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Diplomatic Dressing: Kate's Strategy to Pay Tribute to Her Host Nations

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Happy Saturday All. This morning I wanted to talk about something that comes up every time Kate goes on tour and that is Kate's choice of host nation designers. When Kate travels to a foreign country, we expect and hope that she will highlight local talent. We think of it as a kind of gift or compliment to the host nation. There has been a lot of disappointment that Kate has not dipped into host nation labels that much recently, but I want to explore my thesis that Kate has not stopped wearing local designers, rather she never did wear all that many and prefers to pay tribute via thematic ensembles from her own labels with a smattering of local talent mixed in. Let's look at her major trips since her marriage to see if this thesis stands up:


The first tour of Canada was slightly unique because, as we've discussed in earlier posts, Kate was launching an entirely new wardrobe. Erdem, a London-based Canadian label, has become such a staple in Kate's closet that we don't even think about the connection to Canada now, but at the time there was quite a bit of excitement around these dresses.


Of course, Kate began the tour at Heathrow airport wearing two appropriate labels for her destination. This Roland Mouret dress paired with her favorite Smythe blazer is still one of my favorite business looks the duchess has ever worn. She looked so polished and professional while blending French and Canadian labels on her flight to Ottawa. 


A trip to Canada for a Brit certainly doesn't call for much in the way of thematic ensembles, obviously. Kate did play a little with her fashion in this McQueen sweater dress on her visit to Prince Edward Island. Much was made of Kate's love of the Anne of Greene Gables books on the island where the fictional story is set. I think this dress fit into Kate's style profile, but I also think she was displaying some deliberate whimsy, too.


To me, this was one of her most successful sartorial days of that tour:


Of course the Duke and Duchess donned appropriate attire for the Calgary Stampede. Kate didn't wear any specific Canadian designer, and if memory serves, she didn't even wear the boots that were gifted to her on this occasion, opting instead for R.Sole boots she bought in a boutique in London. 


But, it was still fun to see the new royal couple in jeans and cowboy hats!


When the Cambridges flew to Los Angeles, Kate changed into a green DVF dress. It was a nice gesture to wear American, although Kate has been wearing DVF for years and the label has continued to make Tier II classification in Kate's royal closet. So this was fun, but not a significant diplomatic nod. But hey, we Americans were just excited that the royals came to call at all! 


In 2012, the Cambridges flew to South East Asia on a tour celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Kate had a number of notable diplomatic designs for this trip, beginning with her arrival dress. Although this was by British designer Jenny Packham, the bespoke dress really made a point of acknowledging the Eastern/Asian influence of the host country. 


This is one of her lesser known dresses, and I even forgot about it some months ago when discussing Kate's arrival ensembles, but it is such a lovely piece. It hits all my favorite elements: v-neck, swing skirt...PINK. :) It would be hard to recycle, but I hope she finds an appropriate place to do so someday.


[Update] In the draft post I added the Prabal Gurung, but Googled him to check his background. The quick facts said he was of Nepalese descent and I thought, gosh I thought at the time they said this was a local designer, but I axed the dress, since I frankly didn't love it anyway. But, FashionablyRoyal reminded me on Twitter, so I looked it up again and see he *was* born in Singapore. So he counts as a local designer, too. The Southeast Asia tour got a fair shake.



Kate followed this dress up two days later in matching separates from home-town designer Raoul. It's another ensemble that doesn't get a lot of air time, but was really the only local designer of the tour. 


Kate's gold, hibiscus embroidered evening gown was by McQueen, but it certainly paid tribute to her host country very thoroughly. 


