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[Full Post] Kate Wears Erdem For 1st Engagement As Patron of V&A

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

This is the event we waited all day to see (literally) and Kate didn't disappoint as she arrived at the Victoria & Albert Museum just at 8pm to open the museum's new exhibition on photography. Dressed in a striking, tweed evening dress from Erdem, with bold statement earrings from the same designer, and complementing Jimmy Choo accessories in a luxe aubergine, Kate oozed royal glamour. 


This is Kate's first engagement as patron of the V&A. She made a preliminary visit in June 2017 (wearing Gucci) before she was named the museum's first royal patron in March of this year!


I don't know if you spent the day refreshing your Twitter feed every half hour--I know I did. The start time was not officially announced due to security precautions, so I've popped into Twitter a lot today. William and Harry had an wildlife preservation event that stretched throughout the afternoon and into the evening, and I wonder if Kate arranged the start time with the museum to be sure she could be home for dinner with her kiddies? In any event, when she finally arrived to a blinding bank of flashing cameras I couldn't make out what she was wearing at first:

Once it all came into focus I think there was widespread surprise, followed almost simultaneously with either delight or distress depending on your style preference. Erdem never fails to radically divide fans, does it? For me, I had a brief moment of perplexed processing before I ran over to join everyone who chose Team Delighted. Buttons excepted, that is. I think Erdem stole those from Miss Havisham's closet. 


The runway version of this Spring 2018 dress does not inspire confidence, but the cut and fit are incredible on Kate, the tweed for evening is a great nod to the season, and the texture is light enough that doesn't weight the dress down. I do enjoy the unexpected, and this is certainly unexpected. Kate loves fringe and asymmetric necklines, too, so this has pulled together so many of her favorite elements. 


According to the Vogue write-up on this collection, it was inspired by the Queen! 
This summer, Erdem MoralฤฑoฤŸlu found his own extraordinary path into expressing his admiration for the queen while researching her clothes at Windsor Castle (no less). He conducted his research under the guidance of Caroline de Guitaut, the senior curator of decorative arts of the Royal Collection. There, he made a discovery which blew his mind, kindling a theme for a beautiful collection based on the 1950s that touched on a personal connection to Black-American culture in the young queen’s life. “It felt kind of important at a weird time like this,” said the designer. “The exchange between two worlds felt really beautiful.”
Erdem had discovered that Elizabeth enjoyed jazz and dancing when she was young, and that she had met Duke Ellington in 1958 at a royal command performance....After absorbing that information, he made the leap to Harlem in the 1950s, designing into the fantasy that the young royal might have visited the Cotton Club to watch Dorothy Dandridge, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald perform. It made for quite gorgeous fashion, a context in which to show diverse beauty and an evocative set furnished as a glamorous Harlem Renaissance–era jazz club.
The description and history is more detailed than the above quote, I tried to cut it down to the essentials, but if you are interested I encourage you to read the full article here.  Kate is already a real devotee of the label, but I wonder if this background played into her decision to shop this collection for tonight's event. 


The earrings are too busy and too old-fashioned for me, but you can't win everything. They certainly make a statement, which is what this entire ensemble is successfully achieving, so at least they were team players. Plus, they matched the buttons, and that level of coordination always impresses me. HeavenLM IDed these very, very quickly.


Laura figured out that Kate's Jimmy Chose were the Anouk style, and also IDed Kate's new clutch as the J Box in Bordeaux Velvet.


Kate spent an hour at the private event that looked like a very exclusive and small group.

KP

She got to tour the exhibit and unveiled a plaque...

...before waving farewell and heading home to swap notes with William after his busy day! 
This was a huge win, and although I thought when I first saw it that it would be a very divisive dress, the reactions I have seen pouring in on IG and even here on the blog are very, very positive. I think we might have a fan favorite on our hands? I don't know, the polls aren't closed yet, so we will have to wait for the final outcome until everyone has had a chance to weigh in, but exit numbers are strong. ;) 




85 comments:

  1. Ooh la la - am loving this, it is a wow from me ๐Ÿ˜€

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  2. Waouh she's wonderful! that dress! kate the great is back and such class!

