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Kate in Glittering Blue Gown for Royal Variety Performance

Friday, November 24, 2017

Kate has turned to her Queen of the Night this evening to make her second appearance at the Royal Variety Performance. The Duchess is wearing a bespoke Jenny Packham gown in a shimmering light blue with an embellished tulle overlay. 


It has been an exhausting day of royal watching! The Twittersphere and social media in general has been in a frenzy of expectation waiting for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to decide the time is ripe to announce their engagement. In the meantime, we were also waiting with bated breath for the Duke and Duchess to attend the Royal Variety Performance this evening at the Palladium. As you may know, just an hour or so before the Duke and Duchess were scheduled to arrive at the event, shots were reported near Oxford Circus underground, and according to royal photographers who had already gathered at the venue, Oxford Street erupted into madness as people stampeded to escape what they believed to be an attack.  

Police rushed to secure the area and determine if there was indeed a terrorist attack underway, while frightened shoppers sheltered in shops until the all clear was given. The show was, of course, delayed as organizer tried to decide if it would be canceled or not. After thoroughly sweeping the area, authorities gave the all clear, and slowly opened the various roadways and the tube station to permit access to the area around the Palladium. 


Happily, it was not a terrorist attack, but the police were unable to determine the source of the sounds of gunfire. The Royal Variety Performance said the show would go on, and everything proceeded, just on a delayed schedule. Unfortunately, though, a scare like this, so close to the arrival of a celebrity couple, is bound to rattle security. When Kate and William finally pulled up in their convey of Range Rovers, they didn't have a drawn out welcome on the sidewalk, but proceeded directly inside.
As a result, we didn't get the array of glamorous photos we enjoyed on the couple's first appearance at the Royal Variety. The two were welcomed inside the building, to our disappointment, but doubtless to the relief of Mr. Security et al.


The couple enjoyed the star-studded performance and William even got a chance to interact a little with the host, which happened last time the Cambridges attended, as well.  Kate and William reportedly had a ball with the entire program and took to the stage afterward to thank the host and performers:
Kate carried her Jenny Packham Casa clutch:


And wore her Oscar de la Renta Cabrina scalloped pumps.

Frankly, Kate really brought all the bling needed by wearing one of the busiest and most embellished dresses she has ever debuted, which is saying something... But, she did add her Chandelier Diamond Earrings that are on loan from the Queen to add some royal oomph.


I am going to try to ease into this by starting with the hair. I join those who are frustrated with Kate's shorter length. Although it was cute at the Wimbledon, the short and curly style hasn't been playing well for me, and I think Kate is still young enough that she should return to her longer locks. Tonight called either for the polished and bouncy waves of yore, or a sophisticated up-do. Instead we got the average curls that often end looking a little messy from most angles. Fine, I guess, for the average daytime engagement, but not a big win at a glamorous evening such as the annual Royal Variety Performance.


Ok kids, we are about to cross into choppier waters. I know most of you love this dress. It received a fast and enthusiastic response on Twitter and Instagram, but unhappily, I am not among the fans. At the risk of being the most unpopular person at the party, I will proceed. As has been noted, this is a lot like Kate's Jenny Packham from the reception in Paris, a veritable maternity version, if you ask me.



I found my way to liking Kate's Paris dress, but I just don't like this. I think my two primary objections are to the hemline and to the sleeves, which aren't flattering Kate at this stage in her pregnancy. To the first, I wouldn't have loved the dress just stopping above her shoes, but the netting extending beyond the underlay was jarring. The tulle overlay wasn't finished and it clashed with the lace hem. I can see why Kate might have been attracted to this design. It's unusual and highlights the beautiful hem, but it just didn't work for me.


I've talked a lot about how I think Kate adheres to her style preferences while pregnant and is reluctant to accommodate change. To me, tonight is a casualty of her loyalty to her baseline style. She should be bolder about "embracing the change," and dressing her evolving figure to its best advantage. Now is not the time for the busy crystals and embellishments, nor for the fitted column dresses. I'd love to see more streamlined pieces, à la Issa and Kate's 2011-2012 preferences. To be more precise, I'd love to see the maternity version of the Sarai Beulah London. A v-neck would be very flattering at this stage, and the filmy bell sleeves would be better than the busy and tight sleeves she showcased this evening. Finally, a more flowing or a-line skirt would show off her petite bump and balance her figure. 


This is a miss. The Royal Variety Performance benefits Royal Variety of which the Queen is patron. Historically, it a royal staple dating back to the reign of George V and Queen Mary. It was a big deal when William and Kate were deputized to represent the Queen in 2014, and Kate hit a home run that time in the DVF Zarita and an elegant chignon, completed by show-stopping Kiki McDonough sparklers. This is an event that demands royal sophistication.  Tonights' dress simply didn't measure up. From head to hem, I felt the Royal Variety Performance warranted a better showing. Kate is so stunning when she is pregnant, and I wish she'd play to her bets advantage. She almost always identifies the landmark events and nails them, but this was far from her best. 


176 comments:

  1. OH! Thank-you, Jane! I've been looking forward to this all week and then I got busy today and forgot about it.
    Just beautiful...this may rival the blue JP Bollywood gown in my book. That and turkey dinner leftovers...what a day!
    Not over-taking my other favorites--the teal JP and the lavender California gown. But so close.
    So relieved the Tube situation resolved.

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  2. Thank you Jane for the sneak peak! There is also details over at the Daily Mail UK.
    I love Kate in blue and she looks lovely in this Jenny Packham; she is starting to look a little fuller in her face due to pregnancy weight which I think looks good on her!
    I like her shorter hair, but not sure about it here. I think something swept up may have been in order.
    There is also quite a lot of buzz about a staff meeting at BP today about a secret topic, lots of speculation most of which is about an impending engagement announcement between Prince Harry and Megan Markle. Hmmmmm....
    I always thought they would wait until after the anniversary celebration to announce. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

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  3. Part of me loves a good sparkle and I imagine it was quite striking in person under the lights. The other part of me thinks that my 6 year old niece asked Jenny Packham to make an evening gown out of a figure skating outfit and this is the result. However the color is lovely on Kate and she is glowing.

    I saw the buzz about a potential announcement today, but didn't think it was the real deal since Will & Kate were scheduled to make an appearance tonight. They would of course be inundated with questions about Harry & Megan, which could be awkward and get the spotlight-sharing balance between the couples off on the wrong foot. If I had to guess I would put any announcement on Thursday, after Kate is done with all her currently-announced engagements. Then December can be the month of Harry & Megan (which also gives Will & Kate cover to spend Christmas as they please without excessive attention and critiques).

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  4. Gorgeous dress (Jenny P. is one of my favorite). The Duchess is gorgeous, too. Now. *Takes deep breath* I'm not digging her "I'll wear regular clothes I can fit into" as a pregnancy strategy. Regular clothes (or high-end gowns, more specifically) don't/doesn't look flattering on her and it doesn't bring out the best in couture, either. In fact, I'll just say it: it looks very weird and unflattering. I firmly believe that at this more noticeable pregnancy stage, she (and every pregnant woman) should wear certain tailoring lines and avoid others. For instance, pregnancy is the perfect time for an empire cut (in my book, the ONLY time an empire cut should be worn). And lord knows there is no shortage of couture gowns with an empire line. OK, just a candid, from the heart opinion. Can you guys please not behead me? Thank you. ;) Silvia.

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    1. Silvia, I have written my post and am just waiting on a final picture I really like to come in. But, if you lose your head, we'll be heading to the block together. :) Pots coming soon...

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    2. Ha!! :) ;) Joking aside, thanks for all that you do, Jane. We're lucky.
      Silvia

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    3. I have to agree with you, Silvia. She needs to be in clothes designed for a pregnant body at this point. Otherwise, the clothes don't fall correctly and she ends up looking bigger than she is. This was my criticism during Charlotte's pregnancy when she wore a lot of oversized coats which looked bulky and gave her an ungraceful look.
      With this particular dress, it looks nice from a distance and certain angles but for every flattering photo there is an equally unflatttering one, and close up, I don't think its working at all. Kate is not a stocky woman but this dress makes her arms and shoulders look very athletic. The shoes are beautiful though.

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    4. Move over girls. Make room for me at the chopping block. I dont like it either. Very matronly pageant type dress.

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  5. I prefer the ice blue gown worn in Paris.

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    1. Me too, and initially I didn't love it. The Paris dress is more sophisticated imo.

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  6. 100 percent agree with you Jane! Not only does she already have a glittery ice blue dress that one was far better made. And I love the dress suggestion you had for her! Frankly I miss her 2011 and 2012 fashion self and she needs to stop listening to who ever started giving her fashion advice after George was born because clearly they have no idea what they are doing
    The original version of this dress was beautiful though

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    1. Totally agree with you & Jane. I miss her fashion choices from the early years, too. Such a shame as she's still young & beautiful, but at times, her fashion lets her down. She needs a stylist.

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  7. Agree, 100%.

    That red dress, the hair, everything, is one of my favorite looks for Kate. Perfection. And, yes, agree, it would also look amazing with her curvy pregnant figure.

