Nov 272012

Kate elected to bring back another frock for today’s opening of a new Gallery at the Natural History Museum.

Stefan Reimschuessel/

Kate joined other guests, museum officials and curators at this evening’s event commemorating the new Treasures Gallery. Below we see Kate between Doctor Paul Barrett (left) and the Museum Director, Doctor Michael Dixon (right).

Via Paul Harrison, Sky News (@SkyNewsRoyal)

The Gallery will be a permanent exhibit at the museum, housing 22 of the Museum’s most precious and unusual artifacts. CNN’s David Wilkinson shared this image on Twitter, giving a sense of the atmosphere inside the Museum for tonight’s party.

David Wilkinson, CNN Twitter Feed (@Wilkinson_David)

This story in the Express offers insight on items in the Collection:

  • John James Audubon’s The Birds Of America: The world’s most expensive book (a copy sold in 2012 for £7,321,250) was published between 1827 and 1838 and is famous for its life-size illustrations.

Natural History Museum via The Guardian

  • Barbary lion skull: The skull of a north African lion that lived in the Tower of London in the 13th or 14th century.
  • Joseph Banks’s herbarium sheet: Samples from Captain Cook’s first voyage to Australia in 1770.
  • Neanderthal skull: The first Neanderthal skull discovered is of an adult female and about 50,000 years old

    Natural History Museum via The Guardian

Sir David Attenborough, the renowned naturalist and broadcaster, was also supposed to be on hand for tonight’s festivities, but he was under the weather and unable to attend. His absence resulted in Kate being asked to step up and speak about the new Gallery, Paul Harrison of Sky News shared this image of Kate awaiting her turn at the podium.

Via Paul Harrison, Sky News (@SkyNewsPaul)

More from the Daily Mail on Kate’s remarks:

The Natural History Museum has a very special place in the heart of this nation. William and I are just two of millions of people who have passed through these doors, and marvelled at the spectacular wonders of the natural world, housed in this beautiful gallery.

I care passionately about what this museum stands for. Being here tonight, seeing some of nature’s finest treasures, reminds me just how precious and awe inspiring the natural world is.

Here is a quick refresher on the Full Pleated Shirt Dress: it features a Peter Pan collar, pleats just about everywhere, and long sleeves gathered at the cuff. The 100% silk material has Mulberry’s Peace and Love pattern woven into it, the color is officially called cabbage and the frock originally sold at $2200/£1400. (The dress is no longer in stock at any retailers we surveyed.)

Kate accessorized with her Jimmy Choo ‘Cosmic’ pumps. While the dress may be long gone, the shoes remain available at Net-a-Porter, they are priced at $695.

Jimmy Choo/Net-a-Porter

It appears that Kate was sporting a new pair of earrings, more on that if we are able to dig up proper photos and/or more information.

It was a fine appearance for the Duchess, especially when considering she had to assume a speaking role at the last moment. Despite being an enormous Mulberry fan I never was very fond of this particular frock, that remains the case. But then, last time I checked “dress to make WKW happy” wasn’t in Kate’s job description, I need to remind myself of this fact occasionally.


Also today, two more appointments have been added to Kate’s calendar, the first is this Friday, November 30th, when the Duchess returns to her old prep school, St. Andrew’s in Pangbourne, Berkshire. Kate will meet the girls Hockey Team, watch games indoors, and she will also open a new Astroturf pitch outside. Below, images from St. Andrews Pangbourne, I imagine the pitch being replaced could be the one shown below with the girls playing hockey.

Via St. Andrews

Additionally, Wednesday December 5th Kate takes part in the annual ICAP Charity Day, put on by the ICAP brokerage house.  On this day the company donates 100% of its revenue and commissions to charities, notables like Kate “help” the traders by closing deals with customers, generally via phone. Just some of the celebrities who took part in last year’s Charity Day:

Via ICAP Charity Day

Ms. Streep was in the firm’s New York offices.

Via ICAP Charity Day

Last year £12.75/US$20 million was raised, that’s no small amount of money going to charity. Two of the charities being supported this year are The Art Room, of which Kate is Royal Patron and Tusk, William is Patron of this organization.

Kate should be able to get some fairly good advice on how things work at ICAP’s Charity Day from several family members.


Prince Charles, Camilla, and Prince William have all participated in previous Charity Days.

We’ll be back tomorrow, Kate and William have a full slate of activities in Cambridge and Peterborough, starting at 10:20am. (That’s 5:20am ET/2:20am PT.)