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  3. Wow, the first Erdem she wears I really love head to toes. Great!

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  4. Ooh la la ! Simply beautiful in every detail.

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  5. I am pretending all the brooch/buttons are part of the Queens collection. This is fun.

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  6. This ensemble is stunning! The cinched waist and fit and flare cut highlights her figure perfectly. The neckline with the floral applique adds some appeal for an evening event, though I almost wish it were sleeveless. I love the fabric, too, and the shoes play perfectly. Her hair might be looking better than EVER these days. Huge win for Kate.

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  7. She looks incredibly beautiful, and not just because of the dress. Kate looks different - more sure of herself, more confident and comfortable. She has the perfect family now. It all looks wonderful on her. I just love this dress. A little funky, a little edgy, but so elegant and appropriate. And the accessories are spot on. Love it.

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    1. Could not have said it better!

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    2. I agree, Jane in Canada. Something is different about her in a good way. She seems more happy, confident and comfortable than ever before. Maybe because her family is complete and the pressure for that is off. Whatever the reason, it's agreeing with her.

      I wish I could love the dress. I think it's too off the beaten path for me. On the plus side, the neckline is very flattering and it fits her like a glove. Unfortunately, the earrings look inexpensive.

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    3. I'm with you, Faith. I think I'd like it better if it was a bit shorter and it didn't have the hemline & sleeve "frayed fabric" embellishments. But that's the way I usually feel about this particular designer's work---there's almost always an extra element/ruffle/whatever that's just a little much for me. Partly though I realize I tend to automatically look at the "re-wear value" of outfits and those "extras" make rewearing less feasible. The dress does seem to fit well though at least in this photo. And Kate does look happy!

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    4. Yes, there's so much going on here, Lizzie. It's as if Erdem made a bullet list of all his favorite design elements and decided to put them into one dress.

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  8. Holy smokes!!! She looks fantastic!

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  9. Positively glowing. Kate is gorgeous.

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  10. For some reason her makeup reminds me of the 2018 Bafta awards. She had that same gorgeous glow about her.

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    1. Yes. What makes this a winner is her gorgeous hair and beautiful make-up. Because of that, she could have worn a sack and been ๐Ÿ‘Œ.

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  11. There are elements that I really love about this dress, but I absolutely loathe the length. There's just something about midi length that I don't find flattering on women.

    I also really feel like Kate stepped out of her safezone with this a little...those earrings and her makeup...wowza!

    I'm curious though,does she botox? And no I'm not being judgy or critical, I'm just wondering what people think?

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    1. In my previous comment I too said I'd probably like the dress better shorter Anon 4:27 I don't always mind midis though. I tend not to like them when worn with stilletto heels with no stockings/nude stockings as the length seems to visually chop off the leg at a weird point. With boots, flat casual sandals, or with a shoe paired with darker stockings I think that length can sometimes look ok.

      I think Kate does have "facial treatments" of some sort when not pregnant. And I agree that's not a big deal. She looks pretty tan also in these pictures as well as others taken since her return.

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    2. I'm anon 4:27. Thank you so much for your opinion of the "facial treatments." I was a little wary to bring the subject up here, but I've always been a little curious. Her face looks a little more refreshed here, than it has the past few outings. She looks lovely and happy and it's nice to see her back.

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    3. It doesn’t look like Botox or filler but maybe a series of facials or something like that. Whatever it is (or isn’t) she looks great, and very natural!

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    4. I don't think she has any sort of fillers either because she doesn't have a smooth (and unexpressive) forehead, but some of the dermabrasion treatments can really make skin glow. That's why Jennifer Aniston looks so incredible.

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    5. The reason I lean towards Botox as a serious possibility has to do with the presence of "bunny lines." Kate definitely has those & while that's not proof of Botox, it's awfully suggestive. Whatever she's doing she looks great now!

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    6. I don't know what she does but she does something she can't do when pregnant because her face is more lined during her pregnancies, and then, poof, all gone after.

