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Kate Chooses Cobalt Jenny P for Bollywood Gala

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Tonight featured one of the hotter tickets of the tour, a Bollywood extravaganza at the Taj Palace Hotel where many of India's most glittering stars made an appearance, and we were sure to see Kate in a stunning gown.



The red carpet arrivals did not disappoint, and included some incredibly glamorous in equally glamorous ensembles, including the Queen of Bollywood herself, Aishwarya Rai and massive superstar Shah Rukh Khan.  I don't know how many of you are familiar with Bollywood films, but in college I watched quite a number and absolutely love the "genre." Aishwarya Rai has always been my favorite star and I think I have seen a significant percentage of her movies. She is simply one of the absolute most beautiful women on the planet. To my disappointment, her husband was not with her, but she is married to fellow Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, who apparently suffered a slipped disc which kept him away from tonight's event. It is too bad, because together, they might be the most gorgeous couple on earth. See here.  Phew...yup.

Kensington Royal

I would love to hear from my Indian readers--or any Bollywood fans--on what your favorite movie or star is! One of my favorite songs from a Bollywood movie is Maahi Ve which features Shah Rukh Khan. It is epic, and I think I will just share it here:





I am a little out of the Bollywood scene these days, so I didn't  recognize all of these stars, but I am sure many of you in India did. I thought the most glamorous and beautiful dress was worn by Jacqueline Fernandez.   It was actually exactly the kind of look I was expecting from Kate, but it was not to be. 

UK in India

I was actually surprised by the fact that the majority of the stars wore neutral colors. I don't know if this is cultural thing or a prevailing trend or happenstance. 

Kensington Royal
The royals enjoyed a Bollywood dance performance:





This is not the dress I thought it would be. Kate tapped Jenny Packham and the two collaborated on this bespoke gown, but they drew a very fine line.  It wasn't an all out embrace of India. It was very solidly Kate's style adapted to her host country. It is actually in the exact same similar vein as the red China State visit gown. Beading on top, full, chiffon skirt with a glamorous sweep. (Pardon the grainy screen grab--we never did get proper photos of this dress.)



I do not mean to suggest this was a ho-hum repeat of tried and true template, nor am I trying to say it didn't have an Indian flair. Kate and Jenny tweaked the gown to give it extra oomph, extra glamour and that special sparkle that we expect from Bollywood. Kate has added a train, which is the first train we have seen her wear since her wedding gown! She has also added full-length beaded sleeves which is also unusual for her. The addition of the matching shawl gave the dress an even further boost of Indian flavor.  The beading on this dress was done in India with an obviously Indian design. Finally, don't underestimate the shade of blue, which really is quite vibrant and striking and matches the cobalt tones of India. 



This dress walked the line between Kate's position as a senior royal, but still conformed to the cultural and fashion trends around her. It was a diplomatic and ultimately striking dress. It was wasn't what I anticipated, but it was an excellent balance.



I think many were excited to see how it would look without the shawl, and it was really, really lovely. Kate boosted her eye-liner, too, and paired the gown with a custom made matching clutch and blue lapis earrings from Indian jeweler Amrapali. 


Kate's earrings are just a little different from the earrings pictured for sale, but both feature large, faceted lapis surrounded by diamonds. They retailed at $2,900, so even though some were disappointed that we didn't see the Duchess dripping in diamonds or rubies, these were not insignificant baubles.



In his speech this evening, William said that when he married Kate she told him that the top of her list of countries she wanted to visit was India, and to quote the Prince, "five years and two children later" she has finally made it. It isn't hard to understand why Kate would be drawn to India. This exotic and colorful country is obviously a delight to the senses and I can't wait to live vicariously through Kate this coming week as we explore the remarkable country together!




122 comments:

  1. Beautiful deep color, gorgeous beading, lovely accessories (do we know what shoes she wore?), great hair style. Only miss for me was the shawl--just too matronly compared to the other women. The red dress worn by Fernandez reminded me of a table cloth a friend bought in Ecuador, so I'm glad it wasn't Kate's choice. LOL

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Anon 6:21pm - my guess is that she was erring on the side of caution with her wardrobe and wanted to be respectful. In my experience when you're from a western culture visiting more eastern places, we like to ensure we're being respectful. I know a lot of people like to accuse her style of being too matronly, but I think in a place like India we need to see it as more than that.
      ~ A

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    2. The dress itself had long sleeves and many of the guests exposed their midriffs, so I don't think that was an issue. The close-ups of her beaded bag are stunning--must have been made at the same time.

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    3. Interesting! I thought the shawl was meant to be an echo of the sari (actually, I had wished she would have worn a magnificent sari to this event). I figure she may not have been fully comfortable wearing a sari, so this was her nod to it. I'm in agreement that it was unnecessary, though, and I would have preferred either a full-on, gorgeous sari, or this dress minus the shawl.

      Delete
  2. Kate was absolutely glowing and BEAMING while stopping for the photographers with William. She must have had a 5 Hour Energy while getting ready for the evening. When I've taken overnight flights, I'm a droopy mess by the following night!

