Apr 262012

Kate changed things up for today’s second appearance, switching from the Rebecca Taylor separates to a dress by Amanda Wakeley, a designer she wears with some regularity.

Press Association

Kate and William attended a reception launching the Imperial War Museum’s efforts to raise £35m to revamp the museum for the 2014 centenary of the First World War, below Kate and William speak with guests.

David Wilkinson, CNN Twitter Feed (@David_Wilkinon)

And doing the same here, our thanks to CNN’s David Wilkinson for tweeting photos from the reception.

David Wilkinson, CNN Twitter Feed (@Wilkinson_David)

The dress is Amanda Wakeley’s Sculpted Felt Seamed dress, it came in three colors when originally released, from left to right we see Oatmeal, Black and Gunmetal.

Amanda Wakeley

The garment is a knee length fitted dress with 3/4 length sleeves and a slash neck. Features seam detailing, originally the dress sold for £450, approximately $725 at today’s exchange rates. Kate purchased the frocks at the Amanda Wakeley Store on London’s Fulham Road.

WKW Facebook friends Serena Irene and Duchess of Cambridge News pointed out it was the identical dress worn to Royal Marsden just about the same time that Kags 7, Petite Princess, and Mrs. Regal Eyes noted this fact on Twitter. Kate wore the dress in Oatmeal when visiting Royal Marsden last September for the opening of the Oak Centre for Children & Young People, more on that here. Below we see Kate with a very young patient at the Centre.

Via Royal Marsden Hospital

And it was WKW Facebook friend Kimberly Berna Slack who reminded us that wore the gunmetal dress in November to the Princes’ Charities Forum, seen on the far right below, under the Zara Zippered Jacket.

Royal Marsden Hospital/Amanda Wakeley/British Monarchy

The belt is by Alexander McQueen, originally priced at $2225 when sold at Net a Porter, it is from last fall’s collection:

Give your fall wardrobe a hit of dramatic structure with Alexander McQueen’s chain-embellished bridle leather belt. Channel the discipline and drama of the season’s runway show and wear it to cinch a structured military look.

However, Kate didn’t wear the broad leather corset/girdle part of this, merely the belt and chain portion, that is better shown in this photo.

James Whatling / Splash News

The earrings were a pair we have seen before, the Temple of Heaven Girandole pair in 9KT yellow gold. I believe the earrings may still be ordered through the Cassandra Goad website.

Press Association/Cassandra Goad

Kate wore her towering Jimmy Choo Cosmic pumps, still available online for $695.

Jimmy Choo

The ensemble was completed with Kate’s trusty Anya Hindmarch silk Maud clutch.

Anya Hindmarch

Good news for those fond of this bag, the Bespoke Maud in Ink Black is again available for ordering, it runs £450.

The Duchess also changed her hairstyle a bit, wearing it partially up for tonight’s event, a nice change.

James Whatling / Splash News

The event this evening was a reception at the Imperial War Museum, honoring the Museum’s launch of its fundraising for upcoming Centenary Commemorations. More from the IWM’s website:

2014-2018 marks the centenary of the First World War, a landmark anniversary for Britain and the world. Working in collaboration with our peers and colleagues from national and international organisations, IWM will mark the centenary by leading a vibrant four-year programme of cultural activities across the UK.

This is one of the few museums in London we have not visited, it is definitely on our list for the next trip, it is supposed to be remarkable. The Museum actually has several branches and locations, including the basement/underground Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall…

Imperial War Museum Churchill War Rooms

The HMS Belfast on the Thames…

Imperial War Museum HMS Belfast

And the Duxford airfield.

IWM Duxford

William is a patron of the fundraising efforts, he spoke at today’s event. The Mirror has more:

“… (he) told the guests: “Every exhibit, every display, every tank, aircraft and medal in its case, speaks to us of sacrifice, of the facing down of evil, of freedom bought and preserved – for us – at unimaginable cost in human lives and suffering.

