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The Duchess Debuts Designer Eponine on Visit for XLP

Friday, March 11, 2016

It was nice to see the green Erdem yesterday, but I crossed my fingers this morning hoping that we'd get a debut. Fans were uniformly delighted when we not only got a debut, but a "Designer Debut," too! Kate arrived to promote XLP at London Wall wearing a suit-set by London label Eponine:


As mentioned in a post a few weeks back, it was just a year ago that Kate and William undertook their first (and only) engagement for XLP, a program that mentors disadvantaged and at-risk young people. It was Kate's final engagement before Princess Charlotte's birth, which was a nice gesture, since that event garnered extra attention. 


Today's ensemble was fun for a lot of different reasons. Kate is the queen of dresses. She wore a lot of skirts and tops in her single days, but her almost complete change to dresses once she became a duchess was a marked shift and I am willing to bet it influenced more than a few women's wardrobes. Certainly it influenced mine, I have rows of dresses now. Today was fun because, at first glance, it might be a dress, but is in fact two separate pieces. 


This reminds me of two things. First it reminds me of Chanel's Spring 2014 Couture Show. Oooh, that was such a great year...for a lot of labels. Behold:

Chanel Spring Couture 2014
I know what you are thinking, "This looks kind of weird." Ok, yes, but it is couture. Those shows are always a little...out there, but you can see that, softened for general consumption, it is fantastic. [Although Keira Knightly wore this look as is, see here. Thoughts on that are welcome.] I think Kate's ensemble today shares many elements with that collection. Chanel was (obviously) highlighting the waist, and the belt detail on the top and along Kate's hips accomplish a similar goal. This look works really well on Kate whose hips are particularly (enviably) slender.  



Not to create a deliberate French connection here, but Eponine London is named for the character in Les Miserables. I'm not making this up, kids, it's documented right here. In honor of that, I am writing this blog to the movie soundtrack. It's actually a little distracting, but back to fashion. The second thing this reminds me of is Kate's pink ensemble from her trip Down Under. That was another two-piece that could also pass for a dress. 



Today's separates have awesome structure, thanks in part to those bold box pleats of which Kate is so fond, but the fabric has light movement, too:


Everything about this ensemble was sweet. I love the checkered (baby gingham) fabric and I loved the silhouette which really flatters Kate's legs. [Pro-tip: this silhouette flatters all legs. If you don't love your legs, go with a-line. Instant slim-factor.] What really added the magic touch this afternoon, though, was the story behind the label. According to a piece in The Telegraph:
The mother-of-four [Jet Shenkman, Eponine's creator & designer] - whose design studio is in her Kensington home - said it remains a mystery how Kate discovered her. But within hours of pictures of the Duchess emerging wearing Eponine, her small firm was inundated with emails and sales enquiries. “I have never experienced anything like this!” she added. Skenkman's small label has been featured in Country & Townhouse Magazine but relies heavily on word of mouth recommendations. “I don't advertise,” Shenkman says. “It's through prior recommendation - and we quietly worked away and it's sort of worked and that's how I've enjoyed it. It's been a gradual process which I think is the best way to feel your way into it, and then something like this happens and suddenly everything goes mad.”
Doesn't this sound just like Kate? Quietly working away at something she enjoys and not searching out the limelight [not that there is a problem with advertising] but Ms. Skenkman sounds lovely and down to earth and precisely suited to dress the princess. 


William and Kate have seemed to really click with XLP, the photo always show them relaxed and looking like they are in their element. It's also a great charity because it blends Kate's work and priorities with William's. 


Just before Kate and William made their appearance today it was announced that Kate would undertake an engagement for EACH in Holt on the 18th. That was the good news. The bad news was that only William will appear on St. Patrick's Day. Kate is skipping the parade this year. I won't pretend I am not put out. This has been a staple in her calendar for four years and this deviation is not welcome in the least. Still, a duchess will dow hat a duchess will do, and I support that. :)



I think the explanation is probably her family. My best guess is that Kate will return to Norfolk this week and is unwilling to travel again. When I say unwilling, I don't blame her. Children need a certain stability and, frankly, adults need that, too. Kate probably wants to settle in at home and not be on the run for a bit. I am disappointed, but as a woman who loves to see new places, but doesn't love the whole packing ritual, I empathize deeply with her. I hope she returns next year!