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  3. I thought Kate looked stunning this evening. I loved the shade of blue and, although not unusual for her (we know she loves various shades of blue), the embellishments made this a stand apart garment. I don't care for the earrings. I know I will be the only person on the planet to say this, but I thought they looked cheap. Yikes!

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    1. You aren't alone. I didn't really like them either. I guess I wasn't chocked that they were $2,900, but for that she could have knocked our socks off with some floral design from Kiki McDonough. Oh well.

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    2. Alejandra RamírezApril 10, 2016 at 6:38 PM

      I'm not a 100% fan of them either, but she looked amazing!

      Delete
    3. I thought it was head to toe perfection...earrings included! :) I have been waiting for a larger set of earrings with an updo and she did not disappoint. Stunning all the way. (The color reminded me of Maxima's coronation gown.)

      Although I must admit to smiling to myself over the fact that the sandals are suede. :)

      Delete
    4. The earrings aren't my favorites either. There are some fantastic sapphires in the royal collection and I would have loved to see those with this dress. I actually like the shape of the version you shared, Jane, more than the ones Kate wore.

      You say sandals (yea!) but suede? Oh, for heaven's sake! The girl has fallen into a shoe rut!

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    5. Omgosh I agree about the earrings. They're too big for her face and to clonky for the delicate beading of the dress. She should get someone to help her with jewelry selection. I'd be happy to volunteer :)))

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    6. I totally disagree about the earrings! They are stunning and a perfect balance her with her undo, long neck, tall stature & amazing gown. Small earrings would have looked ridiculous/off balance.

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    7. 11:49, I'm totally with you on the earrings. Perfect balance to the overall look...and THE way to go with an updo. I waited so long for this combination and I remain tickled pink as I type. ;)

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    8. Every aspect of her appearance this evening was perfect for this event. I hope we see the dress again. The earrings were appropriate for this occasion, but face it, they are huge. Maybe the top and bottom elements can be separated.
      Can't imagine another situation where these would be appropriate in the current
      oversized configuration.

      Delete
  4. Wow! As soon as I saw this dress, I was in love! So dramatic what with the beading and the train and the color! I also loved the extra oomph of her eyeliner. Her face looked great. Love the shawl but it looks even better without it! And new shoes I think, black open-toe ones. I am so excited for tomorrow, 3 outfits down and they keep getting better and better!

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    1. Oops, I knew I forgot something! Yes, they are Prada. I will update in the am.

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  5. Alejandra RamírezApril 10, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    What an interesting insight you have Jane! So many points of views that the normal eye doesn't see.
    I absolutely love the dress, my favorite part is the shawl.
    Can't wait for the rest of the tour! :D
    Thaks for the post and the big photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alejandra-agree about the shawl. It provides a lot of the drama and sparkle, far from
      being matronly. I think it also makes the gown more versatile.Most of the beading seems to be on the shawl. If it is removed, the long-sleeved dress might be a toned-down version. I don't know if she would consider it appropriate to wear a dress with a train when HM is present, but I do see her wearing this gown for more formal, glamorous appearances, such as film premiers and charity fund-raisers.

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  6. This was a big miss for me. Looks like what the over-50 set wears for the Oscars. Or something Hillary Clinton would wear. Very figure skater-y too.

    I was really hoping for a glamorous sari or at least something less matronly.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you. And I'm tired of all those primary colore, especially royal blue.

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    2. You're so right. Hillary Clinton would rock this dress. I feel like Laura Bush once wore it in red!

      That said, Kate's makeup and cute shoes and the color have saved this for me. Definitely at the bottom end of the evening dress looks we've seen but still an overall win. She should keep that makeup artist!

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    3. Lella - me too! Remember that time she wore peach when pregnant? She absolutely glowed in it. She looks great in rose pink too. A watery aqua blue would have been lovely here as well.

      Anonymous - Yes, I bet Laura Bush did! And/or Helen Mirren. (Now THAT is a classy lady who still has tons of sex appeal - Kate could take a few notes from her to decrease the matronly look.)

      And I totally agree about the makeup! Much, MUCH better than usual. I do wish she'd stop doing her eyeliner the same way for every casual outing. She'd look great in colors other than black and there are ways to make pops of color subtle.

      Unrelated side note: I love lapis, but in these earrings it doesn't work. I think maybe if they were smaller and surrounded by chunkier, bigger diamonds? A little more Alexis Bittar's Miss Havisham line-esque.

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    4. When I first saw a picture of Kate in the dress I was immediately reminded of something that Joan Collins would wear. The dress was far better without the shawl, but still not the most flattering frock for her - I do understand that she may have felt the need to be modest though.

      I think Kate looks lovely in blue (and it is one of my favourite colours), but I feel there is a little too much blue in this outfit. Blue dress, blue shawl, blue earrings and blue bag. A different set of earrings may have improved the look.

