criminally hacking into American military systems – and you are right to do so. But let me add that our military systems have also been hacked and secret information was taken. And I am sorry to say it was not China who did so.

    Dear Jane, I do not want to hurt anyone’s feeling, least of all yours on your own wonderful blog. Feel free to not publish my post, you are absolutely entitled to do so, as this is your place and I am just a guest, so your rules are to be followed. I am very sorry that up to now I have not visited the United States of America, but this is a firm plan for my future. All the American people I have met here in Europe have been so kind, polite and interested that it was pure pleasure to meet and talk to them. You are among them, so please do not get my statement wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marion,
      Your comment is more than welcome! Thank you for taking the time to write it!
      If I understand "the rub" of your comment, it is that I didn't stick to facts, but brought emotion, and possibly morality? into it?
      There are a lot of facts to back up the horrors of the one-child policy, but it was not my intention to write a dissertation on that topic, although I certainly could do so. You bring up Germany's history, but that is, as you say, history. China's one-child policy continues today. Maybe that was part of the confusion?

      I held them to an objective standard of morality, yes. I believe in God. I believe there is right and wrong. I believe some things can be called evil and must be called evil. We owe it to God, we owe it to ourselves (to our consciences which interiorly demand truth) and we owe it to the people of China who are suffering.

      I addressed it emotionally because it is an emotional topic. I am moved to know that not everyone has the freedom that the majority of Westerners enjoy. We go about our day, worrying about whether we got everything on the grocery list, irritated that our coffee isn't hot enough, trying to decide if we will watch Downton or Poldark tonight, etc, etc...while people are suffering, really suffering, in places all over the globe. They aren't just statistics out of the UN, they aren't stories from a history book. They are alive now as I type safely in my apartment in America, as I go about my day today...They are real. Why am I here, and they are there? Why was I born free and comfortable and others into constructive slavery, in China and in many other corners of the globe? This isn't to say I have guilt for my good fortune, but we cannot be blind to the circumstances and needs of others. It should move us. It should stir up our empathy and our compassion, our gratitude, and should impel us to speak when we must. To acknowledge that these people suffer.

      Anyway, I don't know if that answers your questions: there are facts, I believe in God and in objective truth, and I am emotional about human suffering. I think we should be when it is this egregious.

      Again, very much appreciate your comment. I have a brief general comment at the end of the post, if you want to scroll down and see that, too.

      Best,
      Jane

      Delete
    2. Marion from GermanyOctober 22, 2015 at 7:22 AM

      Dear Jane,

      thank you so much for your kind reply. I am glad that you did not get me wrong. Yes, I reflected upon facts and emotions and the difficulty to be sure what you call “objective truth”. I wanted to point out that we often see the others’ “black spots”, but not our own.

      The British Royal Family must have had the same discussions and I understand that it was a difficult situation for them, especially for Prince Charles, as he seems to be quite close to the Dalai Lama. And even Queen Elizabeth, who generally stands apart from the politics of the day, somehow has to position herself as the host of the state banquet.

      And this is true for the Cambridges as well. I understand their role as trying to build a bridge, to reach out their hands, and not only to the President and his wife, but to the people of China. And this is a great gesture.

      When I saw Kate in that plum-coloured lace-dress, my first thought was that she appeared too elegant and therefore overdressed. But then I read a smart comment that the Duchess possibly dressed in that way to show undoubtedly how much she appreciates the Chinese visit and how much she wants to pay respectful attention to China. This does not mean that Kate is without any critical insight, but she has to focus on another goal: bringing people together. No member of the Royal Family can talk openly in the way we do here, but they can show a lot through their behaviour and choice of clothes and thus influence people in a positive way.

      To me it seems - and I admit I had to read the other person’s intelligent thoughts to understand it - that the Royal family wanted to show Great Britain as open-minded enough, to invite the Chinese President and his wife as guests, even if there is some solid criticism to be mentioned. They wanted to show how much they as (British and Chinese) people have in common and that both countries can benefit from each other.

      And this function is what I like the most about that dress – apart from the pure fact that it is really wonderful.

      Delete
    3. Jane, I love your impassioned response to Marion. I too believe we owe it to God to care about his children who suffer and have often wondered how I was so blessed to be born into this free country away from the true horrors that are commonplace for others around the world.