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    7. Maybe the strain from HG, followed by keeping up with two little ones whilst pregnant and carrying out engagements, including a multi-country tour, and keeping up with charities and the Foundation? Followed by a relief from pregnancy discomforts, including sleep disturbance,a reduced schedule, and time for outings with her children. That alone could take the lines out of anyone's face of her age. I do think she is likely still tending to Louis's feeding or perhaps just weaned him and would not use anything possibly toxic. I am with the facial use group. If you look at photos of her since Louis's birth in various lighting and with various facial expressions, it is clear she has forehead wrinkles at times, as well as a few lines around her eyes. Not that there's anything wrong with Botox. :+)

      And yes, she does look tanned in some of these photos with the off-the-shoulder look. In that vein, I have been very impressed with TV commercials of a home spray foundation gadget. The results look amazing! Has anyone here tried that?

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    8. All of that is possible, anon 1. I just noticed maybe into the 5 month mark of her pregnancy with Charlotte that her forehead was very visibly lined and that that continued throughout the rest of the pregnancy but when she returned to engagements after the birth, the lines were greatly diminished and her face had an overall fresher and more rejuvenated look. I'm noticing the same thing this time around as well. It could be Botox but doesn't have to be. There are facial treatments that are non invasive that a lot of skin care professionals don't like to do during pregnancies. Like I said, I don't know what she does but something appears to wear off around the 4-5 month in her pregnancies but seems back in place once she starts up with engagements. I it is more than just the fact that she is no longer pregnant.

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    9. Oops the 1:12 comment is mine. I must have sent without identifying myself. Sorry!

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    10. Lol Kate’s not using Botox. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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  12. Wow, Kate looks lovely!

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  13. The dress looks amazing on her ! She looks amazing which helps ! Strange placement of belt and awkward earrings. Length of the dress needed to be reduced by an inch. But details be gone ... she looked wow !

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  14. I am absolutely crazy in love with those earrings (sorry Jane ;) )! And double-sorry, I LOVE the buttons on the dress! Quirky, classy, fun and bling-y. If you're a royal, you need to sparkle, end of story (I'm not of the less-jewelry-is-more-in-modern-monarchy), even if these are not 'real' gems per se. I can't wait for repliKate versions of the earrings. The burgundy sash and shoes are a wonderful touch of color; eggplant purple is one of my favorites. Sylvia

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  15. Loving her use of highlighter. Her make up is
    so fresh.

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  16. I adore this entire ensemble (although I don't think I'd like those earrings with anything else, they work here). My first thought when I saw the neckline of the dress was that it looked like an update of that Jesire dress she wore to an event at the National Portrait Gallery ages ago. She looks absolutely stunning!

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  17. Oh dear, here I go again, having to revise my opinion of Erdem! This is the third Erdem I've liked--granted one was sorta lukewarm--but this was perhaps the best...maybe. At any rate, if upscale boho/funky is your cup of tea, this is outstanding, in my books. And with that in mind, the earrings work.

    I wish the lighting had been more realistic; on models, this dress has a distinctly brown cast; here, it looks grey. In either case, the wine/burgundy accessories work, Kate's hair looks great, and overall this is a win.

    Can't wait to see what she wears on Friday--this would've been perfect.

    JC

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  18. Love the outfit, especially the shoes! And I really love her hair parted more to the side. I did like the length. I find the mid calf length unflattering, but this length has always appealed to me. A big win!

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  19. Wow!She looks amazing! I could do with all the doodads on the collar, but otherwise she looks glowing and happy and perfect. Those shoes are sensational, but I don't know how she walks in them. I'm more the Jennifer Lawrence falling at the Oscars type of shoe wearer.

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  20. Wow!She looks amazing! I could do with all the doodads on the collar, but otherwise she looks glowing and happy and perfect. Those shoes are sensational, but I don't know how she walks in them. I'm more the Jennifer Lawrence falling at the Oscars type of shoe wearer.

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  21. This is a win for me. Might be an all-timer. I just love it when she wears things that are a little unusual, even when I don’t think they work, but I loved this.

