Apr 302016
 

I promised a post this weekend about the tour; that has been pre-empted by news that the Duchess of Cambridge posed for British Vogue’s June issue.

Josh Olins/British Vogue

Josh Olins/British Vogue

From the magazine’s story about the photo spread:

HRH THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE is today unveiled as the cover star for Vogue‘s centenary issue. Photographed by Josh Olins in the Norfolk countryside, the Duchess appears in a 10-page shoot within the June 2016 issue, the first magazine shoot that she has ever consented to.

Josh Olins/British Vogue

Josh Olins/British Vogue

The shoot was done as a collaborative undertaking with the National Portrait Gallery, currently running an exhibition in tandem with British Vogue’s 100th anniversary. From the NPG:

The National Portrait Gallery and British Vogue have collaborated on a very special series of photographic portraits with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.  Two of the images are now displayed in the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition and the full portfolio of eight photographs including the cover will appear in the centenary June 2016 issue of Vogue.

British photographer Josh Olins who works frequently with Vogue was chosen for this landmark shoot. His work is known for its quiet elegance, the character he captures from his sitters and a degree of relaxed understatement.

A banner from the Vogue 100: A Century of Style show.

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

Of course, Kate is the Portrait Gallery’s royal patron. Below, a Gallery employee works this afternoon on the addition of Kate’s two photographs to the exhibit.

Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal)

Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal)

And the pictures chosen for the exhibition.

Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal)

Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal)

As many readers know, the Duchess has never posed for a fashion magazine. More from Tom Sykes in The Daily Beast:

Alexandra Shulman, Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue commented, “To be able to publish a photographic shoot with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has been one of my greatest ambitions for the magazine.

A portfolio of seven photographs, are to appear with an accompanying article (sources say that although Kate has provided some original quotes for the piece, she has not broken the habit of a lifetime and given a sit-down interview).

Josh Olins/British Vogue

Josh Olins/British Vogue

Kate’s thoughts about being part of the magazine’s centenary issue come from ‘a spokesperson for the Duchess,’ via The Daily Beast.

The Duchess was delighted to play a part in celebrating the centenary of an institution that has given a platform to some of the most renowned photographers in this country’s history. She is incredibly grateful to the team at Vogue and at the National Portrait Gallery for asking her to take part. She would like to thank Josh Olins for being such a pleasure to work with. The Duchess had never taken part in a photography shoot like this before. She hopes that people appreciate the portraits with the sense of relaxed fun with which they were taken.

Kate does look very relaxed in the pictures, more from Vanity Fair:

Styled by one of the magazine’s senior style directors, Lucinda Chambers, Olins’s shoot captured the duchess at her most natural. A source at the magazine said that Kate worked closely with the editor and style director on the shoot eschewing glamour for country chic when it came to the wardrobe.

The Duchess also wears minimal makeup in the photo spread. More about that topic from The Telegraph:

For the first time the Duchess, 34, allowed a professional make-up artist to prepare her for the photographer, giving her a fresher, more youthful look.

Vogue hired make-up artist Sally Branka, who persuaded the Duchess to do without her usual black eyeliner and heavy blusher, with striking results.

Josh Olins/British Vogue

It is Ms. Branka’s makeup work that is generating the most chatter online. As you might imagine, opinions are divided, although it should be noted that the minimalist look would have been discussed by Kate, Ms, Branka, Ms. Shulman and perhaps others involved in the shoot. Ultimately it would have been the Duchess’s decision to go ahead with the different approach. One more portion of the Vanity Fair story:

According to a spokesman at Kensington Palace, Wednesday will be “the first time” Kate has seen the images suggesting she did not have final approval over the portfolio of images which do not appear to have been heavily airbrushed.

Ms. Branka shared her elation about being part of the cover shoot in an Instagram post, saying she was “So proud to be part of this amazing cover!”

Sally Branka Instragram

Sally Branka Instragram

Photographer Josh Olins was born in London but now lives in New York. He has a wealth of experience with fashion shoots as well as celebrity photographs. He also shared his delight about being involved with the project via Instagram.

Josh Olins Instagram

Josh Olins Instagram

The photographer told Vogue he felt privileged to be chosen to take the photos, saying “This was the Duchess’s first sitting for a magazine and she was a joy to work with, a natural.” More about the shoot from Vanity Fair’s story

According to Alexandra Shulman, the magazine’s editor in chief, who was on the shoot: “The Duchess watched how Josh worked with the light and asked a lot of questions. It was her choice to shoot that picture where she is leaning over the gate because the late afternoon sun was particularly beautiful.”

In the picture the couple’s Landrover Defender can just be seen. While William’s security team drives a fleet of luxury Discovery Landrovers the Duchess prefers to drive around in the less-conspicuous Defender.

Shulman said that the shoot took place all day, “in a field somewhere down several tracks.  There were some farm buildings available for the crew and to use as a dressing room. We were very lucky with the weather and had bright sun for most of the time.”

