Dec 252011

We have a brief post to share about what turned out to be a rather unusual Christmas morning for the Royal Family; it is the first time anyone can remember that Prince Philip wasn’t on hand to join everyone for services at St. Mary’s. The 90-year-old Duke has been hospitalized since Friday as he recovers from what is believed to have been a heart attack, followed by surgery to implant a cardiac stent. The church is located on Sandringham property; it has long been a tradition for members of the Royal Family to greet well-wishers along the way to and from church on Christmas.

There were two trips to St. Marys today, for the first Kate was seen wearing a grey coat and her Aquatalia boots, she did not have a hat on or seem to carry a handbag.

Ian Jones/Splash News

For the second walk, the Duchess was in a rich mulberry or aubergine coat with an elegant funnel neck and princess seaming. (You can see also see Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall just ahead of Kate and William in this photo.)

Ian Jones/

The coat is said to have been made by “an independent British designer,” more from Richard Palmer’s story in the Sunday Express:

A royal spokesman said: ‘The Duchess is keen to use independent British dressmakers, whose skills and craftsmanship she admires.’

The coat also showcased a hidden placket with decorative pick stitching and angled front pockets. It was an outstanding look for Kate; the tailoring was impeccable and the shade ideal with her coloring.

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

©Robin Nunn/Nunn Syndication/POLARIS

UPDATED SHOE INFORMATION: We have heard from a spokesman for the company who made Kate’s elegant black suede heels, they were created at her request by Mascaro. Some readers may recall the brand name from our previous reference to the company, Mascaro is also responsible for the black velvet clutch Kate carried to the Sun Military Awards, that bag was a design from sister brand Pretty Ballerinas. (More on the clutch here.)

While not the same, Kate’s shoes are similar to this pair of open toed Mascaro platform pumps.

Mascaro Black Suede Pumps

The good news for Kate fashion followers is that the Daily Mail reports the shoes will be re-issued, no timetable for this is provided.

Jane Corbett created the Duchess’s matching hat, a modified trilby with ruffled accents cascading on the back and the back and piped edges.

Allpix / SplashNews

Kate completed the look with a matching clutch in the same material as her hat.

UPDATED: It looks like the Duchess was carrying Mulberry’s ‘Bayswater’ clutch. Our thanks to Evangelina for the tip, and to Anna of My Small Obsessions for confirmation and photos.

Mulberry via My Small Obsessions

Mulberry via My Small Obsessions

UPDATED: Also new today, drop earrings that appear to be bezel set clear stones suspended from gold or gold-tone hoops that WKW FB super sleuths My Small Obsessions and Thea L. have identified as Kiki McDonough jewelry. The primary stones are green amethysts (also known as prasiolite, or heat-treated amethyst), the other stones shimmering in the sun are indeed diamonds, all set in 18K gold. The earrings are not currently available; originally they were £1900, just under $3000 USD at today’s exchange rates.

Below we show a pair of Kiki McDonough earrings in the same design as Kate’s, made with citrines instead of green amethysts, on the very far right we have a different style of Kiki McDonough earrings shared only to provide an idea of the color in the earrings seen on Kate yesterday.

Kiki McDonough – Matches Fashion/Kiki McDonough

Thanks also to WKW FB friend Mallory, she suggested the stones might be green amethysts, and Ayvee of Diana’s Jewels, who was able to give Anna of My Small Obsessions information about Kiki McDonough stocking earrings in green amethyst earlier this fall.

Following church and lunch today William and Harry, Peter and Zara Philips, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice visited Prince Philip in the hospital; most presume spouses didn’t join them in an effort to avoid tiring out the patient and also minimize crowds at the hospital.

We’ll be back tomorrow to kick off the first of our “pick your favorite_____” polls.

  61 Responses to “Kate in Aubergine for Christmas Day Services UPDATED”

  1. I just noticed this, but how similar is her coat to the one Victoria Beckham is wearing here?

    Could VB be our “independent British designer”??

  2. The coat reminds me of Victoria Beckham…the collar is very similar to the one on this dress

  3. This is one of my favorite looks of the year. Festive and gorgeous. I adore the hat and the colour of the jacket is perfect for her.

