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Sneak Peek: Kate's Ruched Mermaid Gown at State Dinner

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Good evening, all. As we anticipated, Kate the Great attended the State Dinner tonight at Buckingham Palace. Sadly, I am underwater with work, and since I have thoughts about this ensemble and this event more broadly, and want to give it a full post, I will wait until tomorrow evening write and publish. In the meantime, you've seen the dress already, but feel free to kick off the comments while I dilly dally about. Until tomorrow...


128 comments:

  1. I like the color, not wild about the length of the gown. I’d like to see it shortened by a few inches.

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    1. It’s too long & cumbersome. But other than that, I love it :) So many people have said it’s “80s prom” but Kate can almost pull off anything!

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    2. Kiwi Gal fashion is cyclical and I have seen some 80s trends coming back. I think fashion should be fun and this was pulled off in a tasteful way. Also, people who are hating on this dress because it looks 80s prom should be glad Kate wasn’t sporting a perm! Haha
      ~ A

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    3. A - 80s trends may have come back (they actually came back a few years ago), but I’ve never seen this odd prom style come back. Also we’re in 2018 now and it’s actually the 90s that are back now. Think Clueless (the movie) fashion and all that. The 80s came back a few years ago.

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    4. It’s too long for that fabric and I don’t love the rosette, but I think (hope) that the it looked better in person than the glare of photographs.

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    5. Oh not a perm!! That's hilarious! Let us hope that trend doesn't come back. I typically hate 80s fashion but love this. When you get a better close up photo you can see how beautiful the fabric is. The puckered texture is perfect for her slim frame. She looks so regal & elegant! The color is also beautiful but isn't clear on this first photo. Higher res photos show the dress is much nicer than it shows here. Love it!

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    6. Yes, a little 80's prom but she looks fabulous. And I agree with ~A, at least the hair wasn't BIG!

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    7. Haha - agree about the big 80s hair! *shudders*

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  2. I'm so undecided on this look! Looking forward to having a day before the full post is up so I have some time to land on whether I love this look or am not a big fan.

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  3. Lovely. And nice to see Kate wearing the Elizabeth II Family Order, the first time we’ve seen her photographed wearing it, I believe.

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  4. To me, this dress is the way Kate says “I’m back, b!tche$” at a State Dinner. I’m not thrilled w the gown for color, the odd flower decoration on the upper right shoulder and the crumpled look, but BOY does it show off her figure. And the jewels are SPECTACULAR. Maxima’s dress is the real star of the night though! Good luck with you work and thanks in advance for your thoughtful post. I do always enjoy your commentary!

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    1. The colour of the gown and the necklace is very strategic, I believe. Queen E wore a similar shade of blue on a visit to the Netherlands. Queen Mum wore that necklace on a state visit to the Netherlands.
      ~ A

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    2. Queen E II wore a gown in a similar shade of blue to the Netherlands decades ago...I think Kate was paying homage to that :-) Personally, I think it’s a pretty shade and she pulls it off well.
      ~ A

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    3. The suit Kate wore on her visit to the Netherlands was also this color. Interesting trend.

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  5. The RFO!! Amen!!

    It's my understanding that Kate received it late last year and, in that case, the Queen's timing was on the money. ;-) Enough said.

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    1. Mic drop! LOL
      For the life of me I just can’t imagine why the Queen made her wait so long! Kate had proven years ago her commitment, loyalty and love for William. It would be sad if the Queen was nervous about their marriage ending early like the York’s and Wales’.
      ~ A

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    2. Also, RFO, necklace from the Queen’vault, and Diana’s earrings & tiara frequented by her. This speaks volumes about Kate’s position!
      I wonder how often the Queen will loan jewels to Meghan, in comparison (she’s loaned her at least one set of earrings for the current tour). And will Charles control the lending of jewels/tiaras when he is King?
      ~ A

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    3. I think Kate will control the loaning, it will skip Camilla.

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    4. ROYALFAN what about the Queen’s timing is significant? Will Kate wear this order after the Queen passes away?

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    5. Haha it is not given because she loves William or not. We can be sure the Queen had a perfect reason not to give her any RFO until last December.

      I guess she will have no problem with giving it sooner to the new family member, she has already done some amazing work.

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    6. I'll bet Charles turns over the lending out of the family vault to Camilla. It will be interesting to see how that all shakes out.