Verdict:  Today was a real treat. It was nice to see a new debut, and it was particularly delightful to be introduced to Eponine London. I hope Kate draws from the label in the future. The retro and feminine style is right up her alley and this suit was fun and flattering. Her black accessories (Muse clutch and Gianvito Rossi pumps) were the perfect complements, and her morganite drop earrings by Kiki McDonough got another day out. They were big enough to hold their own against the busy print, but the delicate color didn't compete or clash with the gingham print. 


It was a hit! 

See you Monday!

P.S. For those wondering about the color, this is a close up of the actual fabric. It looks like a carol red (with little silver bits) and a very, very light pink, or you could even say a white that is tinted by pink. Overall, the "red" is coral enough and the "white" is flavored with enough color that the overall color seems coral/pink.   I don't think it is red, but I wouldn't describe it as pink either.


82 comments:

  1. Alejandra RamírezMarch 11, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    That was an interesting insight, abut St. Patrick's day!
    I'm thinking she already has something else in her calendar, like a wedding or so
    Thanks for the info! I wonder if she will wear this label in India? It looks colorful

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  2. Thanks Jane for a great post as always. I will echo all of your sentiments about today and St.Patrick's Day. Lovely outfit- I would love to see Kate with some bolder, jet earrings or a large bib necklace with these separates. The proportions of these pieces just set Kate's figure off- she looks magnificent. I am glad that William is going on the 17th (one Cambridge has to be there!) and I am glad to see Kate later in the week too. Plus we'll see them en masse at the Commonwealth service. That's all I can say about that without getting the naysayers' panties in a knot... Get some rest Jane!

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    1. I am disappointed because we really have come to expect it and I love to see what green she will wear, etc, but...you don't get everything in life. :)
      I can't wait for the Commonwealth service!

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    2. Maybe her absence on St. Patrick's Day is the reason she chose the green coat the other day.

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    3. I am going to put another positive thought out there- maybe the Cambridges will have a knockout tour to India/Bhutan with enough style and substance to keep us chattering away for weeks! I choose to think they are balancing work and family obligations very carefully since they have to be away for almost 2 weeks very shortly... It will be a very busy royal week next week anyway! I'll pass out shamrocks if they need me to!

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    4. Agree 100% Lori.

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    5. I also agree with you, Lori. It's hard to be away from the little ones for so long. The kids, at their young ages, change daily. How heartbreaking would it be to miss Charlotte's first steps?!

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  3. Thanks for the info on the Eponine label--what a wonderful day for the designer! I loved the dress but wish Kate hadn't accessorized with black. To me, a nude or brown would have felt lighter and more spring-y.

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    Replies
    1. Hmm, that would have been really nice, I agree. She was probably persuaded by the buttons, to match them to her accessories, and there was something very crisp and pulled together about that, but I agree that nude would have been lighter and more spring like. Maybe when she recycles? :)

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    2. I loved everything about this outfit but did find myself missing the nude pumps (not the best combo here, sure, but a lighter shoe would've looked cheerier). I loved this, though - great look on Kate:)

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    3. I think even a lighter shoe material still in black, like patent leather, would have looked better. Also, a more spring like style shoe like slingbacks or peep toe pumps would have been great.

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    4. Faith, as someone who has mentioned the "p" word more than once, I totally agree about the shoes. :) Everything about this dress spells SPRING. Not so for black suede pumps.

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    5. I was thinking patent leather as well, Faith!

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    6. Exactly, royalfan.

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    7. I entirely agree with the comments on the shoes. A sling back would be ever so appropriate for spring. But sling backs are hard to find in a good fit. Either the straps are too lose and they slide down all the time or they are too tight and dig into you heel. I have some that are fine...but it is tricky. However a black patent pump would have been great as well.

      Sadly I have come to our conclusion that our Kate is not really a "shoe" gal. It breaks my heart because I most certainly am....but she seems quite happy to stick to some basic classics. Sigh!