Diana, the late Princess of Wales, appeared on Vogue’s cover four times. The first cover was shot by Lord Snowden for the August 1981 issue, not long after Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles, seen on the far left below. The other three cover images were all by Patrick Demarchelier. From second left to right you see the December 1991 issue; the noted July 1994 black and white cover; and October 1997′s cover, released posthumously with a photograph actually taken in July of 1994.  

Vogue

Vogue

Victoria Arbiter noted that Princess Anne also covered Vogue several times.

Twitter

Twitter

On to what Kate wore in the pictures, beginning with a Petite Bateau Striped Tee.

Petite Bateau

Petite Bateau

The tee is a standard silhouette for Petit Bateau in 100% cotton; this spring it is re-imagined with a vertically striped pocket. As you might expect, the piece has sold out in the red/navy colorway Kate wears, but it is available on the US site in blue/white and black/white. The inventory situation is identical on the UK site.

Petite Bateau

Petite Bateau

On the magazine’s cover the Duchess is seen wearing Burberry’s Double Breasted Suede Coat ($7500).

Kate British Vogue June 2016 Cover Burberry Brown Suede Coat 2 Shot Product Pix April 30 2016

Burberry

From the product description:

A suede coat cut with a classic double-breasted closure and wide revere collar. The tapered waist features an integrated martingale to cinch the silhouette and a softly pleated skirt for movement.

The $7500 piece remains available as of Saturday evening. It’s possible the ‘Kate Effect’ won’t be quite so dramatic with this item, that has occasionally been the case with some of the very high-end items Kate has worn.

Burberry

Burberry

Kate wears a hat by Beyond Retro.  Anna of My Small Obsessions suggested it could be this piece, the retailer’s Wool Felt Fedora in Dark Green. It very much looks like the hat Kate is wearing in the photographs.

Britsh Vogue/Beyon Retro

British Vogue/Beyond Retro

Kate’s white shirt is also said to be a Burberry piece.

One other note about the Portrait Gallery: many wondered if the new photos meant the existing portrait of the Duchess would no longer be exhibited. According to the Gallery’s website the portrait is on display in room 32.

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

Some may recall discussion back in 2011 (and maybe again in 2012) about Anna Wintour hypothetically approaching the Duchess for a cover shoot, the following graphic is from a September 2011 Telegraph piece.

The Telegraph September 2011

The Telegraph September 2011

And we wrote about the topic in this post.

The magazine will be available for newsstand purchase and downloading on May 5th, this Thursday.

Vogue

Vogue

We’ll leave you with this quick video (1:10) from the National Portrait Gallery about the Vogue 100 exhibit.

LINKAGE:

Apr 282016
 

With Kate and William’s anniversary upon us I thought it would be nice to take a look back to 2011 and Kate’s wedding gowns.

Five years ago tonight many of us were setting alarms for an early start the next morning, while Kate and the rest of the Middletons were at London’s Goring Hotel. Below, Kate and Pippa Middleton arriving at the Hotel.

Royal Wedding 2011

The next time we saw Kate she was in the Queen’s Bentley, on her way to Westminster Abbey with her father, Michael Middleton.

©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

In this photo it almost looked like Kate was having a few ‘cleansing breaths,’ although she actually appeared very calm and composed the entire day.

©Polaris Images

©Polaris Images

The train on Kate’s gown was just under nine feet. That expanse of fabric was well handled by Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton.

©Allpix / Splash News

©Allpix / Splash News

A wave and a smile.

©Splash News

©Splash News

Final adjustments.

©Polaris Images

©Polaris Images

A better look at precisely what Sarah Burton is arranging.

Kate Wedding Gown in Abbey Sjot from Above Srah Burton Adjusting Gown April 29 2011 Polaris

©Polaris

Michael Middleton’s face spoke volumes.

©Allpix/Splash News

©Allpix/Splash News

This offers a nice look at the Cartier ‘Halo’ tiara. Kate’s silk tulle veil was embroidered by the the craftspeople at the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace. (The majority of the lace was made in France at the historic Sophie Hallette factory, then affixed to the dress by Royal School personnel.)

©Dave Thompson/PA WIRE

©Dave Thompson/PA WIRE

The expression on William’s face is dear.

William and Kate Royal Wedding

©Splash News

A closer look.

©Polaris

©Polaris

A shared smile before heading up the aisle.

©Xinhua / Polaris

©Xinhua / Polaris

There must have been some relief at this point for the newlyweds, knowing the first of the day’s big events was behind them.

©Splash News

©Splash News

Kate was radiant.

©Polaris/Polaris

©Polaris/Polaris

The younger members of the wedding party arriving at Buckingham Palace.

©Allpix/Splash

©Allpix/Splash

Another look at the train.

©Allpix / Splash News

©Allpix / Splash News

The receiving line.

©Splash News

©Splash News

The long-awaited appearance on the Palace’s iconic balcony.

