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Kate Wears Gucci to the Victoria & Albert Museum

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Weren't we just saying how we missed Kate's shorter hemlines and youthful styles circa 2011? The princess answered a lot of prayers today when arrived at the Victoria & Albert Museum wearing a sixties-inspired mini by Gucci! 

I had to do a little background research to figure out exactly what the event was all about. Let me catch some of you (the culturally illiterate Yanks, probably) up on the background.

[Full Post] Kate's Sailor Crops Sink the Fashion Stakes at 1851 Roadshow

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A week ago Friday, on June 16th, the Duchess of Cambridge made a visit to the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre for the last 1851 Trust Land Rover BAR Roadshow. Four area schools were participating in a day that would incorporate STEM studies with sailing. 


According to BAR's press release:
The 1851 Trust roadshows use Sir Ben Ainslie’s British America’s Cup challenge to inspire both primary and secondary school pupils into STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths), with practical applications of the challenges the team has faced in their preparations to compete in the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda. 
Kate was booked to participate in a treasure hunt where all the questions were math and science-based, and an activity to highlight the dangers plastic refuse in the ocean poses to wildlife, particularly to birds.


The princess had been scheduled to get out on the water, too, as she often does on a Ben Ainslie visit, but due to the tragedies that overwhelmed Britain this month, that portion of the visit was cut out, because it might have looked too cheerful for the national mood of mourning.  


The Duchess wore an ensemble that divided our fashionistas. We were already familiar with her Zara blazer and block heels from J.Crew. Those debuted in Canada with rage success in 2016. For this event, Kate gave the look a nautical twist by adding new crops. 

They are J.Crew's Sailor Pant in Two-Way Stretch Wool and feature the oversized button closure on the front and a "kicky," i.e. flared opening. And that, my friends, is where these crops wandered off the reservation.  I think the flare is a little too dramatic. If you look at the product shot on the left, the model is standing such that the opening looks more tailored. That looks polished, but on the right, and on Kate, the actual flare is more apparent.

As I say, I know this really divided the fans, and I know some of you really loved these. I was excited that Kate is continuing to vary her business casual and I really like the nautical look, so I was thrilled with this outfit until it hit the knee.

But, I think the trousers are off. To my mind, they are too flared and they hit her a little too high. Notice the product shot shows the crops hitting the model just above the ankle, while Kate's are hitting low calf. That isn't the most flattering place to hit, even for someone with legs as picture perfect as Kate's. It took the sailor theme a little too literally. I really could imagine a small runaway cabin boy who had been at sea six months and outgrown his trousers... Not the look she was probably going for when she went nautical.

Finally, the shoes just didn't go with the ensemble. Given how high these trousers are cropped, adding heels made the look awkward to me. These trousers would have been helped by a less formal ballet flat or almost any casual flat. So, no on the shoes, too. Happy Saturday, right? :)

Still, it was great to see Kate experiment. These fashion forays always maintain an element of risk and even if she didn't completely nail this look, it was a great try. The fact that she was incredibly radiant helped, too. I know others noticed it; Kate looked magnificent. The photos that crop out the crops are some of the best pictures of Kate this month.

So, the verdict is a miss. She didn't pull the look off, and if she goes for sailor pants again, she needs to find a pair with a longer inseam and she needs to keep the look "cool" to be trendy. Formal shoes and even the jacket, probably weren't the right vibe. But, big win for being absolutely glowing and super props for wearing something new and unusual! 

Princess Kate's "Royal Wedding" Ascot Ensemble

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Change can be hard, and over the past few years Kate's style and schedule have changed in various ways that have been bittersweet. She certainly has developed a new style since 2011/2012, and I miss that sometimes, but one positive side of change for a growing royal is how her calendar is evolving. In their early years, William and Kate never attended the Chelsea Flower Show or Royal Ascot, two really lovely staples of the summer. Last year the couple debuted at the Chelsea Flower Show and at Ascot and I was thrilled today to see Kate and William return to the racecourse all spruced up and looking their best. 

The couple took part in the opening carriage ride and sat with the Earl and Countess of Wessex.  They are the third carriage, if you count in this video. The Queen is in the first, and I think she is recycling that neon ensemble from trooping. It takes someone who has lived through a world war to be brave enough to wear that color, let's all be honest.

Sophie and Kate made front page news with these images of Sophie almost tumbling into the Duchess! Everyone seemed in very high spirits and having a real ball as they laughed off the near miss.

Kate and William also enjoyed mingling with other family members including Princess Beatrice, and Zara and Mike Tindall. Zara has always been close to her Wales cousins and I suspect she gets on well with Kate, too, thanks to her very down-to-earth personality, in addition to the fact the two couples are at the same stage in their lives. They always look like they are close family when pictured together at sporting and social events. 

