Sep 162012

It has been a busy 24 hours for William and Kate as the Jubilee Tour departed Kota Kinabalu and headed to the Solomon Islands. For the couple’s departure Kate brought back a dress from many years ago, it dates back to at least 2002. Kate also wore her Pied a Terre Imperia shoes.

Via Marny

Kate wore the piece to a party at St. Andrews in 2002, and again in 2005 for dinner with Prince William at Archipelago, a photo of that instance can be seen here; Kate also wore her Imperia wedges.

Our thanks to WKW Facebook friend Elizabeth for remembering the dress and sharing info about earlier instances of Kate wearing it along with Julie, as well as Patricia for pointing out the Araline.

Then it was back in the air for the couple and on to Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, located on Gaudalcanal Island. When they arrived William and Kate were welcomed with traditional orchid garlands, the Duchess in a Jonathan Saunders dress.

James Whatling/Corbis

And treated to a traditional “fearsome warrior dance” at the airport.

Rebecca English/The Daily Mail Twitter Feed

Richard Palmer’s story in the Express explains this tradition:

Father Henry Teho, an Anglican priest and tribal elder wearing a traditional mat skirt made from grass, tree bark, and pandanus leaves explained: “When you used to come to the Solomon Islands it was a challenge that we’ll kill you and eat you but now it’s just a challenge saying you are from a different culture.”

Below, Father Henry as photographed by Simon Perry of People magazine.

Simon Perry, People Magazine Twitter

Here we see Kate watching William as he expects an honor guard comprised of the local police force, the Solomons have no military.

Rebecca English/The Daily Mail Twitter Feed

In the photo above by Rebecca English you can see Kate’s Jane Taylor hat. In this photo from Simon Perry you can see the back of Kate’s dress.

Simon Perry/People Magazine Twitter

Then it was time for a bigger welcome as the Duke & Duchess were driven through town in an open vehicle decorated like a traditional war canoe.

James Whatling/Corbis/Splash

Crowds were enormous, estimates range from 50,000 to 70,000 as seen in this photo by CNN’s Max Foster.

Max Foster/CNN Twitter

The final destination was the Church of Melanesia cathedral in Honiara for a thanksgiving service honoring the Queen, you can see some of the 10000+ crowd at the service.

Georgina Brewer/ITV News Twitter

Max Foster of CNN shared this picture outside the Cathedral.

Max Foster/CNN

The couple were also given traditional floral headdresses as seen in this picture from MrsRegalEyes on Twitter.

MrsRegalEyes Twitter Feed

Kate chose a UK designer we have long hoped she would wear, Scotland’s Jonathan Saunders. The Evelyn dress is a forest green/aqua/white print, made of a cotton/viscose blend. It is lined in cupro bemberg, considered one of the finest lining materials made, although it can be difficult to find and the mark of a finely crafted garment.

Jonathan Saunders ‘Evelyn’ Dress at Net-a-Porter

The dress remains available at available at Net-a-Porter in a few sizes, it sells for $1490. It can also be found at several other upscale retailers, including Matches Fashion and Fashions2Us where it is shown for $596/£382. We appreciate HRH Duchess Kate for the heads-up on the specific dress!

Kate accessorized with her LK Bennet Sledge pumps in the off-white color, as well as the UFO clutch we have seen her carry. (UFO = Unidentified Fashion Object)

Splash News

Kate then needed to change once again, this time for a reception hosted by Governor-General Frank Kabui, we thank MrsRegalEyes on Twitter for this photo. (Does it look to anyone else like William is checking his watch?)

MrsRegalEyes Twitter Feed

Below, a scene from the Governor General’s banquet as shared by Georgina Brewer of ITV, the function was held outdoors as is the tradition.

Georgina Brewer/ITV Twitter Feed

Here we have another look at the lushly colored floral dress.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images/Press Association

This was not the dress Kate planned to wear, a story in the Daily Mail from Rebecca English reveals she planned to wear a frock purchased in London for the occasion.

She made the switch just half an hour before the banquet when she walked into her room at the hotel in Honiara and discovered that the government had left her a strapless dress with a bright pink and orange batik design.

“She tried it on, she loved it and she is wearing it,” said a royal aide. The dress came from a shop called Island Print.

The material is hand dyed batik, a closer look reveals the motifs include flowers, fish, vines and other designs.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images/Press Association

It turns out William’s shirt was also a gift, but not a surprise, back to Rebecca’s story:

The Duke was clearly taken with his new blue shirt. In a formal visit on the Governor-General, Sir Frank Kabui, the Duke told him: ‘I have my shirt on. What do you think? Looks OK?’