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    7. ~A, I don't think the queen was nervous about William and Kate's marriage. In their case, I believe she did Kate a favor by not giving it to her earlier. And while that may sound crazy, just consider that William had other commitments in the early years of their marriage and Kate was not thrown in the deep end immediately. Also, the focus has been on pushing Charles and Camilla forward in recent years. For these reasons, I believe the Queen held off on giving Kate the RFO. I will just add that if Kate received this at the end of 2017, the timing was no accident with Harry announcing his engagement. Me thinks the Queen was well aware of the spotlight to come, and this was her way of further distinguishing the difference between Kate and the newest member of the Firm.

      And on the subject of jewelry loans, I believe the Queen will follow the same "strategy." What Charles does when he receives the keys to BP remains to be seen. I'm sure a lot will depend on the relationship between him and his sons and their respective wives. We've seen some very warm images of Charles and Meghan, but this cynic would advise caution going forward for more reasons than I can fit into this lunch hour post!

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    8. On the money? If memory serves the other royal wives received it years sooner. IMHO Catherine should have been granted the honor years ago. Catherine's commitment and devotion to her children deserved recognition.
      I fail to see how this is on the money by any standard. If anything the timing looks poor.
      On a side note, outstanding work on the blog Jane. Love this site.

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    9. I agree Robin. Unless Camilla doesn't want to be involved in the lending, I can't imagine Charles skipping his obviously beloved WIFE in favor of a daughter-in-law, Anon 10am.

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    10. ROYALFAN,
      Why are you cynical about the warm images of Charles and Meghan?

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    11. Royalfan, what do you mean by distinction between Kate and the newest member (Meghan)? You can use her name you know. Are you saying the Queen is trying to imply she likes Kate better? I’m just not understanding the connection.

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    12. A - I’m sure Kate is much like by the Queen but I don’t think it’s necessarily determined by the jewels she’s loaned. Kate is a future queen so she is accorded jewels and tiaras accordingly. Diana is her mother in law so if course we can expect to see her in many of Diana’s pieces (especially as Diana did not have a daughter to wear her pieces). Meghan will likely wear these jewels to a lesser extent - but this is because of her position within the family. Not because the Queen likes her less. Your line of thinking implies that because Camilla wears the biggest jewels and tiaras, she must be the Queen’s favorite. In fact it’s Sophie who is reportedly the closest to the queen and we rarely see her in the biggest jewels.

      I say this as a caution in thinking that the bigger and most historical jewels means that person is the most favored. Kate is the future queen, wife and mother to future kings - hence it makes sense that she will be loaned valuable pieces from the vault.

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    13. Anon 10:03am ~ My guess is that after the Queen passes Kate will still wear the Queen's RFO. Then hopefully Charles gives her one, and then Kate would wear both of them. Oh, gosh, then when William is King maybe she'll wear 3 of them (?).
      The rule is you wear the current sovereign's RFO at the top. Queen E II wore two RFO's yesterday - her father's on top and her grandfather's below it (sovereign doesn't wear their own). The Queen Mum used to wear her daughter's at the top and her husband's below it.
      ~ A

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    14. Royalfan you're not alone with your apprehensions.
      ~ A

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    15. Catherine is only the 2nd Grand Daughter-In-Law of a Monarch to receive the RFO. The other was Princess Mary of Teck, who married Queen Victoria's Grandson. Mary's was given right after the wedding. I'm sure Catherine had to wait for a new one to be commissioned, painted on Glass to avoid conflict with William's crusade against the Ivory trade.

      Belle

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    16. Anon 2:11 if you were speaking to me my intent was NEVER to imply that the Queen prefers Kate. I am talking about William's position vs Harry's position, and therefore Kate and Meghan's positions (William being 2nd in line and Harry being 6th in line). From what I've seen the Queen really likes Meghan, and I've seen her have warm interactions with Kate. I have no opinion as to who the Queen prefers. Honestly :-)
      ~ A

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    17. 12:53, I'm not arguing with you. I think Kate is a blessing for the Firm and for William on so many levels. I expanded on my reasoning in the comment directly above yours...

      True, Robin. There is no way that Camilla would allow herself to be skipped over in the lending department, or any other. It should make for interesting family dynamics going forward...……....for those who will wish to engage in seeking her favor.

      Anon 1:43, I am cynical because, at the end of the day, Charles will not stand for being overshadowed. Watch what you wish for, as they say.

      And, yes, I am aware that I can use her name, Anon2:01. And I didn't imply *anything* by referring to her as the newest member. It's quite simple; rank matters. And Anon 2:11 expanded on my thinking better than I could.