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  4. I am not a fan of the outfit, but it is fun. No big deal on the 17th. Press and fans have too too much time on their hands:)

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    1. Oooh man. I wish I had time on my hands. :)

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  5. I love this outfit! I like seeing her in something other than a dress!!I have a few questions. Why do you think she went to almost always wearing dresses? Not protocol so I'm clueless!! I had noticed that and have been meaning to ask.. Her hair looks great today too! I think you're on to something saying it may be a trim.. I'm actually starting to love her hair again! It is getting longer! Yay!! How do people find out who Kate is wearing? Does KP announce it? Clarence House? I know they did the wedding dress but you have said that some items are unidentified. That leads me to believe that you have to literally figure it out? Is a little bit of both? Lastly,what color do you consider this? I've seen it referred to as pink but it looks red to me, do I need to check my settings? Lol.. Thanks in advance and for all of your hard work! Have a wonderful weekend! Val from US

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    1. My theory about Kate switching almost exclusively to dresses after her marriage is that it is safer/more modest when she is interacting with the public. Bending down to greet children or reaching up and over to reach people on walkabouts etc. she wouldn't have to worry about flashing anyone accidentally or showing her tummy.

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    2. Princess Mary often wears pants and wears them so well, so I'm not sure that the interacting with public excuse flies.

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    3. anon 8:03- I believe the point was separates-meaning skirts and tops- versus dresses. Pants were not being discussed.
      How would wearing trousers cause the problems mentioned?
      Perhaps mis-applied rhetoric-easily avoided by carefully reading a comment before
      responding.It is a common occurrence on blog comment sections.

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    4. But the issue mentioned on Mar 12 at 8:15 AM was that dresses avoided possible tummy exposure. If tummy exposure was a concern (and I'm not too sure it is), it would be a concern with pants and a top as much as with skirts and tops wouldn't it?

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    5. The discussion initiated because the Duchess was wearing separates for this
      engagement.Valerie said "something other than a dress."
      The remark about an excuse "not flying" was referring to the separates versus dresses
      discussion, which did not mention Princess Mary's or anyone else's pants.An ungracious
      comment that was completely out of sync.
      Loose or cropped tops with skirts can ride up with arm movement.
      Perhaps you are anon 8:03,izzie, and you were explainijg your comment?

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    6. Nope I have never posted as "Anonymous" and have only posted under my name. My point in response to the post by one of the many folks named Anonymous here is that a top is a top whether worn with a skirt or with pants. "Cropped" tops can indeed ride up but short or loose-skirted dresses can be quite revealing in other ways (and have been unfortunately!) So I am not sure that dresses always win for modesty.

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  6. Lovely outfit, and I enjoy how both Kate and William are so animated. I am usually 100% supportive of anything the Cambridges decide to do and not do, but not attending Saint Patrick's Day is a big mistake in my opinion. It should be set in stone right now, and the public love these guaranteed Royal events. Why does their public life seem like a bizarre game of snakes and ladders?
    Royal Watcher

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    Replies
    1. The Queen Mum handed out shamrocks for years as a representative of her husband,
      George VI. Since William will be there himself, there is no need for a substitute.
      That engagement was a favorite of mine, too, but there will be plenty of appearances coming up I agree with Lori- the Cambridges are an effective balancing act.
      The speculation about the reason for the change of schedule is just that.
      Not one story-writer has listed a direct quote from KP.I highly doubt Catherine
      just arbitrarily decided not to go. She always looked as though she was immensely
      enjoying everything about the ceremony, from the pup mascot to William's silly
      face with shamrocks dangling in his eyes.

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  7. Lovely outfit, and I enjoy how both Kate and William are so animated. I am usually 100% supportive of anything the Cambridges decide to do and not do, but not attending Saint Patrick's Day is a big mistake in my opinion. It should be set in stone right now, and the public love these guaranteed Royal events. Why does their public life seem like a bizarre game of snakes and ladders?
    Royal Watcher

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  8. Did you just say by "she is basically unwilling to travel back to London",- even she has the opportunity to take a helicopter- she prefers staying home rather than once in a year attend a royal event? That is new and news on this site:-)

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    1. Well, I try to keep things fresh. ;)

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  9. Sonja from BavariaMarch 12, 2016 at 2:34 AM

    First of all, my thoughts on keira knightley: she almost always looks stunning when wearing chanel, but I am not completely sure about this outfit. Her waist looks so (unhealthily) slim, just as if she was wearing a corset. And I'm not a huge fan of the shoes. But I still don't dislike the outfit if you know what I mean :)

    The pink mcqueen ensemble from down under is in fact among my 'Kate's top 5 looks of all times'! I love the colour on her, her hair was styled differently, straight, and I love it! (Also adore the accessoires she combined, the clutch, necklace and shoes. I wonder when we will see the sledge again??)