Zara did let her mischievous side get the better of her, and she blew a raspberry at William just as the announcer called for a moment of silence for recent victims of Britain's several recent tragedies. The comment on the video is that Kate gave her a quick "mom look." I am sure Kate was torn between the humor and her more discreet inclinations.

Maybe the most exciting part of the day for me, though, was the fact that Carole and Michael Middleton were at Ascot, too. They have come to Ascot in the past, but never with Kate, so it was particularly fantastic to see them enjoying the sunny weather...with their eyes closed. Mom, this photo is for you. Carole and Kate also blink just when they shouldn't!! [By the way guys, I don't blink just as the camera clicks. I know how it works.] 

William and Kate had some official duties to discharge. The two presented the King's Stand Stakes trophy.  It is interesting how Kate has become more comfortable in this role over the years, often taking charge now, while William plays a supporting role. 

Kate debuted tip to toes. Well, almost. The shoes are her Gianvito Rossi Pralines, which have been her shoe of choice lately, and the earrings are loaners we have seen before, but hat, dress, and clutch are all new/ Kate's hat has not been identified at this time, but it certainly is one of her most elaborate perchers to date. It features a waffle structure with a styled bow and delicate floral embellishments, reminiscent of her all white embellishments on her wedding cake! 

The materials remind me of Jane Taylor's "Una" mesh hat from last year's Ascot, and her Rachel Trevor-Morgan from some years ago at Order of the Garter. If I had to put money on it, I'd say today's hat is bespoke Jane Taylor. [Although, the elaborate details could also make it a Jane Corbett. I miss JC.]

Kate's earrings are another pair of priceless sparklers from the Queen's vault. The Queen received stunning pearls from the Hakim of Bahrain as a wedding gift, and two were incorporated into these drops. Kate has worn them before, but I sense we will see more of them.

Kate's clutch is from Loeffler Randall. It is their "Tab" clutch in a "lizzard-effect" print with gold clasp. I think Kate was due a few new clutches, much as we all love the Muse and Mulberrys, and I like this large style.  

Loeffler Randall on Net-a-Porter

The dress is Alexander McQueen. Kate has had one of the label's shorter dresses customized, and it is a smash hit for me. The skirt is almost bell shaped, a silhouette we don't see on Kate much.  Her Saloni comes to mind immediately, but not many more. It is not a typical look for Kate.

The skirt is described on Harrods website as flared, I have looked at dozens of photos and I am sure this dress has a touch of bustling underneath, similar to her wedding dress. The back of the dress in particular puffs out when she is standing straight, but also when she leans in to hug people etc. It is too pronounced not to be by design. I love it! I think it is absolutely exquisite on her.  


Carole Middleton looked the picture of elegance, per usual. You already know the hat she is wearing. It is a Jane Corbett creation and she had it made for Kate's wedding in 2011. It suits her so well. 

Carole turned to Goat London for her midi-length day dress. This is the "Devon" and features a sweet-heart neckline and back, which is echoed at the waistline, too. 

GOAT London

I wasn't a huge fan of Goat when Kate first debuted the label, but the simple and streamlined, yet super flattering ensembles they have produced since have more than won me over. These are two of my favorites: the crepe shift at Blessed Sacrament and the Binky Blouse for the Heads Together Launch.

The verdict today is: big win. Kate loves lace and is a woman of very set tastes. This ensemble today is sort of the 2.0 of last year's lace look, and in my opinion is a slight improvement. It is a little more sophisticated, I think, and I like the details more. The peplum rather than last year's (dust) ruffle, and the softer, albeit far more embellished, topper. Maybe it is because I just got back from Versailles, but I thought Kate looked like a modern Marie-Antoinette with the profusion of lace and the beautiful hat decorated with bows and flowers. To me it was mid-18th century modernized...Marguerite St.Just off for a picnic with Percy. (Great movie, by the way, if you haven't seen it.)

Kate's Percy Blakeney is pretty dashing, too. I love seeing these two living out their happily ever after. Today was so fun. It reminds me why I love royal-watching. :) Until the next time!! 

Kate In Bubble Gum Pink for Trooping 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Yesterday was Trooping the Colour and the Queen's official birthday celebration. The annual event is a huge favorite here and throughout the royal-watching community because all our favorite royals are sure to make an appearance...dressed in their best.

Now that George and Charlotte join their parents on the balcony, the event has skyrocketed even more in popularity.  As is customary, Kate rode with Camilla and Harry in an open carriage down the Mall and we got our first look at her bubble gum-pink ensemble. 

Prince William rides horseback in the parade, wearing a full regalia that frankly looks too hot to handle, and I say that in the most literal sense, but he looks good doing it:

I don't know that I have ever wondered why Harry doesn't ride--perhaps I assumed he has chosen to decline the privilege, but there was a brief article from People yesterday that explained William rides because he is a royal colonel, while Harry is not...yet. 