“It’s a message of reflection and remembrance, but it is also one of pride. In the course of the 20th century our nation, with our stalwart friends and allies from the Commonwealth and elsewhere, safeguarded the freedom of the world. It is as simple as that.

“The Imperial War Museum is here to remind us of this unassailable truth.”

The War Museum is where the Sun Military Awards were held last December (more here), you can learn all about the Museum on its website, a fascinating destination on its own.

  61 Responses to “Kate Does Same Dress, Different Color for Imperial War Museum Visit”

  1. Oh no, the same dress in a different colour is a terrible fashion mistake.

  2. Can someone PLEASE tell me who designed the white dress she wore today or yesterday?

    • If you’re thinking of the white top Kate had on when she was seen leaving the Princes’ Charities meetings, it is a Ted Baker blouse, the “Stardy” style. I’ll have more on it in a Monday or Tuesday post. :)

      • Yes, I think you must mean the Ted Baker white blouse. She didn’t wear a white dress today or yesterday.

        Today, the Duchess wore one of her blue lace Erdem dresses, last seen on the trip to Canada, to a friend’s wedding.


        • So dear admin, are we OK here? I just learned one of other lovely Kate fan based blogs got in “trouble” by posting weekend wedding pictures that Lili just pointed out. I was worried about this site. As much as you have been very respectful to the sources of every single picture, I wonder…if you will be ok. I sincerely hope they dont go after each one of you. I have been enjoying these sites so much!

          • Thank you for thinking of me, that is very kind of you to ask. We’ll be okay because we pay for the photos we use. If pictures aren’t available via the two services we use, then I don’t post them. That is why there aren’t any pictures from Friday shown (the Ted Baker blouse following the Princes’ Charities meeting) and/or Saturday’s wedding photos. (It doesn’t mean I won’t post about what Kate wore, I will, just minus the primary photos.) Thank you again! :)

        • And Lili, she was wearing the same belt as in this outfit as far as I can tell, correct?

          I personally felt these pictures of the wedding were kind of dull. Somehow she didn’t seem as glowing as in other pictures we have seen. The hat was kind of bleh in this outfit, too. :(

          • No, actually the belt seems to be different, with studs instead of the chain effect, and I think it’s dark blue, though there’s a bit of glare on it, so I can’t be certain. It’s hard to tell about the details.

            I rather liked the little hat.

            However, it was raining and a little gloomy. I’m not surprised she wasn’t glowing.

  3. I never thought I would be so excited to see her in a new hairstyle! Its been far too long.
    Just thought that I would let you know that the blouse that Kate wore to attend a meeting at the princes charity forum (on Tursday?) was by Ted Baker. http://fashionfinder.asos.com/womens-Ted-Baker/Ted-Baker—STARDY—Bib-detail-blouse-501562

  4. Just wanted to know…. when did we see the earrings?

  5. .. thank you for the continued, appreciative fun of this website!

    I have not posted in a while–

    just wanted to say I still think the lovely Duchess’ instincts are still unerring- she is always a pleasure to behold.

    I didn’t make up the name of the dress color: Gunmetal.
    how more appropriate can a color be for a WWI memorial ?! Bravo, Kate.

    oh.. and to add a comment to all the fashion applause– because I know I am not alone in seeing the grace that accompanies the pretty outfits (that would just be outfits without the smiles and poise and dignity of the wearer..):

    “.. the only thing that counts is the love of duty; when love and duty are one, then grace is in you and you will enjoy a happiness which passes all understanding.”
    – The Painted Veil. Somerset Maugham

    I think (hope?!) that’s what I see in Kate– a genuine happiness with her role– and her ever ready, beaming smile and lovely manner are what make the finishing touch to “What She Wears”-

    a bit too over the top a compliment? perhaps
    but I’ll let it stand—-

  6. Am I remembering correctly, or didn’t these Amanda Wakeley dresses come with matching jackets? Zippered jackets, perhaps? My memory may be playing tricks on me, but I wonder whether she bought the jackets, too. The dresses were an unsurprising choice, since simple sheath dresses like that can be so versatile, but with the jackets, too, she’d have a variety of potential outfits to play with.