    This debut was a big hit! The colour was great for Kate, and I love to see her wearing skirts/ suit sets. She really has an eye for discovering great new labels! The silhouette was great on Kate, and I am in love with those buttons, they really make the outfit even more beautiful.

    I am also very disappointed that she won't be there on St Patricks day, however, I'm delighted that she has an engagement on the 18th, my birthday :)

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  10. gingham print+the springy colour+the structure=a win for me

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  11. I am beside myself with glee! This look is amazing, delightful, beautiful, and cool! A complete nod to the late 50's early 60's suits, very Jackie-O, but updated with the full skirt and box pleats. So very Kate! A modern classic, and the color is fantastic on her! She wears pink so beautifully, and cream, and white - she can wear it all evidently! The hair was gorgeous too, it looks so much thicker now it's grown, loved the shoes and my goodness she has the most beautiful legs! William is dashing as always, isn't he just the perfect height/build for her? They are picture-perfect and look like a lot of fun. Can't wait to see what else she wears from this label, judging from this suit they have a wonderful point of view.

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    1. I agree with every word. Especially about her legs and how great Wills & Kate look together. :)

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    2. Yes! I think Kate stole MY legs. I want them back now haha! But seriously, I would kill to have her legs!

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    3. The sixth photo down of Kate where she is stepping up on the curb is amazing! Terrific legs!!!

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    4. I think those shoes with their sky-high, slender heel make her legs look even more incredible, especially when paired with a somewhat-structured, knee-length skirt in that super-fresh color. Just love it all!

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    5. I agree Diane. It was all working together very nicely. Just wish the shoes weren't suade.

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  12. Classic and elegant. Like you, Jane, I immediately thought of the pink suit she wore in Australia.
    Pleats are great for her, as she has such a long stride.
    Disappointing about the St. Patrick's Day parade, but the Duke is the Colonel of the Regiment not Catherine, so if only one can go, it should be him.
    She stood in for the prince the year he was in the Falklands and I suppose we have begun to think she would be there every year. She has an engagement in Norfolk the following day,so it would mean a lot of going back and forth, or possibly they need to give the Nanny time off. I'm sure there is a very good reason for her not to attend.

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    1. True, true. All reasonably things that should assuage my disappointment. I am sighing, but nodding my head.

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  14. My first thought was that George might have class activities for St. Patricks Day that the parents were invited to participate in. Now that they have children, I think that even the minor holidays will have become more significant in the Cambridge's lives. Just a thought since Kate has never missed it til now. I'm so disappointed but I understand if its for her children's sake:) I hope it's not just because she doesn't feel like making the trip:((

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  15. I've read in other places that this suit is very Jackie Kennedy, but I wonder if it might have been a nod to Nancy Reagan? Her funeral was Friday and she was famous for her pretty red suits. Jane mentioned that two-piece ensembles aren't the norm for the Duchess. There are also those very sweet pictures of Charles and Diana visiting the Reagans at the White House early in their marriage. It could all be just a coincidence, but I love the look nonetheless.

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    1. I don't know about honoring Mrs Reagan, but I do think Kate is the princess of retro fashion. I really like this suit and the one worn by Keira Knightley would qualify as stunning without the dramatic waist.

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  16. I like Kate in separates and have been glad to see them the last few months. For too long IMO she's worn only dresses that often look too high-waisted. (And not necessarily more modest than separates when bending over or sitting down depending on the skirt length) Often when she wears a dress, I can't tell if it is supposed to be an empire waist or is just short-waisted on her. I think her body looks more proportional when clothes fit her actual waist especially when she wears such high heels. That said, I don't care for this outfit. The two sets of black buttons are distracting to me placed so close together. The top seems to need to be fitted a bit better esp for such an expensive piece. And I can't imagine Jackie K (or Nancy R) in red checks. I know checks are popular now (even in cheap clothes like walmart) but they always remind me of little girls' clothes, farmers' shirts, curtains, or tablecloths. But I hope she continues with occasional separates/suits!