Several days later, Kate wore a maxi dress by Temperley in what was a another thematic ensemble. Both these dresses flirted wth local styles, putting one foot into the host culture while keeping the other grounded in Kate's own background:


This was the tour where we saw the attempt at diplomatic dressing really run off the rails. To quote myself on Kate's Clothes:
On the evening of their arrival [to the Solomon Islands], the Cambridges were guests of honor at an evening reception hosted by the Governor General. Unfortunately, a wardrobe mix-up overshadowed every other headline. Before the trip, Clarence House sent the Solomon Islands Prince William's measurements so they could make him a custom shirt to wear for the evening. While they also provided Kate with a matching dress, staff made it clear the Duchess would be wearing a dress she would bring from London. However, U.S. consular agent Keithie Sunders, a member of the welcome committee, left a blue shirt and fuchsia print dress as further gifts in the royal hotel room. When the Cambridges arrived at their room, they mistook the gifts from Mrs. Sunders as the official pieces from the Solomon Islands government. Kate tried on the dress, loved it, and in a snap change of plans, wore it instead of the dress she had brought with her...or the actual gift from her hosts. The Governor-General actually banned Keithie Sunders from Government House after the incident and requested the United States replace her.
I tell you, Americans are always meddling and messing it up. ;) It was "The Solomon Islands Snafu."  William's face below sums up my reaction: ooooops. But hey, Kate looked great.


The Cambridges stayed put in the UK in 2013 thanks to a certain little bundle of energy and joy, so we were all pretty keyed up for the tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2014. The almost month-long trip was sure to spread out a remarkable array of local designers...or so we thought. This was the first tour where I first began hearing the grumblings that Kate didn't wear enough local. It definitely was a surprise. Kate chose to use thematic pieces, but almost exclusively turned to her own British favorites, rather than host country designers. Her American Tory Burch dress was thought to be a tribute to traditional Maori dress, but it was...American.


The duchess instructed Jenny P to stitch a prominent silver fern on her cocktail dress, a gesture that that was welcomed, but again, a British label:


Her only specifically local designer wear was the blue tweed Rebecca Taylor suit she wore on her farewell morning in New Zealand. Even that didn't cause ripples of joy, though, since it was a recycle. 


Fashion fans thought they'd fare better in Australia, but in fact, Kate only wore one Aussie label as the main element of an ensemble. That was, of course, the Zimmermann Roamer dress, pictured here at Manly Beach:


Kate also carried an Oroton clutch on her day in Queensland, which only really served to stir up more comments about the dearth of local designers. 


Kate closed her tour with an Australian topper. This percher was a bespoke piece by Jonathan Howard. If memory serves, it's designed overshadowed the origin of the label. ;)


Just before we waved goodbye to 2014, the Cambridges flew to New York City for a three day visit to the Big Apple. Again, fashion fans perked up to see what tack Kate would take. I thought we would get almost exclusively British, and we did, but Kate made a specific point of featuring one American ensemble during her visit. The Duchess wore a Tory Burch coat and to the ecstasy of J.Crew fans, her first J.Crew piece--these stretch black toothpicks:


2015 was another year that Kate stayed in the UK as she delivered Princess Charlotte in May, took some time off, and then gave her focus to mental health at home in the run up to a very busy 2016. In April of 2016, the Cambridges were off to India and Bhutan. I consider the pre-tour reception at Kensington Palace as part of the tour in terms of fashion, and Kate chose Saloni. This is another label like Rebecca Taylor or Erdem, it's a London based label by a designer from the host country. So it's a blend of British and Indian. 


Kate heavily stressed thematic dressing in India and Bhutan. Her arrival dress with its paisley design was reminiscent of the intricate and colorful designs of India, but from Kate's Tier I designer Alexander McQueen. For the hotly anticipated Bollywood gala, Kate turned to the Queen of the Night, Jenny Packham. 


This dress was not unlike a number of Kate's JPs, but she added a touch of drama with a slight train and a shawl that some said should have been worn in a more traditional sari style, but still incorporated a little flair to Kate's usual embellished look. It was another ensemble that straddled the fence, like her South East Asia gowns.


Unlike earlier tours, Kate wore a few more ensembles that were both thematically appropriate and drew from local talent.  Her Anita Dongre Gulrukh dress was a big hit:


 Kate's Paisley maxi dress was her strongest themed dress in India and still one of my favorites. 


In Bhutan, Kate searched out Western and bespoke pieces to very closely recreate the traditional dress of her hosts. This was a stunning ensemble and very obviously her most impressive thematic outfit to-date. 