    I was remembering the reaction to the Erdem she wore in on the Nordic tour and wondered if someone on her team takes “public reaction” into account - I can’t imagine Kate doing that herself, but do you think someone like Natasha Archer flits around the blogosphere sometimes to see what people say? It wouldn’t be as important as appropriateness, venue, activities, nods to hosts, etc., but do you think they look into it at all when choosing pieces for future events?

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    1. I really don't think so and I *sincerely* hope they do not. As long as it is appropriate (and it always is), Kate should wear what she wants. I would hate to see someone change themselves because of what people think. Even if everyone hates it, I always appreciate the personal thought behind people's clothing choices.

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    2. I will add my own "hope not" to this thread. Actually, I doubt it very much. I think Kate knows what she likes and what works for her and this, combined with a sense of what is appropriate for any given engagement, is the winning equation.

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    3. Agree, royalfan (10:37)

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  22. I think this is a lovely outfit.

    Jane: will you be doing a post about Princess Eugenie's wedding? What do you make of Camilla not attending?

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    1. Here is a link to watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoNyELmURN8

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  23. I love this! I think this is one of the best looks I have seen on Kate in a very long time. She looks young, sophisticated and very current. A big win for me!

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  24. I love it! It reminds me of the Jesire dress she wore to the National Portrait Gallery in 2014 - classy yet cozy.

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    1. Yes, me too. But the Jesire is way more conventional imho

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  25. Ok gals, I think DC looks the most amazing coming off this maternity leave than the previous two.....she just looks so great and so confident which exudes style!!

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  26. My initial reaction to the dress was "too much going on", but somehow I quickly warmed to it and now I love it! From the very beginning though I thought Kate looked spectacular. Her hair and makeup are absolutely perfect. Her beauty probably helped win me over to loving the dress.

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  27. Orange County GrandmaOctober 10, 2018 at 8:00 PM

    Kate is just stunning.

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  28. I loved her dress, did you see the lining of the dress. Don’t particularly care for the earrings but like you said they matched the buttons. So confident and at ease. There. Can. Be. Only. One (from the Highlander).

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    1. Yes, the purple lining perfects this dress.

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    2. The belt matches the lining too.

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  29. Wow! She looks better than ever! 3 babies & lots of time loving & being loved on by her family (esp. hubby as we saw yesterday) has done her immense good. She's so confident & comfortable at these events nowadays. Really making a difference!

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  30. Thank you for the lovely post, Jane, as always! Personally, I just really don’t like the look. It just doesn’t do it for me, and I don’t get what is great about it. Not to be dense, but do you think in future posts you can elaborate a bit on whether an outfit is on trend, avant-garde or what the appeal is, exactly, in fashion circles. Of course, Kate the Great looks stunning and happy - and that makes me happy.

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  31. Sorry but not a fan at all.Dress is ugly and makeup looks bad too.Gorgeous hair though!

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    1. I think she looks amazing and happy and so, so vibrant but to me that dress is what I would wear if I wanted to be a sexy scarecrow! I don't like it at all.

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  32. I really like this look! She looks classy and elegant, and like she's having fun with fashion! Does anyone else see anything a little Tim Burton/steampunk in the dress? Anyway, playful, quirky, but fits like a dream and is still so appropriate for the venue.

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  33. I guess I am in the minority. I really do not like this dress. Way too long, too much busyness in the fabric, and I think the dress in general looks like a craft project gone wrong. I especially do not like it once I saw that she had previously worn black/white/red to V&A, too matchy for me.
    She always looks great, and she looks happy and glowing in these pics. But the dress is a huge miss for me.

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    1. Agree with your craft project gone wrong synopsis. Right above anon 9:20 calls it Steam Punk/ Tim Burton- esque and on another site someone said it looked like someone went overboard in a consignment shop both of which hit the nail on the head I think. It's all too much but I agree she looks fantastic.

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  34. She looks stunning! Love the dress, the buttons not so much. Didn't know the earrings were from Erdem as well. They have a vintage vibe that I like. It's nice to see her in earrings that aren't Kiki M, for a change.

