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Exclusive 15% Off Catherine Zoraida Earrings for FBTB Readers

Friday, March 27, 2020

Catherine Zoraida's team reached out to me this week and asked if I thought you all would be interested in a little discount on one of Kate's pieces to brighten the weekend after all this coronavirus craziness.  Obviously I said "yes, please!" I was told to pick which piece to feature for the discount code.  All three of Kate's earrings from Catherine Zoraida are beautiful and much loved, and I didn't know which one you all would prefer.  But, I had to make a choice and make a choice I did. You might be able to guess which pair I picked to get the discount, but read to the end to find out and get the code!  Let's refresh our memories really quickly on all three of Kate's Catherine Zoraida earrings.  

Catherine Zoraida has been a steady staple in Kate's closet since almost the very start of her royal life. The Duchess only has four pieces from Zoraida, yet the brand is well-known and loved by royal fashion fans because Kate consistently wears her pieces to events both large and small, and has throughout her years in the spotlight. 

In 2012, Kate debuted Catherine Zoraida's Double-Leaf earrings on the royal visit to South East Asia.  She paired the earrings with the beautiful gold "Spread Your Wings" scale bracelet.  We haven't seen the bracelet since, but Kate continued to wear her Double-Leaf earrings on that trip, again at home in the U.K., and then featured them heavily while on tour Down Under in 2014.

In 2014, William and Kate (and Harry!) attended the Rugby World Cup in London. Eagle-eyed fans spotted that the Duchess was sporting new earrings.  They were quickly ID'd as Catherine Zoraida's Fern Hoop earrings. I fell in love with them, and they have been some of my favorite earrings in her collection since. 

Kate loves them, too, wearing them to a wide variety of events like evening fundraisers, sunny afternoons at sporting events, and private days at the polo field, as well as wearing them often to everyday public engagements. 

Finally, just last month, Kate debuted a new pair of golden leaf earrings while in Ireland to launch her 5 Big Questions survey.  They were Catherine Zoraida's brand new Fern Leaf earrings.  These are part of the same collection as Kate's Fern Hoop earrings.  She loves her leaf-themed jewelry, doesn't she?  I think these became instant fan favorites, too.  They are large and distinctive without being overwhelming and I suspect these will get a lot of wear with Kate. 

So, I love all three of these pairs of earrings, but you probably know that I chose the Fern Hoops to get the discount code. Given how much Kate is loving the fern theme right now, I thought one of those would be better than the Double-Leaf earrings, and between the Fern Hoops and the newly debuted Fern earrings I think the hoops are probably a little more versatile and more broadly appealing. They can be dressed up or down, as Kate has so beautifully demonstrated, and at the end of the day...I love them, so I hoped most of you would, too. 

The 15% off code is: FBTB15 and is valid on the Fern Hoops in gold or silver plate. The code is good through Monday, March 30th. 

This is an ad. I think the product is quite good, and I could spend some time persuading you my opinion is unbiased, but instead I will just point to Kate the Great's obvious endorsement. :) 

Kate & Meghan in Jewel Colors for Commonwealth Service

Monday, March 9, 2020

Today was the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, but I think most royal watchers were simply focused on the fact that, for good or ill, it was Harry and Meghan's final public appearance as royals.  The afternoon event was fraught with awkwardness as the Cambridges, who have been enjoying stratospheric good press of late, barely interacted with the Sussexes, who have been dividing public opinion and garnering mixed reviews. I think a discussion about the Sussexes' final week will have to wait for another time, but let's quickly run through the fashion tonight, at least. 

