Jul 272012

Kate showcased UK designers for today’s Olympic events.

Dominic Lipinski (L) & Michael Kappeler (R)/Press Association Images

The Duchess chose a frock by Scottish-born designer Christopher Kane for the late afternoon reception at Buckingham Palace welcoming Heads of State from all over the world.

The most distinctive feature of the fitted coatdress is the multiple gores front and back, four panels per side. The silk satin piece also has a covered placket down the front, long sleeves, slanted pockets, self-belt, and peak lapels.

Elle magazine has confirmed the dress is a bespoke piece. Our pals at Grazia remind us that Mr. Kane has previously stated he feels Kate should wear more designer clothing and less high street style. More from the Women’s Wear Daily interview with the designer:

Kate Middleton is, of course, on Kane’s list, and while he wouldn’t comment on whether he has been approached by her camp, he is full of praise for her look with one caveat. “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.”

That WWD story is from November of last year.

Kate is said to be in nude pumps, we’re speculating they are her go-to pair of LK Bennett Sledge court shoes. She carried a grey suede clutch, we believe it is by Alexander McQueen. The Duchess also sported the same earrings first noticed at the Jubilee Concert back in June. (Our post on that is here.)

Press Association/LK Bennett

My Small Obsessions reports the earrings are by a Kate favorite, Kiki McDonough emailed a response saying they bespoke, crafted of blue topaz and diamonds, and unable for purchase. Diana’s Jewel’s also heard from Kiki McDonough, she was advised the earrings are past season.

Below we see Kate with the President of Mongolia Elbegdorj Tsakhia (left) and Erdene Elbegdorj at the function.

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Telegraph had this to say about what Kate wore:

Fittingly, Kate flew the flag for British couture, opting for an ice-blue eau de nil satin fitted coat dress by home-grown designer Christopher Kane.

It was not the first fashion face-off between the two women. That came more than a year ago, when they met at the Palace during a state visit by the Obamas to London.

Doing her bit for the special relationship again today, the Duchess offered Mrs Obama a warm greeting, giving her a big smile as she shook her hand.

At the reception the Queen spoke of earlier Olympic Games when addressing her guests:

This will be the third London Olympiad; my great-grandfather opened the 1908 Games at White City; my father opened the 1948 Games at Wembley Stadium, and later this evening I will take pleasure in declaring open the 2012 London Olympic Games at Stratford in the east of London.

Her Majesty wore a light blue silk ensemble by Karl Ludwig Rehse and Michelle Obama was in J. Mendel. Following the gathering at the Palace everyone boarded buses for the trip over to the Olympic Stadium.

It was an exciting day all around, London was clearly the place to be for many celebrities. Below, the cast of Downton Abbey as they headed into the stadium tonight, the picture was tweeted by Hugh Bonneville who plays Lord Grantham in the hit series.

Hugh Bonneville Twitter Feed

Below we see inside the Stadium before the start of tonight’s Ceremony, the overarching theme was “Isles of Wonder are brought to life,” the part of the program seen in the image below is titled it is a “Green and Pleasant Land”.

London 2012 Facebook Page

Below, a look at the ceremonies underway via Team USA’s twitter page.

US Olympic Team Twitter

It looks like another dramatic ceremony in this image, another from Team USA’s Twitter feed.

Team USA Twitter Feed

We leave you with the look at David Beckham piloting a boat carrying the Olympic Torch to the Stadium.

Team GB Facebook Page


  42 Responses to “Kate In Custom-Made Christopher Kane for Palace Reception & Opening Ceremony”

  1. I have been waiting for Kate to wear something by Christopher Kane and THIS is what she goes for?! Ugh. The fabric reminds me of a 90s bridesmaid dress and the style is old. No. Just no.

  2. No, not a pretty look in my opinion. I understand that she is 30, but this dress is not understated age-appropriate elegance in my opinion-its just aging, and I detest the color. I think a darker color (maybe navy) would have been nicer.

  3. Kate in the blue reception coat dress seems to be following in the fashion footsteps of Princess Anne. At the torch ceremony, on the other hand, the Zara skinny jeans look inappropriately tight to me, especially for a princess at a public appearance–almost weirdly, aggressively body-hugging. She’s over thirty, not sixteen for God’s sake, and could/should wear trim stylish business trousers to look right for her working role.

  4. The dress underneath seems to be the same as she wore at the Order of the Garter. The Katherin Hooker Buxton dress no?

    • Yes, that could be the Buxton dress that she previously seemed to be wearing under the gray Hooker coat to last year’s Garter event. It’s a bit hard to tell: that dress has a little drape at the neck, which you could see under the Hooker coat. The Kane coat obscures the neckline of whatever the Duchess is wearing underneath.