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    18. Random replies:
      Jewelry loaning-
      Camilla has most of her biggest jewels and tiaras because Charles is generous to his wife with personal gifts. She also received jewels from the private Greville collection bequeathed Charles from his grandmother, the QM. I think, technically, on paper, the jewels may have reverted to the crown. But they were a gift from the Honorable Mrs. Greville to Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother. Other than that, Camilla has reportedly received magnificent jewels from Middle eastern sources, some of whom have close ties to the couple. She wears few of the current vault jewels, loaned by the Queen, that I have seen.
      I get the impression that the Queen values jewels not by size but by their family and historic significance. Kate's mother-in-law,Diana's jewelry. A diamond wedding bracelet from the Queen's husband, Prince Phillip. The Alexandra necklace has a negative connection to Camilla. The fact that Kate was loaned that necklace to wear at a State Banquet that included Camilla must mean something. It was also a favorite necklace of the Queen's mother.
      RFO-

      Diana was Princess of Wales--the wife of HM's heir,and received the RFO within a couple of years of marriage. Sarah was not given an RFO. Sophie received it after about five years of marriage; she is also a daughter-in-law of the Queen. Catherine is the wife of her heir's heir and the mother of two, now three immediate heirs. She apparently received hers after about six years of marriage. I think the difference was at least partly due to the need to create an entirely new RFO, on glass. The official royal site states that hers and future RFOs will be on glass, not ivory. I can just imagine the back and forth just discussing the idea and what materials to use. Then the fact of a break in tradition. Judging from how long it took for other changes in long-held traditions, they moved relatively fast. I also imagine there was a bit of, "..but William and Catherine---the RF has ALWAYS done it this way." Once it was determined that the couple would not compromise, the process of hiring a designer, artist, maker began.
      For that matter, who's to say she wasn't offered an ivory RFO and agreed to accept on the condition that it would be appreciated and acknowledged as a gift but not worn in public.

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  6. So not a fan. It looks like an 80s prom dress made with blue duck tape. But very exciting she has her orders now! And good for her for mixing things up and taking a risk

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  7. I like the color and the fact that she with something different than her usual style. But overall the dress has a bad 80s vibe that I can’t get behind. The jewels are exquisite though.

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  8. Jewellery is AMAZING - Seriously gorgeous! She has an order - Happy Claps!! I too am undecided on the dress - The top down to the 'ruffle' are beautiful - other than that - not so sure - But overall she looks stunning (I particularly love how the Tiara and Necklace match so much better than the last State Dinner she attended)

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  9. I agree that I feel the dress is a bit too long, but good heavens, she looks just lovely. Both the color and the shape of the dress seem unusual for Kate, and good for her. I think the neckline, in particular, really suits her.

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  10. what immediately caught my eye is the missing pearl pendant on Queen Alexandra's pearl necklace.What might have happened?

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    1. I think it got snagged and is not dangling properly. If I look at a close-up, I do see a pearl there. Does anyone else see that?

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    2. I think it's just the angle of the photograph. Zoom in and you can see it there.

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    3. Yes, I spotted it too, it's peaking out from under the pearl and diamond cluster on Kate's right.

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  11. what immediately caught my eye is the missing pearl pendant on Queen Alexandra's pearl necklace.What might have happened?

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  12. Ooof! I’m a classic Kate fashion fan with cleaner lines (that black velvet 😍), lately she’s been getting a bit more exploratory with the evening wear...sometimes positively and sometimes not so much. And anyone else wishing for a variation to the chignon??

    The first photo I saw caught the camera flash waayy to much and appeared super shine, which made an initial bad impression. The color and basic silhouette had huge potential, but the details get too busy, with the rosette on an otherwise pretty bodice and the ruching both on the body and the gathering of the skirt, combined with the chunky necklace, pick one and we would have had a win!

    The necklace on its own though is fabulous!

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    1. The black velvet dress is my favourite!!

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    2. I hope she will wear the black velvet dress again. And the stunning necklace she wore with it. The necklace looked like it could be a tiara.

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  13. I like it a lot. It's very HRH, but it's also very quirky in that British royal family fashion way. Looks lovely and only a tall slender fit woman like her can carry that fabric/style. Sylvia

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    1. Agreed! I think apart from the busy dress it's a total MIC DROP!! She looks beautiful, regal, and confident, not to mention her incredible figure. The jewels and the new order simply speak for themselves!

