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Kate Wears Erdem Again at Commonwealth Fashion Exchange

Monday, February 19, 2018

It is London Fashion Week, and tonight the Duchess was back with an appropriately timed event. Joining her aunt-in-law the Countess of Wessex, Kate co-hosted a reception celebrating the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange at Buckingham Palace on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.


This initiative is a very cool idea. It pairs successful and recognizable fashion power houses (like Stella McCartney or Burberry) with local talent to help feature and further the artisanal work of the smaller producers. Livia Firth, Colin Firth's wife, manages it via her organization Eco Age. Little Pride & Prejudice connection there. ;) 
Kate and Sophie got to view early designs produced by the initiative. These two have never co-hosted an event before, and it was a lot of fun to see Kate join another senior royal woman like this. I imagine their relationship is closer to that of sisters-in-law... 
I am going to jump right into fashion here, because I am a little low on time this fine February night--quelle surprise, right?  Last night Kate wore JP, but tonight it was back to another favorite...Erdem. This is the label's Suzi dress in floral guipure lace, which Kate has had customized in a longer length. Dare I say, it features a ruffle?


It's like Erdem said (to quote Captain Renault from Casablanca), "round up the usual suspects" when they hit the design floor. Despite some recent, completely cringe-worthy disasters, I have to admit, I really, really like this dress! I do. I am a sucker for the guipure lace, and I think this two-tone floral design is just the right amount of busy without going overboard. Also, that v-neckline is so Kate Middleton. Every time the Duchess trots that kind of a neckline out, I am on board. Again, I know several will question my fashion credentials, but I am such a fan!


Kate was wearing the Prada cut-out shoes she has had for a while now (and wore last night!), and added a touch of sparkle with these Anita Dongre earrings she first debuted last year at another BP event celebrating the UK and India. They aren't my favorite earrings, but they are certainly in keeping with the evening's theme of highlighting talent from the Commonwealth--although Anita Dongre is certainly not an obscure label. ;)


Kate briefly carried a clutch, although it does not appear in the majority of the pictures. It is visible in the photo-set where she is standing and chatting with Anna Wintour. Based on the little I can see, I would have guessed her Prada, but the edges are too sharp and this clutch has gold detailing. Maybe it is her Alexander McQueen? But it still looks a little boxy. If you know or have a guess, drop a line in the comments! 


I think my favorite picture of the night was this snap of Kate clearly explaining something about her pregnancy to Stella McCartney. Generally so reserved on formal duties, it is fun to see Kate's cocktail hour personality come out a little bit as she mixes and mingles. 


It is a win, all y'all. And with that, I'm off to bed! 

40 comments:

  1. Perhaps LK Bennett for the clutch?

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  2. That photo was funny. Not sure if Stella was eye balling her dress, earrings or tummy. If tummy, i think Kate was getting kicked. I am not a fan of Kates dress. Too much lace and ruffle for me. But she looks gorgeous, just so full of life.

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  3. Dear Jane,
    Thank you so much for this nice update. I love this dress, and the ruffle is charming. It gives a hint of “good mood” to the dress as I can imagine it swinging as the Duchess is walking.
    Have a nice evening
    Montaine

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    1. I agree! It does seem to be a “good mood”
      dress :)

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    2. A charming dress indeed!

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  4. The ruffle around the waist on the original design is nice, but on her belly...no, not flattering. But very Kate Middleton indeed! 😉

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  5. Love it! Especially the neckline & the sleeves. She looks so pretty here & the lace is just the right amount of busy, as you mentioned, Jane. Thanks for the post! :)

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  6. These last two appearances have been absolutely gorgeous. Sophie looked lovely too and I'm sure I saw Beatrice there too in a video on Daily Mail but could be wrong. I don't know if we saw less of Kate in her last two pregnancies or she concealed her bump more but in this pregnancy I feel like she is a lot more comfortable in herself, proud of her bump. Lovely to see.

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    1. She was there too - I got the impression she was trying to tag along to associate herself with the event, perhaps as a way to bolster her "consulting business." But she wasn't included in many of the official photos I've seen since she wasn't an actual hostess of the event.

