Sep 112012

Tonight the Duchess chose a Singapore-born designer, Prabal Gurung, again showing respect for the host country on this first leg of the Jubilee Tour.

James Whatling/Splash News

The function was a State Dinner hosted by the President of Singapore, Tony Tan Keng Yam, at his residence, the Istana. Below we see the Honor Guard awaiting Kate & William’s arrival.

Rebecca English/The Daily Mail Twitter Feed

The first order of business was a formal inspection of the troops, below we see William and President Tan inspecting the Guard of Honor.

Paul Harrison/Sky News Twitter (@SkyNewsRoyal)

An official salute was next.

Paul Harrison/Sky News Twitter

The Straits Times shows guests as they are about to toast in this Twitter photo.

The Straits Times Twitter Feed

William also gave a speech this evening, speaking on behalf of the Queen. More from Channel News Asia:

“What you have done and become is admired around the world” – Prince William speaking at the Istana – saying he & his wife are fortunate to see the great Singapore success story.

Kate’s dress is a blend, 53% wool – 47% silk, lined in silk. It’s most distinctive feature is the engineered print on the front and back.

James Whatling/Splash News

The garment is knee length with a bateau neckline, three-quarter sleeves, and a concealed zipper.  The dress remains available at a very few places. At Browns Fashion the frock was originally £1,770 (about $2800 USD), but is now discounted to £710 (roughly $1100 at this morning’s exchange rates).

Prabal Gurung at Browns Fashion

StyleMeTv also has the dress. The piece is from the spring/summer 2012 line, more on that collection from Women’s Wear Daily (subscription req’d.):

A series of photographs titled ‘Sensual Flowers,’ by the Japanese artist Nobuyoshi Araki, inspired Gurung’s engineered prints in shades of purple, teal and black. They were arranged symmetrically down the front of georgette dresses, the patterns matching up like Rorschach images, with a debt to those highly distinctive prints from the last full collection by Alexander McQueen.

The McQueen reference is interesting, we all know Kate’s fondness for that fashion house. Below you see elements from the spring runway show show that ultimately made their way into the RTW (ready to wear) collection.


I think the designer is a stellar choice, it’s someone we previously suggested Kate might wear on the Tour. Mr. Gurung was born in Singapore and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. His creations are seen on a broad range of celebrities, including Michelle Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey.

Prabal Gurung Facebook Page

He offers an edgier look than many of the designers and retailers Kate generally wears, this was a bit of a risk for the Duchess.  Mr. Gurung was more-than-excited upon learning Kate was wearing a frock from his collection.

Prabal Gurung Twitter Feed

Belinda White at The Telegraph liked the choice:

…the perfect fit for the Duchess’ edgier alter ego (we call her Kate Cambridge, nee K Middy).

His designs always have femininity at their heart, but cater to the girl who’s not content to just stand around looking pretty.

…eye-catching yet elegant, it’s infinitely more exciting than yet another drippy dress from one of Kate’s high street favourites.

Kate reprised her black Anya Hindmarch Bespoke Maud Clutch (£450, approximately $720 USD at today’s exchange rates).

Anya Hindmarch ‘Maud’ Clutch

The item is now called the ‘Jubilee Bespoke Maud in Black Satin,’ apt for this Jubilee Tour, although that was not the name of the bag when Kate originally purchased it. The Duchess also brought back her black Prada pumps.

The evening did not offer the much-discussed tiara sighting many hoped for but there was a spot of glitter.

James Whatling/Splash News

That is the diamond bracelet we first saw at last year’s BAFTA gala in Los Angeles, a stop during last year’s Royal Tour. It looks like Kate also wore the diamond earrings we first saw on that Tour, the pair worn for the Canada Day concert.

Canadian Heritage

While the design was jarring or too busy for some, I thought it was a very good look. The choice of designer made a solid statement to the couple’s Singaporean hosts. While not understated, the frock is sleek and elegant, bold without being overpowering; the accessories were ideal for the occasion. Kate looked lovely for the event, although I’m sure she and Prince William have to be exhausted from the 14-hour flight and time difference.