      I think the Royal Family has very carefully focused on the few commonalities between the two countries. The arts seem to be predominant. They've walked a very fine line without crossing over it and it's been brilliant to watch. It is a - how to put this delicately - cultural attitude within the communist government to look down on westerners as inferior. Kate's choice of this dress said "I am a Royal Princess and we are equals." When it comes to these diplomatic things they take everything into consideration. (But, did anyone notice how wrinkled William's suit pants were on this occasion? Shame, shame YRH!)

      Delete
  22. Whilst I think this is a very pretty dress, I do believe that Kate was overdressed for the event and time of day. A well-tailored suit would have been more appropriate for this engagement, IMO. Hated the clutch--it clashed with the dress, but loved the shoes.

    The good news is that Kate is venturing outside of the UK in her fashion choices--first in the US and now Italy. Clearly, its only a matter of time before she appears in Valentino and bespoke RL; just hope it happens sooner rather than later. I can't wait!!

    Jane (Barr), I have recently read that the one-child policy in China does not apply to the wealthy, who can pay to have more. Do you know anything about this? Is it true?

    And for those who don't yet know, according to Hello (Canada), Kate has returned to Richard Wards hair salon.

    JC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi JC:
      You can pay, yes, to circumvent the one-child policy. China is an area of interest to me, so I could really go into the bushes about it, but I won't. (See my general comment at the end. :)) There is a lot of info out there, though, if you start Googling around. ;)
      Oooh, thanks for the hair news. I hadn't seen that. Her hair looked like it might back that up!

      Delete
    2. Jennifer from the SouthOctober 22, 2015 at 8:26 AM

      Love the dress, and it was actually an incredibly wise choice - label and style. I agree that, under most circumstances, it would be too formal for the daytime, even with lace being allowed during the day (which it can be and is). This dress is firmly in the cocktail arena, though, but I wouldn't call it a miss because of who the guests are -- China. While Madame Peng was dressed quite staid and conservative, China itself - and the culture there - appreciates the "flash" of the West and so this dress's formality - and the label - was actually exactly on point and a very well-advised choice, even if at first it looks out of place to what Kate would normally choose. The label and formality of the dress would have been seen by the Chinese at "respect" and clearly William and Kate have been rolled out to impress the Chinese.

      I for one can tell a huge difference in Kate's hair and would be thrilled to know she is back at Richard Ward - while Amanda Cook Tucker certainly can cut William's hair, I will not be shy about the fact that I thought Kate's hair went through a rather awful period right before and then after George. She looks more back to herself, although I would really love if the guy who used to do her hair before he got too fame-hungry (James something I think?) would come back. He had a real flair for doing Kate's hair, although lately at least the hair has been a marked improvement over 2013/2014.

      Delete
    3. Good call on the Valentino, JC! From your lips (fingers?) to her ears! Vintage Valentino would be so gorgeous on her! Bespoke RL would also scream fabulousness! I certainly agree with you on the clutch. In some photos the shoes seem to match the dress perfectly and in some they look the wrong color.

      Delete
    4. I visited Richard Ward for a haircut the day after the fringe first appeared and he confirmed that he's the one who did it. :-) He was lovely, and we spoke a bit about HRH in oblique terms, but he was also quite protective of her privacy. It was very sweet, and exciting to meet him!

      Delete
    5. Anon. 5:59 - Next time you see Richard Ward, please ask him to (in polite and oblique terms, of course) put some texture into that fringe if she's going to insist on wearing it. It is falling far too heavy on her face and makes me want to walk up and push them back. I know I'm in the minority on this but I just can't convince myself to like this look.

      Delete
    6. Robin(fromCA), yeah, vintage Valentino makes my mouth water, and regarding Kate's hair, when she first debuted the fringe, my reaction was akin to yours. However, that 1960s look has since been corrected--check out todays Daily Mail photos, of Kate, and her hair, in Scotland. In one or two photos, you can see that her fringe now has two distinct lengths--which no doubt is why Kate was able to sweep her fringe (in the article I read, Ward refers to it as a gringe,) successfully to the side. Thank God. It also seems that Kate had a few inches chopped off the bottom of her hair (I approve) and that her hair now has a flattering lift at her crown.