      She still looks very pretty though. She could look good in a potato sack :)

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  7. I think she looked beautiful, earrings included! If we remember, I think the Tiffany jewelry that Kate wore on her engagement photocall featured lapis. Maybe she is partial to them, and they match her ring.

    What struck me is that she was dressed more modestly than the "locals" - I think this was respectful, and smart on her part.

    She's using a makeup artist, too! I think that is smart to make her life easier on the tour. A slight cat eye! Is that the most dramatic eye we've seen, in terms of a cat eye?

    And yes, for the first time in 5 years she has debuted a new pair of heels for formal evening wear. We've seen her rocking the same two pairs for the last five years, which seems so normal :-)

    ~ A

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    1. A-7:04-I think Amanda is trained to apply make-up. I also imagine Kate is fairly adept
      with make-up by now. The make-up is more dramatic because the event allows it-Bollywood!
      Not exactly the same look one goes for at a State banquet or other events shared with
      HM.
      Again -the "locals" in this instance are Bollywood actresses.Hard not to be more
      modest. Maybe the more neutral colors are a result of being asked to "tone it down a
      little." I believe the woman in yellow behind and to the right is te BHC's wife.

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    2. Jennifer from the SouthApril 11, 2016 at 3:24 PM

      I've also thought that Amanda is doing Kate's makeup for official engagements because for the last several months, Kate's eye makeup in particular is very different than what we see when she is on her own. For example, she still has a full eyeliner but now it's far more professionally done and more flattering, especially on the bottom lid, but when she is on her own, for example in the skiing pictures, her eyeliner is back to her old tricks of being too much and too thick.

      Delete
  8. I had to warm up to this one. I was bored to tears and underwhelmed when I first saw it. After a quick nap (after being up since 2:00 AM to catch all the events) I saw pics of the dress without the cape. It was much better! Love the color and the way the train flows. Earrings are great and she looked very pretty and glowy. She either learned to do her makeup better or she got a professional to do it. Overall a great fashion day for Kate

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  9. I was a tad bit disappointed that she had, once again, chosen this shade of blue but I got over it with the fabulous detailing on the bodice and the shawl. Just stunning! The clutch is also a big win for me as it wasn't her standard fare. I loved it! I haven't seen the shoes in any of the photos. Please tell me they aren't suede pumps!

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    1. Okay, Robin, I won't tell you they are suede pumps....they're suede sandals. ;)

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    2. When did suede become a material for springtime dressy evening shoes? I must have missed that style memo! (Honestly I have always thought suede was only for daytime..I didn't even know anyone made dressy sandals in suede much less suede "evening" shoes. Guess I need to get out more :)

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    3. Lizzie, I giggled at your comment because earlier I thought to myself that this is the first pair of suede sandals I have ever seen. Personally, I think suede is a daytime look...and not spring or summer daytime. :)

      Robin, yes you may. ;)

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    4. Glad to know I'm not alone Royalfan...and Robin, here's a tissue :)

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    5. I too was a little underwhelmed when Kate chose her signature blue color. The dress is fab if just a tad boring. Yes, the color is great, yes, the beading is wonderful, yes, this had a train, yes, she wore bold earrings, yes, the neckline is so becoming but.... I can't help saying but.... I like all the other outfits better.... Here's another tissue and some wine...

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  10. Sorry but compared to some other evening things Kate's worn I just don't love the "Bollywood" dress. I think she looks fine of course and feel like I OUGHT to love the dress because it has some beautiful elements. But it makes Kate's top look as flat as a board-- she's very slim but she's not that flat and this is a bespoke dress so it seems it should flatter her build. Other than the beading I just don't see there is much style to this dress since I'm not much for trains except on wedding dresses. Maybe I'm just not a Packham fan for evening wear.


    I also **personally** have qualms (and usually will not buy) when I see tags on clothing and accessories saying "hand beaded in_____" (insert name of any Asian country) The Indian women (and probably older children) who did this beadwork may have been paid a fair wage  since reportedly the beading work was done in India "in honor" of the visit (or maybe it was just "an honor" to work on this particular dress) but in many cases we all know workers are paid an appallingly low wage. (Let's face it, that's why US and UK designers often have their beadwork done in Asia and have other handsewing done abroad!)


    I'm also not a fan of the earrings. I guess the idea was that too much obvious glitter there would detract from the beaded dress and maybe it was politically inadvisable for her to wear any royal stones that had been mined in India yrs ago. But these earrings seem too clunky and look like cheap jewelry to me even though they are expensive. I do like Kate's hair up so it's out of the way of the neckline. I think I'd like it a little more if it was straight back in a "Grace Kelly" regal style updo rather than having that side piece across the front but her fringe may make that impossible. I'd also like it up more on the sides and not hanging down behind her ears as it looks like a short bob from the front.

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    1. I continue to be disappointed that Kate does not use a stylist who would steer her towards clothes that flatter her tall slender frame. There is no question that the dress is stunning, the color, the beading, etc... There is also no question that Kate is stunning. However, the dress is once again"wearing" Kate. - she is far to slim for that style and all that material - she is swimming in it.