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  14. Mmmmmm not 100% sure on this either, is it the fabric, the length or all of these factors combined? Love the color.
    The jury is out for me right now.

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  15. She looks radiant and confident!
    That said, I find the gown is too busy for my taste, too much texture. I like the sillouette and how she accessorized!

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  16. Kate's engagements literally make my day. Plus an interesting new outfit. All I need now is a post by Jane
    - Soha

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  17. I'll contemplate the dress later because what I'm really seeing is that Kate has been given the Family Order!!!!! Finally!

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    1. Woohoo!! I know I was afraid Kate wouldn’t get one before the Queen passed. I wonder how long Charles will make her wait...?
      ~ A

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    2. I’m glad she did to settle the whole will she or won’t she ivory debate.

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  18. She’s finally got a royal order thing! Hurray for Kate

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  19. Quite honestly a big NO for me. Too 80s , too shiny, too promdress, too everything.

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  20. Im not enthusiastic about the look. It looks somehow quite cheap to me. Not polished.
    But the bling is great!

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  21. Monstrosity. This is, in my opinion, her worst look. What a shame. Everything that can go wrong, did go wrong. The hem is too long, the amount of roushing makes the dress look wrinkled, the awkward angle of the sleeve strap, the asymmetrical mermaid hem.. the color is ok, but looks to be a little too washed out in my opinion. I’m going to assume Louis, Charlotte, and/or George ruined the dress she was supposed to wear.

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  22. Hmmm. Before I get onto the dress DID ANYONE NOTICE THAT YELLOW BROOCH? Isn't that like a BIG DEAL? What is that thing called....and she's had to wait awhile for it. The Queen's personal order of service? After 3 kids or is about time!
    And that necklace wow wee!
    But the dress. The ruffles and style are very 80s and the colour is....light blue.
    Oh well the tiara, the necklace and the queens order brooch make up for it for me!

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    1. Have you seen the new fashion on the runways this year. The 80s style is making a comeback this year. So I like that Kate is on trend with this years trenss😀

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    2. Her majesty bestowes the Royal Family Order baes on her appreciation of the contributions to the crown. A key criterion is the number of engagements on her behalf (not just charity supportive activities). If it took a while for Kate to get it, it only has to do with how much time/effort she put into the royal engagements. Raising children doesn’t count. It was Kate and William’s choice and we all respect it. But then naturally her Majesty is not going to rush and give her the order before Kate has accomplished what the Queen deemed necessary.

      JV

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  23. I‘m not sure yet... i think i like it.. it’s a lovely fit on her. except there is someting about the fabric that seems stiff. And what about the flower on the shoulder?

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  24. I don't like the dress, I don't think that the mermaid gown is a good choice for Kate, she is too thin for this kind of dress.
    She is wearing the Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II for the first time, I guess...
    I can't wait for your full post Jane! I love your blog :) Angie

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  25. It is absolutely a total no go!

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  26. I love it! Beautiful colour and fit. Different design to usual nice to see Kate happy and trying new designs. Just my thoughts.

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  27. Very strange dress, maybe the fabric is hard to photograph but I really don't like it at all. I don't like the yellow on the lightblue so I'm wondering why she doesn't wear a sjerp like the rest of the royals. Anyway, glad that our Kate is back on track. She looks glowing and happy. Maxima was stunning.

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    1. I don't believe wearing a sash is a personal fashion choice. It goes with orders Kate doesn't have yet.

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    2. Hello Lizzie I didn't know that. Thanks for your comment.

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    3. The sashes are definitely other orders awarded by HM. Kate doesn't have those yet or she would be wearing one at a white tie event.

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  28. Jane, I can't wait to see where you land on this dress! I'm going to say that I actually really love her look tonight. Yes, the dress is one that certainly wouldn't look good on most body shapes but I happen to think that Kate pulled it off beautifully on her very slender figure. The color is gorgeous, and one that Kate always looks great in (as she does in any shade of blue). The jewels were beyond fabulous. She was fairly dripping in them, was she not? I've also seen pictures of Camilla and the other ladies tonight and have to say, I think they all looked lovely. Nothing like a State visit to show-off that royal WOW factor!