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  8. Not a foot wrong in this outfit. When I hear it's Jenny Packham I don't expect anything less than perfection.

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  9. I disagree. She looked absolutely beautifull tonight. Glowing and happy. I really liked the dress esp. on video.

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  10. So glad to come here and get confirmation from you that the Paris gown was so much more beautiful and sophisticated than this one for the Royal Variety Performance and that I am not the only person who does not like the shorter haircut. I was starting to feel so alone. Tonight's gown is OK but nothing wonderful. And this shorter hair length can be seen on any number of gals at the supermarket. OK but nothing wonderful. I guess that is the let down for me- we have been so spoiled in the past by so many wonderful dress and hair styles from the duchess. OK doesn't feel good enough. But I will confess, Catherine's OK look in pregnancy is WAY BETTER than I ever looked in my own pregnancies!

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    1. Agree with you about the shorter cut too! This is what my hair looks like, so a very ordinary and achievable look for me. The long hair was enviable and not something one saw eveyday.

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    2. I share your thoughts on the shorter hair. It often looks messy at this length and separates into awkward curls or sections. Longer hair hangs better. I have long hair and know this experience. A little length makes all the difference in how it looks generally. An updo would have looked more formal for this evening.

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  11. I think this color looks nice on Kate. Unlike some others commenting, I like this color more on her than I have some lighter ice blues. There are a few too many sequins/sparkles though for my taste. Reminds me of the circus or an ice skating show.

    I usually like JP designs but I'm not sure about this one. The sleeves look a bit heavy..or rather their design makes Kate's arms look heavy & I know they aren't during this stage of her pregnancy (or ever!). So unlike some others, I'm not sure the unflattering aspects of this gown have anything to do with her pregnancy shape.  

    I admit it's been awhile since I bought an evening gown but I don't understand the floor-dragging-long-enough-to-easily-trip-over-especially-with-stilettos overskirt paired with an above-the-ankle underskirt. I get that it's "on trend" but it looks quite odd to me. (I guess that sort of gown detail is intended only for walking---*carefully*---NEVER for dancing!) Again, my dislike of that aspect has nothing to do with Kate's pregnancy shape. My objection to the ice blue Paris gown related mainly to its narrow skirt requiring Kate to take noticeably "mincing steps." Then, as now, normal walking wasn't possible. That always means an automatic miss for me!

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    1. Lizzie, I made a comment above about the dress making Kate's arms and upper tosro look bulky before I read yours. Dont know what is contributing to that optical illusion but agree that it is the dress not Kate.

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    2. Hi Faith, I can't figure it out either. I've seen plenty of beaded long sleeves that don't look so "hunky." I think these are loose at the top and with such large sequins that might cause it I guess.

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    3. The more I look at it, Lizzie, the more I think the huge sequins are the culprit. They create a lot of bulk. It may have looked completely different if they were more concentrated on the skirt leaving the sleeves with only the tiny crystals. Also, construction wise, from the bust up, the dress looks short as if its being squished into a smaller space. Maybe the bustier section is too high?

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    4. I think you are probably right Faith. On WKW pictures show this gown maybe be a combination of two JP designs. One has long embellished sleeves like Kate's and a well above the knee underskirt & longer ankle length overskirt and the other is a capped lace sleeve full-length wedding gown with a sweetheart structured neckline with lace overlay similar to Kate's.  I think the details on those two dresses--while pretty individually--just don't mesh well. Maybe it's a problem of scale. Or maybe they would mesh better in a lighter color when worn by someone with fair skin so there would be less contrast. (The originals were white and so far as I can tell, the one with long sleeves was a whitish blush color)

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    5. I just popped over to WKW and see what you mean, Lizzie. Sometimes, Kate's hybrid designs while lovely in theory, dont work. Something is off here with the proportions.

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    6. The problem with this gown is the huge sequins. They should be smaller on her upper body and perhaps larger toward the base of the gown. Makes her look bulky and it looks cheaper than it should.

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  12. Jane I think she just simply doesn't want to make the bump shown. I don't know call me crazy but William doesn't seem too thrilled about this pregnancy (I may be reading him wrong) and not that he isn't happy about it, just that he isn't as thrilled as the first two. Do you think this may be rubbing off on her style? Please don't get angry at me, just a stream of thought!

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    1. I'm not sure how this dress would effectively hide any bump. If that was her goal I think that opting for a more flowing fabric/style, perhaps with pleats even would be a better option than plastering herself with sparkles. She has pulled off fantastic evening maternity before (the DVF Zarita, the Packham she wore in NYC) but this... I'm not sure what she was thinking.

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    2. What an odd thing to suggest

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    3. Of course William would be thrilled to be having another child, Kate is 1 of 3 so it was pretty predictable!!
      Kate looks lovely and glowing, love her shorter hair style- comments about it being too bland for the Dress, maybe she didn't want to sit for 2 hours having her hair styled into a chignon etc......For me Dress is ok, not my favourite too busy and too much happening, agree lace at bottom and tule length didn't agree with me. Great to see them out tonight amid the security scare, they look really happy and have so much to look forward to!!! Can't wait for Harry & Meghan to announce their engagement- surely it will have to happen before Christmas..........

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    4. I think you are projecting. I do think William was very concerned with Kate being so ill again.

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    5. Any husband would be concerned about their wife being sick during early stages of pregnancy. Obviously family is important to them both and I'm sure it's something they would discuss prior to pregnancy. Kate is so strong to go through this a 3rd time! All the best to them & their gorgeous family :)

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  13. Thanks for the post Jane, really nice insight on the whole situation.
    I really like your explanation regarding the dress and while I do agree 10000% with the dress comment, for me it was a beautiful dress with such intricate bedding. The hemline is interesting though, weird but different.
    Do you think that in a different event it would have fared better?

    In any case, it's good to see different opinions :)
    Have a nice evening!

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  14. Oh thank you Jane. I agreed with absolutely everything you said. The hair, the dress, the Paris dress and the 2011-2012 fashions. So much love that long red dress you shared. She and Pipp need to embrace their long hair prior to their recent cuts. They are both too young to shorten their hair. Amal George Clooney's wife who is older is still wearing her gorgeous long hair. I hope Meghan continues with her hair and so look forward to her fashion statements even though I do hope she and Harry take some time before big announcement. Thank you again Jane.

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    1. Totally agree about the long hair, Katherine:) Just curious, why would you prefer Meghan and Harry take more time before an announcement?

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    2. I just want them to work. Long distances relationships can work yes but Meghan has alot to learn about the royal life, new country and being with Harry more full time. Just an opinion and observation. And lastly Harry is my favorite.

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    3. Aw gotcha:) That makes sense! My husband and I dated long distance for five years so I have a lot of confidence in LDR's:) But you are right, Royal life, a whole new country. It would be a lot more pressure. At least Meghan has spent quite a bit of time in Britain from what I understand, even before she met Harry. And with her own experience with a public career hopefully she will adjust quickly:)

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    4. Aww. I am so happy for you. Congratulations. It would be alot easier now with technology too. I imagine Harry and Meghan Skyped all the time. It does appear that Harry and Meghan are going to make announcement any time. Perhaps Meghan is a quick study due to her background resume. She also doesn't have much time before window of opportunity eludes her for having children. She already is in the high risk category. Be happy Harry and Meghan.

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  15. I agree Jane, this look is a miss for me. But even when she misses Kate is still so beautiful.

    I’m very eagerly hoping the announcement will be regarding an encampment and not something to do with poor health regarding the DOE or the Queen.

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  16. Looking at the dress from the back and the size of the embellishments I can't imagine it's a very comfortable gown to be sitting in!

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    1. I was just thinking that! Some of those sequins are quite large...I hope the underlay provided some cushioning :P

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    2. That makes at least 3 of us! How does one sit comfortably with all those large sequins? Not crazy about this dress anyway.

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  17. It all looks a bit too busy for this gal however,I do love the color, her makeup and William and Mr Security look very dapper too.

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  18. I LOVED this dress the minute I laid eyes on it! It's pure Cinderella. I like the sheer overlay at the bottom, exposing the shoes that we usually only get a glimpse of. I didn't have a problem with the long, sheer sleeves, either. I think they add to the magic. I am with you on the hair though. In general I think most women look good with longer hair. And while some can rock a pixie, I am not one for in-between lengths.

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  19. If she wanted sequins why not go with that tusk trust dinner dress she wore post-George? This is just a awful combination of too young while at the same time too matronly and too busy while also not properly finished (seriously what is up with that tulle?!). It's a bizarre gown.

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    1. The gold Tusk dress was a stunner.⭐️⭐️

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    2. I thought/was hoping she'd wear the Tusk Trust dress to this event. I loved the silvery gold colour of the sequins on that gown. This dress has too much going on.

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    3. Count me in on wishing she had worn the Tusk gown. That was a stunner and she looked amazing in it. I think it would have fit well for this event but maybe she is too far along now.