  47 Responses to “Kate Brings Back Mulberry Dress for Museum Appearance and Speech”

  1. I don’t know why people have a problem with her hair, she looks gorgeous!

  2. I feel the need to quote my favorite comedy, Parks and Recreation. As Donna says, “I wouldn’t call it my favorite dress, but I will say that it is my least favorite dress.” As many have commented already, this is not representative of Mulberry at its best, or the Duchess at her best for that matter. The color is lovely and a step outside the box for the Duchess, but the dress is marred by its very dated silhouette. Do the peace signs even bear mentioning? The photo of the Duchess sporting peace signs while chatting with the Museum directors almost caused me to giggle.

    I do think that this dress could work if worn ironically, perhaps by a celebrity, the “Man Repeller” Leandra Medine, or any very fashion forward individual. With a topknot, a pair of big frame glasses, and any shoes with visible socks (oxfords! wedges! ankle boots!) the retro vibe and whimsical peace signs would work. However, the most important aspect of keeping this dress firmly in the realm of whimsy instead of the ridiculous is where you wear it. This is a dress for a girl’s night out, a lunch date, or some less serious event. (In this sense, I think the Duchess’s previous outing in the Mulberry dress worked to a certain degree; she was visiting with members of the press in a “Tweet Suite,” at least in my mind a much more casual event than the museum appearance. Delivering a serious speech at the Natural History Museum while adorned in peace signs just seems incongruous.)

    Ah, but then she does look lovely, doesn’t she? As our admin pointed out, the Duchess apparently likes her frock, so that is really all that matters at the end of the day.

    As for the fringe, I am not a fan, but I like the idea that she may be indulging in some nostalgia; someone pointed out that she wore a fringe prior to her engagement.

  3. Hate the dress, love the hair, love the pumps. The fabric of that dress would make a nice blouse. The cut of the dress is just terrible. Very dated and unflattering.

  4. I don’t know I really really like her new hair. It seems fresher to me.

  5. I don’t like the high collar and buttoned-up style of the dress, but other than that, the accordion pleats are great. I think my problem is that it makes Kate’s arms look shorter than they actually are.

    I’m not in love with the new hairstyle, either. The bangs just make it look like she can’t see anything. I like the curls and the darkness, but the bangs…ugh.

    Oh well, like WKW says, she doesn’t dress to make us happy. And frankly, she has so many great looks that I can’t complain if I don’t like one once in awhile.

  6. A so pretty duchess & IMO a so dowdy dress !
    this new fringe makes Kate looks as a teen … but afterall, why not, if she likes this style.
    I find her face more “full-blown” ..

  7. I guess I’m one of the few that likes the dress. I think the color and style are both very pretty. The hair I’m not too keen about. It’s started to look a bit too Farrah Fawcett-ish.

  8. Since I love emerald green, I’m happy to see her in it, but overall it’s far from my favourite look on her. Having said that, I have a much better impression of the dress at this outing, than from the few pics at last year’s wearing, or from the Mulberry promo pics. Regarding her hair, I read a comment (forget where) that suggested the fringe may be a step towards gradually shortening it, which I do think is a good move. As fabulous a mane as she has, I’m firmly in the camp of wanting to see it up, back or generally not covering up the top of whatever fabulousness she’s wearing!

  9. I didn’t like this dress the first time and haven’t changed my mind. The color is pretty, though. The hair…I think there is too much length between the new layers and the rest of her hair. It looks so heavy now. I saw video of her speech and she kept shaking her head to try to get it out of her eyes. When her hair is down she always keeps it forward over her shoulders. I think it looks much better pulled up.

  10. I actually think the color of this dress is lovely – it’s so nice to see her in a truly bright color! I think it’s the neckline that bothers me the most about this dress. But well done her for speaking at the last minute – that’s truly nerve-wracking and I think she did a great job.

  11. Ugh, it’s hard to understand how the woman who can choose the divine lace blue dress on her last tour (was it Temperley?) can be the same woman who wears this awful dress. The green is OK, but the peace signs are inappropriate, the pleats are horrendous, and the whole style is aging. Combined with the new hair it’s like a bad 70s do-over. She is channeling Jaclyn Smith and failing miserably.

    I think the bangs are a mistake. They hide her beautiful face. She needs a barrette now to hold the hair back. Honestly, it seems as if she has lost confidence recently….hence the need to hide behind her hair.

  12. Hairstyle – it reminds her hair at student’s time. anyway at this small change her curls are curled in the other way and cut if any
    Dress – no enthusiasm from the first appearance. now, it looks the belt is a little up and pleats….appropriate for the time

  13. I am in the minority of people who like the new hair, and I am relieved to see that I correct about how much better it looks after a professional styling (compared to the rugby game appearance). However, I never liked this dress. I feel she looks very appropriate, and I get the “green” reference, but the color is not good, and the pleats are too much IMO.