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    1. lizzie, I completely agree with you, re the separates; solves the recurring waist-line problem very neatly. However, unlike you, I simply love this look from head to toe! Love her hair just this length, love the suit--chic, IMO, and love the Rossi pumps--has something to do with the cut and to do with the height of the heel. The style of the A-line skirt, its length, and the height of the heel work together to create the flattering effect of long pretty legs.

      This is another very worthwhile cause and I thought both William and Kate were more relaxed and engaged at the XL Mentoring engagement than at their events the day before. William, in particular, seemed very animated; of course, through his work with Centerpoint, he would've run up against similar issues--time and again, no doubt.

      Hats off to Patrick Regan, who saw a need and decided to do something about it, and has been doing so for 20 years!

      JC

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    2. Hi JC...I don't hate the outfit but I'm just not a "checks person" for ladies wear. I do think I'd like this outfit better if the top fit better in back at the waist as I do like the general form of the suit. For me, I could do without the bottom set of buttons. And I'd like it better if the one set of top buttons matched the coral red of the dress. That way, nude or black shoes could be worn.The black buttons are so prominent a detail I can't imagine the suit with anything but black shoes. But maybe red buttons would be "too predictable" for a designer suit. (Sometimes it seems designers include details ONLY to be different!)

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    3. I quite like your suggestion re the colour of the buttons, lizzie, especially given that this is a S/S suit. OR maybe if Kate had chosen black patent shoes and clutch, instead of suede--which strikes me as quite wintery. Still, this is rather picky of me; I do really like this look, in general.

      JC

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    4. Black patent would look great! I know there used to be a rule about adult women not wearing patent until after Easter but I think that's been gone awhile. As long as we're fantasizing, I would like to see classically-styled peep toe pumps (not fully open toes) but I don't think either of those are on the BRF dress code. (But I don't think skipping hose is either and Kate does that so maybe she'd do peep toes)

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    5. Lizzie, for many years the Queen wore peep toe shoes and sling backs. No RF code,
      I don't think. Probably just Kate's preference, possibly due to her body image
      concept related to her feet. I used to hate my feet and tried not to draw
      attention to them. Now, I kinda like them.
      I don't think we'll see patent leather on her anytime soon. I'm not sure if the
      thirty-somethings even wear patent these days. ( i have no idea)

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    6. Her Sledge pumps are patent leather so I don't think its out of the realm of possibility that she would wear a black pair...and , yes, grown women still wear patent leather. One of my favorite pair of shoes is a pointed toe black patent leather slingback
      with a kitten heel.

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    7. Faith, we could shoe shop together any day! :) This weekend, I found gorgeous patent pumps in several colors including a stunning midnight blue (I thought of CP Mary as she has worn a similar pair).

      IMO, Kate's Sledge pumps would have been a better choice for this outfit, but I assumed she opted for black accessories because of the buttons on the dress. HOWEVER, the more I look at them, the less I am convinced that they are black. Burgundy, perhaps? Or maybe it's me! :(

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    8. Agree Faith and Royalfan...grown women DO wear patent. Admittedly I am not Kate's age but I love my (faux leather) black patent dress shoes for summer weddings. And upscale makers like Jimmy Choo and M Blahnik show the real thing so somebody must be buying them!

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    9. I don't see the burgundy but I suppose it's possible. I just got a pair of navy blue patent shoes this weekend! Perfect for spring and summer! I've never heard a rule for not wearing patent shoes until after Easter - only the rule about not wearing white shoes until after then. I do agree that sling back shoes are a hard fit - at least for me. Maybe I have deformed heals but they always slide down on me.

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    10. Thanks for the fashion updates lizzie, Robin, and royalfan.I don't get out much. ha!
      I had banished the sledges from my mind. She did stop wearing them, however. If I remember my days of wearing patent leather shoes, they are fine for a few hours-as for church, but seem to get hot with prolonged wearing, as the Duchess does.
      anon 1:27

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    11. Midnight blue!! Gorgeous, royalfan!