  4. The lady certainly knows how to dress….she has such an elegant style. Love the cut and tailoring of the ‘Christmas’ coat; but would have preferred if the colour had been as rich as the delicious hat. Also sheer stockings rather than opaque tights.
    I know…..all rather nit picky!!!!

  5. Why are not flattering comments about Kate appearing in comments? Who runs this site? Pippa?

  6. Love the elegant cut and matching colours.

  7. This is not my fave of Kate’s outfits. I am praying for HRH Prince Philip.

  8. Is is possible that the black suede shoes from the Gary Barlow concert and the navy suede shoes from the tour (worn with the trench and the McQueen dress) are by one of the Mascaro’s as well?

  9. Lovely outfit. Great coat–to me it has a Calvin Klein feel to it although I understand it is by an at this point unknown independant British designer.

    This is my favourite Jane Corbett hat–I haven’t been a fan, especially of the blue one worn at the church service for Prince Philip’s 90th, but I quite like this one, especially the colour. I guess the shruken crown aka trilby style is growing on me–there seems to be a certain sophistication to it, and is more seasonally appropriate than the ubiquitous fascinator.

    Is there a better picture of the purse out there?

    • Could the purse be the same as the purse she carried to a wedding last January (with her black velvet Dulwich coat and mulberry shoes)?

  10. In several of the pictures posted online, it seems that her black dress/skirt is hiked up in the front to mid thigh. I think she should seriously look at wearing a slip or putting small weights in the hems to avoid this happening. I do like this color on her – it is very becoming. I too wish we wore hats in the USA more often other than for the weather.

  11. More “Daily Mail” pictures- if you scroll down, you can see from the one of Kate crouching to accept flowers from a young admirer that she is is wearing an above knee-length black dress beneath her aubergine coat.

    I love the hat – rather reminiscent in style of the flattering Jane Corbett black hat Kate wore to the Rembrance Day service not that long ago.

  12. I LOVE the coat, I wish they would tell who made it.

  13. Meant to add that the black shoes are ID’d in the same “Daily Mail” article. “The black suede heels are by Spanish designer Mascaro, which also produces the Pretty Ballerina range (£169). The shoes are from a previous season but will be reissued.”

  14. According to this “Daily Mail” article the eearrings are indeed by Kiki McDonough. As they haven’t been seen before, the speculation is that they were a Christmas present.

  15. Catherine’s choice was perfect for her first Christmas with the royals. I think she tries very hard not to outshine other royal ladies, but it’s inevitable isn’t it? She’s a beautiful young woman and she has impeccable taste.

  16. I’m sure her earrings are from Kiki McDonough’s 2012 collection, I think I have seen them in the sloane square shop although they are not on the website.

  17. I love this look on Kate. The color was perfect and the dress was minimalist while still showing her beautiful figure. I think the shoes are LK Bennett, Olive. Anyone else think these are her shoes? I love the shoes!

    • The shoes were apparently made for her by Mascaro, to replicate a pair from a previous season she once owned.

      We actually can’t see her dress, but the glimpse we get suggests it’s black. Yes, the coat is quite minimalist, like most of her clothes.

      The earrings, according to the Daily Mail, which also reported on the Mascaro shoes, are citrine and diamond drops and apparently are indeed by Kiki McDonough as Sarah suggests.

    • The vertiginous £169 black suede heels were by Spanish designer Mascaro, which also produces the Pretty Ballerina range of pumps favoured by the Duchess..

  18. I am in love with the hat…I wish it was acceptable to wear hats in America! I agree with others that she looks lovely and understated, which was perfect for the occasion. Did anyone else see the zoomed out pictures of the walk? Apparently there were 3000 peple lining the road to watch them; it’s crazy how big the crowd is. I would have been having a claustrophobic panic attack, haha, but Kate just looks lovely and smiling and is talking to everyone and shaking hands. I saw the pics and thought to myself, hmm, I’m still in my pajamas drinking cocoa, and Kate is greeting thousands of people! Yikes!

    As a side note, do you know if we’ll get to see any of her other outfits from yesterday?