Kate closed the tour at the iconic Taj Mahal wearing respected Indian designer Naeem Khan. Khan is an Indian designer based in America and draws from local inspiration to create his pieces. This paid tribute to India on multiple levels. 


When the second tour of Canada rolled around in the fall, there were plenty of rumblings about Kate's wardrobe. Would she wear local or stick to her own brands? Like the tour Down Under, Kate stuck to her own, wearing a few new coats from Canadian labels, notably her wildly popular Sentaler:


And a her favorite Smythe blazer in a new olive green.


Kate also wore some local jewelry, as she did in India and Bhutan, but beyond that, she expanded her Dolce & Gabbana collection and even added American label Carolina Herrera and British label Preen.

Kate's track record didn't inspire confidence for those who hoped for some French in the lead up to her first trip to Paris, and it looked after the opening few events that we might be in for disappointment. But, the Duchess came out strong on the second day wearing a trio of Chanel pieces.


So what's the method to the madness? What I see is an initial tour that perhaps skewed expectations. the Duchess of Cambridge didn't have a sartorial track record yet as a royal in 2011. She was presenting a brand new wardrobe and building the pieces that would become the staples of her closet. Designers that seemed like significant nods to the host country (which they were, in some sense) are no longer perceived so much as a nod to Canada as they are thought of as favorite Kate labels. In 2012, the handwriting was on the wall, but we weren't really reading it. Kate didn't wear a host of local designers, instead she drew from her still developing closet to celebrate local themes using her own brands.  2014 was when audience expectations really slammed into reality and confirmed what we had been seeing but perhaps not recognizing, which is that Kate's diplomatic dressing relies on themes and not on necessarily wearing a local designer.


From the few short trips Kate has made to allied nations like the United States and France, she flies the GB flag, but picks one ensemble to celebrate a host country designer. That would be the J,Crew/Tory Burch ensemble in new York and the Chanel in Paris. But fr the big-ticket event of the trip, she relies on her own, like the Jenny Packham at the Met in New York or the Jenny Packham in Paris.


It seemed to many fans that Kate wore more themed ensembles for India, but in terms of local designers, that tour wasn't all that out of sync from her other tours. Rather, because the themes of Canada (an anglo-European nation) are in lock step with Kate's usual style, whereas India and Bhutan's local aesthetic is much different, it seemed to be a more themed tour even though Kate was following her usual approach.


Finally, there is practical aspect to choosing themed ensembles, but using her tried and true labels. Kate knows and trusts her labels, they are used to working with her (her preferences and goals) and she has a preexisting relationship. Of course, some of it just depends upon what Kate likes and what she is drawn to. I think Kate chooses much of her wardrobe based on what will make her feel beautiful and imbue her with confidence on the tour trail. Finally, I think that style goes through stages. In Canada in 2011 we saw Kate really raise the bar, choosing bolder and brighter ensembles from her relied upon labels.  We may very well come around to a period in Kate's royal life where she chooses to surprise in more local labels. For the moment, there seems to be a pattern though, and when we look back it seems that pattern isn't new.

Ok all, stay safe out there in the cyber world this April Fools Day! I have already fallen for the story about kangaroos being released into Montana, the Tiek's designer shoe prank, and one fake engagement of a friend. For the seriously-minded among us, this is truly a day to unplug from the world, but rest assured this is a safe space. No false headlines here. ;)




45 comments:

  1. Excellent fashion post, but I really thought you'd comment on Harry and Meghan in Vegas:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4370724/Fake-news-Did-spot-Fleet-Street-April-Fools.html

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    1. Most of the April Fools' jokes here were about Harry and his girl friend

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    2. I'm not sure how to take the story that Google translate now includes religious speaking in tongues.

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    3. It was a cool glass of lemonade on a hot August day, Jane. Lovely collection of photos. Even though my personal thesis differs from yours. Ha! It is all opinion, after all.

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    4. If ony they eloped to Vegas...haha! To be honest, I almost fell for it, but that was before I had coffee & saw the obvious Harry impersonator :)

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  2. Hi Jane,
    Great post and I agree with your analysis. Personally I would love to see Kate mix it up with more local designers in the future. As she grows more confident in her role and her children get older, she may have more time and interest to experiment. It generates a lot of positivity in his countries when she wears local. Enjoy your weekend.

