Jul 022015
 

We are back with a brief pre-christening post, but first, an update to Kate’s Calendar.

  • Wednesday, July 8:  Kate and William will be in the Royal Box at Wimbledon, enjoying quarter-finals play.

Next, the cover of People Germany’s July 2nd issue, featuring Kate, along with a small photo of the Duchess playing with Prince George.

People Germany

People Germany

The photos show Kate and George having what looks like a lovely time at Snettisham Park, near the Cambridge’s country home. Several lovely WKWers have been very generous with their time, sending scans of the photos to me. I really struggled with this one, but it seems like private play time for the duo, albeit at a public park, but I’m not comfortable including the pictures here.  I know that is disappointing for some, but it feels better not sharing them in this venue. Our thanks to Melanie M. (@Mel_Mei77 on Twitter and @jenneumnn on Instagram) and Christin Z (@PackhamGown on Twitter) for generously the photos. Wew will post info about what Prince George is wearing in a What Kate’s Kids Wore post.

In the photos the Duchess is seen wearing a plaid top by Zara.

Zara

Zara

The Checked Shirt top originally retailed at $69.90, but most recently was on sale for $39.99. The piece is 100% cotton with a snap front, tabs on the sleeves, oversized pockets at the chest with the print on the diagonal, and a slightly longer hem in the back. Unfortunately it is out of stock on the US and UK websites. Our thanks to Stephanie Champion Helton for messaging me with the ID on Kate’s blouse.

Zara

Zara

Kate appeared to also be wearing her trusty Le Chameau boots, the Ladies Vierzonord style.

Country Attire

Country Attire

We show the boots at Country Attire where they are priced at $253.77 / £165.95. One note for US shoppers pondering a boots purchase: Country Attire is currently offering free shipping to the US, but Barbour products are excluded.  The store is in the midst of its big Barbour Sale, and there are some very good good buys available. (They’re also doing their annual British Summer Sale, which also has some great deals, but I was drawn to the Barbour selection, a fatal weakness!)
UPDATED July 3: With thanks to Eliza Mo for the info, Country Attire is no longer shipping Barbour to the US because of “distribution restrictions.” (I read that as Barbour itself wants shoppers to buy from them and/or US-specific distributors.)

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On to our christening update. The most significant news is Kensington Palace’s announcement that the the public is invited to watch the royals walking to and from St. Mary Magdalene Church, where the ceremony will take place.  Thousands are expected to line the area in hopes of seeing the royals, family members and godparents arriving at the church. More from Richard Palmer’s story in The Express:

William and Kate plan to walk to the church from Sandringham House with Prince George, who will be two on July 22, toddling alongside them and two month-old Charlotte in a pram.

…aides said this time William and Kate, both 33, wanted to invite the public, particularly locals in Norfolk, as a thank you.“While the service inside the church will be private, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be pleased to welcome well-wishers into the paddock outside the church,”

The event is at 4:30 pm Sunday, police will start allowing the public to gather at 3pm. While the crowd is expected to be enormous, it’s said the location is a good site in terms of security concerns, as well as crowd management. More from the BBC:

Well-wishers planning to go to Princess Charlotte’s christening have been warned by Norfolk Police they face a long wait “in the heat with minimal facilities in the area”.

Anyone arriving early has been told they will have to queue “in warm temperatures with limited refreshments and facilities” to enter a paddock next to the church.

The paddock’s gates will not be opened until 15:00 GMT.

Norfolk Police has advised royal well-wishers to bring sunscreen, hats and drinks – but are asked to “please avoid bringing large bags or coolers”.

In related news, the photographer doing the official portraits on Sunday is Mario Testino, who took Kate and William’s engagement photos.

royal_1783681b

Women’s Wear Daily has more on this choice:

The assignment marks the return of Testino to the royal fold: Over the years, he has photographed Diana, Princess of Wales, and has regularly taken official portraits of other royal family members, including Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

In fact, Mr. Testino was a great favorite of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. He took the iconic photographs of her for a 1997 Vanity Fair photo essay, her last formal portraits before her death. Those images made up the bulk of a 2005 Kensington Palace exhibition showcasing the photographer’s work.

Mario Testino

Mario Testino

Below, a portrait by the famed photographer of Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry, created for use with a Royal Marsden fundraiser.