Tomorrow’s agenda is a busy one:

  • 9:45AM (9:45pm EDT) Kate and William visit Gardens by the Bay, at Colonial Gardens the duo is expected to do a tree planting
  • 11:45am (11:45pm EDT) The Duke & Duchess then travel to the still-new Rolls Royce aircraft engine factory in Seletar, they will unveil the first operational engine made the plant & William is expected to make a brief speech.
  • 2:45PM (2:45 AM EDT: In the afternoon it’s off to Strathmore Green, a precinct in Queenstown, a residential area in Singapore; the area was chosen because it was named after Queen Elizabeth II. The couple will view a cultural performance that will showcase the three main cultures of Singapore: the Chinese, Malay and Indian communities. The couple will also view children’s games and meet local residents.
  • 3:15pm (3:15am EDT) Staying within Queenstown, the pair visit the Rainbow Center, a school and community center for children with special needs. (The Center is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.) William goes to watch phys ed activities while Kate meets children in art therapy classes
  • In the evening, Kate and William attend a reception at Eden Hall, the British High Commissioner’s residence, for prominent Singaporeans and members of the British and international expatriate communities. Entertainment will be provided by Musicity, a program blending British, Singaporean and other musical genres.


To see this morning’s post sharing what Kate wore for the couple’s arrival in Singapore and Botanic Gardens visit, click here.

  34 Responses to “Kate Gives Another Nod to Jubilee Tour Host Country, It’s Prabal Gurung for State Dinner”

  1. Great rundown on this dress! Detailed, great work finding the clutch designer.

    We just published this on the dress – Was this Kate Middelton at her best in 2012?

  2. I thought that Rebeca English or some other reporter from your previous posts said that she had to have a dress that covered her knees. This dress was obviously shorter than that….and when she sat done watching William talk with their hosts….her dress was up to her thighs. I guess she didn’t do her research very well.

  3. Love this dress, the color and print are so pretty.

  4. gorgeous girl! gorgeous dress. way better than the earlier dated dress and hairstyle she wore on day 1.

  5. Both the Parabal Gurung and the Jenny Packham ensembles are lovely, festive, and entirely appropriate. I hope the Duke and Duchess enjoy a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel; cheers to Catherine’s sartorial success!

  6. I actually really like this dress. The print is bold, but it’s a fabulous homage to the host country. I have to agree with some of the other commenters though, it would have been nice to see a different hair style for the occasion (though it does look pristine in the tropical heat!).

    • i agree on the hair. the edgy dress needs an edgier hairstyle, eg straight or slicked down rather than bouncy with a bit of a wave.

  7. It seems we were mistaken at the formality of the occasion. Would of been giddy with excitement to see Catherine in a floor length gown and tiara, but love that she is taking a bit more of a risk with this dress. She looks great in everything.

  8. I think the duchess looks fabulous – and those definitely are her colours. However, I DO think she would benefit from a stylist’s advice. I think she gets it right 85% of the time, and her ideas are good, but she needs someone to completely refine the final product. I mean, suede shoes in the tropics? Besides the fact that they’re starting to look tired and worn. I don’t know a stylist that would have done that. And while she looked fine at the Olympic Games lately, she just didn’t look as polished as she could have – untucked tops and too-skinny jeans. I don’t know, I mean she IS the future queen, and she isn’t THAT young. She’s 30 years old, old enough to be wearing that gorgeous Jenny Packham dress earlier in the day (which was divine on her) – I don’t think it aged her at all. These photos of her will be around forever, she needs to look the part, know what I mean? That Prabal dress was such a WIN, though. Stunning.

  9. Talk about perfectly printed! Love love love!

  10. FIERCE – work it, K. Middy! This is one of my absolute favorites – appropriate yet chic.

  11. The Duchess has nailed it this time. Perfectly placed print dress by Prabal Gurung in a style that suits Kate perfectly.

