Nov 102011

Tonight’s evening gown was something of a departure for Kate, she went with a one-shouldered Jenny Packham gown for a reception and dinner at St. James’s Palace.

Lefteris Pitarakis In Jones/Splash

©Ian Jones Photography/Splash News

©Ian Jones Photography/Splash News

The satin chiffon gown in silver was a one-off, made especially for Kate. Our thanks to the one and only MrsRegalEyes, she identified the dress within minutes of seeing it, here is the confirmation from Jenny Packham:

“The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton arrived in at tonight’s dinner wearing a stunning silver chiffon satin asymmetric gown by British designer Jenny Packham.”

Below we show a very similar Jenny Packham dress available at StyleBop, it is $2130.


It looked like Kate brought back her Jimmy Choo Vamp Sandals ($750), and her glittering bracelet is also familiar to many fashion fans.

UPDATED: We did see new earrings from the Duchess, more shining, shimmering diamonds. The earrings clearly have an art deco look and feelit’s possible they are from that era, a gift from the Queen, or possibly the much-discussed-but-never-verified gift from Prince Charles.  We want to thank commenter “French Girl” for leaving this link to the earrings seen below, they were part of a blog post last December featuring estate jewelry pieces that were going to be part of a trunk show. They were described as “Paste & silver art deco drop earrings, Mid-European c. 1930, $775″.

Metier San Francisco Blog 12/2/2010

After posting the photo and information on the WKW FB page we heard from two amazing jewelry experts, Ayvee of Diana’s Jewels and Anna of the My Small Obsessions FB community, we were all thinking this was the actual pair of earrings, but then we heard from another FB member, who said they were actually exclusive to Jenny Packham, by London’s Beaut Jewellery.  I got in touch with the company and today (Saturday) they posted a news release on their Facebook page.

We can confirm that the earrings worn by the Duchess of Cambridge on Thursday are from Beaut’s Vintage Collection. The design worn by the Duchess of Cambridge is part of the collection supplied exclusively to Jenny Packham.

The earrings are silver with 9ct hoops with crystal paste stones and hand set in London.

Beaut is a small concession based in Grays Antique Markets who specialize in bespoke, bridal and vintage style jewellery.

Beaut is managed by Fran Codd, originally from New Zealand, she has previously worked for Cartier and Harrods.

The function was in support of the National Memorial Arboretum Appeal, Prince William is a patron. In fact, the trees used as decor for tonight’s function will be replanted at the Memorial.

NMA Photo via Legion Live

The Arboretum is where the Armed Services Memorial is located. Fundraising efforts were launched back in 2009 to raise £12 million for construction of an outdoor covered pavilion as well as build other facilities.

National Memorial Arboretum Appeal

About £6 million has been raised thus far; click here to learn more about the Memorial or to make a donation.

The Memorial is a cause close to William’s heart, as is another: allowing English, Welsh and Scottish football (soccer in the US) players to wear a poppy on their uniforms this weekend in honor of Remembrance Day.  When the request was first made FIFA, the governing body, said “no”.  After hearing that answer both PM David Cameron and Prince William got involved.

Most will recall both Williams and Kate wearing poppies when visiting Copenhagen last week, they could be seen wearing them in formalwear tonight. By all accounts the Prince was not pleased with FIFA’s refusal to allow players to wear anything in honor of Remembrance Day. More from the Daily Beast:

… enter stage right, amidst a whir of helicopter blades and a blast of dry ice, a livid Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, who just happens to be president of the British Football Association. He wrote to FIFA asking for, an exception in this special circumstance.

…William has done something no Englishman has ever done before, taken on the famously intransigent Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) and won.

Here is an early look at what players will wear.

England Football Team

A few other tidbits:

1) The stream of designers weighing in on Kate’s style continues to grow, it is a logical question for the media to ask. Vogue UK spoke with Scottish designer Christopher Kane:

“It’s a shame she doesn’t wear more designers,” he said. “I don’t really like the high street getting so much of the credit. I understand that there would be an array because you need to relate to so many people in the market, but she is a princess. If I were a princess, I’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, bring it on.’”

2) The Ministry of Defence announced that Prince William will be deployed for 6 weeks to the Falkland Islands, he will be gone in February and March. The tour of duty is no picnic; more from the Telegraph:

Under luxury items, the Duke is advised to take with him lavatory rolls, tissues, washing powder, toothpaste and his favourite shampoo.

3) Our final item is not in keeping with the more businesslike tone we like to maintain here on Planet Kate, but I can’t resist sharing these, they are just too outrageous to leave out. Behold, the Kate and Pippa dolls from Hero Builders.

Hero Builders

From the Daily Mail’s story:

Sporting manic smiles, blindingly white teeth, perma-tans and ripped bodies these action figures have been created by the U.S. based company Hero Builders which claims to specialise in custom-made toys.

Click here to see the ghastly creatures on the Hero Builders’ site.