Mario Testino

Mario Testino

The Peruvian-born photographer was awarded an honorary OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) last year for his services to photography and charity. More about the photographer’s early years in London via The Telegraph.

Testino left Lima in his early 20s to study economics in London but later decided to become a photographer. He began his career by assisting the theatre photographer John Vickers while working in a wine bar and living in an abandoned hospital in Charing Cross.

The photos following George’s christening were taken by Jason Bell; he also took the photo released last March of the the Cambridges perched in a Kensington Palace window with Lupo.

The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail

Our final christening topic involves what Kate might wear. Weather for Sandringham on Sunday is expected to be lovely: the current forecast is for sunshine and a high temp of 78º.  If thinking about a designer the Duchess might select for Sunday’s events, an obvious choice is Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.  Below you see Kate at Prince George’s October 2013 christening wearing a Sarah Burton design.

PA Wire/Splash News

PA Wire/Splash News

She wore a custom version of a spring 2012 style, seen below left in the ready-to-wear version, and on the right as it appeared in the runway show.

/PA Wire/

/PA Wire/

It would be very much like Kate to have selected a design she likes from an upcoming season’s styles, or from the McQueen archives. If she elects a color other than ivory or eggshell, we could see a blush pink. I would not rule out the Duchess wearing something by Catherine Walker or Jenny Packham for this event.

The Duchess chose the Georgie hat by Jane Taylor for her son’s christening.

Jane Taylor/PA Wire

Jane Taylor/PA Wire

Sunday’s chapeau could well be another creation from Ms. Taylor’s skilled hands. If selecting another milliner Kate might chose a piece from Sylvia Fletcher at John Lock and Company, possibly a style by Gina Foster, or possibly something from Rachel Trevor Morgan. Milliner Jane Corbett has not been doing bespoke pieces recently, I don’t believe she would be in the mix.

In 2013 Kate wore her Kiki McDonough Citrine Drops; I would anticipate a slightly more formal look this Sunday.

Polaris Images/John Stillwell, PA Wire

Polaris Images/John Stillwell, PA Wire

The Duchess’s go-to earrings are her Kiki McDonough diamond hoops with Annoushka’s pearl drops, no one will be surprised if we see them again.

Kiki McDonough/Annoushka

Kiki McDonough/Annoushka

For George’s christening Kate wore her Park Avenue heels from Russell & Bromley. Again, I would look for an upgraded shoe style, a slightly more formal style.

Russell & Bromley

Russell & Bromley

Possibilities include her Gilbert heels from Jimmy Choo, or a pair of Prada pumps.

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Our other note today involves those StyleRocks coupons readers tell me they still have, the electronic gift certificates for $50 off a purchase of $200 or more.  (These were emailed to all entrants in our March Russian Rings contest.) Originally the electronic coupon needed to be used by June 30, but Pascale (a fabulous friend and very special sponsor here at WKW) has extended the deadline to July 31st. So for everyone who still has their certificate taking up space in their electronic in-bin, here’s your chance to use the $50 off!

We leave you with a picture shared by the winner of that contest, Stephanie. She posted a photo of her hand with the winning Willow Russian Rings design.

Stephanie

Stephanie

Thank you Stephanie, Pascale, and everyone who entered!

LINKAGE:

Jun 232015
 

We are back with a very few updates and a look at the history of a classic style the Duchess favors.

Our first update involves a very brief story in The Daily Mail reporting Kate and William will be attending Wimbledon next week. The information has not been confirmed. If it turns out to be true it’s unlikely there will be any announcement until the morning of the event. Should it be confirmed we will post on our Very Latest page, as well as adding it to Kate’s Calendar.

Next, the ‘mystery jeans’ Kate wore to the Festival of Polo on the 14th of this month. With thanks to everyone who shared input here via a comment or email, as well as on the WKW Facebook page, we are going to leave that topic as it stands, with no specific resolution. My instinct says they are by Topshop and the company simply isn’t claiming them, but it’s entirely possible they are from another brand. Since I wrote this we have an update: Topshop now ackowledges the jeans are their merchandise.

©James Whatling/Splash News

©James Whatling/Splash News

The company confirmed this to Monique Jessen of People magazine; more from Monique’s story about the jeans:

The confusion stemmed from Kate’s cleverly disguised waistband.