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  20. Sorry, Jane, I cannot agree this time :) I love everything about this look (though I didn't love the blue dress in Paris). This does look like Cinderella to me (I like the unusual hem) and I also like the shorter hair. And the earrings are simply fabulous!! This sparkly look beats those boring daytime Goat coats by far. Beautiful!! On another note, I am totally thinking this baby is a BOY.

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  21. Duchess fan from DownunderNovember 24, 2017 at 9:50 PM

    I’m with you on this one, Jane. Its just not quite right. Perhaps without a contrasting underlay it might’ve worked. I think less is more when pregnant - as you suggest a v neck, simple block colour with a feature such as bell sleeves would be perfect at this stage. Leave the wow factor to her amazing bling.

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  22. I am a little torn on this dress. I love the color and I actually really love the ethereal look of the tulle over the lace at the hem and that we can see those gorgeous Oscar de la Renta shoes! My issue, I guess, is that the sparkles on the bodice are too busy. The petals on the flowers bothered me most but then I thought that if they lost the stars then maybe the flowers would look OK floating down the dress. So, yes, it's very busy but I like it more than I don't like it. I give it an 80 out of 100. The hair doesn't bother me at all and I didn't really pay attention to it until I read your commentary. Even going back and looking at it I have to say it still didn't bother me that much but I do think and up-do would have looked nicer.

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  23. It's so interesting all the opposite opinions on this dress. I love reading the differences. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dress. It is among my all time favorites that she has worn. Love the color, love the sparkle, love the shoes. They seem so kind and caring. What joy they bring when they show up!

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  24. Totally agree with you. Kate needs to grow out her hair and just disliked the dress completely.

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  25. This gown does it for me; I'm finished with Packham's sartorial style; glass/crystal beads, sequins, flower petals, sheer overlay, and lace at the hem? Talk about overkill! The only aspect of this gown I liked was the colour, a prettier, richer tone than the ice blue Packham worn in Paris which, aside from the colour, was a prettier dress--not that it fit the venue. When I saw it next to the sophisticated cream gown worn by the event's hostess, I cringed on Kate's behalf. Hey, my mother was quite the seamstress, which is how she paid her way thru university, and one of the first things I learned was that simple, clean lines were better than fussy, and that if uncertain what the occasion called for, better to be understated than over!

    Kate is in desperate need of a serious stylist, maybe one from Vogue, which I think is precisely what Diana did once she realized that the frilly necklines and overblown bows had to go. Kate needs to be taught a few basic principles, because she just doesn't get it.

    Sometimes, she does get it right; the recently worn Burgundy dress, by Goat, was terrific, but she still seems to gravitate to fussy, hence the abundance of lace in her wardrobe, or to items which are age inappropriate, either too childish or too old.

    Enuf with the negatives! Strange as it seems, her taste in accessories is getting much better, consistently. This evening was a perfect example: shoes, clutch, earrings were all lovely.

    I am one who likes her hair shorter, as it is now. However, I didn't particularly like the way it was styled tonight; again, it lacked sophistication. I was rather hoping to see a repeat of the fake bob, and I must say that when I saw a shot of her last appearance at this engagement, her updo looked fantastic, by comparison to tonight's style...but, only when she has a better hairdresser at her disposal, not just occasionally, would I want her to grow her hair longer--too often, when long, it looks unkempt, as if it hasn't been styled or trimmed for far too long.

    JC

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    1. For everyone who dislikes this dress there is probably someone who loves it. To say she just doesn't "get it" is rude among other things.

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    2. To not appreciate someone's style of design is fine because everyone has different tastes and hallelujah. Jenny Packham is one of the most famous and successful designers in the world and some of the biggest names in the world have worn her styles. While your mother was able to put herself through university being a seamstress, and her advice is perfect for ordinary folk, I think it's really absurd to compare that with someone who dresses people for huge formal or red carpet events and then complain that by wearing something like this means Kate "just doesn't get it." There is nothing wrong with simple clean lines, if that's what one prefers, there is also nothing wrong in allowing for the tastes of someone who likes things a little more fussy. The Royal Variety Performance is the coming together of red carpet and royalty. If ever there was an event that called for glitz instead of staid, this is it!

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  26. Love the dress. I thought at first she was covered in magical raindrops.
    I read elsewhere that Meghan owns this dress also...and I thought... wouldn't it be good future sister-in-law PR if it was borrowed/shared? But no,Jane has noted that it's a bespoke piece,so that's not so.

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  27. This was a show biz event, and I believe Kate sparkled appropriately. A definite win for me, and a mild but seasonal Bah Humbug to her critics!

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  28. Every time I see that Paris dress, it looks like a nightgown to me. I certainly liked tonight’s better, but it’s far from being a favorite of mine. I love her short hair, but agree that an updo would’ve been the better choice for tonight.

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  29. I totally agree Jane. I was thoroughly disappointed with this dress and really don't think it is glamorous enough for the event. A pretty disappointing day for royal watchers all round!

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  30. This is bizarre. The sleeves and stomach area aren’t terribly flattering and the flowers are very cheap looking to me in the up close shots. Very arts and crafts/home made dress for the Prom to me. That unfinished tulle hem is the last nail in the coffin! One of the poorest showings for evening gowns, in my opinion.

    I actually think her short hair was looking more polished and stylish than previously, though I agree it doesn’t beat the cute loose curl at Wimbledon. I wish she’d go back to her long hair; she never committed to the “young and fun” lob that I think she imagined she was going for, instead cutting it but then wimping out (if you will) and sticking with the same curled style she had when she wore it long. Therefore the cut is neither here nor there and doesn’t look special to me. Sigh.

    I’m so excited to Meghan and practically checking twitter every hour!

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  31. Always enjoy your honesty Jane. I totally agree with you, that this dress is a miss.The glitz on this dress makes the whole 'look',incredibly heavy,bulky and dare I say old fashioned. However, I do like her shorter hair style but agree it could have looked more 'polished.'As for The Royal Variety Performance itself, it is a tradition that sadly hasn't the clout it may have had in the past.It is aired here in the UK, a few days after the actual event and can be incredibly cringe worthy to watch, especially with audience participation from the Royals themselves.

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  32. Always enjoy your honesty Jane. I totally agree with you, that this dress is a miss.The beading/sequins, makes the whole 'look'of this dress, incredibly heavy,bulky and dare I say old fashioned? However, I do like her shorter hair style but agree it could have looked more 'polished' ,had it been styled in a more sophisticated 'up do.'As for The Royal Variety Performance itself, it is a tradition that sadly hasn't the clout it may have had in the past.It is aired here in the UK, a few days after the actual event and can be incredibly cringe worthy to watch, especially with audience participation from the Royals themselves.

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  33. I wonder if this dress just doesn't photograph well? The bright lighting from several flash guns going off can make sequins and beading look flat and sheer fabric disappear. It may look amazing in person.

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    1. Anon 1:00, I suspect you are right and that it is really gorgeous in person. Agree with others that some of the odd look to the gown is Kate's pregnancy stage.

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  34. Jane, totally with you about this. It was a significant miss for me: the hem and sleeves don’t work, nor does this shirt hairstyle, which just looks messy. I also thought the dress made Kate look like she was slouching at times.

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  35. Ok, never thought I’d say this.... but for me Catherine oozes va-va-voomph a la Marilyn Monroe in this dress! For me, the Paris blue dress is not a success - lacks personality somehow. So for me this is a triumphant yes!
    Even so, I agree with Jane’s suggestion concerning the type of maternity dress that would look good on her.

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  36. I will be the odd woman out--loved the dress. OTT of course, then so is the whole affair.
    HM used to wear a tiara.
    Must say I was sorry when she cut her hair, but she was nagged so much to do so. However, I have got to like it and thought she looked beautiful last night.
    Pity everything was late, but the police would have to be sure there was no threat to them.
    A few years back the POW and DOCo got caught up in a riot on the way to the Command Performance and security would not want that to happen again.

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  37. I totally agree with everything you said. From the hair, to the lace hem with the tulle overlay, really right on with my opinion as well. Its a big miss for me too. Loved her makeup though. Shame its not a tiara night like it used to be in the past.

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  38. Yes, Jane, YOU are the most unpopular person at the party, and you also find faults, however small and unimportant, everywhere you look. I think Kate looks absolutely beautiful, and the cut, color and sparkle of the gown are gorgeous on her. I really like Kate in Jenny Packham gowns, and add this to my ‘love it’ list. This was an outstanding outfit for a gala occasion. Kate definitely has that glow about her that outshines whatever she wears these days. Her face is beautiful and her makeup is perfect. Kate’s hair looks great. She looks happy and healthy, the best two accessories of all!!

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    1. I think Jane's opinion is pretty accurate, just because you don't like it, it doesn't make her the most umpopular person, silly thoughts indeed.

      First and foresmost, come on gal, an updo is called for, especcially, at this event, and I am one of them who is not a fan of her shorter hair, and those curls.

      Secondly, it is a very very similar dress to the other one, but fine, she likes it, but I agree, it is not flattering to her changing figure....So either short dresses or gowns fit for a different generation, I am not in love with her maternity style at all. She has no idea what and how really.

      Thirdly, this is the same earings again, change it up for heaven's sake, it is as boring as it gets.