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    2. Kate looked lovely, but not my favorite style on her. Maybe too busy a pattern? She looked content in it though , so that’s all that matters I guess. Oh and I loved Sophie’s dress and hair - so beautiful! I just cannot figure out why those shoes were paired with Sophie’s dress?

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    3. I've been thinking the same thing! I feel like we've seen more of this bump than with either of the first two pregnancies. And I've been trying to figure out if that's because of the number of engagements or how she's been dressing the bump.

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  7. The best of the three recent Erdem dresses which does not mean I really like it.

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  8. Kate looked lovely, relaxed, and radiant, but that Erdem genie needs to be put back in the bottle,. After looking so glamorous and gorgeous in JP the previous evening, the Erdems just don’t do her any favors. It is Kate’s natural beauty, grace, and poise that carry’s the couture, not the Erdem .

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  9. I liked the dress, but I'm not fond of this length. It just seems to hit her legs in the wrong place. Thanks for your post. Always enjoy them.

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  10. My take of the photo with Ms. McCartney--Kate was explaining the alterations needed to the Erdem design. Obviously, some fullness was added as well as the....I prefer "flounce" to ruffle.Ha!
    I really, really like the dress. And the side part.
    So nice to see her with Sophie. I wonder if this sort of co-appearance of Windsor ladies will continue? I can't imagine Kate and Anne but Eugenie and Kate? Of course, Kate and HM had a certain rapport- they seemed to keep each other entertained-remember the photo of Kate in a perky forest green hat and suit sitting next to the Queen, both looking amused? I would love to see Zara and Kate doing an engagement together. We got a hint of that at the polo match. What fun that would be! I think putting Kate and Meghan together would be a waste of star power; better to spread it around.
    I think fashion is actually Sophie's patronage area. Perhaps Kate appeared as a bonus. ;+) Whatever the reason, a nice touch. Sophie's dress was both sophisticated and flattering, I think. The vertical lines. Yes, she is petite, at least compared to Kate. I wonder if that length of dress is the best choice for her, however. Perhaps the vertical lines help compensate for the cutting-off effect of the length and make it work for her .I do think she looks lovely here. I especially like her upswept hair-do. Are there any views of the hairdo from the back? anon1
    Anna Wintour told a funny story, apparently. Who knew?

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  11. So ugh. For any occasion and for many reasons, but especially for such a fashion-centric night. In the earlier days - pre-Charlotte - Kate would have rocked this occasion like a super-star. Now - all mumsy midi lengths, busy prints, boring necklines and sleeves. Hate it. LOVED what Sophie wore - smart, elegant, understated, modern, interesting, flattering, classic-but-cool - and it looked great with her updo, too. The midi length on that dress was ofset by its slim silhouette - not so much fabric hanging about the legs. What happened to Kate's style? She started wearing panty hose and midi lengths, dust ruffles and victorian lace, high necks and ruffles - all bad. Very bad.

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    1. Sophie's look is boring.

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    2. I agree I thought Sophie's look was boring and made her look dumpy. Really liked Kate's dress and loved the length. --J

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    3. Kate's look is totally boring. I could buy that at Target. Sophie looked very chic.

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    4. Simple, clean lines, timeless but modern, understated but strong - flattering silhouette - SOPHIE rules the day. Anyone who thinks that look is boring, but Kate's frumped out floral fantasy is cute, is not a stylist. Kate's look is SO boring, so dated, so unflattering - just fugly. As are MANY MANY of her looks these days. It's unbelievable that she should have miss after miss after miss - it's becoming pretty dreadful. She has such an opportunity to impress and help lift the royal family, with her clothes alone. Not to overwhelm, or outshine the event, or other people, but Kate's original sartorial game was SPOT ON, and she has dropped the ball big time. Most of the time it's an embarrassment. She needs a stylist now. The English people pay for her and the family - so why shouldn't she look impeccable every single time. And don't tell me it's because she's a mom of nearly three - please. She has help. Let's put aside some of those tax dollars for a stylist, eh? I'm sure the first thing they'd do would be to BAN ERDEM.

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    5. Some people just don't appreciate designer clothing.

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  12. Sandy - I'm with you on length. Something is off on the proportion. I love the short length shown by the designer. However, that would be too short for Catherine in her condition. Perhaps knee length. Or, I think I could love it long.

