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Favorite Duchess Kate Label DVF Hires New Creative Director

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A few months ago we chatted about the possibility that Kate's chief designer, Sarah Burton, would head up French fashion giant Dior. That came to nothing, but just this week the fashion world got the news that another Kate label has a new creative director. Diane von Fürstenberg has hired Jonathan Saunders to head up her label!

Duchess of Cambridge Wearing Diane von Fürstenberg

Talk about a match made in fashion heaven! As you probably recall, Saunders closed his eponymous label in the fall of last year, to the great disappointment of many Kate fans, and likely to the great disappointment of Kate herself. The princess first wore Saunders in 2012 when she picked his colorful "Evelyn" aqua print dress for her arrival to the Solomon Islands. 

She has worn his pieces on a number of occasions since. She turned to Saunders again for her 2014 tour, wearing his waffled sweater to a sporting event. This top didn't receive rave reviews, but perhaps it was short-changed by the many photos of the Duchess taken at a distance. It is so much prettier close up where you can see the pretty colored details. 

She debuted a red and pink mohair coat from Saunders in May of the same year while in Scotland. Saunders hales from Scotland and was the perfect choice for Kate, the Countess of Strathearn, when determining whom to wear on the visit to the region. 

She recycled the "Evelyn" to Wimbledon not long after, marking her first break from traditional white (as a royal) at the All England Club's prestigious grand slam event.

Just last fall, Kate wore a dress from Jonathan Saunders' diffusion line, now defunct as well. This bird print day dress was immediately popular and reminded us all how disappointing it was to see Saunders exit the creative field.

Kate loves DVF and has been wearing the label long before her marriage. Although she has worn several coats from the label, Kate is drawn to DVF's bold prints and often colorful designs. You might remember the luncheon date Kate had with Camilla before the Royal Wedding. She was wearing the "Samuella" sleeveless print dress that afternoon and has worn it shopping since.

The pink paisley Kate wore to a private visit to EACH's Treehouse has been in her closet for many, many years, too.

Of course, we all remember the bright green shift dress she wore in Los Angeles and again to Zara's wedding festivities the same summer.

The news that Saunders will be joining DVF is exciting and frankly I can't think of a better pairing.  Saunders and DVF both love prints and beautiful colors, but they work with different mediums. DVF tends toward jersey fabrics, while Saunders works with more structured materials. It will be very interesting to see how these two approaches to design will meld. I have no doubt it will be wildly successful.  I would think we will see Kate in even more of the label's designs as a result.

Final little tidbit, in case you didn't see The Daily Mail piece, Kate was pictured leaving her engagement at Portsmouth in black skinnies and a black cable-knit sweater. She had twisted up her still wet hair into a messy, but attractive, chignon. You can find more pictures at the link.


  1. Hi Jane! This is certainly not the right post to qrite this, but I'd like to read what you think about Kate's make-up. It seldom changes and, for once, I'd welcome a review of yours!

    Martina, italy.

  2. Sonja from BavariaMay 22, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    That's fantastic news! I loved every Sauders piece she has worn except the coat in Scotland, it was just too heavy IMO. But the bird print dress is something I would really want for myself!!

    When she first debuted the Evelyn dress on the solomon islands, I was absolutely stunned! The sunshine, her gorgeous hairstyle, that pillbox head,... eberything was just picture perfect. Pure Retro glamour. BTW, this remains one of my favourite photos of Kate.

    I am so excited to see what this collab between Diane von Fürstenberg and Jonathan Saunders will be like. I hope Kate will wear a piece from their 1st collection!

    Jane, I am afraid you forgot Kate's most gorgeous DVF dress, the black lace Zarita :) it really broke the Internet at that time, didn't it?

    1. It did break the internet. :) I didn't include it, or a number of other DVF pieces that Kate has worn because I was focusing on the styles that most closely intersect with Saunders' style, but I agree the Zarita was stunning.

  3. Great match DVF and Saunders. Can't wait to see the off-spring.
    I wonder what a DVF/ Roksanda blend would look like.
    Who went to Dior?

    Fun having a bonus post, with the Chelsea event tomorrow and all.
    Sometimes I picture you, Jane, at an electronic console seated in a swivel chair, madly
    Tweeting,e-mailing, blogging, and lawyering. Maybe with a built-in frig and microwave-and coffee-maker. I guess it can all be done on a smartphone, though.

  4. I have always been a fan of DVF, less so of Saunders; I await the results of this with interest.

    Think I may have to eat my words, re skinny jeans on Kate, because I actually liked her pared down departure look. I liked that her top matched her jeans (both stark black, which can be quite striking when worn without a tan), I liked her runners, too! Those green laces really ramped it up. Key to my sea-change probably lies in the length of the jeans--much better ankle length on Kate's legs, IMO.

    I have never before been tempted to purchase anything Kate has worn...but those runners....


    1. I agree, Anon 4:13, it's the length of the jeans and the fact that she is not wearing those wedges that seem to always be paired with the blue skinnies we usually see.