      Delete
    2. Maggie - MinneapolisNovember 25, 2017 at 6:19 AM

      Goodness I guess a great many of us here are all the most unpopular person at the party!

      Delete
    3. 6:09: Pretty harsh on poor Jane when her goal on this blog is to see every detail and report her personal opinion of what she is looking at. Most of the time people around this blog say that she's blind where Kate is concerned. As this dress seems to demonstrate, in mythical proportions, not everyone has the same tastes.

      Delete
    4. Wow 5:11, enjoying the free blog Jane works hard to create for readers like us while also attacking her with “you always” statements and “YOU are the most unpopular” smacks of a significant lack of respect and gratitude for the space Jane has created. A blog for us to come, read and discuss together with respectful comments. Jane is entitled to her opinions and having them respected just as each of us are.

      Delete
  39. Happy to join the "unpopular" here...and Jane is no nitpicker. Rather she backs up her overall position with plenty of supporting detail. For my part the embellishments wander way off track here...cheap and vegas-y looking IMHO. Didn't like the Paris dress for the same reason...and this one makes Paris look a model of restraint! I prefer the bling of royal jewels.

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  40. I love this dress on Kate! I think it is elegant, and I really like the shorter lining revealing the sexy shoe. Tulle plus sparkle plus shine equals FUN!!

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  41. THANK YOU, Jane!!! Im in shock that there are some who actually like this! This outfit is hideous on her! Even if she wasn't pregnant, I just don't think this would be a flattering fit at all...but pregnant as she is (and she looks lovely pregnant), this is just...so bad. Her makeup on the other hand? Stellar!

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    Replies
    1. And I am shocked some actually don't like it! She was stunning IMO, and the dress was lovely.

      Delete
  42. Just a quick note. This dress certainly divided fans. I didn't love it, some of you thought it was wonderful. I welcome and will publish all perspectives, but several comments have been coming in and they are fine until the very end when the commenter throws in a little insult at those who are on the other side of the opinion spectrum. This is a fan blog, we all love Kate here, and the only reason any of us care about the dress at all is because we think Kate is lovely and want her to look amazing all the time. So, let's keep a spirit of congeniality and express disagreement as forcefully as you choose but always with kindness toward fellow readers. I thought the reader who made the "bah humbug" comment really balanced the dissent well. It was cute and she made clear she said it in the spirit of the season, and that's the kind of dissent I like. Because, we are all friends here united in our admiration of Kate, even if we disagree sometimes on fashion.

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  43. Ok then... I may be in the minority here, but I do like the dress, and believe it is a nice step up from the Paris version. :-)

    Kate has worn many "safe" gowns and this was a nice surprise. Also, if a form fitting gown was acceptable only a week ago, I'm not seeing (pardon the pun) how this one is inappropriate for this stage of her pregnancy.

    Regarding hairstyles...an up do would have looked terrific and really highlighted the neckline and back of the gown. Gowns, especially, should be seen from head to toe.

    Overall, I think she looked lovely!

    IMO. :-)

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  44. Don't want to seem impolite, or break any rules, but I do wonder why there are always statements that she needs a stylist. If someone chose her clothes, it wouldn't be her, would it?
    I come onto this site to see what Catherine is doing and what she chooses to wear and trying to work out why she has chosen it.
    So much that is shown in fashion magazines could certainly not be worn by any member of the BRF.

    Just at present, suggesting she should wear a dress she wore on another occasion is odd---suspect none of them will fit properly.
    I have loved her Goat dress and coats she has worn, possibly because they were almost exactly what I wore in the sixties when pregnant.

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    Replies
    1. Jean, I think those "stylist" remarks are sometimes meant to rile Kate supporters or are convenient means to criticise without elaborating. They often seem like they are thrown into a discussion to heat it up, so to speak. Or, as--the solution to every fashion dislike is, "get a stylist." Contrast that with Jane's approach of offering reasonable alternatives. There are a number of those talking-point sorts of comments that appear in Kate discussions on a regular basis. I have been around this planet almost as long as you have Jean. At some point one learns to spot "fat on the fire"---causes a lot of sparks but doesn't add to the flavor of the meat. (ok-outdated analogy)
      I am sure there are some who are sincere about their stylist recommendations.

      I suspect she will have a dresser as Queen or even Princess of Wales when that huge expense, accompanied by wardrobe mistresses and the great effort and expense it takes to manage such a vast wardrobe, is acceptable--at least as it is now for the Queen, Charles, and Camilla. It may be wise for royals to start down-sizing now in anticipation of future changes.
      Meanwhile, let her be Kate. I have yet to hear of a child she greets or a worried parent she comforts picking apart her attire. I sometimes think the less one has to offer of one's inner self the more one's outer self is emphacised. Poor trade-off, in my opinion. There are those who appear to offer both inner and outer beauty. (Princess Alexandra, Amal Clooney-both fashionable in their own contexts) On the other hand, I can think of a number of women who are/were quite homely and plain in appearance but simply radiate inner beauty. I can think of others who are put together with the precision of an assembly line who would not be tops on my list of people to have as dinner companions or personal advocates for a cause. The difference is comparable to décor managed by an interior decorator and that put together by a family. One is often pleasing to the eye and brings compliments but one fears smudging a rug or dislodging a pillow and can never completely relax in the environment.
      I think it is refreshing that she has maintained a sense of perspective. She may think having a stylist would be presumptuous.
      I have made comments in the past that I sometimes think that, except for non-State or certain high-lighted events, Kate
      purposefully throws kinks into her outfits to avoid the look of perfection that might indicate prioritizing her appearance or trying too hard, or seeming beyond the reach of those she tries to help. Think about it, especially you who long for her early days. She most certainly did not have a stylist of any kind then. How is it her choices no longer please you? She is still very much the same person. It is an idea worth considering. Why the change if it is not an intended one?

      Those who suggest she now wear an outfit from years ago before three pregnancies or one she wore when not pregnant simply haven't given the matter much thought before commenting, I would imagine.

      Delete
  45. I've had to marinate a bit on my take on the dress. At first, I thought it was the Paris dress until I saw pictures of the two next to each other. She loves the ice blue color- and frankly, I am tired of seeing her in it. The dress and Kate are perfectly lovely for the evening. It looks like a princess dress, and I side with Jane on this, it's a miss for me too. If I had my choice in her closet, I would put on the gold sequined Jenny Packham she wore to the Tusk event after she had George. That dress accommodated her post-baby body beautifully, and it probably would work for her pre-baby body as well. Some people luxuriate in their pregnant state, and some feel more like "don't look at me, I feel like a fat cow". I am only musing on Kate's feelings, but I think she feels the latter (especially since she starts out so sick). She sticks to more safe for her, i.e. boring, choices in her maternity wear ( or really lack there of). I applaud her for showing off her legs more, but she could also highlight her neckline and bosom more during this time with more V-necks and empire waists. She is so pretty, I just wish she would splash out a bit more. The dress she wore to the Baftas this year is an example. Totally unexpected, but in a good way. I think if she were to color code her closet, she would have so many ice blue dresses that she'd go "wow, I think I need to change it up a bit more...."

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    1. I agree, I don't see the appeal of so much ice blue and think she looks at least as good in a number of other colors, but her favoring it so heavily in her wardrobe is an interesting insight into her style preferences. This dress, yikes. It is so busy, and if I wore something like that I know my mother would say it looks like I have the crystal pox. I also don't think this dress particularly flattered her at this stage of her pregnancy, but if she was comfortable, that's what is most important. I usually love what Kate wears, so this is not to be overly critical of her, but for me this is one of the biggest misses from her I've seen.

      Delete
    2. HL.- I think your comment was kindly expressed but it did make me reflect on comments about the Tusk outfit made at that time. Strictly from memory--wasn't there a big discussion of her need for a pedicure or the way the inserts on the sides under her arms looked? I wonder if some who are now praising her appearance in that gown had different opinions at the time. My point is- I think that there is sometimes an attitude of--she is so pretty, talented in multiple areas, and has such an apparently fabulous life---there must be something to disrupt that image. Then the nit-picking begins.I think Kate has just decided to follow her own path. It is that or be buffeted constantly by the changing direction of the winds of public opinion.

      Delete
    3. I agree11:33. There wasn't much enthusiasm for the red dress either.

      Delete
  46. I don't mind this dress. I think Kate she's RVP was an event to bring out the bling and perhaps hoped the embellishments would distract from her bump. The only thing I'd ssy is that I'd live to see the sparkly dress she wore to the Tusk gala after George's birth and I'd have loved to see that again if it could have accommodate her bump.

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  47. Mary from ManchesterNovember 25, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    I liked this dress, although it does seem a bit busy. The only dress I really never liked was the one she wore in Los Angeles that looked like it was falling apart. She wore it several more times and each time she wore it I wanted her to throw it in the bin.

    Someone said Kate needs a stylist. She has one. Natasha Archer has been with Kate for some time now. They call her Tosh. Lately, she has been choosing clothes for William and I think she's missing the mark completely. If you recall the jacket he wore for the Princess Diana garden dedication at KP, the linen jacket looked like he was going to burst it at the seems. It was much too tight and not at all tailored for his large size. He's around 6'4" and has broad shoulders and large bones.