  14. Kate mulberry dress is wonderfull! i love green colors.

  15. It’s always nice to see her in brighter colours, but really not keen on this dress either. It just seems to look very old fashioned. I would just love her to come out with something really edgy and shock everyone, bit of a shame she’s so well behaved!! lol

  16. Oh no! What has she done to her beautiful hair? It’s awful – looks like she’s trying to hide. Kate has such a lovely face too. What a pity.

    What a pity about the dress too. Those narrow pleats are so off. The only thing I like about it is the colour.

    I feel so disappointed by this ‘retro’ look. There is no such thing as ‘retro’ in my world. For ‘retro’ read ‘old-fashioned’ or ‘passe’. Need to go and cheer myself up now.

  17. Well, what DO you wear to spend the evening with a large collection of old fossils? I think it’s a beautiful dress but a hard style to wear and when I’ve seen it worn successfully it’s been with more adventurous accessories than Kate is likely to choose.

    I love the fabric, the detailed pleating and the subdued pattern, and the buttoned-up look is nothing if not serious and studious, even school-girlish, especially with the fringe. I like to see a change in hairstyle and wonder if the extra layering might be a precursor to a general shortening of her mane altogether. I’d be sorry if we are to lose some of the off-the-face demi-chignon styles she looks so well in.

    The Victorian theme styling of the garment echoes the period of the building she is visiting, but I don’t think the hairstyle is in keeping with the dress – the pictures from the designer show both more interesting footwear plus shorter hair.

    Thanks for another great post!

    • “well, what do you wear to spend the evening with a large collection of old fossils?”

      love it.
      wonderful point of view–

      and why not imagine Kate has the sense of humor to have thought along those lines.. ?! she and William certainly “enjoy a giggle”- and have said so more than once !

      I vote for this comment.

      further evidence?
      she has proved over and over and over and over (and over) that she has exquisite taste and sensitivity for the occasion she dresses for

      why stray this far from the path ? so I vote NO blind spot of a night. ane yay for ElizaMo’s fun, funny interpretation.

      emerald colored fossil honorer, it is! (-:

      • Speaking for myself, I don’t like this look, period. It has nothing to do with the outfit’s appropriateness for the event (I actually agree that it’s fine to wear). It’s just not a good outfit.

    • “Well, what DO you wear to spend the evening with a large collection of old fossils?” caused me to spit coffee all over my screen ;)

      Will people crucify me if I suggest that ElizaMo’s comment could equally well describe a number of events with the royals in attendance? (Not in good taste, I know, but sometimes I can’t help it… !)

      • And your comment mde me lough out loud! Well said!


      • You’re too kind — really — I simply spoke as one old treasure to some much respected predecessors. The true heroine of the evening was the Duchess, for going head to head with all those geology wonks.

  18. Okay, I know not everyone’s keen on the bangs… but I like them. She sported them in her pre-marriage days and I although these look heavier (probably pouffier because of the professional blow-dry), they still hearken back to her maiden days… I am a nostalgic at heart and therefore love this look. Sorry guys! The dress I’m still meh about. Despite this, I believe she looks great all around, just the dress is not my style.

  19. This was just not good. The dress is odd, the peace sign ‘whimsy’ is just not right for her, the occasion, or just, generally. The hair I don’t love, but I think it’s better tonight styled then it was at the rugby event. Overall a miss though, which for her is rare, so I guess I’ll live and look forward to her next few appearances.

  20. Not a fan of this look at all. The hair is awful, it falls forward over her face, in one of the photos her face is nearly completely covered by her hair! That dress is hideous. It looks like something ladies wore back in the 1950s. I like the shoes in and of themselves but they need a long gown, like the long gowns she’s worn them with in the past. This look hits all the wrong notes for me.

  21. Dress – Meh.
    Bangs – I understand much better seeing different angles. I’m not a fan of bangs but they don’t look terrible on her.

    Looking forward to the upcoming events!

    P.S. No engagement and/or wedding band? Maybe the pictures are just bad but that’s odd.

  22. Great photo of earrings just posted on Dailymail lead story. The picture of the emerald earring, similar to her ring is right after the Diana and Farrah Fawcett photos;)

    • I saw that photo and was wondering if anyone else noticed them! I haven’t seen them on her before but they look very nice from what I could make out. :)

  23. I LOVE Kate but I am soooo bummed about the bangs. I hope she goes back to longer layers – much more elegant and, sorry, romantic. The dress looks good on her but I don’t care for it. She would look great in a burlap sack.