  7. What a plain dress… I feel like I’ve seen this a million times, and certainly doesn’t justify such a steep price tag… her high street looks have been far more interesting then this!

  8. Those earrings aren’t the ones she first wore with the green DVF dress? They seem familiar to me…
    Great site!

  9. Another excellent choice of outfit, giving a whole new look!! – perfectly appropriate for the occassion …Amazing how Kate can transform a nice little grey dress into something so stylish, demure & chic with just “small changes”. She seems to like all shades of grey and certainly looks great in this colour. – I think she is reviving this colour, it looks trendy on her and a good alternative to black, it reminds me of when she started wearing lots of white and nude last year).

    • Thanks for posting this link, Melissa. I haven’t seen these pictures any where else. Are there pictures of their visit to the M16(is that right?) offices? What did Kate wear with the white blouse? Any pictures of the whole outfit?

      • shhh.. (-: that’s MI-6 ! (not ’1′)

        for all of us Spooks (BBC) fans, eh?! (in the U.S., the show is known as MI-5)

        • Sorry I got the name wrong. I couldn’t re-locate the link that told me what agency they visited. Didn’t mean to frighten anyone. :)

      • She was carrying a blue jacket of some sort, but the photos showed just a glimpse. We don’t know what else she wore.

        Last year she wore that dark-blue Zara jacket with the zipper at the waist to the same meeting, with something in a lighter blue underneath, but again, the pictures were limited.

        Zara is offering that zippered jacket in yellow right now, as I posted the other day.

  10. Everyone else is in a suit, this looks underdressed to me. I do love the belt, clearly to deal with the pregnancy rumors.

    • I don’t feel that anyone needs to be dressed as “everyone else” is. That’s how you make an impact: by NOT dressing the way everyone else is dressed.

      Since the dress was not at all inappropriate, I don’t think it was a problem. And understatement can make, paradoxically, a very loud fashion statement.

    • If you look closely at the pictures, many of the ladies are actually wearing dresses, so I don’t think this is underdressed at all. Remember that this is a war memorial, so she needed to look somber and respectful. Also, I am sure she is cognizant of the criticism of Diana, that her fashion choices took the focus away from the event.

  11. Nothing spectacular, but a good choice for the occasion. Nice to see her do something different with her hair.

  12. Adding the interesting belt took a rather simple dress and made it into a stylish look – but one that was mindful of the event.

    Just a note on the museum – I went during my first and so far only visit to London, and it was fantastic. Some of the exhibits (particullarly the Holocaust one) were heartbreaking, but I found it to be a fascinating experience, and I’m very glad to see William and Kate support it. For what it’s worth, the museum used to be Bedlam Hospital – ironic, I think, that it’s now a war museum.

  13. A perfect dress dor the occasion. Notice that others there were also in muted colors.

    The Imperial War Museum is a place that should be on everyone’s trip to London. It is easy to access and is fascinating and sobering experience all at the same time. One understands just how British society changed as a result of the Great War and why it was that so many were reluctant to do anything about the growing menance in Germany in the thirties.

    The Underground War Rooms of Churchill – not that far from Westminster Abbey (a wonderful tour day would be to go there and then to Vesper services at the Abbey) are also s must see. Thank you for mentionaing both as places to visit.

  14. The uniformity of Kate’s colour palette and style choice indicate someone who is not all that interested in clothes for much apart from their function. Sticking to standard styles and colours is a way of getting the shopping over and done with, and I think the style-police need to look elsewhere for any real fashion highs.

    I thought this dress looked completely different in the gunmetal, at first I found it hard to believe it was the same as the oatmeal. I think the whole outfit is very elegant and chic, and I love the belt, earrings and hairstyle — it’s just so nice to see the hair off her face for a change.

    I’m assuming such a subdued palette might have to do with the military-remembrance theme of the evening’s engagement.