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    1. I agree! I think she looks incredible. Very nice surprise to see a different silhouette on her other than a ballgown. This gown showcases the breathtaking necklace so well that I think it must have been made specifically for it. The grey blue of the gown is a beautiful canvas for the historic pearls. The bodice of the gown reminds me of gowns of The Gilded Age. The workmanship and structure of all the tucks, gathers and pleats are awe inspiring and pure unadultered McQueen. Usually, I don't care for fishtail gowns but this works with Kate's figure so well. So big win for me and the RFO on top of it! Wow!!

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  29. A bit dissapointed :( The color ok, but the material seems stiff and shiny,more suitable for a raincoat. Maybe it just did not photograph well. Georgeous jewelry and the pieces look very good together though!

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  30. I'm partial to the colour and her hair looks lovely, but the dress is very 80's bridesmaid to me. :(

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    1. The 80s style is the trend on the fashion runways this year.

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    2. That is true. But just because something is on trend doesn't make it attractive.

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  31. I like the silhouette but there it stops. The material reminds me of Diana's wedding dress with the same crinkle. The folds on the bodice together with the very full pleated and crincled bottom and the v of the peplum slightly off centre are just all too much so that the beauty and drama of the silhouette are overpowered.

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    1. You're right about the similarity with Diana's dress! I hadn't thought of it but now that you mention it, that is exactly what the fabric reminds me of...

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  32. Obviously I am in the minority; I love Catherine in this dress. Only a woman as tall and slender as she is could wear it.
    Just one criticism---it's just a little too long. Unfortunately many of her evening dresses seem to be over long,
    The jewellery is splendid! Queen Alexandra's wedding necklace; Diana's earrings and the tiara are sublime together. Thought I caught a glimpse of a bracelet on her right wrist, but couldn't be sure.
    The Queen of Holland definitely brought out the big guns. That is some tiara,

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  33. Yikes. I think I had a dress similar to this in the 80s. At least this one has no shoulder pads; mine did. It was the Dynasty era. Unfortunately, the other word that comes to mind is "curtains".

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  34. Hmmm. I think maybe I just don't like McQueen's evening designs. This one reminds me a bit of a few of Diana's gowns from the 80s/early 90s. (Long enough ago to be called "vintage?") I also don't think this particular shade of slate blue flatters Kate's coloring--seems more meant for a blonde although I'm not sold on the fabric texture for anyone. She looks fine, of course, but I'm not a fan of the dress. And unlike some others commenting, I'm not sure such a fitted gown compliments her slim frame all that well.

    I do like the placement of the tiara---it looks more forward on her head and is sitting more upright than with previous wearings. Sometimes Kate's tiaras have had a "hairband" vibe to me (vs more of an upright "crown" vibe.)

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    1. Im with you - i dont think this shape is very flattering for her figure. Her bust looks smaller while it makes her hips wide - i guess the dress would do that to anyone.

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  35. This outfit is strategic! Queen E II wore an evening gown in a similar shade of blue on a visit to the Netherlands decades ago. The Queen Mum wore that necklace on a visit to the Netherlands. Kate, as we’ve seen over the years, likes to make connections to an event with her style.

    For me, this look is a BIG WIN!!!!! I love it! Fashion is supposed to be fun and I think that’s one way to keep evening gown fresh & eye catching. She’s still always appropriate and it’s nothing wild. The dress shows off her figure beautifully, and as one commenter above said, Kate is saying “I’m back, B**ches!”. Meghan undoubtedly takes some of the heat off Kate, which I think Kate probably appreciates, but Kate is more confident and is married to second in line.

    ~ A

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    1. I’m not sure why you had to turn this into a competition between Kate and Meghan (married to the second in line). What’s the point of a comment like that? Meghan wasn’t even at this event. Anon in CA

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    2. I don't see why anyone would interpret that comment as suggesting a competition between Kate and MM.

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    3. Another vote for not seeing a negative interpretation.

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    4. Ditto, no dig at Meghan seen here, in fact she complimented by saying Meghan helped take some of the heat off of Kate which Kate appreciates.

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  36. Kate looked beautiful and the jewellery (and Order!) are fabulous, but what is this dress?! It reminds me a little of a prom dress or even a bridesmaid's dress...

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    1. But have you seen the fashion runway styles this year. The 80s style is what’s trendy this year. I think this style on Kate is something that she is on trend with and like it and it’s a different style than she normally wears.

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  37. Love the bling and the order!
    This looks like an 80s dress - in peach it would resemble a bridesmaid dress I wore. Not a fan but Kate looks good in everything. And who cares about the dress with that necklace?:)

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  38. Kate usually looks best in styles that draw the eye up to the illusion of a higher waistline. But we've seen so many of those looks that I find this one to be a refreshing change. She shows courage with her choice and she carries it well. I love her confidence, elegance, and poise. She is a beautiful style leader. Well done, Kate.