    2. My favorite look of the day, JC -although she Does rock a helmet-maybe favorite look of the week.

  5. I love Kate in DVF and mixing with Saunders is going to be exciting to see! You're right though, the easy jersey style we usually see with DVF and the heavier fabric of the Saunders pieces will make an interesting combination. Thanks for the bonus post!

  6. Alejandra RamírezMay 22, 2016 at 8:21 PM

    That sweater in close-ups is soooooooooo pretty! Amazing detail!
    Thanks for sharing the photo!
    I'm so happy to see thei new collaboration! Wonder when the first collection with both of them will come out? :)
    Great post! :D Thanks!

    1. I agree. Seeing this sweater up close it's definitely something I would buy.

  7. Those casual shots got a lot of comments online, most people were alarmed how thin she was. It does cross my mind at times, I know she's fit, but sometimes I wonder if we're not paying attention to something more serious? I know when Diana lost weight, and probably not as much as Kate, there was a lot of talk about it, and there was in fact a problem. I know there's so much pressure on women in public today, but I worry sometimes when we talk about her fashion etc, if we're turning a blind eye to something right in front of us? I don't know, hopefully she's just incredibly athletic but it's something I've thought of more lately, makes me feel a little awkward commenting on her fashion at times :(

    1. The only time I felt like Kate got a little too thin was right before the wedding when the pressure must have been terrible. But she doesn't show the signs Diana did. Diana lost far more weight than Kate. Kate's collar bones don't protrude, her elbows aren't wider than the tops of her arms, and her knees aren't wider than her thighs. Those are undeniable signs of anorexia. She also doesn't seem to have any problems getting pregnant. Most anorexic women's cycles stop. She is very thin but she is built very much like Carole - tall and very slender. She's lost that younger "baby fat" look and we all get more angular as we get older. I see it as a natural progression. Look at this photo of Diana for reference:
      or this one

    2. Thank-you, Robin. You said what I was thinking as I read that comment, but you
      said it so much better. My thoughts immediately went to those photos of Diana.
      Kate definitively does not have anorexic theighs. I can't imagine Diana climbing
      a mountain or steering a racing craft during that time. It's amazing how getting some distance from the situation restored her-for a time.
      The un-earthing of the anorexic stories usually occurs when Catherine is at her
      best. The weak/indecisive critics have no credible argument.
      I do think "Mary" showed some genuine concern. So many of us who bought into
      the fairytale wedding scenario, only to see the nightmare aftermath felt not only a little disenchanted, but also somewhat remorseful for not recognising the signs.

      I have a question-why does it seem allowable to critcise Kate's pared-down look when
      any comments on the rotund or puffy appearance of other royals are rarely heard?
      I don't mean just here.

    3. I really don't think anyone needs to be concerned about Kate being anorexic. You can not deliver two healthy babies over 8 lbs and be Axorexic, especially after a start with hyperemisis. She is just fit and trim running after 2 young toddlers. I really think it is just another way those what to find fault on those "other sites" use to be negative in a backhanded way. All I see on this picture is a woman wearing black (which we all know looks slimming) who has had all her makeup washed off by the sea spray, hair damp and pulled back and still looks great!

  8. Mary, I understand, and feel much as you do. Thats why I stick around...pretending that I don't see what you do. Just want to be here, to have something of a voice; should it all go to hell, I want to support Kate. THAT is the most important thing, after all.


    1. I don't think Kate has a problem. We have to remember that William lived through this with his mother and would recognize the signs immediately and get her some help.

    2. JC, I don't see anything to worry about in Kate's situation. And just to add to Robin's comment here, Kate also has the love and support of her parents and siblings. Her situation is quite different from Diana's. Thank goodness.

    3. Royalfan...I'm not sure what Kate situation you mean, but-Love and support aside, Diana was anorexic; Catherine isn't.

    4. I'm jumping in again because Diana was not anorexic, she was bulimic and talked about it often. Her sister Sarah suffered from anorexia.

      And because I know a little about this I commented that I am concerned sometimes when I see Kate's photos, but it was "anon" who jumped to anorexia. You should know anon that the umbrella term is eating disorders, anorexia is just one of them, maybe to most the best known. But there are many disorders that are characterized by someone wanting to control their food intake. They are not always 24/7, it can come and go, sometimes you can manage it better than others. Just like an alcoholic, you take it a day at a time.

      I love reading the Kate blogs but hardly ever comment because honestly I don't have a thick enough skin. I love what Kate and William are doing for mental health and bullying, and it's odd when others champion their cause but do the same? I don't know if you all realize how brutal you can be in response to someone's comments, slapping them down so harshly. Maybe when people spend too much time commenting it makes it very personal and competitive or something.
      So I'll stick to reading Jane's great blog, thanks Jane.