      Quite liked her hair today, and like you, Jennifer (from the South), think her hair is looking much better these days.

      JC

      Delete
  23. Thank you, thank you for speaking out. I'm so glad you did. My heart aches for the people of China. I don't think I could have hosted them. Wonder what is really going on?
    I dislike aubergine and brunette hair together, but I'm likely alone. (I feel that way about black hair and navy) this outfit bothers me as it is all SO much without a resting place for the eyes. So much hair, so much lace. A boat neck, a v neck, a 3/4 sleeve, a solid bit of fabric somewhere or a chignon would have lightened it a bit.
    I wonder if she bought this piece for a missed engagement. Perhaps there was a coat and Charlotte had a bit of spit up.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you Jane, particularly for your comments about China, which were very eloquently put.

    To the (much more) frivolous topic of clothes - this wasn't a complete win for me. I think Kate's hair can sometimes look quite heavy and that this is magnified when she wears high necklines or dresses/coats with heavy shoulder details. If this dress had been boat neck (like the Erdem) or v-neck like other D&G dresses, I would have loved it. Or if Kate had worn her hair in a half up/half down style.

    It's a slight criticism though and the more I look at this dress the more I like it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm the anti-monochromatic one, Jane!

    Let me start by saying this was a major win for me - I love the colour, I love the style, I love the lace, I love her hair in this particular style with this dress, I love the earrings with the whole look. I also LOOVVEE Gianvito Rossi and have wanted to get a pair for ages. Pretty as the purple shoes are (and I don't massively object to them here) Gianvito Rossi do this style in a number of other colours I think would worked better: a pale pink equivalent of these, a chocolate brown, or if she wanted to be a bit daring a very deep bottle green, would have much been better, I think.

    Which brings me to the one part of this outfit I didn't like. I don't think this clutch works. 'What Kate Wore' sums it well, saying that the clutch was off because it wasn't as formal as the rest of the outfit and the colour just didn't blend. I think her pale pink Prada would have worked much better.

    Finally, can I say that I'm super excited to see Kate in guipure lace as I got married in a full guipure wedding dress this past July :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Georgia, You're right that pink accessories would have been lovely with this dress. Not the shoes though because, and maybe it's not the case anymore, I was always taught that your shoes should never be more than a shade or two lighter than your hemline. Navy or chocolate brown would have been quite attractive.

      I wish we could share photos here as we can on Facebook. I would love to see a photo of your wedding gown!

      Delete
  26. I loved this dress---colour; style and the lace.
    As Lancaster House is Crown property William and Catherine were the host and hostess---they were there ahead of the presidential party and came outside to greet them--- a coat would not have been appropriate.
    The last two days Catherine has been princess perfect.
    For the first time in years TV filmed everything up to the start of the meal.
    Of course all right minded people would condemn the lack of human rights in China, but surely being friends with the country gives more leverage than refusing to speak to them.
    Prince William (and Catherine was meant to go too, but was ill) was sent by the government earlier this year to mend fences, which he did. The result was that the President then gave some support to William's campaign to save endangered species and he was allowed to give an excellent speech for Chinese TV on Monday evening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jean: I think there was some confusion about my stance on the State Visit. I don't oppose the State Visit necessarily. Certainly there are complicated diplomatic issues present here, and I recognize the need to maintain communication and to resolve differences peacefully whenever possible. I was not trying to say the visit should not have occurred, rather I was simply pointing out that we cannot get lost in the clothes or the smiling and shaking hands and forget that all is not well here. I think everyone acted appropriately, but I write this space and I could not celebrate the State Visit without ensuring that my readers were aware that I know about the issues on the table here and that I strongly object to certain policies that China maintains, and that they are not forgotten.
      I have ben following the work the UK and China have been doing to build bridges. I appreciate it as long as we actually make progress toward greater freedom for the individual and not simply frost a bad cake, clean up the facade, what you will. Ignore the truth and present a lie to the West to ease our consciences. So, in sum, my comment was not directed at the UK's decision to host China, it was to this community. It was a reminder not to lose sight of the reality in the midst of the Dolce & Gabbana...which was awesome. :)