      I'm not seeing burgandy buttons but it maybe my screen. This dress is not accurately translating digitally, I think.

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  17. Sometimes, the DoC's wardrobe borders too much on predictability, so I was very excited she wore this dress which brings a new aesthetic to the table. The modernized early sixties design looks fresh and new while still catering to the sartorial confines of her position without looking frumpy. I hope she wears more from this brand.

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  18. Thanks Jane for a delightful write up as usual. I am loving this ensemble. I especially like the gingham which in this instance reminds me of hounds tooth. I also love that it can we worn in many ways e.g with a hat, with a coat, with a different top and a coat or jacket for a pop of color. Gingham is becoming popular, therefore it perhaps wont be long before we see more pieces like this on the market. I can't wait.

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  19. My guess regarding St Patrick's Day is that it may have to do with a celebration at George's nursery school. Given that she attended during two pregnancies, I do not believe it has to do with convenience.

    If my theory is correct, then it is an example of William and Kate balancing work and family like most people do these days. My opinion would be different if we were talking about a first birthday when a child does not understand, or care :) But at this age, George would be well aware of his mother not being there while others attend. Wouldn't it contradict their involvement with mental health if this was the case?

    St Patrick's Day isn't just celebrated at formal events and parades. Again, if I am correct, W&K will have both ends covered. :)

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    1. If, indeed, your guess is correct, royalfan, I would agree with your position, and would only add two points. The first is that in any book I have read re Kate, it was very clear that Mike and Carole took their children's schooling very seriously and at least one, sometimes both, attended sports events, school plays, etc., involving any one of the three kids. Kate would probably consider this part and parcel of good parenting. Secondly, begin as you mean to go on; in this case, that would mean choosing which to prioritize: royal duty, or your job as a parent. And it can be a slippery slope. Personally, given the Queens record as a parent--because she always put duty first, I might very well be inclined to take a different route. And, after all, William, as Colonel of the Irish Guards will be there.

      We don't know, however, what the actual reason for Kate's non-appearance might be--and we may never. I do, however, think that it is quite unusual to have two Royals on deck for regimental appearances; normally, it is just one. For all we know, TPTB decided that Kate should be declared redundant--hard to believe, tho, that it would've been the regiment, itself.

      Personally, I don't think anyone should jump the gun and play the blame-game; everyone, myself included, simply assumed that Kate, as per usual, would be there--and everyone was wrong. I do think, tho, that the timing is unfortunate, given the recent flak the Cambridges have taken.

      If I had to venture a guess, other than the one you have raised, it might be that, logistically, two back-to-back engagements, geographically far apart, one in Aldershot(?) and one in Norfolk, might have proved problematic; it wasn't that long ago that Kate riled some people for taking a helicopter between Norfolk and London; she might wish to avoid that. And, its possible that the helicopter isn't available--several Royals might have St. Patricks Day engagements to attend. Just random thoughts.

      JC

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    2. JC, I did not include the point in my post here, but I totally agree with you about a healthier balancing act in W&K's case, and for exactly the reason you suggest. Certain adjustments to tradition are not a bad thing!

      We may never know the real reason, but I prefer to give her the benefit of the doubt; I sincerely doubt she woke up one morning and thought, "I can't be bothered." :)

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    3. Anon 9:22
      The Irish Guards are now at the former Cavalry Barracks at Hounslow==they moved last year.
      Maybe the facilities are less able to cope with the press. We will never know, but of one thing I am sure--there is a good reason.

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  20. I love the story of this designer - well done, Kate! I definitely agree that coral is the color. Not red - more toward orange. I think the other is more peach than pink. The morganite is the perfect stone to wear! As to the structure of the suit, I had to see it from every angle to decide if I liked it or not. Conclusion - a total win. I do think, however, that anyone not as slim as Kate could never pull this off. Picture of the day . . . William's hand going around to Kate's back. They're just too cute together!