      But if it’s that dress — or another dress — I stand by my terminology. This is a coat, not a coatdress.

  5. my small obessions on facebook is reporting the circular earrings seen on Kate here are KiKi McDonough and they are topaz.

    • Hi Melanie, and thanks for reading the blog! I am actually going to include that in tomorrow’s blog, I also updated this post. (There are several wonderful jewelry updates made this weekend by Anna, she is remarkable.)Thank you again! :)

  6. This is one of my least favourite outfit… She looks like 65 with the fake sime and this dress. I don’t get the point to wear a coatdress in summer with 30 degrees. And it’s also very 80′s. Diana would’ve loved it 30 years ago.
    Last time when Kate met with Mrs. Obama she looked very chick and young and Michelle looked like she was wearing a draperia from one of the curtain from Buckingam palace. Now Kate looked horrible and Michelle looked young and chick.

  7. I like Michelle Obama’s outfit the most at that reception.

  8. Well cut, classic dress and very suitable for the occasion. The Queen too wore an almost identical colour. Some coordination going on here as not long ago Kate, Camilla and Sophie wore shades of cream.

  9. LOVE it! She looks gorgeous.

  10. I was bored with this outfit and disagree and think it does not look good with her complexion. I normally like Kates outfits just not this one.

  11. I’m so sick of seeing her wear blue 70% of the time.

  12. When I saw the photo’s of this outfit I didn’t care for it, but when I saw Kate live on tv wearing it to the opening ceremony I thought she looked beautiful. I think the style and fabric don’t photograph well, but in person/on tv the color was lovely on her and she looked young and vibrant!
    Unlike Michelle Obama, who’s dress I thought had way too much going on, Kate went with the “less is more” approach and got it right once again!

  13. this is lovely and elegant, and not that far removed from the outfit Kate’s mom wore to Kate and Will’s wedding. a little too old, and a bit too subdued for the celebratory spirit of the occasion. I would rather have seen her in the dress she wore to the jubilee concert with a coat over it for the ceremony, if needed.

  14. I’ve always liked coat dresses but more for fall/winter rather than summer. But this is a very pretty color and nice for a palace reception. I would rather she dressed more casually for the opening ceremonies but maybe she will at the actual sporting venues.

    By the way, unless she’s holding a glass of ginger ale, it looks like she isn’t expecting yet. Just to counter all the speculation that she is pregnant.

  15. Very nice coat et very nice colour.
    Maybe a good choice for the reception at Buckingham, though I am not sure : the other lady were more “elegant-casualy” dressed. But, in my opinion too matronly for the JO Ouverture. Princess Maxima was the best !

  16. I think Catherine looks chic, elegant, and happy. I can see the logic to the comments above, and acknowledge that the coat is simple – but it is also refined, which seems appropriate for the ambassadorial purpose to the day. The colour seems to highlight her complexion well, and contrasts beautifully with her hair. I also think the sheen of the fabric really comes to life in the evening light of the opening ceremony. Glamorous, but subtle. :)

  17. I loved this outfit, so sleek and elegant. The cut and fit are amazing which is a relief after earlier bespoke pieces have sometimes looked as if they didn’t quite fit. It’s a gorgeous colour and has a lovely sheen which is part of what makes it work so well for a formal palace reception and on to a major evening show.

    My only quibble would be that clutch — too bulky with the superb smooth lines of that coat.

  18. I’m shocked to see so many negative responses, I think this is a perfect 10! The paneled skirt gives a bit of interest, while the understated hue lets the real stars of the night (i.e. the athletes) shine. This bespoke piece fits her absolutely beautifully and does wonders for her fabulous figure. It’s not cutting edge fashion, but it is very “Kate.”

    • I agree with you 100%! Spot on comments. I think the public needs to stop projecting onto Kate what they think she should wear and realize that subdued, ladylike, timeless and classic best reflect her personality.

  19. I like the dress–I have a feeling we just can’t see the whole thing in order to get the full picture. And don’t forget, she is 30. I’d rather her not dress like a 20-year-old-trying-to-look-like-a-princess. Also, popsugar has some pictures that clearly show her earrings:)


  20. I think this is a total miss….mother of the bride comes to mind. Way to boring and old and could be a faux pas wearing same color as the Queen, at least at his reception before the chane to peach?

  21. By the way: I need to point out that “ice-blue” and “eau-de-nile” are two different colors. They always have been. The latter tends to green, as the name suggests.

    • WKW described it as “ice-blue.” Then a quoted source (The Telegraph) said it was “eau de nil.” It’s perfectly reasonable for two different people to describe a color in different terms. I’m with Susan on this one, it looks like ice-blue to me.