  12. Gorgeous dress.
    Would have liked to see her hair up. Something about the brown against the purple not doing it for me.

  13. I have been out of it for a couple of days; I came over here fully expecting to see and read about yesterday’s dress! This sweet surprise just made me smile. Kate looks great and I love that purple print dress on her. I think it has a big “wow” factor.

  14. Love Prabal Gurung–he makes feminine, ladylike clothes that don’t look like one’s grandmother’s. His clothes remind me a bit of Erdem (who I also adore) in that respect. I was sad to see this wasn’t a full-on formal dinner with gowns and tiara (hope spring eternal) but Kate looks lovely and appropriate as always.

  15. Thanks so much for this post. Great couture insights you can’t find in other places. Cheers! Silvia

  16. So our beloved Kate now is into more prints. This is new.

  17. Don’t care for the dress, just glad she’s wearing purple. Too bad she didn’t accessorize properly. For a formal event, would have been nice if she did SOMETHING with her hair!

    But I just LOVE the black sandals the model is wearing. They are divine!

  18. I think I can just about take this outfit under the “bold but not overpowering” comment of the excellent posting above — and I’m grateful for the Rorschach reference as all I could think of at first was the ink-blot test.

    It’s a beautiful dress, wonderfully cut to flatter Kate, and the design is quite amazing — especially the way it works round from front to back. The colours work well on her. It all just came as a bit of a shock to my rain-drenched British mentality.

    I can see how it works superbly well in a tropical context, particularly with the royal duty to stand out in the crowd. I wish to heck she’d refresh that pair of shoes though, they look quite worn in some pictures.

    And her hair is lovely — the team hairdresser is clearly more than a match for tropical frizz.

  19. A bit surprising, but WONDERFUL choice. I admit, when I heard “state dinner” I was hoping for a gown. But this dress fits beautifully and the print is just a knockout, especially from the back. Love the diplomatic nod by wearing a designer from Singapore. And the bracelet is lovely with the 3/4 sleeve. Love it all!

  20. I thought you may also want to note that the Prabal Gurung dress is available on the US site Rent the Runway to rent for 4 days for $275:

    The site also carries a number of Issa styles similar to those worn by Kate in the past. Check it out!

  21. Love the style/cut of the dress, and that we get to see the Duchess in another color—purple–that I think looks great on her. The print is not something I would choose for myself, but she looks great, and it is an excellent nod to her host country. Very wise choice.

  22. Well, again, I’m not crazy about prints as a rule, but I rather like the exuberance of this one, and the Duchess wears purple-violet shades well. She ought to wear more of them. That rich, rather Baroque look is quite fashionable this fall.

    This dress has clearly been carefully tailored for her, with the lines having been changed a bit. It has a looser fit on the model in the Browns Fashion photograph and slightly longer sleeves. Had I seen it in that photograph, I would have been unimpressed by the silhouette, but on the Duchess it looks much slimmer and sleeker; it’s more of a body-skimming, sheath-style dress. It really looks much better on her than it does on that model.

  23. I’m digging this dress! It’s fun and looks so comfortable.

    It’s really neat to see Prince William in the role of ambassador, talking to the heads of state and so on. He’s really grown into his role.

  24. I LOVE this look, the print is just gorgeous and glad to see her taking a bit of risk!

  25. Perfection. The fabric and the colors are wonderful. Susan, what do you know about the phrase “engineered print”? What does this mean??

    • Hi Ann! Engineered prints are those created specifically for a certain purpose, be it a border, or other area the fabric is designed for – a pillow, upholstery, etc. Another designer who does a lot with engineered prints is Lilly Pulitzer. :)

  26. And what was the shoes that kate was wearing with the Prabal Gurung’s dress?

  27. from Channel News Asia:
    “Highlights from Prince William’s speech at the Istana – he talks about the Queen & gives a shout-out to Singapore’s most successful paralympian Laurentia Tan!”

    love it that william spoke about our Laurentia! =)

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