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    2. I was looking at India pics yesterday and wondering what happened to her curves?! Definitely agree that she's looking very flat and shapeless in some looks.

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    3. Lizzie-7:18 pm-considering some past events and circumstances Kate has experienced, I
      don't blame her for down-playing her chest. Especially after the ugly remarks following her Spectre appearance. Why would she willngly provide tab-fodder for
      tacky discussions of her body?
      Yes, QEII wore revealing,strapless gowns; I don't think so much because she was flaunting her endowments as it was the fashion at the time. She was Queen. Nobody was going to tell her what to wear. Catherine, on the other hand, seems very aware of
      her position and trying to compensate for earlier mis-haps-much as Harry seems to be doing, and magnificently, I might add.

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    4. I certainly wasn't suggesting she expose her chest or even go strapless but I think the top of the gown just swallowed her. In many photos one could not even tell she HAS breasts. And wearing an evening gown that makes her look THAT flat still triggers discussion!

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    5. Jennifer from the SouthApril 11, 2016 at 3:22 PM

      I agree that the dress is wearing Kate - it's such a pretty dress and Kate is such a pretty girl, but there is no getting around that it is not the best fit for her.

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    6. Maybe you're not looking at the right pictures.This discussion seems a little tacky to me.

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    7. The Queen has a full-figure and Kate does not. I'm not sure any comparison is fair or realistic. Certain styles flatter women with a full figure, and certain styles flatter women who don't have one.

      Personally, I don't think this gown "swallowed" her because the top was fitted. However, I did feel that way about the gown she wore in California; I thought it was too much material for her frame.

      But this gown has moved to the top of my list. I truly love every detail. :)

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    8. Obviously we don't all agree on the dress. But if I have to search for the "right" picture to see it flatter her frame, then IMO, Anon 5:44, it doesn't!  As others have said, tall slender folks and shorter curvier folks do usually look best in different styles.

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    9. No need to search 7:31- They're out there. Easy to find. Try some other Kate blogs.
      Are you saying this dress would look better on a "shorter curvier" frame, as
      Kate is tall and slender and you dislike it on her?
      5:44

      Delete
  11. Well I have to say that I much prefer this dress without the shawl! It is so much more youthful! When I saw Kate's arrival I, like others, couldn't help but feel a little dismayed. I felt that it all looked too substantial for her willowy frame. She looked swamped. I wonder why Kate thought a shawl was necessary... is it cool in the evenings in Mumbai?? Thank goodness it came off though!!! The dress shines without it and I keep going back to look at that last picture to admire that stunning beading work on the bodice.

    Overall, it isn't what I was expecting but I like that Kate has kept to her own style and a tried and tested designer. Jenny Packham's evening gowns never disappoint. I also thought it was appropriate that, as in NZ, she payed homage to the host nation, without going overboard.

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  12. I too was disappointed that Kate really didn't embrace something like the Jacqueline Fernandez dress. Kate looked lovely but I do have issues with aspects for this one. I too thought the shawl made it look too Mumsy for a women of her age. I do not like the earings (they look like plastic and Ive seen many similar to this in the cheap jewellery stores), and her bag it too matchy matchy. Its just really the same old Kate style. She had a great opportunity to really bring it out and I was left just underwhelmed.

    KiwiNic

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    1. Glad to see I'm not the only one who would love to see the Duchess dressed like a woman of her Age.

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    2. All this time and reading many comments from everywhere...yes the earrings look plastic ...thank you for the proper wording which is also why they look cheap. Otherwise the gown without the shawl was truly regal.

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  13. While I don't think there is any particular negative feedback here, just reading through today's comments, keep in mind today was day one! If at the end of the tour you are upset she still didn't wear a tunic or rubies or whatever then that is fair. But she has lots of time to make us happy or disappoint us - but give her the time to do so :-)

    Speaking of rubies, I wonder who gifted her those beautiful ones she debuted with the black velvet dress. If they're related to this trip, maybe we'll see them? Or maybe she has other rubies we haven't seen yet?! Time will tell!

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  14. Oh, I forgot to comment on the other ladies and their gorgeous dresses! Some of the fabrics were incredibly beautiful! One of my favorite fabrics was on Alia Bhatt. I sort of wished the dress was full length but still so, so pretty. Also the gown worn by Sonam Kapoo. Oh, my! I think you might actually have to be Indian to pull this off but it was phenomenal on her!

    Pink roses must be in season right now. The look like two distinctly different bouquets to me judging by the wrap around them.

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  15. I was thinking of you when I saw the very first picture that you posted - did you notice that the woman whom you liked from behind Kate in her initial arrival outfit (the blonde woman with the red shoes) was also behind Kate in a gorgeous citron and pink Indian dress? I wonder who she is - she certainly caught my eye in two pictures that are focused on Kate, which is unusual. A fun first day for me. I actually think her second dress worn to the cricket, etc., was my favorite, but I appreciate all three. Thanks for the update!

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    1. In the arrival article comments someone said that woman might be the wife of the British High Commissioner.

