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Sarah Burton to Head Dior? Is the Duchess of Cambridge's Designer Taking a Leap?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Stop the presses, Fashionista is reporting that Sarah Burton may be moving to Dior. Some of you follow Kate for the romance, others for the fashion, still others follow both. With that in mind, let me back up, way up, and start from the beginning. In 2011 Dior's creative director John Galliano got into a dust up in a Paris bar. I won't go into the nasty details, but he hurled some anti-semitic slurs in addition to some other things, and he lost his job, as well he should have. Dior needed a new creative director, and they made a rather unusual choice when they tapped Raf Simons in 2012. Simons was absolutely marvelous. If you haven't seen Dior and I, I highly recommend it. Simons whipped up his first show in just a few months, and he presented it in July 2012. At the time, an article in Vogue remarked:
One of the most talked-about debuts in fashion history, Simons' offering mixed his signature minimal, aesthetic with the pretty, femininity of Dior - signifying that the future of this iconic brand lays in very safe hands.
It was stunning. Flowers everywhere, gorgeous dresses that were both contemporary yet channeled Dior's incredible history for feminine and classic design. It was a magnificent collection. 


As Simons was debuting his first collection I was spending my first long summer in France. I wasn't in Paris at the show, though. I was off spending some long (and incredibly hot hours) wandering Versailles all by myself...and falling completely in love with it. Versailles is one of my favorite historical "homes," if you can term something so precious and palatial a place a home. :) In 2013, Dior announced they would renovate Le Hameau de la Reine, (The Queen's Hamlet) which is the village Marie-Antoinette built to escape to a more rural and, I believe, visceral reality. For me it was the perfect marriage between a wonderful French brand and a historical site I love and that has deep history for the French people. I always buy Dior now.  


It is a very, very special place and I love to wander Marie-Antoinette's sanctuary as she might have. To wonder what she thought and what she felt when she was there. It's wonderful, and I am so thrilled by Dior's continuing support. The collaboration resulted in stunning photoshoots, too, since Dior featured the Palace and grounds in a number of campaigns and often themed their make-up lines around Versailles. 


Dior, Simons, and Versailles. It was perfect. Then, just a few months ago, Simons announced he was leaving Dior. It was an amicable split (at least publicly) but it really rocked the label and the fashion world. It had widely been believed that Simons would helm the brand for many years. Ultimately, I suspect he found the intense schedule taxing on his creativity. I think his short stint will still be viewed by history as an extraordinary tenure. Nevertheless, it has left Dior without a creative director. Which leaves us now hopping over the English Channel to where this story crosses paths with that of a certain Duchess of Cambridge. 


It is April 2011, Galliano has just had his public eruption, but no one is thinking about that in London. Instead, all eyes are on Westminster Abbey and on Kate Middleton. It feels like the entire world is holding its breath to find out who designed the wedding dress of the decade. Hours before the wedding, a car pulls up to The Goring where Kate and her family spent the night and where the princess-to-be is preparing to head to the Abbey. As pictures of the hooded figure exiting the car circle, many fashionistas instantly know who had designed the dress. 


The woman getting out of the car was Sarah Burton, and so the dress would be Alexander McQueen. This first collaboration with Sarah and with McQueen was a milestone. Her wedding dress was the gown in which Kate walked the bridge from Kate Middleton to a princess of the United Kingdom, but the relationship did not end there. Not only did Kate wear a second McQueen to her reception that evening, she has worked with Burton to make some of her most iconic royal ensembles. 


Documenting the many McQueen ensembles that Kate has worn could take me literally half the night. Kate turned to McQueen often in the first year of her marriage, from public family events like Trooping the Colour:


...to high fashion-stakes events like the BAFTA evening in LA:


Kate has continued to work closely with Sarah Burton over the years. Clearly, she trusts her personally and creatively. Sarah has designed a multitude of bespoke pieces, including the ensembles Kate wore to both her children's baptisms, and one-offs for big events like Easter Sunday in Australia:


Many believe that some of Kate's UFO pieces are actually personal gifts from Burton, including this coat which bears a number of resemblances to Burton's tailoring style:


Most recently, Kate wore McQueen on Remembrance Day:


Fashionista just reported via Fashion Weekly Daily, that Sarah Burton is in talks with Dior regarding the open position of creative director. As high-profile as Alexander McQueen is, Dior holds an entirely other level of history and prestige. (No offense, but seriously. Dior? Big. Very big.) If this rumor is true I would be very pleased. The only question is, of course, would Kate follow Sarah Burton to Dior? Would our favorite princess begin sporting the iconic French label? She has started to branch out to other designers, including Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, but given the very British events to which Kate wears McQueen I don't know if we can guess:



The exact quote from Fashion Weekly Daily:
According to high-level sources in Paris, Sarah Burton is reportedly in talks to take over the creative reins at Dior after Raf Simons’ unexpected departure after three years in the role. A representative for Dior declined to comment. Burton, currently the creative director at Alexander McQueen, has been working for the brand for the past 19 years, and took over the top spot in May 2010 following the death of the brand’s founder. Several industry insiders had speculated that Alber Elbaz was a top candidate for the role, but we hear that the designer has other plans. Meanwhile, Lanvin is said to be courting London-based designer Erdem Moralioglu. Watch this space for developments.
And yes, that final line has to do with another Kate favorite, but let's cross that bridge on a later night. To close, would Dior be a step too far? Or simply too foreign for the state occasions Kate usually taps McQueen for? I would be thrilled if Burton moved to Dior...and if Kate continued to work with Burton. It could all be a rumor, or Burton may be in negotiations that will end in nothing. Or, we might see Burton helm Dior. Time will tell! 