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  13. I'll start by saying that the fabric is much better than the past two Erdems and I do like the neckline. The rest of it, however, is just not good. I said on the other post that Erdem just can't seem to get the "midi" look right. They always hit the wrong spot just between knee length and midi. Maybe they haven't figured out how to dress someone as tall as Kate but that would be inexcusable for a label like this. I also would have preferred to see her Kiki Annoushka Pearls which would also have been in keeping with supporting British fashion. Love those shoes.

    Now the good stuff! First, I think it was so much fun to see Sophie and Kate host this event together! They looked like they were having a good time and the videos of them looking at the fashion and chatting were so enjoyable to see. I like Sophie a lot and think seeing her and Kate together is a real treat. I thought Sophie's shoes were an odd choice but other than that she looked wonderful. The photos of Kate with her hand on her belly are so endearing. Maybe because they were together or because they were at BP they both looked so relaxed.

    As for the other fashion, I didn't understand Livia Firth's (that lucky lady) mixture of greens with her coat but once the coat was removed she looked great. Love the pop of color with the cobalt clutch! Anna Wintour looked chic as always though I was surprised at the brown boots with that dress and for an evening event. Stella McCartney looked stylish and terrific as usual. Is it because she's a McCartney that she can wear anything and look just right? Naomi Campbell just looked odd and out of place with that huge collar/jacket/sleeve thing with the filmy gloves at such an intimate gathering.

    I noticed that, for all the discussion of blood princess vs. married into and the protocol that goes with that - Bea came in last as they entered. Kate first, Sophie second, then Bea. And, while she was there, she was not photographed at all that I've been able to find.

    Overall - the event is a win for me despite Erdem.

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  14. Ohhhh I love the dress, just not as maternity! It’s just...odd looking with the bump as it camouflages it. That said, loved the neckline regardless. In the last picture and you can see the bump definition my first thought was - she’s carrying high, so another girl??? She did carry high with Charlotte and low with George (just like the old wive’s tale says!!).

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    1. I too believe old wives' tales:) girl!

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  15. I feel like I'm over the dark grays and black from the winter season and ready for some spring color! And Anna Wintour and Kate - I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation. Erdem is Erdem - love it or hate it. I'm noticing an uptake in Kate's calendar - I wonder when she'll announce maternity leave. Will she make it to St. Patrick's Day?

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    1. Not a chance. Look at her!

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    2. Given that it's still 3 1/2 weeks away I'm thinking she won't make it to St. Patrick's day. By then I'm guessing she'll be dropping and getting uncomfortable. I think she must be due in the first part of April just given the timing for Harry's wedding. I think they would have allowed for Kate to be six weeks postpartum by then. Maybe not but that's my feeling.

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    3. I agree - she seems further along than with Charlotte, making early April likely!! Exciting- plus really hope she is recovered and on form for the wedding

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  16. I like it, it's very soft and flirty. And it would have been a perfect print for the baftas, she could have asked them to make it floor length and added some bling

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  17. Anon 1:24-I doubt the black and white print would have satisfied the online commenters either, since most of the audience were dressed in solid black. anon1

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  18. She looks lovely.

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  19. I think the dress would look better... Not as maternity wear? I love it but I'm not loving it on Kate... I don't know what's not clicking... Yay for the shoes again though! Cool event.

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  20. Another Erdem miss, matronly midi length (she always looks fabulous in shorter lengths), busy pattern, these ruffles

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  21. I Like both their dresses; they provide a background for some of the rather exotic designs.
    Matching up designers with those doing the sewing seems a step further to joining small charities , which seems to have been William, Catherine and Harry's idea.
    One of the benefits of a Royal Family is there is always someone to fit into a new idea.
    The order of precedence seems to have changed too.

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  22. I don't like the Erdem. I like Sophie's dress, but not on her.

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  23. Her Majesty looked wonderful yesterday for her first foray into Fashion Week. True to her style with a little bling to go along. Anna Wintour, on the other hand, seems to have brought one pair of boots and two necklaces with her. Same accessories as the night before at BP. The sunglasses through the whole show were a bit of a faux pas given she was sitting with HM. Caroline Rush appeared to be wearing the same dress Sophie wore except the neckline and sleeves had been altered and the strips were green. I wonder if it's offered both ways or if one of them had theirs bespoke.

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