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    2. You're right! The blonde lady looks gorgeous in her citron and pink dress. I wonder if she's the British Ambassador's wife. Since they also laid a wreath at the memorial she must have some sort of official role.

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    3. Ahh - I'm the original anon - thanks Lizzie and Robin for the ID. She's gorgeous and very elegant!

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    4. She is very elegant! I hope we get to see her a little more while W&K are there!

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  16. Agree A 7:07-I think Catherine takes representing HM seriously.
    I second royalfan. Stunning! And I haven't even seen the shoes yet.
    And most appropriate.
    Jane, honestly,if she got much more glitzy and glamorous, she'd be the next Bollywood star.
    I don't know anybody who doesn't love Bollywood.

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    1. Yes, she does take representing the Queen seriously. Definitely. Although she was attending a Bollywood function, she could not dress *exactly* like the rest of the ladies, IMO. And I do agree that Jacqueline Fernandez's gown is beautiful, but if Kate had worn it I think she would be criticized for choosing yet another lace-type gown. :)

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  17. Ladies, does she did botox? The lines in the front are gone !

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    1. What lines, and what botox? LOL.

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    2. I'm with you! I think she definitely got botox on her forehead. She looks stunning!

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    3. Anon 8:04 I don't want to feed negative gossip, but I see what you mean. She usually has noticeable forehead lines and smile lines - and I don't see those in these photos. I even checked other sites to see other selections of photos. The lighting could have been very flattering, or she could be beginning her work with a dermatologist. As much as some like to think Kate is practically perfect, a lot of women start this type of gentle preventative work in their 30's...and some even in their 20's. So it's our best guess, but not impossible.

      ~ A

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    4. All sorts of facial expressions have these same forehead lines appear. I loved that she had them and seemed to embrace them; made me feel better about my own. But I understand why she'd want to start managing her skin.
      https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0n5E0KGxl0Q/Vs5mOVZ-neI/AAAAAAAATho/RsvwzLvFFuw/s1600/kate%2Bmiddleton%2Bcambridge%2Bedinburgh%2Bturtleneck.jpg

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    5. I agree! In recent photos you can notice lines on her forehead but in these photos she looks fresh faced and wrinkle free. Not a big deal if she did or didn't but I notice a difference. She looks stunning either way.

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    6. I don't think it is botox, but I think she does have some form of treatment that fills in and relaxes. Before her wedding there were rumors she was using some natural bee treatment or something. It has been a while, but, yes, she probably sees someone to pep her up, which would be normal, frankly, for a woman in her position.

      Delete
    7. She may be starting to have dermabrasion treatments. From what I hear that is what has kept Jennifer Aniston looking so fabulous for all of these years as she refuses to have foreign substances injected into her skin.

      Delete
    8. Jennifer from the SouthApril 11, 2016 at 3:20 PM

      Kate definitely has gotten botox. It's apparent to anyone who gets it. (I get it, too.) Nowadays it is incredibly prevalent among those in this age bracket as a preventive measure and to look better in pictures. Those who perform it (skilled dermatologists and plastic surgeons) also do it much better and don't over-do it so that the results are more "natural" looking, like Kate has. It's really possible now to get it and not look like Nicole Kidman with a frozen face. It's all about moderation and having someone skilled do it for you.

      Kate's botox looks great!

      She probably does also do the bee venom but bee venom absolutely will not give the results that Kate's gotten.

      There is nothing wrong with getting botox - it's not taboo anymore among many sets because the results can be so good now.

      PS Celebrities who say they've never had botox are lying.

      Delete
    9. Wow! I would love to be privy to the most private, intimate secrets of Kate and all celebrities. Not really.

      There is also something to be said for good skin care, a good night's sleep (The little princess sleeping through the night now? George's two year old molars cut?),
      a healthy partnership, excellent nutrition, adequate exercise, outdoor activity,
      and facials, to name a few alternatives to botox.
      As I've said- I noted a double chin in one photo Maybe her face is just fuller-that does wonders for eliminating wrinkles.

      What's wrong with wrinkles? Maggie Smith is the sexiest old lady I've seen and she has plenty of wrinkes. Wrinkes are in. It's t h e latest thing.
      And..Kate's 34!
      The only thing wrong with saying someone uses botox is incorrectly saying someone
      has used botox. Unless one is an intimate of Kate's, one does not know for sure.
      Tacky subject.

      Delete
  18. I love the vibrant colour on Kate and India is definitely the place to wear big colour but I think the fussiness of the detailing on the dress ages it a bit aging, especially with the shawl included. I thought the red dress for the Chinese visit had a much more modern line to it and the simplicity shined. The earrings don't win me over either as they are too heavy and look a bit plasticky. I agree with Jane about the other red and cream embroidered dress looking particularly on-trend and spectacular.