86 comments:

  1. "would Kate follow Sarah Burton to McQueen?"
    should that read ...to Dior?

    Sorry couldn't help myself, love your blog, and always so happy to see a new post!

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    1. Hahaha! It should! The question is...will I get out of bed, cross my living room to my desk...and fix it tonight, or stay in my cozy bed and wait till morning? Thank you for telling me, really. :) I'll fix it now.

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  2. I enjoyed this post so much, Jane. Perfect for filling in while Kate is busy behind the
    scenes and with her babies.
    Is there another alternative? for the few McQueen-Burton outfits Kate wears during an
    average year, if Sarah moved to Dior (Wow!) could she continue to design as "private dressmaker? I imagine there is exclusivity in the contracts for fashion heads.
    Just a bit of straw grasping.

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    1. An alternative creative director? Yes! Several names have been bandied. I think Sarah might make Kate a few items outside of an official capacity, but not many. I think they work well together, but aren't intimate friends. I suspect that if she does make some of these "independent" pieces, they arise out of the working relationship the women have, which would naturally lessen were Burton to leave.

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  3. I would love it if the Duchess continued her partnership with Sarah Burton wherever Ms.Burton ended up. Kate will have more leeway to experiment now while she's young and not yet "Crown Princess". I don't really see the problem with her wearing non British brands as long as it's not exclusive. Once she is is Queen that may be a different story. With her art history background (and I suspect more artsy than we know), it would be nice if Kate showcased new designers coming straight out of design school. It could be project Runway a la Cambridge. We shall see, won't we....

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    1. Those would be fun. I think labels like Saloni have a certain touch of that to them. Kate has raised the profile of several lesser known brands, and I hope she continues to do that. I would love to see more big brands, too, though. Like...Dior. :)

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  4. I think, if true, Kate would wear Dior but not to the state occasion level she dose McQueen. Maybe the question should be would she still wear McQueen without Sarah Burton involved? I think so.. Seraphine is also in the news for branching out to baby clothes so whomever dresses Kate is extremely lucky!!

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    1. Probably not as much, but I think it would depend upon who took over and in what direction the creative process went.

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  5. Unfortunately, I do not think that Catherine could wear Dior as often as she has worn McQueen, even if the designer is the same person. Can you imagine the criticism from those people who love to find fault with whatever she does?

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    1. No, not at all, I agree. I think we'd see some Dior, but another British brand would likely have to fill the need. Or, she might just stick with McQueen. Hard to say, but I agree that she wouldn't showcase Dior to the level she has showcased McQueen.

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  6. I am not a fashionista in the least. Usually I know basics only, but nothing more than that. But darn it, you paint such a vivid and compelling picture, that now I am dying to know who is going to head Dior! Well done.

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  7. I know so little about fashion designers but I would think one of the ways they measure their success would be by WHO wears their designs and more specifically WHO chooses them and works together with them to create bespoke gowns for prestigious events. Not withstanding Dior's evident prominent place in fashion history and industry, I think Sarah Burton would be a fool to willingly step down from a position at McQueen that enables her to create with and for the Duchess of Cambridge. With all due respect to celebrities and other royals that wear and work with Dior, let's be honest here, Kate is the most photographed and prominent woman in the world and will only continue to rise in stature as time goes on. To put it plainly, as far as prominence and exposure in a highly competitive industry is concerned anyway, Burton can't go any higher than she is now. Of course Kate could still work with her from time to time even if she went to Dior but Kate's role as future monarch will necessitate a go-to British designer for the events she now turns to McQueen for. It'd be a crazy step down in my opinion. I hope for her (and Kate's) sake that it's a ridiculous rumor.

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    1. I could argue either side. Obviously, given Kate's future, Id want to keep dressing her, but I think objectively, Dior is bigger. From a professional stand point, if I were Sarah, it would be very hard to choose. Personally, I'd want to continue to work with Kate, but creatively and professionally, I don't think I could turn down Dior. It's an absolute promotion.

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    2. Well, fast forward 10 or so years and the Coronation of King Charles, at which we assume Catherine will play a leading roll.
      Doubt that gown would be made abroad. however big the name of the designer.

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    3. Ten years? I wonder.Surely HM must realise that, as traumatic as Edward VIII's
      abdication was to the British royal family, it followed scandal and was likely
      forced upon him. How different is Queen Elizabeth's position now, following her
      Jubilee, her surpassing Queen Victoria's reign, and upcoming birthday celebration.
      Not at all the same circumstances.A voluntary step aside, retirement.

      Although the very thought of HM not being monarch is unsettling to some, it seems
      to me the monarchy would have a smoother transition and more of a chance of
      success if the Queen were still around in the background-without the trauma that
      would surround her death. I think, knowing HM was available as a steadying hand
      should make Charles's transition to the throne much smoother, at least in the
      public eye.Perhaps she could continue to fulfill her duty as monarch emeritus, so to
      speak.
      My opinion, of course.

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    4. Anon 11:29, you are correct about the current circumstances being very different, but the unforgiving attitudes of Queen Mary and the Queen Mother (towards Edward) had to have a huge impact on the Queen and how she views her role.

      Also, I would agree with you regarding a smooth transition IF Charles was married to Diana. With Camilla in the mix, hmmm...it is a different scenario. People who do not care for her now will not like her more when the Queen is deceased. However, with the Queen alive and well, it *would* make it possible for the public to remind Camilla of their preference.