Steve Finn / Splash News

Steve Finn / Splash News

Most enjoyed the military flypast.

©Xinhua / Polaris

©Xinhua / Polaris

But little Grace van Cutsem was underwhelmed.

©Polaris

©Polaris

A breeze lifted Kate’s veil as she returned inside, it looked very pretty in the video clips.

©Splash News

©Splash News

Later that afternoon it was time for a royal version of the “Just Married” drive.

©Kelvin Bruce / Nunn Syndication / Polaris

©Kelvin Bruce / Nunn Syndication / Polaris

That evening there was a private reception for families and friends.

©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

The Duchess was in a second gown by Sarah Burton.

©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

©Nunn Syndication/Polaris

This is a photo I hadn’t previously seen, it seems to do a good job summing up the day.

Jeff Moore / Splash News

Jeff Moore / Splash News

This BBC clip runs about 3:40.

And this 8-minute video was tweeted by Kensington Palace this morning.

We will see you with another tour post this weekend.

LINKAGE:

Apr 242016
 

Today we share news of a new initiative launched by Kate, William and Harry.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

The three young royals have kicked off Heads Together, a united effort with The Royal Foundation to continue efforts to end the stigma associated with mental illness. Below, a screen grab from the Heads Together website.

Heads Together

Heads Together

From the message signed by William, Kate and Harry on the Heads Together site:

Through our work with young people, emergency response, homeless charities, and with veterans, we have seen time and time again that unresolved mental health problems lie at the heart of some of our greatest social challenges. 

Heads Together wants to help people feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing and have the practical tools to support their friends and family. The Heads Together campaign will build on the great work being done by our partner charities so that prejudice and fear no longer stand in the way of people getting the help they need.

Heads Together

Heads Together

This is the biggest joint project yet undertaken by the trio. The charity partners that are “tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health challenges.affiliated organizations” include:

From The Daily Mail’s story:

Some of the competitors were filmed going for a run around the grounds, while Prince Harry even joined in the sporting action by racing with some of the schoolchildren supported by the charities involved in Heads Together. 

The three all donned blue Heads Together bands, and joker Prince Harry made sure to capture a photo of his brother William on his phone. 

The launch coincided with today’s London Marathon; Heads Together is next year’s Charity of the Year for the 2017 Marathon, described as the “the biggest annual fundraising event on the planet”. 

Heads Together Twitter

Heads Together Twitter

From Fundraising UK:

A partnership of mental health charities will benefit from next year’s London Marathon after being selected as the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year.

“Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank the Virgin Money London Marathon for making Heads Together their 2017 Charity of the Year. They cannot wait to see hundreds of runners hitting the streets of London next April to end the stigma on mental health once and for all.”

From The Telegraph’s story:

A spokesman for William, Kate and Harry said: “They are passionate about tackling the stigma surrounding the issue. Too often, they have seen that people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health.”

The spokesman said the three are “incredibly grateful to be working with charities who have achieved so much in the fight against the stigma that surrounds the issue”.

A 2-minute launch video has been released on You Tube.

Each royal has a brief speaking role; in hers, Kate says “Mental health is just as important as physical health.”

Heads Together

Heads Together

The video includes some short outtakes at the end you might enjoy.

Heads Together via The Daily Mail

Heads Together via The Daily Mail

The Heads Together Facebook page is here and the Twitter feed may be followed here.

Heads Together Facebook

Heads Together Facebook

In the video Kate wears a J. Crew Breton stripe sweater.

Heads Together

Heads Together

It is the retailer’s “Tippi Striped Sweater with Buttons“.

J. Crew

J. Crew

The sweater is one of Crew’s basic styles; you’ll find it offered in a variety of styles and colors. Kate’s version is 100% merino wool in ivory with navy stripes; this precise stripe pattern also comes in pool/persimmon and peach/twig. Below, a better look at the shoulder buttons.

J. Crew

J. Crew

Originally priced at $85, Kate’s style is now $59.99. Use promo code SCORE at checkout to receive 50% off that price, making the cost $29.99. One note of caution: this is a final sale item, it cannot be returned or exchanged. Our thanks to Middleton Maven for her identification of the sweater, as well as Melissa J who shared her ID on Facebook. As of late afternoon on Sunday the sweater is available in most regular sizes, as well as most petite sizes.

Heads Together

Heads Together

Kate also wore a pair of her skinny jeans as well as a pair of wedges it is difficult to see. Anna thinks they are the Monsoon wedges first seen on the recent tour of India and Bhutan, I think she is correct.

Monsoon

Monsoon

The Duchess also wore her Kiki McDonough Lauren earrings.

Kiki McDonough

Kiki McDonough

We will see you again shortly for another look at the royal tour wardrobe, a poll or two and some fab repliKates. A quick reminder – if you haven’t yet voted in the tour jewelry polls, click here and let us know your favorites!