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  19. Kate looked absolutely stunning tonight. I love everything about this look: the vibrant color, the beading, the sheer long sleeves, the overall simplicity of the dress, and yes, even the shawl and the earrings. However, I do wish there were more photos of the dress minus the shawl, so that we could get a better look at the dress itself. It's been a long time since I've commented here. I hate to say this, but I think Kate's daytime looks have gotten very ho-hum. But Kate still knows how to shine when it comes to evening wear. This is a beautiful ensemble, in my opinion, a definite winner... I love it!!

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  20. Think this ensemble is one of Kate's best; it goes straight to the top of my list of favourite evening gowns worn by Kate. Just blew me away.The cobalt blue was so vibrant, the beadwork beautiful, the sheer grace of the dress! This was Packham--with a little help from India, at her mostest. I didn't see her shoes, so no comment, but I loved the cape and the evening bag. Heck, I even liked the earrings, which I consider to be upmarket costume jewellery, very pretty and because they more-or-less match that sapphire honker of an engagement ring are virtually begging to be worn again.

    Because Kate chose not to go *native*, if you will, i.e., altho it certainly gave a nod to India, it didn't, thank god, stray into theatrical territory as a sari would, it, too, is eminently rewearable, particularly without the cape. An important point, I think.

    Kate looked beautiful, no doubt about it. And she looked thrilled as she walked the red carpet, almost as if she could barely believe that she possessed such a dress--and maybe this is just my imagination, but I rather thought that William looked as pleased as punch with his wife's appearance.

    This one is a winner; I hope that we see it again, that it isn't relegated to: India. Save for posterity. (Remember that cream and gold McQueen gown Kate wore in the south Pacific? Disappeared, which was okay by me; the construction was awkward.) This one, tho, I would miss.

    JC

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    1. STRONGLY disagree that saris are "theatrical". I live in America and lots of Indian-Americans wear them for holidays, weddings, special family occasions, to temple, etc. And they're normal, every day wear for millions of people back in India. I'd say the fancy dresses Kate wears to special events at Buckingham Palace and so on are more theatrical than a culture's native dress.

      Also, with the large Indian and Pakistani population in London, Kate could find plenty of events to wear them to.

      Delete
    2. We see saris all over the place here. There are ladies who wear them every day. More casual fabrics (such as Kate's dress during cricket) for the day time and a lot of beading if they are going out in the evening.

      Delete
    3. But would it be seen as "cultural appropriation", Am, for Kate to wear a sari? I see in your response you only addressed Indian-Americans and Indians wearing them.

      Delete
    4. I can't speak for Indians, obviously, but I think there's a difference between wearing a sari to events in India or hosted by Indian-British people in the U.K. (where she would probably be wearing a sari as a sign of respect for her hosts and their culture) and, say, being a popstar who wears a bindi because you think it looks cool (*cough* Gwen Stefani *cough*).

      Delete
    5. I *believe* I understand where JC was coming from with her reference to "theatrical." Of course there is nothing theatrical about a sari IF that is your national dress, but if it isn't it *can* appear that way. If Kate wears a sari in India, I would consider it a respectful nod. But if she did so in KP, London, England, I would view it differently.

      JC, please correct me if I am way off here! :)

      Delete
  21. Jane, I just love that you were into Bollywood movies in college. I love Aishwarya too--she is stunning. Deepika Padukone is another Indian actress who is incredibly beautiful. I decided to watch a movie from India the other day--The Lunchbox. Not the typical Bollywood movie. I highly recommend it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I loved all 3 looks! Kate did a great job on the first day! I love seeing her in these designs and bright colors!!! I will say the red dress that you like so much on the Baliwood actress is quiet stunning and would have loved it on Kate as well.. Oh well there are 5 days left for her to wow us!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Five days left...and she will (wow us). :)

      Delete
  23. I absolutely adore the picture of her with the pink roses!!!! Gorgeous!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. After looking at what all they have done today I just wonder how she is standing up??? And still looking as gorgeous as ever?? Wow! I'm impressed!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I agree the dress looks so much better without the shawl. Why would you even need a shawl in such a warm climate when you are already wearing long sleeves? The shawl distracts from the dress and makes it seem too busy with so much beadwork, especially when you consider how much beading there is on the bodice and matching bag.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She didn't "need" the shawl, but it was an extra accessory that took it up a notch. I prefer the gown without, I agree there, but I can see the thought process behind it. :) The shawl, earrings, matching bag...loved it!

      Delete
  26. She is beautiful. Well done Kate.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The color is striking,the beading is pretty and it is a 'wow' look.Finally a gown win from the Duchess!Not a fan of the earrings though.They are just too big and clunky looking for me.

    ReplyDelete
  28. She is stunning. Kate does an amazing job. I am sure there are so many do's and don'ts she has to go by for her dresses and she always looks wonderful. She also has restrictions on designers and a budget. Yes, a budget. Other ladies can go all out, no expense spared because for them it is just ONE event and any designer their hearts desire. Kate cannot she has to dress for so many events. I remember how obscene Fergy's and Diana's spending was on clothes. Yes, Kate's clothes are top line but still within the range of normality price wise unlike some previous royals.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Loved your notes on Bollywood. A really fun genre indeed. Jane check out: http://www.highheelconfidential.com which has posts on what the Duchess and the Bollywood stars were wearing. My favourite "new" star is Sonam Kapoor - she is a style icon.