  50 Responses to “Kate Picks Packham Again for Fundraiser, UPDATED: Earrings Identified”

  1. I’m starting to think the Duchess can do no wrong when she goes Packham. This is elegant, flattering, and moves beautifully while staying appropriate. Those earrings are the final perfect touch.

    Also, I’m so glad FIFA backed down on the Remembrance Day poppy. I understand from a safety standpoint where they were probably going with that, but the armband is a great (and obvious) workaround.

    Speaking of re-dos, Christopher Kane needs to don his Big Boy Breeches and reconsider. Especially given the current economy, what a statement to make. No self interest there, obviously.

  2. I am kind of disappointed that the earrings are not real diamonds. However, they are beautiful as is Kate’s entire outfit.

  3. I am the only one who is surprised that no one has pointed out to the Duchess that the edge of the neck was not right? I believe that an assistant or william would be nice not to make it appear so.
    Among other things, I think it washes out a little line of clothing, would have donated more.

  4. Kate and William have been to the Prince’s trust forum

    Kate wore a black blazer and a grey jumper

  5. she looks gorgeous! perfect outfit for the future Queen!

    • Too funny. When I was living at home and in school my mom and I would pass each other in the hall going to the other’s closet to see what we could “steal” It’s interesting to see that people who can afford to buy something new for every occasion do the same thing. Certainly makes them seem more real and down to earth. I loved Diana but I sure couldn’t envision her borrowing clothes from her mother or even her sisters.

  6. I love this dress! Gorgeous! The material is the best!

  7. I am absolutely Jenny Packham crazy and am loving the return of the Jimmy Choos!!

    Is Pippas doll cold? She looks a wee bit nipply…

  8. Hmm….I dont know about this one…I thought it was a miss…The sheen of the material didn’t flatter Kate’s skintone. Angelina’s color is much better and would have been better choice for Kate. I would like to see it without that piece on the sleeve.

  9. Ok the dolls r hilarious! And I can’t help myself, I am just infatuated with Kate. Love her wardrobe choices. Haven seen one I don’t like yet!

  10. I love the silhouette and color. I am a huge fan of asymmetrical necklines.

    I love that the dress also emphasizes the poppy and really lets it be a focus. It seems like a very appropriate and conscience choice.

  11. Somehow this dress doesn’t quite work for me. I have two problems with it: the silver color, which simply doesn’t flatter the Duchess, and the one-sleeve effect. It would have worked better as a straightforward one-shoulder design, entirely sleeveless. That left sleeve looks like a slightly sloppy afterthought.

    With all due respect to veterans and to the British custom of wearing poppies in the week before Remembrance Day, the poppy on her dress doesn’t do it any favors.

    I hate to mention weight, because I am often annoyed by people who comment on this or that celebrity’s weight gain/loss, but it really does look as though the Duchess has put on some weight. She’s significantly less thin than she was on the Canada trip. She just looks healthier.

    There, now people can criticize me for bringing up weight as I have often criticized others.

    • Agreed. I think the dress in another color would have been more flattering to Kate, and like you I don’t care for the left sleeve. I also believe Kate has gained a pound or two and glows with health and beauty. Perhaps a little prince or princess is on the way.

      • I think she looks beautiful, but agree with you that silver/gray is not her best color. (I think it can be a hard color for many to wear.) I do love her overall look though; she looks glowing and happy.

    • I agree.
      I think its a stunning dress, but Kate needs to learn how to carry herself better in it. She usually looks so awkward in gowns.
      I dont think the dress is very flattering to her very broad shoulders and tiny waist. The color would be perfect on a girl who has paler skin, but Kate is too dark for it…
      Also, did she forget to finish her hair? Thats the only explaination I can come up with for that style…

  12. Not a big fan of this dress. It’s a little too “toga party.” I would definitely prefer it in another color. But I love her earrings.

    Those dolls are hideous! I will have nightmares about them.

  13. The dress is beautiful (cfr. Angelina Jolie), but for some indefinite reason it’s not fit for the duchess. Overall, I don’t like her in evening dresses (only the first Jenny Packham was spot on): it’s like the dresses are walking with her.

  14. Dear What-Kate-Wore,

    My first comment even although I follow you since the beginning and I must say that you have been doing a very good job.
    I’ve noticed your high ability to investigate so may I propose a new case for you and your detectives team (lol): Kate’s earrings: I’ve find this website and the earrings are very very like Kate’s. What do you think ? (3rd pic)

    • Dear Frenchgirl, I belive you have found the same, exact earrings! Great, impressive job, and I’m very greatful, as now it will be easier for me to seek for some good alternatives, as here they are up close :)
      THANK YOU AGAIN! Great job, your link has been discussed over at WKW Facebook site, come join us! :)

  15. LOL!

    Those dolls look like they were used in of an episode of Robot Chicken.