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  35. Yes!!!!
    Love everything about the dress - that's a first for me and Erdem.
    The story behind it it's great. I wonder if we will see an other inspired outfits?
    I could do without the earrings though. They look to much like costume jewelry for my taste. She can wear big earrings though.

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  36. I haven't always been a fan of Erdem, but this dress works for this engagement. It has a nice edge to it and the accessories are perfect.

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  37. I love this dress and I usually do not like Erdem! (I seriously think the mustard yellow thing she wore in Stockholm was one of the ugliest dresses I've ever seen anywhere.) The neckline is flattering and I love that she put her own spin on it with one shoulder up. I love the mismatched buttons, the fabric, the belt instead of the peek-a-boo tummy, and the shoes and purse were beautiful. Not crazy about the earrings but they were quirky enough to compliment the dress. This is a huge win in my book! Happy, beautiful Kate, how we've missed her.

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    1. I agree on all points, Robin. Loved it all--head to toe, stem to stern.

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  38. Wow! She looks amazing. This is my first time posting, even though I've been a reader for years! But I couldn't not post! Kate is looking better than ever, theres something about her that I cant put my finger on, whatever it is, it's working! Cant wait for more appearances of our lovely Kate

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    1. Happy you are posting, Vicky! Yes, there is something about Kate lately. She looks happy and more confident. I've also noticed her posture has really improved and that makes a huge difference.

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  39. Bravo, modern, stylish, edgy = fashion

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  40. Sasha๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆOctober 11, 2018 at 3:47 AM

    The Duchess of Cambridge is glowing in this stunning ensemble. I think the last few pictures we’ve seen from around trooping the colour, until most recently show her more confident and regal. (The day she drove with the queen to church as mentioned in a post you made Jane) I think her fashion choices and confidence shows a shift from the reserved duchess to preparing for the role of Princess of Wales.

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  41. Love the dress== think the length is great for an evening engagement.The dress fits so well and the whole outfit looks so coordinated.
    Catherine looks so beautiful.

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  42. Glamour-momma.

    The buttons reminded me of her engagement ring.

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  43. I love this ensemble! Perfect for tonight's engagement and sooo Kate too. It's like the National Portrait Gallery dress from 2012 and the red Marchesa she wore to the theatre in 2017 had a baby. Kate is so tall and willowy that she can carry that flared, midi hemline with grace and ease. In fact, she wears it better than the runway model. I also think she is always looking for definition for her waist, so adding the belt with the pop of color was probably her idea- and I think it improved the look of the dress. I really like this one- not on my all-time list, but very nicely done, Duchess. I hope she doesn't wear ice blue to the wedding- I am yearning for something new, but autumnal from her.

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  44. Now that I've seen your comment about the buttons I keep imagining the dress without and its so much better! Either way, Kate the Great did not disappoint.

    By the way, do you think she looks especially tan?

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    1. Yes, I noticed the tan right away. I wonder if she's gone back to spray tanning.

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    2. Maybe, Faith. I admit I've never had a spray tan & don't know anyone who has but I *think* I know how they are usually done. And to me, Kate's current coloring looks more like a natural tan because of the "uneveness" that is so often part of a natural tan. For example: more color on the upper chest than on the neck, noticeably less color on the "underneath" sides of the forearms. But like lots of other cosmetic things, maybe spray tans have become more natural looking than they used to be!

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  45. I love the telltale position of her fingers in the first photo, where she’s obviously playing with her rings!

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  46. I don't know why I can't reply to the thread above, but I will just add a quick comment here. Around the time of her wedding it was reported that Kate was using some trendy bee-venom injection to boost her skin. I don't know if that was true, but it was discussed. I think she must do something, but I will say that her lines don't entirely disappear after pregnancy. I pick photos where everything looks smoother, but depending on the lighting, they are still there.

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    1. I had read about the bee venom too. As I'm allergic to bees it sounds horrifying but I bet it works.

      I know. I was a little too enthusiastic with the "poof" they are gone. I should have said greatly diminished. I do think she stops something she is doing when she becomes pregnant and then takes it up again after. Wish I knew what it is.