    He looks much better in the double breasted double vented suits and jackets from Saville Row in my opinion. So does Harry. And they certainly look more 'royal' when wearing those clothes. I think Tosh has missed the mark with Kate several times as well, but other than the dress from L.A., I can't think of one at the moment.

    I've read Meghan and Harry are engaged and planning a non-traditional wedding. I hope that doesn't mean a Yurt in Botswana. I don't think she should wear a white gown and veil. That ship has sailed, but certainly there are other stylish options. Camila did a wonderful job with her outfit for the blessing at St. George's. I'm hoping Meghan, with her sense of style, will pull off something modern and fun but with a node to tradition. Something that will stand up over time.

    I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving.

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    1. I think this response might have published in the wrong place, since nothing about Mary in Manchester's comment is rude...

      Delete
    2. I don't find that comment rude at all.

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    3. I don't find Mary's comment rude at all.

      Delete
    4. ...white gown and veil. That ship has sailed...possibly rude and a little vulgar, in my opinion.

      Delete
    5. I think Will can wear single-breasted styles but I agree a number of his jackets have looked a half to a full size too small. Same with too many pairs of his trousers. 

      Natasha may be functioning as a combination PA/stylist for both W&K but she isn't trained as a stylist so far as I know. I think NA is a pretty woman but the clothes she wears aren't always flattering for her own body type nor are some the best choices for a visible member of a royal entourage. So I question her usefulness as Kate's stylist. 

      I am one who wishes Kate would hire a real stylist--NOT to dictate what to wear day in & day out but to help her find styles & accessories she likes that are more consistently flattering. Kate likely doesn't have as much time to shop as she used to & presumably will continue to make more appearances than she did when first married. (Think Will just needs a competent tailor or for someone to tell him how unattractive too tight clothes can be especially on a nearly middle-aged man.) So far as the cost goes, the cost Kate's wardrobe might actually go down with a professional stylist's input so I'm not sure the overall cost would be that much. 

      While comments here do sometimes say things like "perfect outfit except for ___" I don't buy the idea voiced earlier on this thread that Kate puts together perfect outfits with designer pieces and then intentionally messes them up somehow in order to avoid being called a clotheshorse. Since she's untrained Natasha may be responsible for the misses but she may not be. But with the advice of a professional stylist I doubt we'd see months long runs of midis, then lace in almost every outfit, then a plethora of peblums, followed by lots of minis, then months of Little House print dresses--- many outfits at least partially bespoke & most of which won't be seen ever again.

      Delete
    6. I don't see how 'white gown and veil. That ship has sailed," is anything but innocent. Those are the rules of wedding dress etiquette for women who have been divorced. Camila didn't wear a white gown and veil at the Church blessing. I agree, Meghan should not choose that. That ship has sailed, meaning her only opportunity to wear a white gown and veil was at her first wedding.

      Delete
    7. I'm starting to think many of the readers here must be shut ins. Have you picked up a magazine in the last 50 years? Even just looked around you maybe?
      These rules don't exist anymore! Geez a bride can wear whatever she wants.
      God what has happened that women do this to one another. SMH.

      Delete
    8. Huh, my first read cut off the comment about Meghan and Harry's wedding. I frankly think that given her age and given our culture, she can wear a white gown, and I would be very surprised if she did not. That being said, I know more than a few people who might think something other than white would be appropriate. Most of all, what I think is that we should be able to have a chat about this without exploding into offense on both sides. Because, otherwise only the majority's opinion is ever voiced, and that is never a good situation. So, I think she can and should wear white, Mary in Manchester thinks she shouldn't. Anyone else may weigh in, but not to shut down either side, only to engage in and enjoy the debate, and maybe even have their opinion shifted should they find themselves persuaded.

      Delete
    9. 1:58,

      Kudos to your comments!👏🏻

      Delete
    10. Natasha is her personal assistant not stylist. A stylist actually puts your whole look together. Natasha might source different items for Kate, shop for certain items, but she is not a stylist. I am not saying that she doesn't deserve certain credit but Kate is making the decisions.

      Also, Natasha's job encompasses many other responsibilities apart from clothing.

      Delete
    11. Stepping in regarding Meghan's wedding dress. Modern brides should be able to wear what they like regardless if they have been married before.Its the first time for Harry, so maybe he would like to see his bride dressed in traditional white - its his day too. Im going to be very unpopular by stating this, but personally, I just wished it wasn't Meghan.

      Delete
    12. lizzie-..."intentionally messes up"(puts together perfect designer outfits) in order to "not look like a clotheshorse." That is neither the words nor intent of my remarks, especially if taken as a whole. Did you somehow miss that I added, "...or seeming beyond the reach of those she tries to help" I even added the comparison to interior decorator style versus family formed décor in a home. There was no mention of clotheshorse avoiding-that would indicate a desire to avoid criticism while I clearly intended the meaning to be dressing for the comfort of and relatability to those she is visiting. Did you see the photo of Kate in the receiving line? everyone from Dame Joan Collins to those young men were admiring her. They were actors and show business folks-- and goodness knows Joan knows glitz and glamour. I have also read that Kate exudes a sense of friendliness and kindness.
      Which would you feel most comfortable in-a Louis IV antique chair or an chintz-covered easy chair?
      Some royals dress so that those meeting her leave thinking, "How perfect she is! I'll never look like that;" Others encourage the feeling of being equals. I also prefaced my remarks with "I sometimes think..." Hardly a blanket statement.
      I enjoy your slant on many subjects but you seem to have a blind eye when it comes to my comments.

      Delete
    13. My conspiracy theory is that a civil wedding ceremony has already taken place and that they are to become parents in March or April. Hence the messaging of "Mother" jeans and "Husband" big shirt. The black columnar dressing with trench coat or empire dress with caped jacket at the Invictus games.
      Maybe that's why the official wording from the palace today used the wording "non-traditional".

      Delete
    14. I think it's easy to hide behind "Anonymous," and attack others on a blog. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I think calling an innocent comment 'rude and vulgar,' and posting it while hiding behind "Anonymous," is one of the nastiest things I've read on this blog yet. Stop stirring the pot, that's all you're here for, and you know it.

      Delete
    15. Usually women who remarry don't wear a traditional wedding dress. They might wear white but forgo a veil,train,etc. In her case I think she's smart enough to not go the full bridal route. She seems to like attention so she might select something trendy.

      Delete
    16. I truly cannot understand why response to my thoughts about Meghan using her attire to express an attitude or status-(counterculture or what ever)
      --was shut down with absolutely no response allowed at all to my entire comment while conjecture about William's lack of enthusiasm about his new baby was allowed to be discussed. And now Meghan's cred for wearing white to her wedding is permitted to be fully discussed and debated-a remark that was overlooked as edit worthy. I did not read "that ship has sailed" as a reference to wedding etiquette. On the other hand, I have heard it in reference to white representing a virginal status ( that's what is behind the divorced not being suited for a white wedding) and that status no longer applies. That is always what lies behind remarks about the appropriateness of having a " white wedding," with attempts to spin that remark into some sort of etiquette or previous marital status statement an effort worthy of the most seasoned PR rep. White is not a style; it represents a status-purity. It has since the Vestal Virgins (who weren't actually that pure.)
      Back in the day my Grandmother would have questioned Catherine's right to a white wedding. Times change. However, no matter who and how many brides are wearing white these days, any mention of the appropriateness of a bride wearing white will carry those connotations. It is better to leave the right to white out of the discussion. I think bringing it up can be considered rude; although, I'll have to admit that at least half of what blogs discuss could be considered rude. That doesn't mean the rudeness is exempt from criticism. It is what it is and goodness knows I get slammed for my remarks, partly because everyone knows who said it.I don't hide behind "Anonymous."

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    17. 4:21,

      I didn't think the "non-tradional" comment was from the palace. I thought the official comment was that they would not give a running update on Harry's love life or something to that effect. Maybe, even if it was "unofficial", it was a way to prepare people for a non-tradional event.

      I just don't think she will get pregnant before marriage. I can't see that happening. But, of course, that could be wrong!😂

      I wish them the best and I'm very excited to watch Kate and Meghan for years to come!

      Gigi

      Delete
    18. I don't believe I have a blind eye anon 1 @4:12. You said I "sometimes think that, except for non-State or certain high-lighted events, Kate
      purposefully throws kinks into her outfits to avoid the look of perfection that might indicate prioritizing her appearance or trying too hard, or seeming beyond the reach of those she tries to help."

      Now it seems you want to focus only on the "sometimes" aspect & the "helping" aspect of your comment. I don't think Kate "throws kinks" or otherwise intentionally messes up her outfits. (To be able to throw a kink carries certain implications including trying too hard.) I just don't think she does that. I do think she has occasionally chosen re-wears or worn slightly less pricey clothing at SOME charity events. I don't think that's a kink nor do I think she was trying to avoid the look of "unreachable perfection" that would otherwise ensue. I think she may have been trying to show sensitivity & avoid even a hint of a let-them-eat-cake personna. That is entirely different from what I initially read your comment to say and what I still read it to say. If I have misunderstood your words, I'm sorry.

