Jun 142011

We have a very quick update today on the dress Kate wore to Prince Philip’s 90th birthday party Sunday night.

PHOTOS: Robin Bell via The Daily Mail

The occasion was a private family dinner at the upscale Waterside Inn, put together by the grandchildren. We’ll put this one in the “not a stellar moment” for Kate, the Stella McCartney dress is simply not a flattering style on The Duchess.

The utterly amazing Leisa, one of the incredible WKW Facebook detectives we are so grateful to have helping us, made the early call:

WKW Facebook Page

As many readers will have already learned (I am very late with this one), the dress is one worn by Madonna at the 2008 amFAR gala in Cannes. Grazia says the silk dress is from Ms. McCartney’s Spring/Summer 2009 collection.  The Grazia story also notes that Kate was frugal, purchasing the frock three years after its original release. (Good for her!)

We made no secret on FB or Twitter we are not fond of the look on Madonna or Kate, and doubt it is flattering on anyone. To be clear, we are big Stella McCartney fans. We love that Kate is wearing an ‘edgier’ designer, and like the color a great deal. Unfortunately this seems one of the designer’s rare misses – while the dress design *looks* in theory like it should be lovely, the satin fabric isn’t able to sustain the cut and construction of the garment. The tie at the neck drapes nicely, just as it should, but that same weight of material that works for the tie makes the center embellishment too heavy, it pulls at the fabric.

By no means is everyone of a similar mind, several people we admire and follow on Twitter/Facebook like the look, pointing out it could well be a dress that looks great in person but photographs poorly. Satin can be problematical, it will *always* wrinkle (I swear if you look at it wrong it wrinkles) and it reflects light in an odd way, especially from flashbulbs.  It’s just not a style we find flattering for Kate.

Thanks also to our friend at Kate Middleton Style Blog for making the Grazia connection, a wonderful tip!



  16 Responses to “Kate (and Madonna’s) Stella McCartney Dress”

  1. I think it looks better on Madonna.

  2. @alpa you’ll be glad yo hear that Kate’s embracing a younger look and has been shopping at Topshop!
    Check out what she bought!


  3. The Duchess does not look chic or classy in this dress – it certainly is a very poor choice. Mind you, it looks awful on Madonna too. As you say the style of this dress is not right for the fabric used.

    The Duchess is finding her feet when it comes to fashion – although I like much pf what she wears – she doesn’t always get it right. She does not always get it right when it comes to accessorizing an outfit either – her choice of shoe colour and clutch bag colour isn’t always right. However, as I said, she is still finding her feet and I am sure with time we will see her choice of outfits and how she puts them together improve (and then she really will look chic).

  4. Do we know what earrings she wore with this dress? I’m sure it would be hard to see them with only these pictures. Just wondering.

  5. If I had to guess, I would say the bracelet is by links of london with a charm.

  6. is she wearing hose?

  7. This is in response to your defending your opinion on the dress (as opposed to the look itself):

    I would like to express my appreciation for the integrity with which you keep up your blog. I really respect that you do not blindly fawn over everything Kate wears, like other style blogs might. You are respectably critical, and I encourage you to keep it up and never feel like you have to apologize for it. That is something one so rarely finds on the web these days, and it is one of the main reasons I come back to see what you have to say.. again and again.

  8. That color just sears the old eyeballs, doesn’t it? A tough one for most of us to pull off, truly, and the first miss I’ve seen from Kate myself. I like the idea of the dress’ cut; I find it demure without being too mumsy, a line Kate so often walks well. However, as you so rightly note, the fabric just isn’t up to the concept.

    I’m a McCartney naysayer, actually, so I find myself a bit mystified at her ongoing appeal…I find many of her designs to be good on paper but unflattering on actual living, breathing women. This strikes me as another case in point.

  9. I think the dress is gorgeous on both ladies but does not do well against the reflection of the photographers flash bulbs because of the sheen finish on the satin fabric. I also don’t think it holds a press very well, specifically after having had dinner and sitting at a table for a while. The design is however stunning! As for the previous comment Madonna is no ordinary woman in her 50′s!

  10. I agree that this dress doesn’t work for Kate. The color is unappealing and unflattering to her. The tie-at-the-neck feature, long sleeves and lack of tailoring make it look like a frumpy mother-in-law wedding dress. I think Stella often misses in her designs. This one is pretty awful I’m afraid. Sorry, Kate, I love your style, but donate this frock to a worthy cause. (Great website by the way.)

  11. This dress really doesn’t look good on her. To me it almost looks like that Madonna’s blonde hair complements the dress nicer.

    On another note, Kate’s hair is not as nice as usual here.

  12. I like the style of this dress but I think it’s too fussy – perhaps if it has been designed without sleeves and without the draping to the skirt, it would work for me. I think it would have been better in navy blue because this shade of pink isn’t great on Kate.

    However! I do love that she purchased it at a heavily discounted rate! One of my favourite things about her is that she seems quite a smart shopper and re-uses things we’ve seen her in before.

  13. I actually think Madonna looks better in the dress. I like the color but the dress is definitely not a good one for Kate. I think she also needs to look at some different shoes as well. Her shoe choices are safe but boring.

  14. Thanks for the shout-out again, but I would have never made the connection without your lovely detectives IDing the dress in the first place!

    I personally love the colour and the material, and Kate looks better in the dress than Madonna – BUT I think the material and the style don’t work too well together – too much to this dress and the silky satiny material makes it OTT. Would have worked fab as two separates worn with other things I think. Sorry Stella – I do like a lot of your stuff!

    And sorry Kate, it’s a miss this time (though, I do like the colour on you! Makes a change from all the monochrome recently!)

  15. Although Madonna doesn’t think she’s 50. In her mind she’s no older than Kate and I WKW is right for saying it’s just not a flattering look. Too many ideas put together make it look like the dress is wearing its owner!!

  16. definitely too old for her! when you’re wearing the same dress as a woman in her 50′s, it’s time to re-evaluate your clothing choices.

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