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  39. Looking forward to your post on this dress. Something is not sitting right with me, I am not sure if its the color, the fabric, the way the camera caught the dress? I am a huge fan of the jewelry. Thrilled to see a combination of Diana's and the Queen Mothers. And I always like her hair up at these big time events!

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  40. One of the comments describes the dress as "grey blue" and most commentators everywhere talk about Catherine being tired, pale, old ... Flash lights? Just have a look at the lively color of that dress in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dx5gQXO76Q&feature=youtu.be&t=22 ! This makes a completely different and much better impression of this dress and Catherine in it - a least on my screen. This wonderful colour transforms the papyrus-like, dry texture of the material (this is how it seemed to be in most photos showing a light greyish-blue) in something deliciously lively and beautiful.

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    1. You're right, the video shows the dress in a gorgeous almost aquamarine! One thing I do not understand is the lack
      of tailoring talent amongst the "big" designers. The dress needed to be a smidge shorter, Kate looked as if she was almost stepping on it, repeatedly. For what it probably cost and given the royal status of the wearer, I would have thought it would fit perfectly, all over. She looked gorgeous, though.

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  41. Oh my. In my opinion, this dress is a big miss- it looks like an inexpensive 1980s prom dress! I don’t think the fit is flattering either- Kate is very narrow and slender and the way this dress emphasizes that, doesn’t look flattering. I’ve given up that she will try a new, more flattering updo from this same, very structured one she always wears. The color was fine and her bracelet was pretty, but that’s about all I liked from the look.

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  42. Formal evening gowns are not meant to be wallflowers or subtle, and I think the Duchess pulled off that look quite well, very grand! I love the color, especially in that setting, and the design, while it has an 80's element to it (one I like), and the 80's/90's are having a fashion revival of late, it also has a very strong element of 50's fashion, and the heavily draped, structured, fitted silhouette that emerged after the New Look as that decade faded into the 60's. I imagine it may have had a different sheen to it in the light of the setting, rather than on camera. Cameras being deceitful devices sometimes!
    And to see the family order! Lovely!

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  43. Another vote FOR this dress. I think everything about it is spectacular and Kate looks regal in it. It lacks shoulder pads and an abundance of ruffles to make the 80s prom dress spectrum! A complete win IMHO.

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  44. Can't wait for your thoughts on this Jane! As I mentioned on Instagram, I love this dress on Kate, just because it's so different. No sign of lace or chiffon anywhere (not that I don't like those, too).

    I don't agree with others that it's too long. I think Kate is slouching a bit mid-stride in this picture, which makes it drag in front. I think it has a slight train in back and is a bit shorter in the front. Maybe there will be more pictures.

    So excited to see the order at last. And that necklace is incredibly beautiful!

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  45. Like Jane, I've been marinating on my opinion of this dress. I like it, but I just don't love it. I love that Kate is experimenting with a silhouette and an architectural quality. I prefer this to her many icy blue Jenny Packhams. I do think having a fabric rosette over one boob and the RFO over the other is a bit much. I love that she is dripping in jewels- a proper princess outing for me- we don't usually see this much bling on her. I love that she brought out a fantastic necklace from the Queen's vaults. I love that she is exposing her figure rather than an A-line ballgown that is modest but boring. I think she totally owned this look. Would I rather see it in a different color and fabric, you betcha. It reminds me of Diana's velvet Victor Edelstein dress which she wore to the White House in 1985 (and danced with John Travolta). Beautiful appearance from Kate the Great- and so far, it is my favorite gown that she has worn for the State Occasions.

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  46. Well, let's just get the dress out of the way. I love the color and I am really hoping that the fabric just doesn't photograph well because, while I know it's supposed to be taffeta, it looks like that cheap shiny stuff. She's definitely got the figure to pull off the style but I agree it was too long and that this was not her best evening wear. (Still not the hideous mustard Erdem but not great.) I wish she would stop wearing McQueen - especially in the evening. Her best go to for evening wear is Jenny Packham and she would do well to trust her formal appearances there.

    All that being said, I still call this a win for her because Diana's tiara and earrings combined with Queen Alexandra's stunning wedding necklace and the fact that she's wearing the RFO outshine anything else. Kate is very regal and a slip up on the dress cannot take that away. Queen Maxima, as usual, hit it out of the park. The pink suit from earlier in the day and her beautiful evening gown were both winners. The Stuart Tiara - stunning!