  22. I love a nice coatdress. But someone mentioned this and I agree, this appears to be an outright coat since there seems to be another dress under the garment. Not bad. Not great. Appropriate for the occasion. And as for Mr. Kane’s rather flip comment … it’s all well and good for him to promote haute couture but GB and the world is in the grips of an economic morass. While the royals obviously have money to burn and no financial worries whatsoever, they still have some responsibility to the citizens of the UK. While we all enjoy Kate’s fashion, she seems to understand that dressing in pricey haute couture, a new ensemble for every appearance, wouldn’t long be popular with the public.

    • i wonder how mr kane felt when he was finally approached to design for hrh kate, for a high-pofile event, and she wanted a plain blue coat?!

  23. It’s a lovely look, but I agree it’s a bit plain for a bespoke piece… if something is being created from scratch, I would expect it to be a bit more special (like the red Sarah Burton of McQueen for the Jubilee flotilla… and that wasn’t even completely bespoke!). But the color is wonderful, and it’s appropriate for the occasion. And I think for an event where she’s going to spend all her time on her feet greeting people, shoes she knows and loves make sense! But I love the LK Bennett Sledges!

    • I totally agree. When one is one one’s feet for a long time – there is nothing better than a pair of shes that are well-broken in. As I have noted before, the Queen herself wears the same pari of shoes over and over – the black pair with what looks like a gold chain across the instep.

      I thought the Duchess loooked lovely (as usual). While the light blue is not my favorite shade, it did look elegant on her.

  24. I have recently become an admirer of Christopher Kane, having seen a number of elegant sheath dresses that are exactly my style. I like this look — very sleek and simple — but I can’t say I think the nude LK Bennett shoes would have been the best choice. The Duchess owns at least one pair of very pale gray suede pumps. They would have worked well with this silver coatdress.

    By the way, I tend to use the word “coatdress” to refer to a dress styled like a coat but actually something that you can’t take off to reveal another dress underneath. If there IS another dress underneath, then it’s not a coatdress, it’s a coat.

    The Duchess appears to be wearing a dress beneath this coat.

    As for the Opening Ceremony, we here in the US are still watching it. We — or, at least, I — are trying to avoid the spoilers.

    So far, I’ve been thrilled to see Kenneth Branagh, one of the world’s great heirs to the brilliant legacy of British theatre, and a number of nods to English/British history. As a combination Olympics junkie and Anglophile, I am in heaven!

  25. It’s fine. Not bad, not great, just fine.

  26. yeah, no. boring, and aging. i can imagine the queen wearing this – but with a gorgeous kick-ass (yes, i’m pretty sure that’s how she refers to it: “angela, we will wear the kick-ass brooch today” :) ) brooch to give some sparkle and detail.

    what is the point of going to a designer (a man paid for his creative vision of clothing) for a bespoke piece and then asking for something so out of what he would normally design?
    (and quite frankly, something so ordinary. where’s the detailing, unique design elements you want from a designer piece?)

    LOVE michelle’s outfit! love the intricate embroidery, interesting and flattering cut, summery white color and light skirt material.
    i would love to see kate in this! so much more interesting, fresh and youthful than the straight pale blue coat.

    i wonder what dress kate is wearing under the coat? i would have preferred her to wear a lovely dress for the reception and add the coat for the olympics (when it was chilly and would have made more sense than a buttoned-up coat at an indoors, day reception). one of the erdems from canada would have looked nice with or without the coat.

  27. Such delight to see Hugh’s tweed. I love “Downton Abbey”.
    On the dress, like I said in another blog, I just don’t like shiny powder blue/gray on anyone. It looks so boring and aging.

  28. With apologizes to the lovely Kate, this looks like something Princess Michael of Kent would wear. The color, however, was lovely. But the design and the material were incredibly aging.

    Glad to see the open hoop earrings from the Jubilee concert again.

    • princess michael would have added billowing sleeves, portrait neckline and fabulous jewelry!

      actually it’s straight lines (and pastel color) remind me of some of the queen’s coats – minus a gorgeous brooch to elevate it.

      • Lolz. Princess Michael would have worn something far more smashing and glamorous. But Kate looked okay, I love her earrings and the cat-ish eyeliner.

  29. The color is lovely on her. What a beautiful, understated design. The photos are spectacular and I can’t wait to watch the opening ceremony.

  30. Not a fan of this coatdress. The ice-blue satin looks dowdy and the panels don’t add anything interesting. Sorry Mr. Kane, but I’ll take High Street over this look any day.

  31. Amazingly joyfull collection of photos!!!!

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