  24. I’m in the minority but I do like this dress, although I didn’t like tonight’s look, with the buttons done right up and the heavy looking hair and bangs–Kate seemed to be working a bit of a school marmish look.

    I liked her hair at the rugby event but it looked rather heavy and dark tonight.

  25. I don’t like the Duchess’ new hairstyle. It’s covering her face more than ever. I agree with the remarks earlier that her hairstyle was best during the Canadian tour. I am not a fan of this dress either but she has a good figure so could carry off almost any type of dress though a sheath/pencil style suits her best in my opinion.

  26. hate to say it but the bangs just make her look old….

    The dress is a nice color but didn’t like it the first time and don’t like it now…..she’d not kocking it out of the park recently for me at all………..

  27. Overall, she looked very appropriate for the occasion.

  28. Today’s look was such a bust for me, too. I have never liked that dress, and I think this is the most unflattering hairstyle for anyone. You can’t see it in these pictures, but her eye makeup looks so off today, too.

  29. I think she chose green because of its association with environmental causes. I agree with the majority of comments here – it is not particularly elegant and not at all flattering, although I have to say if anybody can get away with wearing it, it is somebody like Kate – super tall and super thin. I wish she went back to fitted straight silouette she favored during the Canada tour…It looked so elegant and modern on her!But I think she is conditioning the public to get used to more roomy, gathered cuts that can hide early stages of pregnancy.

    The hair looks better than during her last appearance at a rugby game, I do like a darker color on her, but once again agree with earlier comments that her hair looked best during her engagement and then through Canada tour. Does anybody know who did the color and cut her bangs? Daily Mail says it was done by Ward, but I am not sure they are right.

  30. i LOVE the duchess’s new hair! as a gal with bangs myself, i’m in favor of fringe! and i’m loving this dress and the color.
    on a side note, is she pregnant?!

  31. As an art historian with much museum teaching and lecturing experience, I care more about the Duchess’s effect on interest in the Natural History Museum than anything else. However, since, this is a fashion blog, I have to say that I didn’t like th Mulberry dress last year, and I still don’t.

    The color and fabric are lovely — the Duchess does wear emerald-green beautifully — but the design, as I think I commented last December, is sadly reminiscent of some of the more unfortunate examples of 70′s style; and I really hated that decade in fashion, even when I was a mere early adolescent trying to find my sartorial feet.

    I think this dress, this rather dowdy design, could be made to look much better if it were worn with some faintly edgy accessories of the type the Duchess eschews. Mulberry, as the pictures above show, accssorized it with unusual shoe boots. Alas, the Duchess doesn’t do edgy, not even faintly.

    This new haircut with the bangs just emphasizes the fact that she’s got too much hair at the moment. I don’t mean to be snarky (I like her!), but she’s reminding me of a cocker spaniel.

    Oh, dear: isn’t that Lupo’s breed? .

  32. Really not so keen on the new hairstyle with the heavy bangs- not as obvious in these photos as elsewhere – but makes the Duchess look as is she’s having a bad hair day – a shame when she has such lovely hair. I think she’ll be spending even more time than usual swiping at her hair as she fends off that fringe getting in her eyes.

  33. Sigh. One of my least favorite dresses of Kate’s. I just think the high button neck is too severe, which is too bad because I really like the whimsical print.

    I am loving the Duchess’s new hair, however! I imagine it will be divisive among Kate watchers. I think the side bangs/fringe look fab!

  34. At first I thought the dress was frumpy but in the picture above where she waits to step up the podium, I think the Dutchess looks elegant and even sexy. I think it works because of her sleek and tall physique. Along with the trimmed fringe/bangs, it’s almost a 70′s look! I dislike the colour of the dress in general but her complexion carries it off. Maybe I’ll run off and trim my fringe a bit now :-)

  35. I’m not a huge teal fan. But at least she didn’t wear the matching shoes shown on the website, lol.

  36. This dress was not a favorite the first time and still not a fan this time either. I can’t decide whether it is the color, the style (seems school marmish) or both. The new hairstyle does not seem flattering – however, it could all be the photographic angle. It will be interesting to see the hairstyle over the next several days.

  37. I am a huge, huge fan of Kate, but I have to be honest. I hate the dress, and I don’t like the hair. In my opinion, her hair has never looked as good as it did during the wedding festivities and her tour of Canada; I really hope she goes back to the cut/stylist/products she had at that time.

    And the dress…where do I start. This is easily my least favorite thing she’s ever worn. I can’t stand the collar, the narrow belt, the accordian-looking pleats, or the *shudder* peace signs. I love that she rewears her clothes, but I’m really hoping that this one gets retired now that it’s had two outings.

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