    • Actually, she’s shown a genuine interest in clothes and fashion for years. However, I think she’s very conscious of not deflecting too much attention from her husband and whatever the event or cause is. Prince William’s mother was sometimes criticized for wearing clothes that were too attention-getting, so that hysterical hordes of paparazzi were scrambling all over themselves and bystanders to get pictures of her, while the reason she was there in the first place could be obscured.

      I think the simplicity and the subdued palette of the Duchess’s clothes reflect her understanding of the potential problems (an understanding that may have been helped along by some judicious advice from royal staffers) but also personal taste. She’s always been something of a minimalist in her silhouette choices: she likes sleek and simple. On the other hand, she is wearing rather less color than she used to, and that, I think, represents deliberate restraint.

  15. Gold, gray (and black) are simply perfect. like the hair

  16. Ok, as lovely as Kate is, this might be one of the most boring dresses ever made. There is nothing going on. If it was in a somewhat interesting color (violet perhaps?), maybe it would have been ok. But to me, its just a depressing look. And I do think her heels are a bit high honestly. Its not particularly professional, and she certainly doesn’t need the height. I can imagine there may be rules in terms of safety for heel height, but I’m not sure. I wish she would just go for the full chignon because I think it would look so nice!

    • I agree about the heels. If you look at this photo (http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m33y5lQicY1r9rldc.jpg), its kind of crazy how tall she is. This man lost both legs in war, and I’m sure he would be more comfortable if Kate was not towering over him like that. Generally everywhere she goes, she is towering over people, and I think that can make people uncomfortable. I also think this was a bit underdressed honestly. It could have used a jacket on top (a grey tweed one would have been perfect).

  17. She is looking very pretty, and she look much more pretty with prince William, she compliment him and enhance his personality!

  18. I want this Amanda Wakeley dress so no negative comments from me. I like this shade of grey with gold accessories so the whole look gets a passing grade from me. But, oh, I would have loved to see her wear this with the full McQueen belt. C’mon Kate, give us one bold, heart-stopping accessory like that, keep everything else your usual conservative style, and no one will think you any less the duchess for it…

    • So instead of re-wearing her cream Amanda Wakely dress…. Kate went out and bought the SAME EXACT dress in grey…. one boring color to another? Oh, and it costs $725!! Oh, and her belt costs $2250! Sorry, this is kind of ruining that ‘down to earth’ image she was trying to cultivate.

  19. I didn’t even notice that it was the same as the oatmeal colored dress. I like them both…the oatmeal just a little better but really like the belt with the gray.

    William must have changed clothes also. At least he has own a different tie.

    Did they have a third -unannounced- event today? Are there photos from that appearance?

  20. I like the grey but I don’t like the belt with grey – it felt more like trying to make something work than it actually working well. I am not a huge fan of the towering heels but they are what they are. I loved the earlier outfit – and the hair up I think had more to do with multiple events than anything. Nice difference.

  21. I was wondering when we’d see the gunmetal version of the Amanda Wakeley dress.

    It’s fine, it’s lovely, it’s sleek, sophisticated, and entirely unobjectionable. I know people are bored with the gray, blue, cream palette, but it works, especially when you need to worry about having one hundred outfits on hand for one hundred different occasions. The Duchess is intelligently sticking with a limited palette and simple designs.

    She’s trying to look good without looking like a clotheshorse, without deflecting attention from the cause or the event. Nice clothes, pretty clothes, but subdued and relatively unobtrusive.

    Like it or not, it is the Duchess’s job to dress exactly that way. She’s doing what she’s supposed to do.

    However, I don’t care for the fussy demi-chignon. I think she might start trying to wear her hair fully up instead of fooling around with schoolgirl curls, whorls, and twirls for evening events.

  22. Now that you’ve mentioned her towering Jimmy Choo’s, can anyone clear this up for me? Over at trueroyals.tumblr.com, I noticed she says that Kate is breaking royal protocol by wearing such high heels. I’d never heard of such protocol before –any enlightenment would be fantastic.