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    2. I have a great deal of trouble accessing the comment page at times. I hope it is OK if I make a comment on the previous post here.
      I loved the laugh video! Thank-you for including it, Jane. Kate is always charming but I think she has an extra bounce and sparkle when she appears with William. Not the clingy wifey type of response. Just pure enjoyment of his company.He always looks happier and more relaxed to me when they are together, too. They are a winning team for the monarchy and GB.

      I would also like to remark off current topic but still Kate--regarding the overwhelming influence of the internet and social media. There was a teaser topic discussion on a recent talk show that Kate had been "slammed" by an actress for Kate's appearing shortly after childbirth looking gorgeous and without signs of her experience, with the inference being her motivation was vanity not necessity. I read the actual article from the interview with the actress. She did not "slam" Kate. If the actress "slammed" anyone, it was the public/RF or whoever puts the pressure on her to have to appear so soon and looking prepared for the historic photos that follow. Diana did not appear in same day photos. I don't want to argue how she appears but I have difficulty believing Kate would pop out of the hospital looking like that if she were plain Ms. Smith. I do think the actress should have mentioned Kate's making no attempt to disguise her tummy, especially after George. That's pretty real. Certainly no vanity there. I think that represented Kate's choice. In the ensuing discussion on the show--(that topic was held to the last to keep audience attention, I suppose) the line of talk focused on defending Kate, not criticizing the emphasis in PR on image over substance or unrealistic expectations for royals--which was the actress's complaint.
      It just pointed out to me that even supposedly respected TV programs can channel audience opinion. I really think this was an example of someone's looking for an attention-getting hook and not doing his homework. The topic was based on a tagline or headline instead of getting the full story first. There were some headlines suggesting the actress was critical of Kate. Anyone reading the full interview would know what the actress's true point was.

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    3. In case anyone is still reading this comment section--(I finally got access to it.) Regarding my October 11 @ 1:48 comment:

      Interestingly, that actress has since emphatically denied her intent was to "shame" Kate. Her original remarks were from an essay she wrote as part of a book on the theme of the current image of and expectations for women. That context alone should have made it obvious what the intent was. What was meant as a supportive comment for Kate was twisted into a criticism and the actress (English, by the way) was not amused. I believe the interview that accurately discussed her remarks was from an Irish newspaper .

      To my knowledge, so far that talk show has not apologised or even discussed their error. The tease hinting at Kate scandal had done its work of attracting and holding viewers, I suppose. I wonder how many viewers were aware of the discrepancy and whose takeaway was that Kate had been "slammed." I wonder how many care what the truth was.

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  47. Stunning! I do love the entire look - right down to the buttons. I also really liked looking at this dress in motion. Her figure is incredible - lots of hard work goes into that with help from her family genes. But you can tell she really takes care of herself. Bravo Kate - fabulous fall outfit. I really liked the simple pops of color with the accessories. Ties it all together.

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  48. My fist post as well, and I think this is an amazing look. A little edgy and interesting, and while she looks good in almost everything I love that she has stepped out of the usual fit and flare and coat dresses. She looks great.

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  49. This is a complex dress to wear but she pulls it off magnificently. Im sure it will be a divisive choice, but this is a very high fashion piece which she is wearing with aplomb. Also im so glad the Kate blow dry is back. Hurrah for the Duchess!

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  50. Lovely blog Jane. This dress was so Devine...so fun...and flattering.....from the shoes & bag, to the fun Array of buttons! Kate was stunning. The earring were fun & a pleasant additions with the plum stone, which compliments the en the entire ensemble. Adore the flare of the dress. Kate is so lucky to be a tall lady....she can wear any dress or or causal jeans and always look gorgeous.

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  51. Absolutely love it! Especially the addition of the belt. It’s a quirky fun dress yet suitable for the occasion. I’m looking forward to seeing how she wears the earrings next. Maybe with Wellies or a casual country event.

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  52. I don’t like this dress. The fabric is gorgeous and the fit is incredible, but the fringe makes the dress look very cheap.

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