    Re the Jenny P dress...it looked much better without the shawl. The Amrapali earrings were not right stylistically. Her make up looks gooooood - loved the cat eye! She must have been boiling in that shawl.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Why she doesn't look good in anything? Analysing the different outfits she wore for variety of occasions, I came to the conclusion that it is her hair. She suffer from what I call "the dressing room syndrome". You go shopping in your everyday clothes and hair style/make up, find a garment that you like, go to try it on and it fits perfectly. However, you already got in your head the type of accessories, hair do, make up and shoes will go with it and make you look fab. In Kate case, I think she only relies on pretty dresses and forgets about everything else. She just stays in the dressing room. That cute/smart cream dress she wore in the same visit for instance. She would have looked so much better wearing a tall pony tail, for example, and a statement clutch. That will totally go with her natural/casual style and let's face it, will be more memorable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Doesn't look good in anything"! You surely must be joking.

      Delete
  31. I have completely loved Kate's style on this tour but I have to agree with Nerissa, I don't think the shawl worked with this dress. Maybe she was trying to achieve a sari-type feel? Either way, I much preferred the gown without the shawl...And as a more general point, I am a little tired of this style on Kate. Almost every long dress we've seen her in for some time now has this silhouette and I think some variation would be nice...

    I also wasn't the biggest fan ever of the earrings...I think some Kiki's, or even the Queen Mother's fringe sapphires, would really have worked here...

    ReplyDelete
  32. I just love her mini cat eye! It suits her and is an appropriate tribute to the gorgeous kohl lined eyes popular in India. Would have liked a slightly more coloured lip - currently looks like she forgot to wear lipstick (though I know she hasn't). Her make up actually is looking remarkably better than it usually does. I wonder if she brought along a make up artist with her? It would make sense bc it is difficult to get the make up right in such a humid climate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Her hairdresser Amanda shouldbe able to do the makeup.

      Delete
    2. So could Kate. The Bollywood event was an appropriate place for dramatic eye make-up.
      No need for any special help or advice. Kate is likely quite adept at make-up.
      No in-adequacy. She just needed an appropriate event.

      Delete
  33. Here is a link with photos of some of the Bollywood stars. A lovely photo of Aishwarya. Her sari is so beautiful. Love the detailing at the bottom of the sari pallu (the pallu is the part of the sari that goes over the shoulder and falls almost to the floor).
    http://indianexpress.com/photos/entertainment-gallery/prine-william-kate-middleton-india-shah-rukh-khan-aishwarya-rai/12/

    ReplyDelete
  34. Is the lady behind Kate in the first picture the same lady with the red shoes from earlier?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Double yes. She's even been photographed today at the Queen's birthday party onstage with W&K, so she is obviously someone important. She looks too infatuated with Kate to be a protection officer. I wonder if she has something to do with the British embassy in India, or something. That's just my best, uneducated guess.
      ~ A

      Delete
  35. Sonja from BavariaApril 11, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    I'm afraid I don't know anything about Bollywood movies, the only time I ever watched one was at a sleepover party in middle school - but those movies are so long! :D but I love singing and dancing in movies, Mamma Mia will forever be my favourite.

    The dress was great for the occasion and blue is such a stunning colour on Kate. But I do prefer the gown without the cape/shawl. Yay for the mini train!
    I just wish she had worn sone huge sparkling diamond earrings, the royal jewelry collection is gorgeous.

    The last photo of kate looking pensive (and so regal!) with the punk flowers is just so beautiful. Thank you for bringing India closer to us as we discover it alongside William and Kate, Jane!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonja 9:49 am- I like that photo also. So thoughtful-she looked near tears to me. There is a wider view of that picture that reveals she was watching William giving a speech
      about his thoughts on visitng India.

      Delete
  36. Jane-I've notice several veiled or subtle (and not so subtle) political references in the
    comments lately. I realise it is election time in the US and there are many American commenters here,
    but I find it inappropriate. That sort of thing can get out of hand and turn ugly very quickly.
    This is certainly just my opinion and I could, of course, be alone in this opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't discover any polticL comments so far. Sorry.

      Delete
    2. Look again.
      The comment is addressed to The blog administrator.

      Delete
  37. My 2nd favorite ensemble so far - (today's/tonight's b/w Temperley tops my list) - the shawl is a bit much, but it's pretty. She looked like she enjoyed wearing it - sparkles are fun:) I love the big earrings. Keep daring to differ, Kate!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Jane, I had a look at the Bollywood video you posted. No wonder you are such a fan. It looks like so-much-fun! Btw the King Khan guy...I didn't get why he was such a big star in the photos, but I get it now after seeing him dance away. Loved it. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I thought the dress was stunning and Catherine looked beautiful and so confident. All three outfits yesterday were spot on .
    This morning's cream dress was lovely, except for the pockets, but looking beyond them, the dress worked well for all the engagements. She really is a marvel---wore it first thing, then had a 2hour flight and came off looking as neat and uncrushed as she was first thing.
    This evening's skirt and top is also lovely.
    Wasn't expecting a long dress but loved it, and she probably benefitted from not having to wear tights.I don't know how she survived the heat during the day, when she was wearing tights. She took of her shoes when at Gandhi's house and you can see the seam on her foot.