      I don't consider Joan Collins a style icon. Sorry. She is quite well-preserved though and as such it is a little hard to interpret her expressions!  I don't think this dress is flattering on Kate. I don't think it's because she's pregnant or because she intended this bespoke gown to convey studied imperfection. I do remember when Kate wore a zip-front light blue CW dress with a vertical white lace panel down the middle (maybe to church for the Queen's birthday?) Several people commented that dress could have been worn by Carole or Camilla so it was not right for Kate. I thought (and said) it was pretty on Kate & a classic style women of many ages could wear. But this dress to me is a dress the Queen herself could carry off quite well, perhaps even better than Kate (albeit without the large fluttering flower sequins & with a different hem.) And that's not good IMO.

      Delete
    19. Mary, I am troubled my your comments. I see nothing wrong with MM wearing a white dress. In fact if she goes simple and wears another color, those who expect a show at a royal wedding will be very disappointed. Others have weighed in so I will say no more about dress color.

      What I was startled and disturbed by was the remark about marrying in a yurt in Botswana. That was an insensitive remark given MM's heritage. I surely hope you didn't intend the negative connotation, but I admit I had that quesy moment when I read it.

      Delete
    20. MK @4:35- Although I did not make the initial Anonymous "rude" comment, I did reply to it (as anon1-the only person here to use that name)and I regret that and the comments that followed. My comment actually called attention to the white wedding remark. The irony is that it may not even have been the comment judged "rude" by Anonymous.

      To explain my rationale for addressing the remark- I just did not understand how that remark slipped by the editing process and felt it should be made clear that, in my opinion, it was probably an inappropriate comment, based on other remarks that have been judged inappropriate here.
      I also think you are entirely correct that there is an Anonymous here who drops by to cause mischief. Sometimes I get the impression that that person even disagrees to his own comments to keep a divisive theme going. The string of Anonymous comments below seem to verify that. It has happened before here and elsewhere.
      I will be more careful about taking the bait next time, MK.

      Delete
    21. MK- I am back again. I did indeed post as "anonymous" little "a," not anon1. I think I need a nice nap, followed by a long walk in the park. So sorry for any feelings I may have hurt. :+) anon1

      Delete
    22. Suzanne, you're reading way too much into Mary's comment. I didn't get that at all. Given Meghan's somewhat hippie The Tig style at the time, I'd have guessed a yurt in Botswana, too. In fact, I think Meghan would think it was funny. It's got nothing to do with race or culture or any of that baiting melodrama nonsense. I also hope Meghan doesn't go full virginal bridal. I hope it's traditional enough for the RF, but a bit more glamorous and fun.

      Delete
  48. Overall the dress is fine. It has some interesting details like the hemline which I like. I think the silhouette is flattering. While I like the Paris dress, it doesn't provide the fullness through the hip area which balances out her figure. If you look at her wonderful Chanel outfit you"ll see some subtle shading at the hip area which flattered her athletic figure.

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  49. I think just the same things you sad Kane, I don't like the hemline at all... it's a miss for me...

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  50. Jane, I think this time you've gone too far and crossed into body-shaming territory. The Duchess is pregnant and may wear whatever she feels comfortable in and if she wants to wear clothing that hide her bump right up until the due date, then that's her prerogative. But to say she "She should be bolder about "embracing the change," and dressing her evolving figure to its best advantage" and that "a more flowing or a-line skirt would show off her petite bump and balance her figure" is uncalled for. Maybe she doesn't feel particularly bold or ready to show off her bump and I think it's very disrespectful to comment on how you think another woman should show off her body, pregnant or not.
    I also think it's incredible rude to call this her worst ensemble of the year (as you have on Twitter). It's rude toward the designer who spend time on designing this bespoke version and toward the seamstresses for putting in hours and hours of hard work. You've said yourself it's a very busy and embellished dress but you've completely ignored the unbelievable craftsmanship that went into this dress.
    Jane, I do like to visit this blog to read your opinion and enjoy your honesty about the various outfits The Duchess wears but I'm sad to see you throwing around such negativity on this occasion. It actually makes me question your motive for publishing such a negative post.

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    1. I hope Jane reads this post and laughs it off. I totally got her meaning of embracing her changing body thing and she meant it not in an offensive way.

      Delete
    2. Here's the thing Denise, not every ensemble Kate wears is going to be a home run. One in fact is going to be the "worst" just as one will be the "best" of the year. It's not disrespectful to the designers or craftspersons who created the dress. Everyone is entitled to her opinion about fashion (and art).

      Delete
    3. "Body shaming?" That is a stretch. I think she implied or said Kate might be ashamed of her body. Not quite the same thing. Kate has worn both figure hugging and figure skimming/concealing outfits this pregnancy. I am thinking of her black sweater/jeans outfit, for one pregnancy-revealing outfit, especially from the side. There was one a few weeks ago-very snug over the tummy. So I do disagree with that part of Jane's remarks.
      Unless one considers the pregnant figure fat. In that context body-shaming might apply to what Jane said. I personally don't know anyone who considers pregnant weight as obesity.

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    4. I don't think the question is about Jane's motive for her critical post. I think the real question is why one would question Jane's motive at all. Betsy

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  51. The Daily Mail published photos of William and Kate backstage after the performance and my already negative opinion of the dress sunk even lower. It's just so unflattering!!! Kate didn't look pregnant just thick and frumpy in all the side photos of her greeting the cast. I agree, Jane, a nice flowy material that skims the bump would like so elegant! I'd hoped by the third baby she would have more confidence and know how to dress her changing figure

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  52. There was no body shaming in her post whatsoever. In fact, Jane is advocating for a style and dress that actually shows off more of Kate's curves, more of a wrap dress style.

    Let's take a breather on the body shaming overload. This was not that.

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  53. Without a single change, save for a larger size, the Queen could wear this exact dress. Now balance that with the red dress... something Kate could only wear.

    That's really our point. This dress is silly mature looking ( and that's being kind) for a woman in her 30s.

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    1. I don't think that makes it a faux pas.

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    2. I think it makes it a horrid choice for a younger lady.

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    3. It's how one looks in the dress that matters. The queen could wear the white Roland Mouret gown for that matter.

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    4. Well, Kate looks old and frumpy in this grandma dress.

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    5. We should all look so old and frumpy.

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    6. Not when we are in our 30s.... or 40s..... or 50s....

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    7. I would say she looks better than 99 percent of us.

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    8. Then you have a very low opinion of us! My goodness, no, not in this dress.

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  54. I think I must be getting old, because I thought she looked lovely. Her position as a mother and wife, as well as royalty, all influence her conservative, somewhat old fashion clothing choices.

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  55. I always think Catherine looks beautiful in anything she wears.

    But have you ever sat in a dress with so much bling on it? Very uncomfortable on the backside :p

    Belle

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  56. I love this dress (I didn't like the Paris dress). To me this dress had a younger feel and the Paris was kind of matronly. I also like Kate's shorter hair but agree that she should have worn it up. -J

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  57. Hello. I think I agree with you, the dress was one of the most embellished she wore until now, but I have to said I like it. Agree fully percent about her hair, an up-do and she will be perfect. I just only wanna point to you that the picture of the shoe you show doesn't look like the Oscar de La Renta scalloped pumps she wore in the launching the UK-India Year of Culture event. I know that it is the same shoe in both ocasions, I just wanna say the the picture you use to ilustrated the model of shoe is not the same, seems like he is not really shining like the one she wore.

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  58. I am in total agreement with Jane. Do not care for the dress nor the hair. It needed to be pulled back or grow it out. Kate seems to stick to the same style year after year after year. The buttoned up coat dresses, the lace, lace and more lace. The column dresses, skinny jeans so tight they bunch up or need pulling up. Striped tops, it goes on and on. I love Kate, just wish she would amp if up a bit. Diana took risks and had fun with fashion. I love the way Crown Princess Mary dresses. She mixes it up but always looks polished. Regarding Harry and Meghan. She should be able to wear white. Harry has never been married and deserves the whole 9 yards!! White was a symbol of virginity. Kate wore white after living with William eight years. So Meghan was briefly married. Times have changed. I hope she wears white. She will be a beautiful bride. Kathy

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  59. Mary from ManchesterNovember 25, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    I still think the dress is fine. It looks like something she would wear. I think the one that is similar that she wore in Paris is matronly. I love the little stars. The sheath underneath the sparkly overlay is a bit loose but she's pregnant. It will probably look different when she wears it when she's not pregnant.

    Regarding the rude comments from Anonymous at November 25 @11:31 and 1:02, that's just trolling. But thanks to those who recognized my comment was not rude. Thank you. I was certainly not intending to be.

    Anonymous/Kathy, you're right. This is Harry's first marriage so he can wear white all he likes, but I hope he wears his Blues and Royals uniform instead. Meghan is stylish and she'll come up with something that lets us know this is her wedding and not Kate at the Abbey redux. She loves Harry and respects his position and will be respectful of his family and their British subjects. She's about to become British herself. But I'd love to ask her, does non-traditional mean possibly an elopement?