      Delete
  27. I think I got in some form of response to everyone perplexed about the human rights/political twist I tossed in at the end of the post. I felt compelled to speak over these past few days watching the State Visit, but I really do want to keep this blog light and fluffy. I made the decision to break my own rule, but I am not going to open the comments to follow-up comments. I.e. to those who objected or had a question, I allowed those comments to go live, and I tried to answer the issues presented. I could spend a lot of time discussing the validity, facts, political tensions and issues that are involved. If I followed every point that has been made--many of which are very interesting to me--we'd be here all day and we would completely transform this into a political discussion of international scale. ;) But...that isn't what we are here for, eh? :) So, more thorough discussion is not going to be allowed simply to maintain the serenity of the community. I hope no one is offended. It isn't that I could not or am not interested in more thorough discussion, but...this just isn't the place. Every now and again, I choose to exercise my "blogger's prerogative" and this was one of those times.

    Hope you all understand!
    Warmly,
    Jane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your reasons and as owner of the blog you have every right to choose the direction of future discussions. I always enjoy reading your blog and any difference in opinions won't change that!

      Delete
    2. Jane
      Great post!!
      Kate as usual Beautiful! William stares at her and you can see the love between them! We need more of this examples in our world, we need to see how real love looks like.
      About China, I know that you want this blog light and fluffy, but also it is important to "see" what is happening around us. Diplomatic actions are needed to make a change, so it is important event like these to begin the road.
      China needs to respect more the human rights, women, Tibetans ( a very pacific nation that is obligated to do things again their own beliefs). There is a lot that needs to be changed! And only raising our voices we can make this happen.
      Thanks for a great and very inspiring post!

      Delete
    3. Anon. 12:46, I'm glad you mentioned Tibet. It makes me sad that "Free Tibet" has become an overused catchphrase as those people have suffered so much. I hope that one thing this state visit has done is to make people curious enough to look into some of the "climate" surrounding China.

      Delete
    4. RobinfromCA this is right, we only stay in the surface of the things, most of the time.
      I think Kate and William patronage causes that are true to their feelings, their values and the circumstances they want to make a change.
      To be the host to China doesn't means they are on favor about the circumstances lived in that country. May be they want to attract the knowledge about certain issues.

      Delete
  28. Thank you for a well thought out and heart felt post. Now .... on to the outfit ;) . I must say that my first reaction was to very much dislike this dress as a day look. After giving it more thought, I've decided that more than anything it is the underlining and the neckline that are what seems to be off. I absolutely adore lace and the color and coordinating accessories were fabulous. The dress length and the sleeves were stunning! I do think a simple neckline would have been far more becoming on the Duchess. As for the hair, I agree that something in a low pony or something a bit more "pulled back" would have likely been a better choice. Day makeup (a little less heavy around the eyes) and something a bit more "autumn" in accent may have been more fitting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My sentiments exactly.

      Delete
  29. Greetings, everyone. So happy to see Kate branching out, designer-wise. D&G was a great choice, love the lace, the color is beautiful and flattering. Sad to say that her hair style choice was poor. It looked messy, heavy and unkempt in many pictures. A high neckline such as in that dress demands a hairstyle that showcases it, not obscures it. It was the perfect dress for a lovely up-do, as we call it here in the States, with some tendrils cascading down. Oh well - beautiful dress, beautiful lady. Does anyone else feel that her face looks very different - fuller, and to be honest, older?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm wondering if she was just a bit puffy and dehydrated from the late night before and probably the heavy food and drink from the state banquet. She looks tired, which I normally don't comment on, and I am sure it was a big night!

      Delete
    2. I wondered too if the lateness of the night before, combined with having two little ones at home, combined with having to dress up - a lot - over the course of the visit doesn't have her a little bit tired. I still don't care for the bangs but I greatly admire her for putting on a bright smile and, to coin a phrase, Keeping Calm and Carrying On. I know we mostly admire and talk about her fashion here but she is also a great ambassador for the UK. I'm so happy William is so obviously besotted with his beautiful wife and that he made such a great choice!

      Delete
  30. Unfortunately I don't like this look. I'm a bit fed up with lace to be honest and the color washed Kate out. I think it made her look way older and. Too funeral :(. I also think the Dolce & Gabbana dresses fit better curvier women. (Queen Maxima for example).