Kate recycled the Catherine Walker she debuted for the Christmas walk at Sandringham in 2018.  I know a lot of people loved this. I loved it for the Sandringham Christmas walk, but... I just didn't love it today.  The coat is exquisite in motion, and from the back it is particularly beautiful.  I think I don't love the very buttoned up collar, double-breasted closure, and the velvet at the cuffs. It is too heavy for March (it was also 70 degrees where I am today, so it felt especially incongruous), bust mostly I am tired of this style.  Catherine Walker has gotten really stale for me. There are so many designs that Kate could be wearing (or that CW could be designing) and this fit-n-flare, well, it has become cookie-cutter.  Kate needs to give it a rest for at least a year.  She still has a marvelous figure and she should be debuting flashier ensembles. 

I almost never agree with the theory that Kate chooses an ensemble (for any given event, almost) with the intent to downplay or "not outshine" something or someone. That is often floated in royal-watching discussion circles, and you can bet almost without fail that whether I say it or not, I disagree. Today is an exception. I do think that Kate might have decided to play today low-key and quite traditional knowing that Meghan would be pulling out all the stops, and if that was her thought, it was a smart move. 

Kate did a great job switching the look up, which is something I love to see in a recycle.  On the debut, she wore her hair down with a Jane Taylor hatband (which was gorgeous).  Today, she obviously wore her hair up with a new hat by Sally-Ann Provan that was perfectly coordinated to her gloves, Prada clutch, and Gianvito Rossi pumps. So, she gets major props for a fabulous recycle.  Finally, she wore Mouawad earrings, which added real pizazz and excitement, given the provenance of the pieces.  So, all told, Kate switched the look up and pulled the ensemble together like the master she is at this, but I just am not excited about the coat in this context.  

Meghan continued her succession of smash hits with a custom piece by Emilia Wickstead in a striking emerald green.  I know there have been complaints about the fit, but I loved this ensemble.  I think there is a spectrum of "tightness" when it comes to clothes.  I fall on the tighter end of the spectrum--I like tight. That's why I like almost all of Kate's skinnies, etc.  As the French would say, il y a des limites, which I think we did hit with the Victoria Beckham from the other night (much as I loved it in every other respect), but for me, today's dress was not too tight. It was form fitting, but I thought she looked dramatic and striking.  Meghan wore a matching William Chambers hat, carried a Gabriellla Hurst bag, and was sporting a Aquazurra pumps. 

All the Times Kate Middleton Wore the Reiss Olivia Coat

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Day 2 in Ireland dawned with a major surprise for fashion fans.  The Duchess of Cambridge arrived at the National Centre for Youth Mental Health in Dublin wearing the Reiss coat she made famous as Kate Middleton back in the early 2000s. 

I think the earliest sighting of this coat was on November 17, 2007, in London, when Kate was pictured wearing it for a night out clubbing to celebrate Peter Phillips' birthday.

She wore it again a few short months later to celebrate her own birthday (her 26th!) at Kitts nightclub.

Of course, the coat's most famous wear is, without a doubt, when she wore it to William's graduation from flight school at RAF Cranwell on April 11, 2008.  The event was a red letter day with Prince Charles present to pin William's wings, and the media snapping furiously as Kate made a rare appearance at an official/family event.  The royal-girlfriend was glowing as she accompanied her prince on his big day and that picture was used again, and again, and again, over the ensuing years of the couple's courtship. 

Kate wore the coat again to the annual carol concert at St. Luke's in aid of the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund on December 1, 2009. 

The coat made another important appearance on the evening of November 16, 2010, (almost two years exactly to the day of its original debut) when Kate was given a private tour of Westminster Abbey as she began to plan her royal wedding to Prince William. 

We haven't seen the coat since...until today.  I am very surprised to see this coat again, but absolutely delighted.  It has aged really well.  For the past six to nine months, Kate has been recycling a lot of pieces form 2011-2012.  Some pieces still look as stunning as the day she debuted them, but others seem a little out of place almost a decade down the road (the turquoise JP 😞).  This coat remains a massive winner.  I love that she wore it with very slim black skinnies and black booties, which is very reminiscent of the black stockings and knee-high suede boots she was so famous for back in the day.  Talk about a shot of nostalgia to start the morning off?  Also, I feel a little old... 