UPDATED: Both William’s shirt and Kate’s dress are by Tav Pacific NZ, the company is based in New Zealand but all of the pieces are printed in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. More from the company’s website:
…the brand represents the romance and escapism that is the mood of the Pacific by utilizing traditional motifs, such as sea life, flora and fauna patterns in print designs…
Below, a dress very similar to Kate’s, or identical (it’s tough to tell) but in another colorway.

Tav Pacific NZ Facebook

Another very similar style is shown on the company’s website.

Tav Pacific NZ Resortwear

It is priced at NZ$ 475, roughly $400 USD. Kate accessorized with the Catherine Zoraida ‘Spread Your Wings‘ bracelet worn earlier this week.

Catherine Zoraida Spread Your Wings Bracelet

UPDATED: Kate’s earrings are by Serretta.

Serretta Red Sponge Coral Earrings

The earrings are described this way:

These stunning red sponge coral earrings by Serretta are a gorgeous statement piece. The lipstick red sponge coral Earrings are accented with a rolled gold chain tassle.

They are £36, about $60 at today’s exchange rates and available here.

She also wore her Stuart Weitzman Minx Espadrilles again; Stuart Weitzman & Nordstrom seem to be sold out, it is also available at Jildor for $205, and also at for $236.

Chris Jackson/Getty/Press Association

A very busy day with three very different looks.

Tomorrow’s schedule is even busier:

  • Their Royal Highnesses begin the day with a call on Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Office.
  • The Duke and Duchess travel to a cultural village in Honiara, the couple will view performances by the nine provinces that make up the nation.
  • The Duke and Duchess will go separate ways, the only time they are scheduled to do so during the Tour: William will be awarding six Duke of Edinburgh gold awards while Kate attends a reception for Solomon Island women’s groups.
  • The couple will then travel to a Coast Watchers memorial in Honiara, they’ll lay a ceremonial wreath and meet veterans of the Coast Watch.
  • Kate and William then attend a lunch reception hosted by the Prime Minister in aid of Solomon Islands charities, including representatives of the Diamond Jubilee Trust.
  • Kate and William fly to Marau, “The welcome ceremony has been developed entirely by the local people and promises to be a very special and memorable moment for Their Royal Highnesses in such a remote and beautiful location.”
  • The Royal couple will proceed by boat to the island of Marapa, where they will first visit a village before traveling on a traditional war canoe the short distance between Marapa and Tavanipupu.
  • Upon arriving on Tavanipupu William and Kate will be met with a musical and dance welcome, they will spend the night at the private resort.

NOTE: Post has been corrected to remove erroneous Mulberry bag reference, a moronic mistake on my part.

  45 Responses to “Kate’s 3 Looks Today, Including 2002 Dress & One Given To Her Upon Arrival In Solomon Islands (UPDATED: Earrings & Dress IDs)”

  1. For fans of Gossip Girl, Lily [van der Woodsen] Bass wears that same Jonathan Saunders print for brunch in Season 6, Episode 4. Looks like it’s the same dress, but no sleeves or bow in the front, for a sleeker look. It’s an interesting styling contrast — older TV socialite versus real life duchess.

  2. I’m clearly in the minority on this one, but I actually love the Saunders dress and the way Kate styled it. It looks very retro and reminds me of the way that Crown Princess Mary sometimes wears her hats.

  3. Love the pink Batik dress, and love even more the fact that Kate wore it at the last minute, out of respect to her hosts. LOVE the wedges she wore with it.

    The blue Saunders is lovely, but hit our duchess in a strange way. It needed to be taken in a bit, and perhaps altered the way she altered the Packham she wore to polo in California (take in waist, and over all narrow the entire silhouette). The extra material gathers strangely, and creats an optic illusion with the print, which is not flattering. In other words, would love the dress if it were tailored a bit. Don’t mind the shoes at all, and the hat is cool for the tropics. I agree that it hits the back of her head strangely, and perhaps would look better if her hair were up. She covered her head to go to church, which is respectful—it is just the hair that caused the grief IMO.

    The vintage pink dress is great in so many ways, and I again LOVE the wedges. Wish she would wear more wrap dresses—they suit her proportions very well.

  4. Any better pictures of the purple dress? The shoes just don’t seem right to me. The espadrilles just seem way to high and bulky.