    ReplyDelete
  31. I absolutely love this dress! It fits Kate perfectly and this color is so good for her. Also, this is the best her hair looks in long time. The shoes matching the dress doesn't bother me, what bother me a bit is the clutch color, I think it would be better to go with black or brown since the dress and shoes were already of the same color.

    And Kate must have an amazing tolerance to cold, because it was about 10ºC yesterday in London and Kate was wearing just a lace dress! I don't know how she does!

    About you comments on China, I understand what you mean Jane, but I work with Chinese people everyday for a few years and I gotta tell you, I never hear any of them complaining about any of this things you mentioned! It surprise me as well (!), but they seam quite happy about their country. And I not talking about ignorant people, I'm talking about well travelled people.

    And about countries spying on other countries, honestly, US was caught doing this too... and if you wanna know what I think, I think every powerful country does! Or do you honestly believe Russia doesn't? England doesn't? Germany doesn't? Oh please...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sandra:
      Thanks for your comment! I know Chinese people, and I have friends who know a lot of Chinese and travel there, etc. I agree there are a lot of happy Chinese citizens. The one-child policy is ongoing, and it is enacted on the more impoverished. The Chinese traveling the world and overseas studying, etc are not the ones who are suffering from this policy. So, I agree with you that yes, the well-traveled and well educated are pretty happy. We cannot forget, though, the millions who are not. And the problem is not an isolated or unusual incident, it is a state sanctioned policy.

      Re: spying. Too political to go into here. I don't deny the US has been up to various things it ought not be doing. There are different forms of surveillance and spying, though, and some that are more offensive or damaging than others. But, as I say, very important issue to me outside this space, but probably not something we want to wad into right now. :)

      The rest of October is pretty busy and I am excited for the next Kate event!
      Warmly,
      Jane

      Delete
    2. Thanks for you reply! About the spy thing, I don't mean to be rude, I'm not judging any country, as I said, I think a lot of countries do.

      Delete
  32. I think I sense a future in international humanitarian law Jane :).

    On to the dress! At first I was horrified but the more I looked at all the images out there, the more I liked it. Although she has worn daytime lace before, it was an unexpected and out of the box choice, and for that I am loving it. The higher neckline gives it a nice edge where a scoop or jewel neckline would scream mother of the bride, I think. The color is gorgeous and I do love the shoes. I agree with Georgia Rose that the purse does not go, not because of the color but of the design and material of the purse. We have a style clash going on here. I do not think this dress is too formal for the event. She is a princess after all and this is a state visit. As a matter of fact, I prefer this as a day dress rather than evening wear as I, I think, I would find it predictable and unimaginative.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Of course Kate is so radiantly beautiful, poised and gracious she will shine in anything she wears.....but.....I do not like this dress. The color is pretty on her, her figure is impeccable, but that much lace is way too matronly and surprisingly Kardashian at the same time. Just too much. Her hem is a bit too long and the sleeves a bit loose, the high neck is overwhelming and looks like it will get tangled in her hair, matchy matchy shoes are also frumpy. But still she is so beautiful. The red state dinner dress was lovely but in my opinion only because of who was wearing it. Kate's make up at the dinner was perfection, the tiara and earrings looked so beautiful framing her lovely face, and I did like elements of the dress like the neckline, skirt, and length, but the beads and the overwhelming red were a little tacky I thought. A little "mainstream". But again, what's important is Kate's innate style and elegance, and her gentle humility and obvious compassion. She brings so much beauty to any occasion, no matter what she wears.

    ReplyDelete
  34. As much as I love Kate, my favorite part of this post was you last paragraph regarding the human rights violations of the Chinese people. You said it perfectly!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Well-written, Jane--This cannot be ignored, nor can Tibet. I would have loved to hear Prince Charles speaking to William and Kate about this topic. But it is good to establish friendly relations, more can be done that way.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Slip of fingers. I meant of course D&G!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Kate looks great in this dress. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Jean at 4:52 made a point about Lancaster House being Crown property and William and Catherine were there as hosts and came out to meet the President. Thank you for that bit of information. I have come to feel the dress was not overdone based on seeing more images as well as the respect comments but the host hostess part and no coat makes even more sense now. Thank you. ali