    As for Keira Knightly in the Chanel (my favorite design house), I love that she chose the ensemble in black and white which is so classic to the Chanel label. I don't even mind the crop top but I don't like the rolled waist. It detracts from the smooth line and my eye gets interrupted there. I do like that she chose pumps instead of trainers but, personally, I'd have gone with silver instead of gold. Just my preference with black and white.

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    1. I am with you Robin...I quite like the gold pumps but not with the black and white. I do silver *either shoes or jewelry) with black and white. Personal preference of course, but I am with you on the silver.

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    2. Gold with brown, green, red, and tan and silver/platinum with black, blue, pink.
      I think there is an aesthetic basis, not just personal preference-but anything
      goes these days.And I am probably thinking more of jewellery, not shoes.

      Something I learned in 60's ladylike rules-"Never wear a shoe a lighter shade than
      the hem of your dress." Along with gems such as,"Ladies never carry a cigarette while
      walking or smoke without a roof overhead." I'm not making this up. I wonder if
      anyone else here has heard of such taboos? In the 50's, ladies just didn't smoke- in public, at least.

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    3. Have to disagree on the smoking, I think plenty of "ladies" smoked in the fifties and in public restaurants etc. Chewing gum was a no no. Now maybe you meant only smoking while walking down a street when you said in "public".

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    4. Exactly, anon 10:25. Restaurant-roof. But don't believe everything you see on
      "Mad Men." Many creative adjustments.I lived through the fifties as a youngster
      and in my milieu , at least, a "lady" did not smoke in public. The restaurant
      Lady's restrooms billowed smoke when the doors opened, but not at table.
      Could have been strictly middle class values.The upper classes felt secure in
      their status and the lower perhaps weren't concerned about making an impression.

      Delete
    5. Here are a few more..some are still practiced where I live (American south) others not. Men must wear ties if wearing "dress" shirts. Along with patent leather shoes and white shoes between Easter and Labor Day, ladies must wear white gloves to church. Other times of the year gloves of other colors (tan, black, etc) are ok. When walking with a woman, the man always walks closest to the street (to protect the woman from all kinds of things including splashes) Women ALWAYS wear hose when wearing a dress/skirt. Men wear buttonieres to church on Mother's Day--a red rose honors a living mother, a white one "a mother in heaven". Men never offer to shake a lady's hand...the woman must extend her hand first or there is no handshake. At a dinner party, never touch eating utensils (no sneaky buttering of rolls!) until the hostess has lifted her folk. It's bad luck to wear opals unless opal is the wearer's birthstone. Never give knives as presents--it will "cut" the relationship. The bride never rehearses her part in the ceremony at the rehearsal. It's bad luck. A close female friend or relative who is not in the wedding "stands-in" and the bride watches. (No problem with the groom practicing his part apparently)

      Delete
    6. I've heard most of them, lizzie. Guess where I grew up? The South was genteel,
      but Sunday manners and Saturday night activities often made folks seem a
      little hypocritical.

      Delete
  21. Oh, I just love this outfit on Kate. It's adorable.

    Even though I can't wait for all of Kate's public engagements, I applaud her decision to opt out if it is because she wants to be a very present mother. Imagine what a happy and secure childhood George and Charlotte will have because they are being put first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We'll never know why Kate didn't go nor should we. It is possible there is a party at the nursery school. But I do wonder if the moms of George's nursery-mates are all stay-at-home-moms or women who can easily take off work on a Thursday? In the US at least by kindergarten (which I know George isn't in yet) many schools are hesitant to schedule day events involving parents because of the work issue. Of course, for children George's age an evening event isn't likely an option as it is for older kids. The fact Kate went when pregnant isn't persuasive for me...they lived in London then didn't they? So travel was easy? In general I think it is a mistake to skip the parade. Missing "once a yr" events IS noticed. Most of us here are "pro-Kate" and even some of us question this decision so...I know she and Will don't HAVE to do anything..ever...unless maybe if HM demands it (and even that might be iffy :) but attention to things that most UK citizens will notice is simply good basic PR.

      Delete
    2. Lizzie, regarding your statement that we may never know nor should we... This is a tricky subject, but I tend to agree. Some of the statements from KP almost have an "excuse" aspect to them and it does not benefit W&K. Quite the contrary.