  5. The Saunders dress colors are the same as the Solomon Islands flag, plus are a beautifully unusual combination.

    • thank you, Yvette !

      I had not taken the time to notice that..

      such a thoughtful, consistent thing the Duchess does: the Alexander McQueen dress with the embroidered, gold-thread hibiscus flowers, another example–

    • thank you, Yvette!
      I had not taken the time to notice that..

      Kate’s thoughtfulness in this regard is consistent and heart-warming-
      for example, the Alexander McQueen evening dress embroidered with gold-thread hibiscus flowers–

    • Oh! What a wonderful detail to notice. I like it even more now!

  6. Love the old wrap dress and the strapless batik number but the whole outfit with the Saunders dress could have been skipped. The dress looks like it fits her in an odd way, too boxy or something. Check out the fit of the wrap dress, which hits at her natural waist, fits her very well 10 years after she bought it and looks perfectly tailored (and probably wasn’t tailored for her, given the vintage of the dress) and then look at the Saunders dress. The waistline is somewhere up around her bustline and the whole ensemble looks awkward. Find a magenta straw small pillbox, pin that on and she could have gone to the service in the wrap dress. The batik dress is perfectly delightful and kudos to them for giving it and to her for wearing it on such short notice. And I am in LOVE with both pairs of the wedges, the best of the lot in my humble opinion!

  7. I really like the Saunders dress on the model but less so on Kate and I’m trying to figure out why. I think it is really a modern dress with retro flourishes and needed sleeker more modern accessories–when worn the the traditional style back of the head hat and off white pumps, it reads less chic, more old lady to me.

    I’m not surprised the pink and black wrap dress dates from before her marriage–it’s fine but it looks like something you’d see on your co-worker any given workday–in other words, nothing special.

    good on Kate for going with the gift dress. It looks cute on her. I had been looking at those Stuart Weitzman shoes myself earlier this summer and think they’re a great neutral, casual summer shoe and looked great with the colorful dress.

  8. Prince William andPrincesses Kate looks so cool in their Tavs..
    Cook Island designer Ellena Tavioni

  9. .. I haven’t liked one dress of Kate’s on this tour– (compared to the stellar outfits on the Canada tour- and every, single outfit she wore her entire 1st year of marriage!)

    BUT.. it doesn’t seem to matter in the least ! (-:

    she looks lovely, whether or not I like her dress- no- not just lovely- radiantly lovely.

    and her poise and beaming smile and grace are a pleasure- even in still photographs. I’ve never seen a hint of boredom or exhaustion or impatience or.. on her face. and she and Will seem to leave good cheer and encouragement in their wake–

    well played, Will and Kate !

    the colors of the top panel on the gifted, lushly-floral dress are gorgeous on her..

    (and- shhhhh- a discreet, respectful mention.. I still believe the Duchess looks pregnant- based on the way the bodices of this tour’s outfits fit– the Jonathan Saunders especially?!)

    • I agree, I think the Duchess is PG too.

    • Daphne, I agree! Kate has just endeared herself to me; and while some of the sartorial choices seem loopy, she still manages to look good! I was looking at pictures of Kate and William today and am reminded how much he looks like his mother. I hope you are right about a baby; judging from the two of them, that child will be truly beautiful.

    • Kate was quoted in British newspapers this past week as telling one of her primary protection officers, who did not make this trip with her due to finding out she was pregnant “You beat me to it.” Sorry, ladies! I think the Saunders dress is just cut strangely, those high waists we’ve been seeing so much of for the past year!

  10. the one gifted to her is sublime and youtful and age appropriate for her.
    i do not like the green dress but i adore the hat she’s wearing.

  11. Alright friends, Don’t kill me…but I actually didn’t mind the blue dress with the hat OR the light accessories. She definitely reminded me of one of those classic ladies from the 50′s movies with the hat but I thought it was a classic look. Ladies would always wear their hats at the back of their heads like that. The light accessories were ok with the touch of creme/taupe in the dress. If she would’ve worn black accents (shoes, purses etc) that would’ve been too dark for the outdoor, South Pacific, island feel of the dress.

