William and Kate made their first appearance at the Festival of Remembrance tonight. The concert is held every year on the eve of Remembrance Sunday and always features a moving line-up of performances that pay tribute to Britain's fallen. It is a mandatory "black-only" kind of an event, and Kate was sure to follow suit.
Kate doesn't really have anything that perfectly fits the mood of this evening in her closet, so I guessed she would go new, and she did. I did not expect her to wear what was immediately apparent as another Dolce & Gabbana! This lace pencil dress is essentially the same design as the aubergine piece Kate wore when welcoming the Chinese delegation.
I mean, really, it is basically the same dress. I can almost see Kate trying to decide between these two and just going with both because she couldn't make up her mind.
The fun part is that we get a sense of the dress in a different shade and with a more subdued neckline. A lot of people felt the mandarin collar was overwhelming on Kate. Do you like it better with the modified neckline? One thing is certain. Seeing two dresses that are so similar tells us that Kate really liked something about this design.
This dress is also looks very much like a close relative of the DVF "Zarita." Kate wore the Zarita to a similar kind of event. While not as solemn, certainly, the Royal Variety Performance is an annual evening to which the Queen is the primary guest. Kate's appearance at that night was a big deal, as was tonight's debut. I do like that continuity.
Kate wore her Jimmy Choo "Aimee" pumps, carried her "Maud" clutch from Anya Hindmarch--both accessories she has been favoring--and wore her "Art Deco Diamond Drops" from Prince Charles:
Tonight, Kate was front and center within the royal pack, sitting next to her husband and Her Majesty the Queen. I love the people one level above peering down.
Kate laughed and chatted with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
...and whispered with Prince William:
Perhaps the most endearing element of the royal night, however, was the interaction between the Queen and her grandson...and once removed-heir. William has always had a close relationship with his grandmother and that was very apparent tonight. The two are obviously very comfortable with one another.
On a night like this, I would imagine one would reflect on one's life and accomplishments, and inevitably, on the waning days left, be they relatively long or short. She must be very proud of William--the man he has become, the family he has formed with Kate, and the obviously bright future he brings to the institution of the British monarchy.
The affection between the two is evident and it seemed like a night of happiness, as well as tribute. I don't know what joke HM is making, but it sure must have been funny:
Despite the smiles, it was a very poignant evening, ending with a "snowfall" of petals in silent tribute to the fallen:
Fashion verdict: I really liked seeing this dress in a new configuration. Kate loves lace, and so do I. This dress flattered Kate's gorgeous figure and I did feel like the collar change enables the entire ensemble to breath a little better. I think that because it was so similar to several pieces the Duchess has worn, that it was not a terribly exciting dress. It fit the occasion, it just didn't make a sartorial splash.
We are at the Cenotaph tomorrow to mark Remembrance Sunday. Until then...