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    5. PS I've also wondered if the Queen would have allowed herself more of a balance between her personal life and public role if not for the RF's attitude towards Edward.

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    6. royalfan-the Camilla factor-one of the reasons for my suggestion.Having HM in the background might make the Charles monarchy more palatable. If Camilla is truly
      the out-going, fun-loving, engaging, nuturing helpmete she has been promoted as, she should
      have no trouble sharing the Crown Jewels.Since Kate is compared to Queen Maxima,
      why shouldn't Camilla pattern herself after Maxima? I'm not sure about an Elizabeth/
      Beatrix comparison. Somehow I can't imagine HM taking a backseat to anyone.
      Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix appear to be handling the situation beautifully.

      I'm only half-joking.I really think it could be a solution.

      royalfan, I don't know how HM can relate to Edward VIII circumstances. However, traumatic events
      to a child's mind take on diferent meanings, more from atmosphere and body and
      facial language and these are the memories retained into adulthood, not an adult version.
      (remind you of another situation?)

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    7. I think you may be onto something! I don't see it happening but it's something that I think should be considered. The Queen stands for tradition and retiring is just not part of her job description... Sadly I think for everyone involved.

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    8. Anon 4:39, whatever happens in the next chapter of the BRF, it *will* be interesting to witness it. I think arguments could be made for both scenarios.

      And I do agree with you about Maxima and Beatrix; I believe they have a mother-daughter relationship. How wonderful for the whole family.

      Regarding HM and Edward VIII... From the books I have read over the years, I believe the Queen was privy to a lot of criticism directed at her uncle. The QM and Queen Mary thought he was selfish and had no concept of duty. This is only my opinion, but I believe this has had an impact on the Queen's life (her outlook and devotion to duty) to this day.

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    9. Valerie Grace-maybe it's time for a new tradition.
      I believe Queen Beatrix had gone through a very taumatic family death, which probably
      had depleted her. (a son?) I really need to make friends with Mr. Google.

      royalfan-I understand what you are saying about HM and her concept of duty. She was
      ten years old or so as this (Edw. VIII) transpired. Her child's mind at the time took in what
      must have been a massively oppressive atmosphere surrounding what was seen as a
      failure to put duty before personal needs and desires. I really believe a child retains the child's perception into adulthood,which might make some feelings
      and attitudes seem unreasonable to others.(I'm sure this is all nicely explained
      in some psychological paper.)
      If Prince Phillip pre-deceases her,Queen Elizabeth could lose heart.
      I wish she would see her duty being fulfilled by guiding Prince Charles into the very choppy waters of a new 21st Century monarchy, while she still is relatively active
      and involved. She actually seems to be doing this with William already. I think Charles's expiration date as POW has about expired. She could very well save the monarchy by giving it up for herself.The public needs time to get used to him in the
      reality of being king, while Elizabeth is still around to reassure-"Yes, it is still
      England,nothing has really changed" for the traditionalist and " I'm still here if he
      messes up big-time" for those wanting judicious change.

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  8. Sonja from BavariaJanuary 20, 2016 at 8:05 AM

    2 years ago, we went to Paris for a week with my French class. We also visited the château de versailles and toured Marie Antoinette's village. It is extremely beautiful there and the atmosphere is great. There even was an asian couple taking wedding pictures :D

    Dior is just so sophisticated and ladylike. However, I hope Sarah Burton won't leave McQueen as I think that'd stop Kate from wearing her creations for Royal Family occasions which would be such a pity. But of course Dior would be an extraordinary opportunity!

    I love the photo of the lilac gown you chose, the fabric and silhouette look just picture perfect and really suit Kate.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it, too! Yes, Versailles is so special! It would be amazing to get your wedding photos done there...or even better, get married there. ;)

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  9. Jane,

    What a great post! Something a bit different, but still very Kate! =)

    As you are quite the fashionista and apparently a Dior lover, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on Dior's contract and subsequent styling of Jennifer Lawrence. When JLaw went Dior, I was SO excited - such a beautiful brand for a beautiful woman - but as the years have played out, I felt really underwhelmed (and oftentimes confused) by Dior's styling of JLaw. I would be interested to hear your thoughts!

    In terms of Sarah Burton leaving McQueen for Dior, certainly the brand and the style would shift (for the better, in my personal opinion) - I suppose I just wouldn't want to see our precious Duchess go down the road Dior took JLaw!

    All in all - I do believe that Kate would wear Dior should Burton make the switch. However, for high profile, quintessentially british events, I believe Kate consciously wears british designs ... perhaps for those events we would then see more Packham - and even Beulah - than we've seen over the last year or so. However, as you properly note, Kate has really shifted to big designer names, so perhaps we'd all be surprised!

    Best wishes,
    Julia

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    1. Have not studied it closely but I have the same sense you do about Jennefer Lawerence designs since switching to Dior. Her style often does not work that well, not sure it the look is driven purely by Dior or how much it is Jennefer's personal preference. Ali

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    2. Hi Julia! SO glad you enjoyed the post!
      I agree with everyone who has remarked that Kate wouldn't wear Dior to a bunch of high profile British events, although I don't think we would want to say she never would, since she did wear D&G to a State event and again to an evening with the Queen. But, France and Britain have a different relationship. :) In all seriousness, she clearly wouldn't just sub in Dior for the events she would have previously worn McQueen.