      Delete
    3. I thought this article contained some interesting points. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3489591/Calamity-William-courtiers-won-t-say-no-Revealed-REAL-reason-workshy-Prince-keeps-blundering-one-public-relations-gaffe-another.html

      No idea if the specific claims made (Jason unwilling to disagree, Will unwillingly to take direction) are true, But as an American, I always thought hiring an American as W&K’s communications director was a little iffy because of cultural expectations/background knowledge, etc. Sure, Jason had worked for several years at the Royal Bank of Scotland but dealing with business crises when stockholders are involved is probably the same everywhere in the western business world—UK, US, Germany, it doesn’t matter. But the BRF? Also, I think 30 yrs old is entirely too young for the post—truly no offense meant to 20-30yrs old readers here. It is certainly true there have been more PR missteps/appearance of excuses in the last 12-18 months with Jason at the helm. Whether that is because Lowther-Pinkerton left is open to question, of course.

      Delete
  22. I LOVE LOVE this outfit. I saw the headline before the pictures and when I saw the word "gingham" I was like...oh no...and then the picture popped up and I literally gasped. I just love how fresh, how spring like, how fun but polished this look is. It is a total win for me. I know a lot of people have debated the color (red? Pink? Peach? Coral?) but having looked at it on a couple different sights I think it is most certainly red. And I agree with the commenter who said that on anyone else this look would have been a fail. Even on the model on their website..it looks quite frumpy (and there is no way that model is that hippy!).

    I do have a question...where do you think the top fastens? I can't see a zipper in the back...it is not on the front...I am guessing there is zippers on either side that go about half way up.....but I would be interested to know if anyone else has any thoughts....

    Jane...thank you as always...and hope the studies are going well!! Can't wait for this coming week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree Laura! This outfit is a total win, so fresh, so beautiful on Kate! And I have noticed before that she makes these ensembles look so much better than they do on the models! Several model pics have looked downright dowdy while Kate makes them look beautiful and even delicate. Classic cool, with a feminine charm. The models tend to try to be tough, or "urban" and it doesn't do the clothes any favors. Love our Kate!

      Delete
  23. Over the head, Laura? With the bateau neckline and loose waist, it seems possible.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have been following the blog for over a year now and I just love it! I have been a Kate admirer since before the engagement. It's so nice to take a break from my busy day to read the post and some of the comments. I got to see Kate in person last year on Commonwealth Day and she was just so sweet! She waved and smiled to everyone as she was driven by, as well as when she stepped out of the vehicle. I will never forget that day and I'm looking forward to seeing the coverage of this years CWD! Love the blog Jane, look forward to the next week of events!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Reading various blogs on the internet, one would get the impression that Catherine is the Royal Colonel of the Irish Guards and has refused to go to the St. Patrick's day Parade.
    From the formation of the regiment in 1900, the Hon Colonels were all retired Field Marshalls--or in one case a retired General. Various Royal ladies then presented the shamrock.
    In 1984 the Queen appointed the Grand Duke of Luxembourg (the present Grand Duke's father) to be the first Royal Colonel as he had served with the regiment during WW2. I suppose he could not be expected to got wherever the regiment was, each year and the Queen Mum did it each year except 1989, when the troops were in Belize and the Grand Duke went there.
    Prince William is the first British Royal Colonel of the regiment, so perhaps it was considered a good idea, if he presented the shamrock this year. I suspect being Colonel of the regiment involves some behind scenes jobs.
    Incidentally George VI presented the shamrock in 1950, to mark the regiment's 50th birthday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree, Jean.
      The Irish Guard site states the Queen Mum began presenting the Royal Shamrock in
      1964,obviously during QE II reign. She had attended for years, but did not present until 1964. She continued to do so, in her own words,
      "for thirty-two years." She was usually accompanied by the Colonel of the
      Regiment, but not always, I believe.
      I had stated in an earlier comment that she was representing her husband.
      I believe there is another current royal who seems to fancy herself the Queen Mum's
      successor in style and import. She may wish to do the shamrock-presenting herself, or at least leave the post vacant.
      Just a thought.Speculation only.Not to be taken seriously.

      Delete
  26. I'm so disappointed about St. Patricks day! I love seeing her in green with the shamrocks. :(

    ReplyDelete

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