    5. Anon 1, for the record, I do NOT believe that Kate has an eating disorder and my reference to support was a general one. Diana did not have the loving husband and supportive family that Kate has been blessed with...that is where I was chiming in from. :)

    6. You meant Kate was bulimic, then? I stand corrected.
      Your comments were rather vague but seem to hint of some eating disorder or other.
      Unfortunately, Kate was not here to defend herself.

      Perhaps you missed the several times I remarked that you, Mary, seemed to have a sincere concern. I actually said you did not use the word "anorexic." I primarily referred to mal-nourishment, which describes most eating disorders.
      I am at a loss why
      you feel bullied and felt the need to make a personal attack.
      If you felt I was brutal or bullying, I do apologise.I was merely trying to understand what you meant.My other references were
      in general about those who make unsubstantiated unfavorable comments about Kate.

    7. royalfan 6:45- yes, Kate is truly blessed in her family, both the Middletons and her
      family with William.:)
      I was confused about your use of the word "situation" and a
      bit exasperated by the increasing number of vague and sometimes blatant unfavorable personal remarks on this blog about Kate. (not just about clothing choices) As I have said before, those same people who make those remarks are irate to be questioned themselves.

    8. ps- just to be accurate,it was actually Robin, not "anon," who first used the "a-bomb." I followed from there.

  9. Yes..she does look too thin on the upperbody. Even the McQueen top looked like it was hanging on her. Her body weight looks perfect during her pregnancies.

  10. Yes..she does look too thin on the upperbody. Even the McQueen top looked like it was hanging on her. Her body weight looks perfect during her pregnancies.

  11. Black always makes one look thinner. Catherine is obviously a hands on Mum which tends to keep one slim.
    As a retired senior nurse, I would add that diagnosing someone you have never met--or possibly even seen, is dangerous. At the start of training, that was one of the things we were warned never, ever to do.

    1. I'd say that goes both ways Jean, dismissing concerns about someone you've never seen or treated is just as bad as diagnosing them. And for the record, I didn't see anyone diagnose anything here, but I have seen literally thousands of comments online expressing alarm at her frame.
      And actually there have been cases where member of the public, often a nurse or health professional, spotted something unusual on a celebrity in photos and because of their tip the celeb got help a lot sooner than they would have - this has happened numerous times with thyroid issues for example - including thyroid cancer.
      I'm with Robin that my biggest concern was at her wedding, and then when I saw her in that silver one shoulder gown, but I understand why red flags may be going up for others.

    2. The Mary comment didn't contain the diagnosis "anorexic." It seemed that was what her concern was describing, to me-so I named it.
      If a person is severely undernourished, the body reacts by breaking down muscle tissue for energy, once fat stores are depleted. Kate apparently has decreased her fat deposits , not musculature- this is easily seen in photos
      of Diana ( the one in the pink, one shouldered gown comes to mind) and karen Carpenter, for example- the memory of whose fate sparks some very real, although undocumented,
      feelings now concerning Kate. Rest assured, no person suffering from self-starvation ( that seems to be what some describe in reference to Kate) has the musculature,strength, and endurance that Kate exhibits.

      What is the "bottom line," as I repeatedly have stated,is that the anorexic theme
      is only one rumor in the arsenal of those seeking to demean/discredit/devalue Catherine. Those who find such activity amusing are only too happy to spread it around the internet.
      anon 9:11-tv docs may make speculations based upon merely viewing a photograph, but no self-respecting physician would diagnose a disease such as thyroid cancer
      on that basis.

    3. Never mentioned TV docs Anon don't know what you're talking about, but there have been many cases of viewers notifying celebs/tv hosts of something not right, just recently a nurse who was watching an American TV home show called to say the host had a lump on his throat consistent with thyroid cancer that he should have checked. she was just an ordinary viewer that day. Host had it checked, it was cancer and he said it would have been quite advanced if she hadn't emailed show since he would never have stopped to have it checked himself. The public can often spot things that can save someone's life.
      Sometimes it does take a stranger to point something out that people who surround you every day never see. Oprah has talked extensively about a viewer recognizing her thyroid issue.
      I am a Kate fan but the uber fans who think every remark is a slam against her are as bad as the ones who actually do slam her every chance they get.

    4. Yes, the guy on Flip or Flop! That was quite the miracle for him but I would say that this is a very rare case.

      anon 11:19 - right on point.

    5. I agree with you, Jean. In Kate case, I see a combination of genes and lifestyle.

  12. Does that justify the unfounded hints and rumors about Kate?

    I indicated that Mary and others may feel anxious, thinking about Diana's illness but
    I would think one would educate oneself about the disease with information from a reputable source
    before helping to spread that rumor. Anyone who is reliably informed would not suggest
    Catherine is anorexic.
    Writing in a private email to relay one's concerns is one thing;
    raising suspicions on the internet is another. Besides, this whole internet bullying/mental health issue revolves around sufferers of mental illnesses, including anorexia,being
    stigmatised, compared to those with physical illnesses. Saying Kate appears to have
    cancer elicits sympathy; unfortunately, saying, hinting, she is anorexic brings judgement
    about her mental status.


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