      About styling and Dior. Kate has a very strong sense of style, I think. She seeks inspiration and direction, but it is more in the sense that she likes to evaluate options, and then makes her own decision. If Kate were to wear Dior, it would be a little different from what we are used to, but it would be something Kate chose.

      As to Jennifer Lawrence. I have to say that I am not a big fan in general. I think we are very different personalities, so I am not particularly drawn to her. I think she looks fine in the advertisements for Dior, but I think her red carpet looks fall flat because, honestly, her personality doesn't fit Dior. That is a judgment I would make whether I were a fan or not. Her self-proclaimed attitude is not the spirit of Dior. Jennifer Lawrence is not the cool, classic, glamorous, polished woman that Dior exemplifies. I am not saying she isn't a beautiful woman or what have you, but she has more of a Tom Boy attitude, um, I don't know how to describe it...she isn't really fitting their mold. I thinks he should be with a brand that has more flair. Or more sass, or something. I think it was a bad partnering from the get-go. Dior is cool, calm, and aloof. Jennifer Lawrence might be a myriad of wonderful things, but those aren't the first words you'd use to describe her. I feel like I will have offended someone somewhere with his analysis, which was not my intent, but I think it is true.

      If Sarah Burton were to leave McQueen, Kate could stick with the label, she could wear more of her other favorite designers, or she could start using a new label. She hasn't exhausted the list yet. :)

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    3. Jennifer-RL?
      For Dior, I think Princess Charlene and her mother-in-law , Princess Grace.
      I may lean more toward Chanel myself. I even like their perfume.
      Still, it would be hard to turn down Dior. I just hope Ms. Burton doesn't land in
      the big middle of in-house politics, with bruised egos, etc. I guess that may go
      with the territory, though.

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    4. Jane, in some of Jennifer Lawrence's photos, I see a resemblance to Carla Bruni. Something about her...

      As far as her Dior ads are concerned, I have mixed reviews to offer; in certain ads she looks rather young and appears to lack the sophistication one would expect from a Dior model, but in other ads she looks fantastic and has "it", and then some.

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    5. I agree with Jane about personality. I love Jennifer Lawrence but she usually looks horrible in Dior yet Charlize Theron and Natalie Portman always look amazing in Dior.

      I loved Jennifer's Dior dress when she won the Oscar but I remember thinking that the silver Calvin Kline dress that she wore to the after party was way more her style.

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    6. Thanks for your response, Jane!

      I definitely agree with your thoughts about JL. I am personally a fan of hers, as I love her snarky attitude. I also really appreciate that she has become a voice for equal pay for women - as a professional woman, this is an extremely important issue! Perhaps I mostly like her because I have a snarky attitude, as well (at least I admit it) - but I try my best to channel some Kate elegance!

      I definitely appreciate your perspective, as you bring up some points I hadn't considered before, particularly about personality and fashion. I agree that she looks great in the advertising campaigns, but her red carpet looks have just been awful, I think. I hadn't considered the personality aspect of fashion, but I think you are totally correct - although she is beautiful and witty, her personality really does not mesh with Dior. I think she looks awesome in Tom Ford, which is much edgier and trendy - it always seems to suit her better. Kate, however, has that Dior elegance that could really work ...

      Like you say, if Burton goes Dior, I think we will definitely see Kate wearing it. I think it is obvious that Kate plays a HUGE role in her own styling, and she wouldn't let the designer wear her, if that makes sense. KATE wears the DESIGNER! =)

      As for these other royal blogs, you MUST link or write a post about your other blogs! I check in with FBTB regularly and had no idea about your other blogs! You should do a post with a brief synopsis and link to the other blogs! Also, I hope you'd consider perhaps following Princess Sofia of Sweden - I love her style, too, and would be interested to know more about her!

      I hope law school is treating you well - I just finished up my law degree last year! Stay the course - it will be worth it!

      Julia

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    7. royalfan, you hit it right on the head concerning Jennifer Lawrence when you said she lacks sophistication. That's exactly the word to describe her awkward wearing of Dior.

      Anon. 8:13 am - I agree that Dior definitely speaks to the House of Grimaldi. Especially for Princess Grace. I also love, love, love Chanel.

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  10. I would love to see what Sarah Burton designed for Dior, but I don't know why she'd move from McQueen who in my opinion is the more modern, cutting-edge, creative house. Wherever she goes I really hope Kate keeps wearing her, and that her designs don't change too much. Burton has made McQueen my absolute favorite fashion label ever, she knocks it out of the park every time she wears it. Miles beyond any of her other designers, IMO. I'm crazy for all her McQueens!!! :)

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    1. I think that Sarah Burton has a lot of talent and works with Kate to customize the McQueen pieces, but I agree that she wouldn't necessarily need to stop wearing them just because Burton left. I love all her McQueens, too, although it isn't really the run of the mill McQueen. I think she will always wear a lot of McQueen, but if Burton left, I think she would wander to another brand for some of her events. McQueen would diminish.

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  11. I hope Ms. Burton stays put. McQueen has thrived under her vision, and her relationship with the DoC has produced some of Kate's best of the best outfits. Charlene de Monoco seems to have the royal monopoly on Dior at the moment but if Burton does make the switch, I could see Kate wearing the occasional Dior piece. However, I highly doubt she would wear Dior as often as she showcases McQueen now, and it is almost certain that Dior would not be her go to for high profile events. That being said, I would love to see Kate in Dior. The label would inject that quintessential European chic that is missing from her wardrobe.

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    1. I agree with every word. Yes, yes, and yes.