Under the coat, Kate was wearing a polka dot blouse from Equipment (above video) and she was again nodding to her host country with delicate gold shamrock earrings from Daniella Draper. That theme-dressing. ;)

The couple have changed to country clothes, and I will cover that later after I get some real work done... 

Wills & Kate's Day 1 in Dublin

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Oh Kate. I'll tell ya, you can't keep that theme-dressing girl down.  Kate the Great arrived in the Republic of Ireland today for a three-day tour wearing green (natch), but not just a subtle forest green, but a variety of shamrock shades. I assume her love of theme dressing stems from the same genes that spurred Carole's fabulous party-planning creativity. William had a subtle touch of green in his tie, but Kate was all in.  There is nothing subtle about this ensemble and I am so ready for St. Patrick's Day now. 

The couple are visiting the Republic of Ireland (distinguished from Northern Ireland, of course). It is always quite special for members of the BRF to visit Ireland because of the ugly and still relatively raw and recent history.  In the early days of my interest in the royals my father would often shake his head and wonder why, with all our Irish blood, I was drawn to follow British royals. (I have since converted him, and he is a staunch Cambridge fan) These types of visits are always nice symbols of healing, in addition to strengthening future partnership, particularly post-Brexit.  

To the fashion... there is good news about this ensemble and bad news.  The good news is the Catherine Walker coat, which was exquisite. I am loving these longer coats.  She kicked off the year with that bespoke McQueen in an even longer length, but this shares the same sophistication of that longer hemline and it gives her a beautiful lean silhouette.  I think the coat is drop-dead gorgeous. It fits her like a glove, has stunning lines, and I love the angled pocket flaps. It is stunning.

The bad news is this Alessandra Rich dress. What. is. going. on?  This dress is a miss in my book. Coco Chanel is reported to have advised women to take a final look in the mirror before leaving the house and take one accessory off.  The designer of this dress would have done well to follow analogous advice.  High collar, puff sleeves, buttons up and down, pleats everywhere, and peplum.  It is just a St. Patrick's Day explosion, and even I cannot get on board.   I was a little torn (if you can believe it), because the pattern is almost Van Gogh-ish, and I love Van Gogh, but the structural is just a hot mess. I will say I love just a flavor of it peeking out at her neck under the coat.  The dress under the coat adds a pop of color and interest that was very elegant.  

You all know I love and have loved many the busy ensemble of Kate, so I feel like I gave this dress a fair shake, but it is just too much. Kate paired her coat and dress with the LK Bennett Dora clutch in green and Asprey London Daisy Heritage earrings that cost about £17,000.  It was quite the ensemble, even if every element was not to my taste.

Tonight, the couple attended a reception at Guinness Storehouse's Gravity Bar, hosted by the British Ambassador to Ireland.  Kate wore a sparkling green dress from The Vampire's Wife.  I am trying to remember where this label popped up in royal watching already, and I think it must have been the floral dress Beatrice wore to a Buckingham Palace garden party.  I don't remember why I was thinking/sharing thoughts on that dress, since I don't think it is particularly pretty, but I did.  Beatrice also wore a version of green dress to several events, and other celebs have favored the dress, too, including Elizabeth Moss, Alexa Chung, and others. Natalie Portman has worn it in purple... It is a popular dress.  I think the label name is...weird, but the dress was pretty tonight.  Kate's massive gold earrings were the perfect complement.  I love green and gold together. Killer combo. 

Her shoes are Manolo Blahnik, that's her golden Wilbur & Gussie clutch (debuted in 2011!). Her earrings are pieces she has worn privately (to a Royal Foundation dinner from which a few pictures leaked), but which just got their public debut today. 

Kate definitely given her hair a real trim (😞) and has switched up her make-up a little with a very clean winged-eye recently. Clean as in she doesn't fill in her eye-lid with color, so she has a brighter look that really suits her.  She was glowing today.