    ReplyDelete
  39. hmm I love the duchess kate dress is very love it the duchess is perfect for those event I love the words you said about the Chinese and their human violation

    ReplyDelete
  40. I read every post you publish and truly appreciate your blog. This post hit it out of the park though so I had to comment. You did fabulous as usual with reporting on Catherine and LOVED your commentary on China. Great job!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Someone should put Kate in contact with Queen Letizia 's suit designer(s) and stylist (although rumour has it she has no stylist at the moment). She could really use some inspiration .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon. 5:19, I went over to a Queen Letizia style blog and looked more in depth at her fashion. She is so beautiful and her tailored clothing is just gorgeous. I think she tries more new things than Kate does. Kate tends to rely on what's been successful in the past. Queen Letizia does repeat more than Kate. I do think QL wears pants to official events too often - although they are very stylish outfits - and I think that sometimes her hemlines are too short. The thing I noticed most about her, however, is that her hair is always fabulous! She doesn't have the same luxurious mane that Kate has but she always keeps it neat, changes it up once in awhile, and it's never in her face. The thing we need to remember, however, is that Letizia is Queen and Kate is a future Queen - not even next in line. The difference in position is significant. There is also a history in Britain of Diana always trying new styles and being accused of trying to upstage the Queen when she did. Kate has to walk a very fine line that Letizia doesn't.

      Delete
  42. Hi Jane:
    I want to say that I so respect your stance on human rights (including the unborn). It is rare to find objective truth (that may not be politically correct) in people now a day, never mind a blog that deals with fashion:) I have never commented before. Your commentary today is what sets your blog of the DofC above the rest, and I have new-found esteem of you. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second Sara's comment - every word of it!

      Delete
  43. I think Kate looked great. I, too, love the color aubergine, especially for fall. It looks really good on brunettes, but can also work for blondes. It's one of my very favorite shades. Personally, I am not that crazy about lace and prefer it in small doses, but Kate obviously loves lace. I do think she was a rather overdressed. All this lace would work better for a cocktail reception, in my opinion, but for this occasion, I suppose it was fine. I'm glad the shoes and clutch were burgundy. If everything had been the same shade of purple, it would have been too much.

    Jane, I know the subject is now closed, but I'm glad you spoke up about China. I agree 100%, and I think it's about time people starting saying something.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I LOVE this dress. It's so pretty. I love the color, I love the shape, I love the lace. I think it's tasteful and situation appropriate and I think she wears it so beautifully.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I agree with others that the hair and makeup is very ageing. The eye makeup, in particular, seems to be becoming heavier over time - if that's even possible! The eyebrows are starting to look painted on and the dark kohl eyeliner no longer does her any favours. The dress is fab and will very likely get a re-wear at an evening function with an up-do. Just think of the earring options that would create! But.... the real reason I wanted to comment is Rebecca Deacon's crop overlay dress in the first photo. I NEED that dress in my life. Office-appropriate and yet bang on trend. I've seen a few shots of her from the last year and she's knocking it out of the park!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I too have never commented before although I follow the blog and love it. The comments about China were giving a voice to those who have no voice. I was so happy to see someone taking a stand and speaking out----it gives balance to the more surface clothes discussions. (I love clothes discussions!) When we feel the strong urge to speak out with a moral voice, we must have the courage to do it. Now, on to the clothes. I loved the color but felt the style and the all over lace were evening reception or similar. For that function, too dressy but do understand the significance and perhaps that was the purpose. The clutch clashed, it just did. And, yes, a nice suit (think Letzia) would have been great. Why doesn't Kate wear suits?

    ReplyDelete

The rules for commenting are simple: be polite. Please be respectful of the BRF/Middletons, even in criticism; please be respectful of your fellow readers, even in disagreement. Vulgarity will disqualify a comment.

Debate is welcome, direct and personal insults are not. Topics we tend to avoid here: "does Kate work enough?" and "Is Kate too skinny?" Everything is subject to approval.

I (Jane Barr) moderate all comments. If a comment is live, I approved it. If you find something offensive, or think my approval was an error, please email me at princesskateblog(at)gmail.com.

At times, an acceptable comment just goes missing. If you felt your comment should have been approved, but did not show up within five hours, again, pop an email to the above address.

Happy chatting!