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  12. Bonjour!
    In my french and parisian point of view, it would be awsom if Kate would wear Dior. This may seem a little chauvinist, but in my opinion, the best designers are French: Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent.
    McQueen have this actual aura only because the wedding dress of the Duchess of Cambridge was made by Sarah Burton. Also, I do not think of the alive of Alexander McQueen Duchess of Cambridge would wear this brand. Alexender McQueen was perhaps a genius, but his designs were still special.
    Anyway, if the duchess of cambrige would were Dior, she would not be the first member of the BRF to do so. Lady Diana did it before her. Remember: the Lady dior bag is a myth! You can read the full story of this bag here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Dior
    By the way, did Lady Diana wore Dior appart her Dior bag?
    However, an other princess seems to like dior very much and wear this brand very often: Charlène de Monaco! She wore Dior sevral times, and notably for the baptism of her children ( her chilrdren wore Dior too).
    http://www.parismatch.com/Royal-Blog/Monaco/Jacques-prince-hereditaire-de-la-principaute-de-Monaco-et-sa-soeur-Gabriella-ont-ete-baptises-760118#
    In your opinion, can Dior enterntain a strong relashionship with 2 princess? Charlène and Kate?
    Talking about Charlène de Monaco, she is much more into fashion and makeup than Kate, and so, in my opinion, she sometimes looks younguer than the duchess.
    Here you can find a nice blog about Charlène:
    http://princesscharleneofmonaco.com/

    Bonne journée from Paris,
    Solène.

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    1. Hi Solène:
      I would LOVE to see Kate wear some Dior, whether Sarah Burton heads over there or not. i think it is hard to beat those French giants. French fashion houses really set the standard, which isn't to say there aren't other great labels, but in my personal opinion, the heritage in those labels keeps them strong and producing consdiently beautiful collections. Obviously, I love a lot of American labels, and British brands. But, I have a soft spot for the French. :)

      Yes! Charlene wears a lot of Dior. I am so glad you read that Charlene blog! I am so thrilled to see the link here. That blog is actually a "family member" here. It is owned and operated by the same company that owns this blog and Kate's Clothes. Katie Coble writes it and just does a fantastic job. I need to push it a little more here on FBTB so more readers are aware of it. We might have a Princess Madeleine blog launching soon, too!

      There is no law that says you can only dress one princess, but Kate would not be able to wear Dior with the frequency she wears McQueen, I think. If Sarah Burton left, we would definitely see some Dior sometimes, but not the way we see McQueen. Charlene certainly has a different style from Kate and she is a little more fashion forward, I agree. I love both ladies ensembles. Kate in Dior would be fantastic. We will have to cross our fingers!

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!!
      Jane
      P.S. I don't know Diana's fashion the way I know Kate's, but I did used to read quote a lot and Dior is not a name I remember associated with her much, if at all. I don't know. It is hard to believe she never wore Dior (bag excepted) but I am sure others here would know better than I!

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    2. I got so excited when I read that there may be a Princess Madeleine blog soon, Jane! She is definitely another favorite Princess and her fashion is something I follow religiously! A blog devoted to her would be fabulous! Please keep us posted!:)

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    3. Charlene is lucky that she can also wear non french designers without receiving criticism. I was surprised her wedding dress was Armani and not Chanel or Dior.

      Kate would had been criticized if she had married it anything that wasn't British. Even when she wore D&G to the remembrance service and the state visit people were complaining that she wasn't wearing British.

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    4. Priscilla, I agree that Kate would have been criticized if she did not wear a gown by a British designer, but I think her choice was on the money. She appreciated the historical significance of the day which was very important and appropriate given her current, and future, roles.

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    5. I absolutely agree royalfan, I was just pointing out that Kate doesn't have the options of wearing designers outside of her country like other royal ladies do. I feel like Kate and Letizia are the ones that usually always stick to their own countries.

      Princess Madeleine of Sweden got married in Valentino and Crown Princess Victoria wears a variety of designers that are not Swedish like Elie Saab and she also wears Jenny Packham.

      I wish Kate would be able to wear non-British brands more often without receiving criticism.

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    6. Priscilla, this just occurred to me ... perhaps there is more pressure on someone marrying into a royal family. For example, Madeleine could get away with a Valentino wedding gown, but I'm not sure Kate would have been able to pull it off.

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  13. I think if Sarah Burton goes to Dior, the most likely option is that she will continue to design for Kate in a personal capacity and that Kate's attachment to McQueen is likely to wane. If you think about it, Kate wears only a few unaltered McQueen pieces, most of which are too edgy either for her public role, or, I think for her personal taste even in her private life. What she seems to have built up is a real rapport with Sarah Burton which is why I think that Burton will design for her in a private, as opposed to brand-specific, capacity if she leaves a British brand. I think Dior is actually a much more 'Kate' look than McQueen so who wouldn't want to see some of the iconic Dior looks adapted for her...

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    1. I agree on your comments about McQueen. Kate--with Sarah burton--really changes a lot to make it work for her, and frankly, I think that is her personal style, not her conforming to protocol.