    ReplyDelete
  40. The cobalt blue is so striking on Kate. There are so many elements to the dress that I love; the color, the train, the beaded, long-sleeved bodice. I much preferred the dress without the shawl, but the shawl did add an Indian flair to the dress. Her outfits have been spot-on on the tour in my book!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow. What a tough fashion crowd this is! (And I don't mean that in a critical way - just an observation) I thought Kate looked great in all of her clothing so far. Have to say that when I read the comments, I didn't notice very many of the issues that you have found lacking or a little off or whatever. Guess I'm not very observant. But I do love to read your opinions ladies. Will have to say (in case there is a vote later) that I love this evening look for Kate. I think she looks breathtaking.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Jennifer from the SouthApril 11, 2016 at 3:16 PM

    Love the color of the dress, although I admit that I am a bit disappointed in that it is so... regular...for lack of a better word. A brilliant green or orange or something unexpected would have really elevated this look. But overall it is definitely a hit. This dress could definitely be seen again at a state dinner with a tiara and some gorgeous diamonds and sapphires.

    However, I continue to be confused about Kate's posture. Why does her neck stick so far out? Is it because her shoes are too high? It usually occurs when she is in towering heels, and it makes the look not quite as polished as it could be. I try to recreate it and it's only in my highest heels that I stand like this, too - center of gravity I suppose. I'd prefer her in a lower heel and better posture than the towering heels and poor posture. JMO of course!

    Wondering what people think about William's admission that he has never seen a Bollywood film - I am quite shocked that he did not watch one or two in preparation for his trip. I admittedly have never seen one, either, but I would definitely watch one before meeting a lot of Bollywood stars, or at the very least I would make sure my staff gave me some great overviews so I could at least fake it.

    LOVE the JPackham dress from tonight.
    The cream dress from earlier today... amazing except for those pockets!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, the tone of your remarks indicates to me that you are sincerely concerned
      about Kate's posture, not just finding fault.
      Enjoyed your coment.

      Delete
  43. She looked 100% - excellent choice, elegant and she didn't make the mistake of trying to out bling celebrity guests.

    This wasn't a Bollywood event. It was hosted by the British Asian Trust (founded by Prince of Wales) and the High Commissioner for India. Some Bollywood stars were guests as were sportsmen, charities diplomats and business people. The media just named a few of the more famous people. So there was absolutely no reason to know about their movies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, CP, I tend to agree with you, but KP called it a Bollywood affair, if I remember correctly. Perhaps it was to create interest (unnecessary!). Also could be
      motive of the media.

      Delete
    2. It was reported (by Jane too I think) the event was to honor Indian "media arts" so I guess that's the Bollywood connection.

      Delete
    3. Read the initial KP promos about this event. It surprised me, too. I was weary of seeing the event promoted as a Bollywood affair and thought it was just media hype.

      Delete
  44. I like the dress very much, I think even though is Jenny Packham is very India, the bold color and the beadwork scream India. It would be weird if she show up in Indian traditional clothes, she's not Indian, it would look like a costume and some people could complain about "cultural appropriation". I think the shawl was unnecessary though. I love the hairstyle, probably the best I ever saw on Kate, the makeup and earings are beautiful as well.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Somehow I thought we'd see Kate in her trademark blue! I kinda was hoping we would see her repeat her pale pink sparkly Jenny Packham from 2011. That would've been in keeping with the colors we saw last night! Oh well, the dress is beautifully made and not very adventurous. The neckline is nice on Kate and I do like the earrings. She looked lovely and very appropriate for the occasion. I am sure that dress will be repeated at other official dinners back home! This dress could definitely take on a tiara!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Jc but would this have been an event that Princess Diana would have worn a tiara?

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love the colour of this gown - sure we have seen it other colours and other varieties before - but if it aint broke - it's her signature style, much like Jackie O, and Diana all had theirs. The deep blue is fitting for the occasion and a nod to the startling colours so prevalent in the Indian culture - I love the beading and contrary to the majority here, I don't find the shawl matronly in the slightest, I just think it's befitting of the occasion and of her status as visiting dignitary -it's respectful and appropriate. You can definitely notice the difference in make up and the slightly more dramatic eye and it's fab - My only complaint is, I would love foray into chancing a bit of colour on the lip and on the nail -now that would be a nice change!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Wow. This was gorgeous! It's one of my favorite formal looks (even more so than the state dinners when she has a tiara on) by far. The color was stunning, the beadwork so delicate, the style and feel of the dress so appropriate and respectful to Indian culture -a major LIKE!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Blue dress OK, a little matronly.

    ReplyDelete

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