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    1. I agree. I think I understand some of the reasons she does what she does, but I think it would be fun to see a little more local talent. I think she will get to a place where she explores more, but I think we'll have to wait a bit for that to come.

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    2. I really agree with you as well. I have a hard time imagining being in her position and not taking the time to really look into local designers and find options I love. But then, a good fashion hunt (and fashion generally) are a hobby for me, and a past time - and that's why I follow Kate! For her, it seems not so much.

      I must say I find 'themed' dressing to be cringeworthy at a certain point. There are times when I feel it looks silly to say 'here's what I think is kind of thematic in your country and now I'm playing dress up in it.' She falls into that space sometimes - particularly with that Bhutan outfit. Playing dress up in an approximation of someone's cultural clothing is not generally considered respectful (think about people who dress up as Native Americans for Halloween!) and that applies here for me, too, though maybe one of you ladies can talk me out of that view. Far more respectful would be to just show up in local designers, without putting your own guesses and views about what their culture is right on display. It's distasteful to me, personally.

      And then, to add to that - when she does use a local designer sometimes it still looks like a costume. The Paris Chanel outfit could not be more in your face if it tried. In case we didn't recognize the bag and the tweed, she threw the labeled belt on there! HELLO I AM WEARING CHANEL! It's like a college student dressing up as Chanel for some kind of sorority event.

      Obviously Kate's tour clothing is not her strong suit, in my opinion! Thanks for the very thoughtful and detailed blog, Jane. I'm on an international trip and it was just the thing to find during a boring airport stop!

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    3. I kind of agree with you SM. I thought several outfits during the India tour were a bit costume-y. The Bhutanese "skirt" wasn't really constructed like the native dress anyway (as it looked like the UK seamstress ran out of material.) That's why I was glad the JP shawl wasn't worn to approximate a sari. Jane makes an interesting point about why those particular tour clothes looked that way that I had not thought of though. 

      Perhaps it is because I'm from the US and attitudes might be different where I live but I don't really expect visitors from other countries to try to dress "like me" (or more likely, in US designer brands I can't afford :) I'd much rather see designs from their home country designers. For example I don't expect a visitor from France to forgo Chanel and Dior if that what she normally wears in favor of Ralph Lauren!

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    4. I somewhat disagree. I'm in the States as well, and I do find travelers from away trying to dress "American". But even more I find folks from one state dressing to what they think of as local in another state. Examples would be going to Nashville and wearing fringe and sparkles, or Texas and wearing a cowboy hat and boots, Hawaiian shirts in Hawaii or Key West. I don't see the harm. It is cheesy but it's also just fun.

      As for diplomatic dressing, think of how many cultures wear something else on a normal basis but don Western attire when meeting Western officials as a matter of respect. Catherine's clothing diplomacy, I enjoy it. To me the clothing does not have to be actually made by a local designer, as much as I appreciate the echo of local culture in the design or fabric. It is one of the reasons I enjoyed the India and Bhutan outfits, SE Asia and the red & white McQueen in Canada and the other nods to the First Nation peoples. When Catherine dresses this way, it is not for our eyes. It is for the host country. I believe that for the most part it is deeply appreciated as a matter of respect to the hosts.

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    5. So many opinions. Don't wear local because it's not genuine, wear local because it will develop goodwill. It can't be both ways.

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    6. RobinfromCA, if you don't enjoy reading peoples' opinions, might I suggest you avoid the comments section of a blog? It is expressly in existence for the airing of opinions, and all of us have one.

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    7. Point taken about some visitors changing to "western-styled garb" Gracie. But the other examples like wearing spangles in Nashville are examples of tacky touristy clothes to me. Yes you are quite right people do it (from both from America and other places) and it may be fun sometimes but I wouldn't expect a foreign dignitary to dress that way when visiting. And if it happened there likely would be ridicule. It would be like Kate wearing a beret in Paris and that would have been odd to me. (As I said before too much like the Griswolds!) And for a person who already wears "western-styled garb" I wouldn't expect him/her to trade in those clothes just to wear a different western style from an American designer when in the US. The red and white McQueen dress from the Canada tour struck some as a nod to First Nation people and others as Scandinavian so I am not sure who was honored (And I believe the designer of the very expensive dress said the pattern was inspired by designs on Romanian gypsy wagons!)