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  14. One of the few positive effects Kate has had since her accession to royal life has undoubtedly been on the British fashion industry. She likes to be seen to champion UK fashion. I think this will continue regardless of where Sarah Burton ends up. I think championing the UK fashion industry is far more important to Kate then topping International best dressed lists. The Duchess of Cambridge is not here to appease the fashion crowd. She is British royalty not an international celebrity :)

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    1. Hi there...I would say Kate has had more than a few positive effects, but I wanted to clarify that no one here is supposing that Kate would no longer champion British brands. I think she will continue to champion British brands and top the best dressed list. :)

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    2. I didn't mean "few positive effects" to disparage Kate although reading back I see how it may have come across. Its just hard to measure her impact on public life and our national discourse. It can however be clearly demonstrated that Kate has massively raised the profile of British fashion around the world and I think this is her biggest contribution to the UK (so far). Btw as a 'sartorially illiterate' person I don't really care what Kate wears I just appreciate her commitment to our country :)

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    3. Fair enough, and I agree that her impact promoting Britain and British brands is huge. I think it is legitimately a big part of her job. I appreciate that you clarified. I get some nasty comments on the back end and this sort of response reminds me to always try and read things in the best light whenever possible. :) (your comment was NOT nasty, but I wasn't sure if it had an edge or not. Good to know it didn't!) I think I get a little jaded after a while.

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    4. Ah right ok I presumed me posting on a Kate Blog would be enough to identify me as a Kate fan. If I had read your disclaimer for posting comments I would have known that you clearly get a lot of negative responses and therefore you cannot presume we are all on the same page. I suppose anonymous posters will always draw suspicion too. If I post again there will be more clarity in my writing!

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    5. I've never understood why people read articles and then go so far as to comment on the article only to bash Kate. Then it be obvious that they actually read the article!?! If I think that little of someone I don't waste my time reading or commenting about them.. I think people can be a bully at home behind their computer but wouldn't normally act and or say the same thing in person... It just doesn't make sense! Anyway..

      It is hard to tell exactly what type of impact the Doc has had on the monarchy in general. There is the Kate affect along with PG and PC affect.. It is mostly fashion related.. But as a true Kate fan I know there is much much more to it.. For example her charity work with anti bullying, addiction, girl scouts, preservation and on and on.. There isn't a manual on being married to the heir of the heir to the throne, she is creating her own role and path. Kate is also a mother of two very young children if she was never at home with her children the same people would say she's a bad mother. She is becoming more and more like Princess Diana which is something to be admired.

      If anyone would like to write to Kate and or Wills, George, or Charlotte just Google where to send a letter, card, gift etc. You will get a response! You can also write to the Queen, Doe, Pow, Doc, etc.. They all respond, usually with a picture and short letter, the great thing is it's different every time and you get a piece of history.

      Jane, what are the names of your other blogs?

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  15. Let me preface this by saying that I love Sarah Burton's designs and they are among my favorite on Kate. But what an interesting scenario this is... As talented as SB is, would she have this opportunity if not for the link with Kate? I am NOT suggesting that she doesn't have what it takes, NO, but the connection cannot be dismissed. So what a dilemma for Ms Burton... Does she go with Dior and realize a designer's dream come true, while recognizing that it may limit her working relationship with the Duchess? I agree that Kate could, and most likely will, continue to wear her designs, but as others have said, I don't see Kate doing so for official occasions; certainly not at the rate she has to date.

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    1. Good point, royalfan. Do you think Dior hopes Sarah Burton's acceptance will lead to
      an association with Catherine? Could it even be contingent on her bringing Catherine
      along-that Dior may also see the
      association with Jennifer as an error in judgement by the former creative director
      and wish to replace Jennifer's image with Catherine's in the public's mind?
      Personally, I think JL was actually quite lovely, but she does have an image problem,
      partly fueled by the roles she has played and some of her candid remarks to the
      press.

      OK-got a little carried away there. Your suggestion lead me down that path,royalfan. U

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    2. You're right, royalfan. SB most likely wouldn't be known quite as far and wide if it weren't for her association with Kate - starting with the wedding gowns. She does beautiful designs for the Duchess but, flattering as it may be for SB, I'm not sure it would necessarily be a good fit given Kate's input for the designs she wears. I definitely don't think we would see a lot of Dior if this move comes to pass. Maybe a piece or two but the wearing of British fashion is a big deal. Diana wore Dior once, I think, when she was HRH but really had to pretty much stick to British houses. After the divorce I think she wore an occasional Dior. If SB moves to Dior I think we'll see even more JP. Especially if Erdem also jumps to a French house.

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    3. Anon 2:52, that's a good question, but contingent or not, SB would bring the "association" with her, whether she ends up at Dior or ...

      I'm sure Dior would be delighted if the relationship between SB and the Duchess continued, but SB will forever be the designer behind Kate's wedding gown and other very significant outfits. Even if Kate never wears SB again, no one can erase that from her resume.

      Robin, I too believe that Kate would wear more JP. I have liked many of her gowns on Kate, but they are somewhat understated given Kate's role...and the possibilities! :)

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  16. I really like how the Duchess looked at the BAFTA event.Look at her arms,she definitely works out and is fit.

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  17. I honestly think Kate only wears Alexander McQueen because they are one of the biggest British fashion houses and can get them to make her bespoke pieces. If she only had the option to wear McQueen off the runway she would never wear them. So if the new creative director is someone who can make her bespoke pieces that fit her style she'll definitely continue with McQueen. If not, she'll turn to Packham.

    I follow several Kate blogs that do "what should Kate wear to the state banquet" type post and I spent a lot of time looking at evening gowns. Honestly, when it comes to evening gowns the British designers never make my top ten so it's unfortunate that she is stuck with them. I mean I would literally die if Kate was to ever surprise us in an Elie Saab dress.