“We didn’t realize that she was wearing maternity jeans,” a spokesperson for Topshop tells PEOPLE. “An older style of these maternity jeans were sent to Kate when she was pregnant with Prince George and she is re-wearing them.”

It’s nice to have that topic resolved. Our thanks to Simon Perry and Monique Jessen of People for their tenacity on this one, many an email went winging across the Atlantic as we tried to sort out whose jeans they were. A Tip of the Tiara also to Ashley Marie for noting that I used the wrong Leigh photos in the June 14th post, and for her link to the older photos of the Leigh. (She, like myself and others, believed the jeans were this Topshop pair.) 

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Next, Kate’s jeans from ME + EM. Sunday’s Telegraph has an excellent story focusing on ME + EM.

Last week, at ME+EM’s store, tucked away in chi-chi Connaught Street behind Marble Arch, the label’s founder Clare Hornby was still reeling from the ‘crazy’ impact on sales. ‘Overnight, it’s an international business – this past week 40 per cent of our sales have come from overseas; Japan, Australia, America’.

The £48 ‘Cobalt Stripe’ Breton top now has a 5k strong waiting list. The earliest dispatch date is expected to be September 23rd, but Hornby is confident her customers will wait.

Company founder Clare Hornby is also profiled in Angela Buttolph’s article. Ms. Hornby spoke about denim the Duchess has ordered from the company, the High Rise Skinny Jeans.

Hornby’s only disappointment: missing out on a head-to-toe ME+EM outfit on the Duchess. She shows me a pair of the High Rise Skinny Jeans ,‘we stitch the inside edge of pockets to the zip so they stay smooth across the front’, darker shading runs down the side of each thigh for a slimming effect.

‘She ordered these in a size 27 [inch waist]…

Below we show them in the Dark Rinse, but they’re available in a variety of colors and rinses.

ME + EM

ME + EM

The Telegraph piece also offers Ms. Hornby’s tips on “How to Dress Yourself Slim.”

One note for bargain hunters fond of ME + EM’s look: the label has an outlet page I was unaware of until today. Below we show a few items from the outlet section of the site, beginning with the Tailored Bodycon Dress in black on the left, (originally £128/$200, now £38.40/$60), then the Chunky Engineered Jumper in a cotton/cashmere blend in the middle (originally £128/$200, now £68/$100), and on the right we show ME + EM’s Fit and Flare Dress in deep peacock (originally £168/$265, now £50.40/$80).

ME + EM

ME + EM

Updating the availability of Kate’s cobalt blue Breton stripe top, the piece is now slated to ship September 25th.

ME + EM

ME + EM

Val, who has been fabulous in posting comments with updated info from her ME + EM email, notes the cobalt white version of the top is now slated for shipping on or before August 19th.

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The striped tops at ME + EM offer the perfect segueway to our quick backgrounder on the style. Believe it or not, the style was initially mandated by law back in 1858. The Navy Wear Act ordered they be worn by French Navy seamen; it was believed the shirts would make it easier to spot men in the water who fell overboard, the tops became part of the official uniform for French sailors. Initially the shirts had a specific number of stripes, 21; that is one stripe for each of Napoleon’s victories.

Saint James was the first company to manufacture the shirts. Here is the Saint James Binic II sweater, released in 1889.

Wiki Fashion

Wiki Fashion

Below, the company’s factory in 1900.

Saint James

Saint James

The design became increasingly popular over the years, migrating from a nautical standard to a fashion favorite. Below, Coco Chanel wearing a Breton stripe.

Wikimedia Creative Commons

Wikimedia Creative Commons

More about the French designer’s appreciation of the style from Wiki Fashion:

Inspired by sailors, after a visit to the French coast, Coco Chanel introduced the design to the fashion world through her nautical collection in 1917. The Breton top became a symbol of haute-bourgeois loveliness during the pre-war Riviera years.

And from blogger Carly Tati:

This must have been amusing to the sailors and workers of France to see the beautiful and stylish Chanel donning what was typically a man’s work shirt in such a fashionable way.

The style remained popular with celebrities, below you see Audrey Hepburn wearing Breton stripes in 1955.