      I'm not sure I understand the desire to see Kate wear "local designers" when she travels. Kate did buy market stall earrings while on tour and then wear them at the Taj Mahal. But we haven't seen them since. And she wore the lapis earrings from the Indian jeweler to the Bollywood event. But we've not seen them since either. In fact, except for the hiking boots she already owned and maybe a pair of jeggings, I don't think we've seen any of the India tour clothes again, have we? It would seem there would be as much or more honor to see "local" designers or locally-inspired designs from foreign tours highlighted on British soil.

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    8. Lizzie - maybe I said it inartfully and my point was missed. I'm reacting to the fact that dignitaries visiting Western countries are expected to wear Western clothes in order to be considered professional, respectful and appropriate. But it's a one way street. I believe diplomatic dressing should be a two way street. And where possible, local traditions and cultures should be recognized when overseas without having to don a full regalia. In contrast it would be a dissonance to wear ethnic clothes at home as it would be out of context.

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  3. I think that there is going to be more pressure on her to promote British. She does not have to promote other countries designers . Why should she?
    She could do what HMQ has done - a sartorial nod thru style and colour - but that should be it.

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  4. I'm curious if the same analysis was made, but looked at the origins of the fabrics if more of the ensembles would fall into the "local" category. It'd represent a nice blend of showcasing British roots but with more direct local ties than just theme.

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  5. I think it's rather odd that Catherine chooses badly-themed outfits for various nations like the SE Asian nations and India and Bhutan rather than just wearing pieces from those countries. Catherine's Indian outfits looked more bohemian than Indian, and her Bhutan outfit was from a French label. Although I have always loved that SE Asia arrival dress and the McQueen hibiscus dress. It just seems odd to me to wear a Western bohemian dress rather than an actual Indian dress, or to wear a random French embroidered top instead of an actual Bhutanese top. Oh, and what about the Scandinavian-themed dress while in India? That made no sense at all.

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  6. Local designer or theme, one has to admit she blends in. On Tuvalu it seemed as though Kate and her native co-dancer in the yellow skirt got together the evening before and said, "Let's both wear outfits with red geometric figures. " The Bhutan outfit for the welcome, standing next to the Queen; the Calgary cowgirl;the safari princess; -even the colors of her Ayers mountain outfit...on and on. She becomes a part of where she finds herself from the Taj to a slum in India-she even fit in there. Need I mention the pearl earring in the museum in the Netherlands? If ever Kate had a theme in life, in marriage, in the Royal Family, in her charities--it is to become one in spirit and not to flaunt. Even in Paris-except for the greeting, on day one,her activities were at the BRITISH Embassy. The next day was Paris and Chanel. It all makes perfect sense to me. I think essentially saying she has to grow up and relax is a tiny bit insulting. I think she is nearly there now. HMTQ does not wear local designers as a rule. To highlight one designer means another is left out. That is Not diplomacy. And, as anon 2:55 points out, with GB leaving the EU, selling the British brand will become increasingly important.

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    1. So true! Actually I think you have nailed the nurturing and supportive facet of her personality, and how it has become thematic, from her dressing to her family and societal commitments. All reflections of a big aspect of who she is.

      Skenya

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    2. Skenya-"Nurturing and supportive.." great way to express the concept.

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  7. Hey Jane! Could you please correct Mrs. Herrera's origin? She's Venezuelan, and her involvement in fashion started in her home-country, she's simply based in the US now. Other designers are London-based although born overseas (such as Saloni) and they are still recognised as from their home country by you. As a Venezuelan I'd greatly appreciate you describe her brand the same way, Venezuelan US-based. Thanks!

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  8. IMO, Kate's goal is to dress appropriately and respectfully and I think that is wise if you consider that she has been criticized for not wearing local designers AND for dressing too costumey. In a way, she cannot win.