KP Twitter

Camila and Anne are actually also royal colonels, but the Duchess of Cornwall chooses to ride in the carriage, while Anne rides almost every year, I believe. 

KP Twitter

Since George made faces at the window in 2015, we have also looked forward to these snaps of the little royals peeking down at their parents. This year, both George and Charlotte observed from the window. Susan of WKW shared this side-by-side on Twitter of Princess Charlotte at Trooping and an earlier picture of the Queen. This picture of the Queen has been incorporated into more memes and internet jokes over the past several years than any image I am familiar with, but I like it best here.

George has settled into this whole royal routine and nonchalantly picked his nose as the cameras clicked. 

Attention Buckingham Palace staff: clean-up on Palace Window Pane #370...bring the Windex when you come:

At first, Prince George felt it was all a bit much to leave his toys and get all dressed up just to accept the adulation of the gathered crowds...

But he perked up very quickly when a Chinook helicopter appeared on the horizon heading straight for him. Charlotte took her cue from George and broke into frenzied and adorable waves:

Later the little princess got back to business. Clearly there is no time like the present to contemplate life's deeper questions as you scan a mass of humanity below you:

I love this shot of Charlotte leaning into George to get a better look at something. These two appear to be good buddies:

Kate often holds Charlotte, so it was sweet to see William lean over to brush the small princess's locks away from her face. A perfect Father's Day shot. :)

With the exception of last year, when Kate recycled the bespoke coat dress from Charlotte's baptism, Kate has always worn a new dress/suit to Trooping.  On several occasions she has recycled a hat, too, so Trooping as a fashion event, leans toward debuts, but Kate isn't above using something from her closet if it makes the ensemble work.  2017 got a full debut!

When the freshly minted Duchess of Cambridge made her first appearance at Trooping the Colour, all the way back in 2011, she chose a fashion-forward coat that featured a dramatic ruffled front. I have liked every ensemble Kate has worn to Trooping, although that hat in 2015 hasn't aged well. I loved 2017's ensemble and I think it takes second place after 2011, if not almost matching it.

This year was a real return to the pizazz of 2011. Tapping McQueen again, Kate had the designer's "Pleated Skirt Skater Dress" customized with sleeves (similar the red McQueen she wore to the Thames Pageant. That, too, was a sleeveless dress that Kate had altered) and a more formally styled neckline featuring gentle folds.


We never get the full look at Trooping, but I am sure this will get a recycle. The dress features these "paper bag pleats," which are unusual, obviously, but are so unique and fun.

Kate has chosen pieces that expose tailoring that is traditionally hidden before, with great success. Her blue Stella McCartney is the example that comes to my mind. That dress featured darting on the outside and gave what was a very simple dress a modern edge without being too busy. Kate is pictured here in 2012 wearing the dress for the first time at the National Portrait Gallery.

For Trooping 2017, Kate added a gorgeous topper from Jane Taylor, featuring bold waves of netting in multiple shades of pink. Wow. The sturdy waves of the hat and the geometric paper bag pleats, paired with Kate's chignon, created a very polished ensemble. It was an assertive look and very dramatic in all the best ways. 

Although we don't know what shoes she wore, Kate accessorized with her Etui envelope clutch and the "Diamond Frame" earrings she has on loan from the Queen.

I want to return briefly to this picture, which already made an appearance earlier in the post. It is a good image to address the criticism of Kate for choosing a brighter color. A number of naysayers suggested that Kate broke some kind of protocol by wearing this bolder pink when everyone else was wearing very pale blues and pinks. The theory expressed is that Kate was making a play to steal the stage. Eye roll. Below you see Autumn Phillips in a cheerful green with a magenta hat. [Update: a few have misconstrued this paragraph, thinking it is addresses those who felt that due to the recent tragedies in Britain Kate's dress was too bright. That is an incorrect reading. This paragraph and the following paragraph address those who think that regardless of any recent events, Kate's dress was too bright because she was hoping to steal the limelight from her fellow royal ladies.]

I have noticed an increased ugliness toward Kate of late on social media and on this blog. I am saddened to have watched women over the past two years go from negative to hostile and even to naked malice. It is proof positive that jealousy, that green-eyed monster, consumes the person who indulges in envious thoughts. I know these voices have increasingly thrown a bit of a wet blanket onto our happy little corner of the royal watching world. I want to encourage everyone to let these people and their comments roll off you "like water off a duck's back," as my grandmother used to teach my father. I feel sorry for anyone who has time to follow the royals so closely only to be a constant nagging voice of negativity. These women sound angry, bitter, and and jealous of the life Kate has chosen, but the truth is they only harm themselves. Trooping displayed a little family unconcerned by the negativity that sometimes crops up, and we should all keep our focus on how much we enjoy following the Cambridges and sharing in their happiness, not on the relatively few unhappy women who have indulged their less noble inclinations.