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    1. Wondering about an elopement too... :(

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    2. I'd bet my last dollar against an elopement. A joke about it being simpler, yes. A realistic option, no. :-)

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    3. Mary from ManchesterNovember 25, 2017 at 11:58 PM

      The mystery may be solved on Tuesday, according to the Daily Mail. Of course they thought it would be this past Friday, which seemed unlikely. Will and Kate made their announcement on a Tuesday, so did Charles and Camila.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5117649/Could-Harry-Meghan-announce-engagement-Tuesday.html

      Fingers crossed this is it.

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    4. I'll take that bet, royalfan. Ha! anon1

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    5. No I do not think elopement. Meghan seems to be a traditional girl who will respect the institution she is marrying into. Maybe their marriage will
      Look something like Edward and Sophie.

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  60. This isn’t my favorite look and the dress looks scratchy. As for the hair, my hair is currently this length and it’s very hard to have a polished look in my opinion. I do miss her long hair as much as I miss my own.

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    1. I’m in the same boat with the hair. I wish I hadn’t cut it. I’m hopeful it grow quickly!

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  61. LIZZIE@ 5:38--can't access the reply close to your comment. I did say that, but the context of my whole comment indicates which alternative of the three suggested I decided to go with. (note the use of "OR" )
    Dressing for relatability. There are many examples of this. What most come to mind is that she dresses as a fellow participant at sports engagements, not as a visiting royal inspecting the troops. When she visits charities children do not hesitant to hug her because her clothing is not that different from the staff and mothers.Kate dresses so that she can sit on the floor, if that is where the children are. She also did this in India in a red maxi that wasn't so fancy as to preclude that. Although commenters here generally disliked her dress and thought the ethnic-flavored maxi was unnecessary, she dressed in another outfit that gave the feel of the country her guests represented when hosting a reception at KP.Why would she do this unless she was trying to make her guests feel at home or to show an attempt to relate?
    I could name more examples of the times Kate dressed to blend and relate, not to show off and impress.
    Ms. Collins. no where in my remarks did I indicate I thought she was well-dressed or a style icon. My context clearly was this was a show business crowd and the glitz and glamour of Kate's outfit were not unknown to them--especially to Dame Joan, the Diva- Queen emeritus of Dynasty. You may have a point about the difficulty of decoding her expressions, but I thought she looked generally approving and pleased.

    I am a little disappointed in you, lizzie-you missed my Louis IV reference. ;+) Who that was is beyond my knowledge of French history. I assume he had nice chairs.

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  62. Totally agree Jane. I wish you were her stylist! It really is astounding how much Kate's style has changed (and not for the better) since the early days of heady, spot-on perfection. Back then as a new royal she hit every mark, out of the park - her immaculate sense of proportion, color, silhouette, and occasion really blew me away. I was convinced she was a sartorial genius and looked forward to many fantastic years of evolving fashion from her. Errrrrrrrrp: enter the Erdem dress. That first huge 70's dust ruffle was the harbinger of bad to come. After that the heavy, 70's looks started pouring in - the long sleeves, the high necks, the lace. The lace. The lace. The proportions started slipping (that white lace dress with the boxy red jacket remember?!) the fur hat came back, the hemlines went uber-frump at the midi level, and she started wearing a lot of panty hose. Once in a while she regained that sartorial splendor - usually in McQueen or Wickstead, along with some others, but the amount of heavy, frumpy, unflattering looks soon overwhelmed all of her hits, and now I never know WHAT to expect. When she wows me, she totally wows me - loved the Remembrance Day look - but then she kills it again by repeating something six years old that wasn't great then - the Goat Coat. We know she is thrifty, we know she is a grounded, humble, approachable, charming person - but she is also a future queen, and her amazing style is one of the best things the royal family has going for it. She should have a stylist, period. Someone who understands proportion firstly - someone who can create a classic but modern wardrobe that allows Kate to radiate her youthful charm - appropriately of course, but even as a mother of three or four or five she doesn't have to look so matronly. She is one of the most beautiful and interesting women in the world, and a stylist would be an appropriate investment. Sigh. Please!!!!

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    1. 100% agree, Anon 4:57. Her fashion went awry after the dreaded ruffled Erderm :(

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    2. Wow Anon, this was wonderful. Goodness, the lace overload. I thought I was imagining it. I thought she was just using a new stylist. She needs to get with the program. I know Jane has been frustrated over her styles lately, but I'm so used to this change I'm just trying to work with what we get!

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    3. Mary from ManchesterNovember 26, 2017 at 1:32 PM

      According to articles I've read in the Daily Mail, usually penned by someone like Katie Nicholl who writes books about her, Kate does have a stylist. Natasha Archer. You can argue that Natasha isn't a stylist, but apparently Kate thinks she is. And what is worse, Kate is listening to her. I trace some of these fashion misses to Kate's coming back to official duties after George's birth. Some dreadful shoe and dress choices for evening, apparently all chosen by the newly hired Natasha, or Tosh, as she is known. Maybe they're old school chums. I agree with Ari, there is definitely a lace overload, but that seems to be Kate's choice. She wore several lace dresses right after the wedding. I don't think Natasha was around then.

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    4. Bravo Anon 4:57!!! Well stated and in total agreement

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    5. Natasha isn’t an old school chum nor is she new. And she’s NOT a stylist. She’s Kate’s personal assistant. Sounds like you want to blame someone other than Kate for her wayward fashion choices. But, sorry, they are Kate’s alone. KP has always denied that Kate has or uses a stylist.

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    6. Anon 4:57 - "Sartorial genius?" I think most of the time she looks fine. I don't hold her to an impossible standard. She is like everybody else. She has hits and misses. I would agree her evening gowns are sometimes disappointing and where she really misses the mark for me is with hat choices. The black hat on Remembrance Day looked much better that day than it did at William's air force ceremony when he got his wings. I think her hairstyle and the black coat made the hat look so much better. I don't care for the brown pillbox with the big bow that won't die (it came back to haunt on the head of Carole Middleton last Christmas). As for the Goat coat, I think of it as a maternity coat. Much ado about nothing.

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    7. Here is my take on it: To be clear, I still think she is one of the best dressed person on earth. But she was amazing at the beginning. And one could feel it was because of her personal sense of style. Ravishing little dresses, coats, stunning gowns... In a royal fashion panorama dominated by the professional, trouser suit look. Since then she has been getting help, totally understandable, it is an huge task, she has more than a hundert new outfit every year, and all matched to the circumstances. It seems NA gives her a hand, but also that she is collaborating more and more with designers. Expensive designers. And that changes her look, she is less this amazing girl able to make a Zara dress look incredibly elegant, than someone wearing a creation of a talented but not always wearable designer. I don't think a stylist would answer the problem. She would probably love being able to call dolce and gabana or whoever is now at the top of the fashion world. She would be ruled by the fashion magazines as all stylist are. And we would never be back to the days of Kate simply dressing to look pretty and making a success of it.

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  63. Unlike most of you, I don't have strong feelings either way about this dress. I think it’s beautiful and very princess-y. I can see why some people love it… and some dislike it. It's a lovely shade of blue—a bit more vibrant than the icy blue dress she wore in Paris—but it’s way too sparkly for my tastes. I preferred Kate's hair when it was longer, but I do like the color now. It's a beautiful shade of brown—not too light and not too dark. I always loved the red Sarai Beulah London gown, mainly because of its simplicity, and wished that Kate would wear it again. In my opinion, less is usually more. However, I don't remember the Sarai dress being all that popular back when Kate wore it.

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  64. Jane, do you think this is one of the most divisive dresses Kate has ever worn as far as fan reactions are concerned? :)
    Can you think of other ones?
    Btw I do hope you have time at some point to continue your commentary on the Poland/Germany tour - there were a few outfits I’m dying to hear your opinion on!!

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  65. "baited breath" - you mean bated!

    http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/baited-versus-bated

    sorry to be pedantic ...

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    1. No, thank you. I am a bit of a stickler myself, so when I miss something I appreciate a quick comment. I can't edit once the post gets too far down the queue, so if I reread months--or years--down the line, the errors just have to live in infamy.

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  66. Mary from ManchesterNovember 26, 2017 at 4:27 PM

    Anon 2:56, that's a bit presumptuous of you, especially as your tone is definitely not friendly. I do stand by my comment. And I never said Kate wasn't making her own choices. I said she was listening to Archer. Which btw all the sources below credit with Kate's look. You'll have to argue with them about Kate's choices. I already know I don't like a lot of them and I said so.

    Express UK, apparently they've known each other since at least 2007

    https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/style/833674/kate-middleton-duchess-of-cambridge-stylist

    Everybody else calls her a stylist and they laud her efforts at defining Kate's style.