    HM looked wonderful but a tad grumpy. Camilla's long, satin, mother-of-the-bride coat looked heavy and it's a style she wears too often. I will say though that the tailoring and the workmanship on the satin was beautiful.

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    1. Kate looks beautiful because she is very beautiful, but I agree with you about the best evening wear for Kate is Jenny Packham.

      My long time favorite is the pale blush pink gown she wore for another outing at her friends home for a charity event. I could see Kate in that gown ten times and still fall in love with the head to toe look all over.

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    2. I think the lighting isn't doing the dress any favors. I think the material is a raw silk taffeta and must look stunning in person but agree that it isn't photographing well.

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    3. could it be moiré? Used a lot in Worth gowns from the nineteenth century, I believe.

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    4. AKA--"watered silk."

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  47. I think that dress would look kinda cheap and prom-ish IF she wasn’t wearing a vault’s worth of diamonds and pearls. The jewels tip the whole look into a win for me.

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    1. Very good point, hadn't looked at it that way.

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  48. The dress is flattering and really shows off her figure. Love it. A great overall look. My biggest concern is that Kate looks tired in the photos I've seen of this event. I hope she is getting enough rest.

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  49. I love the dress, the style and the color is a beautiful compliment to the jewelry - so much sparkle! I have a small question about the length of the dress and wish it were a tiny bit shorter, otherwise I'm happy to see a different style for Kate. She looks comfortable, happy and relaxed which equates to confident, which I love seeing. And Maxima - the dress, the hair, and OMG, that tiara and brooch! She looks stunning!

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  50. Duchess fan from down underOctober 24, 2018 at 1:25 PM

    The moment I saw this photo I thought: Our Kate is all grown up - there’s our future Queen.
    I can’t help but wonder if she wore this dress to Eugenie’s Wedding. I wondered the same about the pink for the Spanish visit - whether she wore it to Pippa’s wedding, particularly given the neckline.
    While it might be an 80’s style, Kate pulls it off. She looks very regal, graceful and like she is ready to embrace her future role. The escalation in jewelery is stunning and I can’t wait to see her continue the trend.

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  51. It will be fascinating to read your thoughts Jane. My take on the dress is this: Kate looked lovely , I domshar eit was a tad bit long Kate could have easily tripped, the tiara, earrings & necklace so complimented the entire outfit. What was a distraction was the yellow pin with the queens photo (medal). Is it really necessary in this day & age to wear those medals & sashes? I believe they distract your vision from the dresses on all the ladies. The Queen, Duchess Camilla, & Kate.

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    1. I don't think the orders are distracting at all. They are an honor bestowed upon few; I think they only serve to make the ladies appear that much more regal!

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  52. Jane can’t wait to see your thoughts, because everyone seems to hate it as if she offended anyone. I think it looks great. It’s McQueen for Pete’s sake.

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  53. I love that dress!!! I'm so glad she chose McQueen who I think dresses Kate like no other. It reminded me a bit of a Vivienne Westwood gown - classic glamour with a modern edge. I think Kate should ditch Erdem and try some Vivienne! And keep rocking McQueen of course. So beautiful!

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  54. Kate has had some stellar ball gown moments--I'm thinking about the lilac McQueen, the teal Jenny P, that black lace Temperley. This ice blue McQueen is not my favorite, but it's no disaster. The bottom reminds me of some of Diana's ball gowns and the ruching is a little busy, but all in all, the gown complements and balances the jewelry. She is dripping in diamonds and pearls, and I'm loving it! I hope tonight's wattage is further indication that she's going to continue to rummage through the royal vaults for more baubles. Her jewelry selections have gotten bolder and brighter as she's matured in her role, and I can't wait to see which hidden gems she unearths next.

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  55. Does anyone else think this signals that Kate and Wills are done having children? Seems like that's when she have the others out?? And OMG loved the dress but REALLY wish she'd switch up tiaras but it was perfect for this look!! Definitely a 10!!

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    1. What are you refering to with "this"? and what does your next question mean? (Seems like that's when she have the others out?)

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    2. William and Kate don’t owe anyone and explanation on their family size.

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  56. I still have a Bridesmaid dress like this from the 80's, in turquoise. Still, I love this version, with that Alexander McQueen "edginess", they've modernised the style and I think it's cool. Very flattering to Catherine's figure. But I bet she misses those maternity boobs!