As always, it was a very special day for the Royal Family. This is the "full" Trooping video, although it actually cuts out before the children come to the balcony, which is the best part:

This is a ten-minute video just of the flyby with the children:

A very happy Father's Day to Prince William and to all daddies out there today!

Sneak Peek: Duchess Kate Debuts Crops at 1851 Trust Roadshow

Friday, June 16, 2017

Kate is at the 1851 Trust's Roadshow today in London. She is wearing a variation on her ensemble from Canada, but she has added a new piece. Kate's Closet has found the nautically themed crops that Kate has debuted and they are J.Crew!

Ful post tonight!

Kate's Surprise Visit to London Bridge/Borough Market Victims

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday is off to a good start as Kate arrived at Kings College Hospital in South London this morning for an unannounced visit with wounded from the latest London Bridget attack and the terrorism in Borough Market. 

According to Daily Mail reporter Rebecca English, Kate visited with the doctors, nurses, and staff who were on duty the night of the attack and spent time discussing the psychological impact terrorism has on its victims:

Pictures via Rebecca English
Kate met with patients and their families, too, but she did so in private.

There has been a lot of agitation among the public over the course of the last month wondering if and when Kate would make a visit to victims of one of Britain's several terror attacks. Other members of the BRF have made appearances, although after this latest London Bridge incident I even saw quite a bit of negative commentary about the lack of response from Her Majesty the Queen. I think the Queen stayed mum after the last attack because it came so close to the election. Brexit and this most recent election are all tangled up with the raging debate about terrorism, national security, immigration, culture, etc. I suspect that it would have been very hard to craft a statement of any substance that wouldn't have been twisted in one direction or the other. Particularly since it was leaked that the Queen supported Brexit, she was likely particularly sensitive about maintaining her neutrality before the election.  

Kings College Hospital NHS

Kate recycled her popular Rebecca Taylor "Tweed Sparkle" suit. Kate first debuted this in 2012 and wore it again in New Zealand in 2014:

Kate used it for two video productions in 2016, featuring it first in the Mental Health Week video she released in February of 2016:

And then again when she was interviewed for the celebratory documentary The Queen at 90.

Seeing it again here today solidifies its current status as the workhorse suit in her closet. You probably remember that just this past February, Kate debuted an updated version of this suit. On a visit to the Ronald McDonald House, she wore another combo from the "Sparkle Tweed" collection, that time featuring a skirt with a little more flare, and a less embellished blazer to match. She really likes this tweed and it has always garnered lots of positive feedback from fans, too. 

Kate had a bounce in her step when arriving today, which reminded me a little of some her airy attitude in the early days of her royal-status:

Speaking of the early days of her royal status, in this image of Kate saying goodbye on the steps of Kings College Hospital, you can get a good look at Kate's shoes. Those are her Manolo Blahnik "Calogera" pumps which she has only worn once. 

Kings College Hospital
She wore these at Heathrow Airport in 2011 as she started her first overseas tour. I am surprised we haven't seen them since (remind me if I missed a wear) and am excited to see them again. The little triangle cut-out is a fun detail in Kate's usually straight-forward shoe collection. 

Kate wore her sapphire and diamond drops and did not carry a clutch for today's event. I will note briefly, that although we have not seen Kate wear these shoes, they have a lot more wear today than they did on her brief walk to the plane in 2011, so clearly Kate has been wearing them in her private life.

The Duchess brought our favorite PPO today. Mr. Security's intimidating scowl is featured in the first photo of the post, and he is here holding the door open for Kate as she leaves. I know several have mentioned his absence, but he has been at most of her events lately, I just haven't found great photos of him. Good to see the gang back in action today. 

Kings College Hospital Twitter
The verdict is a win. This color is so good on Kate, and I love seeing the shoes make another appearance. Since it is bound to come up, I think that Kate has been enjoying some relaxing summer afternoons with the kiddies and maybe indulging in leftover cake from Pippa's wedding. Since I have done the same, it is comforting to see that Kate is just like the rest of us.  I do not think Kate is pregnant, because she has a big trip to Europe coming up here soon. It is possible she is easing up on fitness and diet in the plan to get pregnant just as she heads into "summer recess" but that is between Kate and William. She looked fabulous today and it was great to start the week seeing Kate. 

Prince William played at Beaufort yesterday and there were lots of sweet pictures of the prince playing with his niece Mia Tindall, who is pictured here giving him a little kiss. I know everyone would love to see Charlotte and George at polo soon. Next weekend is Father's Day, and historically, Kate has brought George to William's polo game on Father's Day Sunday. Next Saturday is Trooping the Color, so we will likely see the family on the balcony, and I am hopeful that the Cambridges will follow that appearance up with a day at polo on Sunday. If they do, it will be Charlotte's polo debut!