  16. Fabulous outfit — not a fan of one-shouldered style myself — but the styling and fabric make this one work where the shoulder side falls open to reveal her own shoulder. The Duchess’s natural grace also ensures fabulous ripples in an endlessly long skirt!

    Also notice the photography is much better than recent efforts at St James palace where I think outfits may have suffered from too much flash around all the royal bling and gilt, and pictures taken from strange angles. I’d have thought that might explain the strange orange-red tone of the earlier Beulah London dress and lost details on the solo-engagement Wakeley — I thought that one had crystals on the straps until someone explained it was ruffled fabric.

    A better photographer also makes the make-up look gorgeous — great for an evening event.

  17. Oh my gosh! Angelina looks incredible in that dress! She is so stunning, it makes the Duchess pale in comparison. Wow.

  18. .. silly confession: I think I must be in love (wasn’t that supposed to happen when I was about 6 years old?! how can an adult woman on the wrong, I mean other!, side of The Pond be in love with a Princess? it’s not something I’ll admit to except on this site..)

    anyways, so all I can say is, boring!, I saw the new picture, new ‘outfit’ and grinned.

    radiant and regal.. oh, yes, the dress, too (-:

  19. At first I assumed those gorgeous earrings were real, serious diamonds. But from the close up pictures, you can see they hang from a plain hook.

    Such insanely expensive earrings would normally hang from a straight post with a screw back or a curved hook with a “locking” lever back. And earrings from the twenties didn’t have that plain type of hook either i don’t believe. Can you imagine if one of these earrings got caught on something and slipped out if they are real diamonds????

    I’m not saying they are definitely not real, but the hook gives me serious pause.

  20. Only complaint is that Kate could’ve worn her hair up in a loose updo to show off those earrings and the detail of the gown, but she still looked fantastic, so I’m going to suck it up!

  21. She is blinging it out..I love the way she did her hair to show off the one diamond earring. It worked well, if she showed two it would have distracted from the poppy and the rest of the gown. I really like the asymetrical design and am a fan of the fabric, color,style of this gown. I want a tiara though, it would have looked perfect with a small tiara, she is a duchess after all why not have fun with it once and a while.

  22. Love the material and color over the one Ang wore. Knew she was in the Jimmy Choos as soon as I saw how tall she looked in the pics. Theres a great one of her towering over a short older lady.

    As for those dolls…I hope that’s not the only thing that company specializes in otherwise I doubt they’ll be in business very long lol.

  23. I like the dress, but something is missing, I’m not sure what. I love the earrings.

  24. I am so proud of Prince William fighting for the athlete’s desire to wear the poppy! I am gaining more and more respect for him as a result. And for them to wear them even with formal wear is amazingly respectful. This couple has all the right stuff to be king and queen.

  25. those dolls make me laugh & laugh!

  26. She really looks strong in this dress, which I think is a good thing

  27. OMG!! LOVE, LOVE , LOVE THE DRESS!! Beautiful, with enough fabric to make it look lush!!

  28. Half pinned back hair??? Girlfriend really went wild.

    I love the color and style of the dress. So much more appropriate than her last evening gown.

  29. From the Vogue UK article it looks like the designer they interviewed was Christopher Kane, not Jonathan Saunders.

  30. Those dolls are ghastly! But I’m hoping that’s what they are going for?

    Anyone else surprised Jenny Packham referred to Kate as Catherine Middleton? I know they first called her by her title, but strictly speaking, Middleton is not her name anymore. Maybe it’s just me, but that struck me as odd.

  31. oooh, pretty! i really like this dress – v nicely draped, pretty pale blue color, nice ruffly draping on the sleeve.
    and yes, it def looks better in this heavier material than in the chiffon angelina has it in.

    my only dislike: the tie belt is too short! i think it should have reached to the floor, and had enough material for a big floppy bow too, to highlight the waist.

    i like the new earrings’ style.

    interesting variation on her usual hairstyle.

    she needs to cut back a little on the makeup.

    • I think we’ve mentioned her heavy makeup before, and someone mentioned in an earlier post that her heavy makeup actually helps Kate when she’s photographed. From afar, she doesn’t look so washed-out.

      (I do think the eyelinger-round-the-eyes thing has to stop, as it ages her in the close-ups!)

      • So far I’ve thought her eye makeup just about ok. But these photos make her look rather dark-eyed. Admittedly from a distance her eyes will stand out – but the eyebrow (in that picture of her from the side in the black jacket) looks quite fiercesome!

        Beautiful dress, almost ancient Greek lines. Her hair would stand going up a bit with a dress like that.

        The dolls :O What a waste of the Earth’s resources. Those nipples…ugh!

        Thanks for all the information and pictures. This is a great site :)

  32. Beautiful Packham on Kate.

    Re: dolls: Pippa’s doll has nipples! Eek!

  33. I think the dress is by Temperley.

    Catherine’s dress is made of silk like this, the other is in chiffon.

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