There is a photo montage here showing Pablo Picasso, Ms. Hepburn and Coco Chanel wearing the stripe. Celebrities from James Dean to Alexa Chung have been photographed sporting the style, it remains a favorite of the fashion crowd still today.

Saint James has remained in business, more from the company’s website:

Its fame is based upon a cult item of clothing “the genuine pure new knitted woolen Breton seaman’s sweater”. Originally intended for deep sea fishermen, then adopted by known seafarers, and amateur yachtsmen.

Its pure wool, pure cotton, “seashore” lines attract a large clientele on the coast, but also in the major cities of France, and equally throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan.

Below, Saint James tops being steamed before shipment and the crew of the 1997 America’s Cup contender Enterprise, outfitted in shirts from Saint James.

Saint James

Saint James

Back to the company’s history:

With such thick and tight knitwear, they are considered almost waterproof… Knitted very close to the body, this sweater becomes “the seafarers’ second skin”.

Saint James still offers the shirt today, in a variety of models.

Saint James USA

Saint James USA

In Women’s styles we show the brand’s Mediterranee ($109), the Etrille ($81), and the Minquiers 10 ($75).

Saint James

Saint James

Below, the Naval II ($135) and Naval II Rouge ($145), both are mens/unisex styles.

Saint James

Saint James

There is a Saint James for J Crew collection. This is the Short Sleeve Slouchy Tee ($89) and Long Sleeve Slouchy Tee ($90).

J Crew

J Crew

Below, the Nauplie wool sweater from that J. Crew collection, it is $299.

J Crew

J Crew

Other sites offering French-made nautical merchandise include the Brittany Boutique and the UK’s Nautical Company.

There is also a standard J Crew version priced at $39.99, with an additional 40% off that price through June 23rd at midnight. (Use promo code DAYTWO for the additional 40% off the price.)

J Crew

J Crew

Of course, similar items can be purchased at a lower price via a broad variety of online sites, as well as brick and mortar stores. Below, a women’s style from LL Bean, on sale for $22.46; it is the French Sailor’s Shirt, 3/4 Sleeve Boatneck, offered in good, basic colors. Our thanks to Laura for her comment noting these were available and Sarah’s suggestion as well.

LL Bean

LL Bean

The shirt also comes in colors some might consider more fashion-forward. These styles are also on sale for $22.46.

LL Bean

LL Bean

Other women’s styles in the distinctive stripe at LL Bean include a Quarter Zip Pullover ($29.96) and Textured French Terry Pullover ($33.71).

Lands’ End carries a women’s 3/4 Sleeve Button Boatneck in a thinner stripe ($19.99), Breton Stripe Top ($13.99) , and men’s Seaworn Indigo Stripe Tee ($24.99).

Lands' End

Lands’ End

The style is actually offered at quite a few retailers, with a broad range of prices. The trick is to find one with the fit you like, at a quality level you are comfortable with, in a price range meeting your budget.

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Finally today, good news from one of our favorite sponsors, Beulah London: the company is continuing its free international shipping offer for purchases £150 and above until midnight this Sunday, the 28th.  That means pieces like the Petal Shawl in blue cashmere and rayon, flower spirits blush silk chiffon and red silk chiffon (£175, about $275 at today’s exchange rates), ship free.

Beulah London

Beulah London

There are new spring and summer styes at Beulah, in soft shades of cotton candy colors. From left to right we show the Elina Sleeveless Crepe Tulip Dress (£395, about $625) and Senna Jacket, both in mint (£345, about $545); on the right it’s the Senna Boxy Jacket in Dusky Pink (£345, roughly $545) atop the Ines Notch Neck Dress (£420, about $660), also in dusky pink.

Beulah London

Beulah London

Other pieces we like: the Dahlia Skirt with Dupioni Tie in an elegant black (£450, about $700) and Belle Pleated Chiffon Skirt (£295, approximately $465).

Beulah London

Beulah London

There are many other new styles at Beulah, click here to have a look.

 Posted by at 9:01 pm
Jun 152015
 

After arriving at the airport to fly home yesterday I plugged in the iThing and had a delightful surprise: Kate and George joined other family members at a charity polo match.

©James Whatling/Splash News

©James Whatling/Splash News

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