    • It is “acceptable” to wear hats in the US; I do it all the time. However, you need the right occasions. Weddings are best, though I’ve also worn hats to funerals. And to major horse races (Triple-Crown level).

      You’ll note that the British themselves don’t wear hats except on special occasions. It’s not as though they are all walking down the street in elegant millinery every day.

      Though if you are into hats, as I am, building up a wardrobe of interesting cold-weather hats can help satisfy your yearning for millinery indulgences.

      The next wedding you attend? Wear a hat. Put real thought into it. You may become known for your elegant headgear.

      • Absolutely agree Lili. :) I have a black cloche I wear with my trench on cold days and I’m working on finding some fancier hats for weddings and church. You can also find headbands, clips, and fascinator-type headpieces. While it’s certainly not as common to see hats worn here in the US, it’s not a lost cause…Just don’t wait for someone else to start! I’m planning on searching out some vintage shops to see if I can find some fun ones!

        • Hmm, I agree–I knit and crochet and so have built up a great collection of winter hats. What I meant by “acceptable” was that most stores don’t sell hats like the ones you see Kate wear–there aren’t a lot of them available to purchase. The ones I do see are big, floppy,. Kentucky-Derby-style hats. Of course, I live in suburban Ohio, not a very fashionable place! Perhaps I can online shop… :)

          • I think hats may be more acceptable down South, but here on the East Coast I never see anyone wearing a hat unless it is a winter hat or an African-American woman leaving church. This includes weddings and funerals. (Maybe a blusher at a funeral) I would be getting odd looks if I did–and I need to build up the confidence to be able to do it! And Emily, the stores around here sell the big, floppy hats too. There was a really nice hat shop in Philly years ago but I don’t think it is around anymore. Pity!! :)

  19. I sincerely love the hat but for this one I really hoped he had had a low bun instead of loose hairdo. I can’t see the whole view of the coat but the collar looks very neat and minimalist, which has been one of her signature styles. I can only judge based on the pictures I have seen for the past year or so. :)

  20. What are those earrings? have we seen them before? info please! :)

  21. This was very appropriate for Christmas church service with the whole family. I’m generally not a fan of hats but thought this was just right with the coat. It struck me as flirty and fun. Catherine was smart for dressing more conservatively for this event. Extra bling would outshine others and I truely think that Catherine doesn’t want to do anything to draw attention away from the rest of the family. As much as I loved Diana….I always felt she was delighted to be outshining others with her fashion sense.

    • I agree with your first part of comments. But personally I don’t completely agree with you about Princess Di “outshining others with her fashion sense”. I sincerely questioned quite a few of choices that Diana made in several occasions and her fashion sense to me didn’t significantly grow until she got divorce and went on solo with her life. :)

      • Wait a sec…Did I misunderstand what Kathy meant by “outshining”? Did you mean Kate or Diana “outshines” others? LOL…Must be the holiday candies…

      • Oh I didn’t love everything Diana wore. Some of her first year of marriage outfits left a little do be desired but as she became more confident, I think she chose outfits for the “look at me” factor. All in all, I think you and I are actually in agreement. Peace :).

        • Diana was just turned 20 when she married, I think her dress sense was excusable for that and being very Sloane Ranger. I should know, lived in that world at the same time. Diana dressed the only way she knew how.
          Kate on the other hand is 29 nearly 30. Big age difference and with that comes a knowledge of what you think looks good, your own style.
          Comparing Diana to Kate is pointless for many, many reasons.

    • I was thinking the same thing, about Kate not calling attention to herself when she is with the other royal family members. She looks very elegant and understated. Nice choices!

      • Yet, even with her understated choices here, she still manages to outshine all the others. Looking at the images of the entire group walking to and from church, the eye goes directly to her. All seem dull in comparison.

        • Are you sure that is not because the focus lense was on her? Look at all others were kinda blurry…LOL.Joke aside, Kate definitely looks fresh and young among the royal crowd.

        • Agreed, the eyes drawn to her. I think thats mostly because she is not afraid to play around with color, to the extend that we rarely see her in greys or blacks in public, even when it comes to jackets. Whereas Eugnie and Beatrice looks like they are in jackets that have a color and style similar to what is on sale at any department store, Kate and Zara have more unique dramatic coats.