    • It’s nice to hear an opinion that differs from the norm! :)

      Personally, I’m undecided about the Saunders/Taylor/LK Bennet ensemble. I hated the look upon first glance, but upon studying the array of pictures more closely I’m wavering. I do see how some feel that the hat and hair have an Amish feel, but in the picture where Kate and William are gazing at each other and smiling she appears lovely and so put together. Maybe the curls had relaxed a bit at that point, improving the overall look? As for the dress, I don’t mind the front, but the back isn’t flattering in my opinion. I am not a fan of the off white LK Bennets, but I do not like white shoes in general. One of the reasons I’ve been such a fan of the nude heel trend is that it’s allowed me to banish white shoes from my closet entirely; I’ve replaced them with nude heels!

  12. Ugh, THAT HAT. Why, Kate, why? :)

  13. I actually really like that hat.

  14. The pink dress (the one from the host country) is one of the best looks I’ve seen on her, she looks so pretty relaxed and comfortable. I love it! The Saunders is very nice too, but agree boo to the hat. William, as always, looks cute!!!! Love them!

  15. I love the dresses on this tour. They are so colorful compared to what Kate usually wears and the bold prints/colors really suit her coloring. I do agree with others that the hat is a little strange with the dress but she was going to church today and it is English custom to wear hats to church.

    I love the fact she wore the dress given to her as a gift. It is very flattering on her and she looks like she is on a South Pacific tropical island. All three dresses today were beautiful on her even if her accessories were a little questionable.

    She has worn some of the prettiest dresses on this tour. I wonder if she brought any high street designs other then what was worn in the jungle because every dress seems to be designer. Seems like she has truly embraced her life as a princess/duchess.

    Good for them, they both seem happy and healthy.

  16. Hi, I was wondering if anyone knows what earnings Kate is wearing with the pink dress, they are absolutely gorge.

    I like the island dress. I agree wit almost all, the first dress, specially the hat is very Amish looking. when I first saw the pic I though she has a small napkin on her hair!
    But she looks good in the pink one.

    thank you.

    • I saw the earrings as well and was wondering the same thing. Does anyone know what they are or who designed them?

    • I have been trying to ID her earring’s too! They sort of look like the ruby and diamond one’s that matches the necklace (& possible tiara) and bracelet she wore in December of last year. There looks to be a dangling red bit in a couple of photos…. One can only be hopeful!!

    • Hi, the post is updated with the earrings IDed. :)

  17. I love the Jonathan Saunders dress! WOW to the pricetag, though… but I’ll take your word for it that the materials and craftsmanship are top of the line. :-) I love the print, though. And I don’t mind the hat so much, I imagine she was wearing it since they were at a church service today. Not my favorite of her chapeaux, but I don’t find it to be the “miss” that others do. I’m extremely fair, myself, so I like the off white Sledge pumps… they’d read as nude on me. And I think the switch up to the batik dress is just wonderful. Sure, not the chicest thing she’s ever worn, but it’s just so much fun! And she looks lovely.

  18. That hat thing is just strange. She’s had some hits, but she’s also had quite a few misses on this trip. I can’t help but think the hat was originally intended to go with another outfit, but things got mixed up so she wore that instead.

    LOVE her coral dress with those sandals. Really, that dress has so many strong, loud colors – you need beige sandals to dial it down a notch! She looks completely at ease, and it’s 100% appropriate to wear to what is essentially a beach party. I thought it was nice she wore the gift, but really, what choice did she have?

    William totally looks like a typical suburban dad dressed up for his company’s luau party – or even a shift manager at Trader Joe’s. He should have really worn jeans with that shirt, at the least.

  19. I really like both new dresses today (pink is beautifully designed but the Jonathon Saunders dress is ridiculously overpriced). As I remarked on WKW Facebook, “Amish” is the immediate thought that popped into my head when I saw her hat on TV this morning. Her hair hanging in front like two pigtails created an even more “Amish” look as that looked like the bonnet strings. I am curious as to what she saw in this hat. A major refund should be asked from Ms. Taylor as I feel this is Kate’s worst hat look.

    • Saunders outfit and hat screams amish as has been mentioned. UGGH!

      Does she own flats?? I understand why she often wears heels but why not some cute flat sandals with the batik dress. Much more appropriate given the dress and the island venue. I think she has been “off” this trip, perhaps pregnancy hormones.

    • Really. I’m a hat lover as everyone knows, but even I hate this hat, which simply doesn’t work with the dress. I can’t imagine what she and Ms. Taylor were thinking. And those long sausage-like ringlets should never be seen again.

      A wide-brimmed natural (or perhaps green or blue) straw hat worn off the face would have worked with this dress and been appropriate to the venue.