    IMO, there's a fashion version of political correctness that I find unnecessary, even irritating to be honest, and the blue Saloni gown featured here is a perfect example. Kate was in KP (at home) and I think that a conservative dress like the one she wore to greet the Obama's, for example, would have met the "requirements" of the day on every level without going overboard.

    I have said this before...take a look at photos of the Queen greeting foreign dignitaries and royalty at BP. They arrive wearing their own Sunday best so why, may I ask, is Kate (or any other member of the BRF) held to different standards or expectations?

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    1. I would be happier if Kate wore her "UK Sunday best" on tours, royalfan. I think theme dressing, nods, and symbolic elements can go awry and sometimes have. This isn't a new position for me as I have thought this for a long while. Some slight tweaks might be needed if a country is ultra-conservative, for example, to avoid offense. But dressing as a quasi-native?  No. To me that is costume-y.

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    2. Exactly! Everything you just said!

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  9. I really enjoyed and appreciated this mammoth post, Jane! I think Kate finds the right balance between representing British designers and paying homage to her host countries. At times, it can feel a bit too costumey and thematic, but I mostly enjoy her ensembles and the thought that goes into them. I also think it's to do with Kate feeling comfortable with her 'main' designers ie. Jenny Packham & Alexander McQueen (Sarah Burton) & the professional relationship that she has formed with them. I do hope we see her branch out to more local designers on overseas tours, but for now, I think she is doing a fine job of flying the GB flag with bits of local touches mixed in.

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  10. William looks like a giant next to that woman in the blue period costume on Prince Edward Island. No wonder the other two are standing on the steps to greet W&K :) I didn't know about the Solomon Islands outfit mix-up, ooops is right! But I did love how relaxed they looked in the outfits they wore that evening...that is so embarrassing, though!

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    1. I just realised that woman in the period costume is supposed to be Anne of the Green Gables & she's curtsying to William, it's like an optical illusion LOL

      P.S. That portrait of the Queen that was done by a NZ artist makes me shudder...not the best representation of her, but I do like the addition of the silver fern brooch.

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    2. I don't recall seeing those Prince Edward Isles photos before. Thanks, Jane. I can imagine you spend hours and hours sorting through photographs in order to select just the right ones and to give us a different view of familiar events. Kiwi-it looks like the man on the other side of the curtseying lady is bowing to Kate. I liked the painting of the Queen. I've seen worse. ;+]

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  11. Great article, Jane! Kate's approach is directly out of the Diana playbook. Diana nearly always wore British designers with a nod to the country she was visiting (or the event she was attending) through design and fabric. She would add in maybe one designer from the host country along the way. Diana felt, and I'm sure Kate feels exactly the same way, that her primary role on these tours is as an ambassador for Britain. As Kate turns to her trusted designers to help out, Diana did the same - bearing in mind Diana's far more generous clothing budget as Princess of Wales. Most of the "cultural" ensembles Diana wore in other countries were done for her by Catherine Walker. There are protocols for senior members of the BRF who are on tour to represent HMTQ. While many lament that Kate doesn't wear shorter skirts or that she doesn't dress like she did when she was Kate Middleton it must be remembered that she is no longer Kate Middleton. She is Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who is married to, and has given birth to, future Kings of England and she is a future Queen Consort. If you go through Diana's sartorial choices you will notice that it wasn't until after her divorce, and subsequent removal of her HRH title, that she started wearing designers from outside of GB on a regular basis. Kate may dress differently in private settings with friends but we are not going to see her fly in the face of tradition in public. I often wonder if she has access to Diana's diaries. Wouldn't that be fascinating?

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    1. Kate isn't Diana. At what point in her life will people let Kate be her own woman?

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    2. Valid points, Robin.

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    3. Anon 10:42, on the other hand, if someone points out similarities or possible nods, why is it a bad thing? The ultimate choice is Kate's so I think she is very much her own woman.

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  12. One thing I forget to mention is that I think the beautiful, pink JP she wore in Southeast Asia would be perfect to recycle for one of The Queen's garden parties. Maybe with the pink disc hat she wore for the 2016 Trooping.