    On another note, I think it’s a lovely outfit –though a lot of grey. :)

    • No, there is no such “protocol”. It’s just that such “towering heels” haven’t really been available or fashionable before. She’s not breaking any rules, because there were no such rules.

    • i’m with lili: i’ve never heard of such a protocol. and can’t imagine the justification for such a protocol!

      other young royals wear v high heels regularly – bea, eugenie, mary of denmark, and, of course, letizia!

    • I wouldn’t give much credit to that site. It appears to have quite the anti-Kate bias. If you notice many of the royal ladies….Kate, Zara, Sophie and Camilla especially all wear quite high heals. I don’t know if the Queen has ever worn really high heels but in her late 80s it is little wonder that she doesn’t wear them now.

      • Thanks ladies. I asked her for verification and proof of protocol twice, but never got a response. And then I realised Eugenie was wearing platform pumps to Kate’s wedding! Good point, Kathy. :)

  23. Callie! Hi! :) actually i really like all her dresses, including the gray. I think they’re really elegant

  24. To whoever runs this site: thank you! you are super sweet to keep us up to date on all of kate’s recent looks :)

    She always looks beautiful in everything she wears…i want her clothes haha ;)

  25. these outfits are nice but very boring becuase of their colour, i think brighter colours would look better on her. the mcqueen belt’s price is just ridiculous though!!!

  26. Wow, so elegant! I like this dress a lot more in the grey, and the accessories and different hairstyle made for a very sophisticated look.

  27. Blah! Her accessories and lovely hair redeem the look. I’m a bit tired of seeing her in gray.

  28. Did William change his suit, tie or shirt?

  29. Kate looks beautiful! I love the whole combo.

    I personally wear a ton of grey, blue, black, white, brown. The standards are classic and appropriate for all occasions. This dress is so versatile and a great piece in her collection. I imagine we’ll see Kate wear this dress many times.

  30. This is a pretty “safe” pick, but it’s impeccably accessorized and is a very good look on her. I admire her for sticking with what she likes and what works. The earrings and hair also add some interest to the ensemble.

  31. I love gray. I hate wearing black and navy, so gray is my neutral of choice. I have similar coloring to Kate, so I can totally understand why she has so many basic pieces in gray. I LOVE her hair today, and her accessories are stunning.

  32. I really don’t mind what color she wears. I simply enjoy and appreciate Kate…as Kate. LOL I don’t see many of this silhouette or sense of style nowadays, so she’s like a breath of fresh air. I also enjoy Alexa Chung, who is unique and different in her ways, too.

  33. Susan do we know material the dress is made of? It looks very soft and comfortable; love the neckline! As I (jokingly) said on facebook felt a bit robbed we didn’t get a brand new look but its really a lovely dress and I think she looked great!

    Two posts in one day, we’re lucky! Guess this is just a warm up for the big Jubilee week!

  34. Ok, this is just funny now. We need to start a drinking game. How many grey-ish dresses can this girl wear? Personally I hardley ever wear grey, I just find it really drab and uninspring. She is beautiful obviously and there’s nothing WRONG with her outfits lately, personally I’m just not understanding the choices though. For how expensive these pieces are, she can certainly find something more interesting (still modest/tasteful)… anyone else feel that way?

    • Yes, the glow is fading a bit. Now that we have spent so much time analyzing the choices, it seems it’s all becoming repetitive. The ‘wow’ factor is just not there as much. The trick to creating the ‘wow’ was being able to follow her regularly–the Canadian tour was a great example of her daily dress. She needs to be out there more often to keep up the interest. It’s the same thing with Pippa. Less is not more.

    • completely agree! there are so many beautiful options for her, which are also appropriate and high street, why does she wear something so blah and boring?

  35. Kate looks absolutely stunning in this dress! I love her hair this way. I wish she would wear it more like this and different styles in updos instead of always all the time down.

    This belt adds so much to this dress. she wore it before when she visited the hospital in oatmeal but this grey is great on her the belt makes it pop and even more elegant.

    all around stunning.

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