  20. The Jonathan Saunders printed blue/black chequered dress suits the Duchess. The hat is just out of place. Even the style of the hat looks a bit strange. The dress would have looked totally different and classy if she wore it with black suede shoes/bag and no hat.

  21. Her dresses today were ok – the ones she wore on previous days were much prettier. The hat reminded me of a yarmulke though and I did a little bit of a double take when I first saw it :-)

  22. Kate looks stunning in strong colours. I loved the Saunders dress but not the hat. The shoes I like but not with this outfit but given the hat and bag the shoes go with those. That hat looks…odd.

    Gorgeous batik dress which sets off her tan very well. It’s good to see her looking healthy and radiant. She seems to be taking this tour in her stride unlike the Canadian one where she looked so fragile.

    Anyway, good for the Duchess that she did a last minute switch of frocks and honoured her hosts. That’s a wonderful gesture. Not a fan of the shoes but it was party time so who’s looking :)

    Blue suits William – that’s all I can say about that wild shirt of his :D

  23. I am trying to figure out how the woman who would choose the exquisite ice blue and lace dress can be the same woman who would choose this dress? Will you allow me to say that it is ugly? The hat doesn’t go, the shoes don’t go, the UFO clutch is icky, the whole look is my least favorite thing she has ever worn. It looks hot and itchy. She looks GORGEOUS in the pink batik though!!

  24. I wish we could get a better look at that first dress. Being a wrap-dress aficionado, I’d love to examine it more closely. I have to say, though, that I don’t think the beige wedges work particularly well with it, from what I can see of its style and color.

    I think the Saunders dress is quite cute — not my style, but cute and right for the occasion. However, the hat and the off-white patent Sledge pumps are all wrong with it. I’m on record as disliking the Sledge shoes, and I think the off-white versions are worse than the nude. Moreover, she needed more casual shoes with this low-key dress, something in a different style and color.

    Sadly, the combination of the back-of-the-head cocktail hat with the hairstyle — especially those long sausage curls — just did not work — not with the dress, not at all. I can’t think of a dress we’ve seen her wear with which this hat and hairstyle combo COULD have worked, but it was definitely not this one. A major “miss” in my view, unfortunately so, since the dress was a good choice.

    The tiered strapless dress — meh. I’m not a fan of that sort of thing, but since it was a gift, she was right to wear it for the banquet. The colors are nice, and she wears bright colors like that well.

    • Good point about the hairstyle with that hat. Now I think of it, those little caps used to be firmly clamped onto the back of a perm — the iron-hard variety that were popular when the perm first came in.

  25. As for the batik dress — well, what it lacks in style it more than makes up for in enthusiasm, and I so love the spontaneity Kate can still feel to wear it as a last-minute switch — I feel a huge relief that she can relax even that much and let the rest of the world go by. The colours are gorgeous on her. I suppose there will be quibbles about the shoes and the size of the wedge, but, hey, this is a beach party we’re going to here and fashionistas can stay home. I love the holiday feel of the touristy-look outfits on both of them.

    Although I do think Prince William deserves a bravery award for bearing with that shirt.

    Enjoy the party, guys!!

  26. Well, ain’t that sweet! The very same style hat mother wore to her wedding circa 1951. What goes around, comes around. The Jonathon Saunders print is a welcome relief from the procession of florals we’ve had and I love the plaid-style pattern and colours. That said, I don’t much care for the dress as I don’t think a bulky fabric like cotton, even in a viscose mix, gathers well, and this one seems particularly bulky at the waist, especially topped off with the little bow. To my mind it looks dangerously like maternity wear.

    And I don’t go a whole bundle on pale accessories –though unhelpfully I can’t think what other colour would have worked! — but such pale shoes, and shiny too, make her feet look too big to me. The overall effect is like a caricature of a 1950′s island church-goer and possibly not the best look of tour.

    Despite which she still manages to look gorgeous! The dark green and turquoise suit her and I’m glad we’ve met a new designer.

    • I remember wearing a hat like that to church when I was a kid in the 1950s- that was very much the style of times, and in fact I have a vague memory of the Queen wearing something similar around that time! What goes around, comes around indeed :)

      • I think everyone from the Queen to my granny wore those kind of hats! Of course, they date back to a time when a lady felt she wouldn’t be respectable to go out of the house without wearing a hat.

  27. Am I the only one who was trying to find that shop (of Kate’s dress) online? :D I didn’t have any luck!

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