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    1. I agree. The arrival dress would be good for a garden party

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  13. I've always had McQueen and Jenny Packham on my list of "most likely to end up in a museum" but is Erdem the dark horse? She does favor the label for some of her bigger moments when she "shifts" styles, such as when she debuted her royal wardrobe in Canada and the infamous dust ruffle that ushered in a bolder designer wardrobe.

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  14. Re: "Solomon Island Snafu'- do we know who was responsible for keeping Kate informed on that trip? That was a huge diplomatic dropping of the ball. It may not seem important in the grand scheme of things, but it was a big moment for the host nation. Apparently someone from Kate's team was in contact with the Solomon Island staff and may even have known what the host gift items looked like. I believe you wrote that the officials were told she would wear her own clothing. Someone should have realised the clothing was not the same. Whoever was assisting her on that trip let her down- it was a significant error. Surely there is more information. Or perhaps the royal curtain was drawn on the incident to protect those responsible. I think Kate may have learned a valuable lesson - not sure what it was or how it may have changed her routine.

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  15. I have always thought that Kate has dressed appropriately for her role. She is a beautiful woman and she is always well groomed. I cheer loudly when she breaks out of her box ( the floral Erdem, the Bafta gown, her Bhutan ensemble), but she always looks regal and quite frankly, splendid. At senior royal events, she blends in with the rest of the ladies. Other than a few unfortunate updrafts while deplaning, she has never put a foot wrong. She's a country girl at heart, and like most of us, she is probably most comfortable in jeans and jumper. I thought her Chanel ensemble was youthful, and yet iconic Kate. Her confidence in her role, and now in her clothing, is very plain to see. Bravo Kate!

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    1. The white McQueen sweater-dress is classic. She can wear it until it is ready for the rag bag-twenty years from now. I think we saw it again at Wimbledon. There was another white dress-with a ruffle? And the broderie anglaise white one. As Patron she will have many opportunities to repeat her white dresses. Although, she did wear that red dress once.

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    2. HL, appropriate is the key word IMO. I agree.

      Anon 1, I'd love to see that dress again. Very classic, very Kate.

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  16. I dislike the theme dressing - it looks like a little girl playing dress-ups and I don't think that's what the locals want to see anyway. I think she could dress more appropriately and carefully sometimes - on their Australian tour we had wedges on the beach and flared dresses on many occasions when a pair of flat shoes or slim skirt or pants would have resulted in her being more comfortable and less likely to flash the sudience.

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  17. Actually I think she should promote British labels as much as possible and occassionally give a tiny nod to the host country as long as it doesn't look costumey. So many ways to do this: accessories like jewellery, bags and shoes. Just needs a bit of research - her team need to up their game.

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  18. She's a representative of the UK. She should be in UK labels as much as possible, IMO. I believe she shows a subtle nod to the host country by sourcing patterns or designers influenced by her destinations.
    As to the Solomon Islands snafu... I think it didn't get as much attention because it happened only a couple of days after those delporable French topless photos were published. I can only envision them getting to their hotel while being briefed about the PR, legal, and royal protocol fallout and simply overlooking the wardrobe gifts. Bad step on the American's part to gift similar items, though.

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  19. The Anita Dongre Gulrukh dress is so pretty! I love the color combinations so much, and it looks so comfortable and light.

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  20. Alejandra RamirezApril 5, 2017 at 11:47 PM

    Great points of view!
    I honestly thought that she really didn´t wear a lot of local designers, but now that you mention it, she pays tribute through themes and not by designers so it is a really good point of view!
    Hopefully in the future she will wear more local and thus giving more variety to her clothing!

    Great job!

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Debate is welcome, direct and personal insults are not. Topics we tend to avoid here: "does Kate work enough?" and "Is Kate too skinny?" Everything is subject to approval.

I (Jane Barr) moderate all comments. If a comment is live, I approved it. If you find something offensive, or think my approval was an error, please email me at princesskateblog(at)gmail.com.

At times, an acceptable comment just goes missing. If you felt your comment should have been approved, but did not show up within five hours, again, pop an email to the above address.

Happy chatting!