    The Royal Family Order is a pleasant surprise. Historically they were painted on Ivory, which goes against William's illegal poaching crusade. This is a new RFO created for Catherine, painted on Glass. I'm sure that is the reason for her RFO delay.

    I look forward to the updated post!

    Belle

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  57. It's not my favourite, but it's not all bad...
    Positive elements: The jewels (swoon!), the family order, that COLOUR and the fit (till you get 2/3rd of the way down). Kate looks amazing!
    Negative elements: mermaid-y lower half of the dress.
    Would have been interesting to see this as a floor length sheath/column dress instead, perhaps?

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  58. I have some friends who get incredibly thin while breast feeding, or post natal. Their babes do so well, but literally suck everything from their Mamas. People often criticise Kate for getting too thin too quickly after there children are born. I'm beginning to think she has no control over it...
    and likely eats extra and is always hungry and still loses weight.

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  59. I am surprised by commenters that sem to feel the Queen is sending them some secret message of displeasure with Catherine. They might like to check into the history of Sophie and Edward as they journed into life as working royals. Two hallmarks were Sophie on tape relaying crazy things about thef whole family to a journalist posing as someone paying for access to Edward.
    Then there was a bankruptcy. Sophie and Edward. were gathered in and rehabbed as working royal who travel in Charle's stead as he can't enjoy bowing to the younger Queens and Kings in his circle as they marry and become monarchs.
    The Queen and Catherine have in common that they don't use outsiders to leak their private worlds. This extends to giving and receiving honors. KAte had no nead to leak that she had had one for some time even including the time it took to redesign on glass to mark the change of time. William and Catherine reflect the family life the Queen enjoyed with her parents despite their unexpected responsibilities. I think the Queen had huge influence on William when he lived near-by throughout his teen years before college. They provided much needed stability to Harry as he returned from his deployment and work through his issues as he matured. They welcomed him into their work and family life. Both Charles and Harry seek outside confirmation
    of their worth. Charles consistently demeans the former Princess of Wales publicly to try and draw the public respect that eludes him each time he does. Harry and Megan also seem to seek the public eye more that the DDOCs. William and Catherine may yet provide more stability to their situation as a quick marriage matures and swift baby arrives.

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  60. I honestly did not read the comments as a criticism of Kate. Rather, I thought people were explaining their opinions of why she had not received the RFO sooner. I know that's what I was trying to express in my comments (although the need to paint on glass vs ivory wasn't a reason for delay IMO.) In comments I made last year to another FBTB article I said I wasn't sure HMTQ would ever award the order to someone of Kate's generation. And as others have pointed out, it is rare for a granddaughter-in-law to receive it at all. But it seems it is hard to discuss/defend one royal (Kate in this case) without criticizing others (Sophie, Edward, Charles, Meghan & Harry.) I know I've probably been guilty of the same---as humans we all have a tendency to compare---but it is still a shame.

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  61. I don't mean to be down on anyone in the family. I think what I am saying is that the Queen is in charge of her internal world and she doesn't send a message with her awards much the way everyone seems to feel she might. No one in the family is without a challenge.

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  62. If this isn't the right place for this, Jane, feel free not to post.

    This is a follow up of what we talked about (and I sort of pontificated about) earlier on. This is who Harry is. This is exactly what happened when he visited with my daughter and son-in-law. His staff tried to move him along but he was not ready to go and wanted to know about my son-in-law's health and was very interested (and a little taken with) his service dog and how he helps. Harry doesn't quickly wrap it up and move on when they tell him. He is sincerely interested in these service members and all that goes with their injuries and illnesses and will not abandon them just because the clock says he has to. The mental health initiative that William, Kate, and Harry began and continue to support is probably one of the most significant and important issues that any high profile royalty/diplomats/celebrities can focus on. Job well done to Kate for coming up with the idea and to William and Harry for joining forces and carrying it through. Harry certainly has his mother's tender heart and devotion. Please read this article if you want to see the real Harry.

    https://www.unilad.co.uk/life/prince-harrys-incredible-reaction-after-being-told-to-end-chat-with-grieving-woman/?fbclid=IwAR1pHMeFfgPWqvRVC5AOWMb5-x0ZCeiTvXuJaMkBda8sQQ2s-leHdlPmqcA

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    1. I think you're preaching to the choir, Robin. :+)

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