  22. Isn’t that just about one of the most flattering colours any woman can choose? It manages to be dark and defining while and soft at the same time. Love the elegant coat, neat collar and fabulous tailoring, perfect with her figure. And the hat is a touch of genius — it has echoes of hunting gear — maybe reference Sherwood Forest? — anyway, a nod to the holiday pursuits of the great outdoors. And at last we got a break from the suede boots. She looks gorgeous.

    • Oh, I like what you’ve said about the hat having “echoes of hunting gear” and being a “nod to . . . the great outdoors.” I adore the hat and think that between it and her color choice she manages to look elegant yet ever-so-slightly playful. She looks great!

    • “echoes of hunting gear”…I hope not…I really do wish that the Royal Family would set an example and stop hunting and shooting…a Boxing Day tradition. Kate took part in this too so my admiration for her has now gone. No excuses to do that for sport reasons. None. And no I don’t wear leather, I am vegan and I am kind and considerate to all animals.

  23. I think she looks stunning. I love the colour, the coat and the hat. Beautiful, understated elegance.

  24. This coat does not involve my definition of a “funnel neck,” which means a high neck,in my experience.

    I love the coat color, that light aubergine or plum (one of those shades called by many different terms). I own a suit in just that color, but the cut of this coat doesn’t excite me. Pretty color, boring design.

    However, I LOVE the hat, with its creative, idiosyncratic shaping and back details. Very nice choice.

  25. The color is beautiful on her. Similar to the hat at Zaras wedding thi one is rather understated from the front but really has nice detail work on the side/ back. I liked it much better after seeing shots from the behind. The coat doesn’t do too much for me though, the cut seems a bit blah but she looks great an I get trying to stay safe as understated on her first Christmas with the royal family.

  26. The color is fantastic, boring coat with an interesting neckline, but that hat is awful. Its a good concept, but not at all flattering. Im glad to see tgat she laid off the blush, but the eyeliner is worse than usual. It worked a few nights ago, but not for church.

    • completely agree with you. great color coat, awful hat, way too much eyeliner!

      • I so wish she would update her eyeliner look; it always reminds me of the eighties and nineties. I would love to see what a professional make up artist would do to her–just once even! LOL

  27. I think the earring stones are a pale, translucent green. I have not investigated the variety.

  28. I love her in that color, and while I like the outfit, I think it needed something, maybe a sash on the hat, or a belt…

    • I agree. Even a brooch of the right shape would have given a lift. Colour is fantastic though.

      • Vote for a brooch, totally!

      • A brooch would’ve been perfect!

      • The coat is all wrong for her. It makes her look even more like a string bean. (I suppose that is exactly what she wants, but it really isn’t becoming.) She needs coats with some shape to them, like the off white McQueen she wore to Trouping the Colour, or the navy coat she wore in Canada. Her coats should have something interesting going on such as being double breasted, exposed buttons, nice wide lapels, a pin………anything!

        The hat was a complete disaster. The crown is too high for her head and looks as ridiculous as the black one she wore by the same designer for Rembrance Day. The hat did cover her over-worked eyebrows though, so maybe that’s a good thing.

        The color of the ensemble was great, but that’s it. The style really aged her…..too bad.

        • you couldn’t be more spot-on! normally love her looks but this one was so matronly… i suppose its appropriate for a religious ceremony but still quite boring

  29. Not to be pedantic *s* but the colour is berry or burgundy, not aubergine, the latter being a shade closer to purple not maroon as is indicated in the hat and coat.

    • I have seen this coat and hat combo described in just about every shade of purple, including eggplant and plum! In pictures elsewhere on the web, it looks darker or lighter, depending on the lighting.

  30. Love, love the hat!

  31. I think she looks amazing! I love the purple color, as it’s such an interesting and unique choice for winter coats. I swear, she can wear a coat like no-one else.

  32. she looks nice but its certainly not her best look. the coat is very lovely but i’m not crazy about the hat. i hope we will see something more exciting soon!

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