    So I'm definitely here for Kate wearing Dior and she would also be supporting Sarah Burton who is British. When this was first reported the Order of Sartorial Splendor blog mentioned thst Queen Mathilde of Belgium wore a lot of Dior because Raf Simmons was Belgium and they wondered if she would stop now that he was leaving. So maybe the fact that Kate would be supporting a British person would avoid the criticism of wearing a french brand (probably not.)

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    1. Priscilla, I'm with you! Kate would be a dream in Elie Saab!!! Crossing my fingers that maybe she will someday!:)))

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    2. I will add my vote for Elie Saab. Her designs are feminine and can be quite regal. In comparison, I think JP's gowns are feminine, but lack a certain... edge? They are understated but in a safe way, if that makes sense.

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    3. Elie Saab's gowns truly are "the stuff that dreams are made of-" but is he British?
      I would vote for a Kate/Beulah collaboration.It would serve them both well-Kate was
      so lovely in that whitish-bluish dress with the veil in Malaysia; also, Beulah
      seems a good fit with their altruistic focus. I believe they avoid child labor and
      use environmentally-friendly products.
      I'll never forget the yellow and white dress in Australia by Roksanda and the green
      Suzannah, which I don't think we've yet clearly seen. There are many alternatives
      to Sarah Burton's fashion.
      Although the lure of Dior is strong, I think, in the end, she will stay with
      McQueen. Her niche there is well staked-out. Who knows what is waiting at Dior-
      perhaps months and years of establishing herself anew.
      Dior is a gamble. The question is-Is it worth it?

      Clearly, I should have visited Kate's Closet before writing this comment. I hope my
      meaning is clear and I didn't make too many errors.

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    4. Did I say Kate's Clothes?

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    5. True, Anon, the grass may not be greener, but even a year long commitment would be a nice addition to SB's resume. After that, who knows...?

      Delete
  18. Just for the curious , Princess Diana did wear a Dior evening gown in 1996.. That's the only dress I saw but did only look for a minute, there very well be more..

    I have nothing against SB or McQueen but I prefer the Doc in Jenny Packham. My very favorite JP was the baby blue high/low (I think that's what it's considered) she wore in 2014.(I believe it was a photography award event) I thought she looked absolutely stunning in that dress and would love to see her rewear it or something similar.. She was in her first trimester with Princess Charlotte and was tanned and glowing and looked absolutely gorgeous! It is my favorite event gown to date.

    I wonder how they go about designing for Kate? I'm guessing she calls them up and says I need xxxxxx for xxxxxx and they go from there? I wonder how much input she actually has /gives? To a certain extent I'm sure but just how
    much? Does she decide fabric, color, length, cut etc? Or just give them an event and let them have at it? Thoughts???

    Maybe while we are waiting on Mystique photos you could do a top 5 Kate designers.. Who she has worn the most.. I love this blog and your bday column was my favorite! Every one else was doing 34 times this and that but your 10 yr was awesome!! Thanks so much for keeping us updated, you are pretty great! Val from the US

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    Replies
    1. Sonja from BavariaJanuary 21, 2016 at 6:33 AM

      I agree, the baby blue jenny packham dress is also one of my favourites! It was accessorized perfectly with new jewelry and clutch and cute bow heels. The colour is so flattering on her.

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    2. Valerie, I believe that various design/fabric/color suggestions are submitted to Kate and she selects what she likes, or she may work with the designer on tweaking this or that... My guess. :)

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    3. I'm sure you're right.. I just wonder how much she is involved with the whole process??? Will we ever know? Doubt it bc I don't see any of the designers telling all and I'm sure Kate won't either. I'm sure it's fun to do but I can also see it getting old and a bit tiresome... I would love to see her closet! Does anyone know how often Kate wears a one of a kind? I think a lot of her wardrobe is part of a collection of some sort, some is off the rack, some is custom etc ... Must be great to know that she can call any designer and get exactly what she wants!! To have that much power over any and all labels is unimaginable for me..I'm no fashionista but I'm sure it's tons of fun! I wonder if they have to sign a non disclosure agreement? Who else would have to?

      Having a moment to think about SB leaving McQueen for Dior I have to say I'd be shocked if she did.... As far as prestige goes she's top dog as it is. I really don't see her giving up all that she has accomplished at McQueen. She knows that would potentially put her most valuable client in a position where she may have to choose between the two. We know Kate will continue to champion British designers and Dior is French.... Just look at what happened with Issa. Dodi's sister bought the brand and I don't think Kate has worn Issa since.. If I'm wrong please let me know.

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    4. Valerie, it's probably a combination of the two...fun AND tiresome. And I believe there would be a nondisclosure statement in the mix. Not foolproof perhaps, but better to have one than not.

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  19. Sarah Burton's designs are exquisite and I think her suits especially are beyond beautiful.

    But I cannot forgive her that clumsy entrance into the Goring Hotel on wedding morning -- hooded and fooling no one. It had to be intentional as well (for publicity?) as I'm certain the Goring has more discrete service entrances.

    For me it was an ugly touch to a day that had been so elegantly and perfectly planned.
    But she's a genius and I do wish her well ~ just don't ever do that again!

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    1. Well, whether it was for publicity or not, it was an unfortunate sighting given what a well kept secret the gown was. True! And I agree that she could have walked into another entrance and not attracted the same level of attention.

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    2. Royalfan and Kay, you are so right. Couldn't believe she (SB) did that when all the commentators were saying "Kate wants to surprise us with her dress.."

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  20. yes sarah burton design and excellent pieces that suit the duchess but their lot designer that the duchess can chose from

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  21. You are right on my street with this post Jane! I love it!