    Vogue
    https://www.vogue.com/article/kate-middleton-stylist-wedding-natasha-archer

    Hello Magazine
    http://us.hellomagazine.com/brides/2017050138541/Duchess-Cambridge-stylist-Natasha-Archer-marries-Chris-Jackson/

    Telegraph
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/people/duchess-of-cambridge-stylist-natasha-archer/

    People
    http://people.com/royals/kate-middleton-stylist-natsha-archer-got-married-see-her-stunning-dress/

    Elle UK
    http://www.elleuk.com/fashion/celebrity-style/news/a35488/kate-middleton-stylist-marries-royal-photographer-wedding-dress/

    Vanity Fair
    https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2014/10/kate-middleton-stylist-natasha-archer

    Harpers Bazaar
    http://www.harpersbazaar.com/celebrity/latest/news/a4197/kate-middleton-hires-new-stylist-natasha-archer/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Mary, that must have taken forever to post. KP, and even Carole, have both stated that Kate doesn’t have a stylist. Sorry. And Natasha was working in W and H’s office before she moved on to work for Kate just like Rebecca Deacon.

      My comment was hardly presumptuous. I just happen to disagree with you and that ruffles you up.

      I’m sure if you look hard enough you can find all the denials from KP re: Kate not having a stylist. Natasha shops for Kate but that isn’t a stylist. Kate is making the decisions. And Natasha’s work goes beyond clothing into many other responsibilities in Kate’s life.

      Tata, Mary. Hope we meet again over happier things!

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    2. Mary from ManchesterNovember 26, 2017 at 9:51 PM

      It only took a few seconds to Google Natasha Archer, Kate's stylist. It gets 200,000 hits on Google. Maybe you should try it. How do you know what Natasha Archer does for Kate? The fashion mags seem to believe she's her stylist. Show us some articles where Kate and Carole come out and claim otherwise. Really? She'd embarrass her stylist by denying her? I doubt that.

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    3. Anon at 7:20, that's what a stylist does. They shop, but this Vogue Australia article details what she does for Kate. She was a PA but now she's her stylist. The article says they're very close and she's encouraged Kate to try new designers and styles and she sources clothes. That sounds like a stylist to me. It also mentions that KP does want it known that Kate makes the final choice but what client of a stylist doesn't? And thinking about it, Kate is making a choice from all the choices Natasha made. XD. I think you're beat.

      http://www.vogue.com.au/fashion/news/10+things+to+know+about+kate+middletons+stylist,40781

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    4. Mary,

      Reread the articles you posted! I From the VF article, it clearly states that Natasha is a PERSONAL ASSISTANT, who also shops for Kate!!! She's not a "stylist" as the definition is used. She sources clothes for Kate but doesn't put whole looks together. AND the article also states that Kate makes all the decisions.

      Everything I've stated is backed up by the VF article. Not sure what you're so hyped up about.

      Delete
    5. Mary from ManchesterNovember 27, 2017 at 9:51 AM

      Thanks Anon 10:41. The Vogue Australia article is great. That's exactly what Natasha the stylist does. Kate makes her choice from all the choices Natasha has made. The other anon is a troll. You've beat it at its own game. Well done.

      Delete
    6. A troll is a commenter who doesn't agree with one while a legitimate commenter is one who does agree? I think a troll is a commenter who writes comments agreeing with his own remarks to give them substance. Or disagrees with a remark to cause dissention, but doesn't hang around for the aftermath. Just bounces between sites, causing discord. No specific commenter is being referenced. Just adding my concept of "troll."

      The problem with some of these articles is that they seem to have two types of origin. There are quotes from two designers who mention a person who was a contact, assuming the person was a stylist and that that person was responsible for Kate's clothing choices and ideas. Further, I saw no mention of a stylist's name. Further articles borrowed from these stories and added a name, which has never been officially confirmed by KP or Kate or anyone.
      The other type of article, at least half of them, appeared with wedding stories of one of Kate's PAs. There was a need for background info to fill in the story. Her Hispanic Studies focus in one story, for example, became a degree in another. (neither of which is fashion or design).
      These sorts of articles build on each other. It is like playing a game of "Telephone." At some point the origin of the story and its lack of fact-checking is forgotten.
      One could list a hundred articles but if they are all based on one or two stories of questionable accuracy, the numbers prove nothing. Zero times ten is still Zero. anon1.

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    7. anon1 none of that makes sense.

      Delete
  67. I'm late to the party! Totally agree with Jane...having said that, my reaction was UGH! Too many sparkles,etc. and the hemline design was a case of trying way too hard. Sleeves were very unflattering. For me, the look lacked sophistication. Kate is a drop-dead gorgeous woman who just may not care all that much about fashion.

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  68. The dress seems poorly thought out and not put together well. Sorry to say, it looks like a cross between a Princess costume on Halloween and a bathrobe (the blue dress part underneath). Too baggy, too much bling, no real shape. She should hire a new stylist.

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    1. Carrie Bradshaw, hehe. Good one.

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  69. I really think the gown is probably much better in person. But whatever the opinion of the gown, the design elements of it that seem poorly done I think should be laid at the designers feet, not Kate's nor her stylist.

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    1. It's a bespoke gown. Kate and Ms. Archer would likely have had a say in it. Too many cooks?

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    2. The gown may look better in person. But I suspect an actual stylist--not a PA turned part-time stylist like Natasha-- would know what sorts of things do & don't photograph well. I may be wrong but I assume in this day and age royal appearances aren't only for the benefit of those physically present. And it seems too often we find ourselves saying about Kate's recent outfits "well, it probably looks better in person." Didn't Diana have test photos taken of her outfits before wearing them in public? Sounds like a hint from a stylist to me.

      As Faith & I discussed early on in the comments, this dress appears to be a combination/hybrid of two JP dresses. Of course, the designer is responsible for what leaves his/her shop. But this isn't the first time we've seen Kate wear a iffy bespoke dress that apparently was a hybrid from a designer. Not all were JP's. Maybe designers are afraid to say no to royals. Or maybe someone, either Kate or her stylist, sometimes insists on grand ideas that don't work out in reality.

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  70. Mary from ManchesterNovember 26, 2017 at 9:34 PM

    lizzie, I think you're right about the grand ideas not translating into reality. Maybe this was Kate's own sketch from a combination of JP dresses. She has a fair hand at drawing judging by the illustration on Pippa's Order of Service for her wedding.

    I would say Kate does understand something about photographs. I read where they always ask her ahead of time what color she will be wearing so the people who will be greeting her and handing her flowers can match the flowers so they don't clash with her outfits. When she left the hospital after her morning sickness with George, both she and William coordinated their dark blue outfits and the hospital gave her bright yellow flowers. It was a very attractive photo.

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    1. I agree Kate seems to have a very good sense of color, Mary. She (&/or her PA stylist) do coordinate her clothes with Will's or more likely, Will's with hers. And when the children are pictured with her at official events or on tours, their clothes are carefully color-coordinated with hers. Without a doubt, those efforts help to make good photographs. But that's not quite the same as understanding how a given outfit will photograph because photographing well is not only a matter of color. While I can't think of alot of examples at the moment, I do know the current dress is far from the only outfit Kate has worn to generate comments here suggesting it's likely beautiful in person & "just doesn't photograph well." Some examples (some are minor but could be avoided) that do come to mind----scuffed suede shoes/boots with noticeably lighter patches in need of brushing, multiple horizontal wrinkles with tight jeans/jeggings, the tendency for gray-black jeggings to look worn if paired with pure black boots or sweaters,  the ocassional but apparently urgent need for different foundational garments for particular outfits, glaringly mismatched patterns at garment seams, many examples of unfortunate button, pocket, & large pattern motif placement. These things aren't likely very noticeable in person during a quick outfit review (particularly to the untrained stylist's eye) but sadly they tend to "pop" in photos. Some outfits with specific photo issues IMO-- the CW "heart motif" coatdress, the bespoke McQueen midi poppy "dressing gown" dress, the bundled up Temperley coat worn as a dress with Kate's hair blown out very full at last year's Remembrance Festival at the Albert Hall. While designers are responsible for their designs (what was CH thinking with her placement of those large buttons on the red coat?) designers can't be responsible for a photo fail if their coats are worn as indoor garments. And in other cases, the garments were bespoke adaptations of different designs made specifically for Kate.

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    2. Mary from ManchesterNovember 27, 2017 at 10:02 AM

      Wow, lizzie, I hope Kate is reading this blog and takes your observations in hand. That was excellent. Now you've mentioned it, I've noticed some of those things too, especially the black tights with the black boots and wearing the coats indoors. Diana was more meticulous because as you said, she took photographs of the outfits. Maybe she should look at things under bright lights before she wears them outside. Well done you.

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    3. And where did Diana's penchant for fashion get her as far as the RF was concerned? The Firm resented her popularity and covergirl status. Maybe just maybe Kate is wise enough to be mindful of this.

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    4. Mary from ManchesterNovember 27, 2017 at 10:48 AM

      Fair point, RoyalFan. Kate is more modern but Diana did consult with British Vogue quite a bit. But as I said, Kate might want to rethink Natasha as her stylist.

      Delete
  71. Jane I could not agree more with your post. A royal miss in my opinion too. You are not alone!!

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