    I haven't hear this rumor about Sarah Burton and Dior yet, it surprise me very much, I just can't see Burton in Dior. But then neither I expect Raf Simons... I must said that I spent years worshiping Galliano and I was devastated when he was fired (although I understand it was the right thing to do, he said that himself). Despite that, I actually enjoy Simons's first collections, however, lately, I have feeling somewhat disappointed with his work, I'm glad he is gone. And I agree that J.Law doesn't fit at Dior at all. Back to Sarah, she's too British for Dior, I know, so was Galliano, but he has a italian spirit, Sarah is all British.

    But let's say she goes, I think it would be difficult for Kate to have bespoke pieces from Sarah in Dior, she would be much busier (6 collections a year) and the logistics would be complicate, Kate obviously wouldn't travel to Paris for fittings. Also, that would definitely interfere in her relationship with McQueen, who knows if she would get along with the new designer? Or even like his/her work? Maybe he/she would be someone with a bad reputation? I'm sure Kate thinks about this things too before picking a designer.

    About Kate wearing foreign designers, there is a reason most evening gowns Kate wears are bespoke, the British just aren't very good in glamour, British design is about being edge/original/street. So I would love to see Kate wearing some french or italian designers for a change, I agree that it would give her a class injection.

    Back to Dior's new designer, if Galliano goes back to Dior I would probably die, but that's very unlikely, so I'm hoping for Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli (from Valentino). God forbid that the great house of Dior end up in the hands of Marc Jacobs or Riccardo Tisci.

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  22. If anyone is still interested, I think Diana wore Dior twice publically. The first in 1996, this Galliano for Dior navy silk gown at the Met Gala. It was the first piece he designed under the Dior label, I think.
    http://www.vogue.co.uk/spy/15th-anniversary/
    john-galliano/dressing-diana-princess-of-wales

    Then in 1997 this pant suit for an engagement. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a full length picture. I wasn't impressed with either piece to tell you the truth. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/420805158904770402/

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    1. I agree, Faith. I was NOT fond of the gown (it resembled an undergarment).

      And I managed to find the suit... https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/7c/48/10/7c481077f40435dd96c00291b2b40165.jpg

      It wasn't my favorite, but I did like Diana in suits.

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    2. Thanks royalfan! In the midst of dinner chaos last night, I couldn't find a direct link to a full length photo. I'm glad you did. I loved Diana in suits too and I wanted to like this one especially since it is a pant suit. I think the ruffling on the collar and lapels is what I'm having trouble getting behind.

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    3. Yes, Faith, the ruffling was a surprise. I do recall that. :)

      Overall, my favorite daytime look is a fitted jacket with a pencil skirt. And, IMO, it's the best princess uniform. Feminine and professional at the same time.

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  23. But didn't Princess Diana wear these Dior designs AFTER she left the Royal Family?
    It's like Edward VIII going to live in Paris with Wallis Simpson - expectations change when one is no longer close to the throne!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it was after her divorce that she wore Dior, Kaye. Further up, Solene (sorry Solene, I know your name needs un accent grave but I'm on my cell and it is refusing to do so) asked if Diana had ever worn Dior, so I was following up on that. For some reason, I couldn't post directly under that specific thread. I should have been more clear. Yet, while we are on the topic, I think it is possible that Kate would wear Dior on occasion since she has worn other European labels before.

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    2. Yes, I agree we'll always see the occasional appearance of a non-UK brand, especially to honor a visiting dignitary or whilst on tour to a foreign land.
      I think this is a very graceful and diplomatic homage to another nation.

      But for State occasions, probably not.

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  24. Is it royal protocol for Kate to wear dresses instead of pant suits? Or is it Kate's personal preference? Everyone is always saying Kate has broken protocol with this or that but I can't find where it explains what is protocol?

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    1. Valerie, perhaps it's more tradition than protocol. But I do believe Kate prefers skirts and dresses. Even her single days appear to reflect this; unless she wore jeans, it was always skirts or dresses. And dare I add that the Middleton ladies appear to have this in common? :)

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    2. I find that, when I'm in England, a great deal more women wear dresses than we do here in America. That's why we "jeans and a t-shirt" Americans stick out like a sore thumb over there. Still, if I'm walking miles upon miles every single day to see all there is to see, I'm going to stick with my jeans and comfy walking shoes. I do wear a cute shirt and shy away from the Nikes though.

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  25. Short answer, IMO, yes indeed; the Queen, like her mother, does not seem to approve of pant suits, or of pants, except for specific occasions--sports, and possibly when visiting some middle-eastern country which dictates that women be covered from head-to-toe.

    This may, or may not be Kate's personal preference, but methinks it most certainly is that of HMTQ.

    JC

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    Replies
    1. JC, me thinks it is Kate's personal preference given all the skirts and dresses she wore during her 20's. And look at Carole; other than jeans, have you ever seen her in pants?

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  26. No, royalfan, I have never seen Carole in pants, other than jeans. But then, I don't consider Carole to be a fashion guru. I think that Kate needs to move beyond her mother on the fashion scene, much as Diana moved beyond her mother and those silly, frumpy, frilly dresses her mother preferred. Remember?

    JC

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    Replies
    1. JC, I'm not suggesting that Kate should dress like her mother (although I don't object to her doing so), but I do believe she inherited Carole's "fashion judgment", and it's reflected in many of her choices. It seems that pants (jeans) are for casual dressing while skirts and dresses are the preferred choice for everything else.

      Delete

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